Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
it bubbles from within, and can't be stopped.
it can't and won't be denied.
it shouldn't be suppressed.
it glows and is contagious.
when you are happy, your friends are happy for you.
when you are happy, you share it's joy with all.
happiness is not simply a noble pursuit, it's human necessity.
happiness doesn't debase other emotions, it simply puts them into context.
there is no finer drive than to pursue happiness, and when it's yours, to share it, and express how it makes you feel.
i feel it and i want you to feel it as well!
IMUA! (go forward) and find your bliss!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
One of my favorite songs is by Paul Simon (disclaimer: I have MANY favorite songs), called Still Crazy After All These Years. Simon's ability to tell stories, and weave lilting melodies with driving rhythms is what makes him a master at his craft. He is also, in my opinion, a muse of the feeling Saudade. A Portuguese term, it clearly expresses the powerful cocktail of emotions that range from sadness, longing, remembrance, reflection, bittersweetness, loss, regret and loneliness.
Personally, I am able to feel exquisite joys, but Saudade courses in my veins, my emotional DNA I embrace instead of try to escape. I have always been this way.
Here, are the lyrics
Still Crazy After All These Years
Words & music by Paul Simon
I met my old lover
On the street last night
She seemed so glad to see me
I just smiled
And we talked about some old times
And we drank ourselves some beers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy after all these years
I'm not the kind of man
Who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on
Old familiar ways
And I ain't no fool for love songs
That whisper in my ears
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy after all these years
Four in the morning
Crapped out, yawning
Longing my life a--way
I'll never worry
Why should I?
It's all gonna fade
Now I sit by my window
And I watch the cars
I fear I'll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy
Still crazy after all these years
I have thought of this song often. I have been both parts of the equation. I am not as jaded or aloof as the main character in the song. His confession "I ain't no fool for love songs that whisper in your ears" seems more like denial (like 10 cc's song, 'I'm Not In Love'). (I wear my devotion for love songs on my sleeve. I am a singer, dancer and a poet, after all, the Sufi turning, the gopi in the field, spinning my Om Mani Padme Hum ring as I write this!)
So I have reflected on this song many times, and Simon's music, perhaps like Springsteen's lyrics, are even more poignant, profound and meaningful, as you get older. We all do.
This weekend, the trigger was a twice removed example of the song's story. Saturday, I met the old lover of my old lover. Confused yet? I met my old old beau's most recent ex (-I hate that word) girlfriend. It was serendipity. She was teaching a class at the facility where I also teach. She knew who I was, but I wasn't aware of her relationship. She was so pleasant introducing herself to me. Kind, sweet, searching and genuine. I was happy to meet her.
Sadly, she explained that she and Mr. X (we'll call him that) weren't together, and for no real reason. Impossible you scoff, there's always 2 sides to the story, and a 'reason'. Well, yes, if you are being rational and logical, this might be true. But, when you factor in a past of mental health issues among other things, well, let's say it changes the rules of the game.
There's more to the story than is appropriate to reveal here in a blog. It's funny- it's been years now since we were together and yet I am still in a quiet way, compelled to 'save' face or conceal what happened. I wonder, who am I trying to save?
Those who know me are aware that I can be upfront about what plagued that relationship, and it person, can be frank about its dynamics. Were there good times and love? Of course, as there should be between any two people in love or a relationship. I dreamed big and envisioned a technicolor world of hope, beauty and never ending discovery, trust, creativity and support for each other. I thought we had a future together.
And, we played our hand out, so to speak. Many times, again and again. I went back for seconds and thirds, despite the problems, which were major, and I seemed to have an endless well of understanding, support and naivete about what was going on.
Yet, I don't divulge the details. The stigma I feel, real or imagined, is heavy. I've been known to say, the relationship was a lot like a Jerry Springer existence. The laundry list? Well imagine the worse and that's it, except no arson- only arson of the soul. Singed. Blow torched. Burnt.
But, like the proverbial phoenix from the flames, we each 'survived'. I liken it to a forest fire. Completely devastating and heartbreaking, but after the worse, new growth, sprouts of green, shoot up from the Earth, and there is rebirth.
It has is quiet ways, taken years to recover from someone like Mr. X. We used to have an exchange with each other, which he started: "You've ruined me. I'll never be the same. Thanks.". It was said in jest and in truth. It was a joke and declaration. It was scary and exhilarating. It was true, for many reasons.
I internally cringe to think of the break ups, heart ache and let downs of years ago. At home alone, I would weep, my dogs would stay close at hand, knowing I was very, very sad indeed. My mother, who was exhausted and upset at my agony of the heart, would say "Willow, when will you stop being sad? You need to get on with your life!" (I actually can't stand it when people say that. We can't really speed the healing of the heart. It has its on kronos or timing).
But, I knew she was right, and I didn't want to hurt and I recall saying to her "Mom, I just don't know if I'll ever be able to love that way again. (Mr. X) has ruined for me. I will probably compare every man to him and I don't want another."
Thank God, that is not my reality! To think we are capable of feeling this! But at the time, it was real, my truth. I was wounded. Funny thing is, we did get back together after that 'incident' and when we did part, it feel easier to do.
I know that I am a better person now- not only for being it that relationship- but more importantly, leaving it.
To choose myself, happiness, sanity, trust, honesty, health and believe, no, KNOW, that I deserve those things as everyone does, was a major epiphany for me, and one that others hopefully come to as well, when facing a similar scenario.
Miss Saturday, as I will call her, thankfully didn't endure the same dynamics as our relationship, but the symptoms were the same. One day, he just decided to leave, and she too was dreaming in techincolor, wanting all the things I though we too would have had.
I assured her that her intuition was correct, and that she simply happened to fall in love with someone who doesn't know how to love themselves. Cliche? No, the truth.
A lovely lady like her, radiant, healthy and wise of the soul, tender, delicate and positive, will find an amazing person to love her, cherish, adore, be supportive, dream, build, laugh and eat together, and importantly, hold her.
I know it can happen, because it did to me! But that, is a story for another time.
Believe in yourself, Believe in happy endings - and beginnings!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Reprinted from Facebook, February 5th, 2009. Updates in brackets.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? -My mother knew someone who had a child named Willow, but though the child behaved badly. She hoped she'd have better luck! My Chinese middle, Lau Sinn, reflects my English name, and means 'willowy angel" or 'spirit/angel of the willows'.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? -I cry on a regular basis, for joy, sadness, loss, relief and overwhelmed by beauty. 2 days ago, I was listing to Regina Spektor's "No Need to Say Goodbye" from the Prince Caspian/Naria series...I thought of the Lion, who's wisdom reminded me of my father..."Things rarely happen the same way twice, (Lucy)"...which is true, profound and sad.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? -Yes, but there's always room for improvement, People from Switzerland and Japan seem to have amazing penmanship. Quality of writing I think stems from the writing surface, time alotted and the writing instrument. I prefer the good old-fashioned ball point pen.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? -I'm a fan of Honey Roasted Ham and Smoked Ham. I'm Chinese. We like the pig.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? -4 legged sons, Dante, the Italian Greyhound, and Pompei, the Whippet (whip it good). I also have a Siamese Fighting Fish named Dhiagalev, and an unnamed snail who shares his bowl. (Sadly, my fish friends died.)
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?- Yes, simply because there's great conversation, passion, loyalty and sensitivity here...not to mention some wacky humor beneath the surface!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?- In small quantities. Since the era of Seinfeld, the sarcrastic/sardonic rants and quips of 21st century society tend to get old. And, they diminish people in the long run. So, NO we can't! (hahahahahahaha- just joking there.
8.DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? -Hell no! The best decision ever was to yank those suckers out. Gave me grief and countless infections. My health hasn't been better!
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? -No. I love life too much and sometimes live Murphy's Law. Pass.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? -Currently- Frosted Mini Wheats, it's what's in bulk at Sam's Club (how pedestrian). I love Golden Grahams (addicting like crack, more like candy than cereal) and I remember Honey Bunches Of Oats being pretty good, but expensive. I also like the instant Quaker Oatmeal in Apples and Cinnamon- made thick, not watery and NO milk! Yum!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? -I think I have only I pair of laced shoes- a pair of Pumas...and I think, no.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? -I have several: Ginger from Hagan Daaz, Phish Food from Ben and Jerry's, Foremost's San Francisco Mint, Baskin Robbin's 4 flavors- Gold Medal Ribbon, World Class Chocolate, Peppermint and Pumpkin. I also like lavender and rose sorbets...hmmm.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? -Their energy and then their eyes...
15. RED OR PINK? -Good grief- what kind of question is this? If I'm feeling Tango or Flamenco, Latin and strong or Chinese feel, I'd say red. If I'm in a Bollywood state of mind...pink!
16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? -Encroching insomnia induced by the internet! And, giving jerks 2nd chances...when none are deserved.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My poppa.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? Yes, I'll probably learn some cool things about you :)
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? -A black mini skirt and barefoot
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? -the white noise hum of the neighbor's air con...
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? -Turquoise
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? -Chocolate, Sandalwood- all varieties Arabian. Indian and Mysore, Amber, Juniper, Frangipani, Ylang Ylang, Tangerine being peeled, Lilac, incense from the temple, French Lavendar, Kiawe Wood, miso soup, Gardenias, Sterling Roses (the lavendar ones), Geraninum leaves, Rosemary, Gasoline, Puakenikeni, pikake, before and during the rain, the smell of garden shops, my dog Dante's ear, Captain Black tobacco for pipe, Gudangs and clove cigarettes, new care smell, the salt on skin after a swim in the ocean, a loved one's scalp.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE-Mira Suvara
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? _A great photographer and interesting person...yes
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? _Old Skool Celtics basketball, ice skating, the Olympics.
27. HAIR COLOR? -Darkest Brown before black
28. EYE COLOR? -Brown with flects of green and amber in the right light
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? -Yes, very myopic girl.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? -Thai- yellow curry /Greek- chicken soulvaki and baklava /Hawaiian- kalua pig /Chinese- dim sum and won ton soup /Japanese- miso soup and gyoza/ Italian- ravilolis and gnocchi/Persian- biryani/ Indian- yellow curry and samosas, chaipattis/chocolate!!
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? -Brain benders and ephinanies
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?- Slumdog Millionaire (theater) Bowfinger (rental) OM SHANTI OM (songs and dances)
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? -Black top, khaki jacket.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?- Fall!
35. HUGS OR KISSES? -XOXOXOXO depends who's giving!
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? -Those with time on their hands
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? -Those who can't be bothered
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? - The Story of Tango
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? -A Turkish style oriental rug
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? -Conan O Brien
42. FAVORITE SOUND(S).- music, laughter, dog's ear flaps, sounds of happiness, windchimes, my neighbor chanting
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?- BEATLES- of course!!!
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? -Around the world - Egypt, Syria, Greece...
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?-I'm really good at spatial organizing, like closets etc.. i enjoy interior design and love to clean house. A true domestic!!!
46 WHERE WERE U BORN?- Honolulu baby!
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?- All!
48. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? -This, is a private matter:) OK<>
My mind wanders, as it can, rapidly stringing one idea to another, things that seem unrelated.
I thought of the people who are facing the night, feeling lonely. I thought of those who don't feel they can keep going on. And I tried to imagine, if there were a way to get to those on the brink, to say "It's gonna be o.k." how it could make a difference. I thought of the beauty of Tango and how it is both becoming the music as well as a traveling hug that we call dance.
Sometimes when you are in the thick of a depression- which is so clinical, (let's call it a malaise of the heart or even an exhaustion of the soul), it's had to imagine things will ever change or shift. BUT, they ALWAYS do! My heart breaks still, when I think of every friend who took their life. How I wish I could have been there- to help or listen. So often, their pain was not apparent , and I wonder how many others around me that I care for shoulder such a burden of grief?
I thought of this over 2 hours ago, and told myself that I should simply go to bed. But, I felt compelled to write and to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE (hello, Michael Jackson). But seriously, it is the mystery of life how the human spirit can endure everything from elation to heartache, joy to misery, wonder to apathy...but feeling anything less is not living!
So what's the point? I simply want to say, I CARE and that life is so beautiful I hope that each of you can find the delight in the mundane, quiet and humble and know that we never quite know where the road takes us...but I hope you enjoy the ride.