My Writing

The Art of Doing Nothing

The art of doing nothing is actually harder than it looks.  I have mastered the ability of reading a textbook when, in reality, I have fallen into a deep state of REM sleep.  I can make it look like I am taking notes when I am actually in a fantastical daydream land of cotton candy and rainbows.  I can actually sit on my couch and stare at the wall while being happy.  I can stand in my shower for twenty minutes and just stare at the grout between the tiles.  You think this is easy?  I don’t think so.

            Now, the average person may think that doing nothing is a waste of precious time.  However, for those of us who succeed in doing nothing, this practice is a time for deep meditation and complete peace.  Sometimes it’s a good thing to let the mind wander into the unknown realms of oblivion.

            Try staring at your reflection in the mirror.  After a good five minutes of staring, your features will start to become nonsensical.  You’ll start to see each piece of the human face individually and in complete focus.  Then your eyes will start to glaze over and your face will become a mere blob of peach and brown.  Congratulations!  You just succeeded in spending ten minutes of your life doing absolutely nothing!

            But isn’t that what meditation is?  I mean, all of those wise monks in Tibet that sit on those bamboo mats for hours with their eyes closed are doing absolutely zilch! Is it beneficial?  Yes it is.

            Thus, for those who continue to slander those who spend their time staring at the ceiling, or lazing on the couch, I hope you know that you are also taking a stab at the religious icons that spend hours kneeling on a stool with their hands clasped together.  In the end, we’re all doing the same thing.  We’re contemplating, thinking, looking for peace, and trying to understand the ebb and flow of this confusing life we call reality.

By Sarah Ng (March 2011)

First Kiss

The frigid air bit at my skin as the door closed behind us. 
The sky was black. 
The only source of light came from behind frosted windows and the sparse scattering of streetlights.
 My hands were cold. 
You stood next to me, excited as I was, for having learned a new song together.  Singing the words under our breath, we walked to the end of the driveway, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk. 
Despite the late hour, you spoke loudly and exuberantly, making me laugh and giggle. 
I shoved my hands in the tiny pockets of my black bomber jacket and shrugged my shoulders up to my neck for warmth.
I complimented on how good your voice was and asked if your friends knew how well you could sing.  You said that you had told them that you were singing duets with a girl, and that, in response, they had asked if I was cute. 
You had told them that I was. 
Bashful and blushing from head to toe, I thanked you. 
You leaned in for our usual goodnight hug. 
You didn’t know where to put your arms.  Over my shoulders?  Or around my waste? 
You settled for the shoulders.
 Our embrace lasted longer than usual and as I pulled back I looked into your eyes. 
You smiled. 
And then I was kissing you. 
I didn’t know who started it.  Whether it be me or you.  But our lips were moving together and your tongue was demanding my welcome. 
Our tongues were touching, moving against one another.
It was an odd experience.  Mostly wet and foreign. 
The thoughts began racing through my mind. 
Is this what its supposed to feel like?  Where are the fireworks, the romantic music playing in the background?
 It was my first time. 
Maybe I was doing it wrong? 
I tilted my head back before he was ready.
 I was warm. 
My heart was fluttering like a lost moth within my chest.   
You breathed that you knew it from the first time you saw me sing.
I said the same.
It felt natural to take your hand in mine as we turned and began walking down the street.
I was walking in the wrong direction.
I stopped some minutes later.
You lowered your head for more.
I opened my eyes.
All I saw were stars.
All I felt was panic.
This was wrong.
I pulled back and said I had to go...
You pulled me in for one last hug...
And then I was running away, not feeling the pavement beneath my feet or the wind whipping through my hair.
All I could do was think.
I reached my front door, fumbling with my keys.
I would have to tell him that this wasn’t what I wanted.
And I would lose him.
It was then that I realized that the easiest way to lose a friend...
Is to kiss them.

By Sarah Ng