The light near my tiny bedroom is always on.
Darkness surrounds me, except for the presence of that light.
Accompanying me to sleep every night.
That is my lighthouse here, in Oxford.
I feel as if I am no longer a lonely person.
A subtle desire to know the lives of the people in the lighthouse grows within me.
The blur fascinates me,
Or becomes Nihilistic.
I place a candle by the window.
In the same direction I look upon the lighthouse.
I have gotten used to seeing that light before sleep.
One day, if the light suddenly goes off,
that shall be the time for me to find a sense of belonging.
Appreciating the people who live there,
For they do not know they illuminate a stranger’s bed.
I was twitching and crying, but now I feel calm.
I can stop writing then.
This video poetry, called Lighthouse, addresses loneliness, isolation and yearning. A lighthouse stands on the coast for ships to navigate safely; when sailors approach the shore, it is the first thing they see. The lighthouse, as a metaphor, is associated with loss and longing, just as a stranger’s undying light gives me warmth in the middle of night. It is also a reference to my three female friends who bring me hope on dark, wintery days. As newcomers from different backgrounds, we are all struggling with connecting to Oxford.
Intimacy exists not only between lovers, but also among acquaintances, friends and international students in a community. I recorded some conversations and interactions between us. The purpose was to document specific moments when we were vulnerable and open with each other, to see if our private conversations would resonate with others and elicit empathy when shared with them. Although viewers cannot fully understand the participants’ perceptions because the film footage draws on uniquely lived experiences, they can still empathise with our plight, struggles, happiness and pain.