A New Morning

The moon waned hugging the farside tightly under its ribs.

Is it painful to do that? She asked.

It hurts to change but exhilarating. I defy staying in the old. The moon answered in its serene pale composure.

She nodded. The white half of the moon landed on the top of her hair, glistening, caressing, whispering… the new moon, a new day… and a new morning for you. She blinked once, looked up, and grinned.

The sunlight scattered the moon among the clouds. A new morning… she whispered to herself. A new morning.

Fire

“I would have taken someone’s hand,
even though I had known that
it was the gate to the hell’s fire.”

Heat first to decompose the flammable material into volatile gas. These volatiles are oxidized by oxygen in the air and the chemical reaction happens to release radicals. This is the time when flame can be seen with the eyes and the radical reaction generates heat. This heat decomposes the flammable thing again and it cycles back to the beginning of the fire. It is a process. Fire already happens before flame can be noticed in the eyes.
Three things required for fire to happen or continue. Heat, fuel, and oxygen. If any of these three is removed during the process, the fire dies out.

Once I wrote that it is hard to unlearn what already learned. It was there in my brain and came out involuntarily without my consent. So does memory. The opposite is also true. At times, I was desperately rummaging my brain for a certain piece of knowledge or a memory, but I couldn’t retrieve it. My despair. I lost it.

To hold onto it, to retrieve it, to release it, I write.
I use an infinite blank space to get help, to store the precious moments to come back, to grope with my mind’s eyes… feeling the same emotion, or deeper because I knew that it was not here anymore. Then, I felt my heart moving in different wild ways beyond the blood pumping to my physical body.

Eyes to see, ears to listen, hands to what?
All kinds of activities were up to hands. The movement was related to the person, the occasion, the moment, and the decision. I can write, I can type, I can land them in front of my heart to pray. I don’t have to look at them for certain moves, I have to look at them for certain moves, I have to even hold them refraining them from certain moves, like to stop shaking or the third finger rising. They got often cold for me, so I put them under my thighs when I sat and waited for someone. That someone made me cold a lot, but I remember him with a fire in my heart. He asked my hand for something, and I took his hand not for something but because it was his hand.

I give directions with my hands. I cover my face with them, I wipe my tears with them, I rub my eyes with them. Often I lit the candle with them and watch the flame grow, and think of the process of fire. It is already there before the flame happens. I would have taken someone’s hand, even though it was the gate to the hell’s fire.
Time passed. One of the three for the fire to progress died out. One hand under my chin, I’m watching the snowfield and the pale pink and blue sky painted by the rising sun. The morning.

<March 7th, 2019>

Howl

9 am, the half moon at the tip of yellow leaves among white clouds in the blue, blue sky. I doubted my eyes and looked at it over and over again.
9:20 am, I can’t see it anymore, the clouds get fluffier, maybe behind or maybe the other side of the earth.

What ails me?

Is there a reason behind the direction we are moving in life? Does choice matter? Am I a coward who always runs away when things get uncomfortable?

What ails me?

I know the exact desperation he had at that time. I often think how he holds up, how he survives… I might have been suffocated in his shoe. I’m a selfish little shit hiding across the ocean.

Drink a cup of hot ginger tea. It will warm you up. She says, I nod.
Your feet are always cold. He says. I know, I say.
What is the cure for the soul that wonders, wanders, goes astray. Take her home, close up the wound, I will lay your head on the soft pillow and wrap you in a warm blanket. Then, the hurt starts kicking and the restless soul stomps the front door again and gets lost in the dark. Into the middle of the night… howl, get low, and sleep. The wind blows over the body that gets cold and stiff. The blood gets sticky and won’t flow. Shut up, let her sleep. The colorless leaves fell over her making a little dump on the ground. The night sky… with the thick clouds.
No star, no moon.

9 am. A white dog and a woman walk on the path.
The dog looks up and glances the tip of the tall tree. There it is. Over the top of the yellow leaves… the white half moon falls into her eyes. It is okay, it is all good. She thinks. The dead leaves wail under her feet… singing the song of the last night, the winter… the sleep.

<October 31st, 2018>

 

Fading away

My eyesight is getting bad fast.

One eye is near-sighted and the other is far-sighted. So the visions of my eyes are moving in the opposite directions. It is inconvenient for me in the everyday life. Still, I can drive and read without the glasses. But it gets blurrier and blurrier. I feel a certain kind of stuffiness from my mashed up views that my eyes provide.

At times, I want to see the details of something or someone. But I just accept the views that my eyes allow and contain them inside me as best as I can. I used to feel a keen pang of the loss. Not the materialistic loss but the loss of the small things. The details of certain moments. A piece of mystic puzzles in my life. A brief smile. A flickering moment when the two sets of eyes met. The things scattered that couldn’t be recovered.

But as my vision is getting worse, I am starting to let go of the things; the things done but slipped in my mind; the things undone but clung to my heart. I am getting old.

The cyclamen flowers on my desk bloom, fade, and wither. I cut the flower stems that lost their hue and hung low. I am fading. And the things I want to hold in my heart also fade away.

Too far or too near. I can’t see both.

Where my wild things are.

Where are the wild things?

My jungle, my animals.

Smell of the unstepped, sounds of adventure,

leading my hands to a primordial hug of the mother tree, where a fuzzy bear is waiting for me to roll together.

Yeah, I’m leaving, I’m leaving here soon to go to where my wild things are; to where my heart would beat wildly.

Reading the palm

You’ll live forever,

a stunning spouse,

two beautiful children,

not many hardships,

smooth and flattened path for your career.

You’ll tread your life path peacefully and gracefully

Sometimes, you might even feel uneventful, bored…

but mostly you’ll be content with everything surrounding you.

One day when you’d sit on your wide porch,

your children not needing your attention that much anymore,

feeling a breeze caressing your face with the fragrance of the early fall,

then… and then,

You’ll remember.

You’ll remember me, the time with me,

with lots of tenderness, with a strand of sorrow,

and remember the day that I read your palm and we laughed together,

the sun filled room and the smell of the air,

and you’ll smile… you’ll smile, right then.

Us Ones in Between

“and I’ve heard of pious men
and I’ve heard of dirty fiends
but you don’t often hear
of us ones in between
and I’ve heard of creatures
who eat their babies
and I wonder if they stop
to think about the taste.”

I took a writing workshop this afternoon. I didn’t expect much but…

It was like waking up the desperate hunger after eating something unworthy.

I want to meet someone who has the same hunger as me and can be food to each other…. we can stop to think about the taste, then.

I get along without you very well…

I miss you under my skin, under my muscle and bone, in the deep down place of me that I can’t even reach in the physical realm. It aches when I think of you… it hurts something inside me when my mind shoots back to the memories of us. So I avoid remembering our times together and stay on the surface, floating on the skin with a perfect make-up.

If you ask me how I am doing, I’d say… I’m just fine.

Lifeline

She was moving forward slowly. I doubted if any flesh existed under her stiff clothes. The bony frame of her body supported her tedious steps. One sneaker’s inside was worn more than the other’s.

Her gaze forward. Nothing caught her attention as if she was a spectator of the hell for several decades and had lost interest in watching agony. The mixture of white and grey hair oddly cut like a young girl with the straight end behind her shoulders hinted that she was once alive.

In her crossed arms, her stubborn grip held tight the open box of red Marlboro cigarette and a lighter as if only those mattered in her life. When I passed by her, she faintly smiled at my dog that I wasn’t even sure that it was.

A wet stranger’s face

She touched his wet face with her fingers. The tears gathered under her index fingertip and were drawn up to her veins… which made her blood less red, like the color of the blood dropped on water dissipating into pink bloom.

He looked up and saw her pale face. He asked.
‘What are you?’

“A star.”
She answered.

Closure

Even you think you put the past behind but the past would follow your heels and pull your steps back… and… sometime after… there comes the time that everything closes in real and finalizes. Your life yesterday becomes a stranger from today’s.

Today feels the day like this to me. It has been a bit over two weeks after I moved to the new place. The place close to the sky with the high ceilings for my aviating soul. But two previous residences had been lingered under my name until now… I gave the last keys back to the office today. I feel that somthing opens up in front of me…  a curious path of my own.

Life forward… with a cautious pounding excitement in the back of my heart. The chance to be full and whole… just to be me.

Shedding the Old

She is taking care of herself as she has been done for the last twenty years.
She had never asked for help. So, do not put the unnncessary fear in her mind. It won’t work.  She just asks for leaving her alone.

The sun is bright, leaves started to fall from trees.
She is glad… glad watching the shedding… the shedding… taking off the old, allowing space.
She loves to see the wide sky and the stars.

It’s her who has carried herself this far. It will be her who will carry herself from now on.
Let her take off her clothes that she outgrew. They are tightening her ribs. Let her go from this point and beyond by herself.
Maybe she already left, leaving her old skin behind.

<October 2019, re-written on June 2020>

A Witness on the Road

Between natural beauty and cultivated beauty, I prefer cultivated beauty… like one sentence re-written again and again by a poet in sleepless nights. But I welcome every bit of beauty in the world as a thirsty traveler gulps down water. I wish for my arms overflowing with beautiful harvests when I depart my life here.

My color is gray and I don’t stand on any side of the road, which have caused many troubles on the journey in living. People continuously asked me to point where I belonged to, what I stood for, not knowing that values and morals were not my choosing. I chose beauty. I listened to the murmur of my heart and followed along with its lead. My life is on the road, not on the side of it.

Nothing is wrong in the world of beauty.
Everything loses its meaning in its full glamor.
Time stops to eternity in its moment.
A gasp… always enough.
When a tiny bloom meets my eyes, it seems that my journey doesn’t feel vain.

My Little Bird

You don’t know what it’s like.
One day my little bird stopped singing,
getting cold and hard… every feather turned into a tiny icicle.

My hand reached inside to my ribs,
to find the sound that had been solaced my soul for such a long time that had become a part of me.
It wasn’t there.

When wind got cold and my figure got smaller,
the bird flew on my hunched shoulder and sat…
the little weight made me straighten up and open my heart to the storm.

Storms… always mighty, always indifferent… but,
I welcomed the rising wind like a child waiting for an adventure and
watched them passing with awe keeping my little bird inside, safe.

Do you know the feeling that there was something that you didn’t start but you were informed that it had already ended?
I waited for the day that I could take my little bird out to fly, one fine spring day with soft sun and gentle breeze, everything around sprouting green… whenever I saw the sign of warming daylight, I reached inside to touch the springy feather or the sleek beak… dreaming about the day of my bird’s flight, the journey, the soaring, the song spreading wide in the air.

But… our spring was robbed… my bird died.
We should have flown into that last storm, all wet… with the muffled sound of singing under the torrent… you’d know then… what living a life is like.

The plain mantra that my soul leans on.

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare

- Kali-Saṇṭāraṇa Upaniṣad –

It felt so good to hear this song… after all this emotional turmoil… listening to the sound familiar and soothing… maybe a small blessing included.

I think of you… what you are doing, what you are thinking, what you are feeling… now. Are you afraid, pretending that everything will be okay?

My eyes almost filled up with tears when I got a text from you… just a plain message checking me out… but… I had a hard time trying to be brave at that moment and trying to take care of everything… and a little warmth from you softened something inside me and made me keep moving… keep going… like a mantra that my soul can lean on from time to time… in the world that suddenly became distant… and far.

Blessing of Something to Look Forward To.

Nothing-to-look-forward-to-ness.

When I spent lots of time with very very old intelligent people, I didn’t feel their age until one day. One said about her ‘nothing to look forward to’ in her life and I saw how that feeling resonated right away with the others. That moment sank deep into my heart and made me sad.

I often think back those words after that day. They came out of nowhere… when I halted my step to blankly look at the top of a tree on the walk of my dog, when I woke up in the morning watching my face in the mirror in my bathroom, when I waited for my occasional date to be happening soon…  as if those words stuck somewhere inside me and had to show their presence up to my consciousness.

That concept became my worst fear of my aging.
Not the physical weakness or the deformation of my body, not the vulnerability to sickness or pain, not the vicinity to death… but the state that I have nothing to look forward to in living.

However, it already arrived even before I hit old age.
I don’t have anything to look forward to by the forced circumstance…  I pretend my calm in the swamp of nothing-to-look-forward-to-ness now…. silently screaming.

It’s all okay.

eerie… that’s the word I’ve been looking for…

I don’t have any opinion about this… about this disturbing epidemic… any thought, any new news unlike others… I just feel… when I walk the streets that I’ve walked hundreds of times before… fully empty air… brewing from the lifeless roads surrounded by the houses… the houses full of people, very quiet people.

Life hasn’t stopped. It got stuck.
Only optical lights vigilantly traveling through narrow cables to connect the things…. the things virtually real… the real that hides under a white cover hugging the frozen. It’s okay, I say… it’s all okay.

‘What if’s

I wish that everyone already read “The Stone Raft” by Jose Saramago. It’s one of kind Saramago’s famous ‘what if’ tale. When uncertainty creeps in and fear takes over, what people do. But still, there was a handful number of people who lived their lives in his story no matter what.

There are many sicknesses that might take your life right away or in a few months or in a few years. A very few people around me know that I’m a cancer survivor. If you got really sick not knowing if you would die or live and didn’t know why you got that (there was no virus to blame even…), it might be devastating. Every diagnostic exam in the hospital put you in a dark doubting place continuously. I learned my lesson under that shadow.

All I want to say now… do not live fear! Do live your life when you have it!

Night Trees

When she moved to this house (looking like a big treehouse), she put her bed in the middle of the living room upstairs which had the wrap-around wall-to-wall windows to South and West. It felt a little awkward when she had occasional visitors and guests but mostly it worked fine.

She got the window coverings a couple of months ago way after the trees surrounding the house had become bare and she could see all the way to the other sides of the hills (the other way around might be also true… people could look inside of the house from pretty far away at night).

When she sleeps, she doesn’t pull the window screen all the way down. She left a couple of them halfway open, so she can see the black silhouettes of trees in the smoky dark blue background of the night when she lies down on her bed. Then, she listens… she listens to the trees’ whispering interpretation of signals of the universe. The language silent and secretive, vibrating songs of night fairies. She falls asleep…. listening… as night becomes dawn.

Go all the way.

Material is important, I know. I get to eat and need a roof over my head. Maybe I need more than that. I’m very used to the convenience of living that money can offer to me. But… that’s not all.

Something non-materialistic makes me very happy. Like the birthday song that surprised me after a yoga class sung by the people who had just taken my class. Like a wagging fluffy tail of my dog digging his nose in the snow with his butt up high. Like the text messages from whom had left town but still residing space in me somewhere. Glancing a hawk among the snowy trees… it must be hard to live in this weather, waiting… waiting for the storm pass. The glowing full moon floating up over my head like a big round biscuit that I used to love when I was a kid. Reading my old lines of writing and loving them again… I know I need money… I need to figure out how to live… how to get a sustainable income… but on the other hand, it really doesn’t matter… at some point.

If beauty can overflow between my fingers when I hold something in my hands, that will be it. All that I’ve looked for in my life… I’ll watch it with the tearful eyes and the bursting heart by joy. That… I live for.

<February 8th, 2020>

Levity

Is it truth, fact, or hormone?
When a doubt settles into the mind after a long conversation with a friend giving practical advice, a grey cloud starts forming over my head and follows me around.  I feel heavy. My decision and attitude left its home base of joy and landed on figuring. So I say, “Stop!”

Practicality hasn’t done any good to me over my lifetime. Maybe it is useful for some people, actually for most people, but not for me. Not me.

It’s okay to act wrong and decide based on the non-beneficial reason for the practical eyes… If I find a bit of joy, levity, happiness, that’s where I’m going for. The problem solved.
Now, go out and live, dear!

Small and Quiet

When rainbow happens during summer days, it feels like magic. Heaven descends to the earth for a moment. I vigilantly take the beauty in and look around to find someone who has the same excitement that I have.

Life… many shapes and sizes, even for one person.
The future is like a guessing game. Someone covers my eyes with the hands from behind and let me walk forward to find out. My destiny would wait for me with a graceful greet.

The ambitions, all gone.
Content with the state I’m at. I’m small and quiet in the unknown corner of the world.  Happy?

It’s Time.

I know that. He knows that. I feel that. He feels that.
I know something that he doesn’t know.
‘When I smile at you, it means that I really smile at you. It’s the different smile that I put on at others.’

He misses me. I miss him. He’ll miss me for a while. I’ll miss him for a while.
The lives crossed, diverged, and might cross again in the future. That much I know. And then, I don’t know us on that crossroad. We might be a complete past to each other… then.

I gained a few pounds… now it’s time to lose those.
It’s time to lose… and move on.

You can run away but you cannot run from yourself.

“I was a collage of the scattered human parts broken and jumbled inside me.
In each day here, I picked up a part of me and put it back into the right place,
the right place.”

The escape.

Day One.
The eye is still red. I dragged my grayness to these gorgeous red rocks and the scorching sun with the swollen right eye barely opening. Tired, tired, tired. But being alone is good in a way. I can think about whatever I want to think, and whenever.
I feel like a wet towel at the corner of the arid counter of the world. I wrote my intention at the welcome ritual after some guided meditation in the serene cave-ish room having a beautiful skylight as “love”. Why?

Day Two.
Iron oxide, the cause of the red color of the rock. Kachina, the energy behind to make something manifest. Vortex, the portal, the access of Nature to one’s nature. Jeremy (burns lots of sage) and Lisa (a nosy lady). I kind of got why I was drawn to here at the last minute. People here don’t look at the beauty because they are busy reading one another. Saw red rocks, flowers, and a yellow butterfly and I was pampered by the spa people like an offering to God (what a waste!). The downpour in the evening disconnected everything from outside. Even the landline phone didn’t work. I guess I packed the wrong clothes for the weather. Well… landing.

Day Three.
Walking and lying down. This became a routine.
People tried to put a lot of new information into me but I didn’t absorb any. I have a balcony in my room. If I sit down, passersby can’t see me. So I lied down under the afternoon sun, almost naked, reading Simone Weil. The best part of the day.
Jeniffer (cracking a joke in every sentence). The half-moon and the stars (so bright and near). The evening air was pleasant, pleasant. Got a dreamcatcher as a gift. Someone might know I had a very bad dream last night.

Day Four.
Boynton Canyon, it took longer than I thought to get there. Feminine. Inward. Yin. Yes, I agree. I gave my way to the people hurrying to their goal, the top. The view was splendid on the top but I think I was the only one saw the ladybugs, the light green budding trees, and water trickling down from the big mossy rocks, smelled the herbs, noticed the unusual shapes of thick barks, and watched the woodpecker with a flaming red crest and the busy butterflies. The Canyon unfolds its full appearance only when people climbed to the end.
On the other hand, Kachina Woman, people can see it anywhere from all directions, majestically standing like an ancient tower. That must be the reason that people don’t show a particular hurry to climb Kachina. On the way back from Boynton, I sat on a rock and listened “The Wolves” by Bon Iver. It took three hours in the morning.
Juicing class — Lisa and Jeniffer again. We go around the same orbit. Reiki — uncanny experience. Luis. His breath has a special power, I guess. He breathed for two and a half hours with some kind of life energy. Letting go. Initiation. Rebirth. I’m a new me. He said that I should do whatever my emotion asks me to do for the next few days. And I get the power to heal myself. Remember that. Remember and carry that.

Day Five.
I was a scramble when I got here. Emotionally and physically. Gashed and jumbled, if the expression is correct. I was a collage of the scattered human parts and the very monstrous drawing that my son drew magnificently. In each day here, I picked up a part of me and put it back into the right place, the right place.
No more nightmare. Still, I don’t know if I am okay or I will be okay. I tried to cope with the situation as gracefully as possible, but it didn’t work that way inside me. I was on my tippy toes not knowing what to do but tried to be calm. When I heard a dull thud at night, I woke up and checked on my son’s room. I thought about the worst possible scenario and already prepared my heart to be ready for that. But nothing can make me ready for that. Nothing. But all around me, even family and friends, is a phenomenon.
Accept and let go. Accept and let go. And cherish the beautiful moments. Cherish them. I put a temporary tattoo, on my upper arm. “Be Present”. I love how it looks. Be present, and please be kind.

Day Six.
The flight canceled at midnight. Spending a night at the LA airport. Not that bad. Many people. So many people.
Say “yes” to April.
Ashley should be the main character. It’s her story anyway. Be honest and trim.

Day Seven.
Finally got back home through JFK. My bags are still in LA. Well, letting go.
I found some of my flowers bloomed during my absence; especially the white oxalis on my desk. Small delicate white flowers. Love them. I came back to my first subject I guess. The first question. I feel soft and tender.

Day Ten.
The bags arrived. Unpacking and gathering.
Picking up the pieces of the moments and put them on the shelf. Put them on the shelf until I revisit them. Until I revisit them. Revisit. Someday in the future when every part inside me is intact and in order.

<written in April 12th, 2017, re-visited on January 23rd, 2020>

Progression

It’s like music, looping and progressing… as I read, write, read, write… circling around the center with a developing sophistication.

Why writing? I often ask myself the question. I could do many other things… but why writing? Not even with my mother tongue… but with the language that I make frequent mistakes in article, tense, preposition… I don’t have an answer, but only have an urge for the words, the lines, the expression, the fingers, the pens, the blank papers, the cursor blinking on the computer screen… seeking the lines that have to be shown, seen, heard, witnessed… whatever… I’m writing.

All the writers, all the books. Not read by the major public anymore. The only short impact sentences prevail in digital gadgets. We are drowning in these short-wavelength impressive meaningless words. People seem to need just one blow to be hit on their heads to forget all the others.

I want to surf again. The waves excite me, scare me, sever my soul in half. I want a flash of lightning. Now! The dark sky will be shuddered by its power. Ah… I’m thirsty, thirsty for something that has been charged for a long year to manifest. I’m waiting… I’m… waiting… for… the moment… the moments… the night, the electricity, the light, the current, the blow, the awe… I’m waiting for the highest tide… that hasn’t come yet. I have my board ready to ride… soon.

An Interesting Combination

“An interesting combination.”

When he said that, I laughed.
Some words stuck in my brain along with the context when the conversation happened. I wonder what words of mine stuck in his mind. And what images of me. It feels like the emotional arrows circling skin-deep between us found a way to go deeper over time as we had shared some thoughts and experiences unsharable to others.

Life often surprises me.
I was afraid of opening the door to a surprise because I projected the pain of losing it even before the loss, especially pleasant ones. I’m trying differently this time. I’m risking a layer of my heart to an obviously losing game.

“… an interesting combination …”
You say… and you exclaim, damn! with the sparkles in your eyes. 

I don’t know how he will look like as our lives progress… or what I will be like. One thing I know for sure is that life will definitely surprise me in another pleasant way even after I lose him and miss his words within the context.

<written on August 5th, 2019, edited on January 16th, 2020 when the present tenses became the past but they were still present in the lines.>

Hydrilla

The concept of fragmentation and regrowth of each fragment to the size of the original or bigger scares and unsettles the mind… there is no way to win or get rid of… but it seems that this is possible only in the plant world. This is the first antagonist in my novel that I’ve been working on for several years.

Then, the secretion of this plant; its ability to trap… to prevent everything from moving and flowing. I tried to create fear as Jose Saramago did in “Blindness”. I set up the scientifically possible background of this fearful situation more successfully than Saramago did (because he didn’t provide any explanation in the happening of epidemic blindness), but I failed in capturing the essence of human behavior in this situation with a grand lens as he did (which I aimed at the beginning of my draft). After all, it ended up as Ashley’s story. A dull, not page-turning, no suspense story.

Maybe this is enough because Ashley died… so I can let her rest in peace to move on my life. Her story did her work… and her blood is still flowing at the bottom of the lake. That is enough for me. How many pages? It doesn’t matter. How many years? It doesn’t matter. I did write and she existed. I really loved her with the ache inside my chest whenever I think of her blood depleting pale face with her desperate devotion for something more than her. I loved her dearly for that… and now, I’m letting her go.

More Freedom More Energy

“I haven’t come this far to only come this far.”

If I wanted to have a companion to my hospital visits, I wouldn’t have left the conveniences of my previous world.

It must be nice to have a companion and friends who may care about me or provide actual physical care when I need it. But I made a choice and left those things behind because I value something different in my life; my freedom.

I knew that I had a rocky road in front of me, giving up the privileges that I used to have, to take uncertainty and insecurity into the path that I would walk. And I’m on that road now. A dusty, lonely, windy path… that I don’t know to where it leads.
I wouldn’t have been on this path if I had wanted the ordinary luxury of life. I desired something more, something more luxurious than jewels, cars, houses.
Choice; at any circumstance. My free will is my companion even when I feel shaky and want to cry with my bent knees touching the ground… I’m free… that’s all that matters, all that I’ve ever wanted. I have my wings now.

Nestle Right In

Sometimes, I get attached to one word.
Now the word is “nestle” or “nestled”. There is a nice feel about this word. A comfort, releasing tension and dropping guard, a long exhale leaning the head to some support, a rest.

Maybe I’m tired.
Being on the driver’s seat for all my life… I want to move onto the passenger side now, even for just a couple of drives… I’d roll over to my side on the passenger seat and curl up… gazing outside landscape passing by, sometimes turning my head back to check the scenery that I want to see again, occasionally looking at the driver who can be trusted at the moment. I’d nestle in the momentary comfort, right there.

The moon and the stars.
Many hazy cloudy nights… but I had a chance to catch a glance of the crescent moon in the deep blue sky thickened by the rain clouds this evening. Life… the ordinaries… too much to take in, too much to savor…
I need to distill many to a handful to accommodate my finite capacity in appreciation. One day, all of these will be gone. But still…. the moon and the stars… wherever you are… there you are… here I am… the moon and the star… in the same sky… apart.
When our orbits get close, I’ll nestle right in, laying my head on your glowing arms… even for just a couple of journeys… I’d be very happy.

Diana

Is there a life that can be said as a success? A complete victory. What should I do if life fails me? Is there something that can be accessed as a failed life? Maybe not…

Coffee… a large cup on my table at a local cafe.
I know I shouldn’t drink this… at this time of my life.

I still remember the operation table that day. As someone said, I should retrieve the steps in my head to let that experience go. Most of the time in my trials, my heart froze first before my brain finished the process. The coldness… was unbearable. When I woke up, he asked me why I was crying. My lips were silent… the streak of tears flowed down over my cheeks. That was all. A small plastic container connected to my neck collected the blood still flowing. The color of that blood… it didn’t look alive. The physical pain was all gone, but the emotional hurt didn’t give in to time.

Maybe this is a small step I’m taking to let that experience go, let that time of my life go, let the long drives back to work with the bruised neck go.

Still, they don’t understand me. I feel despaired. I don’t even want to be understood… just I want them to release their gripping expectations over me. That is all I want, but I know that it will never happen. Sometimes…. this makes me very sad. But I think this is okay… at least, I’m away now.

Kindness from random people.
I appreciate that. Still something missing in there, something that reaches deep into the soul. For now, this will be fine. I’ll just drink it willingly with gratitude. Thanks, Diana.

Pipeline, Oahu

It’s funny how the mind travels to the unintended designation. And some words stick in the head forever like the beautiful white corals on the beach of Waikiki that day.
My heart was bitter all that week, so I dipped myself in some sweetness that I probably shouldn’t have. The smell of the sea was swelling like the waves that surfers waited. The memory that day all jumbled up with the waves, the corals, the surfboards, and all the words including Pipeline makes a mixture of the sensations that hardly can be explained… but I taste it again in a bland day like this when my mind shoots back to the day when the wind was rising and the sea stopped for a moment.

Her

“The fall was just rightly ripening in this town, at this moment…
and that day I remembered her.” 

My thought often goes back to my paternal grandmother when I watch the mirror in the bathroom, alone in the house, with only my white dog around.

My grandmother was a villain in the family story told by mother when I was a kid. When my older brother made fun of me with any resemblance to my grandmother, I burst into tears with anger for the unfair accusation. As I grew older, however, I could agree with some resemblance in me with her more than any other extended family members.
She had lived on her own for a long time in the rural area where our ancestor’s mountain located, five hours train ride away from the city where most of her family lived. A big land surrounded her house full of persimmon trees. The fruits would show deep orange color from green when the fall harvest was near. The symbol of the fall in Korea like the pumpkins here.
Persimmon was my favorite fruit in my childhood. Once, when I visited there in the late summer, I took bites from all the orange parts of the ripening fruits leaving the green area left still hanging on the trees. I fell asleep in the guest room after my crime and I heard the loud voice of my grandmother blaming my older cousin for the mischievous behavior that I committed. I don’t remember how it ended but I wasn’t the one who got into trouble… I was always an exception from her grumpy bitter lashing words. She wasn’t particularly nice to me, but I knew that her neutral attitude meant the fondness of me over all the grandchildren that she had.

My mother’s hatred of her mother-in-law was deep. We heard all kinds of stories of her evil through my mother but my grandmother was the one who was courageous enough to live alone on her own without any support until her death, sending the boxes of dried persimmons harvested to us every year, and crossed the sea to bring her cheating husband back from Japan who studied abroad and lived with a Japanese woman at the colonial time of Korea. She must have been less than twenty years old at that time when she put herself onto the ship to Japan. She must have not known any Japanese and all she might have to find her husband must have been the address on the envelope that he sent to her. Without her action, I wouldn’t be here. It was before my father was born, so I owe my existence to her bravery.

She was bright but uneducated. It was forbidden for women to go to school and learn at that time, compared to my grandfather who was a highly educated nobleman but having no occupation. Having a job to support the family was a lower-class action for people in the past. The modernization breaking the status system in the past brought lots of confusion in the society, but my grandfather kept the old values, dressed as the traditional nobleman with the many layers of clothes that needed extra care with the long beard and long hair twisted up inside the dyed in black horsetail hat. I remember his funeral done traditionally… I would come back to that memory someday later. I think I am the last generation holding the sensory memory of the things that disappeared over time. Having a husband like my grandfather must have put the family in a very difficult situation. I can only imagine the life that my grandmother had. Maybe this contributed to her stubborn and opinionated attitude, but she was strong and active. Interestingly enough to many people around her, she was a dog lover. She allowed her dog inside the house, which was very rare in Korea at that time and also freaked my mother who had an obsessive fear of germs. She even fed the dog human food from the table and talked in a sweet manner. I could see the obvious mismatch of my grandmother and my mother, but… now, when I look in the mirror, the round big nose like hers greets me in the house where the city is far away, the family is farther away, no relatives around… I think… I must be the one who resembles her the most. And I somewhat like it.

The season changed and I saw the persimmons in an Asian market, the soft orange color of autumn. My index finger touched the surface of my past, my memory… I didn’t buy any… but I smiled when I stepped out the door. The daylight was bright to my eyes… the smile lingered at the corner of my lips. I walked to my car where the car window was down and I saw the wet black nose of my dog peeking out and his fluffy face with his black round eyes when I got close. The fall was just rightly ripening in this town, at this moment… and that day I remembered her.

<November 6th, 2019>

Fire

Family and friends.
Flying and failing.
Falling and fire.

The kindle…
I remember that day in front of the fireplace.
The feeling that I felt that day wouldn’t come back again.

What’s falling out there?
What for?
What’s next?

Is there any other spelling that can replace “fire” giving the same feel? The front teeth biting the lower lip? The power, the dance, the glow? The movement that never stops when it’s alive? The enchanting danger calling for intimate proximity but not allowing any touch without severe consequence?

Flame flies up.
So do the dream, the birds, and the fantasy.
My dream has the wings of a phoenix burning up the path that it glides. My eyelids would open up with the ashes when the sun hits the window with a dare of the faint memory of flying… charging the dark night with the glowing power.

Falling and failing are not the same thing as Jack Gilbert insisted.
Falling means that there was once flying. Sometimes, that is enough for one lifetime… just one flight. Flame goes up, fire consumes. When the ashes in the hands, rub on the cheeks drawing the two blocks of straight lines across, glaring the night, remembering the time, the time that I flew close to the moon arching the way back to the earth with the burning feathers.

Fire and falling.
Fire and failing.
Fire and flying… once… in lifetime… my charred face proud in the mirror with the memory of the flame, the memory of the night. The life… flew once.

<October 30th, 2019>

Incubation

Ordinary and timely… not mine, but I’ve been trying to live for those values. The realization comes late. The change of action comes even a while later than the realization… and I’m here now… breathing quietly.

Everyone is unique in their own way. I know that. But there has been a undeniable difference in me distinguishing from the others beyond individual uniqueness. I recognized early on in my life and it never went away. This follows me wherever I go… right over my shoulder watching me… watching me act upon accordingly. I feel its expectation with a contained excitement trembling behind the closed door,

I’m taking a break now.
I’m sitting. I’m hanging out at this place of my life. Not hastily moving to next… I don’t know what’s next but I know that it will be very different from my past… It will not belong to the realm of the ordinary, or even to normal. One thing for sure is that there will be tremendous beauty that can leap any value or moral that I’ve leaned on.

This town, colored by the diversity but a very monolithic place… I’m staying here for now because it is a good place to ease my breathing for the next round, next journey, next stage of my life with a totally different value that has called on me, waiting for me, looking forward to me acting upon. Soon I’ll be ready for it. Then I’ll miss this town, miss these people, miss all the comfortable things that I have right now.

So this time… the time for me to breathe, sit, watch… hold hands with the people close… this is my nest…. for now.

A Little Flame

“Let everything fall once and for all.”

 

Fire… the winter, the early spring… the memories.

Time passes, life changes…. and the person…

There must be an ember in me… that hasn’t died yet. I’m still holding it in me somewhere trying to keep its power to ignite something… something… someday… really… someday.

The shifts and the changes… the newness that surrounds me like new flowers blooming overnight putting their faces close to my eyes… I often don’t know what to feel… I leaped over in the process of the proper aging, the right path to make the time pass by. I jumped from here to there afraid of falling or failing… and I failed in many other ways in life.

This is a comfort. Alone in a room… I cried.
I hated the dried flowers. The tree of life… everywhere in this town… the town smells like the glass of specialty beer on the counter untouched overnight after a few sips.

The good old musicians… all died… those I’m still listening to, those still have the power to make me break into tears like an unknown spasm coming at midnight.
Let me keep my small fire that will flame up someday like a big campfire on the beach on a hot summer day that young people would dance around without shame…the sound of crackling wet firewood by the heat…the sparkles when the fire gazes up to the sky and flies to there… ah, my life… here and now, landing like an angel’s last feather… let me keep them… let me keep it… until the time comes.

There were the rocks… the big rocks… I jumped from one to another, juggling many things in my hands. And I did it well.
Let me drop my arms now. Let me watch the ground, the path, the earth, the people… instead of looking at the things in my hands and continuously moving not to drop any. Let everything fall once and for all. I want to sit now.  I want to sit for a moment. And I want to use my hands to take out the little flame inside my chest and look at it. Look at it for a while… a little dance of this red… the red… like fresh blood oozing out from a cut… let me watch it for a moment… to remember where I left it, to think how I can start… my legs are dangling up high where I’m sitting… on a giant orange rock… the sky is too blue for the landscape. Let it be this way for now.

<October 27th, 2019>

Shedding the Old

I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. I haven’t asked for any help.

The sun is bright, the leaves started to fall.
I’m glad. I’m glad watching the shedding, taking off the old, allowing space, the sky, the stars.

I’ve been done well until now. I did an excellent job. It’s me who has carried myself this far. And it will be me who will carry myself from now on… I’ll be just fine. It’s time to lose the one layer that’s old and doesn’t fit me anymore.

Arrival

“The little fuzzy ends of threads that I feel the warmth from.
Maybe that is a piece of home to me at this moment.
Not a place, not a name, just a bit of solace when my heart shivers.”

 

Where is the place called ‘home’ to me? Where has it been?
If you say ‘I’m your home’, I’ll fly a thousand miles and land on your shoulder, singing all night, all morning.
The night is dark. No sound. Ghosts are living in this town, but they’ll leave soon. The empty house with the old memories would ring the chime on the door whenever the wind visits. The tongue out long to touch the air, striving the scent of life on the tiny wet buds… only the dust settles on that desperation.

Once the place called home was a hell to me. I took as much time as I could to delay my return to that place every night. I hit the gym with my tired eyes barely opening on the exercise bike.

I’ve been striving to create my home at this moment of my life. There is a thirteen-year-old girl who comes to the martial art class. I often paired up with her for the partner work. She is a bit taller than me and has trained longer than me. I don’t feel much different from her about the stage of life that I’m at. Sometimes, my life seems like a stranger to me knocking on my door without notice. I don’t know what to do at the doorstep, but I know that I’ll be open to all possibilities. That much I know.

Here… upstate New York… a small town. I don’t know why I’m here.
I could be anywhere on earth if I decide. Perhaps I want to hold onto something that drapes over my being. The little fuzzy ends of threads that I feel the warmth from. Maybe that is a piece of home to me at this moment. Not a place, not a name, just a bit of solace that I can get when my heart shivers. Maybe it is a delusion, but that seems the reason that my stubborn will stays here.

Long night. No sound. The moon is about to full.

I wish I could be a  warm thread to someone also. Someone who feels homeless, someone who feels groundless, someone who feels no place to put the head down. The night will be long and the winter is coming. The moon will wane leaving the sole darkness of night. But I know that I’m home to my fluffy dog wherever I go. I’ve been building a place that can be called a home to my adult children to return to at any time from anywhere. I’ve been trying to return the unrewarded kindness that I’ve received over the course of my life when I felt like a homeless person on the cold street inside.

One day I want to find a place that I can really say as my home without any hesitation, gathering all threads to weave a warm blanket that can cover the whole place. I’ll bring some firewood inside and build a fire in the woodstove. The kettle on the stove will steam the air, making it very huggable. A bird will land on my shoulder and sing the song that I’ve always wanted but never been able to hear. ‘You have finally arrived. Arrived at home, my dear.’

<October 9th, 2019>

Hiding

What for?
Conditioned in hiding, not to be seen, not to be heard, not to be discovered… even though there is nothing wrong in her actions, feelings, or thoughts… and it has been like that for a long time. She feels like a groundhog, peeking out her head to check the surroundings, to find out the sign of danger, disturbance, conflict, ready to disappear under the surface.

Groundhogs hide first, under the earth, to the burrows they have made… but… when their territory is invaded, they fight fiercely… they are strong animal, just don’t want any conflict in life unless it is necessary… they are herbivores, they sleep all winter, they clean their faces after eating. Let them be them… she wishes that they don’t have to hide, wishes that they walk around the field like a lazy cat under the summer days, munching the plants they like, picking up some wildflowers and tasting them, and napping on the grass with their belly up stretching out the four limbs wide. But, they’ll hide with little hint of the observer around, into the underworld. That makes her very sad. Because she knows the feeling, the hiding… without doing anything wrong… just not to be caught, not to be eaten, not to get into trouble.

Her burrows are not in underground, but they were dug deep in her being… invisible to the others. It has been like that for a long time. The first thing she has learned when she had lost the innocence of child’s mind, she hid her thoughts and feelings not to disturb her family. And she thought that she could somehow contribute in lessening the pain and the sorrow of them, but she was wrong. As she hid under the holes more, her pain and sorrow have grown bigger and the earth over her head got heavier, and heavier, until she felt that no light came into her safe space where she buried her true feelings and thoughts. Then, she knew that she would die soon without a single ray around her. She had to learn to peek out, look around, and find a way out somehow, not to die under the weight of the dirt she has been putting over her body to hide.

Cautiously, she put her head out to see, and sometimes, to be seen. In and out of her burrow to smell the flowers and pick up the odd stones on her way around. The breeze, the sun, the sound of leaves under her feet… the clouds gathered and scattered… the scent of wet grass after a summer rain… the tiny black beetles and a ladybug.. something inside and something outside… open wide and held close… the things under the sunlight or the beam of the bright moon… sometimes she walks far from her burrows and looks back the holes that she has dug for a long time… and she thinks… maybe she is not even a groundhog after all. Then, what is she? She doesn’t know. She has hidden so long that she couldn’t recognize herself under the new light. She would find out as time passes by when her habitual hiding wears out and finds the way out to show herself to people, the people who’ll appreciate and cherish her presence under any light that would illuminate her being, as she is and as she should be.

<October 2nd, 2019>

Icarus also flew.

The doorbell hasn’t been rung once since I moved to this place a few weeks ago. I knew that it was broken, or one of my rare visitors told me that it was broken. And it doesn’t matter.

I don’t want people to come to my house, or know where I live, putting their nosy curiosity into every drawer of my space, except a very very few people. For those very very few people, the doorbell wouldn’t matter anyway.

My cyclamen flowers are growing again. I really have no idea what my life will be like from here. No blueprint, no picture in my mind… am I afraid? I’d say yes. I’m afraid. Uncertainty, insecurity, having no one around to lean on or discuss with, no intimate relationship… but didn’t I want this? The complete blank page to start, to learn to fly, to fall, to soar… one day up to the blue, blue sky, too blue for my eyes that would make me almost cry. Here I’m on the start line, the white thick solid line… like a runner lunging deep ready to take off with the sound of a starting whistle… still my feet behind the line…. trembling with the heartful possibilities sprinkled with a little fear of the unknown waiting for me… ah, life.

Objectifying

“I live in the past. I take everything that has happened to me and arrange it.
From a distance like that, it doesn’t do any harm,
you’d almost let yourself be caught in it.
Our whole story is fairly beautiful.
I give it a few prods and it makes a whole string of perfect moments.
Then I close my eyes and try to imagine that
I’m still living inside it.”

– Jean-Paul Sartre –

Let the past be a series of things for now, like a stone. She can pick up one and toss it over her shoulder… or she might throw it into a river, watching it sinking deep down, under the water, unrelated, having no power over her.

from Point A to Point B

I’m physically in the place where I used as the setting of my last short story. No connection among people… just transiting from this to that.
There are lives here but this place feels lifeless. People are reduced to their minimum only concerning to their destinations. The transition doesn’t matter to them, only getting “there” matters. It somewhat resembles the life outside of this hub airport.

To me, transition matters. How to get to my destination matters.
It is a dance, a choreography… do not reduce to the minimum. Use the stage to the maximum, long arms, high jumps, splits, kicks, spins…  details… the shape of fingers, the curve of the neck, make the movement beautiful, graceful… fast ugly walk will not be mine whatever destination I’m heading to. We will all meet at dead-end eventually.

Light and simple steps.
Tread the in-between space with care and attention. Maybe this is all I got, in this life, on this earth.

The Subject Matter

“…the beauty that can never be poor at any circumstance.”

I want to write beautiful things about this world, or this life, or this day, or this breath, or this encounter, like magicians pulling out pleasant surprises out of their silk hat. I could write about money, job, power, hatred, remorse, paired with regret, pain, suffering, depression… but, I don’t want to. I could write how some human beings’ achievements are so great, can be admired; the patience, the sacrifice, the noble thoughts and deeds. Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Woolf… But they do not interest me anymore.

The sunlight from the West of the setting sun through the window glaring my eyes when I’m typing this, interests me. The four straight stems of my pink cyclamen flowers’ confident stature, awes me. The white tail up running-away move of a fluffy bunny when my dog found it too late to catch, amuses me.  The smell, the sound, the view of beautiful things around me, tantalize the palette of my taste for life and the zeal for my fingers for writing. I’m not the same person who wrote the poems in “Walking with Shadow”. Now, surprisingly lengthened shadow of me under the morning sun treads lightly on the trail. Why shouldn’t I move to the exhilarating side of life? Why not? Lit the light inside and use that brightness as the guidance for my path of living, instead of hiding in the dark with narrowing eyes figuring out something or someone or situation, not to be deceived, not to be hurt, not to be failed.

Life, moves and stops, as I wrote in my piece “A Storm” a couple of years ago. It will definitely stop at some point, or move sluggishly without my permission or my intention, even with my rejection. Then, why stop now? To hold on to what? What are my fingers gripping onto? What will be permanent except the plastic bags in the ocean? Time erodes everything. That’s the most marvelous creation of God, that damn bastard created time to destroy what he/she created. Beautiful or ugly, good or bad, all will be gone… if this is the case, I want to turn my face to beauty at this moment.

The paper, the pen, the words are what I have. I want to create beauty or at least re-visit beauty with the meager tools I have. Maybe I should drop the desperate fiction that I started five years ago to weave poems with my fingers instead… catch the divine with the net of amplified sense and bring it to the shore to boost to the spectators. The silver glitters of scales of a shiny catch… the delicate petals of flowers so submissive to time… dense dark chocolate melting at the tip of the tongue, the mellow silence of the untouched guitar strings, the arms and the fingers, the shoulders and the waist, the sweat… the sticky, the slimy, wet to dry… warm and cold, hot and chill… oh my god… catching the moments with the pen… too much beauty, too much to be tasted… the satisfying bite of a well ripe banana and the smell… how easy to eat that thing, I am always astonished when I peel it off.

Not money, not power, not job… not the hunger for food… but the appetite for beauty of this world… the letters under my fingertips… the beauty that can never be poor at any circumstance. The sunshine, the rain, the snow, the grey clouds, the storm, the wind, the breeze, my white desk, the pale blue bedsheets, the eyes, the eyebrows, the skin, the touch, a brief sleep, the green, the trees, the bare trees, the arms, the wrists, the hands, the ears, the sounds, the sights, the tastes, the groping mind of all. The beauty here… in my gathered two hands, presenting… to… the wings that have known the thin air, soaring, in midday.

<July 15th, 2019>

Jack Gilbert

“No one knows where you are. People forget you.
You are vain and stubborn.” The man slices
tomatoes and lemons. takes out the fish
and scrambles eggs. I am not stubborn, he thinks,
laying all of it on the table in the courtyard 
full of early sun, shadows of swallows flying 
on the food. Not stubborn, just greedy.”

 

A self-imposed exile, a quiet commitment, no compromise in living his own life.
Yes, he was greedy indeed.

Not in vain

Not in vain, the big bang happened.
The universe was born.
The dust settled.
The apes evolved.

Not in vain, something broke.
The pieces kept in.
You met me.
I met you.

Not in vain, I left him.
He clung to me in vain.
I was patient.
I opened the door.

Not in vain, I blocked some people entering.
I saved the space for you.
The sun was bright.
The moon waned to a silver sliver.

Not in vain, I surfed.
The strong wind chased all other surfers to the shore.
I swam around. Lots of corals in the clear water. They were white, beautiful, and sharp.
I felt pain in my gut on the airplane looking out the round long beach distancing from me.

I left.
I let them go.
I sat at the airport terminal, 6 am that morning, with the constant flow of tears watering my frozen being. I couldn’t stop crying for a few months.
Not in vain, I got three names. Sometimes, I forget one or two of them. Sometimes, I miss being called by one of them.

The winter came.
The spring came.
I survived.
The flowers bloomed.

The flowers withered.
The rain came.
Everything was wet.
You smiled at me.

I dropped my shell finding my inside softening.
The chill runs through my spine whenever I think of the room that I was trapped alone puking my last dignity as a human down to the toilet. I realized what I absolutely didn’t want in my future.
Not in vain, I kept moving. I got some muscle for life.
I took “no” into my vocabulary.

Not in vain, I haven’t reached out easy drugs.
I searched, searched, searched… and watched with curiosity.
Winter will come again. I wonder how many.
Spring will come again. I wonder how many.

Blossoms will come again. I’ll just be in awe.
The rain will come again and wet the world, the mountains, the grass, you and me.
I’ll remember one day of spring, one day of summer, one day of autumn, one night under the silent stars, adding up to the infinity.
I’ll close my eyes.

My life, not in vain.

The Path and The Walk

My belly twisted, my stomach knotted. I swallowed a lot of my saliva as if I could hold something in, to keep “it” in. But I don’t know what “it” is at this point. What am I keeping in? Am I hiding not to be discovered, not to be peeked at, not to be seen at all?

For the last few months,  I felt that I was glowing, sending my golden rays around, warming up the people around, including my very self. But as soon as my past arrived, I pulled the drape down over me and have been watchful to cut all the light seeping out through the cracks of my pretense, my facade, the grey, the neutral face, wiping my gender out… so I can be what?

The past isn’t the present, but it has some power over the present. It has built the path to now and after. The way I had rolled on the road is persistently coming back in the way I walk today. The specifics of a person’s walk don’t change even though the road changes. The repetition of those particular movements, shoulder stooped, dragging the right foot a little longer than the left, using the outer edge of feet more, the chest hollow or the back humped. Whatever the details are, this is embedded somewhere, somewhere in the person.

Knowing that I don’t have to walk in the same way that I’ve walked before doesn’t help much in changing the way I walk now. It should be practiced consciously. The road has changed. I can stride, I can sway, I can jump, I can roll, I can tiptoe, I can thump. And all of those. My unconventional movement will definitely be noticeable to others. Does it matter? Does it matter that I have a fire inside and shoot my glow out to the world, to the universe, and perhaps… to you?

<June 26th, 2019>

Dadeumi

“the sound evoked peaceful sorrow or sorrowful peace…
with the regular beat of the safety, the solidity, the unbroken guard…”

The sound of Dadeumi. The regular beat of a pair of wooden bats pounding the folded fabric overlaid on the sturdy stone, a way of ironing unique to Korea popular in the 17-18 century.

I often think that I might be the last generation holding some specific sensory memories related to the things disappearing over time in my culture. Dadeumi must have gone even before my elementary school years in most of my country. When I visited my paternal grandmother’s house far south of the Korean peninsula during the summer, there was a Dadeumi, the stone base and two wooden bats in the small corner room. I don’t remember if I saw anyone actually doing it, but I heard the sound of Dadeumi occasionally. The rhythmic beating sound in the early evening evoked some kind of peaceful sorrow or sorrowful peace, putting me into study sleep. The beautiful sound generated by the everyday chore of women in the past generation, metaphorically related to a woman waiting for her husband’s return home late at night. I can still clearly hear the regular beat, almost felt like the weightless sound of the cautious longing of a woman dissolved in her demanding labor.

It must have been a small world to the women back then, like the moon’s orbit around the earth compared to the other stars. I wonder what she must have thought, felt, and not felt, when she beat the clothes of her husband, in-laws, children, draped over the smooth stone with the bats for the long hours. The palms must have gotten red and sore when she picked up this chore for the first time. Then, her hands got tougher over the years of her housework, showing some calluses that hardened many things in her life. I wonder if her shoulders got stronger or ached more over time with this work.

There is a unique word in Korean, which is untranslatable in any other language, “Haan”, I think it was the strong desire for a life that was unlived by all these women, reduced by the cultural circumstance in their lives. It is sad but beautiful because they took this path with pride and tried to live this term given to them as best they could, even though their unfulfilled lives solidified somewhere inside, generating the ringing sound that made the listener gaze long into the empty space or on the verge of tears with no particular reason. But the regular beat always brought the safety, the solidity, the unbroken guard of the life that our past women held for their family, sacrificing all the desires of tasting, drinking, gulping down their own lives.

Sometimes, I close my eyes groping back for the beautiful sound of Dadeumi, and feel lucky that I can only imagine this sound now with a little glitter of nostalgia over the things gone forever. The stars had burst to all directions of the universe, including the little moons in every household of the past.

<June 5th, 2019>

Sunday evening after the rain

It was quiet as if no one was at home or everyone was at home when I walked with my dog this evening. We didn’t encounter a single human or a car passing by.

But there were the deers, the bunnies, and the daises with their white greeting faces. The pink and white peonies dropped their heads low by the all-day heavy rain. The wet grass looked exuberant fuming out its life energy. The small stream gurgled with a full belly.

The birds chirped and the owls hooted to the unknowns before dark. Nature without any perceiver around… only minding its own existence including me. I felt one day in my hand… almost touchable. 

Fall

I loved A.’s poem. Her simple sentence tells a lot. How much she misses L.

I could feel her loss from the quiver of her voice and the pauses before the words that might stop her heart for a second, but I felt it with a bit of jealousy clouding up inside my belly. The immense size of her loss is directly proportional to the immense size of her love. Have I ever committed to loving someone that much? Have I ever dared to fall right my face down? Haven’t I always calculated the back-up plan first even before any step taken?

It’s a blessing that one person can love someone that much at the cost of the painful grief over the loss. But she did, she did love someone with her all being and more. That is just too foreign and too beautiful to me.

I haven’t done my worst mistake in life yet. I still have a chance.
Fall. Fall hard. Fall face down. Fall in love and get real messy.

The Absolutely Visceral Moments of Aliveness

“you… the beautiful mess of struggle…”

scooping the moments of being into my hollow chest to fill the gap that has been felt like a bottomless chasm for my life… I put something in, the ecstatic visceral moments of aliveness.

Sometimes, life is absolutely beautiful to some absurdly non-realistic people.

Two Time Zones

Another clock tick-tocked inside for the last ten years.

But, surely, her other clock faded inside her. She often forgot the time in the East. Whatever, she is here. The night is the night, the day is the day, the sun is the sun, the moon is the moon, the afternoon is the afternoon, the morning is the morning, whatever time is now, now is now. She is one, not a half, not split, not divided, one, one and the only, in her life, for her life.

<May 29th, 2019>

The shower, the oasis, the rainbow

Longing and yearning.
She has integrated these into her life somehow over time. She might be a masochist who desires something that is unattainable and secretly enjoys the emotions generated by the strong urge rising at the bottom of her gut. An emotional masochist, she’d say it.

One of her friends said that she should look for something available, should settle in the available, in the possible, in the practical. But she is looking for an oasis… the thirst, the intense thirst is where she is at… waiting for the oasis, whether it is the real or the mirage… she doesn’t know, she just yearns for that moment of quenching her thirst with the cool water of a miracle standing on the hot sand under the blazing sun.

A bear came to her dream.
She reached, touched, and leaned herself on that surely grounding massive thing, which has four legs that can give her certainty, safety. On which there is a space that she can rest her body when she needs to. Reachable, touchable, possible, available, practical… well… she knows, still longing for enchantment, magic, and the moments that will sweep her feet off the ground and take her breath away. The shower, the oasis, the rainbow.

Hearts in spring

Bleeding hearts.
What an unusual name for a flower! K. sent me pictures of the bleeding hearts in her garden, red, pink, white ones, the droplet of petal hanging to each heart-shaped flower. They were beautiful and got their names right, I thought.

Thinking of hearts,
all hearts are bloody, full of blood, pumping it out to the veins, to the vessels far away in the body. That is what the heart is for, but the heart sits on the immense symbolic place, linking our brain to all kinds of emotions, especially to the painful ones… heartbroken, heart torn, heart ripped apart, which is impossible in the real body.

Even in the unbearably painful emotional distress or pain, the heart is intact and does its job. So the person, who might feel heartbroken, is alive and keeps living. I wonder if there is any joy or distress that a heart cannot hold, some emotions that the heart bursts open and sprays the blood all over. It seems that the body just does its work regardless of the mind’s crazy dancing, bumping, screaming, twisting, rolling all over giving out tantrums, until it finally calms down and listens to the heart, that certainty,  that regular beat playing the base of the music for one’s life.

A Lilac Tree and A Dog

62322666_2190545977661470_7870896340107001856_n

She already knows what she would bring to her new house. The house that she would live by herself all alone for the first time in her life. This new house reminds of her childhood home in some way. It has an enclosed garden with the walls. There is the red door to the garden from outside and the entrance to the house is a few steps up from the garden. It has two stories, which is different from her childhood house, fewer bedrooms, but it has a taste of her old house.

There are two things she remembers fondly about her house where she grew up.
One was a big lilac tree by her bedroom window. She had the largest room in her house when she was in high school that felt like a big multi-purpose room than a bedroom. Her desk was by the window facing South and a Japanese lilac tree having white purple flowers rooted by her window, drooping its mature healthy branches. When the flowers blossomed, the breezed in scent was fragrant and strong, almost hypnotizing. Something not belonging to the earth was in that volatile invisible particles. She sat a lot on her desk, studying and reading, that enchanting fragrance associated with her time when everything was quiet, landing into the serenity of the letters that she dipped herself in at that time. Maybe she was fully present there not belonging to the place she was at, drifting.

The other thing that she loved in those years was a brown dog she had about two or three years. He was one dumb mutt. The trainings never worked for him, but he loved people a lot, maybe too much. When he saw one of the family members coming home at any time of the day, he jumped up and down circling and dancing, sometimes he tripped on his own excitement greeting his family and sprang back up doing the same move all over again that made her laugh. He was often filthy because he rolled over his own poop during his exciting dance. Also, he collected many household items in his house and made holes in every milk cartoon delivered inside through under the gate of the house. He licked all the milk. All these made her mother very mad. That must be the reason that he disappeared suddenly when she got back home from school. The house would never be the same for her after that dog had gone. But she hadn’t said a word to anyone about it at that time.

One of the reasons that she chose this new house with a small garden with the walls is her dog. She isn’t a gardening type but her dog that she has now needs an outside space. The size of her dog is pretty much the same as the dog that she had in her childhood. This one has the same fluffy tail like a big bloom, just only white in color. She often thinks her old dog ran through many lives and came to her as this one. This dog is very clever and never trips on anything. He is cautious, smart, and somewhat reserved. But he follows her wherever she goes and looks at her every move, especially when she tries to eat something he likes.

What will she bring to the new house? Definitely not the painful memories.
She wants to take a long shower before the move to wash off all the things that she had carried like a heavy baggage from her young years to now and step out with the fresh naked self to mist her life at the new place with the perfume made with the hypnotic scent of all the flowers in the garden. She thinks that this house might be the last one in her life, so when she leaves this one, she wants to hold something tight in her chest, something beautiful, something precious, something just enough for her, in this life, as a whole.

<May 1st, 2019>

Moving on to Zone for Me

Does it matter? What on earth the cryofracturing technique? Who would understand? What would it contribute to the living? Is it more marvelous when my orchid shoot a flower stem out all of sudden after a year of dormancy? Walking outside my yard with a dog under the evening sky, I know that I don’t need much. I don’t need to know or be known much either. I just need more life around me, more people that I like to be with, more heartfelt moments… those will be enough… moving on… to my zone, zone for myself… wisely, slowly, sometimes in bold steps… taking in the stars, the sunshine, and the smell of spring rain. No SCI papers, no publications necessary in this zone at this time.

The Silence between Two Mirrors

 

The silence sinks deep to the bottom of the heart.

The silence makes the eyes close and breathes its way out.

The silence tousles the top of the hair as if it knows what is going on.

The silence awes the soul in the evening of the bright orange sky.

The silence of snowfall.

 

The silence seals the lips and hardens air.

The silence droops the shoulders and hunches the back.

The silence that voice cannot gather any word to let out.

The silent screams fossilized over the years that had to be taken out by surgery leaving a round scar around the neck.

The silence lost in silence.

 

The puffed-up silence whipped to be blown up.

The silence doing jumping jacks in the head.

The silence that can shout more truth at some moments than any words.

A moment of the silence in a large group of people, one impossible moment sometimes happens.

The silence after the last breath.

 

The silence veils the house and covers every window.

The silence shuts the door and stacks the wall up.

The silence seeps through every crack.

The silence not spoken but exposed.

The silence of the old dust.

 

The heavy, the light, the wet, the dry silences. The silence of a falling leaf and its farewell to life.

The silence leaned on when one doesn’t know what to say or where to look.

The silence substitutes many prayers when the knees hit the ground with the head dropped.

The silence as a weapon or as a shield, sometimes as a trench that can be crouched in.

The silence opens the space that people can land in.

 

The silence of the onlookers.

The silence of the audience.

The silence of the speaker.

The silence after a gasp.

The silence already full.

 

The silence for the silence, or the silence for something else.

The silence tossed among strangers.

The silence of infinite languages between lovers.

The silence weeps when the heart bleeds.

The silence and the night.

 

The silence stands by the trees when they grow.

The silence watches the pink petals of a flower bud opening.

The silence guards the dog’s night dream.

The silence of the midday sun.

The silence never reached.

 

The silence after a shock, a shot, a shock after a shot.

The silence of the phone.

The silence shared, or misunderstood.

The silence contracts the ribs tight.

The silence before one word is spoken.

 

The silence before the big bang.

The silence sweeps and heals.

The silence needs to be sung.

The silence dressed in many layers but still bare.

The silence stored and never opened.

 

The silence that peeks at the corner and puts an index finger in front of the lips.

The silence kept, or broken.

The silence hides a person like a bunny in the magician’s hat.

The noun and the verb of silence feel very different.

The silence transferred or transformed from one person’s eyes to the other.

 

The silence pairs with the silence.

The silent smile.

The silent tears.

The silent icy face.

The silence, reflected.

 

When the words became the skeleton

I put a stethoscope on her chest, I didn’t hear a beat, but a melody, a sad and beautiful one.

When I got back the X-ray of her chest later, I understood the reason that her heart didn’t drum but sings. It is surrounded by her ribs inscribed with the tiny words that she’d heard thousands of times over and over when her bone grew from the size of a toothpick to the girth of pencil… the lamenting words from her close ones, the ones whom she should have leaned on in her hard days but couldn’t… all overlaid with her lifetime effort to scratch out those sad rhymes with the heart-ringing beautiful notes that she has collected in her journey in this world, in this world.

Re-cOVERing

a cut a wound a snowfall

a fire a fireplace the glow

the hands the breaths one bed

memory missing heart the blinded eyes

an indoor flower pot a squirrel outside a death in between

a life a cycle a spring

 

a letter a postmark a despair

a text two fingers a draft

a song not sung but heard

a razor a cut blood dripping on a tile

a mirror no one water runs

a house a silence let her sleep

 

<February 27th, 2019>

MouthFull

The feeling of satisfactory fullness of spaghetti noodles one third overflowing over my mouth, the freshly cooked white rice stuffed greedily with the side dishes on the table, the big bite of a fat burger trying to hold everything between the buns, cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, meat, pickles, and the delicate maneuver of creating the chemistry of taste in the barely moving food inside the mouth.

I forgot this feeling after I became a pescatarian three years ago. The mystery of practicing yoga or aging, I don’t know which one contributed more, affected my eating habit somehow. I was a born meat eater. I really loved the fat ingrained hanger steak, heavily sauced deep-fried chicken wings, and the following course, the devilishly sweet dessert that swept the memory of the greasiness of main dish away. Then, one day after yoga, I was hungry and cooked hastily the good-looking skirt steak and ate the whole thing, and felt sick. I couldn’t get out of the bad experience for a week, started to refrain from meat, and felt better over time with my new pattern of diet. As my meat consumption strongly related to my sweet consumption, I ate fewer desserts, and somehow, I lost the taste that I was looking for before. They were not delicious anymore. Tasting meat when I cooked for my son became a little trouble for me. I became a thinker in front of a plate nibbling this and that, like the ladies I hadn’t liked before assuming them to be too picky. I became one. My taste bud transformed and I thought the carnivore world vanished over the horizon for me until now.

Adding a new physical activity 9 months ago changed my desire for certain foods once again. A couple of months ago, after my active class of Jeet Kune Do (JKD, the Bruce Lee’s Martial Art), I found my temptation to bite into the steak I prepared for my younger son. I didn’t, but certainly, something has shifted again. I am craving the feeling of the satisfying mouthful of food like a carnivore animal taking the first bite of its hunt. I found the ravenous desire for a full mouth in me somehow related to the vigorous activity in practicing attack and defense with men full of the artificially made wild animal energy ground. And I enjoy that. But my body seems to be confused with these two very different and similar activities. Very physical in both (for me, martial art training is less physical because I am at the beginner level). In yoga, the energy goes deep inside and radiate a little outward space by the inner energy expanding. In JKD, the energy directs outward to defend and protect myself with the skills deposited inside through the practice. I love both.

As much as I like making choices in food consumption based on the increase of my body awareness through yoga, I’d love to have a big bite of something, something really full that makes my mouth hardly move, the noodles, the steamy sticky rice, the deadly delicious burger, the hot dog with the well-grilled giant sausage inside, the chunk of soft meat flaked from the divinely cooked barbeque pork ribs with its greasy sweet and a little tangy sauce… Peter Luger, Katz’s Deli, Maggiano’s were the names that I had thought that I had left in my past but now have become my question for the future destination.

Maybe I’ll nibble, maybe I’ll show my face with two cheeks budging like a squirrel in the fall with a mouthful of life. Whatever it will be, fill the plate and see what happens!

<February 20th, 2019>

The Collective Crime

To be forgiven, there should be something done wrong in the first place.
A crime, a harm, a wrongdoing. Nothing comes up to my mind in particular in this matter. However, how about the collective wrongdoing, the collective crime, the collective harm. The morality of group tends to be very low due to the shared guilt. As the group gets larger, the shared guilt gets smaller and smaller, until the moral level becomes negligible. This bothers me a lot lately when I’ve seen the clips of video or the news of nature suffering by our wrongdoings. The dead whales stuffed with plastic, the fishes on the shore having vinyl bags in their bellies, the hungry polar bear migrating looking for food due to the melted iceberg… so I wonder, when I take out a plastic bag from a packaged box to wrap the leftover bread, I really wonder if we can stop this madness or will this go on until the suffering comes to our doorstep, knocking.

Last spring, a large mama turtle died on the small road to my house. She seemed to be circling the road to find the place where she had laid eggs before. But the place was gone. The large apartment complex development had cut a thousand of trees and had fenced the area to the way to a creek. She got hit by a car by an ignorant driver, probably one of the construction trucks, I was very upset to see her body and eggs spattered on the road. I was angry, but I didn’t know where to direct my anger, I didn’t know who to blame for the death of her, for her puzzled existence for the unexplainable loss of her habitat, for her desperation to find the place to give birth, give birth to life. The life killed by the unknown hands, had more than one individual involved, the enormous crowd hiding behind the development, the consumerism, the everyday convenience of taking plastic bag out to wrap the bread to eat for a few more days.

Definitely, I did something wrong. And I don’t know how I can make it right. I don’t know how to start, how to be forgiven. I want to say sorry to that mama turtle for my helplessness watching all the trees cut down and witnessing the small nature disrupted in front of my nose. I don’t know how to raise the collective moral of the people living on earth at this time of the world clock. I don’t know how to cut back myself to do anything that would harm nature when I pump the gas into my car. I don’t know how to stop wondering when I see fruits at a grocery store that traveled across the continent or countries are so cheap for their miles of the travel. I don’t know how to stop thinking about the disturbed minds over the images of the suffering nature that forget easily over their convenience of living. I often think that, when we beg the forgiveness from nature that we have messed up, bending our knees to the ground wouldn’t be enough. I often think that it is already too late to stop the wheel of the human vice on earth. It has rolled downhill at an incredible speed that is impossible to stop until it crashes at some point.

<March 13th, 2019>

A Name to Call

Did you look at me? That time, that space.

Life fades only in parts over time. The rest remains.
Sometimes, it gets more vivid and even emits new vibrancy under the old sun.

Who is that? Under the moonlight, under the stars, below the wind.
Nothing, or something, that thing knocks on my door with its silent whisper. I am intrigued to walk to the window and spellbound under the night, my mind goes all the way back or all the way forward, looking out, I might not be there.

The words, those striving signals embedded to transfer one’s deepest thought to another… almost fail without the help of some others. A smile, a sigh, a tear, a glance, a gasp… isn’t that enough before the word comes? When this happens, the words follow after stir the moment of oneness. They split the moment of one into halves, dozens, hundreds, and dissect those pieces again and again.

Did you look at me? You did. I looked at you.
The words weren’t necessary. But we talked. That’s what was expected, what we were supposed to do. Then, there were many signals, interpretations, misinterpretations… the barrier went up with these noises between two people. What was necessary? Nothing. Then, came the time of no word. No words possible, no words needed.

Who are you? What am I?
I love huge animals so much. What do you love? A little kitten?
You can hold a cup and put the kitten in, while I swim in the ocean with a giant blue whale. When the whale bellows, it sounds like an enormous horn blowing, I wonder if that is a word, if there is any meaning… or it is just an expression of the moment, like a relieving sigh or a joyful giggle.

A ship arrives. We can board it and sail out in open space. A black sea with sparkles… we are old souls, you know that? We are a million years old. You close your eyes, I do too. The ship fades, my memory fades, and I’m back. On my back on the floor looking at the ceiling. If tears run, let them be. Something beautiful in there, melting; flowing.

Whale jumps, cat jumps. Life flows, we stay.
Your little kitten got lost outside, my whale swam away to find its herd. You are left alone, and I am left alone in our own individual lands. The safe territory with boundaries.

If there is a name, let’s call it with it.
If there is no name, give it one. It’s unfair existing without any name. Life is already mean enough to one to live, to die, to have something in the heart that has no name to be called. But when one thing beyond expression touches the other in its mystery, it is magic to live in, dive in, to be lost in and land on.

<October 18th, 2018>

Opening

Something closed behind her.

She heard the sound, not the loud bang, but the slow closing of a heavy door. She didn’t look back. She didn’t look forward either.

She is standing, there, her eyes closed… finding the ground, feeling its solidity, its certainty. Her shoulders light, her wings folded neatly… even with her eyes closed, she can feel the ample light pouring into her eyelids from all the windows above, near up the high ceiling, which she can fly out when the moment comes; when the right moment comes.

A wet fingertip on a window pane

“Music is the ambition of certain parts to take over the whole,
to command everything, replace everything – An art of spasms, of marking time, of shivering and shaking, of catching of breath, of fluttering heart, of feigning energy without bound, of abysses, of limitless doubts, of vexations and heartbreaks,… yet an art of lies of echolalia, of idiotic mimicry, of thwarted and to its humiliation, utilised.

The ideal of music is not far removed from the unbearable omnipotence
of a wet fingertip on a window pane.

– from “Tabulae meae Tentationum”, Paul Valéry 1897-1899 –

 

After reading the notebooks from Paul Valéry, the sentences from the world-renowned writers got plain and lost taste.

between us

“Hey stranger, when will I call you my own
I know I don’t know you
But there’s somewhere I’ve seen you before
Whatever your name is
Whatever you do
This living between us
I’m willing to lose.

Just hold me, if ever our paths may collide
I want you to hold me under these darkening skies
Whoever you love now
Whoever you kiss
The ones in between us
I’m willing to miss.

There’s a comfort, comfort in things we believe
But I live in danger, wanting the things I can’t see
Wherever you live now
Wherever you walk
This distance between us
I’m willing to cross.”

– from the lyric “Between Us”, Peter Bradley Adams – 

 

whatever, whoever, wherever
willing to lose, miss. and cross
.

The black sun shines all the time in the writer’s mind.

“feed your senses.
choose the right name.
explore upsidedown.
certain expectations and belief systems, defy everything.”

The artist can intensify the beauty, the joy, the excitement of the moments in life. It is like watching a sunset at the peak of a grand mountain when the others watch it from a window in a house. Artists have the ability to deliver the sunset that they watched to the ordinary people who stayed in the house and make them grope the similar awe of the grandeur of the moment.
However, there is a price. This amplified sense detects everything around at a loud volume. Pain and sadness are felt acute, resonate deeper and longer in the artists’ mind. It makes everyday life harder for these sensitive souls.

Still, there is something amazing in this tragic destiny that artists cannot give up or trade. The internal transmitter of these souls can transform every corner of the earth to an incomparable beauty, even in its misery.

The black sun shines all the time in the artist’s mind. It is cold and dark in a thousand different beautiful shades.

The evening

darkening…

love to watch the sky becomes deeper blue and the earth solidifies into one color. It is 5 pm, a tiny corner of Northern Hemisphere. A negligible presence in time and space… but, still an existence, an existence that thinks and feels… angry, frustrated, despaired, hopeful, hopeless, wandering, stopping, looking up, looking down, looking back, looking forward, afraid of being lonely, impossible of putting up with a crowd, wanting to cuddle, pushing away, looking for something, turning back against everything, open palms, landing in silence, and taking in colors, lights, life.

a heavy tannin red wine.
what I want now… aired for an hour or so, tannin gripping my tongue with its full presence, that short-lived volatility, that, that I want. But I don’t have a patience. If I open a good wine (relatively expensive for my spending in my present financial), I just drink right away. I don’t have anyone who would open a bottle an hour ahead for me and wait. I was too used to a certain type of things… spoiled in that way. Grapes, cheese, olives that I didn’t participate in prep, white napkins, aerated wine in a decanter… delicate large wine glasses shaped to intensify the flavor to the most… extra thin for a sweet touch to the lips… the weird things remain in the memory. I repulsed each one of the people on those tables deep down, even though I didn’t know what I felt at those times.

the memories don’t remain in order.
I’ve never thought I could raise a dog, live in a country, take the trashcans out in dark. But when I take out the trashcan out, always happen after dark somehow, the fresh air stings my nose like a surprising scent of nature, looking up the sky with thousands of stars in the cold night, or the purply dome with cloudy darkness, I feel the total presence of me on earth in awe with a full heart… nothing matters, nothing matters at all, except me, being here. And if one other soul exists feeling the same way at a brief crossing moment of time, that would be enough, more than enough for me, in this life… in this life.

When an owl found a way home.

Dread is she, and with Ares she loves the deeds of war,
the sack of cities and the shouting and the battle.
I
t is she who saves the people as they go to war and come back.”

– Homeric Hymn, Greek epic C7th to 4th B.C. –

 

Winter got heavier as she drove up north.

Two dead bodies in the trunk.

Earth stiffened under her shovel.

Skulls whistled as a wind blew.

A song of tragedy hummed all along the way that night. And an owl found a way home.

 

A Simple Thing

I found only one glove, for the right hand.
When I walked my dog this morning, my left hand found a refuge in the pocket of my winter coat. What a comfort! My coat had a pocket! Then, something bothered the arch of my left foot. A small object was inside of my snow boot. The pokes made me limp a little when I walked. I thought of stopping to check that out, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to disturb my pup’s exhilarating morning exploration. I kept walking. After a while, the object in my boot moved to my heel and it felt a bit better. I didn’t have to limp. I was satisfied with the fact that I didn’t have to do anything to lessen my discomfort. At some point, when my dog indulged in an interesting spot, I stopped walking, took off my boot, and shook it upside down to remove the thing that bothered me. Then, we walked again. I felt the joy of being free of bothering object in my shoe.
A simple thing, an addition or a removal of it from life, gives a joy. Sometimes, it gives more joy than a long-aspired success, promotion, or achievement. Or I wonder, is it just me feeling that way. But it seems it doesn’t matter. If I feel that way, then, my universe should feel that way.

My universe… even if it doesn’t exist without me, I cannot understand it.
Why do I like some people? Sometimes, the opposite happens. I tried, I said. I really tried to like him or her, but I couldn’t. A simple thing, a small detail, or some unknown reason that I couldn’t figure out, made others repulsive to me. I should be grateful that there are still people who want to be close to me. I really tried! But I couldn’t bring myself to the place where my repulsion subsides in the presence of those people. Maybe chemicals, or hormones, or something other… My universe seems not needing my understanding at all… it has its own way of making the things up without my participation.

Up and down. Ups and downs. Melody and beats.
Blind me with your hands. My eyes don’t need to sense something, something that I want, something that I feel… I only need my ears and heart. Watch out, you might get hurt! A giant pit right before your step. Or a wall right before your nose. The socially conditioned mind talks. Don’t worry, I’m not moving, I’m just here, listening, with all my senses… just blow a gentle breeze with your breath, I’d listen, I’d feel, I’d drown into the delicacy of the moment, the flow, the waves… sweep me, wash me… the voice, the hands, my sense… leave it there, to the eternity.

Intangible, indescribable… can I prove their existences?
Sometimes, stronger than anything else I’ve experienced in my life. Physics, math, science, and proofs. Forget it! I don’t need more math to get the correct change at a coffee shop. If there is something that nothing can prove, nothing can describe, nothing can compare, that is surely in the realm of God, I’d use the expression, “divine”. Simple, divine. That is all I need in my universe. No need to understand, no need to explain… just a joy and beyond… I’ll close my eyes… with all my senses open. Then, my universe expands, to the beyond, to the realm of beyond human, or deeply human.

<November 12th, 2018>

A pond

Doubt eats everything… myself, my mind, my decision, my thinking… eats me to the bones. Sometimes, it eats my naively optimistic attitude blindly trusting the universe that everything would turn out just fine.

I hit a truck this afternoon at the parking lot. The red plastic cover of the brake light of my car fell off. My upset mind from this morning fell off with it. The upset mind… no real shape in the real world… Stimulus from the outside ripples the shallow mind as a small pond wrinkles by the wind. The winter freezes its face to the sky.  It would take only one warm day to melt its frosty face down erasing the memory of ice. What am I holding in that space? below under?

Inside, deeper down, the place that the wind or the outside temperature cannot sneak in. Some place where unshakable, unreachable… maybe a little star. And it lits. A golden glow sits there waiting for me to submerge, leaving all the floating doubts on the surface. “Underneath of all, everything is okay.” It says. “always.”

<October 8th, 2018>

Stacking

“Something unknown,
but enough.”

What is the sign? What is the meaning? What is the desire behind?
If a few stones are given, dogs would sniff them, cats would roll them with their paws, and human would stack them. She met some tall cairns along the creeks on the trail to Boynton Canyon in Sedona, Arizona. When she landed there, she couldn’t even open her right eye because it got infected so badly. But she didn’t cancel the trip. she couldn’t. She had to run away, run away from something, run away from the life she had built, run away from everything she was in at that time.

She used the word “a scramble” to describe to herself how landed there. She couldn’t figure what was where, in her. She felt like her heart was all over her body torn and scratched. She didn’t know where to start to put them back. Then, one by one, she picked up a part of her and put it back in the right place. One by one, each day. she deleted a thousand legs coming out of her belly not knowing where they should go just swinging their lengthened desires up in the air, leaving two strong legs supporting her torso upward. She cut off several heads that were looking all over the place, not knowing where to go, not knowing where to look, not knowing where to hide, leaving only one on her shoulders, so it could drop when it wanted to be low when life got hard. She collected the pieces of her heart dispersed all over her skin exposing the raw wounds and filled her empty chest with them, sheathing with a soft cover to give it some space to rest in there from the storm outside. It was her, pieced, striving to be a whole, choosing to live.

If she had several rocks, stones, in her hand, she would stack them as many ahead of her already did. She would put them one by one holding the solid certainty in her hand, feeling its strength of existence transmitted to her bone through her flesh. She would stack them deliberately, thinking of human striving to live, to hope, to wish for something, or nothing, putting desperation into the meaningless act of stacking to be found somewhere, sometime, by other human beings, without knowing what was in the mind of the person who stacked them but feeling solidarity of being human in the absurdity of stacking, building. Let those rocks stay in the right place to be in balance under the sun, under the moon, under the storm, from the top of the mountain to the cliff by the sea, notifying that there was a human passed this road once, once ahead of everyone else, transferring something unknown but enough.

Wishing Wall

When I encounter the word of knot or wish, it always brings me back to the house of Virgin Mary on the top of the hill in Kusadasi, Turkey. The endless knots on the boards left there, tied. There is a myth that a wish comes true if a person writes it down on a paper and ties a paper knot at Virgin Mary’s church and comes back to untie it. And that spectacle of the uncountable number of the tied knots made my heart drop, very sad…humans… their wishes… their hopes… stuck to the wall.

Kusadasi… if I can travel again by myself, I will go there. I’ll take my time being there among the mystery of Amazons and the remnants of Romans… the sun, the sea, and the kind locals… I put some money in the donation box in the church, but I didn’t tie a knot there. I felt it was useless… hoping, hoping for something… and I shocked to watch them but couldn’t turn my head away because there was something beautiful in there, the desperate longings being written down on a piece paper hoping for another visit to untie, to unravel their wishes.

I loved the olives and the anchovies when I was there. Some Spanish red wine would suit great. All coffee tasted terrible. But for a month, I will be fine without coffee.

A couple of years later after my trip, I saw the corpses on the beach of Kusadasi of Syrian refugees in the news. The boats they were fleeing turned over and the people on board drowned. Their bodies washed to the shore of the Mediterranean islands and beaches.  Hardships and tragedies rob beauty of something… somewhere… or sometimes, the beauty of the backdrop intensifies the feel of tragedy.

Still, Kusadasi is one of the two places I want to visit and stay for a while… I can drive to Ithaki, Greece or take a trip to Tipasa, Algeria. I was behind a big DSLR camera on my first trip there. I didn’t want to engage with people I was with at that time. So hiding behind the lens was a safe place for me … I had my wall, my wall up to my nose… what did I wish then? What do I wish now?
Maybe, I have a knot on the wishing wall which I don’t believe, an invisible knot that my heart wrote something down in secret that I didn’t even know at that time what it was… maybe, I need to untie that on that hill which I didn’t believe the stay of the Virgin Mary either… or… I just want to see one more time the absurd human wishes, tied, tied, tied… waiting for the release… in vain… under the sun, under the breeze from the ocean that has the indescribably beautiful color of blue.

<October 7th, 2018> 

Destiny

“A poem must be a holiday of Mind. It can be nothing else.

One discards its poverty, its weaknesses, its everydayness.
One organizes all the possibilities of language. 

The holiday over, nothing must remain. Ashes, trampled garlands.”

– Paul Valéry –

When I meet a shower, a lightning, a rainbow… and a vibrating poem… I know what it feels like… it doesn’t belong to the earth… feet off the ground… leave them there, just for a while, just for a little longer.

do it because you love it

why did I choose the words?
that impossible tool for the expression that I’m striving for,
I could have expressed better in many other ways…

but, somehow, I cannot turn my back against my love affair with the words…
the unconquerable beauty of possibility, infinity condensed into black and white, exhilarating imagination and inescapable sadness…

nothing can intrigue me more than this in this world, or another, if there is one.

Vas Hermeticus

“ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.”

– Dante – 

 

“Nothing to excess”

– inscription at Delphi –

 

“I would rather be whole than good.”

– Carl G. Jung –

 

My golden shadow having been cast upon … ,

I felt safe at a visceral level under trustful rays of the reflected golden glow…

two hawks, I heard a shriek,,,
feeling like I’m in a Bergman’s film, so much light in black and white, so much emotion in distilled action, so much transferred in silence… deep, condensed… so much power enough to break the frozen, terrified,,, what will follow? doesn’t matter… live as a whole to an extreme… abandon hope, just be.

<September 15th, 2018>

let there be the light… in the eyes of,,,


“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien –

The gorgeous crescent moon, in and out of the clouds… this evening.
Toward the night, it rains… maybe I can’t see the moon now.

When an artist explains about the light and I watch her painting processing, a genuine interest buds at the bottom of my heart, just a few colors from the artist’s hands are enough to satisfy my thirst for the daily dose of beauty… When she says how the early evening light saturated on her way driving up here and how she enjoyed that moment, I don’t feel alone standing on the solitary road chasing the last light in the sky and the deepening colors around… progressing to the night, the dark, the ultimate light.

<September 13th, 2018>

from one silent heart to another

“If you really want to express the truth, don’t say anything about it.
Just leave the gap.
… 
That’s the only way truth always being transferred
from one silent heart to another silent heart.” 

– Osho –

Don’t have to prove, don’t have to explain, don’t have to verbalize… leave the gap…
A blank paper is enough sometimes, for me, for all, for life.
Close the eyes, with the hands open… feeling the space, the breeze…  that’s enough, that’s all.

Standing on a tightrope

“this is how I got started on my present difficult career,
innocently stepping onto the tightrope upon which I move painfully forward, unsure of reaching the end. In other words, I became an artist, 

I felt infinite strengths within me; all I had to do was find a way to use them.
It was not poverty that got in my way: in Africa, the sun and the sea cost nothing.
The obstacle lay rather in prejudice and stupidity.”

– in Preface of “The Wrong  Side and The Right Side”, Albert Camus, 1958 –

 

I envy his sun and ocean… always.

A taste

“You tasted it. Isn’t that enough? …
That’s all we’re given in life, that’s all we’re given of life.
A taste. There is no more.”

– in “The Dying Animal”, Philip Roth –

 

He can’t stop there, just tasting… tasting the very life far more than he deserves to savor …every bit of it. The bastard cut off the very thing he worshiped to replace the anguish of longing with the pain of loss… the selfish animal, a coward, I’ll say.

look up

a life of a writer,,, the distance between the creation and the real world,,, too wide or too narrow? living on the words, by the words, through the words that I’ve written… or just those were the outpourings that could be, would be,,, then, turning my back on those and living as if those never exist or existed… the words… not forgotten, but ignored, betrayed… choosing between the intentional complete dissociation and the opiatic overlaps that sweep my feet off the ground of reality,,,

hands and knees, and my wings… crawling with the wings draped over my shoulder, damp and heavy… in too many ordinaries… don’t look down on the floor, dear.

<September 2nd, 2018>

why? I don’t know…

why I like a person instantly? I liked her.

She couldn’t do her job well, but she kept smiling and had a pleasant voice, even though she only knew a few English vocabularies. She dared to speak “beautiful” several times with her funny Chinese pronunciation, the word I avoid to speak because of my conscious shame in pronouncing certain English words imperfectly. She had a lean build but was not small. I don’t like small people, I feel like a giant when small people are around. However, I like people have a lean build. She tried to massage my body just squishing here and there, leaving finger marks on my bruise-prone skin. I just let her do what she did. Earning a living in the unfamiliar world that might be intimidating to her (or not, I didn’t know) must be hard enough. I had a tender feeling in my heart towards her for an unknown reason. And I liked her at that moment. I tipped more than enough and left. My legs were a little shaky going down the steep stairs. The stairs had led me an hour before to that sketchy massage place in San Francisco Chinatown. Probably I won’t see her again in my life, I won’t miss her or she won’t remember me, but I will soften when I think of her when my memory touches this time and space. I forgot to ask her name. The only things I know about her are that she came from China two years ago and had a husband and a 27 years old son.

People stare at me. I wore higher heel sandals on this trip. Not that crazy high but enough to make me taller than most of the women around and make my legs look longer. I didn’t bring many clothes, so I wear almost the same clothes every day. In addition to that, I packed the wrong clothes. The weather is much cooler than I expected, but I wear the same short pants without buying any new ones. And I really don’t care.

As I loved this city when I set my feet on this part of the land of North America for the first time in my early twenties, I still love this city. Not overwhelming… just enough of everything, vibrancy, courtesy, and charms… the ocean and the hills, trees, flowers, dogs, parks, the pier, sea lions, and their meaningless barks to claim their territory. Nob Hill and homeless then, Nob Hill and homeless now.

I love being here, but… this time, I won’t stay here because I have a home.
If I am a homeless as I was before, I must have stayed in this city… now, I will go back to the place that my being belongs to… the place where the weather gets often mean, the place where pain, sorrow, and joy plait, the place where I have my people who come and leave, sometimes leave beyond my reach breaking my heart, but still… I built a house, got a dog, and deposited memories there… so I’ll be always going back to the place that I feel now as, “home”, the place that had been lost to me for most of my life.
Maybe a wind rests there under the white fading moon, waiting… waiting for me… to blow, to tousle my hair… I’ll close my eyes… then.

<Auguest 16th, 2018>

Glass Jumble

molding,
need heat and suffering…

glass… heat… Phillip Glass, a pause between sounds is also music,
what’s broken?

haven’t written for a while…
heart becomes glass before it is shattered.

grieving, lost…
my pup gained weight again… heavy, dense, transparent or not, neither outside nor inside… borax… silica… SiO2hard to unlearn what was already learned.

need poison to make it thin and strong… cations of heavy metals, those gorgeous colors, chelating… terrified watching that fast absorption… those toxic beauties… Elemental Analysis… vials… chemically inert gloves but I had still doubted their protection, fans, and the sterile smell of death.

birds bang their heads right on the glass window, the wall of deception… what’s behind?
unreachables… break it to reach, blood required in the process.

most of wine glasses have been broken over time, I hate cleaning up broken glasses, Riedel… wine only tastes good in a fine glass, flutes, bubbles… I used to like it…
but now, if I open a bottle, half will be wasted.

dare, reach, break, bleed, reclaim…
drink half and throw away the rest.

<August 2nd, 2018>

How calm the hour is… do not go back to sleep

“Render enigma to enigma, enigma for enigma.
Lift what is mystery in yourself to what is mystery in itself.
There is something in you that is equal to what surpasses you.”

– Paul Valéry –

The things that I love torture my soul, but tremendous energy is in there. That is equal to me, surpasses me, and nullifies me.

Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter at all.

“…
If a person sits long enough in a cafe, the fear settles down and waits.
And the next day it’s already right there at the same table.


You don’t understand how your own heart beats inside you. Inside the hare beats the heart of the earth, that’s why we are Gypsies, because we understand that, sir,
that’s why we’re always on the run.”

– in “the fox was ever hunter” by Herta Müller –

I’m not the fan of the political novel, but her clean prose is just too beautiful and extraordinary to pass… like the poem… I have to read again and again, and again.

hopelessly hopeful unrealistic visceralists

img-72581.jpeg

“And the colors?

 

 


a shitty abstraction what’s left.”

 

 

“And then Norman said: it has nothing to do with the visceral realists, asshole, you haven’t understood a thing. And I said: well, what does it have to do with, then? And Norman, to my relief, stopped looking at me and concentrated on the road for a few minutes, and then he said: it has to do with life, with what we lose without knowing it, and what we can regain.

– in “The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolaño – 

It is my sickness that I am always drawn to the beauty of uncurable sadness… and I am almost jealous over their purposefully purposeless blind passion for life.

 

all the weird days on the calendar

vacant,
vacancy.
facing myself in the empty space
comforts me,
with its strangely familiar aloneness.

all the weird days on the calendar
I happened to be there.
he smiled a boy’s smile
I felt that it was his shadow, a playful little boy inside
but I didn’t reach out my hand, let him be there for a while.

a slow driver,
my son knows I’m speeding all the time
the right speed bores me, and I know I shouldn’t speed, but…
let the moon decide
the velocity… the car, the life, the night… it always comes back to the same place anyways.

dog sleeps,
his pink belly up and down
warm paws, soft breaths
may peace be with him
and also with the audience watching him.

when I was on the track,
everyone felt fast as if they would pass me unless I passed them, and I was the fast runner.
I stopped at one point, walked back
and sometimes I am upside down.
life, full of extraordinaries in the ordinaries.

<July 13th, 2018>

 

seeking my devil

seeking my devil…

the lived vs. the unlived
it is funny to read the devil backward… I’m trying to look into my devil, my unlived. I’m asking people around what evil they see in me… I want to know.

still… I guess I’m not ready to live the unlived… a little devil on my shoulder… whispering… do not go there… well… he is saying the opposite, is he my angel in disguise?…maybe,,, hard to imagine but anyway, still… the water is shallow, don’t dive in yet, you might crack your skull right there… my devil says.

Memento Mori

What a cool skull you have! The skeletons of the dead may meet and talk. How their bony bodies look beautiful without any flesh on them. They don’t have to worry about carbs and sugars, no treadmill needed.

My embedded bones under my skin, entails death since my birth. Pain and illness would be precursors. No one can be preapred for real dying, when it comes with a scythe in a black robe, or with a halo over long blonde hair in a white gown. Whatever it might be, the fact that it is in the realm of unknown leaves me in the dark, guessing wildly what that will be like.

I should caress my skull more often, or wear T-shirt with the grand skull design on the front print, to remember that death peeks at me from the bedroom door ajar and counts my every step. So I can savor each bite of morning bread, kind words received or given, floating over the waves of water, smell of fresh cut grass, warm hugs and sweet kisses, hot tears and broken limbs and heart, gaze down, and up, the moments that two sets of eyes met or looked away, first jump of kids, dogs, and fish, bike run and scraped knees, boiled hatred and fossils of anger, or sadness, one breath in, then out, those many times being a coward and shame after, a few times being brave shaking with all presence, those long strokes over my cheeks, over my heart, over my bare back, wind hung over the rooftop whirling up unsettling dreams, a quieting sound of the breath of a sleeping dog, the goodbyes that once lived close but now unreachable, being hungry, being ill, being in pain, not knowing what to do, not knowing what to say, sealing lips, closing the door, and opening again, letting in, letting out, letting go, closing eyes, opening hands, laughing together, sunshine, stars, the crescent moon, trippped by a life, collapsing at the corner, sipping the bitterness, embracing my shadow under light, standing up and moving my feet, to live.

I don’t know what’s next after this life, and there might be no next. No skeletons would joke about their dead days, just the remnant of remorse woes the unlived life in eternal nothingness, silencing their warning to the living, remember that you must die.

<May 31st, 2018>

live more, less evil

to do less evil,
live a little more

What is the opposite of “evil”? It is not “good”.
Read “evil” backwards. Yes, anything that kills or diminishes “live, liveliness, life” is evil, anti-life by Wilhelm Reich’s term.
Evil resides everywhere including inside you and me. So if we live more or let others live more, we do less evil.
Deep negative feeling is associated with this word. But always read backwards. And remember that we don’t have to be good not to be evil. Just live, a little more!

A pair

“I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then, there’s a pair of us – don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.”

– Emily Dickinson –

I was somebody in public,
I was nobody to me.

I am nobody to public now,
I am somebody in me.

a vacation,
I don’t know where to go.
for nobody, every day is vacation
at the same place.

I lost my mother,
not outside, but inside
instead I took all mothers as my mother,
the collective motherness, I honor it.

blindfold,
I want one.
cover my eyes, I will listen to your voice, with all my senses
like a hungry dog gobbling down his kibbles.

love,
don’t tell me, I don’t believe that, or I don’t trust.
I will take kindness.
sometimes, that’s all I need, really.

who are you?
what am I?
sit down, it’s okay.
lost, unknown, I can feel your breath on my forehead.

stretch time with our hands,
stepping and treading around the land our feet are,
build a castle with a hundred windows,
the sunlight, the moon would reach to our fingertips.

air thins,
breath quiets,
sleep, in each other’s arms, it will do.
It will do.

<May 23rd, 2018>

Almost a fairy tale

“What took you so long?” She asked.
He looked at her with the eyes saying that he had no clue what she was talking about.
She stared back at him without blinking. Then, she lowered her gaze and said.
“I know. You always take time.”
When she looked up him again, he was already the past. She mumbled to herself. See? What happens when you take too much time. 

When I stop thinking about choosing the better, there is no worse choice in life…

one door closes, other doors open

letting go practice this week… as I look back, the whole thing happened to me in this life is uncanny… I don’t know how I get here, this specific place in my life.

As I’ve started to swim on my side of the ocean since this March, I feel some power lifting me up from the bottom. There is a force behind me, like the wave when I surf… a little fear rises up… but don’t give up riding… just let it happen, happen for me in the way it is meant to happen… splash my feet in water… waiting…

A River

River looked at me, asked
What is your sorrow?
I looked at river, asked back
What is yours?

Breeze tousled my hair, said
Never mind, darling, never mind.
Blue birds jumped up to the sky, yelled
Don’t ask tears why it is sad.

River whispered in my ears,
Do not stay here, woman, go far, far away.
Water mumbled a few more words
Sounds washed away indistinctive gurgles.

I looked at river, asked again.
What is your story of never-ending tears?
River swayed its head and gestured to me to come closer,
Hawk shrieked dashing up to the midday sun.

When I leaned my body towards to listen,
Tall willow on the river bank shook its long head, exclaimed
Don’t go close to sorrow, woman, go far, far away.
But I already dipped my heart in the stream.

Wind blew hard, swept my feet up from the ground.
I landed somewhere far, far away.
Everything was quiet and still, nothing flowing, nothing moving,
Only water in my mind flew with sorrow, and I became a river, there.

 

<April 24th, 2018>

 

Don’t go back to sleep

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”

– Rumi –

When the words ring with a heavy weight in your heart and tears rise up, you know what you have to do… the door is open, don’t go back to sleep.

April, April

“April is your month.”

She just saw a crow flying backward. The wind is strong. The sky is clear, she dropped the mails and the papers rolled ten yards away instantly. She had to run to retrieve them.

Opening her right palm to catch the spring rays while she is driving. Her left hand on the wheel, her right fingers greedily wide to hold more sunshine in her grasp. She knows. No avail. She can’t catch them. But this feels good. A ball of brightness rolling inside of her hand.

Wind is anxious today. Because nobody notices it unless it frantically moves around to shake things. “I’m here! I’m here!” shouting only through the things it shakes. The miserable being, the sad destiny. If it doesn’t move, it loses its existence in our sight. Somewhat like us in our modern time.

A small stream around her dog-walking path gurgles again. It swallowed all melted snow and must be very happy. She feels its exhilaration. Flowing and singing. It just needs some audience for its song and dance.

April had been the worst month for her, since her older brother unknown to her died in that month. She expected the dread even before the month started. Pain and sorrow under the shadow of the full life rejuvenation. However, this year is different. Her mind shifted over the years and she decided to claim this April under her own terms. She won’t accept the skeletons that her society, her culture, and her past have built for her. She won’t howl like the wind demanding the recognition of its pain and sorrow, the validation of existence. She will be gentle, or sometimes fierce, in creating the art, the art of living, now and here. She will be the creator and the creation of her only life, the harvester of sunshine of the moments. Her gathered hands over her heart… cherishing… cherishing the presence, the present, the light, and the warmth.

<April 11th, 2018>

Convalescence

Convalescence… it’s sweet time when life comes back. The things around me exude a vibrancy that I’ve never recognized before. Senses become alive. As an infant finds the smell of the world, my nose seeks the new wonder of scents, eyes for sights, and the fingers stretch out to touch.
The citrus fruit water my mouth with their tangy freshness, the texture of bread hugs my tongue with its soft warmth, the air surges into my skull when I step out of the door. Wonder whispers at every moment. Anything with a beating heart comes with new meaning to me just by their existence.
Another chance of discovering life. I say my gratitude to the unknown, the unknown force beyond my ability and understanding, the force behind the sprouting vigor after a violent sickness or a long illness.

The cyclamen flower on my desk blooms throughout the year. The pink petals take turns in the blooming process. None of the petals is the same. The presence of the one now includes the withered, the one which once existed. One after another, they made the blooming of my room for the whole winter… for the year… opening the delicate wings purposefully, contributing the wholeness of blooming, even after they are long gone, their lives exist in blossom, now and ever.
This thought consoles me when my brain reaches the time when convalescence would not be possible for me. “Would you look for my presence in the place I’ve been when I’m gone?”

Stars

I don’t know the names… but I love them. Every one of them.
When I look up, I become the center of all. Everything expands from me to the world.

Darkness, which makes light be seen.
Darkness, which makes light be worthy.

Stars are there always. But it is night that makes them lit.
And when they lit, I’m lost in the universe, lost in crystalline beauty…. for a moment, in eternity.

dive in

context, that’s what I love about… in everything.

So just doing something for the seemingly obvious pleasure doesn’t give me joy. I need more. It should happen in some context… maybe that is why I can’t stay in the system… I need waves, sudden summer showers, thunders, lightnings, rainbow, many rainbows, sounds, colors, sky, holding breath, wonder, ponder, surrender, dive in… the story that I can tell to myself again and again, finding a little tremor in some part in me.

Wait, my feet are up to the sky… give me sometime to turn over… then we can go from there

dreams, fantasy… an upside down turtle… step back a little…
let time sit and ponder… until the turtle turns over its body and move forward… groping the ground with its sturdy four legs… slow but trustworthy when it moves, as if it is so sure that his step lands on the ground… trusting the earth… the next step… from this one…

Call me by your name

“call me by your name,
I’ll call you by mine.”

secrecy… forbidden… what colors the things… brighter… seductive… makes the one to desire… to… touch… hold… indulge… more… and more… and more… then… pay the price… with bitterness… broken… inside… when the world goes on… around… round and round… what can you say… the sweetness lies in the unspeakable… unsharable…. with others… you already knew from the beginning… it was the choice… after all… swallow the sorrow… in silence.

Joy

I think this will be okay. I feel some sense of safety, stability. Even when the things seem alien and the ground feels crumbling, there are these things I can hold on to. Small joys of human connections and sharing, cannot be counted by the materialistic measure, contributing to the oneness of being or beings. I know this feeling is temporary, but it also can be eternal by repetition. So en + joy.

People are people, will be; changing, judging, competing, complaining, disgracing… but momentarily, they can be understanding, caring, attentive, loving, and warm. Just take it, don’t doubt, and move on… one joyful moment, then another. And trust… the goodness… surely it exists, building the collective sum of moments… heartfelt moments…. it’s there…  and savor the delight.

Book a Trip

I booked many trips in my past years. Short, long, so many places… countless trips and itineraries. I mostly booked the trips with family or for family… a few for my past job.

Now I want to book a trip of my own. No specific purpose or reason for the trip. Just the urge to experience some familiar freshness that travel brings to the soul. A companion would be nice. Someone I can share thoughts and feelings, or just for physical comfort for being together. But if there is no one who can satisfy my requirements for my companion, just going by myself would be fine.

I want to walk an aimless walk. Roaming around the cobblestons on the narrow windy back streets in some European country. Duomo in Firenze. No camera necessary, no phone calls, no texts. Wandering around life; hearing the stories of the dead who lived before, who walked there some years before or a few thousands ago. I will add the rings of my footsteps to those for the future wanderers to listen. Ah, human dies and is born again. Again and again. In that continuous flow, I stand, or float like a little leaf on the water. Existence, sometimes feels too small, trivial, even though the weight is too heavy for each individual to carry on one’s own back.

Sunshine… bright with no reason. Rain, sweeps the road and wets my feet without any animosity. But I swear. Damn! Rain! And the gray sky! The grayness so dull, so close. And snow covers everything in its white magic. The cold blanket of the earth disguising coziness. The deception. Go inside… lady. You will get a cold… an old man will say to me in Dublin in a winter storm. Snow will whirl like a mad woman’s long silver hair in the wind. I will stand there, shivering. Shivering with all my existence; alive.

Destination? Doesn’t matter. What I need is a place that I can book for myself and lay my feet to join the troops of the people, who are restless, who lost their place in the system, in their own home.

<February 7th, 2018>

Infatuation

Infatuation… I lost it. And I’m sorry that I lost it.
I loved the feeling when I was infatuated. Not always happy or fun. Sometimes, achy and bitter. But some magical feeling in there. Beyond reason, beyond control. I don’t know how, but I lost it. And I miss it.

It will come again. I know it for sure. Not always fun or happy. Sometimes, bitter and achy. But I’ll love it. Like a magic.

 

All colors surround​ you

I’m not a colorful person. My color is mostly grey with varying shades, from dark grey to pure white. The brightest of me at most would be the pale blue, like the winter sky in the Northeast countryside in the US.

But I’m good at noticing the colors in other people. When I  let them know their brightness, a smile arises across their faces like the first bloom of spring. The physical appearance of the person doesn’t matter when this happens. Their colors shine and imbue to my soul brightening up my day.

I remembered when I did a Tarot reading on Thayer St. at Brown Universtiy to kill time. The Tarot lady said, “All colors surround you.” It didn’t resonate with me at that time. Now I get it. I’m not colorful, but all colors surround me, really.

I won’t pray, I’ll surf!

The sun goes down early. The darkness envelopes the town fast.
Nowadays, I feel like I’m living half awake and half in dream or somewhere else.

I’m agnostic. And I have this uncomfortable feeling about the word, prayer. Especially like today; when someone close died and I had to send a message to the family, the word bothered me a lot. So whenever I am supposed to use the word, I replace it with something else. And when someone writes and says about sending prayers for me or praying for me, I have a vague resentful feeling forming inside my gut. It is a spontaneous reaction of mine. No thinking involved. I know the reason why. I dread that the time might come to make me kneel on my knees and cite prayers in desperation. I’m afraid… I’m afraid the situation in my life might happen in the way that bending my knees is the only option for the moment. I’ll be terrified, if I should.

A week ago, I  learned surfing for the first time. I learned how to wait for the wave. How to watch, paddle, sit and stand. I fell many times to the water and the wave ran over my head. But it didn’t feel bad. When the wave pushed my surfboard from behind, I felt like God’s hand pushing me forward. Then, I grabbed the rail of the board and sat. And stood for a brief moment. Then, fell into the water, swam, found my board, climbed up, paddled back to the spot where the waves were coming, and waited for another ride.

It was hard and tiring. But I wasn’t afraid. I was thrilled. I didn’t think this or that. I didn’t think what I should do or not. I didn’t anticipate anything but looking back for the big waves to come and push me to the top of the waves. Feeling the moment; the moment of purely being myself on the board riding the waves for a few seconds.

I’m a complete beginner in surfing. I can’t do without the help of the instructor. But I guess I don’t have to think about the moment that I kneel down for the prayers in my life anymore. When the life’s waves come, I’ll pay attention to the wave, paddle as fast as I can, grab the rail, sit, and stand. Then, fall, swim, get back up on the board, and ride again.

Maui

“What are you? Are you Maui?”

He put his right foot on the top of her board and paddled back near to the shore saving her from drifting far out to the sea.

Maui is a demigod whose name should probably be pronounced Ma-u-i, i. e., Ma-oo-e. The meaning of the word is by no means clear. It may mean “to live,” “to subsist.” It may refer to beauty and strength, or it may have the idea of “the left hand” or “turning aside.”

Sometimes life can happen wonderfully beautiful beyond my projection, intention, and imagination.

premonition? intuition? or intention?

anyway, it happens… often… but not the way I projected… my imagination fails every time … always the reality happens beyond the reach of my brain capacity.

sometimes, the reality unfolds in a mystic way and I hold my breath struck by the wonder… life can be beautiful.

So what/////?…

“What makes me feel calm”,
hot tea
hot coffee
hot water with honey and milk
oversized sweater
the sound of water flowing
a dog sleeping
watching outside through the window
cozy socks
thinking about the moments that I felt warm by someone or something
Shivasana after yoga
doing a make-up leisurely
a walk with my dog
hand cream
eating a bowl of plain yogurt and whole milk mixed with lots of nuts and dried berries in bed
round grey pebbles
my perfume
some words

do these matter?
really?
I want something else than calmness, E.
the excitement, the explosion /////////////////////////////
of joy; the life.

 

After that Shamanistic​ drum night

I lost one writing in an uncanny way. Even the trash can is empty. No trace was left on my computer. But I feel better that way. Finally, I’m moving on. Just let that go whatever I wrote in that file. Still, I need the clarity in defining my relationship with the people around and the world around. The world I create through my attitude and choices would be the only world I would experience in my life. So be mindful. And still accepting the surprises from the other human beings by colliding one another, in a gentle and kind manner. Let it be easy but sophisticated. Open the hearts but respect spaces between. Well… what am I talking? Maybe I’m dreaming about my version of heaven. Whatever… I will get a kiss on my forehead from the person I really care about. Then, I will float up in the air among the fluffy clouds. Smiling.

Defining hope

“the gaze towards up at the rock bottom,
the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat,
 and the wish for the light in the complete darkness.”

 

Hope, I didn’t like the word. I found that the notion of hope was deceptive. A false belief that things get better somehow and someday, but in most cases they never would. That was one of the reasons I didn’t like my name, which meant trusting in hope.

When saying “hope”, I wanted something tangible. Not the abstraction of an idea, not the sweet mental candy for a desperate soul, not the self-assuring mantra in an unbearably painful situation. Because the word “hope” is only useful in those times. In other times, we don’t speak of it. We speak of shoes, weather, and grocery lists.

Tonight, I saw the movie “Defining Hope”. I was interested in that premiere but didn’t intend to go. I could guess what the movie was about from the preview. But somehow, something got canceled and the movie kept bothering my mind. I drove to the theater ten minutes before the movie started in the dark rain.

The movie was about lives at the verge of death. Hospice, ending life with some dignity. Pretty much what I expected, but I still cried. Tears ran through my cheeks even though the scenes and the stories didn’t poke the emotions sharply. I was relieved that I was entitled to cry in this setting, in the theater talking about death, and hope. Hope that betrays life in every way but still there, not promising or changing anything but still there. Whenever desperation comes at the corner, hope walks along and sits by our side, when we bury our head in our arms, or our face in our hands, sobbing.

I left the theater only the half an hour passed. I couldn’t take the needles, the oxygen tanks, the sterile walls, the depleting lives. And trusting in hope. Words come easily, but reality doesn’t. One patient said that now she enjoyed every moment of her life; the birds, the wings, and the trees through the window. Next day she cried in despair by the losses; the loss that she had before, the loss of what she didn’t do and can’t do. What can console her? Nothing. Even hope retreated in silence that time.

I remember the time in my life asking ten more years of living, so I could see my sons growing and they could be ready when I left them. And I have over lived beyond that time. My sons are not still ready for my death. They never will be. It is how it is. But I am grateful that I can find my time that I can live some of mine.

My current feeling about hope is neutral. I don’t mind its deceptive quality for people in desperation anymore. Sometimes, we need to hang onto something. Even though it might be the rope of rotten lie and we know the truth in our deep-down instinct, the soul needs a tightrope of faith that connects us from now to the time to come, continuously balancing our shaking bodies looking over the other side at the pitch-black night.

Hope goes side by side with despair. But hope is the gaze towards up at the rock bottom. It is the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat. It is the wish for the light in the complete darkness. How can I blame it? Hope. I don’t wish for it, but it will be there with me at dark nights under the shadow of the mortality. After all, it is one of the best creations of the absurd human being, to live, and to wish to live. In the end, I guess it is okay to cry; to cry for hope.

<November 1st, 2017>

Excavation

attractiveness

veil, curiosity

The modern value encourages the full openness in the relationship. Yes, that may be right. But what about the thrill in uncovering the veils of human personality and secrets one by one. What attractiveness is left when you see a naked human soul in every relationship. Isn’t that attraction closely related to the curiosity about what’s under, what’s inside of that person’s smile, indifference, gaze, or looking away? Doesn’t it make the heart bother or wonder, suffer or pound?

Excavation; dig a bit then retreat. Rest, ponder, check the site, find the clue, analyze the trace. It must be hard enough that sometimes the mind wants to give up. But it is all about this, finding the treasure. And the true treasure itself is the process finding it.

 

The pain scale

“Let’s take off that cape, and put this hat on! And dance!”

 

“I know it hurts.”

A nurse said when she put the needle into my arm. I loved the words. I felt like that she understood it. My hurt. My pain. Not the pain caused by the blood draw but the one I had deposited layers by layers for years.

Between wound and scar, there is the pain. I wish there is a pain scale of mind that can show the inside hurt level. I would put that like a silk hat on the top of my head. And so,  if people see the number of the hat, they would say. “Oh, my dear. How hurt you are!”  As if they see a wound on the knee from the fall or something. I would love that. It would relieve some of my pain until my inner wound becomes a scar that I can be proud later or a pattern I can grope with memory. But there is no magic hat that shows the pain scale of the inner hurt.

Instead, there is a cape, which can wrap the hurt of the heart not to show to anyone. The fabric is thick and heavy. Putting on that cape makes my neck and shoulders ache. It absorbs the fresh blood from the wound of my heart and leaves the big round dark spots on the surface. As the cape gets heavier, I drag it along with the trail of the dark blood looking like depression. It would make my mind trip more and impose the higher number of my pain scale inside. It is the trick of the cape that keeps the number always high and makes itself useful.

 

Take off that coat and sit down…

I tried, but I couldn’t mend my soul.

If you want to break it, break it sweetly, break it slowly.

 

Hypocrisy might be my other name.

I should get real; be ready.

 

How?

 

Take off that coat and sit down…

I am sorry.

 

If you want to break it, break it slowly, break it sweetly.

I will swallow the sorrow when winter comes; when snow falls.

 

 

My stone… slipped

Picking up a stone and putting it into my pocket.

No purpose, no use. But there is an action. Picking up and putting it in; for an uncanny reason. It is like being attached to a person. There is no reason, no purpose. It just happens like picking up a stone on the road. Then, the attachment begins in my pocket. When I think about it, when I touch it, when I hold it in my palm. It becomes my stone, my gem.

When I lose it, my heart will break. And I will miss it. I can’t believe there will be another stone on the road that will catch my attention. Never again, Never. Until I find one.

Exhale. Trust. There will be another. The wonder of life will unfold in the most mysterious way that I can hardly project. The morning will come that I’ve been never sure if it will. I will be still alive; breathing; trusting.

Trusting the next breath coming in, trusting there will be another.
Another. The other. Then, another.

<October 11th, 2017>

Putting the dawn to sleep

 

“Putting the dawn to sleep.”

I misheard what he said. Until I looked up the title of the song, I thought that was the title. And I loved the title I mistook. I would very much like to put the dawn to sleep. Holding off the rising sun. Inviting the dreams back.

But I found that I loved the actual song with the correct title more than any other song in the world. It sang to me. Me, a dog with a broken leg. The correct title was

“Putting the dog to sleep.”

Just introducing that song to me did make my day, my year, or several years. That was the song which I would like to hear when I die. And until I die. Over and over. And over and over. And over and over.

All the lyrics go like this.

Prove to me
I’m not gonna die alone
Put your arm’ round my collar bone
And open the door

Don’t lie to me
If you’re putting the dog to sleep
That pet you just couldn’t keep
And couldn’t afford

Well, prove to me
I’m not gonna die alone
Unstitch that shit I’ve sewn
To close up the hole, that tore through my skin

Well my trust in you
Is a dog with a broken leg
Tendons too torn to beg
For you let me back in

You said I can’t prove to you
You’re not gonna die alone
But trust me take you home
To clean up that blood all over your paws

You can’t keep running out
Kicking yourself off the bed
Kicking yourself in the head
Because you’re kicking me too

Put your trust in me
I’m not gonna die alone
Put your trust in me
I’m not gonna die alone
I don’t think so

So, after I put my dawn to sleep, I will go back to this music as I see each line of the lyric inscribed in the back of my eyelids, in my bed, wherever, whenever; and forever… feeling my heart squeezed with warm hands.

<October 3rd, 2017, written upon the spark “the inscription of the bedroom ceiling”>