on cleaning house

“Pulling back every once in a while to see how far you’ve gotten is also important, ‘because you can see your accomplishments within the big picture, instead of measuring yourself against the larger, scarier reality.'”

The Power of Small, Why Little Things Make All the Difference

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another ocean

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the ocean is thick with trash
the waves waddle towards the shore
like marshmallows, like winter coats
out of place

even so,
the water is beautiful
under this sunset sky

three birds flap peace to the wind

I hadn’t realized I’d been living so close to the ocean,
the girl from the landlocked state
chases water as a woman

you forget about the ocean
when you’re in the traffic
concrete thrown up into half-baked sidewalks

but here, something within me tells me to
unravel.
pause a little on this concrete shore
remember all the other times you were by an ocean like this

[riding with laughter and a friend on double bikes in Shenzhen
requesting 十年 to be sung on the shores of Taiwan
cousin hangman in the sand
the boy who told you the story of the snail and the rabbit on the extraterrestrial beach
brothers and Barcelona
shrubbery
. . .]

pocket the youth that escapes you
savor it all the while you grow up
on this side of the world

maybe that’s why the ocean reminds me to pause
the waves are always, rolling
back and forth
back and forth
never forgetting to play
always thick in reflection
of everything
under the sun

when you have to make a decision,

and the choices you have before you & the ones you imagine all seem equally fit for what you value,

it’s possible that it becomes less about the decision, and more about the

why.

The why is the thing that becomes a part of you, part of the mosaic of who you become. It develops your character.

It’s a small and broken piece of colored glass,

it fits into the cracks where light will shine through,

it spills stained glass patterns onto

what appeared to have been mere shadows before.

what of this [precious] life

First, they placed a white L-shaped sticker on the subway map. To hide the prepared changes.

Then, when the new line opened up, they replaced all the signs.

For the first 6 months, the signs pointed to A. Now they point to B. It happened in a blink of an eye.

Like a memory. A glance. A fleeting dream.

One day, I won’t remember what it looked like when it pointed to A. One day, they won’t even know that A existed.

She stood with a hand-held loudspeaker on the train platform, like a broken record repeating,

“Please watch out for the uneven floor surfaces. Please watch out.”

Everyday. For a week.

One day, she was gone.

The loudspeaker remained in her place.

It hung by a rope from its new owner – a cement column near the fence. A man’s voice replaced hers,

“Please watch out for the uneven floor surfaces.”

Please watch out.

I looked at my reflection on the passing train.

My body in the rushing colors and blurring glass windows over the not-so-subtle hum of metal against track.

When the train was gone,

so was I.

 

Jan 2015