The Silence between Two Mirrors

 

The silence sinks deep to the bottom of the heart.

The silence makes the eyes close and breathes its way out.

The silence tousles the top of the hair as if it knows what is going on.

The silence awes the soul in the evening of the bright orange sky.

The silence of snowfall.

 

The silence seals the lips and hardens air.

The silence droops the shoulders and hunches the back.

The silence that voice cannot gather any word to let out.

The silent screams fossilized over the years that had to be taken out by surgery leaving a round scar around the neck.

The silence lost in silence.

 

The puffed-up silence whipped to be blown up.

The silence doing jumping jacks in the head.

The silence that can shout more truth at some moments than any words.

A moment of the silence in a large group of people, one impossible moment sometimes happens.

The silence after the last breath.

 

The silence veils the house and covers every window.

The silence shuts the door and stacks the wall up.

The silence seeps through every crack.

The silence not spoken but exposed.

The silence of the old dust.

 

The heavy, the light, the wet, the dry silences. The silence of a falling leaf and its farewell to life.

The silence leaned on when one doesn’t know what to say or where to look.

The silence substitutes many prayers when the knees hit the ground with the head dropped.

The silence as a weapon or as a shield, sometimes as a trench that can be crouched in.

The silence opens the space that people can land in.

 

The silence of the onlookers.

The silence of the audience.

The silence of the speaker.

The silence after a gasp.

The silence already full.

 

The silence for the silence, or the silence for something else.

The silence tossed among strangers.

The silence of infinite languages between lovers.

The silence weeps when the heart bleeds.

The silence and the night.

 

The silence stands by the trees when they grow.

The silence watches the pink petals of a flower bud opening.

The silence guards the dog’s night dream.

The silence of the midday sun.

The silence never reached.

 

The silence after a shock, a shot, a shock after a shot.

The silence of the phone.

The silence shared, or misunderstood.

The silence contracts the ribs tight.

The silence before one word is spoken.

 

The silence before the big bang.

The silence sweeps and heals.

The silence needs to be sung.

The silence dressed in many layers but still bare.

The silence stored and never opened.

 

The silence that peeks at the corner and puts an index finger in front of the lips.

The silence kept, or broken.

The silence hides a person like a bunny in the magician’s hat.

The noun and the verb of silence feel very different.

The silence transferred or transformed from one person’s eyes to the other.

 

The silence pairs with the silence.

The silent smile.

The silent tears.

The silent icy face.

The silence, reflected.

 

When the words became the skeleton

I put a stethoscope on her chest, I didn’t hear a beat, but a melody, a sad and beautiful one.

When I got back the X-ray of her chest later, I understood the reason that her heart didn’t drum but sings. It is surrounded by her ribs inscribed with the tiny words that she’d heard thousands of times over and over when her bone grew from the size of a toothpick to the girth of pencil… the lamenting words from her close ones, the ones whom she should have leaned on in her hard days but couldn’t… all overlaid with her lifetime effort to scratch out those sad rhymes with the heart-ringing beautiful notes that she has collected in her journey in this world, in this world.

Difference? No Different.

What is the taste? The taste of difference.
The difference of skin of color, the curl of the hair, the culture, the body fat, the blood pressure, how to handle mean weather, or an opinion. I felt alienated when I had a different opinion from the majority of the group. And it happened a lot in my life, as if I was a fish whose eyes were behind the head or something. I couldn’t take my eyes to the same spots with the others. Or I wouldn’t. So my seat has been often the lonely one, like a tangy fruit among the sweet juicy ones.

One of my recent friends insisted on forming a book club of four women having the same ethnic background. I didn’t know the other two. She said that we were a similar age group and lots of things were common, so it would be fun. Well… the first book was a thick yellow book that wasn’t quite my taste of reading. She gave me a copy as a present a few days before. The book that I really didn’t have any interest in lifting the cover. I could guess already from the beginning to the ending from the movie poster that was made several years before. But, well… let’s try, I thought. She was enthusiastic, excited with the new gang, so I hopped on her bus and rode along. I read all. But the bus route wasn’t mine. I passed the several stops hoping that the bus might pass my type of landscape or I could adjust the new boring scenery, but the ride became a fast downhill to the ditch. All I got from it was a mouthful of mud and a soiled overcoat. Luckily, my inside was intact, not wounded or injured. I crawled out of that vehicle and looked around… and wondered… how? I already knew this ending from the beginning. I just fooled myself to believe in the same outlook of our shapes and the same cultural background would match our inner realms also. Then, the dirt in my mouth and the sharp tanginess in theirs.

Silence has been my old friend. But it talks. Very loud inside.
It has a scent too, like a laundry fresh out of the dryer, like a well-ironed white oxford shirt, or like the snowfield spread wide to the horizon in the early morning.
I can swallow any opinion about politics, real estate development nearby, dinner menus, vacation plans, choosing the right college for my son, the length of my hair, the best way of boiling pasta, but I cannot do that in one thing. My opinion about the lines I read. My silence that suits great to the blue sky would transform into many clouds, the dark thick layers charging lightning and thunder that would drench everything around me with its mighty volume of precipitation. Then, it would be too late to dry the stuffed minds with cotton balls. They would be soaked to the core and have to drag the heavy wetness of my different opinion from theirs. Difference is fine. It won’t give them chill if they shed those deluged minds. The rain will pass.

<February 13th, 2019>

A Name to Call

Did you look at me? That time, that space.

Life fades only in parts over time. The rest remains.
Sometimes, it gets more vivid and even emits new vibrancy under the old sun.

Who is that? Under the moonlight, under the stars, below the wind.
Nothing, or something, that thing knocks on my door with its silent whisper. I am intrigued to walk to the window and spellbound under the night, my mind goes all the way back or all the way forward, looking out, I might not be there.

The words, those striving signals embedded to transfer one’s deepest thought to another… almost fail without the help of some others. A smile, a sigh, a tear, a glance, a gasp… isn’t that enough before the word comes? When this happens, the words follow after stir the moment of oneness. They split the moment of one into halves, dozens, hundreds, and dissect those pieces again and again.

Did you look at me? You did. I looked at you.
The words weren’t necessary. But we talked. That’s what was expected, what we were supposed to do. Then, there were many signals, interpretations, misinterpretations… the barrier went up with these noises between two people. What was necessary? Nothing. Then, came the time of no word. No words possible, no words needed.

Who are you? What am I?
I love huge animals so much. What do you love? A little kitten?
You can hold a cup and put the kitten in, while I swim in the ocean with a giant blue whale. When the whale bellows, it sounds like an enormous horn blowing, I wonder if that is a word, if there is any meaning… or it is just an expression of the moment, like a relieving sigh or a joyful giggle.

A ship arrives. We can board it and sail out in open space. A black sea with sparkles… we are old souls, you know that? We are a million years old. You close your eyes, I do too. The ship fades, my memory fades, and I’m back. On my back on the floor looking at the ceiling. If tears run, let them be. Something beautiful in there, melting; flowing.

Whale jumps, cat jumps. Life flows, we stay.
Your little kitten got lost outside, my whale swam away to find its herd. You are left alone, and I am left alone in our own individual lands. The safe territory with boundaries.

If there is a name, let’s call it with it.
If there is no name, give it one. It’s unfair existing without any name. Life is already mean enough to one to live, to die, to have something in the heart that has no name to be called. But when one thing beyond expression touches the other in its mystery, it is magic to live in, dive in, to be lost in and land on.

<October 18th, 2018>

Fire

“I would have taken someone’s hand,
even though I had known that
it was the gate to the hell’s fire.”

Heat first to decompose the flammable material into volatile gas. These volatiles are oxidized by oxygen in the air and the chemical reaction happens to release radicals. This is the time when flame can be seen with the eyes and the radical reaction generates heat. This heat decomposes the flammable thing again and it cycles back to the beginning of the fire. It is a process. Fire already happens before flame can be noticed in the eyes.
Three things required for fire to happen or continue. Heat, fuel, and oxygen. If any of these three is removed during the process, the fire dies out.

Once I wrote that it is hard to unlearn what already learned. It was there in my brain and came out involuntarily without my consent. So does memory. The opposite is also true. At times, I was desperately rummaging my brain for a certain piece of knowledge or a memory, but I couldn’t retrieve it. My despair. I lost it.

To hold onto it, to retrieve it, to release it, I write.
I use an infinite blank space to get help, to store the precious moments to come back, to grope with my mind’s eyes… feeling the same emotion, or deeper because I knew that it was not here anymore. Then, I felt my heart moving in different wild ways beyond the blood pumping to my physical body.

Eyes to see, ears to listen, hands to what?
All kinds of activities were up to hands. The movement was related to the person, the occasion, the moment, and the decision. I can write, I can type, I can land them in front of my heart to pray. I don’t have to look at them for certain moves, I have to look at them for certain moves, I have to even hold them refraining them from certain moves, like to stop shaking or the third finger rising. They got often cold for me, so I put them under my thighs when I sat and waited for someone. That someone made me cold a lot, but I remember him with a fire in my heart. He asked my hand for something, and I took his hand not for something but because it was his hand.

I give directions with my hands. I cover my face with them, I wipe my tears with them, I rub my eyes with them. Often I lit the candle with them and watch the flame grow, and think of the process of fire. It is already there before the flame happens. I would have taken someone’s hand, even though it was the gate to the hell’s fire.
Time passed. One of the three for the fire to progress died out. One hand under my chin, I’m watching the snowfield and the pale pink and blue sky painted by the rising sun. The morning.

<March 7th, 2019>

Re-cOVERing

a cut a wound a snowfall

a fire a fireplace the glow

the hands the breaths one bed

memory missing heart the blinded eyes

an indoor flower pot a squirrel outside a death in between

a life a cycle a spring

 

a letter a postmark a despair

a text two fingers a draft

a song not sung but heard

a razor a cut blood dripping on a tile

a mirror no one water runs

a house a silence let her sleep

 

<February 27th, 2019>

MouthFull

The feeling of satisfactory fullness of spaghetti noodles one third overflowing over my mouth, the freshly cooked white rice stuffed greedily with the side dishes on the table, the big bite of a fat burger trying to hold everything between the buns, cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, meat, pickles, and the delicate maneuver of creating the chemistry of taste in the barely moving food inside the mouth.

I forgot this feeling after I became a pescatarian three years ago. The mystery of practicing yoga or aging, I don’t know which one contributed more, affected my eating habit somehow. I was a born meat eater. I really loved the fat ingrained hanger steak, heavily sauced deep-fried chicken wings, and the following course, the devilishly sweet dessert that swept the memory of the greasiness of main dish away. Then, one day after yoga, I was hungry and cooked hastily the good-looking skirt steak and ate the whole thing, and felt sick. I couldn’t get out of the bad experience for a week, started to refrain from meat, and felt better over time with my new pattern of diet. As my meat consumption strongly related to my sweet consumption, I ate fewer desserts, and somehow, I lost the taste that I was looking for before. They were not delicious anymore. Tasting meat when I cooked for my son became a little trouble for me. I became a thinker in front of a plate nibbling this and that, like the ladies I hadn’t liked before assuming them to be too picky. I became one. My taste bud transformed and I thought the carnivore world vanished over the horizon for me until now.

Adding a new physical activity 9 months ago changed my desire for certain foods once again. A couple of months ago, after my active class of Jeet Kune Do (JKD, the Bruce Lee’s Martial Art), I found my temptation to bite into the steak I prepared for my younger son. I didn’t, but certainly, something has shifted again. I am craving the feeling of the satisfying mouthful of food like a carnivore animal taking the first bite of its hunt. I found the ravenous desire for a full mouth in me somehow related to the vigorous activity in practicing attack and defense with men full of the artificially made wild animal energy ground. And I enjoy that. But my body seems to be confused with these two very different and similar activities. Very physical in both (for me, martial art training is less physical because I am at the beginner level). In yoga, the energy goes deep inside and radiate a little outward space by the inner energy expanding. In JKD, the energy directs outward to defend and protect myself with the skills deposited inside through the practice. I love both.

As much as I like making choices in food consumption based on the increase of my body awareness through yoga, I’d love to have a big bite of something, something really full that makes my mouth hardly move, the noodles, the steamy sticky rice, the deadly delicious burger, the hot dog with the well-grilled giant sausage inside, the chunk of soft meat flaked from the divinely cooked barbeque pork ribs with its greasy sweet and a little tangy sauce… Peter Luger, Katz’s Deli, Maggiano’s were the names that I had thought that I had left in my past but now have become my question for the future destination.

Maybe I’ll nibble, maybe I’ll show my face with two cheeks budging like a squirrel in the fall with a mouthful of life. Whatever it will be, fill the plate and see what happens!

<February 20th, 2019>