Owl Poetry & Prose

Today Just Loosely Slipped Away…*

Today just loosely slipped away. I am not sure how well it went – was I productive enough? My mania to fit in chores, creativity, practice and studying seems to have not happened. But some things did happen.

I cooked. Lunch. Dhal and mallung. Helped with dinner – steak & kidney pie which for some reason today tasted very meat like. I bought groceries. I also cut some parasite plant off my poor plants in the garden. Little tufts of green sticking on like glue on the higher branches. I had to reach far to get them. But get them I did. And wrenched them free and out. Pesky fellows. It’s not even a beautiful parasite – some ugly bloody thing. If one is to be invaded and abused, small consolations matter. At least in the animal kingdom or plant kingdom in this instance.

I wanted to buy some nice things to make – but I did not indulge as such. Just a pack of icing sugar. That passionfruit puree in the fridge is calling to me. Still. I have not finished it. A biscuit pudding or a cream cheese frosting? Greed dictates but common sense overrides at times. Like now.

Today my mind was occupied by a nagging feeling. A kind of sore throat or dry cough? The weather is terrible and I do have allergies…but this…this reminded me of why I wear a mask outside. Why I worry so much for my elderly parents…But I have no fever. So it can’t be. And this weather really has been horrid. Thunderstorms so bad that I could not sleep two nights in a row.

I remember waking up to this massive sound and glancing outside as a streak of blue light lit up through the curtains. I checked my phone – 3.58am. I needed to wake up early but not this early. The sound of the thunder was unsettling to say the least. I worried about the internet cable. Suddenly my phone started ringing – it said Home. Coz that was the alarm. Something (or someone) had set off the alarm. I jumped out of bed, switched on the lights and rapped on my mother’s door and told her the alarm was going off. She responded and promptly went back to sleep. I went downstairs, switching on as many lights as possible. The thunder and lightning still raged outside – as though someone was thumping our little house and reminding us to stay put. I went to the room downstairs and took the umbrella. I went to the CCTV screen and peered at the camera but could not see what had set off the alarm. I switched on the outside lights, opened the door and looked outside. It was raining. I assumed one of the bending branches had set off the alarm. I wanted to go outside but hesitated. My mother had not come down so I was alone. I closed up everything and switched the alarm back on. I went up back to bed and tried to sleep again in the middle of the din. Suddenly the phone rang again but I ignored it. Coz I knew whatever had set the alarm off again. So I waited and went back to sleep – more like tossed and turned for about another hour. When I restlessly woke up to my alarm of 6.00am it was still gloomy and raining outside.

This gloom pervaded the whole day. It was Friday, I went early to work to conduct a training online for a team in Singapore. Does not help when they are ahead of you. Time differences are a pain. That day was busy, eventful and I finished it off with a swim despite the gloomy weather.

Wet hair at night does not help with sniffles, sore throats and allergies. So I blow dried my hair. Still did not feel great. Saturday was again eventful – AGM of the Past Pupils’ Association. Spent the morning clad in a saree, in AC on Zoom. I was fine though. So today, Sunday, I don’t know why I was still concerned.

But the feeling is nagging. At least I slept well last night. Some consolation. I enjoyed a nice Port wine with Sprite too. And that did not trigger off my usual sniffly allergies. So that’s something.

I spent the night listening to some good music – John Williams. I had forgotten what a genius the man was. Besides Superman I was listening to the Jurassic Park theme song. What lovely compositions. In the middle of that I listened to some locally composed songs as well – one was excellent and one was a hodge podge of sound masterfully put together. In music, versatility is one thing but there must be some semblance of structure. If not it becomes an achcharu. What I listened to was a well mastered achacharuwa. Not in the least inspiring. What was worse was to see the particular artists’ fans simpering over it. I am pretty sure the lead singer manipulated them to say that. Yuck. People without an iota of musical sense commenting on structure and instrumentation. It was nauseating.

This is the problem with Sri Lanka. Either we behave like dogs in the manger and don’t let people come up or we are enthralled with mediocrity, propped by friends and family. I am honestly amazed at the level of mediocrity passed off in music, films, theatre and literature thanks to this small island mentality. It’s honestly debilitating. Nobodies making themselves somebodies and again only in some well somewhere. No universal frogs would know even if they croaked till they died. Ridiculous.

So back to my dilemma. I watched a Midsommer Murders episode. Funny how suddenly from all white England there are people of colour and interracial marriages suddenly featuring in there. It’s quite intriguing. Homosexuality is portrayed too. Quite progressive and probably more real if one considers the UK of today. But enough of this fascination with these episodes.

I wanted to do some uni work and some guitar work. Did neither. Instead I am now diligently penning these thoughts like some fool. Hoping that someone someday would read this and identify with my OCD about being productive and somehow not achieving it. Instead I just let things be a bit.

Some days it’s good to let the day slip away. Or so I have told myself now. I must head to bed before it’s too late. Tomorrow is a holiday but I am sure my boss will send some bloody message or mail. He is obsessed with work and proving himself. I frankly left a previous job precisely for this reason. Looks like I will have to consider it at some point coz honestly, it’s also coming to that point where I need to be my own master.

While all these thoughts are manifesting, I am fantasizing about composing a piece for an orchestra someday. And adding in a good electric guitar solo. I shall do it some day. I must also write that book. And finish my thesis.

Ha. What grandiose plans from someone who let her day loosely slip away…


*This story was published in the English Writer’s Collective Journal ‘Channels’ in 2021 under the Commended Prose section.

Meet Lilanka
“what is meant to be comes about of what one does”.
An eclectic personality with a penchant for creativity, Lilanka is an old soul who loves life, laughter and stepping off the beaten track. She finds joy in nature, travelling and venting her existential frustrations via her writing while calming her body with food and her soul with music. Her motto is – “what is meant to be comes about of what one does”.
A collection of eclectic expressions from life according to Lilanka Botejue. From her creative outbursts and passionate views to her love for nature, food, music and archaeology, Owl Muses is an attempt to capture these moments in time.
Follow @ instagram