Monday, November 28, 2011


i got to thinking of life and all the fine details that make it so. i thought of new apartments and empty rooms that we fill with our belongings and the furniture that we rearange accordingly. a cold and empty shell slowly turns into a warm place wtih colors just right to suit our tastes; i prefer red bedrooms. on our walls we hang pictures of things we want to share with others, like tattoos on our arms they somehow show the traces of where we've been and what inspires us most.

wake up early and make your bed, it will be a much better day for you.

i walk the crooked backstreets of taksim somewhere on the border with the slightly better neighborhood of Cihangir downhill from my loveable home. i kind of like it when there is that mist of rain that seems to appear out of nowhere in istanbul once every 9 days or so. its days like this i like to take my pen and paper, a little bit tired but i'm mostly inspired.

you shouldn't hold on too tightly to moments as their purpose is to pass. i try really hard to let them do so because as it turns out the survival rate of any moment drops to zero on a long enough scale. so much i wish i could bottle all the love that i've found and keep it in a jar on my bedroom bookshelf but the collection of memories constitutes gathering dust.. i'd rather not have dust on my favorite memories.

sometimes i feel like this party is just getting started. i feel like its that part of some mythical adventure when you first recieve keys to the airship and the world is now yours to explore no matter which direction something has intended you to travel in. i cant tell if i've learned to listen more carefully or to just simply stop listening all together. perhaps that is a luxury of aging; we trade pointless idealist for the gift of freedom (ironically freedom from idealism).

we could learn something from the stragers we pass. its in that absense of idealism that i start to look at people for the guilt that they hide. i see strangers on the bus and i picture them in all of their walks through life and wonder what kind of craziness they hide. when it boils down to it humans are pretty wild animals, blessed with the crave of instinct yet burdened with the curse of morality. its a really interesting situation we've created for ourselves and sometimes i wonder how things could have turned out differently should someone be given the chance to re-roll the dice.

so i make my bed and put on my teacher's face. i'm working hard towards something and i'm fully aware of the consequences, or signed-unwritten contract, pertaining to existing on planet earth. as i've been told and as i've seen tragedy can strike us anywhere. i'm not afraid of dark alleys and the jackals of the street, i'm just smart enough not to be there in the first place. i'll keep my inspiration close to me and walk the back roads of misty rain, pen and paper in hand with a bit of a smile knowing that something has truly blessed me.

slow down, my friends.. i bet things start to get interesting for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

to understand more about what intrigues me most

so many times i've tried to document this overwhelming feeling i have unsuccessfully. perhaps because i'm forced to censor what i write or perhaps because i simply have never been able to find the correct adjectives to explain myself. either way i want to share something.

when you travel, your life moves in two dramatically different directions. the first is obvious, it moves forward as your movements become a traceable path around the earth. the second movement is inward and this creeps up on you with such stealth that you never see it coming. it comes to you when its 3:30 in the morning and youre standing in the crisp night air outside of whatever house, pension or hostel youre staying at far away from when youre from. something hits you just right, perhaps the song in your head or perhaps the beautiful feeling of loneliness. its in these moments rather than the obvious moments of forward motion that you stamp a mark into your memories.

i'd like to share a few of mine.

i think the first one hit me in China in the trip i took immediately after graduating university. i traveled with two close friends and i feel as if that trip acted as a turning point for each of us as we learned not only about another culture but about how we maintain so far away from home. i felt this moment when i went for a midnight sneak-out from my cousins house in Shanghai one night. the shanghai air is really distinct and thick. maybe it was in the poisons of the polluted air that night or perhaps the monster inside of me crawling to get out but i made a hedonistic decision that night to pursue life to a fuller degree. it was like a midnight stroll with the devil where i made a pact to re-examine what i thought of as 'good'. i learned more about what suffering means and i learned a bit more about the connectedness of what makes us human. i think it was then that i realized for the first time that all people of every culture really wants the same thing. and are we not animals? animals aren't that hard to read so why should humans be?

but life took me somewhere far away to a distant island in the south pacific ocean. and if youve ever lived on an island you'd know the effects it has on one's character. god that feeling of being so far away is transcendental. i can still taste the salt on my lips and feel the sea-blasted cargo shorts rubbing against my knees when i walked. i lived in this small village and had these great opportunities to sneak out (wasn't really hard to sneak out if you have no walls) of my fale for a midnight walk with the full moon watching over me. i used to stare at the stillness and the patterns the moon would draw on the recessed tide for hours. this was perhaps the only moment in samoa when you could feel any hint of cool air as a nice break from the constant heat. what do i want in this world? what could i possibly ask from a work that has given me so much and yet here i am among the guiltiest of creatures who take and take until there is nothing more to give. do i want to have children and show them around the world? do i want to forever walk alone with my only children being the cracks forming under my eyelids from all i've seen? nah.. i just laugh it off. something keeps calling me and i keep listening. her voice is soft and beautiful and sweet and she has never let me down.

this was five years ago. so much has happened in between and so many times i've lost and found myself. funny thing is that sometimes i cant tell the difference. it was however in one beautiful moment in Ohrid, Makedonia that i really didn't care which way the forces were pulling. funny as it may seem, it was the song 85 by youngbloodz which was left on repeat on grooveshark by a fellow traveler and close friend of mine so late one drunken night. it was at a hostel, which is such a typical place for a traveler to lose and find his or herself. everything just seeming in its right place that night, or perhaps so out of place that it just made sense, i'm not sure. i sat on the cold night grass with my old friend, the moon and a new friend named Petra who was a small turtle and only inhabitant in the tiny lot behind this ohrid hill-side establishment. things came over me that night. i was transported to closeness of every person whose world i've ever been let inside of. and its true as i've been told.

if you cant say it best, quote someone else - they've already said it better than you:

I stepped I left and I don't regret leaving
and I'll never forget all the things I saw that evening
a glimpse of religion a piece of coming closer
to understanding more about what intrigues me most
I didn't get turned on I just got turned
I wasn't as aroused as I was concerned
for each one of em I've hurt
and every time I've been burned
I've got a lot to teach but even more to learn


funny things happen in this world of sights and sounds and i'm not sure if we'll ever truly understand it. i'm fine with that. i'm just enjoying the ride and being thankful for everything thats ever happened to me whether introspective and prosperous or dark and chaotic.

the art of Tsaravets, Veliko Tarnovo