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Haikuesday 12.30.14

December 30, 2014 Leave a comment

All I did today

was talk about death and loss,

but they were good talks.

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Haikuesday 12.23.14

December 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I sat at booth

.for eggs and conversation

with two great ladies.

.

A knock at the door.

December 21, 2014 1 comment

I have been thinking a lot about the unrest between civilians and law enforcement, my family’s own experiences with racism and the police, and the good people I know who serve in law enforcement. The recent murder of the two Brooklyn police officers confirm that things will get worse before they get better.

In the midst of trying to process what’s happening, I keep coming back to a specific memory from over 15 years ago. It was the first time I realized the police were human beings. When I was a teenager, I had distrust and bias against police because of my cousin, who is biracial, and his negative experiences. Looking at how Noah was treated put me on guard. Then when I was 17, my brother was killed by a drunk driver the week before Christmas. Since we’re at that time of year, this is part of the reason I keep thinking of that moment. During the shock of my brother’s sudden death, my family could care less about celebrating the holidays. We felt a distinct absence of things to celebrate. Our friends and family visited frequently, but as soon as the last guest left, the house was quiet with an empty sadness.

About two days before Christmas, I was in our quiet house with nothing to do but feel lost. I hadn’t been going to school because I could barely put on my socks. There was a knock at the door, and I figured it was another fruit basket or bouquet of flowers. I opened the door and there stood the two police officers that were at the scene of the crash that killed my brother. The two men stood on our front porch, holding upright between them a fully decorated Christmas tree. They told me and my parents they figured it would be too much to think about a tree, but they wanted us to have something nice.

Before that moment, I never saw an officer as a person. I certainly never thought a part of an officer’s duty or code of conduct was to reach out and comfort victims and their families. Really, I don’t know where I’m going with retelling this memory. I guess I’m just thinking that with each stupid, senseless death we experience, we have a chance to regain our humanity.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , , ,

Connected.

December 20, 2014 2 comments

I stop writing when it’s best for me to keep writing. There are certain times where I don’t like how I feel–self-doubt, fear, helplessness. Sometimes their volume is too loud and rather than adjusting the noise, I plug up my ears are hope things will change by magic. In these times, I don’t want to write. I don’t want to sit down and face those thoughts. But then nothing changes.

I don’t know what happened. I loved 2013. I won at 2013. This year, though, while some lovely things have transpired, it seems like 2014 is trying to run me over and I’m barely keeping ahead. These past few weeks, I really didn’t know what to do with myself. December 19th marks the anniversary of my brother’s death. Some years, that day is OK. Last year, for example, I don’t remember struggling. I remember being in a good spot. I know I felt sad, but I also know I was OK. Not this year though. I was not OK. As I got closer to December 19th, I grew more and more anxious about not being OK. I kept trying to plow forward, and on December 18th, I had a very quiet melt down at my dojo’s holiday party. Old lesson re-learned: Ignoring your problems doesn’t make them go away. They just get bigger.

So what the heck was I supposed to do?

Yesterday, on December 19th, I sat at my desk, silently wiping away my tears and trying not to hyperventilate so I could keep my office mate in the dark. Clearly, I could not spend the rest of my day like that. I did consider just walking out of the building and never going back, but instead, I tried something different.

I told my friends how I felt.

While I hate being vulnerable, I hate being fake even more. I feel weak when my anxiety takes over, and even when I admit out loud that I can’t always manage how I feel, but pretending kills me. I don’t know what the point is to acting like I’m always fine when I’m not. What is the point of having good people in your life if you can’t be honest? I started to wonder if I always act tough, maybe my friends might hold back from telling me when things aren’t right with them because I might not be able to relate. I don’t want that kind of imbalance in my life.  It took a while to work up to it, but I sent little messages to some of my friends and family to let them know I was having a rough day, and I wanted them know I love them and I’m glad they are in my life. Some of those friends and family were missing my brother as well, so it felt comforting to make that connection. Some of my friends never knew my brother, but because they are outstanding people, their words and gestures of support made me feel like a real person again. In a moment of foresight earlier in the week, I asked my spirit sister, Joy, to hang out with me that night in case I didn’t want to be alone. By the time she showed up at my apartment, I was actually in a good mood. Joy passed off a little care package from our friend, Gatto, which contained, chocolate, cheese, and a peanut butter chocolate beer. My heart exploded.

I didn’t want to write until I had something triumphant to put on paper, some remarkable achievement or landmark. I didn’t want to spend time on doubt and fear. But maybe it’s worth it. Not every post or poem has to be memorable, but there’s value in the process. Silence will keep us stagnant and fragmented. Words will keep us connected.

I want to stay connected.

 

 

 

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment

I did it very quietly, but I added a page to this blog. In 2015, I will release my first book ever, a haiku collection. If you would like to learn more about the book and sign up for the mailing list, just click this link.

And while I have your attention, I want to say thank you to all you kind readers who check in here from time to time. Your support means so much. I hope 2015 treats you right.

Categories: Poetry Tags: , , ,

Haikuesday 12.16.14

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

My bike got a flat,

but I had great sets tonight.

What’s broke can be fixed.

Haikuesday 12.09.14

December 9, 2014 Leave a comment

I made myself go

to class tonight. I had to.

Routine keeps me sane.