Sunlight

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in the far-flung corner of a dream,

i see myself and

the way the sunlight swallows wayward tendrils

 

i look older than i’ve ever been,

but there is beauty in the way i hold my cup

so intrepidly

 

from my unearthly vantage point, i watch the steam spiral

upward, like a great staircase

and i wonder where it would take me

 

if i followed.

 

***Hello, world!  I have been drowning in grading, duties, and exams, but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t celebrate World Poetry Day, so here is my contribution to the cause!***

 

Free

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I know a lot of people who are afraid to fly, thoroughly convinced that to set foot on a plane is to willingly sever one’s Earthly bonds.

Once in a blue moon, I suppose that’s true.

But even so, I couldn’t imagine a better way to go out – above it all, weightless and free.

Home is relative

20161009_133125.jpgIt changes all the time.

For example, this morning I was living in your arms.

By afternoon, I had taken up residence in cobbled streets beneath the sunlight.

Only the universe knows where I will stake my claim tomorrow.

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Choosing Love

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I keep trying to remind myself of how important unity is at a time like this, even though just thinking about the potential fate of my country makes me want to vomit in my mouth.  The past couple of days have gone by in a sort of confused haze.  I’m sad, heartbroken, angry, confused, and scared all at once.  It seems like the whole world is divided and falling apart.

But that’s enough about that…because quite frankly, I think we’ve all had enough.  Between all of the craziness in Turkey, Brexit, and now a Trump presidency on the horizon, the political chaos of 2016 has been exhausting for everyone and there are plenty of other people who have already expressed these feelings all over the internet.  That is not to say that I intend to be complacent in this matter – I fully intend to use my platform as a teacher and a person of privilege to keep inspiring future generations of young people to be better than the kind of leadership we are seeing right now – but I need to focus on celebrating the glimmers of light in my life rather than cursing all the darkness.

In spite of everything, I have a lot to be grateful for.

***I have an amazing husband who makes me smile and always knows how to bring me back to equilibrium when I feel like everything is gloom and doom.

***I have incredible friends and family.

***I am lucky enough to be able to do what I love and travel.

***I teach incredible students who are on their way to becoming beacons of hope for their generation.

***I have been working on writing more and recently published my first fiction story here!

***I am safe and healthy.

***I successfully completed my first term of the year and will head to Scotland with friends next week for a much-needed vacation.

***I still believe people are basically good

***I will never stop standing up for those who are oppressed or discriminated against, no matter what.

What are you thankful for right now?  Let’s all be good to ourselves and one another.  The world needs it.

 

NaNoWriMo

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It’s official:  I’m doing NaNoWriMo.  Honestly, I’ve been dying to try it for three years now and I’ve chickened out at the last moment every time.  Not this year!  Even if I fail, I’ll be happy to have given it a shot!

I hope I can manage to meet my writing goals and keep my blog reasonably well-updated (because I have some pretty sweet plans coming up!), but I fully intend to make NaNoWriMo my first writing priority for the next 30 days.

My current plan is to write a coming-of-age fiction piece, but my plot outline is not very rigid (I identify as a “plantser”), so we’ll see what happens.  I’m also going to try to convince some students and co-workers to participate along with me!

Best of luck to all my fellow NaNo nerds out there!

Nothing

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I moved to the mountain to get away from myself,

from all the voices that told me 

I was nothing.

 

I built a tiny white house on the edge of a cliff,

and in the process, I became

nothing.

 

Nothing to no one; I forgot my own name

But from afar, I could see

everything.

 

Violence, destruction, hatred, and pain

But also

Joy, love, hope, and prosperity

 

I moved to the mountain to get away from myself, but in the process

I found myself; the one who sees, but feels

nothing. 

Bahar

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*It’s a short story kind of day.

She could practically smell the sun on her cotton summer dress as she ran through the lush green grass, the wind singing with her laughter.  Blossoms in rich shades of orange and buttery yellow appeared and bloomed before her eyes with every step.  She wanted to pick them – and yet, she didn’t because she didn’t want to ruin it.

 She paused for a moment to take it all in; butterflies danced above her head as she stood in awe.  She wanted nothing more than to lie down in the warm sea of vibrant colors and listen to the humming of the bees for the rest of her days.  For a moment, it almost seemed possible.  She reached out to draw a branch of honeysuckle in towards her nose to smell its sweet nectar.  It flickered, and in between the lines of time and space, reality and illusion, the familiar shade of lifeless grey spilled in, reminding her of where she really was.

She glanced back at her father, the disappointment glistening in her large, brown eyes.  He knew he was running out of time.  He couldn’t keep it going forever without anymore supplies.  Really, he couldn’t afford to be doing this now, but he also couldn’t afford to loser her – his little girl.  He couldn’t afford to lose any of them.  If they left…if they realized that they didn’t need him anymore…  

He stopped his train of thought and smiled as his little one twirled through the grass once more. 

Doors to Nowhere

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***I’m breaking things up here with a little creative writing piece I wrote on a ferry ride in Greece, inspired by some beautiful doors I’ve seen throughout my travels.  Enjoy!***

She was always finding them.  Or, rather, they were finding her.  Doors that led to absolutely nowhere…or so it appeared.

The first one came to her when she was very young, leaning against a pile of overgrown brush in her family’s garden.  It was old and well-worn and looked as if it might crumble to dust against even the lightest of breezes.  This thought never even crossed her mind.  She was too curious for that.  She pulled on the handle and stepped through.

This, she soon realized, was where the fairies lived, twinkling brightly in their lush green abode.  They fluttered around her, whispering their secrets, made her promise not to tell.  They fed her honeysuckle nectar, adorned her hair with wildflowers, and told her she would always be welcome in their world.

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The next door came sometime later, when her family moved to a new house.  As she was hanging her many sweaters in her brand new closet, she saw it peeking at her, tucked away in the back corner.  Where did it go?  She wondered to herself.  The tiny knob popped open, revealing just enough room for her to crawl through.  A cluttered room buried in dust showed her its face.  It was there that she first met the ghost that lived in her house; the one that had been there for hundreds o years.  She told her her life story, her death story, and told her never to be frightened when she went bump in the night.

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She never really made a point of looking for them.  The doors, they just kept finding her.  Like when she went to her first party and saw door to an old shed swinging in the wind, beckoning her to go through it.  It was there that she first heard the wind speak as plain as day.

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Then there was that time she went backpacking through the mountains.  She stumbled upon it while she was hiking along the trail, carved right into the ragged rock:  an old door, like one might find on a house.  By now, she knew the drill; she couldn’t resist.  She was greeted warmly by a mountain troll, who graciously made her dinner over a campfire and guided her by torch through the mountain – a considerable shortcut to her final destination.  The firelight danced among the many glittering gems that lined the tunnel walls – the troll’s treasure stores.

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When she bought her first place, a tiny cottage in the meadow, she knew it was meant to be when she saw a single door propped up on a stairway, overgrown with daisies.  She put down her moving boxes to climb those stairs, going up and up, until she noticed that she’d already gone through the door and was now climbing right into the sky, as if on solid ground.  She kept climbing until she reached the clouds, where she waited until the sky grew dark and sparkled with starlight.  It was their that she first met her lover, and they met there every night thereafter.

Yes, the doors, they always find her.  Even as we speak, she’s standing before yet another abandoned door.  As other passersby walk on, ignoring the magic that stands before them, she reaches for the handle and wonders what lies in store for her on the other side.