Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn Rituals

It’s an autumn tradition in the U.S. to go apple picking, and visit pumpkin patches to get the best pumpkin for Halloween, and grab some cider before you hop on the hay ride, and sometimes end the day with a bonfire and s’mores. Sometimes it involves telling spooky stories, sometimes it involves laughter and songs, and other times it just involves silence. We all grew up with that. 

Now when I think about it, the whole ritual sounds silly. We pay for an overpriced bag of apples and the quality of the apples is always a hit or miss. There is really not much to the hay ride. It’s sitting at the back of a trailer with hay on it while it drives around the farm at 15 miles an hour. And yet, every year my friends and I itch to do it all over again the moment the first fall wind blows. We go and we pay and we ride and we drink, and we find the whole idea silly and we laugh.

But something has changed over the years. We have stories to tell now. We aren’t necessarily making new memories but rather recalling the old ones; solidifying our friendships while exchanging our experiences from when we were children - when trying to grab the apple from the highest branch was so much more exciting. Somehow doing this over and over again, reminds us of the simpler lives we all once had, helps us get in touch with our innocent selves that was content with just a hay ride and a glass of apple cider.

Childhood memories, no matter how silly, are so terribly important for our sanity today. I think we lose ourselves in the stress, and the work, and the selfishness when we lose our sense of self. We must never forget who we were and how we came about to be. We must never forget that happiness sometimes just means spending a Sunday at the apple farm.

I do hope this fall you take a moment to relive your childhood. Pick your favorite thing you did as a kid and do it all over again no matter how silly it seems. You’ll be happier for it. You’ll be better for it. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Simpler Life.

He insisted on taking me back to a simpler life. A life where you turned the radio on in the morning and not the iPad, life where you brewed coffee and stuck around long enough to feel its aroma spread through the house, where you take a moment to feel the weight of the warm blanket on you, and appreciate the soft sheets and the hard pillows. Open the window and smell the trees - not the flowers - but the trees. Name every creature, alive or inanimate, because they all deserve some identity.

He insisted that I take afternoon naps especially when my brain was in overdrive. He insisted that I spent no less than an hour in the bookstore even if I have no intention of buying anything. He showed me how to keep my face close to the cup and blow on the hot tea so I can feel the heavenly warmth on my face. We practiced, and continue to practice patience - we started small - waiting for the water to get warm, patiently watching the YouTube video to load, waiting for the coffee to cool down enough so it doesn't burn the tongue, slowing down at the yellow light instead of speeding up, keeping the phone away for a few minutes and laying down to stare at the ceiling. He insisted on giving - be it to me, to a friend, or to someone in need.

He showed me the joys of being sung a lullaby as I drift off to sleep, and the importance of sleeping -- to shut it out, to let it go, to allow your body to be at peace even if only for half an hour.

I learned to control my anger, to let someone else win for a change. Over the years, it made me realize that I am a flawed person. The realization didn't make me sad or angry. It made me humble. I realized that people make mistakes - that I have made mistakes, and the world hasn't come to an end. The world doesn't come to an end for anyone. He succeed in making me a better person, a simpler person, a happier person.

My life is so uncluttered by things - my mind free - all the junk is cleaned out. I live in moments that live out the things we buy and the things we get worked up about. I feel like a little girl learning it all over again. I didn't know I had so much space and so much peace inside me.

Monday, October 06, 2014

When the Rain Comes.

I spent the better part of the night listening to the rain tapping on the window right above my head. I listened as it hit different places of my home -- how it sounded on the roof, on the porch, on the ground, at the window. Soon the pipes from the roof were full and started draining. It sounded like a water fall nearby.

Rain is not a single sound but an orchestra full of melodies. It demands attention. You are suddenly not where you were before, floating slowly with the tunes. It makes me want to believe for a moment that we are all dreamers, waiting to completely get away from reality.

I opened the window a bit at some point in the night and let the breeze and some drops fall on my pillow, and my face. I swear I could smell the fall - the wet soil, and the trees, and the cold air.

I played some blues at 3 in the morning. Johnny Lee Hooker sang I Am In The Mood. I smiled. The rain stopped. The breeze picked up. The clouds roared. Then the rain began again. I heard the train howling in the distance.

I fell asleep as the morning light started to hit the rain drops. I woke up to a wet, cold pillow and the curtains flying everywhere.

Something wonderful happens to the whole place when it rains. I woke up smiling.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The October Feeling.

I was going to write about what I have been thinking but instead I will start with what I have felt today: The cool autumn breeze as it came through the window above my bed in the morning – it made me wake up and go back to sleep all at the same time; the rays of the slightly diffused sun played on the floor for a few hours before going off to other places; a beautiful heart ache at the discovery of a new song on the radio; how the wind blew my hair around as I walked through the park; how my hands felt so cold, but my heart so warm; how his sleepy smile brightened the sun; how my body moved as I paced around the living room; how the coffee with extra cream felt in my hands, and then on my tongue; how the mist came in the evening and damped everything around, including me; how October makes me happy.

It’s that old October feeling, of the world turning again, of seeing an old friend; of telling and retelling stories, of playing the guitar around the campfire, of pumpkin spice everything, of moonlight walks in sweaters, of picnics on flannel blankets by the lake, of crunching leaves against the pavement, of curling up with a book on rainy autumn afternoons, of another chance to live.

I Romanticize

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sad Sickness.

You're all dressed up to go dreaming.

Sinatra sang in my ears as I sat on one of the benches in Potomac park. I have yet to find my favorite bench. But I am working on it. (But I have been telling myself that for years now). Ideally I won't be sitting here alone. I'd be sharing this beautiful view of the water and the even more beautiful city beyond the water with someone. I carry a splitter in my purse nowadays - that little piece of wire that lets you connect two different headphone sets to the same outlet. I carry it around in case I ever get to reenact a scene from Begin Again. I probably won't.

I have been carrying a sickness in my heart for so many years. Every now and then I realize that and I want to cry. But no tears come out. It's just sort of a sick sadness. Sad sickness. This life can't be so short. These nights can't be so long.

Perhaps some day I will put my act together and find a favorite bench, and walk long enough with someone to call it an actual walk. For now, its just you and me Mr. Sinatra - as we have been for many years. 

What a night to go dreaming.

 This is a work of fiction. 



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