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>

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>

The Collective Crime

To be forgiven, there should be something done wrong in the first place.
A crime, a harm, a wrongdoing. Nothing comes up to my mind in particular in this matter. However, how about the collective wrongdoing, the collective crime, the collective harm. The morality of group tends to be very low due to the shared guilt. As the group gets larger, the shared guilt gets smaller and smaller, until the moral level becomes negligible. This bothers me a lot lately when I’ve seen the clips of video or the news of nature suffering by our wrongdoings. The dead whales stuffed with plastic, the fishes on the shore having vinyl bags in their bellies, the hungry polar bear migrating looking for food due to the melted iceberg… so I wonder, when I take out a plastic bag from a packaged box to wrap the leftover bread, I really wonder if we can stop this madness or will this go on until the suffering comes to our doorstep, knocking.

Last spring, a large mama turtle died on the small road to my house. She seemed to be circling the road to find the place where she had laid eggs before. But the place was gone. The large apartment complex development had cut a thousand of trees and had fenced the area to the way to a creek. She got hit by a car by an ignorant driver, probably one of the construction trucks, I was very upset to see her body and eggs spattered on the road. I was angry, but I didn’t know where to direct my anger, I didn’t know who to blame for the death of her, for her puzzled existence for the unexplainable loss of her habitat, for her desperation to find the place to give birth, give birth to life. The life killed by the unknown hands, had more than one individual involved, the enormous crowd hiding behind the development, the consumerism, the everyday convenience of taking plastic bag out to wrap the bread to eat for a few more days.

Definitely, I did something wrong. And I don’t know how I can make it right. I don’t know how to start, how to be forgiven. I want to say sorry to that mama turtle for my helplessness watching all the trees cut down and witnessing the small nature disrupted in front of my nose. I don’t know how to raise the collective moral of the people living on earth at this time of the world clock. I don’t know how to cut back myself to do anything that would harm nature when I pump the gas into my car. I don’t know how to stop wondering when I see fruits at a grocery store that traveled across the continent or countries are so cheap for their miles of the travel. I don’t know how to stop thinking about the disturbed minds over the images of the suffering nature that forget easily over their convenience of living. I often think that, when we beg the forgiveness from nature that we have messed up, bending our knees to the ground wouldn’t be enough. I often think that it is already too late to stop the wheel of the human vice on earth. It has rolled downhill at an incredible speed that is impossible to stop until it crashes at some point.

<March 13th, 2019>

A Simple Thing

I found only one glove, for the right hand.
When I walked my dog this morning, my left hand found a refuge in the pocket of my winter coat. What a comfort! My coat had a pocket! Then, something bothered the arch of my left foot. A small object was inside of my snow boot. The pokes made me limp a little when I walked. I thought of stopping to check that out, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to disturb my pup’s exhilarating morning exploration. I kept walking. After a while, the object in my boot moved to my heel and it felt a bit better. I didn’t have to limp. I was satisfied with the fact that I didn’t have to do anything to lessen my discomfort. At some point, when my dog indulged in an interesting spot, I stopped walking, took off my boot, and shook it upside down to remove the thing that bothered me. Then, we walked again. I felt the joy of being free of bothering object in my shoe.
A simple thing, an addition or a removal of it from life, gives a joy. Sometimes, it gives more joy than a long-aspired success, promotion, or achievement. Or I wonder, is it just me feeling that way. But it seems it doesn’t matter. If I feel that way, then, my universe should feel that way.

My universe… even if it doesn’t exist without me, I cannot understand it.
Why do I like some people? Sometimes, the opposite happens. I tried, I said. I really tried to like him or her, but I couldn’t. A simple thing, a small detail, or some unknown reason that I couldn’t figure out, made others repulsive to me. I should be grateful that there are still people who want to be close to me. I really tried! But I couldn’t bring myself to the place where my repulsion subsides in the presence of those people. Maybe chemicals, or hormones, or something other… My universe seems not needing my understanding at all… it has its own way of making the things up without my participation.

Up and down. Ups and downs. Melody and beats.
Blind me with your hands. My eyes don’t need to sense something, something that I want, something that I feel… I only need my ears and heart. Watch out, you might get hurt! A giant pit right before your step. Or a wall right before your nose. The socially conditioned mind talks. Don’t worry, I’m not moving, I’m just here, listening, with all my senses… just blow a gentle breeze with your breath, I’d listen, I’d feel, I’d drown into the delicacy of the moment, the flow, the waves… sweep me, wash me… the voice, the hands, my sense… leave it there, to the eternity.

Intangible, indescribable… can I prove their existences?
Sometimes, stronger than anything else I’ve experienced in my life. Physics, math, science, and proofs. Forget it! I don’t need more math to get the correct change at a coffee shop. If there is something that nothing can prove, nothing can describe, nothing can compare, that is surely in the realm of God, I’d use the expression, “divine”. Simple, divine. That is all I need in my universe. No need to understand, no need to explain… just a joy and beyond… I’ll close my eyes… with all my senses open. Then, my universe expands, to the beyond, to the realm of beyond human, or deeply human.

<November 12th, 2018>

A pond

Doubt eats everything… myself, my mind, my decision, my thinking… eats me to the bones. Sometimes, it eats my naively optimistic attitude blindly trusting the universe that everything would turn out just fine.

I hit a truck this afternoon at the parking lot. The red plastic cover of the brake light of my car fell off. My upset mind from this morning fell off with it. The upset mind… no real shape in the real world… Stimulus from the outside ripples the shallow mind as a small pond wrinkles by the wind. The winter freezes its face to the sky.  It would take only one warm day to melt its frosty face down erasing the memory of ice. What am I holding in that space? below under?

Inside, deeper down, the place that the wind or the outside temperature cannot sneak in. Some place where unshakable, unreachable… maybe a little star. And it lits. A golden glow sits there waiting for me to submerge, leaving all the floating doubts on the surface. “Underneath of all, everything is okay.” It says. “always.”

<October 8th, 2018>

Stacking

“Something unknown,
but enough.”

What is the sign? What is the meaning? What is the desire behind?
If a few stones are given, dogs would sniff them, cats would roll them with their paws, and human would stack them. She met some tall cairns along the creeks on the trail to Boynton Canyon in Sedona, Arizona. When she landed there, she couldn’t even open her right eye because it got infected so badly. But she didn’t cancel the trip. she couldn’t. She had to run away, run away from something, run away from the life she had built, run away from everything she was in at that time.

She used the word “a scramble” to describe to herself how landed there. She couldn’t figure what was where, in her. She felt like her heart was all over her body torn and scratched. She didn’t know where to start to put them back. Then, one by one, she picked up a part of her and put it back in the right place. One by one, each day. she deleted a thousand legs coming out of her belly not knowing where they should go just swinging their lengthened desires up in the air, leaving two strong legs supporting her torso upward. She cut off several heads that were looking all over the place, not knowing where to go, not knowing where to look, not knowing where to hide, leaving only one on her shoulders, so it could drop when it wanted to be low when life got hard. She collected the pieces of her heart dispersed all over her skin exposing the raw wounds and filled her empty chest with them, sheathing with a soft cover to give it some space to rest in there from the storm outside. It was her, pieced, striving to be a whole, choosing to live.

If she had several rocks, stones, in her hand, she would stack them as many ahead of her already did. She would put them one by one holding the solid certainty in her hand, feeling its strength of existence transmitted to her bone through her flesh. She would stack them deliberately, thinking of human striving to live, to hope, to wish for something, or nothing, putting desperation into the meaningless act of stacking to be found somewhere, sometime, by other human beings, without knowing what was in the mind of the person who stacked them but feeling solidarity of being human in the absurdity of stacking, building. Let those rocks stay in the right place to be in balance under the sun, under the moon, under the storm, from the top of the mountain to the cliff by the sea, notifying that there was a human passed this road once, once ahead of everyone else, transferring something unknown but enough.

Wishing Wall

When I encounter the word of knot or wish, it always brings me back to the house of Virgin Mary on the top of the hill in Kusadasi, Turkey. The endless knots on the boards left there, tied. There is a myth that a wish comes true if a person writes it down on a paper and ties a paper knot at Virgin Mary’s church and comes back to untie it. And that spectacle of the uncountable number of the tied knots made my heart drop, very sad…humans… their wishes… their hopes… stuck to the wall.

Kusadasi… if I can travel again by myself, I will go there. I’ll take my time being there among the mystery of Amazons and the remnants of Romans… the sun, the sea, and the kind locals… I put some money in the donation box in the church, but I didn’t tie a knot there. I felt it was useless… hoping, hoping for something… and I shocked to watch them but couldn’t turn my head away because there was something beautiful in there, the desperate longings being written down on a piece paper hoping for another visit to untie, to unravel their wishes.

I loved the olives and the anchovies when I was there. Some Spanish red wine would suit great. All coffee tasted terrible. But for a month, I will be fine without coffee.

A couple of years later after my trip, I saw the corpses on the beach of Kusadasi of Syrian refugees in the news. The boats they were fleeing turned over and the people on board drowned. Their bodies washed to the shore of the Mediterranean islands and beaches.  Hardships and tragedies rob beauty of something… somewhere… or sometimes, the beauty of the backdrop intensifies the feel of tragedy.

Still, Kusadasi is one of the two places I want to visit and stay for a while… I can drive to Ithaki, Greece or take a trip to Tipasa, Algeria. I was behind a big DSLR camera on my first trip there. I didn’t want to engage with people I was with at that time. So hiding behind the lens was a safe place for me … I had my wall, my wall up to my nose… what did I wish then? What do I wish now?
Maybe, I have a knot on the wishing wall which I don’t believe, an invisible knot that my heart wrote something down in secret that I didn’t even know at that time what it was… maybe, I need to untie that on that hill which I didn’t believe the stay of the Virgin Mary either… or… I just want to see one more time the absurd human wishes, tied, tied, tied… waiting for the release… in vain… under the sun, under the breeze from the ocean that has the indescribably beautiful color of blue.

<October 7th, 2018>