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.>

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>

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>

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>

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>

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>

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>

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 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> 

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>

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>

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.

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>

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”> 

Memory is a tool in carving a transitory beauty of life

People say that the first memory is important to interpret a person. Her first memory was a huge bolt of lightning hitting mountain top in the summer night sky. She must have been around 3 or 4. She still remembers seeing the diverging electric beast in the pitch-black background. She didn’t feel fear. It was awe she felt.

Life carries strange things around. Strange memories, strange feelings. The sky is always her thing. Her eyes lit up whenever the sky changes its color. Especially as the last strand of the sunlight fleets to the West. Her eyes are soaked with the splendid color of the dying day. Time feels closer.

She used to carry a big DSLR camera with a tripod to catch the beauty of the sky. People loved the photos she shot. She knew how to intensify certain hues using exposure and filters. But she never got the image she wanted to capture. So, she picked up brushes to paint it. She did several oil paintings and some of them came out satisfactorily. She hung them in the front foyer and her bedroom. She loves to see her sky when she goes to sleep. Somehow, those passions faded with time. She found that grabbing the beauty with those tools was in vain. She accepted the transitory nature of the sky under the setting sun and just watched each day’s magic of colors with some sorrow.

As the possessive pursuit for the sky diminished, another light flew in. This light dissolves into her skin and makes her eyes close. The music. She loves sad tunes and sad voices. Listening to them is like holding a flickering candle inside of her chest when the gushing wind blows. Maybe this kind of beauty only can be felt with an aching heart. Maybe that is the deal.
At certain times, when her life’s events make her too weak to hold the flame in the wind, she gives up the beauty of dying light because it is too painful to listen to. When her heart regains some strength, she goes back to her playlist to listen to those songs again and again for several days until her heart becomes soft and tender.

In recent years, a miracle came to her. A pure miracle because there was every possibility that she might never have gotten this miracle in her lifetime. The beauties of the sky and the music escalate under the aura of this beast.
But as the evening sky, she knows she cannot grab or hold this one. She just contemplates it as she sees the dusk with an aching heart, carving the beauty of her miracle’s presence like the huge lightning bolt of her first memory.

<June 7th, 2017>

Puddles

–  dip a bit –

My feeling about my superiority to the other immoral beings has carried on for a long time after that experience. But now, I wonder that what is the right way of living. I wonder if they are the real ones who got more in life, voraciously sucking their life and getting the most out of it. I wonder if I’ve taken less, felt less, and lived less under the name of my moral standard. I wonder if I am on the loser side of the planet under the disguise of a noble mask because I easily give up my fingers holding one side of the dollar bill with my trademark despise towards the greedy people. I think a lot nowadays that she was the one who got full of the scented erasers in life even she stole them. All I got was the empty pride that I felt morally higher than her. What for?

– in “The Scented Eraser” –

 

We were all looking for something. Some were desperate. Some were just curious. But we were here for a reason. Each one of us had our stories, each one of us had our pain and fear, each one of us had our broken parts, and each one of us had our hope for hope. We supported one another as best as we could with whole hearts and honest minds. Emotions and energies boiled over in every session. Rages and grudges of each one of them exploded and covered the others like hot ashes. We yelled, cried, jumped, danced, hit things, gave out tantrums, laughed, cried again, closed our eyes, opened them, looked at each other as if we looked into a person’s eyes for the first time in our lives, wrote, listened, talked, acted, hugged, whispered, gave hands to support, accepted the others’ hands to be supported, and held one another like one giant melting rock.

– in “Dots” –

 

When they walk to the garden, the wind sweeps their bodies. It blows away the things spoken and leaves behind the things unspoken.

– in “Decoding”-

A Blue Heart

image2She loves blue; from pale pastel blue like almost pure white to indigo blue like the sky right before the dark. She loves serenity, melancholy, and sincerity of the color. She loves blue jay, blue topaz, blue sky, blue eyes, blue water, the blues, and the things coming out of blue. But she hates some blues though, especially artificial blues; blue roses, blue soda, alien’s blue blood, and blue blank screens in TV or computer. She buys blue stuff; a blue jewel Bluetooth speaker, a watch with blue straps, a blue character key chain, blue suede loafers, blue pens and blue leads for her sharp pencil, and blue post-its. But she knows the blue doesn’t suit her skin even she wants to wear pretty blues badly, the only clothes she got in blue is a sky blue cotton shirt. She loves that shirt very much. And finally, she has a blue heart.

Hearts should be red, or at least pink, but somehow, her heart is pictured as blue in her mind all the time. She bought a small blue heart paperweight made out of recycled glass. Sometimes, she holds it in her hand to warm it up because its coldness feels very sad to her. Her heart is blue not because it is dead or frozen, but because it is bruised. Beaten again and again for a long time. And beaten again before it restores its original color. The blue color of her heart makes her sad, and then, the sadness she feels beats her heart back. Now she can’t distinguish which was the first, the blue heart or her sadness. The two circle on and on with the added force of her life’s events and the others’ lives events because the heart absorbs up the pain of others as well with its soft tissue.

She recognizes people who have a blue heart. The color seeps out of their existences in one way or another. She notices the sadness of the sound vibrating through the strings of viola when R. O. plays. She knows that his heart was born blue. And that blue makes his music different from others, sad and beautiful. She looks at the wolf dog’s eyes who couldn’t belong to any place and notices his lonely heart through his elegant gaze. She can hear Oscar’s scream shattering glasses in Tin Drum and is sad for his beaten up heart. She ached when her friend lost her loving husband for whom she bravely and painfully left her earlier marriage. Whenever she encounters the people with a blue heart, in real life or fictional worlds, she has an urge to hold them tight until they get warm as her glass paperweight blue heart does in her palm.

She knows that the blue heart doesn’t necessarily mean less warm or less active. It moves so frantically that it is difficult to keep it in her chest quiet. It is hot as the blue flame of a candle light is the hottest part. She doesn’t want to close her heart to avoid the life’s beating. The hurt is painful, but the magnificent things come along with it. Beaten, bruised. It is okay as long as it moves. Now she thinks that she chose the blue one instead of the red because she loves blue; from pale blue like almost pure white to dark blue like a bruised heart.

<March 15th, 2017>

Him

I took the hand of a man I mistook for my dad. I walked half a block beside him. My top of the head was about at his waistline, and my small hand disappeared in his large hand. A wrong feeling crawled over me and looked up, and he wasn’t my dad. A stranger who had similar clothes. Instantly, I was terrified and frantically looked around. My dad was just a little behind, grinning at me who hopped a few steps ahead and took the hand of a wrong man. I was embarrassed for the brief horror that I had thought I had lost my father. How could he lose me? I knew it couldn’t happen. Even though I was six years old at that time, I knew it. But as I grew, I did start to lose him. My indifference toward my father grew from that of a little girl as I became a woman.

If I think back over my childhood, I always remember my dad associated with some sort of sounds, even though he didn’t talk much. To amuse his little daughter, he used to pick up a thick leaf of a garden plant, roll it up, put it between his lips, and make sounds like a simple song. He played harmonica in the leisurely evenings, sitting on a big rock or a step. I saw his head and shoulders swaying with the rhythm he was playing through the garden door from our living room. He played many many songs I didn’t know and still don’t know. But I can hear those melodies if I recall those times as warm moist hands stroked my cheeks. I found that the tune of the harmonica made the soul tender, which I often resisted at that time, and thought the instrument suited only for a soldier in the lone nights at an army base.

As a child, I had lots of free time. I used to look through the album jackets of his LP music collection. They always looked funny and outdated to me. The women singers’ faces were flat and white, and their clothes looked cheesy. But I lay down on my belly and looked through them one by one, again and again, like peeking at something for grown-ups. Sometimes, my dad asked me to put an LP disc on the turntable. Whenever I put the needle on the silky black vinyl track, it made a loud noise like zipping a rusty zipper of a giant. But rarely, when I managed to land the needle barely making any noise, I was very proud of myself.

He also played the piano. My brother and I hurled to the piano lesson for years, but the person who truly enjoyed playing was my dad. He never told us how he learned to play. But he played well any music. It was unusual that a man played the piano who grew up with the Korean War and had such a serious job. He must have been the first man who worked to support the family in his bloodline for a few thousand years. Before the Japanese colonization, the aristocrat class didn’t have to work. All they did was studying, reading, writing, discussing with contemporaries for the intellectual stimulation, hunting, enjoying music and art, and hustling around among several wives depending on their status and wealth. What they only worked was keeping their position through politics. But when the history shifted fast in the early 1900s, the old value became not valid, and the poor living condition hauled the incompetent men to the competitive work market to feed themselves and their family. In this transitional period, my grandfather’s parents were still wealthy and revered. So my grandfather was sent to Tokyo to study new things and culture. But what he did was took a second wife, a Japanese woman, and enjoyed living as his ancestors. My grandmother, maybe in her early 20s, took the ship to Japan and dragged her husband to Korea. That was how my dad and I could exist in this world.

The Korean War made everyone miserable, and my grandfather wasn’t a man who could feed the family. It was my father, the second son, who took care of his family from an early age. I heard he was a genius at school. He memorized everything even he didn’t make any note and had to work after school since ten or so. He climbed the social ladder quickly exercising his brain and diligence after the war in the rapidly developing country, enough to provide the affluent life to his family. He paid all college tuitions for his siblings and his wife’s siblings. He bought houses for himself and his elder brother. He supported his parents until they passed away. But he didn’t say a word about these. I heard from my mother. He never complained about his labor, and he never boasted about his contribution. He just sat on the piano seat and played a while as if nothing mattered at those moments. He never said how sad he was when his youngest brother died during the army service, but he went to his brother’s cemetery every year on the national Patriot holiday. I used to go with him when I was a kid, and I knew my company made him happy.

I didn’t realize at that time, but there must be some common interests between him and me. I remember the first time I opened the Nietzsche in his bookshelf and my lifetime affection for Nietzsche began. It was a worn green hardcover book with the embedded golden title. The paper was brownish yellow and the lines aligned vertically from right to left like the old Asian scripts. I could smell the book’s age when I turned the page. Still, I can see clearly that a teenage girl stood in front of that bookshelf forgetting time and space, and took out “Human, All Too Human” among the Hemingways and the Fitzgeralds. I also read the copies of “To Whom Bell Tolls” and “The Sun Also Rises” from that bookshelf and my eyes were busy up and down following the vertically flowing stories.

Now I can see that my dad is a man of many talents and charms whom I nailed as a boring man when I was young because he worked every day from the morning to the evening following the same routine. I didn’t know at that time that his devotion was there, but his passion wasn’t. He has been a brilliant Korean Chess player matching to the professionals, a tireless mountaineer to the top alone or with others, a man getting poetry love letters written on large dried leaves which made my mother vigilant to catch the sender, a voracious lifetime reader who handed me the clipped newspaper articles whatever related to my work, an animal lover who had to keep his love quiet for his non-animal lover wife, and a man with a very few words having enormous sounds flowing out of his presence. Maybe I can follow the end of the string of our common interest and find a way to cross the gap between us, which caused by my indifferent and arrogant mind. I guess I am ready to hear the distant sound my dad had played when he had been younger than me now. Since sounds can reach to the distance regardless of the shape of the earth we are standing, maybe this time, sounds can time travel from the past to the present to a humble daughter who is finally ready to listen.

<March 1st, 2017, re-worked the piece written in February 23rd, 2017>

The Elephant’s Belief

“Do you know how to keep the elephants from running away?”

E. looks around at us sitting in a circle. I know the story already. But the serene mood of the room and her low husky voice make the story feel different this time.

“When the elephant was a baby, people tied the baby elephant to a tree. So it only could move around the area the chain reached. And when it got curious about something far and tried to go, the metal chain stopped it and cut into its skin. So the baby elephant gave up running away. As the elephant grew, he got the power to pull out any tree or peg it was tied. But it never tries, even it was little wood stick stuck on the ground, if his leg was tied.”

I feel something moving in my heart. First time I heard the story, I just thought about the elephant. This time, I am thinking about me. I, as an elephant, tied to the imaginary chain which I thought there has been. Or chains I can pull out or cut off with my power or will. But my thinking tied to the conventional tree resists the process. I have yearned for freedom for all my life, but still I felt bound. Bound to the real things in life. Financially, emotionally, and physically. But I am questioning now. Am I?

This leads to the different question. Then, was I pretending that I was bound to the tree, even knowing that I could break the chain with my power? Was it my hypocritical self which wanted to stay beside the tree, smacking of a free spirit to the people around? Because I knew, I knew that if I stay around the tree, there is no need to find the way of survival. No need to find food and shelter. No need to deal with living necessities. So, in the end, it was me who didn’t go anywhere. But my ego made up an imaginary chain and made myself think in the way that all the social conventional values were tying me up.

If I leave the tree I bound, where can I go? Where is my direction? If I take my journey far, will it be just the daily struggle to survive? Will my freedom become every day’s striving to find things to eat and places to rest? Will it be worth to venture then?

Still I am beside the tree stubbing my toes nervously against the dirt. But the one thing I know is that I am not content with being here, being here for my entire life. I need to find a way to break myself from me-used-to-be. Maybe here, I can make arrow and shoot or learn tricks and show. Or I can go, I can take the chances being hungry, tired, wet and cold out in the rainy nights. I should be ready for the inconveniences of the life. To live the life.

Elephants and whales are special to me. They came in many different ways in my life. I feel like them in some way. Felt big. But I can’t find a place to lay my big body in the world, the world so immense that elephants and whales have no problem in living. I should squeeze myself out, elbowing other beings around, and make my way to the unknown. Break the tie with fear and thrill. Even tears will be worth more in the realm of freedom. In freedom.

<May 10th, 2016>