20 July 2013

Running Through A Moment

I’m whizzing past the lush sugar maples in a crowd of competitive runners. New Hampshire roads twist down from the White Mountains as my feet pound the pavement. They are beating out the rhythm of my heartChanging the pace of my life for a New York minute.

I’m able to simply breathe fresh New England air. My cigarettes were left stashed in the dashboard of his car. I’ll be fine without a deep drag of the current favorites, Turkish Royals, during this intense relay down the state.

Not sure if running brought me into a state of delirium or simply blurred the current reality as every step became habit. I moved unconsciously behind my competitors in hopes of quickly reaching the next runner awaiting our baton. My thoughts began to travel backwards as they often do when completely left in silence.

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05 May 2013

Inspiring Winds of Change

Gusts, Gales, Breezes, Santa Ana, Nor’eastern…Endless titles given to all the various Zephyrs that have whipped around my life. The multidimensional tunes carried on the wind can partially explain why so many titles exists for this one part of nature.As I walk along the riverside, my hair swirls in the gusts and my eyes close to fully soak in memories of past breezes. The winds which seem to arrive with grand change in my own life just as they usher in transitions of the natural seasons.The winds of change have begun sweeping through the city adding strength to my traveling spirit.

To continue reading...About all my memories of wind.

13 April 2013

Day of Silence or Truth?

Each year for over a decade, the end of April provides two opposing groups the opportunity to present their opinions on Homosexuality. One group has decided to remain silent on account of the silencing experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their allies. The other group speaks out against the promotion of the LGBT lifestyle.

The battle between these groups occurs at nearly every Pride Parade, political advancement for the LGBT community and more often just on a regular day attending school. In a National School Climate Survey distributed in 2005, four out of five LGBT students reported verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than thirty-percent report missing at least one day of school in a month for fear of personal safety, explained on the DOS website.

Despite over one-hundred vigils across the country there is little media attention on hate crimes against the LGBT community. Recent attacks serve as a rallying cry for the need to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. The dispute between those supporting an LGBT lifestyle and those opposing it has been a serious social debate throughout the last decade. It increased during George W. Bush’s Presidential term as a few states began to allow Civil Unions, which are similar to marriage and given the same legal rights.

Concordia Professor, Kimberly Knutsen, explained how poetry reflects life in many aspects. She compared negative space used as a resting place in poetry to the breaks in a person’s day required for them to simply catch their breath. “We are scared of silence because it is unknown…In poetry we need silence as much as words just like in life because, we need silence to be close to God,” Knutsen exclaimed, “Truth is in silence.”

To continue reading ... Day of Silence or Truth?

10 March 2013

It Takes A Sailor's Faith

The Bible is full of miraculous events that take faith to understand them as truth. Although many stories included in the New Testament are Parables told by Jesus, the Old Testament is considered not to hold these stories. The controversial events in the Old Testament are believed truth of the ancient separation from God and justice as system of “an eye for an eye”. However, the story of Jonah has been contested as anything but factual history. It would seem the other atrocious acts of murder and sex are more believable than remaining in the belly of a whale for three days. The story of Jonah could be a historical allegory including factual events in a narration while using descriptive words that relate to other events as well.

 Read the rest on my new blog reflecting upon past and present transitions....ides...beliefs...The joy found in every new day.


07 March 2013

We Are All Knit Together

Walking home from work is usually a peaceful time for my body to prepare for an early morning nap. The streets are still and empty, except for some runners feet tapping the pavement or birds chirping on evergreen branches. The sunrise lifts my drowsy spirit for a more brisk walk in the cold, crisp air. However, this morning shocked me with numerous jolts of awareness.

Read the rest on my new blog focused on transcending into the new, while this one will remain for reflecting on the past. Of course the two will intertwine often.


05 March 2013

Drag out the Night

neon glow settles
           upon stagnant bodies in motion

glazed eyes attempt to connect
         with possible fantasies
              that could be lived out
                   one night in paradise

15 minutes in the Absolut spotligh
        with a less potent outcome

Regrets may ring true
       yet for a moment
           the bass fills your soul
               the gin fuels your blood

lights sparkle to another tune
      while all the queens fulfill their roles

17 February 2013

Is Sanity A Cozy Lie?

Yet again my thoughts return to a once frequently used quote of mine “Sanity is a Cozy Lie”. This time those words were shown in a picture taken six years ago by a friend at art school. They really seemed to ring true during my time at Chester College of New England. Not only was I finally taking the plunge into really making art and risking becoming like the one person I truly saw as an artist, my mother, but my close friend had recently disappeared due to a psych ward visit. She just decided to check herself in and take a break but nobody had any idea for over a week! I finally received a postcard decorated with the profile of her doctor and his exaggerated ear that listened intently to all she could divulge.

This quote had come into my mind earlier than this though. It emerged while living in the strangely contradictory town of Snohomish. Most who pass through remember the traditional quaint décor of First Street. They can explore numerous antique shops and local restaurants with no idea as to what else could exist near the riverbed. Many small towns exude this delicate first layer while masking whatever issues may be hiding amongst the community, but somehow I don’t think they are as strange as those in Snohomish. Maybe it is my own bias which does affect these stories, of course. I have told them many times to new friends and near strangers who are continually shocked. I am getting distracted though. The main question at hand is, why ‘sanity is a cozy lie’? Why?

Simply put we all mask our quirks. Some of us may collect something a bit obsessively, check the lock a few times before leaving, or avoid high places due to a fear. Yet we hardly share these facts if there might be a shred of abnormality involved. We wonder when it may cross over the boundary of just a quirk to an illness. When should we check ourselves in?

More importantly, why should we even think that? Why can’t we all have our own little quirks? What if we simply let go and don’t worry about the societal perspective on these personal oddities? Is it normal to be sane? Or are we all just pretending? Would we all enjoy prancing about free of all societal restrictions if possible?

Maybe our routines just loop us into neglecting our quirks and we get stuck. I will continue to contemplate this tonight and hope to post a more concrete response soon.

25 January 2013

nothing seems grand enough

wasting     thoughts     on       paper


      attempts in composing



                                                                                      SONETS   or    simple haikus

        declarations of emotions

       at that


                         each jumbled scene changes instanteously with ink s  p   a    t    t   e    r   s

my eyes





                 at what these hands did

                                                        what can not be erased

permanence is such a relative term, so many seem to hide from it, others stick to routines.

few       find       a          happy        medium

                                                                    ALL               trying    to             fulfill this grand life

thrive    in fifteen minutes of fame

23 January 2013

Fluid Ripples

calmly sifting
through ideas, plans
minnows drift across my skin
settle on a crease
for a short moment
I begin to sink
immersed in smooth notions
slight kicks disturb the peace
bring air to my lungs
crack the lid
additional comparisons form

Khmer time slips unnoticed
as only a leaf floating down
causing slight ripples
no drastic changes on the surface
tradition goes as before
the depths conceal secret pasts
no need to plunge any further
simply continue living
with a few advances

Western time is meticulously kept
quickly passing one deadline
simultaneously creating another
as if trying to skip a rock
while scanning the beach again
already having pocketed two more
yet this new one might be better
the first is simply tossed in
crashing through layers of algae
confusing the entire ecosystem
but holding the belief
it will all settle better in the end

bright rays disturb
my rest
instinctively shock
my limbs
as if an alarm clock sounded
toppling me off
the curved log
into any tiny creatures below
rushing off
to the next appointment
twenty minutes past
the agreed upon time
keeping with the Khmer system

22 January 2013

A Global Commute

Another long commute filled with odd events that only reminds me of Prague. However these moments of similarity between the lovely historical city of Prague, Czech Republic and the often mundane trips I make on Portland's trimet, are why this west coast city is growing on me. Now that I am finally able to move for a better job and more welcoming community, Portland smiles have been fully revealed.

Walking down the crowded streets under construction my thoughts jump back to Seattle but then I turn a corner and the brick of Old Town carries me into Boston. Before my eyes conjure up images of young Harvard kids or I begin hearing Cake blaring over the commons, my feet quickly step onto the banks of a Czech river...Surreal sculptures manifest across the dirty water. A row of yellow penguins lines the island shores then slowly sink beneath the murk that is turning red. Rich soil deposits are carried up the Tonlé Sap during this monsoon season in Cambodia. As the rain comes down strong upon my shoulders, I skip over a puddle towards Ban Lung's center market full of children, dogs and folks visiting from nearby villages. The man with one leg supporting his drunken lean is adjusting the knot dangling off what used to be his other full leg. He asks me for a beer as I squeeze past the pork slabs and duck carcasses with just a little more finesse than yesterday. Since I don't even have enough for my own lunch he should be grateful for the last of my peanuts quickly handed over, but he insists that I have more. No amount of smiles with my shaky Khmer can convince him we are nearly in the same predicament.

I continue moving as he reaches down into the trash bins near Pioneer Square. He's mumbling about a free meal that won't come for hours as I hop onto my MAX and think of what food might be in my cupboards. Since I only have this 40 min train followed by an hour bus ride to start preparing my own food. If only the other places I have been would set up programs like Portland has. So many sullen, tired eyes stare back at me as I return to my current reality of working class people on the MAX. 

18 January 2013

Circular Detours

Continued from 'Detours in NE Portland.'...

Another showing with the Monastery Artist Collective was in full swing. She was ‘dressed to the nines’ in a favorite short blue dress that puffed out from her waist. It was perfect for twirling around the dance floor on. Once it bounced to electronica in Connecticut as she kicked her feet around the annual Dance ‘til Dawn event. However, this night was more of a usual occurrence in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

I never truly embraced the beauty of this urban neighborhood until the final walk back to Killingsworth.  Not only leaving behind this decrepit duplex, stressful employment situation and a campus reminiscent of the Truman Show; but also, many nights of reckless abandon in various states of mind. This would be my last walk down in which I would really be alone. In just a few short weeks my belly would deflate and a new life would become continually present. 

The memories that raced into vision that day were overwhelming. It was the end of an era as I had never truly experienced. Yes, I changed upon moving out of my parent’s house in high school, and again when first stepping foot on the train that took me across the country. Teaching in SE Asia was a truly unique experience that forever changed my perspective of suffering. Especially after transferring from New Hampshire back to the West Coast where I met more privileged youth than I had ever known before.  Yet, now I was really transitioning into a new phase of life that would affect every moment from this point forward.  

I wrote this two years ago, 9 months pregnant and on the first day of maternity leave. It was discovered in a forgotten folder while revising my resume for another venture. Every year of my life has been so incredibly different for over a decade and I am still wrapping my head around everything. I often find humor in mentioning a story from past to co-workers who only know my present self. They are shocked to discover that I used to have dread-locks, dumpster dive, and stay up for days in a row just making art with friends. It’s quite hilarious to me. They only see the responsible mother who I am now, but so much has brought me to this point.

17 January 2013

Detours in NE Portland

Her memories flowed through gnarled evergreens and overripe huckleberry bushes; back to the dirt roads of adolescence. To the night she scared herself while sneaking out under the full moon. After calling a friend to meet further down the road but quickly forgetting the transaction while using her cell as a flashlight, until their voice came through louder. For nearly a minute she spun in circles checking the shadows while trying not to breathe in hopes whatever animal had growled would disappear. Then her name was yelled out the speaker and she jumped to reality. An animal had not stalked her in the bramble. She was simply being ridiculous falling prey to the night shadows. Soon enough the truck pulled up and she squished into the middle, pulling her legs up so the stick shift could be maneuvered. 

“Do you have a cigarette?” she asked impatiently. 

“Sure. Do you have the fifth?” the driver asked.

“Only mine! Ha! Thanks for the smoke though.” 

He was quite upset by this and threatened to turn back, leave her in the ditch. Let her walk back and sneak in through the kitchen window early. It took a while for her to retract this statement and explain the vodka was for everyone to share. She knew he wouldn’t turn around anyway. Not after turning onto the familiar gravel road that curved up logging hills near Lake Roseiger. The truck sped around sharp corners, veered close to the edge. 

They bumped over ‘tank traps’ set by loggers to keep out sneaky kids. Someone had already started passing around beers. Everyone was trying not to spill as they awaited the light of a friendly bonfire. The usual crowd would soon come into view and moods would improve. Rather than anxiously debating who had booze, all would soon be shared as people debated who to cuddle with under the night air. 

 The rest of the night fades out of focus as quaint Northeast Portland houses dominate the horizon. Each walk down Ainsworth has taken my mind on past journeys worlds away from the current cement roads.  A crunched beer can in the ditch inspired numerous high school nights. On my next step leaves made their final dance in the wind. My hair joined in the waltz as laughter surrounded me in a crowded New Hampshire artist studio.