Word Vomit Musings: Baby Birds

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. It’s not like there’s nothing to write. Trump, Syria, music, philosophy, life… the list goes on. There’s always something to comment on, some article to put my two cents in, or some opinion that I believe is superior to all others. The internet is full of these words. It’s overflowing with information from people who write better than I do. So what’s the point of writing….?

Who am I to write about politics when all I know are regurgitations of the “truth” from the media who treats us like little chicks incapable of feeding ourselves with research. But what’s worse is when we take the regurgitated information and then vomit it out into the dinner table thinking it’s a steak dinner.

But wait a minute now… Are we actually baby birds in this dinosaur of a world? We are constantly fed information that has been in the throats of behemoths that don’t want us to lift up our wings to even consider leaving the nest.

After all, nests are safe, comfortable and cozy. No fear of falling as long as we don’t look down. All we need to do is wait for the next feed to show up with our daily bait and we’re happy. There’s no reason to leave our ignorant bliss, our Plato’s cave, our satisfying pig pen.

But oh how contradictory is it when we strive, pray, and wish for flight while still craving mother’s vomit.

Oh writing, what a love-hate relationship. I can write all this stuff and sound like I know some secret insight. But how can this be for me to know anything? Me, a prideful speck believing that I’ve pierced the well of knowledge, but only to see that I am only swimming in the vomits of other specks around me…. Yet among the specks, there must be the truth! At least something that mirrors some kind of foundation to build anything off of.

Brilliant minds have tried to find such foundation, but realize that a gentle breeze could topple their fortresses. Descartes, the father of modern philosophy built his fortress on what be thought was the truth, absolute, undeniable truth. This toppled. But others after him tried to rebuild. Some on similar foundations, others on complete opposites. As they built and built, they also fought and fought. Attacking each other’s weak points while trying to fortify their own. Empires rose and fell. Gods among kings destroyed from east to west.

Today, we have all the information at our fingertips. This is our fortress and stronghold, yet we can’t figure out what the heck is going on in this world. There are more books, brilliant bodies, and brain child’s than we could ever count, yet we are no closer to the goals set about by our earliest ancestors to understand life. Chaos ensues regardless of technology, revolutions, or America. There’s a reason why more and more dystopian books and movies are made. We never really question the validity of them. We eat it all up while stroking our beards in contempt, only analyzing, but not preparing. We all know what’s happening to us, yet we’d rather entertain ourselves with the imminent future than face it as is.

 

 

An Unabashed Life Worth Living

This was originally a post about writer’s block but it turned into something different. Something that changed the way I act, think and feel about life. Something I hope we can all take hold and find liberation from the chains we put on ourselves. 

Oh, the irony of this post. No wait is irony the right word? Ahh, I don’t know… how cliche? Man, this post is lame. Doesn’t cliche have that squiggly ~ on the E? My finger rests on the rectangle backspace for a minute. Nah, this post won’t go public so it will remain in my archive forever so I’ll resist the urge to use the erase button…. Insecurity, fear, and caution, are words that I think are choking the words that I try to type.

New paragraph. I don’t like the first. Is the structure too stupid?  No… it’s fine, I don’t believe in structure. But writing is about expressing myself. But what if no one reads it because it’s not good? Then I’m wasting my time! Ahh, too close to reality. I best put some pictures or pop-culture references to get more views. But I don’t care about pop-culture that much…back to the main point.

The biggest block for my writing is you me. I am a people pleaser. I care greatly about the opinion of others and what they think about what I write. This is an inescapable aspect of writing for the public. You, the reader, I may or may not know; regardless, my aim is that the effort of my words is worth your time. I don’t actually know how to use a semicolon correctly; I just want to look sophisticated in my writing even though it may be grammatically incorrect. 

I realized how being a people pleaser affects not only my writing but my life. In my writing, the backspace button is the most used. Gahh, that sentence could have been more creative. In my life, backspace represents…blarg I can’t finish this analogy of linking backspace to life! Abort! 

Bleh, enough of all that italicizing. It hurts my head to read my own writing and thoughts. My realization is that my caring too much about what people think has prevented me from living a fuller life. There’s a lot of layers to the idea of “caring about what people think”. Kind of like an onion I suppose.

Let me explain. One layer of it is perfectionism; the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. I’m not a what you would call a traditional perfectionist. The “perfect” I strive for is my own constructed standard that I’ve placed on myself, created from my 26 years of exposure to humans. It’s far from ideal. It’s deeply ingrained in my subconscious. What I write, say, do, express must fit the specific requirements of the box. If it doesn’t, I keep it in my mind to marinate until it fits my idea of perfection.

Underneath this perfection is a fear of being wrong or making a mistake. We I bite my tongue, avoid hitting post on a blog, or shy away from risky situations because we’re I’m afraid of the negative repercussions of it. Underneath this fear that comes from a perfection standard is control.

More specifically, to control what people think of me. Underneath it all, this is the chain that binds my writing and actions. Damn that’s like the 10th time I used “underneath”, people must be annoyed at that more so than these italic thoughts of mine. I want to control what people see me as, rather than them seeing who I really am. When I control people to see me as a different, “perfect”, standardized me that I’ve created, I essentially become controlled by my own creation. There are two words that I can say that reflects this idea so perfectly that almost anyone reading this can understand. Those words are Social Media. Need I say more?

Is it ironic is that I’m posting this blog on my Facebook? I’m not too sure since I don’t really understand the what irony is…

Anyways, this post is getting long. I don’t want you to say “fuck it, this post is too long and there’s no TL;DR section. I’m just not gonna read it”. Hmm I wonder how my readers will react to the F bomb… I clearly give a fuck about that.  So onto my conclusion/application. I was thinking through all of what I just wrote yesterday night before I went to work (I work graveyard shift). I asked myself, “why do I care so much of what people think?” “Why do I set these rules on myself? It’s quite… limiting”. “Do I want to live my life in a box all the time? As I asked myself these questions, the chains that I’ve put on myself were revealed to me. Link by link I removed the chains and a sense of liberation filled my body. In the car ride to work, I sang with the radio; unabashed at the cracks of my voice, the unmanly falsettos, and the utter butchering of the lyrics. It was freedom.

But this freedom comes with a cost. It costs our control, passivity, and fear. It costs us our walls and our all. It requires perseverance through anxiety and criticism. It will take strength and vulnerability. But most importantly, it will take wisdom, for there is a time for everything. Rules aren’t bad, restrictions are needed, and people’s opinions should be taken into consideration. This is not a call to go crazy and do whatever you want. That is the other extreme that needs to be avoided.

As you can see in my post, the struggle is real, but worth fighting for. And fight we must do because the world will tell us otherwise. It will show us things to be frightened of and reasons to hide. It will strike relentlessly when our guard is down and tell us it’s not worth it. But the more we fight, the stronger we get to break away and live.

 

Beautiful Silence of Voices

Beauty born out of grief

tears shed from a somber melody

soft violins with steady progressions

eloquently caressing the tender heart strings

Oh, grief! Oh, human condition reflected so deeply from the wells of music

a heartfelt ache of isolation remedied by steady strings that silence and soothes the soul

An acceptance for loss of words, allows the human heart to be felt rather than explained…

an anxious pause in writing to meditate on things language longs to comprehend and erect a tower of highest pedestals.

One may say Language is an apex of human achievement. But consider when we allow silence to reign for a bit. To let go of in information and words we so quickly spew. These words that cause the downfall of others. Rash, harsh sounding language that knows no bounds. These are the apex of our fall. Lies constructed to hide Truth.

Let’s only open our mouths in awe of life. All of it. Not just life from our own thinking and talking. But life shared with a community of voices longing for the world to be silent for once! So that they can be heard amongst the noise.

Breath in the air from your mouth. Let it dance upon your tongue as you reflect on the life it gives you every day. Now speak from your tongue and give that breath back to others who long for a life-giving “hello”.

Billions of mouths but so little ears. Outnumbered. No wonder there’s no wondering of things beyond our scope.

So let us be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry… But let our speech be unrestrained from goodness while keeping a tight reign over its firey evils. For human anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires

Understanding Myself

 

If you know me, you know that I like to think and analyze concepts as well as people. I enjoy learning and understanding philosophies and people’s backgrounds and lifestyles. But one thing that I have the hardest time thinking about, analyzing, and understanding is myself.

This post is for me to figure myself out. For me to explore and organize my thoughts and declutter the piles of information that weigh heavily on my mind and burden my heart. This may be the most difficult thing for me to write so far. This will be like cleaning and organizing a room that’s completely unkept or clearing up a yard that is overgrown with weeds and dead trees (both of which I need to take care of). These are very unpleasant tasks because the work and frustration get compounded the longer I put it off. Weeds grow bigger and multiply and dirty clothes and trash pile up.

Come to think of it, this blog’s intention is exactly that-a decluttering of my thoughts. Yet, why do I feel like the more I write, the more confusing life gets? People have told me that I over-think things, which I agree with. Maybe this is what makes my life so difficult to comprehend. Yet, life is complicated in itself. There are times to think. To think critically about life and its struggles. But maybe it’s time for me to take a step back from all this information and bask in the simple things of life.  Like a simple coffee with a friend, a walk in the park, a good book, or a game of basketball. Hmm, I don’t know.

Here’s where I hit my roadblock. When potential words are held back from this blog by walls constructed by years of worries and wonders; wonders of things to be or not to be. When these words are met with walls, I tend to ramble around the rubble of the walls that I chisel away with a toothpick. Rubble made of broken toothpicks rather than stones.

This intellectual, Asian American, philosophical, passive, false humility that erects such an edifice of self-loathing and anxiety that does not belong as a cover for a temple. Maybe it’s time to take out the garden shears and start cutting away at the overgrown weeds that wrap around the walls. Well, maybe not? Weeds don’t look too bad, at least the way I’ve configured them. Dandelions have a nice yellow hue to it. As a kid, I always enjoyed blowing the seeds and seeing it disperse through the air. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them as an adult…

Such are the thoughts of the foolish and lazy side of me. This analogy holds true to life. How much of my internal “weeds” have sucked the life out of me? Have kept me from producing fruit?  A Google search of “weeds and bible” brought me to Proverbs 24: 30-34. Such wisdom is more precious than rubies

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

With this, I realize that the complexities that I struggle with in my life are not due life being necessarily complicated, rather it’s due to my laziness in clearing out useless weeds that surround my life. It’s a struggle to produce life-giving words when chained down by thistles. It’s when I break through and slowly cut through the weeds that fragrant beauty of Christ can begin to emanate from the soul through my words and actions.

 

 

Thankfulness for God, Church, and Family

If you know me or have read my posts, I tend to over-analyze and try to explain every detail or concept in my writing. I’ve realized that I tend to hover over topics such as beauty, love, mental illness, depression, and compassion, but rarely delve into a personal outpouring of it here. Even as I write right now, I have to fight the urge to overshadow the emotion and heart with analysis to defend my reasons and thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that analyzing and philosophizing about these things is important, but there are times for the restless mind to take a break and surrender to allow something else to lead it into quiet waters.  This post will be those times of surrender as I express what I’m thankful for.

 

God:

Thank God for this life that given me through the cross. For every good and perfect gift that I have been blessed to have. Thank you for the good and bad times. For the times where you gave and took away. Everything I have is from you; all my thanks that I give points back to you.

Church:

I cannot express how blessed I am to have church in my life. No church is perfect and believe me, I’ve had my share of ups and downs with it, but there’s no doubt that without this church, I would be in a very dark place. The amount of love, care, support, and guidance I’ve received throughout the years is beyond what my words can say. Thank you for every individual that I’ve crossed paths with not only in East Valley, but also in other church, schools, or random encounters.

Family:

Oh man, this one’s difficult, not because there’s nothing to be thankful for; rather it’s difficult because it reveals how unthankful and selfish I am towards them.

This month, I’ve been learning to stop focusing on the things I don’t have, but rather focus on the things that I already have, and what I have is a family that loves me- loves me so very much. I feel uneasy writing my thanks for my family on this blog at a crowded Starbucks. For one, I need to say these words to my family, not on a blog. For two, I don’t want to be holding back my tears at a public place as I write and reflect on how thankful I am and should be for my family so I’ll end it here.

 

 

Trapped In My Own Words

I sit. Hands on my keyboard typing these very words. There’s actually a lot to say, but that’s reserved for more private settings. What’s something that I can write that is uncontroversial yet unconventional, something that I can be proud of yet done humbly, something shallow yet profound?

If good writing is something that comes from the heart, then what’s the quickest route to mine without cutting open my chest. If I am to write something personal, how can I veil it with passive metaphors or allusions? Or better yet, how can I elevate myself with metaphors or allusions! How can a create this image of myself for people to read?

I can only speak for myself. The things I write never really represents who I am and what I want to express. Nor can it ever do such a thing. I write to find myself in an ever growing maze of life. Ha! Here I go again. Caught myself doing what I talked about a paragraph above.

Ironically, this enigma of words represents me. Trapped in a web of words, unable to break free from the intricate fetters of 21st-century language. Puns, sarcasm, flowery and course language, fill my vocabulary more so that truth and honesty. Everyone needs a good laugh. It’s necessary and essential. But we all know laughter is not the only thing we can get out of language.

Language is like a beautiful gift, so fucking grandeur, yet sometimes hard to “guage”  its true meaning. This leaves quite a satisfactory ending, no?

 

Morning Woes and Romance De Amor

I woke up late this morning for work. Now I have an hour to waste at home.

“Gan ni chi ba”, is heard in the living room as my mom continues to yammer on about our house. I’m not too sure what “chi ba” means or if I’m even hearing it correctly, but what I do know is “Gan ni” is fuck you in Chinese. This phrase is about 90% of what I hear come out of my dad’s mouth to my mom.  You’d think I’d know what “chi ba” or “chi da” or whatever, means by now but I don’t.

I pick up my guitar while on my bed to drown out the immediate boredom, frustration, and laziness I get when waking up to this noise. I pick out the strings for Romance de’ Amor while the chorus of the morning plays in the background. Dogs barking, birds chirping, crickets cricketing, and parents parenting.  I play the song imperfectly two more times, meditating on the notes and beauty of the song before finally getting out of bed to get ready for work. I wash my face, brush my teeth and comb out half of my bed hair and cover the rest with my beanie. In the living room, my dad, head full of white hair, continues to lay in bed while my mom looks curiously outside the window with a million more words to say.

Romance of love was what was played in the morning by guitar strings and this is what is expected for my heart strings to play throughout the morning, afternoon and night time. We are called to love and be loved in the midst of chaos and unrest that surrounds us.

Oh, how this feels opposed to every fleshly fiber of my body

when sleep becomes the king and escape is his decree

What a lovely king he seems to be to offer a soft bed

During times of war, famine, and things that are said

But when the time comes and the war is over

We will realize that this bed is rather

an infirmary for fallen

soldiers of men

Made by a Prince in disguise

To entice

us in our evil desires, sin, and deeds

and when these sins are fully conceived

We lie dead

on our soft infirmary bed

But I hear a roar in the distance

Awake from your slumber and cease your resistance

For I have made you strong in your weakness

I have healed and freed you from your sickness,

So get up, pick up your bed and go!

For you will reap what you sow

No longer are you paralyzed by your flesh

For in Me you will find rest.

This rest that comes from the author of love. This “Romance de Amor” is what he played for us throughout his life and death. It is what’s placed in us through the Word and this is how and why we are to love despite what surrounds us. Beauty that emanates from His song reminds me of the many things to be thankful for. At this moment I only see a glimmer of it, and many times it’s mixed with sour notes and untuned strings of my own heart, yet I see the immense beauty that could be if I just spent more time in it.