BagelsinAugust

a new year

Jan
02

Sometimes everything worth saying resides in the silence. The last sunset of the year provided a brilliant show.

The entire year has been full of color, leaving me thinking that nothing can best this one sky, only to be proven incorrect day after day.

new year

Jan
18

ants in a squash blossom

I had gone back again to my little house and stood up on its roof and wanted to see a good end in all that and to find a good beginning in myself. And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.
Rainer Maria Rilke to his wife Clara Rilke on January 1, 1907 from Villa Discopoli (Capri)

 

the golden hour

Nov
08
My favorite time of day is the hour before sunset. Everything is covered in a veil of warm amber. People are returning home from work; families reunite. The sounds of relief as doors open. The freedom of removing tight shoes and heavy bags. We are together again, momentarily we displace the demands of work, focus on each other.
 
Windows are still open, and curtains unready yet to be drawn. You can take a peek, examine homes with people in them – how they live, move. Lights not yet turned on, and that glow of the last rays of sunshine floods entire rooms, highlighting and simultaneously masking objects. I especially enjoy the sounds of cutlery hitting dishes, the voices coming through kitchens, the laughter or discussions around tables, and smells of food.
 
Morning comes, and we all complain, begrudging the day as we arise, often in confusion. But the evening is different: slower, kinder. We made it through another day, how comforting to know the golden light is ours.

on my way homeheading east during sunset
sunset in Hawaii

stars

Sep
15

I recall many childhood experiences with the sky, but two particular ones stand out. The first happened as I was walking home one night with my parents, I could not have been more than four or five years old, and I kept pointing at the luminous harvest moon, surrounded by glittering stars. From across the street (these were cobbled, narrow streets I am referring to), a short grandmother rushed hastily over to my parents, scolding them that I should not be allowed to point at the moon, lest they risk ugly sores (bunions) all over my hands. She continued to explain something mystical to them for what seemed like a really long time, while I kicked up any dirt I could find with my head bowed in shame and confusion. Why would you not want to point at something so beautiful? 

I was a slow learner, because after being gently reminded to stop pointing at the night sky a few times by my parents, I still was in need of more reminders (hand slapped down to my side) until I stopped completely. The other experience was one that unfolded during my childhood from the stories I was told about heroes and Greek gods. The idea instilled was that not only animals could be represented in the stars, but gods and heroes too had a place. If you knew where to look, you could always find the heroes in the stars, forever a reminder of their names and deeds. I was inspired, to say the least, to be a hero. This was my first desired career. I knew this meant overcoming quite a few things that I did not possess, such as skill at pretend warfare, among others. I did not know much about heaven or the afterlife, but I knew that those who were truly great went right into the night sky, so I kept trying to perform grand deeds, sometimes to the horror and displeasure of my parents.

The stars were a wonder, instilling an insatiable curiosity, and as these things go, I produced many stories about them. For example, when explaining to my fellow first graders the reason for the stars’ flickering, I would say that the stars were tired. They did appear each night, after all, for many hours, and it was only fair that sometimes they did not remain ever vigilant in their vibrancy. They took breaks, going on and off, until they were no longer tired. No one inquired about what happened to them during the day, thankfully. (It is rather interesting how declaring an interest of something in elementary school meant you were an expert on the topic, a title that I did not wish to concede.) Now, I realize that this could have easily been confirmed or denied by asking an adult, but I must say that I tired even the most patient elders with my endless inquiries (but how exactly?), attacking them like I was on a quest to find the only true thing I needed, at the most inconvenient times. Without their aid, I continued creating tales about why Orion was sometimes further down the sky than the previous month, and I kept a small diary of sorts with rudimentary drawings and positions. And when I learned about the planets, I felt a bit sad about them, floating alone without people on them. An easy explanation for this emotion is my age, eight, which easily evoked sadness for many things.

Mostly though, I started to rely on the constant appearance of the stars, an appointment they always kept, to learn more about them. How could I not stare in wonderment until my neck experienced shooting pains? These were aches that I could not complain about since I had been previously (perhaps even sternly) notified that I would be stuck with a hunched back at an early age if I kept at it (or even worse, ruin a perfectly elongated neck). However, I did not listen, because these were the same stars (the very same!) that Alexander saw while conquering foreign lands in Asia. My father, a born storyteller, would entertain me as a child with stories of the gods and heroes, as I mentioned before, but he would also have stories about the great figures of ancient history. And I would imagine a young Caesar staring at the stars at night and wondering if there was room for him among them. The idea that such a similitude could be shared with the past made the stars even more important for me. I had something in common with great men, perhaps one of few things we could share, and they too had looked at these same stars just I was.

As a faithful reader of Astronomy throughout my childhood and well into my teenage years, it seems odd that I suddenly stopped asking my parents for the monthly magazine from Riders Hobby. Perhaps I realized that the night sky had become too complicated, and yet not particularly understood at the same time. There was much guessing about what and how everything formed, sometimes not far from my own tales. The admiration I held for the night sky had started with the notion that it was there, as simplistic as it seems now. Among all the changes that occurred around me: familiar buildings being torn down, and new ones emerging at rapid speeds, people leaving for America, and yet others leaving this world, the stars remained my companions. No matter what happened here on Earth, the stars were beyond reach, and I liked this separation. Although they were outside our physical grasp, and would continue being so for as long as I would be alive, I could take solace in the fact that we (and all who came before) were equals when looking (not pointing) at the night sky: the moon, planets, and stars.

doing your job

Sep
06

The ability for people to perform the duties dictated by their roles in an efficient way is something of the past. No longer is the basic skill of completing what you must do a requirement to maintaining or even exceeding in your role. The bare minimum of just showing up may suffice – a warm body filling a chair. Even going through the motions is no longer required, as the motions are created by the individual, and most days go unquestioned unless something goes awry.

Are we really content with floating for forty hours a week? How did we arrive at this point? Overworked, yet we are not doing our jobs well? How are we working ourselves so hard with minimal results? In the end, why are so many people content doing nothing?

moments of being an adult

Jul
23

Everything is changing all at the same time but, I am calm and able to handle all the tasks at hand- some more gracefully than others.

I am not sure when I first figured out that I was an adult. I remember being a teenager, and perhaps even younger, wishing to copy the various activities and behaviors of my parents and our family. I wanted to badly emulate my older cousins; they had this great power of not only physical height but, most importantly, freedom. I would always think of the many things I could accomplish being an adult. The possibilities seemed endless at eight, ten, thirteen, and so on.

However, I developed a panic of sorts when I started college. I was not sure if I had become an adult yet. Did driving myself to school, eating wherever I wanted, and attending concerts until two in the morning count? Did reading Plato and watching serious (and often lifeless) documentaries make me educated? That yearn that in childhood I had craved for became an even greater worry in college.

The first time that I truly thought I was an adult was following a very tragic accident of a close friend. I sat around with a couple of other friends, talking about how something like this could happen to such a nice girl (and then discussing death itself in a philosophical sense), and what could we do for her, how could we help her, most of all, understand what she was going through. For hours, we contemplated what to say to her and how to approach her conveying our availability. Yet, as we did this, we were not sure ourselves that we could handle what she may require of us. In this moment of time, we all realized that we had become something more than those girls who ran around with home made t-shirts in the city late at night in hopes of meeting rock stars. I remember thinking that clearly this was an adult situation.

Moments like that have followed, though their context, thankfully, has not been so grim. There are times when an argument or event occurs and I think to myself, You are a grown up, so deal with this correctly. I have found that I am not so excited to share the dramatic or sad events with other grown ups, and that freedom that I desperately and positively sought out as the greatest gift, comes with a price. It is not sentimental or somber to find these things out- a bit disappointing perhaps but, such is the way of everything.

These mere moments of inclusion in the otherwise elusive adult world have continued to grow lately. At first, I felt overwhelmed and almost as if I was drowning in my own thoughts (metaphors are plenty). With time, the decisions that I had made made me feel calm. With the greatest sincerity, I experienced a sense of growing up in a way that I cannot capture even in my greatest moments. Being young, I never realized, had many more freedoms that are now simply not available. The everlasting struggle of wanting to be an adult and not wanting to grow up continues. For now, I patiently await, much like I did when I was younger, except the duties that arrive are often greater than imagined even by the most creative little mind.

world cup 2010

Jun
23

I have been watching the World Cup for almost two weeks now and have come to the conclusion that not only is this the strangest competition, but a lengthy one too. I don’t recall how it was when I was younger, but it is a bit annoying to invest a good two hours into a game that results in a draw of zeros. However, that is not the worst of it- a sour taste on the tongue is left when some teams decide not to play at all or audition for the national ballet company.
Four years ago, I would watch whole games back to back uninterrupted for days at a time, giving little thought to anyone or anything else around me. This time around, I am busy at work and rely on the fifa.com updates to provide my brain with sentences to process into moving pictures. By the time I reach home, all the games are over and replays are only on cable channels that I do not have. It is only on the weekends that I can get some good watching in for a couple of games, and this, amazingly, leaves me quite content. Maybe I have just convinced myself that this is a good World Cup after all.

Ole, ole, ole!

Ole, ole, ole!

graduate tests (part two)

Jun
06

I am one day away from the LSAT. I reason that withn 24 hours, I will be completely contained as I walk into the classroom. Perhaps I will also be the only outsider, as I like to fashion myself.

Today, I am putting my hipster photograph on the sign in ticket, and taking one last practice test. Since I already took some sections, and this is my 10-15 minute break, I made some cream of potato soup with corn and other good things. It was actually delicious because I made it less thick than the kind you find inside chicken pot pies. Now, do not judge me, I am not making soup in the middle of the day to procrastinate. No, sir! That is not what I do!

By the way, did it ever rain! All the streets on the West side of Pelham were flooded, as well as M-39. Man, the drains are working overtime.

LSAT Cram Potato Soup with Lots of C(orn)

Okay, back to studying. Boo!

a musing

May
31

I think that it is slightly amusing the shirts my dad has been wearing for the last twenty years or more are the fashionable thing to put on nowadays. My dad, the hipster. Who knew that my dad was the muse of the twenty something city dwellers. Ha!