Beauty and Noise

The smell of plastic wrap
And CD cases
Old linoleum floors
Under squeaky converse laces
Holding the song in my hands
Excited to listen whenever
Excited to discover more
No more elusive mysteries slipping in and out of coffee shop doors
What other emotions and atmospheric worlds are in store?
Curious to finally see the lyrics
Curious to see the pictures inside
Wondering who they are, how they look like
The faces that hide behind the voices that bring me to life

They pile in the corner of my room
4 sided symbols of the past and all that’s in between
Collecting who I am and where I’ve been
Collecting the heartaches and friendships
The phases, fads and memories
Songs holding our names, our identities
Classifying you and me
Bringing us together
Bringing us apart
An art that’s more than beauty and noise
An art that gave us freedom of choice

It was a culture, a definition, a destination
It was dance, it was image
It was clothes, it was language

It was an extension of what lay underneath
It was an extension of you and me

Flickering


The comfort of the morning sun
The familiar trees and homes in my neighborhood
It was you
The safety and comfort of you
You gave me joy and peace of mind
You inspired the soft voice that helps me rhyme
It’s feeling you there
Obliviously as I ride through my day
Not knowing you’re in the back of my heart and mind
Not knowing you’re deeply spread all around

I only know when the light has gone away
When I shiver from the cold
The blue shadows, the grey cement
The crying lonely ache

Sometimes they are still there
The sunlit creamy warm hues
The bright green leaves and shiny grass
I remember
A candle lit
Trying to survive
Shivering, flickering
Through the wind and rain
Bracing destruction and change
Without being hurt or slain
Letting the hot wax drip down my veins
Sometimes I remember

Quiet Song


I want to live again without a screen
I want to write in a notebook
Instead of a phone
I want to curl up with a book
Not with social media
I want to look out a window
Not a screen
I want my attention steady, unfolding
Flowing and deep
Not flat, broken, and thin
As thin as this screen
I want my attention, my focus
As deep as the horizon
Nature, animals, flickering sunlight
The silence in the morning
A silence that makes you feel it
That makes you feel the distant fading hills
The silence that makes you hear it
How broadly life stretches beyond you
You feel part of it and then
Overwhelmed
With loneliness
Because it’s been so long and you feel so far removed
And you can never get close enough
And everything
The thoughts, people, stress, business, entertainment and distraction
It’s all gone
And all you have is this moment
That fills you up
And you love it so much
That you miss it
Because you know you can never have what you truly love
And you feel every ounce that you can feel
Is never enough
And you feel this constant yearning to return to truth and existing
A state of mind
A state of reverence
A state of awareness
That we are mostly blind to see
We see so little
Of the connecting strings between the masses of dots
Their impact on the whole, on the web of reality
Life, death, beauty, love, wind, light, water, seasons, trees, ancient traditions, temples
The weight of history
The pressure and pulse of the present
The pull and tug of the future
Constantly and subtly trying to shift its weight
Feeling life’s movement through time
A dance
But also a quiet song
That weeps with love
A lonely sweet kindness

Crystal 


I want to know what it’s like
To feel cool and clean
Fresh and small
To see without a history
To be a mirror
A crystal ball
To feed all that’s alive
Bringing life
Vitality
And being open
Unassuming
Free and flowing
Curious and self-contained
Full of energy
The pitter patter of rain
Full of simplicity
Oceans of oxygen and light
Reflecting what it sees
In the sky

Answers

The answer is not getting home early
It’s not getting things done
It’s getting lost in a song
And letting it take you
To the ocean
It’s about getting off the bus
To go chase the sun
It’s about spending time with
The neighborhood cat
Instead of always
Being on the run
Drift through the avenues
As your wheels spin
Watch rays of light
On the cars glisten
Feel your shirt flutter
As you grace
A suburban hill
Full of dreams and pastels
Float between
The daily routine
With a new freedom
Let your feelings
Guide your wings
Watch the seagulls
Dance in the sky
Feel moved
By a passerby
Sand blowing in the air
Seeing footprints disappear
People walking
Playing catch with their dogs
Looking to the horizon
With their own dialogues
Sun winking
Wind playing in hair
Take a deep breath
And let go of your cares

Growing Up


On the edge of who you could be
Looking at all the possibility
A child leading your two feet

Each step time moves a little faster
Each step a promise of being better

Feeling the bite of leaves turning brown
The crisp loneliness of summer leaving town
The fall air tastes bitter
It glistens your heart
Turning emotions to glitter

Here in the cold changing air
You settle here
Smelling the rain
Seeing the yellow and purple clouds
The sun in the raindrops
Children hopping in their parents cars
Hearing the rolling waves of an invisible jetplane moving somewhere far

You stop here knowing you won’t finish everything, be everything
Dropping all the heightened ideas and feelings in your mind
Settling into your feet with a sigh
You relax in the relief of a chilly breeze
Steadying the energy you keep
To savor the slowness of a falling leaf

Monthly Memories: July – A Month of Identity, Empowerment and Shared Joy

We have reached past the halfway mark of the year, which means I have been keeping up (even if barely) with my monthly memories for 6 months! I’m deciding to make some changes. This Monthly Memories for July is going to be very brief since it’s already September and because I want to spend more time on the projects and hobbies I write about instead of spending so much time and energy on my Monthly Memories. I also was thinking about possibly trying out weekly memories instead to see how that would be like but I may need to catch up to the present first or maybe I could try that for August. Weekly tracking could help me with tracking goals better and see progress and change from week to week within the month. Sharing reflections and accounts in the Monthly Memories has it’s own value too. Hmm…maybe I’ll do a weekly and monthly mash up.

Anyways!

The highlights of July were:

  • Getting a transformative haircut and donating my hair for the second time
  • Getting a MacBook Air
  • Joining a new dance class (it’s like a New Age Zumba class)
  • Learning to speed read
  • Having interesting social encounters through Pokemon Go
  • Finishing the book Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Trying Joylent
  • Going to my high school reunion
  • Finding out that my friend is getting engaged
  • Going to Isotope comics
  • Training a new staff
  • Seeing the clients participate in a gardening class that supplies the food for the cooking class
  • My client illustrating and writing the story of Mulan on a scroll in ancient Chinese
  • Reuniting with my Samba Troupe and eating a lot of dim sum
  • Having a long conversation with a client in ASL

There are a few points I want to elaborate on. One is the Pokemon Go experience. First off, I missed the boat when it came to enjoying the Gameboy games, the card game, and the TV show in the 90’s. But I wanted to see what the hubbub was about and be part of the fun. I wanted to send friends funny, creative pictures with the Pokemon and know what all the fuss is about. During that week I was shamefully addicted, but I had some very interesting encounters including a little boy coming up to me and leading me around the park and teaching me how to catch the one of rarest Pokemon, Dragonite. It was so sweet! Another was when my client and I hopped into a taxi and our Brazilian driver handed me her iPad to help her kids level up and catch Pokemon as we drove around Downtown. That experience was so funny and surprising! Other encounters were getting submersed in other people’s social circles and joining a group on a common quest for Pokemon. People were so friendly and eager to connect and help each other. It was such an interesting social experiment for me. The last straw though was the app consistently crashing and not paying attention to the real world. But I defiantly had some good takeaway experiences.

A lot of changes happened at work, including one of my supervisors moving back home and leaving the company. This makes me the most experienced person with my client in our program. My supervisor was the one who trained me and now I’ll need to train everyone else before waiting until they get enough experience to be able to train others. My supervisor used to be the one I would call for advice and help about how to handle certain situations. For most things now, it’s on me because none of my supervisors have worked with her extensively like my previous supervisor. What’s also interesting is that I was the first person my previous supervisor hired and I was hired specifically to help my supervisor move to her position and have her previous position covered. Hearing the news that she was leaving made my time and experience at my job come full circle.

My haircut had a whole blog of its own. You can read about its lasting impact here.

The high school reunion was at first challenging because I was initially feeling shy and awkward to approach others but once someone started talking to me it was really interesting to learn about everyone’s lives. Learning about other people’s lives gave me perspective about my own life. There are so many possibilities and everyone is slowly learning about themselves through their careers and experiences. We’re all figuring out what we want most out of our lives, what issues and populations we care most about and what we want to make an impact on. Seeing people I haven’t seen in a decade acted as an unexpected mirror because they made comments about me based on the person they knew back then. It surprised me to know that someone who I hardly talked to in high school remembered that I was creative and my art and thought I should always keep up with that. For a moment I thought “I was?” as if I forgot that I made a lot of art in high school and then second thought, “How do you know?”, baffled by her ancient observations. People also were pleasantly unsurprised that I work with people with disabilities. They said how it suits me, I was always a caring person. It felt great to hear these affirmations from people who I didn’t realize knew me from afar or in passing.

Cooking Class

Cooking Class

I know I say this every month but it’s so hard to grow and maintain seven different dreams and parts of yourself. Friends will ask how’s my drawing or sign language doing and be so surprised that I haven’t kept up with it.

I know what I want but what do I need?

I know I want to write children’s books and comic books, I know I think it would be cool to lead a Zumba class for my clients at work, but what do I need to do? I need sleep and exercise, food and a clean space, and an engaging and meaningful job that satisfies my financial, intellectual, and emotional needs. I also need to be outside and social as well as have leisurely relaxing time when I’m tired.

So next month I’m hoping to focus and track weekly my needs and personal goals.

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