I let my lungs run out of breath. I wait for my body to gasp, burst out in desperation. That’s all it takes to know that nothing in me, I own. Not even a sliver of wonder or greed. The haze of uncertainties lurks behind the cherished remembrance of mercy. I run to grip on the edge of fleeting shadow of Death. Blisters ache in every inch of my finger tips. Let go. Please let go. My heart whispers, eyes cringe. Then there, then hither, the last ounce of my strength, taken away. I am left empty handed, wounded but free. So I break my Alabaster, with an even more shattered soul. Doubts break in cacophony. The fragrance of the oil spills, fills my lungs. I bring my wretched hands. I reach to touch His feet. Fear dissipates. All is left is His gaze on me.
I shy away from words that sound like roses—thorny but elegant, crimson blossoming. Words that smell irresistible. Words that are poised. Words that call to be written. A petal falls, filling the void of fear. A word is chosen, a step closer to courage. But I too often, shy away and forget that roses will always grow to be red.
I try putting a finger on my heart
to point at where it’s hurting,
where it’s thumping faster,
where it’s vulnerable,
where it’s keeping a secret,
where it’s running out of breath,
where it’s turning my cheeks rosy.
Where inside my ribs,
caged and protected
all my life
Your neck tilts in fine line of humility. You gaze at the forest full of silent, green leaves. Your eyes hold dignity, mouth clasped in integrity. The crows fly across the sky. But you don’t believe in omens. You see beauty in the color of black, a brushstroke against the sky. So you walk. The soil is drenched in possibilities. You listen to the ground welcome your steps into the wild. You take a deep breath of fresh air, the morning mist. You smell honorable history, you smell sprouting future.
The boy’s shoulders shrugged. Tears started brimming in his eyes, burning. His cheeks blushed. He looked down. He bit his lips tightly. He told himself he is never going to be wrong again, ever. Little did he know he was going to spend the rest of his life figuring out one wrongness after another. Only until he could let go of trying to be right, never.
In your smile, in between your white teeth, there is a crack of skepticism. Don’t tell me you are happy for me. Your bit of skepticism is stuck in your thoughts like a left over piece of kale salad in your mouth. You think of all the otherwises, uncertainties, and tsk-tsk-tsks for me when I never asked you to. I appreciate your gesture. I appreciate you trying in the not-trying. Thank you. But when you smile, I see your crack of ignorance right through you. You think that my voice is small, that my voice is soft, that I am on the wrong track—oh well, please. I may be kind, but I know what loud means. I’ve held a pen that is mightier than the sword. Mightier in Truth and honesty. Did you know that the river keeps flowing? Carving out and smoothening the rocks to silence, the water is gentle and persevering. Kindness flows like that. My voice may be vulnerable, but I will never give up my tongue, my pen, my brush, to craft kindness. So when you smile to pretend, I will smile back at you. And tell you, you got something on your teeth.
It’s good to not know;
to look up at the sky to wonder
where the clouds are coming from,
to stare at the clock ticking its way to the night and the stars,
to mark circles on the calendar,
to flip through the empty pages of the passport
Who. Where. What. When.
Hoping and wanting,
holding on and letting go
I don’t know how courage gets ignited,
how it pierces through the fog of fear
and burns to shine.
It warms up the heart;
Hands held into two strong fists,
Time takes questions after questions.
—into the mystery I walk in.
I know this victory:
The exceedingly magnificent breath of joy,
the silver lining through the silence
of grey suffering, the green and white collage
It is near you.
So close to you
—I will keep whispering.
Here’s to the deep and rich time from the past,
the weaving of our lives that will be brought back in our hands once more.
Here’s to the unknown and sacred future,
the adventures that will take us to meet and trust and live.
It’s good to not know.