Be honest, but not too honest.

I used to think personal narratives, stories born out of your own journey, or testimonies if you will, were free to be shared because they were mine and I’m ready to do so.

But, some have made it known that it is not wise, or because i’m ill informed about my own stories, or because others feel offended (which I don’t know why.). Just be vague, be indirect, beat around the bush, so the story is a safe one.

My own intention is to give encouragement so people who walk a similar path can also see that they are not in it alone because there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe I sound like I want people to know i’m a hero. Or maybe i share out of pride. Or maybe when i say (for example), i did not eat today the implication is because you who are listening did not feed me. Or maybe i’m just an immature 40 year old who can’t make head or tails about what is share and not.

Maybe.

I hear others sharing their journey. They are ok. They applaud. They rave.

Maybe it’s because others are more financially stable. Or because they have good jobs and a good career built as a foundation of their story. I assume this is the case.

I’m someone who values raw and real life stories. Because I want to know what you struggle with, not the victories and successes. I want to know your failures, not how you aced the test. The bruises, wounds, rage, emotions; the things that make me know you’re human. And how through your humanness, you survived and managed to climb upward. I want to hear real stories, not fairytales. Leave that to story books and movies and Netflix.

I don’t actually speak or write a lot about my journeys. Maybe because of that, when I do mention and make know, people assume all I talk about is myself.

I have stories of my journey I want to share, but I can’t because my testimonies are cringeworthy (to some people).

Be honest, they say, but not too honest.

Formula

I was in a bookstore today and read some short few pages of this memoir of sorts on the late novelist David Foster Wallace. He was a genius it said (I’m still trying my best to digest novels and I saw how thick his “Infinite Jest” novel is! If it were a textbook I wouldn’t be that intimidated), he was successful and he was really someone. But he, even in all that he had, he was also someone who struggled with depression. I’m just trying to relate life in some manner here. The formula of being a genius who was successful does not easily translate to having a meaningful and happy life. The same narrative is true of Mother Teresa who struggled even in her self giving life to the outsiders in India. I’m sure it’s easy to say god makes everything meaningful and all that stuff. But that’s not life. Life is not a simple math problem where we solve it with the right formula. There are no formulas to happiness.

Self destructive obedience

It only take seconds to self destruct,
A mindless thrust, and thus,
Exploding into disintegrating bits of debris,
Forgotten,
Neglected.

It takes forever to build,
To breath in Hope,
To believe
To trust.

For obedience is not an inner trait,
Slaves to a bent road,
Our souls deformed in embracing
Just “me.”

Virtue does not grow wings,
To those breathing,
But the constant journey of,
Obedience in the same direction.

A habitual undertaking of slow pants in walking,
Progress is not something instant,
A painter learns by instilling,
In her thoughts
quiet reflections.

Isolating,
moments from happenings,
Reading,
Imaginations from reality,
In daily interpretation,
Of Living,
Of Dying.

The straight and narrow,
Roads where few would choose,
To hear freedom…
Our devotion curbed to a life that reeks the smell of
Destruction.

if should my tears flow

if should my tears flow,
like raindrops to meadows,
like filling up empty water streams,
quench thirst to those in need,
not then are they of sorrow,
but welcoming what was taken away
like a parents receiving back their dead,
like flowers bloom in desolate lands,
like hearts broken could learn to kiss again…

if should my tears flow,
they do not speak words of sorrow,
but instead,
in them,
like you, I too will hear joy.

knowing where life in the end-ends

Ecclesiastes, (קֹהֶלֶת, Kohelet, "son of ...
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The defining key [of one that I would suggest] to somewhat end [a probable suggestion maybe?] the endless search for meaning is having the enlightening sense of perspective; knowing where life in the end, ends.

If so, we just live in the tension of the defining middle, to be content with whatever achievement that we are able to accomplish, the same sense of meaninglessness will still in one way or another overcome us like those who have missed or squandered their existence. For both will end their lot to the grave.

But if we are to argue that it’s to build an empire of solid foundation in exonerating our name to be a legacy not to be forgotten, even in that sense the toil we gather to build that thing will also be gradually forgotten. If not for those who “argue” our remembrance, the immortality of our name will only be a name among other names. But some transcend time and changing cultures and become icons.

And if so we become icons, or achieve iconic state, that transcends the barrier of time, not many would have understood the causes that we stood for, the conviction for the beliefs we held to. In the thoughts of the crowd, we are just like lifeless statutes; physically present but our totality still forgotten.

So what then is a good name compared to one that is the opposite of good? Both still hold the “forgotten” factor but on different degrees [some criminals such as Charles Manson might fit the description of a bad guy whose name become iconic]. But still the main idea of the “forgotten” factor still exist for both; building a name and not having one that is good enough to reach that fame status or respected status.

If death is the finality of all life, what then for purpose? What then for hope? What then for good if bad shares in the same kind of fate? For both of them die anyway?

So, if like in the beginning I stated that

“The defining key [I think there is] to somewhat end [a probable suggestion maybe?] the endless search for meaning is having the enlightening sense of perspective; knowing where life in the end, ends,

and to that lets pose a question, “What then is the enlightening sense of perspective that can make sense of the grim fact of dying?”

I think we all have a something we believe in to make our life tick although we live in between, of what I called the defining middle. It is best to live by it.

[This post has been in someways influenced by reading Ecclesiastes.]

life as a bird

Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta), common...
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In the morning, most of us are awakend to the sound of singing birds. Some wake up hearing the rooster crowing in the distance or the gawking of crows. The sounds are pleasant sometimes and sometimes just plain bad.

It makes me think of birds in a way. What do they do and what kind of life would be purposeful living as a bird. Birds sing and make some sort of distinct sound. They go about their business flying and feeding. They mate. They lay eggs and care for their chicks by bringing food for them. And at night they sleep. They live the same cycle everyday without fail and never get bored of the way they live. They are happy if they live like they are supposed to doing what they do. Life for them is simple.

Humans on the other hand have it hard. Having brains to think and feelings to feel. It’s hard to run the cycle of living with the need to know what this life is for. Whether we like it or not we live with the tension of routine and trying to understand the meaning of living that routine.

Humans have the tendency to rebel under the predicament of routine. Some rebel by doing something about it and become daredevils, living life on the fast lane. Life for them is to be lived chasing after something. Maybe chasing after the highs. Like in the movies where everything is moving and nothing seems boring. Some rebel by merely complaining and dreaming. Tired of the routine they live but unable to disband from the routine.

I’m not sure if birds ever rebelled, or lived in a different way like what they are supposed to do. But I think, they too will be thinking, when we introduce them to life in a cage (well maybe). But other than that, sometimes I just want to live like a bird. Just live, content with the normal cycle of living like a bird.

But maybe, life lived in the cycle of mundane existence trapped by complacency and in fear of breaking the cycle, is not supposed to be how we are to live.

Although I want to live like a bird, I can’t live like a bird.

Raindrops

Like the cycle of raindrops,
As the dark clouds beckons us to fall,
We drench the pavements of flat surfaces,
Trickle down mountains
Fill up river terrains,
But at the arrival of the sun
With it’s scorching heat
The sky calls us back
To where we first came…

And like trust built by two
Making known vows
Laden with promises
Who knows in the thought of ones beloved
For even devotion is a frail existence
On the surface of the universe.

Not knowing beginning nor the ending
We live in the tension of a middle existence
Having the present
Guiding light
For the steps that we have taken
As mortals
Are like dust to the wind

If so, questions of hope now arises
In the futility of life’s bitter cycle
The random repetitive circle of the sun rising
And sets to as the blue sky embraces the the darkness
Mere mortals
Like dust to the wind
Even in the perseverance of striving.

Time holds us by the head
And spins our oxygen filled breath
A run for its money
In chase of the next greatest movement
What the next generation
Smear their footsteps on our name’s sake achievements.

Like the cycle of raindrops
As the dark clouds beckons us to fall
We drench the pavements of flat surfaces
Tread a stream down the mountains
Fill up full, river terrains
But at the arrival of the sun
And it’s scorching heat
The sky calls us back
Our trace
Now but all forgotten.

Somehow today has been a depressing day. The noonday demon has made it’s way and buffeted my thoughts. This poem is a reflection of sorts on Ecclesiastes 1-4, which is probably the most cynical book in the bible. It’s a true classic.

Give me

SPECT nuclear imaging of the heart, short axis...
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Give me a heart made of stone
so I cannot feel, be pricked or pierced
So i don’t have to feel pain
pleading in the rain

Give me a heart like towering mountains
When i get hit I stand firm
and unmoved by words
because I could echo them back with the same kind of vengeance

Give me a heart that doesn’t pant
So i can run and not grow tired
and not stop for air because i have to
To outrun the maze this crazy life is into
and scoff at it catching up behind me

Give me a heart that’s unresponsive
in an explosion filled with truckloads of explosives
detonated to annihilate all sense of being
I come unscratched and unfazed
Alive but with a conscious sense of numbness

Give me all that, and i cease to be human
I cease to know a sense of injustice
like something is wrong
Give me all that, and I become less of a person
a walking zombie if you may
a lifeless plague of a being

Give me less pain i say,
I don’t understand it
why boomerang questions unanswered
Sturdy foundations seems like uneven surfaces
hope eludes and feels like no more than pretty fairy tales
A ‘happy ever after’ dilutes reality
like a mirage
it plays with the mind consumed with thirst

So give me…give me
give me less of a person
less of contemplated reason

but then again do i want this?

rote scapes of hue

Lambe Sujo
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as surely as the sun comes up,
the night will come again,
life is sometimes a cycle of,
predictable rote scapes of hue.

the tension of positive perspectivism,
or dry insidious cynicalism,
are two arguments that play out two extremes,
but what predictable rote scapes of hue
might teach us,
is to a plane that trips,
a hopeful outlook of
walking in the shade.