Monthly Archives: January 2013

365 for 2013: (2) From the Leaf to the Lover

Meant as a gift. 

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In the fiercest of winds

and the most glaring of summers,

I may tremble, even wither;

but in the passing of seasons

and the changing weathers,

I will bloom in the dusk,

feed on stardust

and you will find me there.

In the scent of moonlight

and warmth of sunrise,

You will find me there. 

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365 for 2013: (1) When The Sun Sets

Yes, I just changed the year. Let’s see if I can go beyond 67 this time 🙂

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Utterly fascinating, universe. This is my 113th entry on 1/13/2013 exactly a year after my first entry in 1/13/2012.

The first one was called When The Sun Sets.

This is the image of how my fantasy should be processed by my brain.

There’s a thick cloud covering a great portion of the sky, drawing a straight line that defines where the stars appear and disappear. The horizon should stretch as far as the eyes could see, but heaven sets its limits on mine.

Fair enough. The divide between the starry and starless sky evens out as the night deepens anyway. And the stars do shine bright. They pop out in the dark. Twinkling and dancing, too.

Now, let’s take the same title, but let’s see where movements of heaven will take us this time.

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On the road, they follow the path

set for home, they trudge on

the streets that lose and take

up space. Crowded, they flow. Smears

of sunset on tinted windows

 

there it goes—

 

then gone, then there again, a flash

so soon missed by eyes

that blink, and clouds that trick

sight about light, celestial bandits.

On the road up in space,

they make their way home:

into each other, crowding

together before falling

back home.

 

A shard of sunset disappears

In the glare of a streetlight.

 

Dusk has pulled out its carpet

on the road. Above us,

a map of needle-tip lights appears:

our way back

home.

               

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The Accidental Anniversary Post: The Dip In The Ink Before the Blot

I find that I could not work on publishing a new poem here without first acknowledging all the work that went into this blog from the last year. I still find myself quite overwhelmed by how much shiz I’ve actually shamelessly put out here and how much this has helped me write. Ah yes, this post is going to be one of those typed-out-musings kind. If you wish to spare yourself, you can skip the paragraphs and go straight to the year’s first poem.

But, please, allow me to indulge. After all, because of all the stalling I’ve done ever since the year started, I realize, as I write this entry now, that today actually marks the anniversary of my  first ever post in this blog. Fascinating. Even my apparent laziness when it comes to writing seems to have a reason. And the reason is to kind of underscore, at least for me, the value of what I’m doing here. That sounded a little twisted, but, well, the universe works in twisted ways. And so, here we go.

The original intent was to keep this 100% literary (meaning, no notes to self such as what you are reading now), no acknowledgement of addressees (but, see, I now freely refer to you reader) and just fill it up with entry after entry after entry (based on the statistics, the average would be two entries per week which, really, isn’t bad at all). While I wasn’t able to fulfill my 365 for 2012 Project, having been able to publish only 67 poems, I’ve sparked several other writing projects through this and have come up with quite some material. One would be The Kingdom of Concrete, a category I’ve created for my writing to push me to write about the city, the urban landscapes and the urban life. To be quite honest, I just had to find a way to steer my writing away from all the cheesy mush I’ve been churning out. Gotta constantly remind the self about the breadth of material out there that one can tap into without the need to nurse a broken heart. *insert gagging sound here* And then after being inspired by the blog Fifty Items Or Less , I started my own -50 for the 25th Project: I have to come up with at least fifty entries with just 50 words or less while I’m still 25. I still have 46 to go and  10 months to work on that. Let’s see how I’ll fare with that one.

So do I feel bad that my 365 for 2012 project lack 298 entries? Not at all. 

Why? Because I continue to write even if  I do not publish it in this blog. What else have I been writing? Other than the prose and poetry you see here, I’ve written several other poems-turned-songs for shows and productions which I never really took time to post here. Maybe even a little embarrassed to do so but, who knows? When we’ve finished recording the songs, this blog will see the verses set to music  published. 

I checked my dashboard and discovered  23 unpublished, unfinished drafts of stuff I started to work on and then abandoned. That already sparks an  exercise for this year:  to get back to these stubborn spurts and whip them into shape. More as an exercise for editing than anything else. While I do recognize that there may be things that just sputter and die despite all the attempts to let it run, I won’t be letting these drafts remain unpublished without a fight.

I could do something really out of fashion and publish executive summaries and terminal reports that I write for work here, just for laughs.  But I don’t think my boss would be too happy about that and that would require a total makeover of the blog. 

So now we get to the ‘what’s-the-point’ question. It’s easy to just say that there’s never enough time to just keep writing and posting and writing and posting. But that’s not entirely true. At the end of the day it’s really an exercise of how you push yourself to come up with material and what you’re willing to put out there for the world to either marvel at or spit on. When I came up with the category Blurtouts, it was a deliberate baring of the self to this cyber universe – letting the world in on my random and often most personal musings. There’s a human being behind all these carefully titled entries and she wants to allow herself to let out some raw no-nonsense unadulterated typewritten thoughts sometimes. Also, she wants to be allowed to refer to herself in the third person. She’s going to stop doing that now. Or maybe later.

What she will do now is wrap this up and proceed to the year’s first poem. She will end this paragraph in maybe two to three more sentences and then re-read what she’s written so far. She will nod, satisfied, and quite excited at starting on another year – maybe to continue on old projects, rename some categories or come up with new ones. These words are what make her/me,  the hardest and most vulnerable selves enveloped in a syllable, a page, a universe. 

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At the back of a pick-up truck snaking through the mountains of the North, the words whipped through my hair, touched my face, left traces on my fingertips.

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The Necessary Year-End/New-Year Post

And then the inevitable question is raised: where do I begin?

It’s quite tempting to do an assessment of my 2012 Must-Accomplish list  (yes, it’s a must-accomplish list and not quite a list of resolutions so that the move forward  is not solely based on improving what could have been done better in the past but actually includes setting new never-even-imagined-i-could-do goals for the self) and then write my way towards my 2013 Must-Accomplish list but that’s an easy route to take. Apparently, I tend to look for more complicated paths.

Or not. Yeah. Let’s just get started whichever way and get this over and done with.

So maybe I should begin by saying that I’m still as fickle minded and as insanely self-conscious as I have always been. There’s nothing to change about that since there isn’t really any harm being done, except that the writing tends to extend itself and maybe I should save some space and stop arresting myself in every sentence that follows. (Aaand here I go again. And again.)

Don’t we all want to just make sure we’re doing everything the way it should be done while at the same time giving ourselves the liberty to plunge into the next spontaneous adventure, eyes closed and breaths held? Yes, that may have sounded kind of contradictory at some point and while maybe a fraction of the population are just on either ends of the spectrum, the majority would be working for a healthy mix of the certain and uncertain in their lives. Yes, you can schedule when you’re going to  jump off the cliff but on the splitsecond that your feet leave solid ground, time and space may cease to exist. There’s only you, the jump, and the fall. The next thing you know, you’ve landed somewhere far more awesome than where you came from.

I look at the list which I wrote at the back of my first journal from last year and realize that if I use it as the sole measure of the past year’s fulfillment, then I would emerge as an utter failure. I was only able to achieve a third of the list, 15 out of 45 things I set out to accomplish for myself. One would consider it a total booboo especially if I say that I don’t even remember having written more than half of it. But, see, that was the actual game plan. To list, forget, live, then reflect.

A friend shared with me before that he would write his list of goals for the year and hide it away only to look at it after 365 days and see what he’s been able to achieve. If there were things he could tick off the list, he was extremely happy to be able to do so. As for the rest of the items that remain to be accomplished, then they are just that, carry-overs to the new year’s list. There’s no room for regret or should-have-could-haves because the list was merely a push to pump up the start of the year. The rest of the 365 days, you live life as you should, present in every moment and not just  tied down to lists and schedules.  We already have so many tasks that take up space in our planners every day, we don’t have to use a row of boxes wanting check marks to live each day by.

Up until Christmas eve, I still couldn’t feel the spirit of the holidays. Not because I was nursing an inner Grinch but because I just could not believe that it was December already. I was telling a  friend two days before the new year  that I feel like there should be two more weeks to the month just to allow myself to wrap up everything that have taken  place. So many things have happened in 2012 and so much more could have happened. But nothing that happened or didn’t happen makes me feel bad that it did or didn’t. Every single day I would have as it was lived.

There are things that take place without any planning it. These things could even bear more value than even the biggest goal you set out to conquer for the year. In the 45 items in my list, not even half of it could compare to the best moments of my 2012. All the surprises of  random opportunities to move into new directions, befriend strangers, get your hands into work you think you will never do, and even the plummet to bottoms you didn’t think would be dug up for you, proved to be the awesome and highly necessary rollercoaster ride that is 2012. I look back and think that it just couldn’t have ended so soon.

This is my twenty-fifth year. When I thought I would set out to do one thing, I find myself in action at so many other things that I could do and that need to be done. It doesn’t mean an overhaul of my passions or the abandon of a predisposed purpose. It is merely embracing the true essence of the possible. “Who would have thought…” would be my favorite reflective phrase for the moment. Certainly, not I, and gladly so. Honestly, I’m still grappling with every experience from the last twelve months, writing and rewriting every tale, hoping to archive each memory. I don’t know if I ever really could or if I even should, but then this entry, and every past entry I have, published here or otherwise, is evidence to the tremendous year that was.

So for this year I still made a list. I actually even have a timeline for this year, carefully cutting up the twelve months into four quarters and assigning major goals in each time frame. But that’s that. An attempt to imagine my 2013. In every shot to grab life by the neck, another head will just pop up. Then it’s an entirely new geste altogether.  And then there’s another aspect of yourself you will discover, another chance for you to extend your capacity as a being of the universe, to live bigger, live fuller and measure the year beyond its 365 days.

And as Fiona Apple put it,

Be kind to me or treat me mean,

I’ll make the most of it

I’m an extraordinary machine.

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