Mornings in Seefeld

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i’ve been waking up early; opening my eyes to a field of sleek grass, couples playing golf; showering in sweet cold water, putting my nikes on and slipping out the door to the freshest air my lungs have ever breathed; the joy of the present moment makes my feet feel giddy, and so i let them speed up to a jog; cold air, warm air, i can’t decide because i’m too occupied with how pure it feels; i find myself in roads between houses and hotels, the smell of breakfast toast and coffee invades my nose and stimulates my senses; i’m fueled by a craving for bread that sends me running faster, looking forward to breakfast; i go to the supermarket and let my hands pick up what my body craves without any judgment or apprehension — i choose to be a child that’s too alive and careless to think about labels and ingredients; i walk all the way back to the hotel, put my craving on a plate, sit in front of the huge balcony window, and enjoy myself just like i used to when i was seven; too invigorated to stay inside, i grab my novel and notebook and walk to my favorite café, order an americano, and start writing.

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Stuck

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by Alex Stoddard

there’s a cloud of sadness sailing in the sky of my heart, obscuring the sun of my soul. i’m lost in a sea of idle desires that mean nothing to me as me, not the me that’s in the world. my mind is infatuated with ideas that are too silly and destructive for the sake of my contentment. it clutched onto a desire and turned it into an obsession. i have completely lost myself in the yearning that i’ve never once allowed myself to actually look at my life and see that i had a good part of what i wanted. until i lost it. or didn’t. i don’t even know anymore. i’m so fucking stuck. it’s like my rationality cannot cooperate with what my eyes are telling me. i feel and think and see that i am both what i want and what i don’t have. it’s not a mixture — more like a co-existence of the two opposites. it’s tiring. you never know what’s real. you look for clues in what people say to you or the way they treat you, but you don’t believe what they think of you, especially their compliments. you doubt it all because you don’t even know your own truth. one day you’re okay, you see that you have a wonderful life, and one day you’re just deflated. it keeps changing up from good days to bad days to good days to bad days as months pass and then years pass and you realize just how much you’ve changed, what you’ve gained and what you’ve lost along the way. and you’re struck with something else now. nostalgia. wishing to be back there because it looks better than right here even though you know it wasn’t really any better at all.

A Moment of Reflection

 

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waves of words bubble through me yet i can’t totally catch the letters to write them down.

it’s the afternoon on a Saturday, and i’m sat in a café crowded with sound and motion.

table for one; just for me, my book and my coffee.

the world inside me feels like a sheer white curtain flowing with the wind. innocence, love, compassion. joy, joy, joy. and a most delicious peacefulness.

i choose not to voice my thoughts, so i write them down.

i bow my head to my book and underline sentences that feel like pure blows of oxygen to my lungs. sentences that the excited child in me urges to share with the next person and dive into discussing them.

i take a look at myself and my life and i see a succession of blessings, meaningful interactions, genuine connections, travel and exploration, pure love and outrageously overwhelming gratitude.

and it dawns on me that i truly am, in this moment, the sum of all the experiences i’ve been through and all the books i’ve read.

To Miss a Friend

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in my list of things to do before i travel is to see two of my friends so that my heart isn’t choked up with missing them when i leave town.

but you know what the irony is?

my heart is already ridden with longing for my dearest friend studying abroad. i’ve last seen her when she came to town unexpectedly (which was the most pleasant of all surprises), but it only made me realize how terribly i was missing her and how much more intensely i would be missing her now that i’ve seen her for a most wonderful but short while.

writing my two friends’ names on my list clenched my frail heart in wishing that i could write her name too. that i could see her so that i don’t miss her too much for the next two months. it’s true i wish she was here, that i so terribly miss feeling the connection and chemistry when we talk, but i also feel grateful for this time in our lives. i’m grateful that she’s expanding with experience and knowledge. that she’s working hard at taking herself closer to the person she aspires to be. i’m grateful for her friendship because it has showed me how deeply my heart could love. how faithfully it could miss. how it could surrender to these feelings rather than suppress them or associate them with pain. because missing someone is nowhere near pain to me. for pain cannot exist when love does. this missing makes me feel how much i love her, not how much i’m hurting over this impermanent separation. this missing for her is bittersweet because i’m happy she’s thriving and i’m sad i can’t physically witness her doing it.

Travel

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this pulsing desire to travel and be someplace else is not a pursuit of happiness nor is it motivated by an underlying urge for escapism, for i am already happy and my life is already a delight from which i do not desire to run away. for me, traveling is the thing that most triggers growth and self-discovery. if i were to pack myself in a suitcase and leave this room shielded by comfort and safety and dependence on my family, it wouldn’t be an attempt to find myself or find my comfort and contentment. it wouldn’t even be to live one of my dreams, for i know that a manifested dream is no longer a dream, but a fleeting reality. it would be simply and solely for the experience, for the newness, and for frighting yet delicious unfamiliarity.

Moments I Wished Lasted Forever

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in the car, my sister’s driving, i’m in the back seat, windows all black and dotted with white and orange street lights. a beautiful manifestation has already taken place just minutes ago. then i received the most heartwarming messages from two of the greatest people i know and whom i’m grateful to have as my friends. my heart wells with gratitude and love for them. i close my eyes as the car moves and the stereo sings. my sisters by my side, i have the greatest friends ever, and my connection to my Creator has never felt this vivaciously alive. i’m in utter, ineffable peace. i keep my eyes closed. i’m flying.

To Be Human

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are my words worthless?
are my writings meaningless?
is my voice insignificant?
do my actions have any value, any real effect?

what am i doing here
and why am i doing it?

it’s not about God’s answers anymore.
it’s about me making peace
with this moment,
with this not knowing,
with all this repetition day in and day out;
all this discord and misunderstanding,
all this attachment and fear and
strikingly vulnerable loneliness
of my humanness.

Reticence

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i have learned to keep myself to myself. keep my progress to myself. my wellbeing and my melancholy. for i have found that speaking of my internal state stripes my contentment off me i feel empty, or adheres my sadness to me so badly i suffocate.

i keep it all in. not bottle or suppress it, no. i just live it silently. i go with the waves, pass through the storm, glide through the clouds. i keep my distance if i need to, i lower my voice if i had to use it, and i walk with my eyes to the floor to keep my mind as empty of judgment as it could be.

this has become part of me; accepting and keeping silent, watching empires crash and miracles manifest, with no comment nor effort to change, control, or affect. just a witness, just a breath.

To Let Go and Let God

i have no plan
just a vision

no idea how i’ll get there
just a deep knowing that i will

for i’m entangled to that future
and i trust that God
and everything in His universe
are leading me to it
every second of every day

765 Days Later.

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i looked at a photo of me and our sisters from our vacation in Spain. the photo felt so heartbreakingly incomplete. it was you. you were missing in that photo. looking at it hurts. i smile but a sadness permeates my body. words go nowhere near describing how grateful i am for my beautiful sisters and their adorable smiles in that photo, just as well as they can’t go anywhere close to expressing how we’re never complete anymore, how there’s always something missing.

we come in halves now — that’s our whole. this is how it is without you. even though we do feel you in us, with us, always, sometimes reality strikes like lightning and our bones just give up and break. so we feel the lack, the incompleteness, the brokenness, even through our smiles and bright eyes, even during our pleasant travels and fun adventures.

we hide it — all of us. we never speak of it. you never come up in pain; just in love. but that doesn’t mean you don’t hurt. it doesn’t mean your absence in our home is unfelt. it’s so heavy, we can’t look at each other’s eyes and speak of it. we just stay in bed longer and cry it out. that’s how grief happens in our home; it’s been two years but it still comes in waves. when we’re together, we laugh, and when we’re alone, we let ourselves cry. it sounds very separating, isolating, dishonest; but that’s how we keep each other strong and whole — by not showing how weak and broken we sometimes feel inside.

we were five sisters and two brothers and this is how it’ll be forever. no matter how long some of us live without seeing the others every day.

mom gave birth seven times and when they ask how many siblings i have, i say six. when they ask me where i come, i say third. when they ask me about my older siblings, i say two beautiful sisters. they never did, but when they do ask me about my eldest, i’ll smile and say, ‘she’s in Heaven’.

that’s what family means: to keep one another alive through our own lungs, our own hearts, our own thoughts, even when they’ve passed and let go of their bodies, their lungs, hearts, and thoughts.