Wednesday July 29th

Writing and Writing

I unexpectedly

  • I joined a writing group online, after having attended some of their one-day workshops (all free). So I thought I’d drop some of the things I wrote in the session today. They don’t ask you to read it unless you would like to, and I haven’t shared it with anyone, but I thought since this is my blog, I’d leave my writing today here.

Remembering joy

I joined a writing group today because 
I feel like an outsider where I live.
I have no friends here, and the people 
here treat me differently.
I cannot remember the last time someone 
in this place has been kind to me. 
It never feels earnest.
I have found friends online, who live 
far away from me. 
They call me from far away cities and
yet when they say 
they miss talking with me, 
I feel can feel their warmth a 
thousand miles away. 
Strangers I have never met far away 
from here are nicer to
me than the people in the very
  place I live.
I don't feel lonely in this place, 
but I feel like my body 
is here and my mind is far away from this place. 
We spoke about the notion of [redacted] today; 
experiencing time as it exists.
It made me think about the strongest
recent memory I have
of being in a space next to someone with whom
I could share time with, in that space.
Where I could exist in the present. 
The sun was setting, and we were walking
around Pasadena. 
I could hear the honking of horns, the sigh
of the Metro buses, and the 
loquacious traffic stop narrator, instructing us
to cross Raymond and Holly. 
It is chilly and I always wear a light grey jacket. 
I do not fit into this city, either; 
the people here do not think I belong in Pasadena. 
I know this because they begin to
hold their children's hands
tightly around me, 
and a security guard lingers where I stand.
I was once at a store in Pasadena, 
and after fifteen minutes, 
a security lady asked me to leave. 
She too, didn't think I belonged there.
I feel a bit dejected, but I don't blame her; 
the only people who look like me sleep on the 
lawn of the public spaces, 
or sit on sidewalks
jingling near empty cups.

We were talking about the heliopause, 
and about the Voyager spacecraft, which you so proudly
worked on,
in a time when people made things.
In a time when we dreamed about the future, 
and how technology could help us dream, 
instead of imposing nightmares upon us. 
We were optimistic about technology then.
We were fascinated by exploring new worlds.
The Voyager spacecraft was 
breaking through into 
interstellar space. 
It drifted past what we could imagine time and 
space to exist within,
in our universe.

The restaurant we are in now is half empty,
but I can see the steam rise up to the windows 
and hear the jingle of the front door bell as 
a new customer enters. 
There is so much energy here. 
You take a large napkin beside you and produce 
a skinny blue ink pen (like every proper
scientist has) out of your pocket 
and begin scribbling on the napkin to show me.
You are always bubbly, always showing me. 
Showing me things with witty punctuations, 
while half-sloppily dipping a dumpling 
into the slow-roasted,
sesame sauce, 
held nimbly together with chopsticks. 

There is a kpop band performing 
on a large screen behind us,
but the subtitles are in Mandarin. 
The audio is silent, but the restaurant
lights from the neon blue stage spill 
onto the floor.
You laugh at some of the characters 
as you thoughtfully translate them. 
I say the words you teach me, 
but for every five I can only remember one. 
I have always been astounded 
by the humility and how enveloped
by your kindness and generosity 
I am when I speak with you. 
Your wanting me to be more than 
who I imagine myself to be. To push toward
the interstellar space of my imaginations.

Sometimes I have deep dreams 
where my body has lifted 
itself back to the place where I was born.
It is the place where 
every part of what makes me *me* aligns. 
It is a place I go to recalibrate. 
The people are bright and mischievous. 
Th sun lounges overhead us there, 
shadows looming. 
I am reminded as the people pass by me that 
it is considered rude not to greet even strangers. 
The sound of the ocean seems to follow me
in these dreams, like a pleasant, 
lingering taste or smell.

These days, that place of my 
deep dreams doesn't feel real; 
it feels so far away, 
like an imaginary place. 
Written on July 29, 2020