Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How to Own a Space


I was given a room, an old one.

It was pretty furnished - a bed, a fan, a small closet,
Oh! And a nicely-varnished bookshelf.
Then there were...
few little things the former dwellers used.

I looked around and saw the walls peeling, 
discolored from past rains coming in. 
A cracked glass window let in dusty air.
Corners were covered with nets to keep off insects.

It was now my room, such an old one.

So I grabbed a broom, a mop, a trash bag,
then prepared a rag and a basin of water.
I scrubbed the floor, surfaces, edges,
and wiped things off to my satisfaction.

I pulled in my piano and set a chair,
and pushed in my study desk.
Then I hanged my clothes in the closet,
and placed my shoes and boots on the rack.

I then brought out bottles of paint and brushes,
and dabbed colors on walls and windows.
I formed lines, vines, and roses
then plastered sheets of paintings and sketched faces.

I turned around, looking at all that I made.
I adored the change, oh I loved the remake!
The room, sure was an old one,
But it was now a different space.

This room is now my place.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Where Words Are


Have you ever had this kind of day when you just have nothing to say?
People call you writer, and today, you don't know how.
You're staring at a blank sheet, the cursor blinking.
Words are lost.
None is coming out.
None.

So you put everything down, and set out to look for words.
You ask your father, pet your dog, and hug your sweetheart.
You take a bath, listen to music, and go for a long walk.
Words in the sky.
Words in the air.
Words in bells ringing.
There are words in Chai tea and Panini.
Of course, there are tons of words in a bookstore.
But nothing seems enough.

You step in the chapel, your shoes tapping.
You walk, listening to dull echoing.
Closer and closer, you come before Him.
Your eyes upon Him, the Source of all words.
You take a bow, your knee touches the ground.
You lift your head unto Him then sit down.

You see how Jesus is bare, wide open.
His arms outstretched, his body bleeding.
But He is there, dying in glory.
He gazes dearly, adoringly.
Oh, He is filled with love, honesty, majesty!
And in its depth, there are words brimming.
Brimming.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Wisdom Without Words


I notice that wisdom 
does not only take the form of words.

It can also be in silence
and in composure.

It can be in choosing this
and not choosing that.

Or in doing this
and not doing that.

Wisdom is in maintaining joy
even when there's no reason to.

Or in sustaining peace when things 
shake you, push you or disturb you.

Wisdom is hoping for the good
and letting the bad ones pass.

It is throwing what isn't good for your soul 
and keeping what nourishes.

Wisdom is in kindness when you're hated
and in giving when you're deprived.

It doesn't make friends for the sake of business 
or fame or other selfish intentions.

It keeps friends to turn them into family
and family to turn them into loved ones.

Wisdom is in being here and now,
and in becoming better the next morning.

Wisdom is living with feet on ground's dust and ashes,
yet with eyes toward the splendor of heaven.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Still You

There is...
a sense of security when I come to You, Lord.

I know that Presence - that caring, accepting, and peaceful Presence I drenched myself in when I felt alone in the convent. I would look at You, and You would look at me as if I'm the only person in the universe.

You created everything, but You looked at me as if I was much more loved. Much more beautiful.

I came to You in my dirtiest clothes, and you welcomed me.

I did come to You in my I-haven't-taken-a-bath-yet state, and you welcomed me.

I approached You without make-up nor with the hair of my legs shaved, and you welcomed me.

I ran to You in my worst - dry, angry, depressed - and you welcomed me.

I've already stepped out of the nunnery.
And still here You are, alive with that Presence.

Everything has changed. Everyone did.
But You, Lord, have not.

You are still who You are.

And You still love me.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Reaching Infinity


Here in the car, I look at the clouds.
And think of You.

I can't remember the last time I felt near You like I used to.
By that, I mean, me being so-much drawn to You.
I can't remember.

I shut myself in a cave for reasons I have not spelled out yet. And somehow, I felt like my awe in You has been translated into the colors I poured into papers, sheets of sketched faces, and paintings on my room's walls.

They say it is a form of idealism, of me trying to make alive a world I created in my head.
Or maybe it's me trying to reach infinity, trying to reach You.

You and me.
Me and You.

Because we is really the only world I know,
the only space I would willingly fall into.

Here in the car, I look at the clouds.
And I feel like I am back to we,
that I never really got that far from You...
because You were never far from me.

I think of You, and feel that it's not so bad to create chimerical worlds,
but it is time to give them breath.

It is time to live, not merely dipping myself in colors and ink.
But to live, truly reaching for You.
Always reaching for Infinity.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Somewhere Not Here


This morning, I sat on the chair by my desk to meditate.

But before I closed my eyes, I let the picture of the shore get into me, and inadvertently brought it with me in the darkness.

And it painted the darkness.

I want to go somewhere where nature is, some place where I could sit before the ocean and stare at the horizon. Or perhaps, somewhere with cool breeze and mountains reaching the velvety sky. 

Somewhere, somewhere away from this city.

There, I would sit by the shore and inhale the morning air. Then I would meditate and safely fall into nothingness.

There, I would find words, string them together, and write them.

There, I would be free. And be myself. Just myself. See who I am, see what I want, see my potential. There, I would see me in my raw form.

I do not know why I cannot get enough of silence when I have a room at home where I could be alone and quiet. But maybe I need a new environment, some new place, some fresh space.

I have to be somewhere I could think more then come out new, at peace, and strong.

Or just some place.

Some space where I could be in utter Vastness.

And find direction.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Transience


When you know that things go in and out of existence,
That time passes
And the sun sleeps
The mood hides
Clouds dissipate
Flowers decay
The ice melts
And the breath of life evaporates
What do you do?
How do you capture
A brief moment's beauty
That once fades
Will never be seen again?