Monday, November 29, 2010

Sometimes Tumbling

Have decided to move.
Hope to see you in the neighbourhood.
Love, Nagmeh

Thursday, November 25, 2010

July 17, 1999

Illustration courtesy of Ani Castillo

The day that J.F.K. junior's plane went down was the day that our love died. I remember it clearly. It wasn't raining. But it was everything else. The drive was too long. I pretended that I was looking forward to the baseball game. And you pretended that you were looking forward to us. But we both knew. The weight of John and Caroline's missing plane made the weight of our demise bearable. I had my hopes, imagination, and vision in the right wing. You had your, well, I don't know, something, in the left. The engine was our love, the propellers were our confessions, the back tail was the day we met, and the lights were the days we spent together. It was an unassuming day and an unassuming trip. No one ever thought that would be their fate.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blow, She Said

At the restaurant today, a couple ran in from the rain completely soaked. Her hair was dripping and his once expensive leather shoes were stained nearly to the top. Clearly they were out there unprepared. They sat not too far from us, both on the same side of the table, huddling together for warmth. But I wondered how warm a wet body would be. They didn't really notice the menus in front of them. Or perhaps they'd been there many times before and knew what they wanted. They were oblivious of other patrons. The tiny puddle by their feet caused the waiter to almost fall with my pho in his hands. And still no reaction. They were talking so closely, I could barely hear their words.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I pish pishu go back." He didn't say anything. Just kept rubbing his hands together under the table. "Pish pishily the pishpishpish I've pishon."

I tilted my head closer in their direction and decided not to take my eyes off of their mouths.

"It was the dumbest pish pi peshehpi", she said. And he was crying. Or was that rain on his face? Either way, she proceeded to wipe his nose. "Blow", she said. And he did.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I baked a Clafouti and Filled it With Sadness

If it seems like I only blog when I'm feeling down, that's because I only blog when I'm feeling down. There's something about that deep wretched ache in the pit of my stomach that makes me want to document life. Writing it down is therapeutic. It's true people, it's not a cliche. I recently read a book of essays called Burn This Book, edited by Toni Morrison. (Thank you Anonymous for recommending it.) If you're a writer, read it. And if you're not a writer but ever had that whispering from the distance of your soul that perhaps you should write, also read it. In one of the essays John Updike quotes Pascal, "When a natural discourse paints a passion or an effect, one feels within oneself the truth of what one reads, which was there before, although one did not know it. Hence one is inclined to love him who makes us feel it, for he has not shown us his riches, but ours." Updike goes on to say that "The writer's strength is not his own; he is a conduit who so positions himself that the world at his back flows through to the readers on the other side of the page. To keep this conduit scoured is his laborious task; to be, in the act of writing, anonymous, the end of his quest for fame."

Writing something down, even if brief, and even if in a blog, brings us closer to ourselves. And I think that glimpse of truth is also a glimpse of happiness.

Right now, my heart needs an aspirin. Because even though my pain usually resides in my stomach and occasionally in my throat, its country of origin is my heart. My heart, my heart, my heart. A damaged country.

Dear damaged country,
Take care of yourself. Don't worry about who comes and goes. Be detached. And no matter what, only concentrate on the good in the world. The feel of little hands. The sounds of laughter. The sky that's ever-present. The joy of being selfless. These are eternal. And if that doesn't work, bake a clafouti and fill it with sadness. Sadness once baked actually tastes pretty good. At least it does if you use enough sugar.


Friday, May 21, 2010

A Day

Today was a hard day. It was a day on the verge of tears. A day full of introspection and search. In the depths of my heart, a vacillation. A foe. A stranger that keeps knocking. The sacredness of a heart. The pain of its separation from Thee.

On Another's Sorrow by William Blake

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief.

Can I see a falling tear.
And not feel my sorrows share?
Can a father see his child,
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd?

Can a mother sit and hear.
An infant groan an infant fear?
No no never can it be!
Never never can it be!

And can he who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief & care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast;
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear;

And not sit both night & day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O! no never can it be!
Never never can it be!

He doth give his joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not. thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy maker is not by;
Think not, thou canst weep a tear,
And thy maker is not near.

O! he gives to us his joy.
That our grief he may destroy;
Till our grief is fled & gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Missed Another Beat

I left thinking it was summer. And came back feeling like winter. I should have aimed for spring.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the Dark Part of the Night

The words of someone I know.

"I like the dark part of the night, after midnight and before four-thirty, when it's hollow, when ceilings are harder and farther away. Then I can breathe, and can think while others are sleeping, in a way can stop time, can have it so – this has always been my dream – so that while everyone else is frozen, I can work busily about them, doing whatever it is that needs to be done, like the elves who make the shoes while children sleep."

- Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sometimes a tingly nose means there's an angel in the room. But sometimes a tingly nose means you're on the verge of a cold.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The single step leading up to the glass door would forever be branded into his brain. Turn around and run the other way.