Quick, make a wish,
And hold on for dear, vivacious life,
As it flits across oceans and searches the sky.
If it plummets beyond reason or loses its light –
So what if you fell, when you learned how to fly!
Quick, make a wish.
Ink not a thumb but both unwizened hands
And lace your limpid heart for Tombouctouan lands.
Be conscious, my dear, as you seek to understand
The paradigm shifting sands, of the visions and virtues
On which your dignity stands.
Quick, make a wish!
Make a plan, make a fervent proclamation!
Run ever onwards, ablaze with loud ambition
To be fearless and free and foolish and naïve
For youth is still more fleeting than you would care to believe.
The 11th of November has already passed, but there is the century’s largest supermoon tonight. Quick, make a wish! 🌕
As I stare unthinking at my haphazard notes, I surreptitiously recall the pleasant surrealness of an unidentified language, the pulsating vibrancy in the night market air, and the comforting stillness of rural evenings. The unbridled laughter of incredulous children, chasing tirelessly, sun-bleached hair flying across the pitted path, rings phantom notes beside my ear. It is on solitary nights like these that I unfold sepia images and stain my fingers brushing the fine films of dust. In youth, our inherent flaw is to overestimate ourselves, and I am surprised by how unfocused these mental photographs have become. My memory is evidently less crisp than I had believed.
It was during those moments, many spent sitting on rickety floorboards playing Chinese card games (one particularly lively match had resulted in a sprained finger), that I had found myself enveloped in unexpectedly deep camaraderie. The adage, ‘nothing strengthens bonds quite like a holiday’, proved very true. This sense of membership had come after months of uncertainty and self-doubt, and my relief was comparable to the electrifying streets of Hanoi, which we had run across blindly with our cumbersome suitcases, then still protected by our indomitable sense of invincibility. (I suppose a streak of it is still alive and well, given the laughable amount of studying that I attempt to get by medical school with.)
The songs that had saturated our endlessly meandering bus rides, our pathetic construction efforts and the dangerous sway of an elephant’s neck are all fond Polaroid snapshots. What feels like half a lifetime later, I can only regard my younger self – who had led a shameless performance of the Hoedown Throwdown before politely baffled locals – with utter bemusement. I had also taken my first selfie (on a point-and-shoot, for that matter), bargained for the first of many shoulder bags, and discovered a lasting love for Korean barbecue (despite having been over 3,000 miles away from Seoul). Though the draft for this post originally began as a short aside, here I am about to publish three paragraphs positively oozing nostalgia. This may be an abrupt departure from my usual (slightly) less directionless reflections, but this platform is supposed to be a personal blog after all. I cannot help but include the occasional rambling reminiscence.
To intrepid youth and more adventures. ☄️
Subtitled ‘grainy evenings in Laos’. 🇱🇦
- We Are Young – Fun.
- It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
- Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
- Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae
- Hoedown Throwdown – Miley Cyrus
- 99 Bottles of Beer (American folk song)
- Hey, Soul Sister – Train
- Chasing Pavements – Adele
- Royals – Lorde
- Some Nights – Fun.