TPJ: Photos, Stories & a Podcast of a Travelling Teddy Bear 🐯
A broken household yet there are no cracks in the ceiling walls. Spiders whisper about the misfortune and mistakes that drape the curtains. Their webs hang from the most exquisite embroidery shipped all the way from Kansas City.
No one would ever guess that behind these closed doors lies a mess. Emotions crumble, and tears seep beneath slammed doors…but when the guests step in, the drinks begin to pour.
The celebrations roll on accompanied by silvery trays. The forced laughs are the sourest, the pressure to enjoy the night is apparative,
And in their silent eyes the pain is the loudest.
The night is over, Spiders whisper misery. The walls recognise the familiar silence, and loneliness reigns.
A broken household, yet the bricks are firmly intact. No cracks in the ceiling walls. No smudges on the paint. Echos of the happiness that once existed, flow quietly…
A melodic medley that everyone once knew, but the effort to remember exceeds their memory, so acceptance is key.
Blame, shame, and hidden agendas. The children are asleep, but their conscience resonates, they can hear truth through cemented walls.
One of them listens harder, she cares to know lovingly.
Taking sides becomes a choice, and she chooses unwillingly. She regrets her choice, but she doesn’t know better. Together they leave, her and her heart, this broken household to another newly empty space.
Separation makes her cold. Hateful words gape through her innocent lips, assumptions make her hair greyer than her age.
A broken household, yet there are no cracks in the ceiling walls. They have been mended with the years, his guilty bones give him nothing better to do, but fix the house that once had life.
By Faria, 11th December 2015
He still managed to smell the roses, through the concrete cracks. Imprisoned was his body, but his senses still intact.
He still managed to see the horizon, from behind the isolating walls, he may have been a dreamer, but he was an optimist above all.
He still managed to feel the warmth of his dear mothers affection, as he lay his head on the cold steel bars…it takes disconnection from reality to experience delusional sanity.
And yet he still managed to hear his children’s laughter, regardless of the echoing silence, its wondrous how memories survive, and channelling them is timeless.
And when it was time for food, he could taste the scrumptious fish of the vast red sea, for prison food was not food for an innocent man like he.
By Faria, 6th December 2015
Please do not look for happiness underneath the layers I wear, Underneath the skin I was born into, Or underneath my Thick Curly hair. Not because I will not strive to make you happy, but because I cannot fathom what you will do when I am not there.
I want you to be happy first…without me, then, when I am by your side. I want you to be able to see the light in day, not through my eyes…but through your own, because you have the ability to… but you rely on me, before you rely on you.
I want to know, that when I have to go… you will not hide away, that you will not allow your beautiful soul to decay, Due to the lack of motivation, and the lack of reason, because life makes no sense when you have nothing to believe in…. I understand your pain. I feel it too. But the truth is, soon I will have to leave and I will no longer physically be with you.
I will not be there when you come home after a long cruel day, I will not be there when you just want to wrap yourself around me, because the warmth of my hugs and the tenderness of my kisses, remind you that no matter how tough it is out there, you can still find peace…within my presence.
But I will be there mentally, I will be there on the other end of the phone, I will be there behind a screen, Staring straight at you, Promising I will try my best, to once again be with you.
But you need to promise me this…That I will not be your only source of happiness. As uplifting and flattering as that is, I cannot bare the thought of it. I want you to be happy first, without me, then happy with me. I want you to see the light of day past me, and not through me.
By Faria, 29th November 2015
I Shall Let Him Adorn Me
I shall let him adorn me…
Let his fingertips paint me, mould me, shape me and create me…Form me into this beautiful depiction stemming from the fragments of his mind.
I shall allow him entry, with no hesitation for I am a wandering entity.
I shall embrace this fact and sprinkle it with confidence to overcome my fears and self-consciousness.
I shall lay still and quiet; yet with eyes open wide…Wide with curious thoughts trembling inside. He is in front of me, I can feel his bare chest. For this is the moment I must forget about the rest.
I shall allow myself to react, I shall allow my body to feel.
I shall create from this intimate moment, a memory so surreal.
I want to overcome my fear of never being able to take it back,
The fear of letting go of what I proudly own, and the innocence I soon will lack.
This fear instilled within me from my own concept and beliefs,
Suddenly it’s all over and…I feel nothing but relief.
It was beautiful, it was calm, it was everything he said it would be.
No need for this fear I carried around, I now realise subsequently.
However, in my imagination this tune will reside,
saved for the day this scenario comes to life.
Until then I can only speak with a creative tongue, for the truth is:
I am not ready yet; therefore these notes will be kept unsung.
By Faria, 6th November 2015
Her hands resemble the most picture perfect image of what a women hands should be, to me personally. call me biased call me selective.
Her hands are always cold, and I wish I could always warm them.
They’re fragile and petite, delicate..soft, and pale, but pale on the scale of skin tones where pale is the fairest shade, with nails perfectly trimmed, and nail varnish called marshmallow coated to perfection with no bumps, and a smooth touch.
I’ve watched her hands carry sorrow till it dropped, for there’s only so much one can carry till gravity takes its toll. I’ve watched her hands create music from misery, using nothing but her petite fingers and an imaginary tapestry. those same hands fed me, bred me, carried me when i was tired, held me tight when i was scared, put sunblock on my nose, and brushed and combed my curly hair, without hurting me. for only her hands know how to handle me.
Those hands fed me fruits and cheese, and held my hand when i crossed the street…they waved goodbye when i got dropped off at school, and they wrote down words that i one day will pass on to my own daughter.
These hands are the hands of my own mother.
Her hands have endured far more than what they should. I tell you all, these hands are a miracle.
They keep clean and nicely trimmed, even when they’ve been dealing with dirt and unfair men, for my mother an agriculture, worked day and night in the fields…yet never did I ever, see her nails lose they’re shine, and never did she ever forget to intertwine her hands in mine, before i went to bed.
Even when she drove and I was sitting beside her, she made it a point to grasp my hand tighter, before she dropped me off and parted in her own direction. She’d stroke my back to help me fall asleep, and run her fingers through my hair till she fell asleep.
Her hands…her hands, they smell like the perfume one I can forever consume, because as soon as I inhale, I am safe and content.
It’s wondrous how much I can say about her hands
Her hands, her hands, have been through too much, yet she holds herself high and with them brushes it off. Her hands have wiped her tears as soon as she heard my footsteps approach her doorstep, never allowing me to see her breakdown, she’d use her tears to wash her face, replace the sadness with a smile, to make me feel like everything’s okay.
Her hands, as soft as the skin on her cheek.
They have endured struggles no man will speak.
With those same hands, she said ‘I do’ and 15 years down the line, it was just me and you, in our flat, that with her hands, she got on her own, and with those hands, she built us a home.
With those hands, she ignored the stares, the glares from men, when she showed up on her own to wherever she had to be, living in an Arab country, men look abruptly…especially at a women with her beauty, I always use to worry.
Her hands have shaken hands of dreamers, and made them believers for she has the ability to touch others simply with her hands. Her hands don’t only create life in soil, but paint and write and heal others. Her hands never stop moving, or learning. She is now in her 50’s and she’s still growing up to be, everything she wished to be.
A single mother was not planned, but she created a default plan, and look at her now, after this journey she’s been through, her hands are still looking brand new.
My hands…my hands will never look like hers. My skin color differs, and my nails are coarse, un-lady like, with scars and scabs…My mothers hands could never look that bad.
One day my mother, and by one day I mean now, I will attempt to give to you what you gave to me, and altogether us three, your children.
I want my hands to hold your head close to my heart, as you listen to my heartbeat, because as long as its beating I will be right by your side, to serve you and hold you high…and when your hands get weaker, mine will support them, and when your hands get tired…mine will hold them.
28th August 2015
The collision of two worlds, means the collision of beliefs that differ, resulting in the collision of the same stories seen through eyes of opposing perspectives.
My world is respective, its conservative touch is affective, and has left me with beliefs even I do not believe in. He makes me even.
His world a production of his own creation. Alterations to what he’s been taught at home and at school, due to his open mind and rear view…he’s come up with his own ideologies…he enlightens me. Allowing me to see things differently. Slanting my images of the corruption I was surrounded by, only to simplify, and allow me to rectify my personal ability, to see the world that I was born into, using beautiful imagery.
The fears and insecurities molded in my mind, due to his invested time, are slowly turning. The wheels of the misunderstood trail of thought I possess are churning, transforming from dark patches to grey matter resonating in my mind…he’s turned my misconception of the world blind, and has opened my senses.
He allows me to feel rather than merely explaining the feeling to me. He puts me in situations where no one will speak for me, but myself. And when I open my mouth to utter my experience aloud, no one is judging me in the endless crowd of judgments that I’m used to. I now share his point of view. I now see the world in shapes and colours, no one like him before even bothered to guide me through…but what do you expect from people when they come from the same educational system as you.
I am not saying that I think close-mindedly, for I come from an overly expressive, free, spiritual family. One that stands out from the usual family structure, where both my parents left us to be from the time we turned able. Gave us the freedom to make mistakes and disable ourselves, piece by piece, thought by thought, whether we chose to let the criticism by others get to us or not..they allowed us to make our own judgments of what we thought the world to be.
‘If it makes sense to you and serves you well, apply it’ my father always said, never allowing us to be spoon-fed.
I may share many beliefs as you, but I will admit to the fact that certain beliefs I have are skewed. However, there is no one to blame, and no one to point my unsure fingers at. At times, society plays a role, and you do not realise, that the environment surrounding you affects your pre-calculations.
But he….he doesn’t try to change me, nor does he tell me I’m wrong. He just speaks with a truthful tongue, revealing the truth that my lost mind longs.
He makes sense to me. Even if this goes against my roots and societal conformity.
He contributes to my unanswered ideologies.
He merely speaks, and I chose whether to allow his words to take over me.
20th September 2015
Love Comes Again
Love gave himself to me, suddenly…when I wasn’t even ready.
When I was still wondering why love left me in the first place, caught by surprise…I didn’t know what to do…
At first, honestly…I didn’t even want him, daily…I only wanted him momentarily, when my thoughts were scattered and my soul was hollow. When he could give me what I needed tonight but not tomorrow…tomorrow when I would wake up and change my mind again.
I’m surprised love even stayed till the end, or I shouldn’t say end, cause what I mean by end is now, and now is just the beginning of another journey…
Love came to me again. Just when I thought love never visited twice, love showed up with perfectly trimmed hair, looking all fresh and nice….yet this time, love had another complexion.
This time love had piercings and a tattoo but was overflowing with compliments and affection. This time love was taller, quieter yet wiser, slim but warm. This time love wore skinny jeans because love was a trend setter, and had 80 pairs of shoes, a father that called me his daughter from the second day I met him…and this time love let me choose…everything…from what to eat, to where to go, to who to tell, and which show..to put on…This time love’s patience was long.
He let me choose knowing of my indecisive ways, of my misjudgements and how I always procrastinate….now that’s love.
This time love was an observer, observing me and everything I did, so that love knew how to win me over.
I’m telling you, when love came back this time, he knew exactly what to do. He knew all the right things to say, all the do’s and don’t’s….He knew that the first time I let love in I was left a mess, so love came back again prepared to impress….me. He knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Love spent two years mending and bending, putting the puzzle pieces back in place, building a concrete pathway, leading straight to my heart.
Love came back once more, to make up for the first time he left me.
Love comes again…and again and again…and again.
Love comes and goes, and stays for months even years, and at times just leaves whenever he may please…
or whenever its convenient.
But love came again and found me, hiding under the bridge of past memories,
holding onto anything that linked me back to my previous love affair,
Only this time…love won me over with his high top hair.