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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On the Road to Healing: A mini reflection piece

On the road to healing, one must make decisions that aren't always easy to make. Often times it will require one to let things/people go. This can be in the form of a hug, a verbal conversation, or a silent message. It isn't an easy thing to do when you care so much, when you love so much. I still struggle with this, and depending on the circumstance it makes me cry. I guess that's part of life's endless journey, the emotional aspects of each step taken, the strength that must come from within. For me, I am guided by the sun, and like water I flow through the process hitting every bump along the way. The greatest wish I have for those I love and care about is to be well on their journey. And may our paths go into the direction of harmony, love, and happiness.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October Progress, Reflection, and Rockaway

With the changing temps and changing colors of the leaves, I find myself changing as well. Life around me has been a whirlwind of good, bad, and ugly all balled up into one. Trying to explain it will be overwhelming for both me as the speaker, and for the listener. I do believe there is a positive to every negative, and nothing lasts forever. I have been studying hard in school, working on a project that is semester long and takes time to do. However, I am proud of how well I am doing. So far I have received all A’s on each assignment. The class I am taking is Issues in Human Service Administration. I like it, because it allows me to see how human service programs and/or organizations are organized and operated. This week makes week 7 of the course, next week the semester ends. I don’t mind the acceleration of classes between semesters. I really want my Master’s degree.

I still go to the beach to reflect. I visited Rockaway beach on Sunday. I met a friend there where we caught up on some things. It was nice seeing her, and being out in Rockaway since Hurricane Sandy. I see some progression, more movement and some stores open. However, the lot is still empty and is now put up for sale. This lot is on Rockaway Beach between 112-114 streets. It’s significant to me, because it’s where I stood during my volunteer work after the storm (December 2012). I remember the smell in the air, the soot and sand on the streets and sidewalks, and the burned down buildings surrounding the area. The friend I saw on Sunday lost everything to Sandy. Her home was one of the houses that burned down where the lot now stands. I remember trying to leave her a voicemail that day in December wanting to see her. It took a lot not to cry even though my voice cracked the more I talked. Walking with her on Sunday by that lot was sad. The silence that followed us is poignant as we walked pass the now weedy lot.

As we walked to the beach, and I stopping every minute to pick up a seashell, I couldn’t help but feel melancholy for standing on what was once a boardwalk. The beach still has its natural beauty, but remnants from Sandy is still felt. Although, I believe things will get better out there, I don’t think it will ever be the same.

I like the train ride going and coming from Rockaway. I love riding the train when it’s outside. I like the train tracks and watching the flora. The sunset is beautiful as I think about the gifts that we don’t always see when going through something bad. Spending time with my friend, picking seashells, taking pictures, and enjoying the environment are gifts that I don’t take for granted. One of the funniest moments is trying to carry an already heavy book bag, holding my cane and a cup of coffee, and grabbing some pieces of cardboard. My friend laughs at me as I tell her, “I know, I’m a mess! But I love cardboard too much to pass up an opportunity.” She responds, “So what are you going to use it for?” I said, “For crafting of course! I told you, you can’t take me anywhere!” We laughed.

Another highlight is meeting important people, people in the news business that I admire very much. I was recently invited to a fundraiser PIX 11 news was hosting to support the American Cancer Society. I not only saw my reporter friend, but had a chance to meet some of his colleagues. I believe in the power of networking, and I appreciate the kindness and advice I received from PIX 11 reporters. I would love to work in media, and hope someday that will come true. I have many interests, as I shared with one PIX 11 reporter, and it’s those interests that motivates me to pursue career opportunities. Being able to share what I do as a writer for Examiner, this blog, or writing in general to that individual is an honor. His advice on writing and promotion is greatly appreciated.

I recently attended a job fair and met some nice employers. I even applied to CBS news for a freelance writer position. I hope to receive some calls and interviews. I am ready to get back into the workforce, whether it’s teaching ESL, working in media, or otherwise, Dara needs a job. I am keeping my fingers crossed while remaining in faith, being patient, and working on self on this journey called life. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Water's Edge

Standing at the water’s edge
Stare out at the crashing waves
Stepping forward out of curiosity
Foot gets stuck in a wedge

Admire the pretty view
Capturing each scene with a single click
Sun adds sparkle to moving waters
Bee camouflages in a flower’s hue

Contemplate how it would feel
Being carried by water’s current
Not thinking about the present
Nature sets the time wheel

Experience being under the sunset
As the clouds gather around us
Welcoming in the nightfall
Having no sense of regret

Still standing at the water’s edge
The waves begin to settle down
Two ducks swim idly by
Foot is released from the wedge

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Walk along the Shoreline and the Gift of Seashells

Friday, September 26, 2014

I found myself back at the beach where I find peace from the world. I went on the opposite side of Coney Island beach than where I usually visit. It was easier to walk on the sand, it was leveled and not as hilly. I put my cane in my book bag as I began my walk. I noticed that walking without the cane is okay with the exception that I feel off balanced. I see that in pictures of me standing up. I lean which I don’t like, but it’s understandable. Something is missing, a part of me is missing. I lean for many reasons. Often times it’s not physical. I joke saying my body is a geologic map, because like the Earth it’s always changing. My body is always changing. So is my spirit. Despite the leaning, I still walk forward. Walking along the shoreline distracts me from thinking about my appearance. I just don’t worry about it. As far as I’m concerned, I am one with nature. I enjoy watching the seagulls walk along or follow me. I like watching the ocean and the seashells wash up shore. I came prepared with my plastic bags to pick seashells. I’m trying to gather as much as I can before winter comes. I collect as well as use them for crafting. The more odd shaped they are, the more I like them.

When I walk along the shoreline, I reflect a lot. I think about things especially about life and love. I separate the two since they both play different roles in my life. Lately, neither have made me happy. However, I am here so I have no choice but to think about them. I am disappointed and at times I feel short changed. Why don’t I have the things I want and most of all need? I continue walking. I think about this journey and its hardships. I think about my loneliness. I love, at times in love, and don’t know where it will go if anywhere. It doesn’t change what’s in my heart. It doesn’t change what my spirit tells me. I am afraid of knowing, yet I am curious about the unknown. Time goes by. I wait and I keep walking. The shoreline changes quickly so I try to capture it. My phone is overwhelmed with images, sometimes with video. I made a couple of videos. My phone definitely slowed down afterwards. I kept walking.

I stopped by this wooden thing, I think it was part of the rocky jetty. It was filled with green plant life that I didn’t know what to make of it. I put my bag of shells on it to organize my book bag. I already had a bag filled with shells already. An older gentleman approached me with his fishing rod and vest/jacket in hand. By his gesture, I thought he wanted to put his stuff where my shells were. When I went to take the bag away, he said something. I took off my headphones when he said, “Oh no, may I see your seashells?” I said, “Sure” and he took a look. He asked me if I collect seashells, and I said yes. Another man approached us and listened. His dog was nearby with a stick in its mouth. The gentleman said that the whole clams make “good bait.” He then smiled and looked at the man. The man, who could be in his mid to late 30s, said there isn’t a lot of whole clam shells around. He then looked at me and smiled, “Are you looking for the whole ones?” The gentleman waved bye and walked away.

I smiled at the man and replied, “It really doesn’t matter to me. I use them for crafting and I collect too.” The stranger seemed surprised and said, “Oh yea?” As we smiled, I told him I wouldn’t mind finding whole shells but don’t see any around. I asked if he collected them and he said, “No, usually collect them to make the woman’s jewelry.” His dog moaned indicating that he wanted the man to throw the stick. When he did, the dog happily ran after it as he continued talking to me. He explained that during high tide in the area we stood, whole clam shells wash up along the jetty. He suggested I stay for another hour since that’s when the tide is at its peak. The time was after 3 o’clock. I thanked him and he smiled saying “You’re welcome, bye bye.” Before I walked away, I put the bag of shells in my bag, and looked at my phone. The man came back. “I’m sorry, do you have an extra bag?” I said sure and gave him one. I had plenty. He then walked away and moments later he returned. 

“I’m sorry to keep bothering you…” I smiled, “Oh no bother at all.” He held out his hands. In them were two whole clam shells. “I found these for you.” I smiled so hard thanking him. He smiled back and said, “Now you can add these to your collection. Have a good day.” I felt honored, because he went into the water to find those shells. Also, he didn’t have to do that, and lastly, he was just sweet. It’s been years since I spoke about nature to a man. I could have skipped towards the boardwalk that’s how happy I felt. In that moment, he made me feel like a lady. I hardly ever get approached by anyone, and if I do it’s usually not a good experience. This handsome stranger made me feel pretty, pretty in my element. A rare experience I will cherish.

When I got on the boardwalk, I took out the cane and walked. I regained my balance. This is a day by day process. Despite how I feel, know I have to keep walking.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Journey and its Untold Story

It was recently suggested that I write my story. Not the one I'm currently writing, but the one that is unfolding now. I was told it's a story that many people can relate to and should be shared. Life has many ups and downs. Sometimes the downs outweigh the ups. I've been contemplating about that. I've been contemplating on a lot of things. Sharing my story is motivating to see where this journey has led me. Yet, there are parts of it that's raw. This current journey I'm on is raw and painful and confusing all bottled up into one. It was suggested that if I focus on this part of the journey, I could reach a greater audience, and may even help those who are experiencing what I'm experiencing.

I'm just not sure how to do that.

I took a walk along the shoreline. I didn't listen to any music and instead the sounds of the ocean's waves. The seagulls were walking with me, literally. A butterfly flew by, where it came from is unbeknownst to me. There were few people out, and I picked some seashells. Life has taken a down turn for me. Expressing it has become harder than expected. It surprises me, because I'm usually good at saying how I feel. Like the breeze, I just want to move along without talking or feeling. For now, I rather be by the water and watch nature take its course. I love going to the beach during the spring and fall seasons. It's quiet, not many people are on the beach, and there are more shells for the picking. I especially enjoy walking along the shoreline. The footprints in the sand are interesting to see. I wonder what footprints in the sand I made. I wonder where they'll take me.

My story continues.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


With few words and many ideas
Where they’ll take me I don’t know
Step into the current with some fears
Submerging within my own creativity

Monday, August 25, 2014

End of summer

The end of summer has arrived. I am off this week from school until the fall semester begins on Sept 1. I could use the break, the two semesters this summer kept me busy. I passed the second class, Intercultural Communication with an A. I feel fantastic, because I did well despite the challenges I endured this semester. That’s two A’s down, hoping for more in the upcoming terms! This was a good summer. I worked a lot and had a chance to have some fun in the mix. I tried Korean food for the first time. 

I continue to explore the city and enjoy the street art. I love the sunny days we’ve been having in New York City. The many days spent at the waterfront is inspiring. It helps me to reflect, write, and get new ideas for my future endeavors. I need a new notebook. I’m still crafting, and hope to sell some of my crafts. A merchant friend gave me lots of cool pieces of broken jewelry to support my crafting. I love sparkle. Let’s see how this goes.

I reluctantly post here on the Creative Corner since I am working on my book. The book is an extension of this blog and I want to save the best for last for the book. I am still unsure about the future of this blog. The book will determine if the Creative Corner will remain or not.  I hope you enjoy the occasional poetry I post here. They give some insight of what’s happening in my life or life in general. I look forward to how the end of the year will play out. For now, here’s to more sunny days, reflection, and ice coffee!

Thanks for reading, it’s always appreciated.