Monday, February 7, 2011

Time, what can I do to understand you better?

Today was my mom's two month death anniversary.

I woke up this morning to pretty nice weather (considering there was a snowstorm last night); the sun was shining and everything looked really bright. But I had been thinking about today since a few days ago, and I guess I was subconsciously waiting for this day because in my dream last night, I was burying someone I loved whom I assume to have been my mom. There were dandelions, whatever that means.

It's like how they say "age is only a number"--dates, too, are merely numbers. But I found myself rather depressed all day today, crying in intervals or moping about otherwise, heaving long sighs every other minute. I was trying to catch up with a lot of reading for school today, but my mind kept wandering and eventually it just broke my concentration and I gave up trying to read.

I'm really not good with telling people my feelings in person. I don't think I've ever cried in front of anyone save the night when I received the phone call a little over two months ago, telling me I had to go home to see my mom before it was too late. I'm not sure if it's because I feel embarrassed crying in front of other people, or that I've always seen crying as something really private so I just automatically save it till I'm alone. It may have caused skepticism from some people when I didn't cry at my mother's funeral.

In any case, I've become more grateful for my poker face as my emotions have been going all over the place lately... makes it easier to function everyday. Yes, I've been feeling rather mechanical these days.

The reason I have a picture of IKEA above is because I went there last Tuesday to do some furniture shopping for the study space in our EAS department building. I was supposed to go with one more person, but she couldn't make it so I went with my friend who generously agreed to accompany me and drive me there. It was my second time at the IKEA in Montreal, my first time being when I arrived in Montreal to move in for school in the summer of 2007.

The first time I came here was with my mom. I didn't know anyone, and my mom and I shopped for quite some time at this IKEA trying to decide what I would need to spend my next 4 years here in Montreal. So this place, in a way, served as a very significant marking stone at the beginning of my journey in becoming more independent. But I never thought that the next time I went to this IKEA, the person who had come with me the first time would already be gone forever.

I guess nobody would have ever suspected IKEA to be such a painful place for anyone. I still enjoyed the trip last week nevertheless, it was just the exterior that reminded me so much of that summer day when my mom and I walked in through the doors together.

It's not just the store though, a lot of the furniture from IKEA in my apartment, we had assembled together. The bed that my mom spent hours twisting in all the screws, the table and chairs set we had debated over, the blanket over the couch she had picked, the bookshelf we had an argument over while putting it together... everything I look at, everyday, has my mom in it.

I can't believe it's been only two months since she passed away, while time still seems to fly by so fast everyday. I can't explain the feeling of thinking something to be an event from a long time ago because you've thought so much about it and relived it over and over again in your head... but in reality, it's only been a short while since then and the pain from it all is still here.

I miss her so much I don't know what to do. Meanwhile, life goes on and the futility of it only throws me deeper into despair.

I suppose it doesn't help that I've been reading poetry like this over the weekend:


J'ai plus de souvenirs que si j'avais mille ans.

Un gros meuble à tiroirs encombré de bilans,

De vers, de billets doux, de procès, de romances,

Avec de lourds cheveux roulés dans des quittances,

Cache moins de secrets que mon triste cerveau.

C'est une pyramide, un immense caveau,

Qui contient plus de morts que la fosse commune.

— Je suis un cimetière abhorré de la lune,

Où comme des remords se traînent de longs vers

Qui s'acharnent toujours sur mes morts les plus chers.

Je suis un vieux boudoir plein de roses fanées,

Où gît tout un fouillis de modes surannées,

Où les pastels plaintifs et les pâles Boucher

Seuls, respirent l'odeur d'un flacon débouché.

Rien n'égale en longueur les boiteuses journées,

Quand sous les lourds flocons des neigeuses années

L'ennui, fruit de la morne incuriosité,

Prend les proportions de l'immortalité.

— Désormais tu n'es plus, ô matière vivante!

Qu'un granit entouré d'une vague épouvante,

Assoupi dans le fond d'un Sahara brumeux;

Un vieux sphinx ignoré du monde insoucieux,

Oublié sur la carte, et dont l'humeur farouche

Ne chante qu'aux rayons du soleil qui se couche.

— Charles Baudelaire


I have more memories than if I'd lived a thousand years.

A heavy chest of drawers cluttered with balance-sheets,

Processes, love-letters, verses, ballads,

And heavy locks of hair enveloped in receipts,

Hides fewer secrets than my gloomy brain.

It is a pyramid, a vast burial vault

Which contains more corpses than potter's field.

— I am a cemetery abhorred by the moon,

In which long worms crawl like remorse

And constantly harass my dearest dead.

I am an old boudoir full of withered roses,

Where lies a whole litter of old-fashioned dresses,

Where the plaintive pastels and the pale Bouchers,

Alone, breathe in the fragrance from an opened phial.

Nothing is so long as those limping days,

When under the heavy flakes of snowy years

Ennui, the fruit of dismal apathy,

Becomes as large as immortality.

— Henceforth you are no more, O living matter!

Than a block of granite surrounded by vague terrors,

Dozing in the depths of a hazy Sahara

An old sphinx ignored by a heedless world,

Omitted from the map, whose savage nature

Sings only in the rays of a setting sun.

(Translation taken from

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