June 29, 2014
May 11, 2013
There is a beauty in your presence.
In your Life,
There is a manifestation of your life that stays and grows, flourishes.
No one really knows.
How negative can distract, a man from his potential
A woman from her magic, a being from doing.
The best that they came here to do and to see,
I’ve seen how negativity affects you and me.
Like a weight, I cannot fly, my wings at my side.
Drained and abused,
My own self worth short fused.
As I cradle my heart and open myself,
I realize that the gift was to work on my mind
so that my heart could thrive.
Without a joy or vision to see,
My minds clouded all thats pure to me.
Because purity is simple, It doesn’t lie.
Manifest goodness, peaceful things, and lies.
Revel in glory,in forgiveness, in faith.
Blinded by sin, purgatory, and shame.
Co-create, co-habitate, co-ed, and co-exist.
Co-operate, co-work, live, and breathe this.
See the goodness, see the light, don’t hold back,
Shine as bright.
As you need to see down the dark path of empathy,
of what good could be a future for yourself.
Fearless of consequence, pain, and betrayal.
Liberate yourself, accept the unfaithful.
March 4, 2013
After rediscovering my long lost password lingering in an old journal, I’m back to blog, reflect and share some news. Recently, I have taken up Yoga Teacher Training and am starting to focus more inward on my own well being, art, and self discovery. Art has taken a year long back slide for me, once I discovered a great passion for hula hooping as a form of release, expression, and gratitude. Earth worshiping while whirling around, falling to the grass, watching the sun set, digging my toes and heels into the dirt beneath, barefoot and blissful. I hope to start a meetup group in San Jose to bring people together to start hooping it up, and perhaps, after I have successfully complete my Yoga TT, I will begin to offer donation based yoga somewhere in the community.
Life is a journey and a karmic loop all in yourself, the energies manifested, revealed, contained, and released; reforming a destined moment, luckily arriving to greet you from behind. You turn around and what do you find. something of this world, a moment for your mind, contemplate the meaning as you drift and become a person in the now, and being of ONE!
Thanks for being!
April 24, 2012
. E a r t h D a y .
Is this fate snapping in the wind?
i feel the fate of time reaching out to combine,
the complexities of a future placed inside my mind.
No time to forget,
Only to compile in denial.
Send me away for the hands caught in chains
would tell me that there is a ray.
A light that shines, supports you in the toughest times,
Honors courage and your pride set aside.
Lean on the world as you go by.
Find a way to make the most you see,
because you were always meant to be
Apart of God’s heaven
that Holy nesting place,
A spot in the stars surely awaits.
So if you die, or if you are sick.
Lean on the world, find a way to fix it.
December 29, 2011
When you blur your vision you can see the atmospheric molecules vibrating.
If you look closely at a field of grass you can see the heat waves passing over the surface.
Open your eyes wide and watch the clouds change shape and take different forms.
Freeze and watch the flowers blossom.
Wake up the next morning to a new bud, leaf, or branch.
Be aware of nature and how it changes.
Honor its ability to change just like you.
Create space to honor the vibrations of the Earth.
Create space within your heart to honor the breath that lives inside of you.
Notice its quality.
Notice the pulse.
There is a rift that exists between man and nature. We are not rooted in the manufacturing of our I pods from the metal and oil extracted from our Earth to create such a device. We slide into the virtual space, a cyborg in a rotating universe. Closing the loop, harvesting from what was harvested before, Oil passes through heating and cooling to create hard plastic that has shape shifted our lives. Cars pass, Heaved out of the center of the Earth, the weight of manufacturing suctioned out onto the surface. Gravity is pulling it all inward, awaiting the dawn of a collapsed shell and a molten core ready to scold any thing that comes in its path. We have seen the guts of Earth in any lava flow, the pulse of fiery magma projecting onto the surface. We’ve seen human hands at work with their sewing machines and paint brushes, transforming material into a commodity.
Look at a tag and see the rift, root yourself in the rift and try to understand what is happening…the distances that all things have traveled to be here.
Coconut water packed, sealed, shipped, and trucked up and down the 101.
A tag reads: Made inChina, Made inLesotho, Made inBangladesh, Made inIndonesia, and Made inSri Lanka.
An embossment reads: Made inChina.
Can I get a tag with my next gas purchase?
There is man at the Oakland Flea Market that has created a time machine that will travel to the moon. He will navigate by the luminous glistening of compact discs.
August 3, 2011
During my time overseas I made a decision to start recording lessons that I had learned through the experiences I had been exposed to: reflections based on my past, present, and future. Sometimes these lessons were cultural, personal, logistic, and influenced by many different life ingredients. At the end of the day, when I remembered, I would write down 10 things I learned that day. Obviously, these are based on my own perception of life and perhaps inability to critically analyze anything. Here are a few that I pulled from my journal that I feel are valuable enough to share:
Stay longer, get to know the people, what they need, want, and of course understand the community
Inshallah (I was reading “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson when I came across this term. I realized it was a valid term used amongst the community I had been living amongst and traveling around. It is sort of way of submitting yourself to the fate that God has handed you for the future. Generally, God will permit your life to take course; you live the life that God has handed you with every waking moment)
A smile is usually priceless
Compliments are free
TV does not enable meditation or enlightenment unless you are seeing its light in the past as a reason to not live with such a device (but actually the movie “Shutter Island” blew my mind and made me a little angry)
When I am with no one, I am always with someone whether it is a friend, apart of a memory, or walking hand in hand with God.
Educating women can help end terrorism sectors and aid in dissipating hatred towards groups of people.
It is possible to drive chaotically and survive the torment of a potential head on collision.
Never underestimate the past’s potential to influence the present moment
Supernatural occurrences DO exist
Survival is tapping into that 6th sense and letting it guide you life a sniffer dog
Rain is romantic to me. Always has been
I am a strong woman. Some will be stronger than me, others are not, but I am. I have to believe this.
A career is a manufactured idea of society
Love is a verb, Love- the feeling is a fruit of love, the verb.
Tea is a common way to show hospitality and taste good. I’ve underestimated the gift of tea so many times.
My life is just beginning
Pakistan,Afghanistan,Saudi Arabia, andIraqare very wealthy countries (rich in OIL).
It is okay to give and let people help you. Acts of selflessness are true signs of love. Giving yourself is priceless and cannot be replaced.
People who are greedy never get anything done and those that wait get nothing
It is usually worth it to wade through the bullshit.
Being positive is the best way to get through anything. If you are negative, you will experience negativity, if you are optimistic, good things will come your way regardless.
Sometimes God provides one with the duty to serve the world
Lies only lead to more lies, which only lead to the wrong type of resolution: a misleading one.
Another problem is usually the solution to another problem.
Love cannot be demanded, it has to be felt.
Jealousy and greed are two evil combinations that can poison so many minds and damage hearts
I can enrich with experience, not with money, providing love in theses experience is the best line of action
The best ideas don’t start with money in mind, but with a passion to serve people with a better life, a hope for the future.
Sober can still be a lot of fun if you are real…
Muslims don’t visualize creativity; they see beauty in what stands before them
July 27, 2011
Call to prayer 5 times a day penetrates the arid, hot and humid climate. I’m aware of the evening breeze sweeping in over the pink and purple ocean, such lush colors created by the hot sun melting down into the horizon. I look over the rooftops of my neighbors, into their back yards, laundry swaying in the atmosphere. Fans stop working after the power goes out and everyone finds refuge on the roof. It’s time for a party on the beach right now. Amazing, how can one miss this serene landscape, green and lush on a day when skateboarding was not in the works, and ocean views were there to cradle your eye lids. On a day when we would skate board, we’d leave around 4 o’clock and head over to Motel Upal tennis Courts or the stage at Laboni Beach. Leaving the downstairs gate locked, little chipper voices would holler at me, “skateboarding?”…of course they knew in time one of them would have a board in hand, we’d be walking down the alley way on our way to roll around wherever possible. Finally we would arrive and the kids would roll until the sun was about 2 fists above the horizon line. Some would work on tricks they’d hoped to learn like power sliding, kick turning, but nevertheless, the exhilarating quality of just going fast on a two pairs of wheels was enough to make them tick. “Ocean?”. After all that skateboarding some of them just wanted to jump in the ocean. Sometimes we would walk the beach back to Baharchara, facing the sunset, and hop into the ocean for a warm swim. Wet and drippy we’d make it back right before dark. These small memories hold my hand. Wind gushes wisp through my hair and I remember the friends that I’ve left behind. The ones that left me by accident and the ones that I left on purpose. Really, I’m trying to remember why I left, why I came back and what I wanted when I left. I think I recall wanting to be closer to the earth and not slaving away at some stupid job that is harmful for the environment. I relinquished a new passion for young girls at risk and have decided that I would like to help them rediscover themselves in a positive and supportive light, perhaps opening up education to underprivileged. Not in one that exploits and victimizes them. Really, I want to create a shelter and a place for my friends. Isn’t that what we all want? Health and happiness for all. At the end of this day, I realize that I’m so lost in this American life. The creations are beautiful and fun, yet frivolous as all hell. The way you can be sure to get your point across is by using two tactics, sex appeal and/or an item to consume. Why is it that itemization of an object or an individual seems like the route to financial success. We really don’t need anymore commodities floating around or junk. Just more love for all to experience. I don’t want to be one of those people that is spending there life infiltrating frivolousness into the lives of others, but rather redefining the importance of love and humanity as it exists within us and the youth of this world. The children are the voices for our future, they are who we need to care for the most and try our best everyday to create an earth for the ones that will live after us. Moment on a mountain top: I’m sitting there feeling the warm sun rise over the horizon. The orange, yellow and red beams are so powerful that I feel sunburn coming on immediately after the sun has finally shown itself. Atop this mountaintop lives a man whom admits he has a superiority complex, refuses to view pictures on a phone, and boasts about the little gadgets that his house has to offer which he has developed. An interested fan would like to film a documentary. In the after-party atmosphere he mentions his disappointment in not seeing many nude girls. I’m a little shocked and mention out of spite that perhaps I am a disappointment for remaining clothed. Contemplating his disappointment, I reflect on his selfish statement, being bold enough to belittle the integrity of kind and genuine girls like myself. Perhaps I shouldn’t let what he wants bothers me, but a tear creeps in when I realize that this is a small pitfall in our society. The emphases on sex as perhaps a commodity to consume, view, and exploit. Does nudity scream sex or does it speak to one getting in touch with nature? A discussion with this old-timer might have been helpful for me to understand his statement further, but for the moment what his statement meant to me created sadness inside my heart. I remembered my friends overseas, shed a tear and waited for the sun to warm my body and being. The warmth crept its way around the moonset on my back and held me like a solar blanket. I got up, walked away to go pick up trash. This was what I was most useful for at that moment. In moments when an epiphany dawns my eyes and my creative abilities, I feel the need to pray for a better tomorrow, for guidance so I can live into the future with willful intention and determination to make an impact in the most positive way possible. If I can crate this awareness within myself everyday, surely something good will come out of my existence. I hold my hands together in front of my heart, bow my head, set an intention, say a few thanks, and farewell to the higher being. As I re-enter conscious daily life, I send a kiss to my fingertips touching gracefully, and open my eyes to let the sun wander into my mind.
June 12, 2011
Stepping foot on American soil for the first time since being in Asia has shifted my reflections of my 5 month trip overseas, however I will give to you my most genuine response and agog to settle any curiosities.
Give me two chances to say goodbye. Boarding the wrong bus so I could say goodbye one more time to my family in Cox’s Bazar. A canceled flight so I could realize that I don’t want to marry that man even if he can see into the future. Being in Asia as a single woman has been an eye opening experience Learning the benefits of traveling solo or with a friend, the benefits of fast movement throughout a country and marinating in one place have been my field of study. More than anything else, I’ve come back with so much energy and learned the power of taking things slow, spending time with others, and showing love in every and any way possible.
Bangladeshis have the keenest sense of hospitality I have ever experienced. Of course, people are different all around the world as far as customs go, but our basic human needs are only transcended by climate and environment. Our human desire for love and the feelings of its absence are universal. Sharing life, caring, and being appreciated was one thing I was looking for and found the most genuine drug free happiness. No ball and chain, just pure love and respect for humanity and the fruits of fricking paradise.
Waking up to a thunder storm and being startled when lighting strikes my roof during morning business, walking through calf high puddle knowing that cow poop adorns this street everyday, getting past the break water only to be tumbled by the waves once more, learning to hold my breath under water, growing accustomed to attacking mosquitoes, understanding few Bangla words my last day leaving, listening to the sound of the mosque’s call to pray from a rooftop, wind whispering in my ear, children calling my name everyday to go skate, walking hand in hand down my alleyway while people say “hello sister”, teaching art in a small high school and gaining enough respect to be called apart of their family, rolling out roti for breakfast with amar bondu’s amoo, feeling a tear after learning of amar aboo’s struggle to save his wife from cancer, dance parties before skating to Salmonkan’s “Character Dheela”, letting a 15-year old lie to me, challenging her idea of love, receiving real friendship and being called an adopted Bengali.
Coming away fromBangladeshafter about 3 months spent there; I have only good thoughts and things to consider. My three focuses that I hope to continue to work towards are helping develop the Surf Club, find educational and living support for my new friend Nasima, and continue to establish a skate program, park, and shelter for street kids. All of this is a big dream I want to help realize for these people living in poverty. Despite the poverty, these people seem to be the happiest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet. Perhaps it is because they have no expectations for the future, no disappointments. They deserve so much of what they already have. The simplicity is insane. I had a fork, knife, and spoon to eat with and didn’t know how to juggle the three. We would wash our hand in a plate and then pour the water into a bowl. Eating with your hand was totally normal and my hands would be covered with a yellow stain left behind by the curry and dal spices. Joy(a neighborhood boy) would bring “jam”(small purple fruit) for us to keep our mouth busy before skating. We’d pick palm fruit and walk around with little sticks adorned by small little palm fruits to munch on. Dried mangoe seeds on the ground, little gifts of centerfruit chewing gum on the way to Laboni stage. One person said I am “botani” meaning I have no job but the sit and eat. True, but perhaps he was too young to realize that I cam toBangladeshby my own free-will and my own funds to help my friend teach skateboarding. Maybe he forgot we skated almost everyday. Maybe he just doesn’t know what responsibility is.
There is a sense of early maturity and immaturity in some kids inBangladeshjust as there is in other countries. It is the family dynamic that promotes character development. When we are given more, the mind is naïve to privilege. I myself know how naïve one can be. I’ve returned with a new found appreciation for education. In BD, not every child has the privilege to enjoy the gifts of education. When my friend Nasima told me her parents never “gave” her school I was a little shocked. I couldn’t really believe this coming from a place where public education is free and a basic right as an American citizen. For an American citizen, a continuing education after high school is not always necessary, but typically one should stay in school until high school. My two friends who have good spoken English skills were uneducated. One boy, whom I would like to call my best friend, dropped out of school after grade 6 because his parents didn’t have enough money to support him.. I found out his first job was selling jewelry on the beach. He taught me how to make earings and pumped them out like a factory machine. I was thrilled to watch and learn. He told me that his mom would be happy to see a foreigner making earrings. I was happy too.
Since I’ve left, I made arrangements for my friend Nasima to attend a small high school were she can find a new focus and motivation for learning and life. She is so talented that I hope that if I invest a little in her future, she will walk away in life with so much more than a gig with a foreign married man. She has been my biggest inspiration to learn Bangla and perhaps return. I hope to help her, and other children like her. She comes from a very poor family. Her father is a rickshaw driver. These man powered bicycle carriages are operated by human physical strength. Only so far one can pedal, only so fast one can go, and so much taka(money) one can make before their body say “Awro nai”(no more). So they live off the fruits of the earth: bananas(kola), jackfruit(kotal), rice(bat), coconut(dab), fish(mash), etc…the life is simple. The life is complicated by money, needs, and a young girls desire to be more than a village girl. Maybe a movie star, a surfing star, even a positive role model and success story for other girls like her inBangladesh.
The world needs to see these young girls more. The light shines from within them. I would like to direct the light towards these innocent lives, towards the youth; hopeful vessels for a prosperous tomorrow. I have faith that good things will happen, the apocalypse may approach but our spirits will stay high. We can stay afloat as long as we have a surfboard to keep us stoked!
Asalam molikum…Love Inshallah
April 20, 2011
After leaving the mountainous view in Kalpa I was faced with the fact that I’d made a bond with some of the most beautiful children i’d ever had the pleasure to meet. Due to serendipity, I Ianded my kid loving self in an orphanage in Kalpa, where I flicked my finger to a checker like game of pool, and danced like a swirling dirvish in a circle to some sort of Kinnaur traditional dance. I taught them the chicken dance and left the house of girls with their landlady for prayer time. In the morning the temple sang the same buddhist chant that awoke me the first morning in the chilly mountain village. Many thoughts I contemplated, knowing that many of these young girls had been abandoned by their family or sold into sexual slavery at a young age. I wondered how many more stories havn’t been heard, told, or uncovered.
Apart of the tug that is bringing me back to Bangladesh is knowing that a similar situation rests there. A friend to Susie and I, was thrown in jail for supposedly stealing from her “boss”. I don’t desire to publish the details of his title but I would like to say that it hit home after meeting Steve and Leslie Weightman, two passionate Americans who hope to help combat human trafficking and sexual slavery. Currently they are living in Delhi where they have recently gained the privilege to a piece of property, where they hope to operate their care home for young girls. The name of this project is Courage Homes(couragehomes.org). During my time with them, I visited their church and learned of other humanitarian projects their freinds have been apart of or have started on their own. I met an inspiring women named Maggie, who had just come back from Nepal. She had been volunteering and helping combat human trafficking as well. It was interesting to learn that many Bangladeshi and Nepalese children have been trafficked into India. Sometimes young girls are sold into the business at a young age for the price of 40,000-60,000 rupies(about $1,000) and are held captive until they are old enough to work as a prostitue which could start as young as age 10. Steve told me about a young girl who was pictured in a santa hat on his refrigerator with several other beautiful young Indian girls like herself and what appeared to be a mother and father in the middle. Her story: she had been bought at a very young age by a 60 year old man who impregnated her. She ran away, and he sent some goons to recapture her. Eventually she was recaptured. Luckily, she was rescued by a foreigner and two police men who arrested her capturers. She gave birth to her baby, gave it up for adoption and is now living in a care home for young girls like herself. This is a sad reality that I’m afraid of but have to face at the same time. I see young girls walking alone and wonder what their fate maybe in 1 day or two years. These are the children we hope to help and make a difference for. I hope to perhaps work on using art as a therapeutic way to intereact with these injured children whom may be illiterate and very fragile. This is a point of interest for my future and theirs!
April 7, 2011
I’ve fast forwarded into Christmas here at the base of the Himalayas. It feels like I’m at the top of the world but they reassure us that we can be higher than this. We’ve trodded on a bus, blessed by the sight of a golden rainbow arching into a hilly ravine, from a French city where people were more western than any of India we’ve seen thus far, and heaved our way out of the desert where cold is still scorching hot. India is amazing! This hill top living has put San Francisco to shame…though my heart still belongs there.
Om, Shanti, Namaste!