I won’t pray, I’ll surf!

The sun goes down early. The darkness envelopes the town fast.
Nowadays, I feel like I’m living half awake and half in dream or somewhere else.

I’m agnostic. And I have this uncomfortable feeling about the word, prayer. Especially like today; when someone close died and I had to send a message to the family, the word bothered me a lot. So whenever I am supposed to use the word, I replace it with something else. And when someone writes and says about sending prayers for me or praying for me, I have a vague resentful feeling forming inside my gut. It is a spontaneous reaction of mine. No thinking involved. I know the reason why. I dread that the time might come to make me kneel on my knees and cite prayers in desperation. I’m afraid… I’m afraid the situation in my life might happen in the way that bending my knees is the only option for the moment. I’ll be terrified, if I should.

A week ago, I  learned surfing for the first time. I learned how to wait for the wave. How to watch, paddle, sit and stand. I fell many times to the water and the wave ran over my head. But it didn’t feel bad. When the wave pushed my surfboard from behind, I felt like God’s hand pushing me forward. Then, I grabbed the rail of the board and sat. And stood for a brief moment. Then, fell into the water, swam, found my board, climbed up, paddled back to the spot where the waves were coming, and waited for another ride.

It was hard and tiring. But I wasn’t afraid. I was thrilled. I didn’t think this or that. I didn’t think what I should do or not. I didn’t anticipate anything but looking back for the big waves to come and push me to the top of the waves. Feeling the moment; the moment of purely being myself on the board riding the waves for a few seconds.

I’m a complete beginner in surfing. I can’t do without the help of the instructor. But I guess I don’t have to think about the moment that I kneel down for the prayers in my life anymore. When the life’s waves come, I’ll pay attention to the wave, paddle as fast as I can, grab the rail, sit, and stand. Then, fall, swim, get back up on the board, and ride again.

Defining hope

“the gaze towards up at the rock bottom,
the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat,
 and the wish for the light in the complete darkness.”

 

Hope, I didn’t like the word. I found that the notion of hope was deceptive. A false belief that things get better somehow and someday, but in most cases they never would. That was one of the reasons I didn’t like my name, which meant trusting in hope.

When saying “hope”, I wanted something tangible. Not the abstraction of an idea, not the sweet mental candy for a desperate soul, not the self-assuring mantra in an unbearably painful situation. Because the word “hope” is only useful in those times. In other times, we don’t speak of it. We speak of shoes, weather, and grocery lists.

Tonight, I saw the movie “Defining Hope”. I was interested in that premiere but didn’t intend to go. I could guess what the movie was about from the preview. But somehow, something got canceled and the movie kept bothering my mind. I drove to the theater ten minutes before the movie started in the dark rain.

The movie was about lives at the verge of death. Hospice, ending life with some dignity. Pretty much what I expected, but I still cried. Tears ran through my cheeks even though the scenes and the stories didn’t poke the emotions sharply. I was relieved that I was entitled to cry in this setting, in the theater talking about death, and hope. Hope that betrays life in every way but still there, not promising or changing anything but still there. Whenever desperation comes at the corner, hope walks along and sits by our side, when we bury our head in our arms, or our face in our hands, sobbing.

I left the theater only the half an hour passed. I couldn’t take the needles, the oxygen tanks, the sterile walls, the depleting lives. And trusting in hope. Words come easily, but reality doesn’t. One patient said that now she enjoyed every moment of her life; the birds, the wings, and the trees through the window. Next day she cried in despair by the losses; the loss that she had before, the loss of what she didn’t do and can’t do. What can console her? Nothing. Even hope retreated in silence that time.

I remember the time in my life asking ten more years of living, so I could see my sons growing and they could be ready when I left them. And I have over lived beyond that time. My sons are not still ready for my death. They never will be. It is how it is. But I am grateful that I can find my time that I can live some of mine.

My current feeling about hope is neutral. I don’t mind its deceptive quality for people in desperation anymore. Sometimes, we need to hang onto something. Even though it might be the rope of rotten lie and we know the truth in our deep-down instinct, the soul needs a tightrope of faith that connects us from now to the time to come, continuously balancing our shaking bodies looking over the other side at the pitch-black night.

Hope goes side by side with despair. But hope is the gaze towards up at the rock bottom. It is the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat. It is the wish for the light in the complete darkness. How can I blame it? Hope. I don’t wish for it, but it will be there with me at dark nights under the shadow of the mortality. After all, it is one of the best creations of the absurd human being, to live, and to wish to live. In the end, I guess it is okay to cry; to cry for hope.

<November 1st, 2017>

My stone… slipped

Picking up a stone and putting it into my pocket.

No purpose, no use. But there is an action. Picking up and putting it in; for an uncanny reason. It is like being attached to a person. There is no reason, no purpose. It just happens like picking up a stone on the road. Then, the attachment begins in my pocket. When I think about it, when I touch it, when I hold it in my palm. It becomes my stone, my gem.

When I lose it, my heart will break. And I will miss it. I can’t believe there will be another stone on the road that will catch my attention. Never again, Never. Until I find one.

Exhale. Trust. There will be another. The wonder of life will unfold in the most mysterious way that I can hardly project. The morning will come that I’ve been never sure if it will. I will be still alive; breathing; trusting.

Trusting the next breath coming in, trusting there will be another.
Another. The other. Then, another.

<October 11th, 2017>

Putting the dawn to sleep

 

“Putting the dawn to sleep.”

I misheard what he said. Until I looked up the title of the song, I thought that was the title. And I loved the title I mistook. I would very much like to put the dawn to sleep. Holding off the rising sun. Inviting the dreams back.

But I found that I loved the actual song with the correct title more than any other song in the world. It sang to me. Me, a dog with a broken leg. The correct title was

“Putting the dog to sleep.”

Just introducing that song to me did make my day, my year, or several years. That was the song which I would like to hear when I die. And until I die. Over and over. And over and over. And over and over.

All the lyrics go like this.

Prove to me
I’m not gonna die alone
Put your arm’ round my collar bone
And open the door

Don’t lie to me
If you’re putting the dog to sleep
That pet you just couldn’t keep
And couldn’t afford

Well, prove to me
I’m not gonna die alone
Unstitch that shit I’ve sewn
To close up the hole, that tore through my skin

Well my trust in you
Is a dog with a broken leg
Tendons too torn to beg
For you let me back in

You said I can’t prove to you
You’re not gonna die alone
But trust me take you home
To clean up that blood all over your paws

You can’t keep running out
Kicking yourself off the bed
Kicking yourself in the head
Because you’re kicking me too

Put your trust in me
I’m not gonna die alone
Put your trust in me
I’m not gonna die alone
I don’t think so

So, after I put my dawn to sleep, I will go back to this music as I see each line of the lyric inscribed in the back of my eyelids, in my bed, wherever, whenever; and forever… feeling my heart squeezed with warm hands.

<October 3rd, 2017, written upon the spark “the inscription of the bedroom ceiling”> 

Memory is a tool in carving a transitory beauty of life

People say that the first memory is important to interpret a person. Her first memory was a huge bolt of lightning hitting mountain top in the summer night sky. She must have been around 3 or 4. She still remembers seeing the diverging electric beast in the pitch-black background. She didn’t feel fear. It was awe she felt.

Life carries strange things around. Strange memories, strange feelings. The sky is always her thing. Her eyes lit up whenever the sky changes its color. Especially as the last strand of the sunlight fleets to the West. Her eyes are soaked with the splendid color of the dying day. Time feels closer.

She used to carry a big DSLR camera with a tripod to catch the beauty of the sky. People loved the photos she shot. She knew how to intensify certain hues using exposure and filters. But she never got the image she wanted to capture. So, she picked up brushes to paint it. She did several oil paintings and some of them came out satisfactorily. She hung them in the front foyer and her bedroom. She loves to see her sky when she goes to sleep. Somehow, those passions faded with time. She found that grabbing the beauty with those tools was in vain. She accepted the transitory nature of the sky under the setting sun and just watched each day’s magic of colors with some sorrow.

As the possessive pursuit for the sky diminished, another light flew in. This light dissolves into her skin and makes her eyes close. The music. She loves sad tunes and sad voices. Listening to them is like holding a flickering candle inside of her chest when the gushing wind blows. Maybe this kind of beauty only can be felt with an aching heart. Maybe that is the deal.
At certain times, when her life’s events make her too weak to hold the flame in the wind, she gives up the beauty of dying light because it is too painful to listen to. When her heart regains some strength, she goes back to her playlist to listen to those songs again and again for several days until her heart becomes soft and tender.

In recent years, a miracle came to her. A pure miracle because there was every possibility that she might never have gotten this miracle in her lifetime. The beauties of the sky and the music escalate under the aura of this beast.
But as the evening sky, she knows she cannot grab or hold this one. She just contemplates it as she sees the dusk with an aching heart, carving the beauty of her miracle’s presence like the huge lightning bolt of her first memory.

<June 7th, 2017>

Puddles

–  dip a bit –

My feeling about my superiority to the other immoral beings has carried on for a long time after that experience. But now, I wonder that what is the right way of living. I wonder if they are the real ones who got more in life, voraciously sucking their life and getting the most out of it. I wonder if I’ve taken less, felt less, and lived less under the name of my moral standard. I wonder if I am on the loser side of the planet under the disguise of a noble mask because I easily give up my fingers holding one side of the dollar bill with my trademark despise towards the greedy people. I think a lot nowadays that she was the one who got full of the scented erasers in life even she stole them. All I got was the empty pride that I felt morally higher than her. What for?

– in “The Scented Eraser” –

 

We were all looking for something. Some were desperate. Some were just curious. But we were here for a reason. Each one of us had our stories, each one of us had our pain and fear, each one of us had our broken parts, and each one of us had our hope for hope. We supported one another as best as we could with whole hearts and honest minds. Emotions and energies boiled over in every session. Rages and grudges of each one of them exploded and covered the others like hot ashes. We yelled, cried, jumped, danced, hit things, gave out tantrums, laughed, cried again, closed our eyes, opened them, looked at each other as if we looked into a person’s eyes for the first time in our lives, wrote, listened, talked, acted, hugged, whispered, gave hands to support, accepted the others’ hands to be supported, and held one another like one giant melting rock.

– in “Dots” –

 

When they walk to the garden, the wind sweeps their bodies. It blows away the things spoken and leaves behind the things unspoken.

– in “Decoding”-

A Blue Heart

image2She loves blue; from pale pastel blue like almost pure white to indigo blue like the sky right before the dark. She loves serenity, melancholy, and sincerity of the color. She loves blue jay, blue topaz, blue sky, blue eyes, blue water, the blues, and the things coming out of blue. But she hates some blues though, especially artificial blues; blue roses, blue soda, alien’s blue blood, and blue blank screens in TV or computer. She buys blue stuff; a blue jewel Bluetooth speaker, a watch with blue straps, a blue character key chain, blue suede loafers, blue pens and blue leads for her sharp pencil, and blue post-its. But she knows the blue doesn’t suit her skin even she wants to wear pretty blues badly, the only clothes she got in blue is a sky blue cotton shirt. She loves that shirt very much. And finally, she has a blue heart.

Hearts should be red, or at least pink, but somehow, her heart is pictured as blue in her mind all the time. She bought a small blue heart paperweight made out of recycled glass. Sometimes, she holds it in her hand to warm it up because its coldness feels very sad to her. Her heart is blue not because it is dead or frozen, but because it is bruised. Beaten again and again for a long time. And beaten again before it restores its original color. The blue color of her heart makes her sad, and then, the sadness she feels beats her heart back. Now she can’t distinguish which was the first, the blue heart or her sadness. The two circle on and on with the added force of her life’s events and the others’ lives events because the heart absorbs up the pain of others as well with its soft tissue.

She recognizes people who have a blue heart. The color seeps out of their existences in one way or another. She notices the sadness of the sound vibrating through the strings of viola when R. O. plays. She knows that his heart was born blue. And that blue makes his music different from others, sad and beautiful. She looks at the wolf dog’s eyes who couldn’t belong to any place and notices his lonely heart through his elegant gaze. She can hear Oscar’s scream shattering glasses in Tin Drum and is sad for his beaten up heart. She ached when her friend lost her loving husband for whom she bravely and painfully left her earlier marriage. Whenever she encounters the people with a blue heart, in real life or fictional worlds, she has an urge to hold them tight until they get warm as her glass paperweight blue heart does in her palm.

She knows that the blue heart doesn’t necessarily mean less warm or less active. It moves so frantically that it is difficult to keep it in her chest quiet. It is hot as the blue flame of a candle light is the hottest part. She doesn’t want to close her heart to avoid the life’s beating. The hurt is painful, but the magnificent things come along with it. Beaten, bruised. It is okay as long as it moves. Now she thinks that she chose the blue one instead of the red because she loves blue; from pale blue like almost pure white to dark blue like a bruised heart.

<March 15th, 2017>