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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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>

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.

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.

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 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>

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.

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.

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.

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>

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>

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.

 

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>

 

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>

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

a cafe in HongKong

a cold beer, a long slender glass

the name remains

I wonder if it is still there.

 

The Crumbs

in the midtown Manhattan

SPACE FOR RENT

the sign will be gone soon

the memories will be washed out with it.

 

Woodstock

a music cafe on the ground floor

I heard Lenard Cohen’s voice for the first time there

Bonnie and Clyde poster on the wall

long gone, that time of my life.

 

dots,

steps,

memory works in funny way,

and I want to look at

yours.

 

My heart hardens sometimes…

my tightly sewn neck

didn’t allow turning my head

that was the moment

my mind gave in

and I sat there,

cried.

 

from time to time

my memory flew back to that parking lot

that morning

I was devastated

losing my power in control

which enabled me holding myself together for several months against that battle.

 

life is totally personal,

totally alone; we can expereince only ourselves

but sometimes,

the dread of the aloneness I felt that morning

sneaks into my body

and hardens my heart.

 

I knew that I was the one

didn’t ask anything to anyone

dying must be easier than confessing my weakness,

my sadness,

for me at that time,

maybe for me now too.

 

the old habits are hard to get rid of

I put on those without noticing,

even with all those self-development shits I’ve done,

I reach to that thick heavy coat in haste,

smelling like sorrow, giving more chills than warmth,

and bury my head deep under the worn familiar threads; shivering…

 

My moon

evading

failed

waves

don’t want to ride this time

sigh…

 

read some lines I wrote before the summer

you made my life sparkle in the mud.

 

shine

not taking anything from anyone

just shine, that is okay

well,

thanks for telling me that.

 

what I have pursued in my life might not be the right one for me

maybe I am losing the world and I am losing the people

maybe I am losing the valuable things that I am supposed to keep

maybe I released my grip too hastily to reach for nothing; the unworthy

but this is me; sad and stupid me. I couldn’t dissolve me into the timid water, called “supposed to”.

 

the moon every night different; ever changing but never evolving.

close or far,

you are there

gazing at my presence

with your calm luminance; in the dark.

 

A day

jungle…

loved Kusadasi,

met J’s dad by chance, really by chance?

suddenly people are too close,

need some breathing room.

 

Hrabal…

does it matter?

hopes for hope

people forget

the wonderful stupidity that makes people alive.

 

desire…

like the moon

only full for a moment

then,

wanes.

 

you still there?

take me home

put me to sleep

the ultimate surrender

on your lap.

 

the warmth…

to my journey into the night,

curling up,

dessicating my existence

like those petals on your bookshelf.

 

The birds ate my crumbs

eagle

my dog snores nowadays.

he is right behind my chair sleeping; I can’t move.

hook

the moon was beautiful last night.

I wonder if I ever snore.

grip

I want some sweets.

still sitting.

Hansel and Gretel

the birds ate my crumbs.

I lost the thread.

nails

the oven door is broken

it rained all day.

imprint

I changed my scent.

the disguised animal instinct; with fragrance.

fall

did I fly?

I drove my son to Buffalo Wild Wings.

soar

….

up to the pink clouds

look at me, look at me.

sing

the soaked words

I love them too much.

checkpoint

soon the season of boots

up to ankles, up to knees, up to nose

lies

the swarm of bees

honey is too sweet not to be stolen

soul

nobody buys

even devil isn’t interested in any more.

spin

the world, the days, the spoon

we should eat somehow

snore

the sun down, no moon tonight.

sweet dreams that can never be taken.

Freud

what are you saying?

don’t put the psycho-chopsticks into the sacred.

sink

deep into the night.

the bed, the warmth, the memory.

timeless

the windows that poured the light in.

I lost the world in that space.

solid

get back to my Ashley.

I’ll write again and again until she truly dies.

trivial

those things grab my heart.

I treasure them.

undiscernible

driving in the fog

to the bottomless mumbles.

morning

surely it will come.

will it?

 

<Septmeber 5th, 2017>

 

 

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.

I miss the things that I don’t remember

“I have a grand memory of forgetting.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson –

On my visit to my friend’s office who moved overseas, I found one of my favorite photographs of the Adriatic sea on the wall that I had taken and printed on the plexiglass for her before. I forgot about it. Totally forgot.

I forgot many things. I miss those things that start to disappear from my brain. I want to run and catch them and put them in the deep drawer of my memory cabinet, labeled “shouldn’t forget”, but the things are fleeting at the speed I can’t keep up. The only thing I do is that I really miss them without knowing what I have lost. Really really miss them…

Turning the page

Weirdly, everything felt as the past. As if she released the grip she held so tight not to lose; not to lose the pain, not to lose the beauty, not to lose the moments, not to lose a single breath.

A peace, even momentary it may be, landed. A chapter ended. She is not dead yet so there will be another. And she will write with the care, with the full consciousness, calm and grounded.

The outer world will shriek again. Tremble and shake. The ground stepping on will crumble under her feet. Again and again. She knows it will. She will be desperate and cry alone at night. All day. But this will come again. A piece of peace, like a slender feather lands in silence.

Jump to end/start

“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.”

– Kate Chopin, in “The Awakening” –

It must be a pity to watch an immature bird falling. The vulnerable body and the underdeveloped wings. The shattered pieces of the broken one would be impossible to be mended. It would evoke heartbreaking feelings to someones close to her. And they’ve already warned her many times. “Don’t fly until you develop your full wings. I will be very sad to watch you fall.”
But she knows that she would never be ready. She would be old and die with a remorse. Her flesh would be too dry to chew by then.

As she climbs up and up, she tells to herself. “Once is enough. Just once.”
The sun was bright. The sweat trickles down on her forehead. As she lifts her head up, the whole sky melts into her eyes on the top of the hill. The wind blows from the South and tousles her hair gently. She feels the air stretching her arms wide with her palms open.
“This will do.” She whispers to herself and spreads her wings. The delicate white fragile dream she has woven for a decade. Then, she jumps.

Manifestation

Kachina. Ah, Kachina.

My pain. My suppressed pain seeped through the pores of my skin and soaked the others. Can I retrieve it? Please? If only I can take it back at whatever cost.

Frozen wheels. Tears. Melting. Pouring. Start to move. Where will you take me?

The hearts are broken. The flowers in this house are blooming. The wind is blowing. I am standing, outside in the downpour. Why do I love the sky when the storm is coming? Why do I love the roaring sound of the trees under the mean wind?

K. What are you saying? Did I hear you right?
New people. Are they the same people in disguise?

Kachina. Ah, Kachina.
You’ve been surely working.

Self-examination is healthy sometimes

drift and cry

Whispers and Cries – Bergman’s film
even the dead weeps for loneliness.

dig, dig, dig
rain
swamp

mother, daughter, father, son
K said, family is another “f” word.

moved 10 times in 10 years
still can’t find a place to call home

my caprice

pride and prejudice – I hate Jane Austen’s novel but the title fits me well

self-defense, self-doubt, hypocrisy

a blue hole in the sky
I want to be sucked up into it someday

naked – a trickle of innocence in that word
I love that.

I don’t mind alien’s attack
but I do mind God’s judgement

“You should work on mindfulness and openheartedness,” should I?
what’s wrong with being a pessimistic, cold, loveless person?
We should accept who we are. Shouldn’t we?

my ambition is drop-dead.
should I get a job?
what am I doing here?
Until when?

Until my dog dies after his happy life.
I will not get another dog.

that homeless guy with a brown dog
can I stand being poor?
I should ask him.

That needle poking my heart
please stab me with a knife instead.

I have my limbs. Bless me. I can do yoga.

Blame everyone around except me.

Now I am thinking that friend is another “f” word. Ha-ha.

Life goes on.
On and on. Too tedious. Alien should come now.

Get excited. For what?

we ate too many animals.
make them do their revenge.
They can write a novel called, “Human Farm”.

hanging, drowning, falling, shooting
aren’t my thing.

I love my left wrist. A little thinner than my right.
I will slash it someday
clean and calm, calm and content
All “C” words.

when the pain exceeds the resources, bullshit!
hate people preaching.
Shut the “f” up. This is not the “f” you think. Put other words starting with “f”. Use some imagination.

Inner dialogue circling crazy.
Another “C” word.
crazy crying, crying crazy

do whatever you have to do.
well.

I shredded my ID today.

Waves, waves.
Drift, nowhere.

I am just fine. Really.

A Daisy of A Girl in You

Life gives us many things.
At the same time, it robs us of many things.
We can’t take those back. We just miss them.

As J’s aunt, we will find our dying bed at the corner of the earth somewhere.
What will we carry then? What will we chew on when the death won’t come easily? Remorse will be the one word I will hate then.

I just miss the little girl of me.  As you miss a Daisy of a girl in you so much.

A Storm

Everyone is variable. I thought I was the only variable of the equation of my life. I was wrong, very wrong. People around me move forward, hit the ground, deteriorate, love me, hate me, estrange from me, get close to me, levitate, frustrate, get drunk, become holy, love the devil, and never stop.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a spontaneous sentence starting with “It could happen…” And one of them seems really happening now. My life can be shifted in the way that I have never projected due to the variable that I mistook as a constant. Ironically, this is the way that I secretly anticipated. Somehow my mind got frozen, vibrating like a large bronze bell hit by an ambitious blow.

Rain, wind, the gloomy sky. Grey, wind, the darkening sky. The blue jay. The geese couple stands so confidently on the road as if they can defeat any foes even the vehicles dashing towards them without slowing. The color of grey-blue forming with many layers calls forth a storm. I feel the wind on my face and my body. Standing still. What is it? What is coming? Did I call it as the clouds in the sky called the rain? Is it coming to me without any notice? The gushing wind warns me. Go inside, go inside. I should. But I stand on the same spot and dare to watch the frowning wind. The deep furrows among the angry clouds. Did I want to be someone? Or something? The big raindrops hit my face. What is coming? What will soak me? What will soak me inside out? Where do all the animals go in this merciless weather? How can they survive when they don’t have any inside to go to?

Life. Moves and stops. It usually stops when it isn’t expected to stop. Sometimes, it pushes me forward. Or pulls down. Or snaps my hair in the back with a sudden motion. Levity. Give me wings, so I can fly. Make me tumble, make me suffer, make me cry, make me anguish, make me scream with pain, make me pull my hair in the darkest night, make me deceive, make me be deceived, make me fall on my knees, make me lay my head in the cold pit, cover me with giant waves. But don’t take my wings. I brush them every night before I sleep. Maybe someday I can fly in my dream. But I only remember the falling after waking up. Then even my dream gets heavy. Heavy. Rain. Wind. Grey sky. Darker nights. Where did the small white butterfly go? My helpless wings.

<May 3rd, 2017>