If These Walls Could Talk...

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Writing was and has been a way to express my thoughts, process life and heal the wounds (small and big). I didn’t think much about its therapeutic remedies back then. These last few years, I have been writing research papers, thesis, reports one after another to meet deadlines and to fulfill degree requirements. I have not really been writing freely. This year, through my blog, Sketches of the Heart, I have been writing what I want to write which has allowed me to honor my own voice. I have also joined Studio Pause, a local art studio that has allowed me to write and share my own writings. Writing is one thing to help you process your own ramblings and life but sharing your writings out loud with others is another dimension to hearing your own voice. It’s been a transformative journey with Studio Pause.

More than 10 years ago, I wrote this poem, Plab Sab Phab Ntsa (Four Walls), thinking about a boy. Yes, a boy. Today, I found myself up at 2:00AM listening to it through my sister, Pagnia Xiong who made it into a beautiful song as part of her 2006 debut album, Nyob Ib Sab. The lyrics brought me back to a time where I was at a crossroad with myself. This boy wanted something that I didn’t want at the time but I still wanted to be part of his life to work it out. My head was saying one thing, my heart was saying something else. One night, all these words came out in my small bedroom surrounded by four white walls. I ended up choosing myself and parted ways with him.

More than 10 years later, this poem has new a meaning, instead of a boy, it’s life goals and dreams.

My sister first shared it with you and the world through her voice in 2006. Today, I want to share it with you from my end.

 

Yog plaub sab phab ntsa paub hais lus

If these four walls could talk

Nws yuav qhia tau ntau yam hauv siab

They will reveal so much from deep within

Yuav qhia txog leej twg quaj hu nrhiav koj

They will reveal who cries and misses you

Yuav qhia tias leej twg xav pom koj

They will tell who wants to see you

Tiam si, plaub sab phab ntsa no tsuas yog ntoo qhuav

However, these four walks are only dry wooden walls

Nyob ntsiag to mloog kuv lub suab quaj

Standing in silence listening to my miseries, my tears

Mloog kuv hais lus tau ntau hnub, ntau hli

Listening to me talk for days and months

Nws paub thiab pom txhua yam ntawm kuv txoj kev nco koj

They (walls) know and bear witness to my yearnings for you.

Yog plaub sab phab ntsa no txawj kos duab

If these four walls could paint

Nws yuav kos ib daim duab rau koj saib

They will sketch a picture for you

Yuav pom tus nco koj, nco ib hnub dhau ib hnub

You will see the person who yearns and misses you day after day

Yuav pom tus xav nyob ntawm koj ib sab.

You will see the person who wants to be next to you.

Tiam si, plaub sab phab ntsa no tsuas yog ntoo qhuav

However, these four walks are only dry wooden walls

Nyob ntsiag to mloog kuv lub suab quaj

Standing in silence listening to my miseries, my tears

Tiam si, nws yog ntoo qhuav

However, it’s only wooden walls

 
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LIVE Performance by Pagnia Xiong, 2009

 

If your walls could talk, what would they say? What are your thoughts about this song/poem? I would love to hear from you. Leave me a note below.

 

Tiam si, plaub sab phab ntsa no tsuas yog ntoo qhuav

However, these four walks are only dry wooden walls

Nyob ntsiag to mloog kuv lub suab quaj

Standing in silence listening to my miseries, my tears

Mloog kuv hais lus tau ntau hnub, ntau hli

Listening to me talk for days and months

Nws paub thiab pom txhua yam ntawm kuv txoj kev nco koj

They (walls) know and bear witness to my yearning for you

Poem/Song Lyrics by Nancy Xiong

Vocals by Pagnia Xiong

Nancy Xiong1 Comment