Benedicta J. Foo
Benedicta J. Foo writes about lonely people and lonely places. Her work has been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies worldwide; it has also won at the National Poetry Competition and received honorable mentions at the Golden Point Award in Singapore. She was once mother to a senior dog, whom she still loves very much.
About the memoir
I spend much time thinking about how quaint homesickness is as a concept: how someone who’s never felt nor understood any traditional sense of home still has the capacity to long for one. Singapore moves too fast, too often, such that the places that have barely begun to take shape as shelter get uprooted as their inhabitants are. There is no room for belonging or time to belong. So my body adapts and learns to register the feeling of relief as home. It is the same kind of relief that washes over as I finish an essay at an all-nighter in a café; or when I am speaking to other wandering friends at 4AM; or when I’ve passed customs and my body suddenly occupies a liminal, stateless room between this country and an aircraft that takes me elsewhere.
In looking for a local place to write about for this workshop, I soon realized that my places of relief are often nondescript: anti-landmarks that remain unattached to any prescribed identity or meaning. They matter to me only because I have once occupied them and they endure today only for specific, practical functions. Still Reeling is an exploration of my nondescript place: an anonymous theatre in a school, existent only to its students. Its black walls and orange chairs, devoid of character, will never betray the organisation it belongs to; its plain screen serves as a limitless canvas for the many stories it continues to share; and for a singular space and time, it once was my place of being.
Chan Yi Qian and Rachel Lee
Artwork: Refracted Memories