Masked

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Once again, I find myself trying to fit into a space not meant for me. I try to break into roles the way I do with shoes a size too big or small; forcing my feet in and walking around with a placid grin stuck onto my face, thinking that if I never address my discomfort, then it would never be real.

I’m always torn between making things happen and letting it happen to you. When do you take initiative and control what you rightfully can? When do you let go and let things run their natural course? How would you ever be able to tell which the right decision is?

The problem always lies with what I’d like to be, what I am, and the secret compromise and negotiation going on between them, trying to figure out which one has more of their way than the other. I try to be three steps ahead of myself and throw on duties and personas impulsively; recklessly.

Let me give you an example: I believe in pragmatism, right and wrong, mercy and compassion and justice and love. At fifteen I realized this, and, wanting to walk the talk, thought of a way to further define and abide by my principles, and became a church girl. I was sobbing at sermons, donating my allowance as tithes and singing loudly to worship songs, despite growing up scowling, skeptic, at the idea of God, Santa, and the tooth fairy, among other imaginary creatures. I started to break nearly a year later, my persona weary and chipping away at the corners. I shuddered in guilt and disgust in the congregation instead of enlightenment and joy. I left and didn’t look back.

I’d love to have a smile plastered on my face all the time. I’d love to be kind all the time. I’d love to be on the genius-level of skill in art. I’d love to be a reliant friend. But the truth is I can’t be bothered to fake grins, I can spit out vitriol, my preferred art form is through words, blank ink on white paper and not the contrasting, fluid colors on canvas, and I won’t reply to friends’ messages promptly if I don’t feel like it and I can’t even comfort people well. As time passed, it’s been my refrain: I’d love to, but I can’t. I’d love to be that person. I’d love to love that thing. I’d love to do these for you. I would love to, and I could, but I really just can’t. I peel off the faces that they see in me; the faces they want me to have; the people they’d like me to be. I’m sorry, I tried. I can’t. It’s the trial-and-error solution; the dress-up game before the purchase of a dress; like the sing-song chant of he loves me, he loves me not. This should be it. No, it isn’t. Casting away wrong answers and poorly fit dresses until we arrive at something that’s right.

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road to nowhere

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When I am on the road, on foot with sore soles or on vehicles, slouched against seats; viewing proud, towering skyscrapers; hearing a cacophony of impatient sighs and traffic noise and snippets of conversations all dull and warm and deep, is when I feel alive the most.

There’s a certain feeling of purpose within each distance covered that even the most mundane of errands feels like a quest. Being around the presence of other people grounds you to the fundamentals of nature and society: here we are, in a chaotic world, trying our hardest to systemize and organize what little we can. Realizations that, as a whole, seem to whisper to me, goading me on: You are here. You are here. You are here.

No human being was ever created to settle. From the very beginning of civilization, we stay where we have what we need and where we may be needed. Over time, resources deplete or needs are modified and changed and we wander farther. One step out and there’s the feeling of liberation – our homes are far from being prisons, depending on an individual’s perspectives, but just one step out, and another, then another, until we are further out from our comfort zones of built routines around the basic necessities of human survival and there is freedom in where I can go and what I can do and who I’d stumble upon. I am awake, and life is no longer waiting to happen or merely happening upon me. I’m making it happen. I’m making the choices. I am hopeless when the slightest and smallest of things slip from my fingers, reminding me I am not in charge of fate – there is nothing you can do – but then, I’m reminded I can, however futile, take charge of my own.

I have the promise of purpose somewhere.

Calypso

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If there should be something that you must remember,
it is this: you are one of the many lovers
sinking their toes into the smooth sand of this isle.
I don’t say this in order to dull the fire
that we have stoked to flames, caressing the heavens –
but to confess and to stand witness to these piles of ashes.
soon you will leave, like the rest of your brethren,
to fulfill one of the Olympians’ worst curses:
inevitable love, the promise of loneliness;
my island a mere rest stop to your epic quests;
when you venture to the seas, gone the 0
(of us, of me) will be. you are a kind guest,

so please: keep your distance. let your sweet, sweet words fester,
on your tongue with your wistful desires- forever.

Photo credit: Tim Lane (British, b. Cheltenham, England, based Bristol, South West, England) – Sophia  Drawings: Graphite, Pencils, Paint on Paper

Multiverse

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All decisions unmade and paths not taken,
words unsaid and people unmet, doors
left open, skin untouched, hearts unbroken,
stories all unwritten and untold, shores
uncharted and places unexplored thrive
in parallel universes: where the
maybes and the perhaps can rest easy uncontrived. The odds are infinite; wrought

in time and space, and I try not to dwell
on the existence of another self –
happier elsewhere; without regret; held
by hands gentler; the future still undelved.

•••

Poem made in tribute of the passing of the physicist Stephen Hawking.

confession: confessions

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Art is the extension
of a human being’s soul.
Colors and paint,
words and ink,
graphite and portraits,
brushes and pens and charcoal
in a clutter, on a desk
or in a corner of the room:
they tell you more
of who a person is
than what they themselves
could.

With that, I have a confession:
in between the lines and verses written
are secrets taken to the grave
memories that have long faded
and tears quietly shed.
That realization is how my vulnerability grew
with the knowledge of others who read what I do.
If you knew where to look,
If you knew what to see,
you could gather all of my weaknesses
and find
the easiest way to break me.

Writing is supposed to be selfish,
and reading is, too.
so I beg you
not to divulge
what you might discover
hidden in between
rhymes and rhythms
and figurative speech.
I beg you –
interpret me selfishly,
shroud my emotions,
fit my words into your world, and
listen to what resonates within;
and not the confessions hidden
in every verse. 
For art is the extension of the soul,
and art is my soul’s absolution.

Mind Over Matter

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I admit, I feel as if I am only deluding myself to think that you would ever read this. After all, you have disappeared without a word nor a trace. Your existence itself remains a mere possibility, and yet I hold onto it like a drowning man would onto his last breath. 

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