what has this past year been to you?
maybe mid-life crisis is one way of saying it. quarter-life crisis anyways.
that year of hitting a wall of infinite possibilities. decisions. choices. consequences. the map evolving, detouring, rerouting, second by second. thought by thought.
jobs. career. relationships. family. boyfriends. lovers. marriage. friends. the list goes one.
falling into a confusion so deep it leaves a bed and darkness for solace.
not wanting it anymore. not wanting to do it anymore. no longer seeing the point.
so much to learn but sometimes the culmination of the human experience is like a budget tour package. you would have been better off not going.
but how are we to get off this ride?
i don’t know. i don’t know. i don’t know. how then does this make me wise?

how do you get off the ride?
death. seems like the obvious answer. but nobody wants to say it. i don’t get why.
in Mexico deities and saints concerned with death are not viewed as “good” or “bad”. light vs evil. death is neural. maybe if we didn’t see this as one big fucking loss it would be easier to jump off. easier to let go. easier to be let gone of.
but we tend to seek alternatives.
words appear: happiness, dreams, love. they confuse me even more sometimes. maybe this is why i’ve found such growing appeal for the hippie life style–weed. peace. love. don’t need to worry about armpit hair. enjoying nature. making music. living art.
i think they’re onto something. the world sees them as mad, but i think there is more truth to their insanity.

why wisdom?
‘wisest is he who knows he knows not’
maybe i’d like as my epitaph. other things only add to wisdom- broker hearts. hurting families. lies. disappointments. love. happiness. none of them are truly lasting. they all give to wisdom.
pursuit of wisdom is eternal learning. learning to know you don’t know. seeking anyways. i heard something funny not too long ago, “God created man. Man created God.”
wouldn’t you like to know?

a little while ago, as i was sitting on my patio enjoying the garden and the sun, i realized someone at the gate was trying to get my attention. i recognized her as the elderly woman i passed by on our lane on occasion. more often than not, she would be picking flowers from where they hung over walls. without a clue of what she could want from me, i opened the gate but did not ask her inside.

“what are you doing?” she asked me. i wondered about the relevance before telling her i was heading out in a bit.

Then ensued the following dialogue:
Her: it doesn’t matter if it’s just one or two, but please give me some of those flowers
Me: but they’re not mine
Her: whose ever they are, it’s for the god Pashupati
Me: they belong to my landlords, and they tend to them so well
Her: but it’s for Pashupati!
Me: i don’t believe in Pashupati.
Her: how can you not believe in god?
Me: i didn’t say i didn’t believe in God.
Her: Pashupati is the main god especially for Kathmandu.
Me: you have your beliefs, i have mine, if they were my flowers i would give them to you, but they’re not. i’m sorry.

she mumbled as she walked away, i wondered if she was cursing me under her breath. i also wondered what her god must think about offerings nicked from other people’s property.

after you leave, there are places i no longer frequent. the city is pierced with memories of you, you see. and from where i sit, i can remember your arms around me and the sting of your kiss. the salt from after the earthquake  dusty on your shirt and your skin. 

you were so happy to see me in that moment. you sat next to me, not across, so you could whisper in my ear and make me giggle. a spectacle were we, those men had reason to stare, we gave them that and we laughed carefree. 

i don’t come here much anymore, thestaff expect you by my side, you see. and though i don’t need you to be complete there is an emptiness to sitting here, alone, no one across and certainly no one beside me. 

i loved you too much, maybe, and in the aftermath of a twice broken heart i try to recover in iced appleade, no sandwich today, not for me, not even if it’s chicken and cranberry.  

i don’t want this missing of you, i resent still blinking back tears. it’s either love or hate, i can’t find inbetween so slowly I’ll go back to those places, my places, you will eventually fade into dusty salty memories. i always hated how you ate most of my food anyways. 

it would start with a wedding. what better way to set the scene for a confusion of culture and contrast of creeds? the wedding would be the culmination of it all, the frustration, the clashes, the conflicts in between. and from there, from there we could launch in the question of identity. the value (or lack there of) of nationalism. from there we question ourselves as cultural animals, socially constructed, we attack the beliefs we should have inherited. we debate beliefs at all, their purpose, their value, and inevitable, the point of the human self.

from there, maybe from there, i could get this booking going.

i’ve been retelling this story lately, the one about when i was a little girl and would write songs. “write songs”. day in and day out over what must have been at least a few weeks (if not an entire summer), i would walk out to my “invisible tree”. the one on the main path leading to the main campus. the one in clear view.

i would settle on a branch enthralled at having a view over everyone (but no one could see me remember?). and there i would sit prepared for the task of the day: to write the next hit song launching my career as a child star.

based on what i don’t remember i would start singing. so sure was i that this, this was the next hit that i wouldn’t even bother to write down the lyrics. the song was going to be so good i would automatically remember it. yes. that’s how good it was.

i’d belt out and whisper and carry my voice where i thought it needed to be led. i gave it my all. i knew, just KNEW that this would be the one.

i never remembered a song past 5 minutes of when it born.

but the next day, with my confidence unfaltered, i would find my way to my tree, knowing today was the day.

i’ve never been as confident of anything ever since. i wonder where that little girl has gone.

being in the company of others no longer holds the same appeal as solitude. while there is an individual here and there that i feel like is an extension of the world in my mind, others, i weary of.

what is there lacking in the presence of others that adds discomfort to my sense of being? am i then under the pressure of presenting myself as they perceive me? am i too tainted to show that i am not well, that there are matters deep inside which are heavy and unsettling? do i not related to those i am surrounded by anymore? have i alienated myself and allowed them to become strangers?

i’m not sure.

what i am certain of is that i find immense peace is being with no one by myself, a notebook, a book, maybe my computer/phone, and a pen…and some music please. these days i enjoy not uttering a word out loud all day. i enjoy puttering around at my own pace. i am thrilled that i have picked up a pen and have started expressing the state of my mind in patters and not in words. and i am happy to come back here and try to construct thoughts into sentences. there are things i want to write, you see, and i need to find the right context and frame to present them in.

and for all this, the silence and the safety of being alone is precious.

here, i am alone but i do not feel lonely. loneliness is more apt at grabbing me when surrounded by others where i feel a tinge of inadequacy. the constant competition that prevails when in groups holds no interest. social niceties are more than i can bear. and the meaningless meanderings of day to day tasks that are said to be important, i have not the heart to take part in these activities.

i find myself in contrast and in solitude i simply want to ponder and create. i want to be. to be without judgments, without preconceived notions, without expectations. i am most happy when left to paper and pen, words and books, music and beats. this is how my soul will heal, how i’ll find direction, where maybe i’ll find me. the little girl i used to be, i want to do her proud, because for doing it for her, i’ll be doing it for myself. and that, somehow, matters.

he was frustrated, and therefore frustrated at me.

“how do you not even have a table? how do you live like this?”

it hadn’t really occurred to me before. the impracticalities of my living condition. but it was true, i didn’t have a real table, nor chairs, and as he repeatedly pointed out–my kitchen lacked a proper counter and I also don’t own a bread knife. or an oven.

in the past i had jokingly said i still live like a college student, because in many ways i do. the furniture i own came free. the dishes were extras my parents had. the bulk of my possessions comprise clothing and books–the same articles i have carried with me from room to room, country to country for most of my life. i have things, but few belongings. i could be packed and out of the place in a day.

he wanted a station to paint. and he hated the lighting.

“i want to redo your place.” he talked and i allowed myself to imagine my living space turning into a home. moving into the bigger room. turning one corner into a chilling area. making a guest room that could double as a study. a full dining table, and chairs. a proper set of kitchen knives. new curtains. i thought about where we could hang the random pieces of art and décor i have.

as i thought about transforming my apartment to into something more comfortable i wondered why i hadn’t already done all of this. why had i never actually bought furniture? why was the closest i had come to owning my own bed been an uncomfortable futon? why did i move all the time but never settle anywhere?

“we should buy a table,” he said, “it could be our first big purchase together.”

it was a nice thought. it made me smile. and then a moment of awkward took over, the moment where we realized this was fantasy. we would not buy anything together. we would not redo my (maybe “our”) place together. he was leaving the country, and as history is prone to repeat itself, that meant he was also leaving me.

and there it was, the resounding presence of non-permanence.

the constant of people coming and going. the constant of moving. the banality of acquiring possessions. of setting room again, and again, and again. of having each living space be temporary. so why buy a full sized bed? and then get new bedding to go with it. why find a dining table, and chairs, and dining accessories? why invest in a place that i am only passing through? why do all this unless i actually settled.

“once i settled” used to feel inevitable, it was linked to a career, a life partner, things that stayed constant. things in reality i know very little about. i believed they would come with age, with adulthood. and yet as i grow near 30, i wonder what i missed along the way. a table. a lamp. the right bulbs. a house being a home.

maybe one of these days, i’ll go find a table. and then i’ll get a chair to go with it.


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