Friday, October 24, 2014

From the Underbelly of Sycamore Bark

Well hellooo my cyber-verse home that I hitchhiked away from some ten months ago. 
I have found my way back to your familiar white slate. 

I'm just feeling it today and want to share my experimental text from a course 
I am taking / loving / appreciating called Writing the Natural World. I wrote the following poems on their own individual sheets of sycamore bark I gathered from a neighborhood park. Afterwards, I impulsively scattered my words and wood around a campus tree with branches and leaves that mushroom out to create a hut of green. 


Transcribed from the underbelly of Sycamore bark.
Eyes are no sacred jewels if the mind is whispered to from senseless masses.
No sight is the surface if the surface
is hollow.
So take the cracks and peel them
I have all to cover for the mass and all to splay for you.

Wrapped around my internal root. Speckled and uniform are these folds
Matted to my contours. Too rigid and tight but good enough for the masses.

This is my hide.
Streaked and carved with the teeth of the hungry
and the abrasions from the self.

Unadorned, I am raw and flesh and yellow. Weathered grey now yellow.

Tempted to shatter with the grace of withering leaves
still there to please.
To shatter.
To shatter and to feel shed of these flakes of me.

Facades exhaust the energy I have.
Rigid and opaque is this border that [ ] up to give features to a mass of masses.

Exfoliate me, please.

Wind, came to shed me.
Rain, came to tear me.
Hands, come to breathe me.

I flake and you shudder. These pores are not wounds,
do think.

Come, caress these whorls, these creases of age.
Stale and tanned from too long a show.
Look up
and delight in the blotches of yellow that now shine white.
The weathered tan will come.

As if my petals have curled open to welcome all to the nectar within,
I bloom.
From the limbs that bask among the songbirds and green veins
to the hold of the earth
I slowly flake apart
to feel the heat and scatter of life my flesh did not allow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Eve of a New [Chinese] Year

Ah, like the good olde feeling of nostalgia. At random moments, it fills you up with comfort and a smile. That's how I've been thinking about eohs. I haven't signed on in a while because I felt a bit hesitant to put my words out there. If I were to be honest, I didn't really take the time to come up with any words to begin with. Since tomorrow is Chinese New Year, I'd like to start again. You know how when life picks up, the things you do for yourself go to the wayside first? Well I can only speak for myself but that's what happened last semester. While I recognize this in retrospect, I also recognized it during the semester.

Hmmm, bringing myself back 5 months. I felt invigorated by my courses but I quickly realized I had taken on too much. Maybe 27 hours of class and studio time was making me a bit crazy. I felt frustrated with myself because I didn't even have the time to absorb everything that poked at my curiosity or helped me feel refreshed. After a month of feeling like Raggedy Ann caught in the jaws of a 24-hour day, Sam helped me realize that hellooooooo I am in total control. So I dropped a beloved studio but gained back 6 hours of much needed time. I don't like to make trade-offs but I knew that I had to. I still had to function at a non-stop pace, but I could now take a gulp of air here and there. That type of pressure I can work under.

Then in October, Sam was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma, which at first I thought was an infectious disease [should've turned to Google] but turns out, it's not. When he told me that he'd have to get surgery to remove the mass that we THOUGHT was bulky muscle from getting swoll at the gym, I thought that that would be the end of it. But then when he told me about the chemotherapy, that's when the word "cancer" threw up in my mouth. Yes, gross. The next morning we went the Castlewood to hike the earth and look down at the changing autumn leaves. We wanted to be invincible.

This was right before Halloween and no haunted house or bloody ghoul could compete with the cancer. So naturally, on our way up to Iowa to be with family and docs, I brought along face tattoos that I had saved up for a year. And when I say face tattoos, I mean full-body-forehead-to-chin-tattoos.


Now, there's about a month left of treatment. Although we've adjusted to it and life is at a new normal, it's still strange that this is a thing. All my thoughts are no longer about his cancer, but when I do think about it, I think "how odd." But happiness is now even more clearer to see and to feel. I genuinely feel happy everyday and smiling comes easy. I think that's just what happens when love and appreciation are shared with abundance.

My absence from blogging has been jam-packed with life. And I think I'm ready to share it again.