peel back the mundane
step away from the void
stay too long in the darkness and it consumes you
and you disappear
shadows are the shifty friends that will hold on
validate your movements
remind you of existence
show you light’s obverse companion
look too hard and you just might find it
already so close to the Edge
they beckon you closer
why not let go?
I’ve been away for a minute, and I have missed this. Trying to get back into the feel of things- letting the words fall back into place…
what lies beyond the forest
where the rubber trees grow
the gateway to an enchanted realm
of an abandoned castle entrenched in snow
what lies beyond the treetops
where the high winds blow
the heaven so earnestly sought
with golden gates aglow
what lies beyond this Narrow path
where sunbeams still finds space to flow
wonders or fears of our wildest dreams
perhaps we’ll never know
the untrained eye sees only patterns
repeating pieces of a whole
the secret’s in the woodwork
Details only a craftsman knows
steady hands and the sharpest mind
have carved their place into these boughs
As consumers of the 21st century, we are immersed in the synthetic. We want bigger, better, brilliant in our food, homes, jobs – every aspect of our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in the whir of all that is great and glorious and forget to -warning, cliché coming- stop and smell the flowers. Really though. How often do we actually stop, put down our mobile devices, and admire the natural beauty around us? For this week’s photo challenge theme, Vibrant, I chose this photo that I took at a public park of these jungle geraniums as a reminder that all which is vibrant does not always come with a price tag. Walk outside today, pause, and breathe in the vibrancy all around you.
I’m both sarcastically sardonic and sardonically sarcastic, which means my glass is neither half full nor half empty, it’s filled just as it is, often with a slight exaggeration in either direction, but never an exact division. I’m what I like to call a realist, which my friends and colleagues will argue is a euphemism for the adamant denial of my pessimistic nature. I politely disagree. (Read as: NOT EVEN.)
On a slightly more serious note -as serious as you can take someone who’s just admitted to a lifestyle of practiced derision- whenever I find my mind convoluted with an inundation of untamable thoughts, I remind myself that I’m but an undefinable speck in the grand scheme of this great universe. Sometimes it requires taking a step back and seeing the ‘big picture’ to really get a grip on reality. This week’s photo challenge, Optimistic, speaks to the side of me that I have difficulty embracing. This photo, that I took, thousands of miles above ground, cruising over cloud cover, is one that defines optimism for me. From here, life’s problems aren’t all that daunting. From here, we can see the forest for the trees. Everything looks better from way up here.
ขนมเปี๊ยะ (kanom pia) is one of the many OTOP products that is representative of Singburi Province, Thailand. Made from coconut milk and cassava starch, these sweet, flaky desserts are reminiscent of Chinese mooncake. This particular batch of tasty treats was made in my host mother’s kitchen by a group of women from our village. I chose this photo for this week’s photo challenge theme: Circle, not only because of kanom pia’s globular shape, but because the very creation of this dessert represents a cycle of a community giving back to itself. From hands to ovens to sales to profit, every step of the production process is done by the community for the community – local entrepreneurship at its best.
“If you give me a fish, you have fed me for a day. If you teach me to fish, then you have fed me until the river is contaminated or the shoreline seized for development. But if you teach me how to organize, then whatever the challenge I can join together with my peers and we will fashion our own solution.”
-Ricardo Levins Morales
When I began my Peace Corps service in Jan. 2015, my mentality was very much set on looking ahead. Where will I be in 3 months? How will I spend my holidays? What will I accomplish in 2 years?
Dec. 22 surreptitiously marked my quarter of a century of existence on this planet. You’d think after 25 rotations around the sun, I’d have learned a thing or two about navigating this life. The truth is, I’m still learning. When prompted by The Daily Post to think about the Now for their weekly photo challenge, the first thing that came to mind was the passing of my birthday. This is the first year I’d spent the occasion abroad, and away from close friends and family. Before the date even came to pass, I was already thinking about how I’d make up for it next year. But when I think about it, there’s really nothing to “make up for.” Sure, it wasn’t the type of celebration I’d been accustomed to, but it was a memorable evening, spent eating great food with caring people in the comfort of my village.
It’s only in retrospect that I realize this is my “now.” I am presently living out my 25th year – not 2 weeks ago, not next year, but now. And with that realization, this is where I want to be – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually “here.” My days are numbered only so long as I count them. No more counting for me, it’s time to just be.