Child, Begin Again

And I thought to myself, lets try some poetry. 
 Black boots dagger themselves 
 defiant towards the star-twinkled ceiling.
        Acoustic rhythms float beneath pew benches
        cutting through my consciousness,
        my traveling to a different space
        where I soar through midnight skies
        unbound by gravity governed feet
        or apathy shredded wings.
 The memory returns me to the present
 underneath the counterfeit cosmic canopy 
        of the two-tiered sanctuary, a night of
        hymnals for the knee-benders and hallelujah-shouters. 
        And I remember: Running quickly into the forest of coniferous trees,
        I trip over the old oak stump, blood splatters my knee.
        Sinking into the dusty forest floor
        weighed heavy by my anger
        the desperate demand for answers-
        will it forever be a fight? 
        will trust always be this damn hard?
 Once again I am running out of the sanctuary
 from a place I do not belong. 
        I escape into the midnight of the jet-black sky
        moon trapped behind a mass of foggy cloud
        a dancing hailstorm of tiny ice pellets.
        My feet carry me to crater sized puddles
        I stamp steel toed footprints into their surface 
        a child’s tantrum of defiance - 
        the refusal to accept the teachings 
         of a love-giving parent, only intending the best.
         My question writes itself across the stormy night 
         pounding against the sidewalk
         drenching the entirety of my body -
         am I to spend the length of my life resisting this?
 I sit myself cross-legged on the concrete sidewalk
 let adolescent hands fall defeated at my side.
          Just like I once circled the carpet 
          of my kindergarten classroom
          folding my legs, right over top of left, 
          chiming into the chorus of Old McDonald 
          and his tidy farm of chickens and cows and horses,
          To the rain I surrender: Her splendour melting me slow
          into a granular soup of wax substance
          come with the fall of rain 
          the distilling of flame to ember
          the only place to begin again.
 

Time is a Ferris Wheel

Christmas is exactly 47 days away. In my mind, Autumn has just arrived. The oak trees turn their greens to red-orange hues, creating canopies of barren tree branches and fields of crackling crimson leaves. Rain drips from charcoal grey clouds and the wind cuts through the icy temperatures of October turning into November. This season has just arrived but already Starbucks is sporting their holiday drinks, Peppermint White Mochas, Gingerbread Lattes and Walmart has cleared out their Halloween section for dangling lights and fake Christmas trees. Aware of the quick passage of time would typically make me anxious – inflicting a sense of panic in me, a desperation for all time to stop and give me a moment, just a moment, to catch my breath. But this time, I find myself merely surprised. My mouth curled outwards, my face describing a deer caught in the headlights; expression of awe and confusion. How curious Time is.

It brushes past me with the gentleness of October wind, chilly on bare skin. For a fleeting fraction of second, I consider its presence and then instantly, it has disappeared. I grasp at the wind; Time as it breezes past. I attempt to hold it in my hand but I cannot – wisps of wind cannot be held, but must be felt, absorbed, live in and around.

I do not understand how yesterday was the beginning of sophomore year and tomorrow is nearing the semester’s completion.

Seasons unfold and I unfold along with them.

Friday afternoon we work shop our creative pieces in my upper level writing class, the one I feel unqualified to participate in – me, college sophomore, major undeclared, inexperienced writer, sitting alongside senior writing majors who aspire to be novel writers and read Tolstoy and Hemingway for pleasure. There are four in our group, I only know the name of one person. She is first to share her piece, reading us a fictional story about a boy who seeks the approval of his father and she explains to us how closely it is tied to her heart, her own story weaved into fiction. He is second, and reads us a portion of his memoir. About how a 5th grade superhero birthday party taught him courage and how an older brother paved him a path of violence and how Grandfather bruised his body with iron fists – I am shocked that he reads us such sacred pieces of his story, inviting me, his classmates, to critique writings of his pain and treasured memories.

She shares third, a memoir too, but hers is specifically about relationships. Twenty pages that highlight the chronology of people she has woven into her life and waved goodbye to over time. On the final page she writes that life has taught her that people do not stay; that life is the swift, cyclical movement of time passing and people coming and leaving along with it. We discuss her piece. I hesitate but speak the words anyway, Is that really how you feel about life? She is quiet, I fear I may have offended her, but she begins to speak: I graduate college in December. Preparing to leave triggers many thoughts, not just about leaving, but about life’s cruel habit of churning and churning regardless of whether you have both feet firmly inside the ferris wheel or not. The more I consider it, if I had to use one word to describe life it would be sad…

This sticks with me. Life a cruel churning ferris wheel. Life in one word: sad.

This three lettered word makes me think of smiley face emojis with a black line swooping  downwards in a frown. Subconsciously I had always viewed this word as simple, petty, only to be used for small situations. Like when my gold fish died or I got a bad grade on my midterm. Yet in this Autumn season, she whispers that life is sad, and I fiercely nod my head along with her.

Because this week a dearest friend tells me that her world is always grey, charcoaled and empty.
Because in a midnight walk around campus he tells me that he cannot remember the last time he felt joy, he wonders if it even exists at all.
Because last night I scrawled stanzas into my artsy-blue notebook…

Sadness seeps into today
It is always hallow, aching,
emptiness in my chest cavern
Tears threaten to fall but
my eyes too, are dried up wells
that see the world skewed

I return to work shopping on Friday afternoon. Everyone in my group has shared their writing pieces which now leaves only me. It seems we have not run out of class time as I hoped we would. Today I do not want to read my fictional story. Because this is a class about autobiographical writing and no matter how much distance we attempt to put between ourselves and the characters, the pieces we write are deeply woven out of personal narrative. The story I wrote is about a girl soaked in sadness, misunderstand by a world of busy, bustling people. I am afraid to the read the story because I do not want my classmates to suspect my sadness. At 1:30pm on a Friday I over analyse this simple class exercise. Vulnerability, as always, seems to be a power struggle.

Days later, I email the same writing piece to my parents, along with several of my poetry pieces. They write me back expressing concern. Your writing it very dark they say. We are worried about you they say.  I am angry because to me it is entirely about the writing, about the encapsulating of story and emotion into word complexities and creative format – not about my writing being used to assess my current mental and emotional state. My parents only see the material, the sadness seeped into it, the darkness that illuminates most of my pieces.

But they are not wrong. I am always writing about tragedy or confusion or pain-soaked narratives. Oddly, I have always had a propensity for seeing beauty in the pain. And I know that I am not alone in this because our culture is obsessed with tragedy laden thrillers, outrageous tabloids and the 6pm news that informs us of the world’s most recent crisis’ or natural disasters. It is a little masochistic perhaps, but I am also realizing that it is very human.

This Autumn has too often seemed soaked in sadness. Life rich in blessing, knee-deep in college academia, a successful sport team, dear friends, a job I love – but sometimes none of that matters when the inside has frozen into icicles. When the thing that has always been your life foundation wobbles, crumbles, all the peripherals slowly become chaos as well.

Time whirls past, along with the icy Autumn wind and the nakedness of oak tree branches. It can be kind and it can be cruel; slow travelling and quick moving. They say that Time heals all wounds, but I disagree.

I do believe healing is found in the distance of Time, the travelling further and further away from painful memories. But it also true that Time expounds wounds – allows room for them to fester, grow, until small problems become insurmountable. And so, healing must occur within Time: In the rooting of feet to a stake in the ground – the cognitive decision to get counselled, admit the addiction, break up the relationship, eat the entire dinner plate, confront the friend, kneel before the soul-lover.

All this time I have been expecting Time itself to heal me, but Time was never meant to be the healer.


Here is the creative piece talked about in the post if you would like to read it:

An Autumn Loss


An Autumn Loss

*The following piece is my first attempt of Flash-Fiction. This is a creative piece that is not factual. I hope you enjoy the unique format of this form of writing – a merging of both traditional narrative and poetry.*


October Silence

In and out of trees I walk, beside the quiet river and through the green grass paths. Autumn leaves move in whirl winds around me. Red of gala apples, orange of sunsets, yellow of the sunflowers all surround me, the richness of their hues captivating me in this October afternoon.

She would be plucking branches off the oak trees, pulling up her sky blue dress and wading waist up into the gentle current, inviting herself into nature. Whispering words into the wind, speaking in her Socratic way, her tongue lined with the questions of aesthetics and ultimate existence. Forever filled with wonder.

But today I am alone in the forest.

Birds chirp noon day melodies and crickets sound the air with their mating call, but there is a deep silence bouncing off trees and echoing into the blue sky.

It is the sort of silence that begs you to remember: the way her icy blue eyes crinkled when she laughed or how her voice increased 10 decibels and her hands gestured wildly as she began talking about vanilla lattes or dancing or C.S. Lewis’ theory of punishment.

The Confession

“I hate my own story.” Six months ago we had talked by the icy winter river. Her voice broke through the hum of the current, carrying the sort of tone people use to confess cheating on their husbands or unplanned pregnancies or stealing money from a relative. The heavy and shameful sort of things.

Because those five words had been calculated over months of ink-black, starless nights. They were her confession. And now with hindsight I do believe, a tiny cry for help.

She had always been a lover of stories, soaking up books and conversation, chasing after the sorts of people that teach you to dream with the mountains and the clouds. Absorbing other people’s tragedy as it was her own: books of grieving fathers, movies of mass killings and weeping lovers, or conversation with friends who hid a dark past or an aching self-worth.

The darkness fascinated her in a way I think she was afraid to admit.
When I asked, she assured me that she only loved the redemption stories, the way ugly transformed into beautiful and the pain morphed into joy.

Stories

Her story began in a chocolate-brown house, white paneled with a black shingled roof. Sunday morning church, private high school, after school basketball practice – she lived between the blissful mechanics of desks, basketball courts and church pews. Two happily married parents, 3 siblings, a five-acre backyard, star athlete, honor roll student, more than enough food in the cupboards: her life void of the hard and painful most come to experience.

How desperately she wanted her story to be more, scarred by darkness and tragedy, the tale of a young soul marred by the ugly of the world. Instead she felt like a prisoner in her cookie cutter life, bound between walls of perfection and unmerited blessing. No excuse to fall apart. No alibi for a broken heart.

Shadows rimmed the blue of her eyes as we spoke along the shore and I identified anger, the resentment of her blissful life. What a strange, strange thing to be angry about, I thought.

From the outside, she had no reason to be anything but happy.

Yet sadness seeped into the corners of her days, at first subtly like tiny embers crackling on wooden logs, and then all at once, the bursting of flames high and blue and orange streaked.

Grief: Stage Three

I cradle her spiralled notebook in hand, keeling underneath a small oak tree. It is filled with the scrawl of a black-ink ball point pen, each page containing the tales of unscripted feelings and ideas. I am afraid of what I will read.

The purity of pain, the deep emotions hidden in the heart, the fierce pulse of ache and grief and remorse, I yearn to understand it…she etched across the first whitewashed page of the journal. I ached with each word I read.

Like the fiery summer sun, she has come and gone,
a young soul stolen in a dark October wind.

How could I not have seen this? She had always had an affinity for pain.
The propensity to somehow see it as good and beautiful.

The Shadows Beckon

Darkness did not frighten her, it captivated her.

And I saw how her story became one of taking the paint brush into her own hand and splotching black and grey masochistically across her ivory white canvas.

She absorbed all the pain she could find. Favorite teacher and mentor was imprisoned for child molestation. Sister was raped by a boy she called a friend. Best friend lost her father to a midnight heart attack. She loaded the pain upon her shoulders, wore it as if it were own, trying desperately to feel its gravity.

When the dark thoughts visited, she greeted them with the affection of a dear friend, inviting them into her, giving them a place to belong.

Our wooded walks grew distant and silent. I asked more questions, I begged her to let me in.

And slowly she disappeared from my life,
like wax dripping off a candle flame.
Ignoring my phone calls
avoiding me in the hallways,
leaving me haunted by images
of her charcoaled heart
and knife-carved wrists.

The Edge

It was upon an ordinary Saturday morning of coffee and scones that I finally saw her again. I bumped into her in my favorite coffee shop on Oak Street. She was sitting close to a man, their fingers intertwined and a possessive arm tucked around her waist. I was introduced to Jason; he must have been least 5 years her senior, broad, bearded and handsome, speaking with an air of superiority and arrogance.

Two months passed,
and he was gone,
clutching pieces of her innocence in his hands
and leaving her at the steps of South Avenue’s medical clinic.

A butterfly takes flight to my right, I read, so this is what a broken heart feels like… I have opened the journal again: The world looks different now, the aching is no longer outside, but it is inside me, he is inside me. I finally have a story, I feel pain, I know loss, I have seen ugly.

The Sky Wept Too

It was raining the day I went to see her. I walked through the front door of the house that had always been my second home. There was no need to knock. Spiral up the stairs, circle through the hallway, cross left to get to her bedroom.
When I found her she was weeping
Ruby red flowed from her wrists
Razor blade tossed carelessly on the floor

I offered my arms as a sanctuary. Her tiny body trembled and I wept too.
Through the window, I saw the skies had opened themselves up, the clouds a charcoal grey, and water pouring in acorn sized droplets. Nature understood. It wept with her too.

The Funeral

Eight days later, the sun shone its rays through church windows, and a women sang “Look for me in rainbows” by vicky brown.

On this bright, sundrenched October morning, nature sings warm temperatures and olive green leaves, but it is I alone who wept.

A Poem About Glass

A double-panned glass window,
possessing eyes to see the outside world:
the strangers passing by,
rain pelting the ground,
clouds moving in their idyllic forms.
A glass figurine of a warrior-horse,
light bouncing off its rectangular body,
hues of yellow sunlight and mint-green grass.
A glass bottle sits on the counter top,
once holding the grape-coloured liquid of a cherry-coke.
Foot accidentally bumps a table leg,
the bottle wobbles and sways,
dancing right to left upon its rounded base.
It falls to its side, rolls and rolls, picking up momentum,
and tumbles promptly to the wooden floor.
There is a crashing sound upon impact,
echoed by a cracking of shattering glass,
fragments of all my ugly and beautiful scattered
across wooden-panels and into dusty corners.

Sunlight seeps in, refracting its many colours,
a breeze swirls the cracked fragments into figure eights whirls,
creating a sea of glassy figurines, shimmering lucidly,
and I see what it is to be human:
a dancing sea of glass –
beautiful in the brokenness.

And I am reminded how we are not made of stone:
concrete, sturdy, unbreakable, every day whispering
don’t let them see. you will not fall apart. be stronger than this.
But I, you, we, are easily broken,
fumbling our way through this jagged world,
illuminated skeletons of the pain carved into our bones,
shimmering, dancing, shattering:
We are glass.

An Introduction of Sorts

Words swirl around in my head like alphabet soup, disjointed and incomplete – severe lack of sleep and college stress heaped into my navy blue bowl. I think all the time about what I would like write on this page. The yellow stripped notes app on my phone is clogged with my many streams of consciousness, pages and pages dedicated to the beginnings of posts, snippets of stories,  and half-hearted attempts at poetry.

I created this space – herglassdiary.wordpress.com – about 4 months ago and I have been waiting, I think, to create a perfect post. The one with the words flawlessly strung together, conveying exactly what I want to say. I became lost in the obsession to create something perfect and attain a sense of completion in my thought life. Fear a constant companion in my writing: An all too faithful friend who whispered doubts into my ear. Not good enough. No one will ever read that. Forget your dreams of becoming a writer.

Until I realized that it is not about being perfect.
It has never been about completeness or certainty or having all the answers.
Always, it has always been about the writing.
About the healing found in the concreteness of letters and words.
About the undoing and being put back together.
About the process.


Many will say that blogging is a thing of the past, an internet phenomenon who’s popularity has come and gone.

But to me Blogging is a way for ordinary people to have their own little corner of the internet. It is the freedom to create using words or pictures: it is the telling of stories, the fostering of thought, the commenting on any topic of life. Blogging gives those a voice who have no other way of being heard.

I have always loved the concept of having a space I may call entirely my own in the wildly public arena such as the internet. For me, it is a place to exercise creative freedom – where I can reveal my ideas, thoughts and heart, and invite you into my sphere of the world – even though we may be perfect strangers or living thousands of miles apart or walking along two vastly different paths in life.


Originally, I poured a lot of time into dreaming up the name of my Blog. I racked my brain for aesthetically sounding words and I scoured the internet for names that didn’t sound cheesy, but for months upon months, I couldn’t come up with anything. So I asked myself, what did I want this space to be about?

I told myself that I did not want an endless series of cliche’s that this world has heard a thousand times over; a conglomeration of neatly written posts of life lessons and stories with tidy endings. No, instead, I want to write honest. Unprecedented by social expectations or religious standards. Untainted by fear that people will judge me for my words or ideas. In the midst of the thrashing for ugly and beautiful I want to write – not when I have crossed the bridge and safely made it to the other side, scathed, but somehow whole – but to write as the tears soak, thunder screams, and heart threatens to fall out of the chest.


One quiet afternoon this summer I was sipping lemonade from a tall glass cup. Sun flooded through the kitchen window and I noticed how the rays bounced colours off the clear, rounded figure of my glass. It was a still, fleeting moment. But I was mesmerized by the refracting of light. In the next second, seemingly all at once, as if time moved as a single unit, the glass slipped from my grasp and shattered its fragments across the marble floor. Glass was everywhere, pieces big and small, all shapes and sizes shimmering upon the wood of our kitchen floor.

I thought a lot about glass. I thought about how its transparency reminds me of vulnerability, the act of trusting another person enough to let them see the most treasured parts of you, all the aching and joyful fragments of you. I thought about how its fragility reminds me of what it is to be human, how we so easily fall apart and so tenderly need to be loved. Lastly, I thought about how its ability to refract light reminds me of how people can be your prism – casting their rays into you, so you may have colours to reflect boldly on the rest of the world. Because without the rays of other people, we would simply be a colourless, dull reflection of our own weaknesses and not-enoughs.

And so I named my blog after glass.


So. Welcome to this space. I like to write mostly autobiographically, weaving pieces of my life into stories, poetry and narrative alike. I like fiction too, and often, I fuse the two together, bringing elements of my story to life through the characters and memoirs of another. This is a blog that will keep you guessing. Today might be poetry. Tomorrow may be a fictional narrative. The next day might be a explication.

I promise to do, as best I can, to remain true to the craft of writing. To not write to elicit pity or vomit emotional baggage, but to write honest: respectfully exploring the many elements of life, inviting you into my story. never telling you how to feel, but prompting you to think and feel and respond organically.

More than anything, I am a lover of stories. I believe every person has a wonderful tale of bravery and beauty, big or small in the eyes of the world – it is your story, of greatest significance to you. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Also. You must know. I have an affinity for wonder. An adoration for minds that deeply desire to understand, not okay with passive cognitive function.  A soul that wrestles with the mysteries of truth, humanity, and ultimate existence. I have fallen in love with the beauty of wonder and exploration – diving freely and fearlessly into the not-knowing and not-understanding. Socrates said it best, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

Thankyou for visiting my corner of the internet today, I hope you come back to visit again soon.