Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Drought.

I walked and sat on the bench in the courtyard with my coffee just for a little bit before heading into work. The sprinklers came on over the flower bed across from me. The water drops were so delicate, almost foamy, gently, ever so gently, bathing them with the sweet, sweet mist on this hot day. Even flowers get better treatment than people these days. There is a drought in California. There are people in this world that don’t get enough water to drink let alone bathe in it. And when they do get water, I bet it's dirtier than what these flowers are getting now.

The homeless people are not allowed inside Starbucks – well, they don’t quite go along with the vibe of overly priced coffee chain we all feel so proud of. It’s 90 degrees (30 C) and I can’t wait to get inside that freezing office – well, we have too much electricity and lord help us if we ever let the summer heat get to us. But only the privileged get that. Not the people that work on the streets, not the people that live on the streets. It’s the same old story you have heard over and over again. The rich gets to live the life they want, and also get to complain about the little, meaningless things, while the poor get to wonder when, if ever, their suffering will end. While I get to wonder if I should make chicken or beef for dinner tonight, they get to wonder if they will have dinner at all. While I get to enjoy my overly price iced-coffee, they get to walk for miles to get a drink of water.

I never understand why I get to work on the 50th floor of a giant building, while someone else sits outside that very building hungry, hot, and penniless.  I never understand why there is so much misery in this world, but more than anything, I don’t understand why we are so insensitive towards this misery. How can we be so terribly selfish. It should be inhumane, shouldn't it? That we understand the misery but we are indifferent to it. As if it is somehow okay for me take everything for myself, and leave so little for anyone else.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

[12] Sunday.

I Romanticize





Even though it's only August, the sun has been having trouble staying out, and I have been having trouble taking photos with natural light. I have a studio setup, but I’d rather take photos in natural light. I like capturing glimpses of life, as they are when they happen.

I spent the weekend at home after a long time. I started looking at the place I live in, how the walls and the roof has always felt so temporary. I look at small displays of my life here – things gathered, read, and worn – the memories created in this tiny place. I wonder what this place will be remembered as when I leave. Will the next person know that I sat by this window countless evenings eating strawberries? That I have counted all the leaves on the tree in the courtyard by my terrace? I wonder if it matters whether there is a ketchup stain on the carpet, or that there is a tiny hole in the wall above my bed from where the string lights hung for all these years.  I wonder the marks you leave on places – on people – ever matter in the grand scheme of things.

There is no sure way of knowing whether you’ll leave any effect on this world as you experience it, but you can only hope that what you did in this life was remembered and that you changed places to make them prettier, and touched people in a way that made them more human.
For now, I am going to sit here, and eat my strawberries, and hope that I am doing as best as I can in this life, and with this life. Because it is only that belief and hope that will make me do anything good, if at all.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nothingness.

I walked in the apartment at 1:24pm on a Wednesday. I didn't remember the last time I saw my apartment with the sunlight on a weekday. But not that Wednesday. That Wednesday was a start of a vacation. I had absolutely nothing to do for the next four days. I could finally just sit there and read a book that I had been meaning to for so long, or drink lots of coffee or spend all my days at a bookstore or go get lost somewhere in the mountains, or I could have just continued to lie on the couch and do absolutely nothing.

Isn't that nice? To have absolutely nothing to do for a little while? It is a rare blessing in the kind of life I lead and perhaps you do too. I was quite happy. But only for that Wednesday. That half a day of beautiful nothingness. The rest of the time, one thing or another came up as it always does. So many errands needed to be run, bills needed to be paid, people needed to be seen, family needed help, and before I knew it I was sucked back into everything else, and that empty space was filled again with all sorts of tasks, except anything meaningful.

I wonder if we ever really get to do what we really want to do in life. When does happiness last for more than half a day. When, if ever, do we truly get to live.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Personality Test.

Online personality quizzes are becoming increasingly popular and it looks like we'll believe just about anything, however vague, they'll tell us. We don't hesitate to flaunt about these elusive results on facebook/twitter and somehow feel enlightened about ourselves. Well, how about you take a stab at the following questions and see if you can answer them for yourself. Who knows, they may enlighten you too. 

What’s the kindest thing you almost did? Is your fear of insomnia stronger than your fear of what awoke you? Are bonsai cruel? Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? Your earliest memories: do you look through your young eyes, or look at your young self? Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong as you were doing it? Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter? Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone?

How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life? What would you tell your father, if it were possible? Which is changing faster, your body, or your mind? Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis? Are you in any way angry at your phone? When you pass a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither? Is there anything you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it? If you could be assured that money wouldn’t make you any small bit happier, would you still want more money? What has been irrevocably spoiled for you? If your deepest secret became public, would you be forgiven? Is your best friend your kindest friend? Is it in any way cruel to give a dog a name? Is there anything you feel a need to confess? You know it’s a “murder of crows” and a “wake of buzzards” but it’s a what of ravens, again? What is it about death that you’re afraid of? How does it make you feel to know that it’s an “unkindness of ravens”?

Source: "Two-minute Personality Test" by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eclipse.

It's been four years since I last spoke to her. Four years. That's how long it takes to graduate from college. That's how long it takes for February 29 to come back around, and that's how long it takes for us to experience a total solar eclipse.

I'd like to think that it has been four years because we have just lost touch, like it happens when people grow old, move away and become busy with their careers. I'd like to think that she has moved far away, to a sunny state, like California, for a job or may be even a Masters. I'd like to think that she is so terribly busy with the long hours and the beaches and the hikes she loved so much that she has no time to pick up the phone and call me. I'd like to think that she is really happy. That she has found a man who adores her, she has already moved in with him in an artist's studio apartment with white brick walls, and spectacular views of the city. I'd like to think that she has made new friends, and she goes out every weekend, gets drunk and then spends the Sundays hungover, so obviously she's been unable to call me over the weekends.

I'd even like to think that she is really angry with me. Perhaps over a silly little thing I did back in the day. Or perhaps because I really hurt her. Because I am an awful, terrible human being whom she completely despises. I'd like to think that she refuses to speak to me again. I can live with that.

I'd like to think that she is not dead. She is pissed off, busy, far away, happy, angry, moved-on, does-not-care-for-me-anymore, but not dead. 

[In loving memory of a darling angel, 1988-2010]

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