everything's not lost


I wish I could tell you that all is bright and beautiful in my corner of the world right now. I wish I could tell you about this flowery hill by the beach, how I stained my shorts when I sat on the grass to have my picture taken, how the wind blew my hair out of its tight bun, how I walked barefoot on the sand, digging my toes in, feeling the earth. I wish I could tell you more of this sweet afternoon.

But the truth is, I'm really angry right now and its hard for me to think about anything else. Or perhaps angry is not the right word. I'm more disappointed. Yesterday, someone stole my wallet at one of my elementary schools. It took me a long time to accept that it was indeed stolen, that I didn't just drop it somewhere, or leave it behind. I've been at this school for 4 years now, I've always left my bag at the same place, and its disconcerting to even think that one of our students or any of the people that I work with on a regular basis could look through my personal belongings and steal something.

I feel betrayed. The sense of community and belonging that I feel in this little school is now gone and that's what hurts me the most. That, and well, the painful process of going to the DMV, getting new IDs, and cancelling all my credit cards.

But hey, at least they didn't take my laptop or my phone or God forbid, my entire bag with my journal and my planner and everything else that helps me function on a daily basis. It could have been worse. I have to think about that. Or else I'll just go crazy, replaying the events that happened throughout the day, thinking about the people who went in and out of our room, wondering, wondering.

And at the end of the day, I guess what matters more is what we have, here and now, not the things that we lost.

Photo taken at Half Moon Bay, 4.25.10

a cafe by the sea

We went to Half Moon Bay yesterday and stopped by my favorite seaside cafe in Miramar Beach on our way back to the city. This little coffee shop holds a special place in my heart. My cousin Bill and I found it on a stormy New Year's Day, back in 2006 when I came to visit him in San Francisco. We were cold and hungry, it was torture to drive in the pouring rain, so we decided to take one of the exits along Highway 1 to see if we could find someplace to eat. Imagine how happy we were when we found it, with its flickering Christmas lights and toasty fire, I could have stayed there watching at the ocean for a long time.

Here's a short video that I took both inside the cafe and the view of the ocean across from it. This is my first time making a video, I edited the speed a little to show you the gorgeous afternoon light (you know I'm all about the light), and added a background music from a current favorite K-drama called Personal Taste. It took me a long time to edit this but I really liked the way it turned out. I hope you enjoy it!

calling my name

Japan is. A friend of mine is visiting her mom in Osaka in August and I wish with all my heart that I could go with her. But that's just that, a wish. Besides the obvious financial reasons, I also can't take time off from work especially when I'm planning to go home and attend my sister's graduation early next year. But oh, how I long to visit this country. A longing that is getting stronger each day.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you rather be? Do share.

(All photos from the cherry blossom girl)

breathing in


"Get out of the house, away from the dirty dishes," says Natalie Goldberg in her book Writing Down the Bones. She may as well have spoken to me directly, as I've been really swamped with paperwork and a long list of things to do these days. And that spring cleaning that I said I was going to do? Forget it. The dishes are about the cleanest items in my house right now. (Side note: I love doing dishes. Really. Laundry, not so much.)

So after spending most of Saturday catching up on report-writing, I woke up Sunday and decided that enough is enough. I can't spend all of my weekend doing work. So I drove up north to Marin, met with a friend for brunch, and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting under the sun in Tiburon.

The weather was absolutely glorious, I wore shorts and a tank top for the first time this year, and couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic for my islands as I was putting on sunscreen. The scent of Hawaiian Tropic and sitting by the water always does that to me. But the missing that I felt was not the painful kind, it was more of a calm acceptance and perhaps even gratitude, that I am here living the life that I want to lead, and that home will always be home and a part of me will forever long for it and that's okay.

Its amazing how an hour or so of doing absolutely nothing can do to you. I purposely turned off my cellphone so I couldn't tell what time it was or what I should be doing next. I had a book opened on my lap, a journal and a pen, a camera, but decided that I didn't really want to read or write or take pictures, so I just sat there, taking it all in.

It was/is beautiful, all of it. And it made breathing so much easier afterwards.

P.S. I did take the photo above, which was not as easy as it looks and gave me some ab workout in the process.

P.P.S. I hope you had a lovely weekend too.

come monday night


Once again, Rilke has the right words for my heart. Always.

O night, nights, nights
I would like to write
and always, always remain hunched over pages,
and fill them with intricate symbols
that are not from my tired hand.
That reveal to me to be the hand of someone
doing wondrous things with me.
Thus in the darkness dimensions rise
and strengths, that, as I serve, make use of me,
and whose last syllable I veil
mysteriously with my life,
and silences that let me dive
so deeply into what's without sound
that I relax under all words,
and no one notices when I stop,
and even in a smooth pond
my movement would make no rings
since I'm so deep now
in the dark realm of the ground.

-- from Diaries of A Young Poet

(Photo taken from flickr)

have a magical weekend.

Hi friends! Sorry I fell off the earth in the last couple of days. My computer had a stubborn virus that refused to go away so I was offline for awhile. But now its all fixed and we're back to business. Sort of. Because I still have stacks of reports to do and my apartment is a mess -- I should probably attend to those first, right? :)

So today two of my kindergarten students came to school wearing tutus. It was totally unexpected and whimsical that it made me so happy. Later I saw them at the playground, spinning in circles inside a hula hoop. Too cute.

I wish you a happy and magical weekend, wherever you are. xoxo.

happy national poetry month!

I will make this short as I've had a long and beautiful day (more on this later) and I need to wake up early tomorrow. Allergies are finally gone, thank God, and I'm making the most of the rest of my spring break by doing the things that I love. Especially writing and poetry. I won't promise to post all of my poems here, but I will do my best to write poetry daily for the rest of April. And I will also post more things poetry related here, in honor of this exciting month. So yes, let the bad poeming begin!

P.S. Read more about NaPoWriMo here.