The image sliced its way into her view. When she had sat there, it doesn’t matter where, eyes dry, back hunched, the numb act of breathing tiredly. And then she realized that her room wasn’t just lit by the yellow lightbulb burning from the dusty black lamp. The sky had gone from nothing to a dusty blue, and the silence was being pierced with the awake chatter of birds. She left the droopy room and stepped outside, really outside. Even though the sun was still nowhere to be seen, she did not need a jacket. The smell of marinating grass greeted her, the coolness of the brand new air permeated her skin. Although her view was just the same row of identical houses with identical front lawns, always in that moment, the world is more alive than she will ever experience.
I’ve always been taught with wordless chasms that my life would be better if I weighed 30 pounds lighter, and I have always listened with anemic skin.
Writing is so difficult for me. I find myself in so many moments throughout the day when my pulse is beating straight into my fingers to write. But those moments usually occur during the actual occurrence of inspiration, such as a class, a conversation, or a beautiful solitary walk. In order to transform all of the feelings, beliefs, and meanings into words, I must stop–pause–and write in that very moment. But is that the same as the criticism toward today’s obsession with photographs, in which we, as a society, are becoming less fully present because we are too busy worrying about capturing the moment on our digital cameras/smartphones in order to post on Facebook? By the time I get home and sit in front of my laptop or sit with a pen and journal, the majority of my inspirations and energy are depleted.
Being a writer is such a paradox. Admitting that I am biased, I do believe that writing is a way to truly understand the nuances of being a human being more than non-writers. That is why writing falls into the category of Arts & Humanities. And at the same time, writing requires so much sacrifice of one’s life and the possibility of experiencing so many other possible moments.
I could never talk about how much I truly loved my mom when I lived in California without crying. It wasn’t because I loved her so much, but because I was faced with all the wounds that made it impossible to really love her while feeling bitterness. I was bitter at the mistakes that she made, I was bitter about the fights, and most of all, I was bitter because I knew that the flaws that both she and I had prevented us from having a perfect love. The kind of love that we both deserved, but even more, the love that she deserved as my mother; as my parent.
I believe that is why God separated Adam and Eve–man–from Himself. Why didn’t he just ground them or discipline them in the Garden of Eden? Because he knew their hearts, and he knew that we all, as fallen humans, could not truly love him without the distance and absence of Him being fully present and TANGIBLE in our lives.
My relationship with my mom has grown infinitely since I moved to New York. I can sit, think, and talk about how much I love her without crying. Because the distance has slowly healed us, both her and I. And although our love and relationship has healed so much, I know in my heart that for us to truly be able to perfectly love each other, we must be together loving each other.
And that is God’s plan. The separation from Him has taught us how much we need Him, how much He has done for us, how the people that we are today is through his undying, giving, merciful, parental love for us. But that is not all! He does not simply benefit our relationship and two-way love for each other in the distance, but He promises that we will be together again, in which our love will be perfect.
I believe that is why he has given us Earthly parents when He is the truly Father. To use each other biblically and faithfully in order to learn what true love us, and to learn how imperfect and not entirely true our present love is.
When I talk to my mom on the phone, even though our phone calls never exceed five minutes, I know how much I truly love, appreciate, and miss her by recognizing all she has done for me, all the plans and hopes she has had for me to not harm me, but to grow me into a good human being.
When I know God better, when I pray to Him through this Heaven-and-Earth separation, I realize so much more that He makes more sense than anyone, anything else in the world. Although He does surpass all of our capacities to understand His philosophy, His logic, and His genius, I understand that He makes sense even in my own limited mind. He is perfect, He is love, and He is God.
A little defeated, a little relieved, she shuffled toward her light switch. She glanced at her fingers as they momentarily rested on the flip, expensive nail polish chipped and peeled. She heaved a sigh and turned off the main light, leaving her room almost unnoticeably less-bright. She loved the light because it gave her a false sense of hope that it was still daytime, and she was willing to sacrifice as much electricity as it took to keep her in her happy delusion. It’s okay, utilities are included in her dorm payments. Along with her soul.
She shuffled over to her next lamp, mindlessly wiped off any residual moisture on her thumb and the side of her index finger, and twisted the somewhat broken light switch four times until it finally turned off. This time, her action had created a greater reaction than the first time, but it was still light enough in her room to read, write, even cut your toenails safely. The Christmas lights strung around the room were on, and they were never, ever off.
She turned to face her bed. Time to crawl in and think about everything else that she might–no, will, she must think will–conquer tomorrow. Perhaps it was better that she put off coding those notes for the next day. Perhaps it was meant to be done on January 18th instead of January 17th, because everyone knows that January 18’s are much more fertile with epiphanies and other good stuff.
She looked back at her laptop. Just a few hours ago she had read in a book the words, “word processor,” and didn’t understand for a few seconds. That is how little she has used her laptop for words, writing. “Gossip processor,” “photos processor,” even “cat processor” would have rung a louder bell. She walked to it and placed her hand, this one with less chipped nail polish, on top of the open Macbook, ready to close it and end the night.
A twinge of guilt poked her, just bit more annoyingly than her unfinished coding, about her possibly ruining her resolution of writing everyday. But what was she to even write about? Her day was an overflow of lethargy. She had no encounters with the Lord that day, no anecdote that she found hilarious and hoped to God that others would also find hilarious, no life lesson to be shared. The only thoughts fresh on her mind were when she had shuffled toward her light switch, a little defeated, a little relieved.
Perhaps I should start writing my blogs with a conscious recognition that there are a few who read this, as minuscule as the numbers may be. And no, I’m not being modest, because trusty ol’ WordPress has a built-in Stats tracker. It’s okay, I’m not going to pity myself. I pretty much abandoned this blog for around a month, which in this day and age is equivalent to around 50 years. Thus, it is understandable that people believe that I am done with dorsu.com.
I meant to write this entry two days ago, but I found myself in a tornado of catching up in a research project/paper that I’m *hopefully* co-authoring with one of my professors. But those specifics will be saved for another time. And if the plan falls through, it will most likely never be mentioned again, as it will probably be discretely swept away into the dark cracks and crevices; graveyard of all the goals that fell through.
I spent an entire day in Philly with Eric this past weekend. Although I had visited our original Capitol during high school, I could hardly remember anything about that city. Thus, it was a rather large shock for me when I stepped off the Chinatown bus. Uncomfortable, nervous, and weary were of the many scrambling feelings circulating my chest. It was not the fact that I was in a brand new city. Hell, I’m in brand new settings every single week in Manhattan. This unfamiliarity and foreignness was different, most likely due to the even greater disparity between the white hipsters and those who dress somewhat like hipsters, but not by choice. The smell of urine was stronger, the deserted streets were shadier, and the bar-filled downtown streets seemed even more juxtaposed to its rundown perpendicular avenues.
Despite how I have been describing our trip so far, Eric and I had an incredibly wonderful time. Although there are some out there who may put in their own dirty two cents, I am an American, and being in America’s [arguably] most historical city made me even more proud to be an American. Our visit to the National Constitution Center was my absolute favorite, especially due to its exhibit showcasing individuals who were denied their rights and freedom due to the color of their skin, and still chose to fight (and some die) for their country during WWII.
Anyway, I’m getting carried away with my description of my trip. That really was not meant to be the purpose of this entry. This is meant to be the purpose:
Upon returning to New York City around 11pm, exhausted and weary-eyed in the bus, it was the first time I felt the overwhelming relief, joy, and comfort of returning home. My first time actually “returning” to New York was just two weeks ago, but that was different. I was coming back to New York from my “home-home,” the house and city I had lived in for almost 15 years; I can’t compare California with New York. However, this was my first time leaving New York for a small trip to a somewhat distant and unfamiliar place. This was my first time going from the unfamiliar back to the familiar.
And that was the first and only real confirmation that I needed: New York is my home. The height of the buildings, the rainbow of people, even the dark, dirty alleyways–it’s my home, my familiarity, my life. And no matter how much longer or shorter I will live here, I know that I have permanently planted a part of my heart in this city. Home. I can’t stop repeating that to myself: New York City, my home.
I am not a hard worker. But, God-willing, that will change.
I was so sad to leave California last week, especially since I knew that I could have stayed for at least another week if Eric didn’t have to go back early for his grad program’s fieldwork. The warmth of SoCal’s weather, the convenience of having my own car, and the comfort of being with best friends made the thoughts of going back to a creepy, empty apartment (my roommate is gone until February), walking ten minutes to the subway while never taking my eyes off the ground in order to avoid dog poop, and squeezing antibacterial into my hands every half-hour so daunting.
Although time spent at home with family and friends is irreplaceable, this past week back in the city has been one of the best weeks I’ve had in New York so far. These past few days have been a time for Eric and I to be together without having to spread ourselves thin amongst work, school, cohorts, different friends, and small, sporadic opportunities to sleep. Each day has been filled with the simple pleasures: sleeping in, trying out different Trader Joe’s meals, walking those extra 30 blocks together instead of taking the subway, and, of course, watching episode after episode of Parks and Recreation: Season 3.
We’ve been together for over two years now. I’m in no way implying that we/I had begun to deteriorate or backtrack in our relationship, but at the same time, no couple can escape the ever-so easy downhill slope toward settling into comfort. Of course, there is nothing wrong with comfort, and I for one have no issue with routines. But it’s nice to have that moment when you’re in the middle of laughing with your partner about the most ridiculous joke that you’d never tell anyone else and you think to yourself, hey, I love him, and I’m so happy to be with him.
There’s an obsession with purity that we all crave. Even the rebels who dress and swear like how counter-culturalists are supposed to dress and swear want that purity, that consistency. They create blogs and fill them with images of naked women with supermodel bodies smoking cigarettes and snorting coke. They religiously reblog quotations of how religion and standards ruin the life of anyone who buys into them. Anything else that consistently upholds their identity–as long as there isn’t a speck of white salt in their black pepper.
What I’m trying to get at is I’ve been reluctant to post anything in this damn blog because I didn’t want it to be tainted with a single entry that would stumble and trip up this vision and hope that I’ve been striving for. Photographs taken with the most basic of make-things-look-pretty DLSR lenses are foolproof and require no risk of words. Incredibly short entries are, in fact, very personal and beautiful for me, but they’re an easier way out from fully textualizing my other buzzing, ongoing, daily thoughts.
The point is, perhaps for this new year, I will try to write in this as often as I can.
In my defense, there is one other legitimate reason for my lack of postings. Last semester, I engaged in the Daily Discipline of Writing in my private Moleskine journal, and it was actually an incredibly successful and fantastic development of my identity as a writer. I did not feel the need to write publicly because I was having my own love affair, between myself and my physical pages.
But here is to taking another step forward in the journey of writing. To writing. To prove to myself that there is no such thing as literally having nothing to write, because here I am, writing out that I have nothing to write. To admitting to myself that there is nothing pure under the sun, and it is in this confession and relinquishing to weakness that I am able to finally move forward. To understanding just a little more that He knows we will have flecks of dirt on our play-clothes, and He is prepared to wipe them off with strong and loving hands.
A puzzle piece does not realize the enormous whole it has left, its particular grooves that are hardest to meld to, and what parts belong to itself and what parts are left behind
until it has left
and come back again.