Circa 2012

I went on a walk with Destiny to get outside of myself, my mind, my restlessness, do something good. I found a son grown into a young and thoughtful man helping his father put up Christmas lights. I felt his calm presence, so mature that I found myself feeling younger than him and wanting to model him by slowing down my pace, being mindful of Destiny and my breath and the world around me. I found a teenage girl playing basketball with a heavy set middle aged man with Down Syndrome. Reminded me when I felt my best, compassionate and responsible. I thought if I was in San Francisco I would somehow have the courage to talk to them. I felt so nosey. Were they related? Was she volunteering? I realized that even I wasn’t that close to my uncle or other adults in my extended family. I felt guilty.

A 6 year old brother and an 8 year old sister on bikes and scooters wanted to pet Destiny. They said how it was going to rain and were thinking how they’ll avoid walking in wet shoes all day since they don’t have rain-boots. I said how lucky they were to do art and write stories and how when they’re my age, they’ll look back at their old work and say, “Wow! I was such a cool kid because I made this!” Then the little boy said, “You can do it as an adult too. Just get some paper and a pencil” and that tomorrow it will be a perfect day because it will be raining. I said that will be great because I could draw and write a story about the squirrel who threw a leaf at me. The girl mentioned that a bird threw a rock at her which started a conversation about penguins using rocks to make their nests. The girl thought I was in high school but I told her I’m in college but I haven’t talked to kids for a while so I start to talk like a kid when I’m around them, which makes me seem younger. The girl smiled at this; the boy looked confused. It was so nice to get out of the box, out of my comfort zone, and into the world, being the person I want to be.

 

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

Take Me


Take me to another place
Another moon, another dream
Another circle in space
Share your world with me
Take me on a journey
Show me different flavors
Of milk and honey
Let me hear a brand new song
One that paints the ceilings and lawns
I want to hear all your melodies
Not just the one on repeat
Or your top 40
I want to hear your story
The rollercoaster riding
Along your epic soundtrack
Your highs and lows
Dancing around the crack
The mesmerizing snowflakes
And puzzle pieces
The patterns that you recognize
The ones that only you can see
I want you to show me
The colors behind your eyes
The vibrations beneath your skin
The emotions you silently sing
Take me there
Show me everything

Seeing Happiness’ Reflection

People have the responsibility of harboring and nurturing their own emotions. One emotion that deserves special attention is happiness. Happiness is a delicate creature that longs for an extra effort from its caregiver.  Positive emotions are a lot gentler than negative emotions and don’t assert as much of a dramatic impression on us as the negative ones. It is a garden that isn’t hidden, but is often perceived to be hidden when it’s taken for granted. It’s hard to realize how happy we truly are until we are unable to dodge the bullets of life. There’s a seed of every kind of emotion inside of us. We just need to choose the right seeds to foster the gardens we hope to find. This fostering is what myths seem to do. They make people feel safe in the unexplainable and aware of the human experience.

Life finds meaning through its own fragility. People feel alone when they see everything that’s familiar and dear to them crumble beneath their feet. When speaking about the experience of a broken heart, Kimberly C. Patton says, “Even if a broken heart does not lie in your past or present, it awaits you in your future, some place, at some time when you will almost certainly be unprepared.” Suffering is inevitable; however, there is a certain value suffering brings to our lives. Every detail that is caught by the five senses has some bit of transcendent magic that we would never noticed if we were constantly “happy.” The world becomes more intimate and personal with you by reaffirming how important your relationship with it is. We see the wonder in what appears to be the normal routine of everyday life.  This experience of being reborn with new life only happens when we take a break from what is daily and mundane to us. It is understandable that the bittersweet disposition of the human condition feels unfair, but it’s the way nature works. Seeing the image of death in a more optimistic light, Reverend Betsee Parker explains, “Because that’s the nature of cycles on the earth. It’s not that death is occurring in the fields [but] that life is rejuvenating and revivifying.” Initially, we feel alone when a horrible event happens, but then we feel a certain comforting bond and connection we have never known before with everything and everyone around us. Nature, air, inanimate things seem to become alive and reflect a childlike joy. The idea that all types of existences are in this transitory dream together and that you are not alone sprouts from the recovering worldview.

People can try to embrace this feeling of rebirth through out their whole lives and revere it as the reason for suffering, though controlling emotions is almost impossible at times. The one thing, however, that humans can control most of the time is their minds. The mind has great power, which can serve as its weakness or its strength. If thoughts and our intellectual selves are able to be under control, then some sort of reassurance and comfort can be found. Reverend Betsee Parker says, “I believe that there is active forgetting which occurs out of necessity in an overly traumatized mind, and that the mind knows very well how to care for itself; it does whatever it has to do to preserve itself.” Religion and myths provide an intellectual steering wheel for the soul. It helps with the active forgetting and remembering and modulates emotions through narrative. Tragedy and suffering is a key element that inspires religion. It gives humanity answers, but it also can make people end up feeling disillusioned when they realize tragedy isn’t anything they could ever expect.

During the tragedy of 9/11, people doubted their faith. They lost love ones and felt abandoned by a higher power they thought could be depended on. They were angry at a God who created such a miserable world with merciless suffering and forget all the moments when they weren’t sad. It is natural to feel this way, but there is a point where one has to take initiative on his or her own healing process. When we are sad, all we want is to be happy again, but what we didn’t realize before is that the happiness we seek is found in our day to day lives. We realize our attachment to the things we grew to be at home with and when things change, we are lost. Though, without the changes we wouldn’t realize how much we actually cared and we wouldn’t know what happiness really means to us because of its translucency. No matter how happy and healthy we are through out the majority of our lives, we tend to overlook it with the overbearing feeling of sadness. The openness to shift perspectives can help our minds grow to unforeseen heights and to see that the spaces between our dark times, like the pauses in music, are what truly make up our purpose of existence.

Beautiful Days

Beautiful days will fade

They are temporary like everything else

Nobody can escape mortality

Don’t you see the reasons why you’re afraid?

of missing all that you know?

All the comfort you ever knew

You’re home in this world

It’s so familiar to you

If you have to leave, I hope you get a chance to say goodbye

to all the things that made you feel alive,

To all the things you never knew you loved so much

And to feel safe in the unexplainable

breathe in deep, open your eyes wide

and feel so lucky for all the things

that pass into your life

And if you don’t find a purpose or a place in this world

you can always be a friend

That’s all anyone needs,

except for a beautiful day

once in a while.

In Between


In between the confines of daily routine
Is the magic of human experience
Found in every song, book, and movie
The story of emotion
The way it feels underneath the skin
The world of an individual
Red blue and green
Filter through
The eyes of the mind
The integrity of the heart
No one ever knows the whole story
No one can see through
On the bus, in the grocery store
At school, in the office, on the streets
When brushing your teeth
Making your lunch
You only can see humans bleed
In their stories and melodies
The pulse and electricity
Muffled by uniforms and social roles
Hearing her voice
Hearing his scream
Seeing the silent face sitting
Right next to me
We are worlds apart
Worlds between

One-Sided

 
I don’t want to write about the gray cement
Or the gray sky or the gray buildings and clouds
I don’t want to write about how I feel too embarrassed to talk to myself out loud with earbuds in when people walk by
I don’t want to write about this weekend in all its nebulousness
Incompleteness
Cloudy
And stuffy
I’m trying to find where to escape to
Where to take you
I don’t want to write about my mundane daily indecision
Of what to do inside my treasured vacant minutes
Or where to shoot my arrows
The rat race before waking up
I don’t want to lie to you
With pastel little daydreams
Daydreams about flowers and hillsides
I don’t want to bore you
Or delude you
Or myself
With the same glazed over stretched out thoughts
Over embellished, minimizing the whole
Pink mist and wide hypnotized eyes
Euphemisms inflating my head
Floating me off the ground
Out of touch with the earth
In touch with a soft delusion
One side of the mirror
Reflecting an ever changing spectrum

A Photo of Maui

A photo
Looking straight at you
Of grand skies and
Dramatic low-hanging clouds
Of lustrous tropical plants and
Sinewy trees

There it is
The warm beaches and soft sand,
You feel the gentleness seep in
A place to smile, a place to laugh
A place to hold a hand
To lay your head on a heartbeat
And let yourself get a tan

The sun, the flowers, the colors and fishes
Alluring waterfalls and bamboo forests
All the seemingly un-ending rainbows
And all the riches of
A postcard

But it creeps in
The dark storms and droning mountains,
Moody winds, heavy shadows,
Foreboding clouds
Oppressive hours

Isolation on an island
Sacred pools of tears
Feeling something so crisp
So pungently real
The irony of feeling something that’s gone
You don’t want it but
If only you could jump back, cheerfully say hello
If only you didn’t have to carry it alone
It’s a part of you
No one knows what it was
Emotions of a memory squirming in your brain
Feels so alive but so far away
Unique to that time and place

That world is gone
Nameless, without a face
It will always be out of reach from you
Unattainable, broken
Loving something broken
It was broken back then
It was beautiful and broken all along

It’s been years now
Years feeling free,
Simply being,
Simple is happy

Caught off guard
In the lives of others
A friend’s vacation
Their smiles in a photo
And there

There it is

A glance,
A ghost,
An echo
Enticing you

For a moment,
Looking at the rain forests and plumerias
The hibiscus scattered shores and
The ancient relics of nature’s mystery
You feel relieved to re-live
Someone understands
Someone can hold it with you

But then it unfolds

You see through
The light casted over the still-frames
A sugarcoat of the world you knew
A mocking parallel universe
You see spirits in the trees
But they’re only visible to you

An enchanted secret
A mysterious portal to another realm
A shadow under your beach towel
An enigma in your sunblock
A faint dream fading in your souvenirs

A special memory hidden in you
That others are blind to see
When looking at a tourist’s photo of
A beach in Maui

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