mental excursions

Thinking of the past, will it ever get old? Please understand, it’s just the way that I cope. I am not as sad as I appear, and when I say things are fine, they are. When you read these words, it’s true that I do miss you, but it’s also true that I have let go to the expectations. But the past, well, the past remains as it was and sometimes I like to visit there. 

The mind is a vessel for time-travel, even when I am here, sometimes I am not. And for moments, so brief as they are, I travel far to New York City, to the country land in Dominican Republic, to the hallways of my elementary school, the lunch room table, the basketball courts. Memories of when I made my first three point shot, and it was one of the first times my mother walked with me to the ball park. She didn’t ever have much time for that. But I forgive her. That day meant everything to me.

Sometimes when I travel there, I think of how I would like to give my younger self a hug. Not advice, but emotional warmth. These are the things I feel I desperately needed, and still do to some extent. But when I write these words, they are expression of what boils inside.

I realize most people get only a glimpse, and what I show on instagram or facebook. But how I really feel, what I really experience, well, that is a mix of joyous moments, and sad, lonesome times. But it’s as well balanced as I could have hoped for, because in honesty I sometimes sigh in relief when I am able to drive alone, or read a book, or visit my favorite coffee shop with a book in tow. 

Tomorrow, I want to go for an early run, but I don’t care if I don’t. I’ll be ok with not doing so, and just experiencing what life brings to me. Maybe a cup of tea would be nice, soothing, relaxing. Among other things, life’s promises seem endless. July, and the second half of the year approaches. I’ve read about 17 books! 

So my goals, read for fun, grant yourself a break, embrace your self and your fate. Let the rest of the cards fall where they may. 

i remember

Every sentence began with an I remember, connecting the past to the present by a bridge self-created. What we remember could be so different from the stories of others, yet the strength lies in their personality. Each person self-defines their personhood using fragments of memories, and there is perhaps no greater symbolic item for memory than the post-it note. That sticky, albeit easily torn sliver of paper – a fragment. 

In these fragments live empires, generations that span from the very beginning to who knows when. Because I remember the mornings when we were getting ready to go to school, and my mom would tie that last shoe so that I could walk, and she would have my books in my bag, and I would climb on her back so she could carry me to my school. I remember how I cried on my first day of school in kindergarten, and then again in first grade. Why should I be ashamed of that now? I know now things that I didn’t know then, that crying isn’t a sign of weakness – it is a sign of strong feelings, an overwhelming feeling that refuses to be contained, and demands nothing more than to express. Expressed feelings.

I remember that our teacher would have us try to write our names, and after a few weeks, there were only three or four of us who hadn’t yet learned their name. I remember that I didn’t think I was too smart, but what did smart really mean then? I had never been measured against anyone else, maybe my sister. My world was my mother, my sister, and the tv. So measurements, conceptually, were the thing that I remember first noticing. 

I probably remember walking down the hallways, where our work hung and was celebrated for our parents to see, and waiting in line for lunch. I remember pledging allegiance to the flag before I knew what that meant, but I remember not being alone – being with others who uttered the same. I remember so much of childhood, of sitting there on the corner of my bed with my neck craned up, playing video games. I remember when I’d climb up the 5 flights of stairs to see my grandma, my cousins, and my aunts and uncles. I remember, and I can’t go back too far, or see it all. The only things left are those fragments.

cow and chicken

a happy memory

So this one time, I was heading back to where we kept the cows and really all of the pasture. We had a small chicken coop and a rabbit coop as well, but this was a little further back towards the coconut and the one avocado tree. That’s where the cows grazed, and we knew there was a pregnant cow. So Freddy, our groundskeeper, walked back to check on the pregnant cow with calf, and I followed him because I wanted to see it too.

As we’re approaching the cow, I noticed it bleeding out from underneath. There wasn’t a lot of blood, but you could see it drip and the cow was mooing like … a mother would? It was a strange noise, yes, but no more than 5 minutes later a boy-ish calf emerges. It must have been about 60-70 lbs at birth. Cows get huge, which you don’t really think so unless you’ve seen them in their non-burger form. And its infancy the young calf grew so attached to me.

So that’s what I remember, and it would follow me around like I had birthed it. But that’s something we don’t really experience, because we’re carried around and mostly sleepy when we’re born. But a newborn calf actually walks around and interacts with an entirely new world. So it probably couldn’t tell a human from a cow, all it saw was kindness and maybe kindness is a language in itself. 

I wonder now if that young calf is now a grown cow or if it has met its end. Farm animals get attached like you wouldn’t believe, and I might like to raise a few at some point in my life. My mother is a lover of animals, and I think that she passed that down to me. So I’ll smile because I could recall a fond memory, and I need to remember the past better so that I can celebrate this life I enjoy.

miso soup

The waters are still muddy, clouds of dust simmer beneath the glittering surface. Miso soup. Scallion bits float and dance, tofu sinks to the bottom.

The sinking feeling, the heavy fall and light stretching. Stars that are distant and past, like memories – we only see the lights that make it through. New memories still await, new futures from here to Micronesia. 

Always on my mind, feels like it’s always … me again, 4 years old, no 6, with a backpack climbing mommy’s shoulders. She carries me, her youngest, heartbroken. Poor mom, and dad – alone, sleeping in as his 20’s waste away. Lethargy stunned him, a new country with a new language, different values. Was this the life he saw? Time will heal him. I know, or so I think. 

Old grudges remain. Now nudge me in that direction, pinball machine just don’t let me fall in between, through the cracks. 

Dear God, at least I never smoked crack. I never had the chance, never had a dance with the Heroine sticker. A light flickers, hope awakens in the inner peace and I glow. What do you know? It’s not who you know… but who knows you, that’s the one who will stay.

Remember the milk in the nursing bottle. Whole measured to the ounce with the strawberry nesquick. We get tucked in, air conditioned, some man’s idea, and a cartoon fix. I liked being a kid, and the world has been good to me. 

On kids – one day, I say. But God should have a plan, is there anything else worth striving for? This is a beautiful world for our younger, and I’m now learning to fight. So that’s going to be fun, I didn’t know I had this in me,

Who was I back before? I admire so much, I won’t lie. But what part of it was me? It feels nice to write again, despite the confusion. Today feels special already, and you know why. I’ll come find you finding your way to me.