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>

A Lilac Tree and A Dog

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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>

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.