It is easy to get lost in loss.

The feelings are there, and you don’t know what to do with them, and grief overtakes you. I’ve written about childhood grief, and I’ve written about pregnancy loss that wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds due to a genetic anomaly.

I’ve also written about the loss of community and culture, (owing to often moving, whole continental shifts at times). People change. You change. We drift; it’s natural.

vignettes

Loss

Image
vignettes

‘Identity can be merely a costume’

So true, with internet taking over our mind space and people unable to distinguish what’s you according to you, and what they think of you being so it fits their ideas of you, ie, you according to them.

I was reading about this phenomenon today over here.

https://www.npr.org/2022/12/10/1135893640/how-latin-identity-became-fodder-for-content

When someone labels you for you and then expects you to conform to their idea of you, it’s quite disrespectful. Right?

 

 

Standard
books, vignettes

An anniversary: 37 years after the death of Air India Flight 182

June 23. It’s this day in 1985. That we lost the people who were on board Flight 182 of Air India. A plane called Kanishka.

My best friend was on that plane, along with her brother and her mother. It was the weirdest and most surreal feeling, ever, to see that story reported on national news. But we didn’t talk about it, out loud. We never did, at home. Emotional topics were not to be brought up, and ‘bad things’ cast aside, and ‘past is past’ invalidating anything close to an actual feeling. This is how childhood grief can solidify and stifle someone. I worked out some of that with people, years later. Another girl who, like me, was watching in horror as it all unfolded, us talking many years later, like the little kids still grappling with it that we, emotionally, still really were.

 

Closures

Many years later, I went to see the Air India Memorial in person and joined the service on this day that was held there, in Ahakista, with the kids playing their instruments and locals laying out foodstuffs on white tablecloths in the outdoor setting so we could all mark the moment together.  What a story. I wound up living in Ireland not far from there. I wound up seeing the black-and-white, three-d reality of the memorial. It was the closest I had had, til then, of closure. Because we ‘don’t get emotional,’ at home. Because of that. Closedness to the heart. At age 10 I stuffed away this pain. At the memorial, I could open that box and see what was in it. And there I found a part of myself that had been set aside for so, so long. The part that was still crying.

 

Writing Kanishka

I wrote the story Kanishka after visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and talking to Salim Jiwa, the author of the book The Death of Air India Flight 182. I also did a writing residency at a place in northern India, in Preetnagar, with some very excellent people including Poonam Singh. Who understood the nature of my e-query, to their first-iteration version of the residency program back then. I sent a note through the form, in which I asked if I could come and stay and write and listen to their angle on the things that had happened, which affected them, too. ‘Operation Blue Star…’ Unhesitatingly I was invited.  Then, Kanishka was published as a serial in Ms. Singh’s magazine, in 2015. As I learned at that time, it was to be the first-ever English-language series. That felt good, for this Punjabi-American, to hear.

 

Of childhood grief

It’s in my story, what I heard. It’s not a historical piece or a journalistic one, but it’s the story I could tell. As honestly and true and deeply as I could. The loss of my best friend, at age 10. In a terrorist attack on her airplane.

 

kismuth.com/kanishka

Standard

Making new things, with #spacethezine

chuffed.org/project/spacethezine

 

vignettes

Another Now

Image

The question is, who do you write for. Let me think about this out loud a little. Someone once answered this question in the exact way that I would have, had I been asked it, in the interview, in which she was. This wasn’t a video, or a podcast, this was a magazine article I had read in the days when magazines were in print.

It was a common practice for me to wander down to the Seattle waterfront, meander around in Pike Place Market, pick up something nice for later in the day, and get magazines. Print ones. From the news stand there. Today? Hm. I wonder if people read anything longer than paragraph or a blunted bit of social media, these days. Honestly I think there is too much of too much altogether and I can’t really keep up with it.

Still, I do write. I write a lot. I write for a handful of people now, though, and I hardly share any of it, publicly. People used to ask me, when I left newspapers and moved into design, then switched again to writing (memoirs and now zines), these kinds of deeply intrusive questions (all of which I avoid) but the one that I will let them ask me is: Who do you write for? Is a massive question that, for me, hasn’t had a different answer for 20 years. I write, I would have said, as another author once did, for myself, and strangers. 

 

vignettes

‘Who do you write for?’

Image

After serious personal reflection during a 20-month stint in Vietnam for ‘solitude‘ and ‘waiting,’ it has become obvious to me what to do when you need to make some exemplary shifts in your life.

Choices, personal journeys, the states of being, and clean breaks are the topics of this 8- or 12-week series of prompts. Look forward to sharing snippets of golden nuggets from dozens of conversations and readings of psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists on the topic of ‘estrangement’. Why this topic?

 

Awareness is where it begins

It started for me with an awareness, a very particular one, that those who are already registering for the Mirror will be able to read as soon as Friday. That is when I will send out the orientation packets. The topic is ‘Awareness.’ Naturally. (Everyone everywhere says that’s the first step. So, too, ought it be, with Mirror.)

There is a fee to participate but no cost to apply.

Apply here.

vignettes

The people who show up are the right people

Image

So I started a Note. It’s http://note.com/16z.

Why did I do this? It’s easy and simple. It’s not like keeping up the eight Tumblr accounts plus two twitters plus trying to ‘feed the machine’ that I was up to in the 2010s because, I guess, I thought that was important. (It was, in a way, because of SEO).

But so what.

Who needs long-tail search marketing to work. Who needs work. (Well.)

But Note. Is easy.

And so it begins, again.

 

vignettes

Absurdity

Image
vignettes

To Paris

I had a fun day today. I’m reading tons of stuff online these days since I have time. Most of it is inane chatter, of course. Like this one, below, which, I have to put here because… anyone who lives in Bangkok or has spent time there can totally visualize, I’m sure, the scene here. The BTS is the name of the train station system, like ‘the Underground’ is in London or ‘The Subway’ in NYC. I find it so, so interesting to be able to relate to this person and their sudden awareness of the bizarre nature of their I-just-met-you companion. There are so, so many oddball people out there, it’s a magical thing when you find someone you can actually. Really. Just. Talk to.

HT V & W. Thanks for conversations today! And to B. Good games of chess, there. Man.

The Bangkok nostalgia clip is here…

From : https://coconuts.co/bangkok/lifestyle/bad-romance-these-dating-horror-stories-will-have-you-scared-and-seeking-a-better-dating-game/


Putting the ‘miser’ in miserable


“I met a guy on a dating app who seemed quite normal so I decided to go on a date with him. While the date itself was mediocre and we clearly didn’t have much in common, his true colors started to show when he walked me to the BTS station. He was stopped by the security guard when going through the turnstile as his card had insufficient funds. Instead of adding funds like any normal person, however, he decided to get upset and argue with the security guard. He even started to raise his voice, immediately earning him a ticket. I ended up just walking away so he could figure it out. Needless to say, he clearly had anger issues and couldn’t see that he was at fault for not having enough money on his card… he asked for a second date and like that BTS card reader, I rejected him.”

— Kelly, 25


 

Wow. Does this happen, I wonder, in places like.. oh I don’t know. Paris?

Standard
vignettes

How to validate someone’s feelings

From: https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/emotional-support#takeaway


‘Think about the last time you went through something difficult. You probably wanted to talk to someone about the problem, but you may not have necessarily wanted them to fix it for you or make it go away.

‘Maybe you just wanted to vent your frustration or disappointment and get some soothing acknowledgment in return.

‘Support doesn’t require you to fully understand a problem or provide a solution. Often, it involves nothing more than validation.

When you validate someone, you’re letting them know you see and understand their perspective.


‘The support people often want most is recognition of their distress. So, when a loved one tells you about the challenges they’re going through, they may not need you to jump in and help. You might offer the best support simply by showing concern and offering a caring presence.


‘Some validating phrases you can use are:

  • “I’m sorry you’re dealing with that situation. It sounds so painful.”
  • “That sounds so upsetting. I understand why you’re feeling so stressed right now.”

Note: Design Kompany (that’s where I publish and co-create more often than over here, lately) will be doing a mental health focused set of zines soon, for S P A C E. Some of those will fall under the category ‘Baok of Feelings,’ which we are co-creating currently with our team in Saigon. Wish us luck.:)

Click to go to #spacethezine page >

 

Standard