This morning I woke up

This morning I woke up. The sounds of the day seeped through my rain-streaked windows. My body, chilled by perimenopausal night sweats, ached. I am used to discomfort.

This morning I woke up. And a thought came while I was busying myself, making my bed, shelving books and listening to the ding of my phone:

what if this is it?

If we make it through arduous task of materializing our existence and passing through the narrow canal of our mothers, we say to this world,

“I am here.”

For some who come to meet us, our arrival is enough. That we are here. That we made the journey safely is enough.

“You are here.”

I woke up this morning, you see. I glanced at social media, which tries to inform me that my life should be valued by percentages of views.

Your views are up 5% from yesterday. Your views are down -17% from last week.

I wonder when it begins, this messaging that what you do and…

You are not enough.

Is it the silent thought burning in hearts and minds of some of those who come to greet us on our first day in this world?

Is it in comparisons heard at home and school as we move through childhood?

Is it now at work?

It’s still morning. And, as I wrote, I woke up, perhaps again. I wondered, what if this life that I have lived and am living were my entirety.

Is it enough?

It is. And it isn’t.

There is much that I would still like to do while I am here. Still, I am done with having to prove my value. I have arrived at this point, without uncertainty:

I am here. I am enough.

Poetry | On Language Learning & Negativity

Itako, Japan

On Language Learning & Negativity.

Listen to me.
Like a child,
my words are misspoken
and my grammar is broken.
But, listen to me anyway.

Hear my words
because they have meaning
and create a connection
between you and me.

I am building a bridge
with a language that isn’t my own.
Won’t you help me?
Or, at least, not demean me?

That I speak your language
in broken sentences
and accented words,
what does it matter?

I am trying to build a bridge,
many bridges, in fact.
I am trying to understand
the world around me,
even if you don’t want
to understand me.

SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 30th| The Beginning, The End

In the end

I knew what I needed

to do to move forward–

and

that is really all that matters.

Now I only need to step across

the beginning

of my new path.

Poetry | Wantin’ Only (Yourself) – Ronovan Writes Décima Poetry Challenge

Been wonderin’ why you would go

so far, now trippin’ then slippin’

over false words, ego boostin’

love with mirror-kissin’. For show?

Don’t know why you can’t seem to grow

up. And you keep diggin’ lower,

givin’ intelligence over

to fixation rather than care.

Wizen not wise, you live your fear—

bein’ loved just by the hour.

(I came across this challenge today and was excited to try it. This is my first time writing in this form)

From Ronovan Writes:

THE QUICK DESCRIPTION OF HOW TO WRITE A DÉCIMA:

  1. There are 10 lines of poetry that rhyme.
  2. 8 syllables per line.
  3. There is a SET RHYMING PATTERN we must stick to. ABBAACCDDC OR  two stanzas of ABBA/ACCDDC.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 342 ROUGH and Season.

Our Last Hike in the White Mountains

Once the journey starts,

harsh words and terrain hinder,

blind us—and now rain.

#JusJoJan & #SoCS | Jan. 23rd: Half Not

Many thanks to Ritu from But I Smile Anyway for making me aware of Linda G Hill’s stream of consciousness writing challenge.

-Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “close eyes and point.” When you’re ready to write your post, open a book, a newspaper, or whatever is handy and close your eyes and point.-

Photo by Paula Guerreiro on Unsplash

“…half not–“ I opened my eyes. My fingers gently touched the words in Mary Oliver’s poem “The Winter Wood Arrives.” What do I do with this? The words overwhelmed me yet released me. I feel half not, like some satisfying yet incomplete project. My life is filled with half not moments, things, and people.

I really should do something about this.

I started writing this blog, too, in a half not manner. I am half not dedicated and half not inspired to share my life. Still, I want to find ways to become whole and experience life wholly. Live in some place as a whole being, not halved, divided by countries, things, people, and feelings. I am wanting to bring my halves together to make one whole.

It is possible.

Recently, I realized just how deep my half not-ness roots are. Who knew they could get so far down? In love, in work, in self, just how willing am I to remain satisfied yet incomplete? I look at Oliver’s poem now because, although the use of half not is different, the meaning of the poem seems aligned with my sentiments.

She speaks of the struggle of steps and thoughts, the love that leaves yet never does, the practicality of what it means to live, and yet the need to burn away the things that no longer matter. Of course this is just my interpretation. I am not yet a poet.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 341 FROST and Glint.

早朝の雪、
みんなは家で、
でも一人。

Early morning snow,
everyone is at home now,
alone, however.

Früh Morgen schneit es.
Ja, alle sind zu Hause,
aber ganz allein.

La neve d’alba,
tutti sono a casa,
però da sola.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve participated in the haiku challenge. Today seemed like the perfect day to try my hand at it again. The theme for this challenge is frost and glint. I used the above photography by Fabian Mardi as inspiration. Also, I wrote the poem in Japanese, and then tried to translate it to English, German, and finally Italian. Of course, my native language is English, so it is likely that I made mistakes in the other languages–my apologies in advance.

Haiku | In Autunno (In Autumn)

Looking up

Tranquillamente
le foglie cadono,
cielo d’oro
.

Oh so quietly,
leaves are falling, creating
now a golden sky
.

Poetry| This face.

Self-portrait, 2020
This face.
You don’t want to see my face.  This face.  
This face that I wear in delight, in sadness, in fear, and in madness.
This face that speaks of African roots so deep that the depth leaves you shaking.
This face that will not and cannot apologize for not blending in with your expectations.
  
You don’t want to see my face. This face.
This face that stares at you in bewilderment when you reach out to touch my hair,
when you reach out to share your advice of how to get rid of my unproductive nappy care. 
This face that wonders who the hell and where the hell you think you are, trying to trample on my space,
  
acting like I’m part of some petting zoo 
or some wild animal to tame and, of course, then later temporarily woo.
  
You don’t want to see my face. This face.
This face that has learned how to smile after years of shaming:
big lips, five-finger forehead, high cheek bones, and broad nose, but no collarbones.
Too thick, too thin, too dark, too light, sounds too white, but never too white enough, for whom?
  
Too aggressive, too talkative, too loud, 
too strong, too proud, too much, but not enough, but again for whom?
  
For whom? This face
  
is a reminder of historical shame, yours not mine. 
Be you White or Black, curious or well-meaning, ignorant or misguided,
Privileged or desiring to be, above the glass ceiling or below it, 
jumping on the diversity bandwagon or barely hanging off of it…
  
This face that is mine 
that wears upon its crown a halo of my ancestry, 
this face that is mine 
that wears upon its lines the wisdom of my struggle,
 
neither seeks nor needs approval, 
neither recognizes nor considers status,
neither looks to nor looks from behind you, 
neither looks up to nor even beside you. 

Happy New Year!

Image from Unsplash

Good morning! In Japan, it’s already a new year. I am challenging myself this year to use language more: writing, speaking, reading, and actively listening.

2020 was quite the rollercoaster for everyone, and I think 2021 will present us with even more opportunities for growth. I will continue working on self-improvement, especially in building overall stability. I hope you will also continue your journeys.

I have chosen two kanji for this year: 言語 (language) and 自由 (freedom). They aptly represent my overall goal for this year. How about you? What words or kanji have you chosen for this year?

Take care and be well.