Seattle, WA
Poet, blogger, lawyer, educator, sista, sister, aunt, daughter, mentor, friend, dog owner, lover of music and all things gluten free... Writing about all of this and more.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where My Heart Is

I've got this great book on memoir that my dear friend JC got me for my birthday (thanks, Jace!). One section asks the reader/writer: Where is home? The trick is, just write for 10 minutes or so and see what happens. Here's what I got:

Home is...

...a split level house in the South End of Seattle. It's that house on Christmas in 1988, filled with the scents of homemade food. My big brother is home from college. I'm seven, toothless, smiling, wearing ruffles, warm, watching my handsome uncles tease my lovely, elegant aunties. I'm listening to my mom's laughter travel from the kitchen to every other room in the house. I see my dad standing like a redwood. I hold my Gram's hand, comb my Mother Dear's hair.

Home is a two bedroom home in Holly Park, a public housing section of Seattle where my grandma Mother Dear cooked the best stew and grew the best greens and filled crossword puzzles, stitched quilts, collected bric a brac, watched Mr. Ed, made me eat a teaspoon of honey and lemon and a sprig of spearmint when I was sick. It's her big hands, her soft hair, her gentle laugh, her warm hug, her sweetness.

Home is a two story brick house where my grandma Gram welcomed everyone, young and old, to make themselves comfortable and at home. I have a room there in my pre-adolescent years and it's there where i feel safest to be curious, different, creative. My imagination flourishes there, under the shade of her crab apple tree and behind the old shed that leaned into itself, even in the dirt of her rickety red, falling-down hot house, or in the ocean deep puddles under the pear tree after the rain, in the wormy worlds of the flower bed.

Home is mom's apple tarts. Gram's peach cobbler. Mother Dear's cornbread. Dad's cinnamon lattes. I can replicate them just close enough to be reminded that I miss them.

Home is, funny enough, wherever I am writing--just me and my thoughts, maybe a sputtering espresso machine behind me, setting the tempo to the slide of ink over paper or the click-clack of computer key. It's wherever I am that allows me to look back and smile, to look forward and know that it'll be alright.

For anyone who feels so inclined, Where is home for you? I'd like to know!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Surf/Love Calls

Snapshot moments have me riding serious waves
Boogy boarding
Hopin the dips and sways send me higher
Never down

But sometimes your choppy waters cut me cold
Slip salt into old wounds
They sting like new
Leave me gasping, gulping for air

I shake off dispair
But I consider swimming back to shore
I'm not too far out there just yet
I could make it home safely

Then I think of The Big One
This could be it!
The Big Air!

That wave that sends me high flyin
salt water kissing my face
making the wind whistle at us

I picture a smile, ocean deep eyes
And figure there's no harm in trying again
Just once more

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pray for L'Haiti

I hope and pray that the Haitian people can receive the comfort and relief that they need right now. You can text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 to the earthquake disaster relief. Also, American Airlines is taking doctors and nurses to Haiti for free. Please call 212-697-9767. And a friend and trusted source highly recommends Partners in Health as a good organization to support as they send aid to Haiti. And if you do #Haiti on twitter, you'll find lots of stuff too.

As I work on the "Soul" section of my writing project, I have been doing more Bible study and reflection lately. So perhaps that's why in regards to Haiti, in addition to my heart just going out to the victims and survivors on a purely human level, so much is also on my mind about the disaster from a spiritual standpoint.

I recently read this passage in John where a man who has been blind since birth comes to Jesus and asks for healing, and receives his sight. There's actually a LOT going on in this passage but the thing that stuck out for me, and which applies to the Haiti disaster, is the fact that the disciples were stuck on one question about the guy: they wanted to know why this man was afflicted with his condition since birth. They wanted to know if his situation was the result of sin. This reminds me of Job's story--how all his homies came to console him after he lost his kids, his land, his animals, got sick, etc. Anyway they come to comfort him and end up just insinuating that he must have sinned against God, and that he should just get over with it by cursing God. Gee, thanks guys, that helps.

Now, 2010, enter Pat Robertson's judgemental ass and his cockamamey (excuse the spelling) rationale for why this disaster befell the Haitian people: he claims they made a deal with the devil a long time ago. Are you freaking kidding me?! Pat, you need to check yourself! Seriously. His response is sad, crazy, and sick. But so consistent, I guess, with the way human nature works a lot of the time. I think a lot of us do that on a smaller scale; we see someone who is down on their luck and we wonder what they must have done to get there. Perhaps this is just a natural response, but for me I'm going to try to focus instead on what I can do to help another person, rather than judging and assessing what they must have done wrong to deserve their circumstances. Cuz if that's the way things work--we're all in for it.

A comfort: God isn't like that. Yes, the Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and that sins get punished. But luckily, with God we have second chances and we have grace. Also luckily, Jesus was (and IS) about healing people, saving people, rather than condemning and persecuting. I'm still figuring a lot of stuff out about myself, my spirituality, religion, etc., but at least for the moment, I'm very comforted at that thought.

Again, I hope and pray that Haiti can find some comfort. Haiti, j'ai une coeur blesse pour vous.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lumps and Scars

Still working on this.

I've got lumps and I've got scars
and I've cried tears
and counted stars
and wished upon them
Seen them shooting across the sky while leaning against my love's chest
and I've plucked flower petals with bated breath
with faith to move mountains, and hope that their outcome would lead to love

I've got scars and I've got lumps
and I've run races
skipped and jumped
suppressing grunts and gasps and grumbles
Holding it all together, watching my faith crumble into smaller-than-mustard seed remmants of innocence
but balancing it all in my hands, cupping it closely like water

I'm Hope's daughter
and these lumps and scars are warrior-markings...