I’ve always seen balloons with a great sense of intrigue and freedom, a seemingly natural association. Their drifting and carefree nature makes it synonymous with a gentle and innocent demeanour. If anything, the balloon is childlike. Beautiful, free and innocent. I derive the innocence from the balloon’s single-minded direction – up. Sure, it can be pulled, hit, blown and pushed towards a different path – for a while. But it will always retain its original purpose and that is to go up. And up it will go, mind you.

A lot of us see its ascent with great awe and, possibly, a sense of hope. The sight of one, two or hundreds of balloons floating up into the air is second to none. At least, for me it does. The feelings that are stirred within me in those moments are so unique that it is near impossible to be replicated. Yet, in the midst of it all, we tend to forget of the balloons. What of the balloons? As it floats ever more higher; beautiful as ever, what becomes of it? Crazy enough, I ask myself, what of its own feelings? Does it know of the hope it brings to those below it? And more importantly, does it know of the impending doom up ahead? Yes, balloons explode once it reaches a certain height in our atmosphere. An unsurprising but often forgotten bit.

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Rarely do you find someone wondering about that bit. More often than not, people ask of where did the balloon went. Perhaps, it’s a denial of the fragility of a beautiful being. We simply do not want to acknowledge that good things do not go on forever. We rather delude ourselves that the balloon is an immortal being that cannot be destroyed because it is beautiful rather than admire it’s relentless pursuit of its purpose even though the end of it all is simply self destruction.

I know not of the balloon’s feelings and thoughts as it floats up to the sky. Perhaps one day, I’d have the chance to ask. But for now, I shall stop at the sight of any balloon that makes its way up. Not to admire the beauty of its ascent, but to wait and hopefully see the balloon’s final moment and whisper a thank you. A gratitude for bringing about so much for those below it. A gratitude for the relentless act of going up for the sake of those below.

P.S – For the sake of the piece, these balloons are all filled with helium so it floats up!

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Precise yet unpredictable. Confident yet insecure. Self-doubting yet self-assured. Dickson lives in a constant paradox, finding both comfort and torment within his thoughts.

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