30 November 2008

Goodbye November...is now; let us go then, you and I

I alluded to T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" when I landed sky-diving and yelled-- "I have dared to eat a peach; I have dared to disturb the universe!"

There is something so charming about the love song; it reminds me of my future old lady self with antoher great old lady, living in the cottage, walking along the shore, and smoking our pipes on the porch. I think, just now, my mantra has changed from daring to do something to something more like "Let us go then, you and I."

Today, with the start of December, I have a feeling that we are on the cusp of a microcosmic beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everythin
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

28 November 2008

You gave away the things you love, and one of them was me.

All you need is love.

It's official; I'm a hippy.  There were signs: dressing up like Stevie Nicks last Halloween, the red head band I made in the Summer, the drawings of the Native-American flower child I use to draw, my love of folk music -- the fact that I only really know how to play folk music on the guitar, etc.  

Seriously though, I've taken hippy living to a whole new level. I sit outside during my lunches, paint other people and let them paint on me, and, of course, talk about love and peace.  


---------------------I think it was my first year of college and my last year of high school -- the fam bought Disneyland passes.  Many of my friends had passes. I remember Mom bringing Turkey legs for us to eat when we came out just for the evening firework show, Lisa and I taking pictures with the fiddle player, and, at other times, fellow students and I reading and studying in New Orleans Square. 

I went there the other day and later met up with friends.  I did the whole read in the square, walk down Main Street, and buy a spiral lollipop.  It just wasn't the same. Perhaps it's that I've been watching too many films about the government and masonic leadership's plan to conquer our minds and the world. I suppose the disillusionment is best. At least, I find it easier to let go of the past.  

27 November 2008

fire and rebirth

Feather to fire.....to ashes to snow to the rising riverbank where we will re-read our letters, understand and fly.

26 November 2008

The Beatles!

My sister and I had a record player in high school, and I'd put on the old recs -- the Mamas and Papas, the Carpenters, S and G, and the Beatles. In later HS, there was a Beatles station (24 hours of their music) in the L.A. area. In college, we'd play Beatles music in our hootanannies, and my best friend's brother made me a tape with him covering their songs.

I miss that station, those times, the record player that's now stored away... When the weather is blustery, like today, I think of the Beatles.


Went to see Madonna while she was in Los Angeles. My brother and I in his new car, sun roof, and such drove in the worst traffic ever to the biggest concert I've ever been to. I was reminded of seeing Elton John while in HK -- I was THIS close to him --and light years away from her. Still, I enjoyed rocking out with my neighbors and brother!

lê thi diem thúy -- "The Gangster We Are All Looking For"

A friend passed this short story on to me, and I am enamored with the writer's abilities now. There is something so stunning about these passages. I'm inspired to write and to enjoy the beauty of creating, expressing, loving....

"She is whispering his name, and in this utterance, caressing him. Over and over she calls him to her...His name becomes a tree she presses her body against. The act of calling blows around them like a warm breeze, and when she utters her own name, it is the second half of a verse that began with his. She drops her name like a pebble is dropped into a well. She wants to be engulfed by him...Shy and formal and breathless."

"I will know her by her hands and her walk which is at once slow and urgent, the walk of a woman going to the market with her goods securely bound to her side. Even walking empty-handed, my mother suggests invisible bundles whose contents no one but she can unravel."

"Not a trace of blood anywhere except her, in my throat, where I am telling you all this."

24 November 2008

Nostalgia: Memorable Thanksgivings throughout the years...

Was it 1999 in Big Bear with the Murrays (I read Sherlock Holmes, and we made videos)?

2000 in Oxford (I don't think I celebrated at all), 2003-2005 in Hong Kong, 2006 at Aunties,

and 2007 with J-A in the Bay Area.
and this year, at home once again.

bolsa chica wetlands

saturday morning,
10 students of life

csi: crime scene investigation

I sobbed...

I sobbed...

my new bff?

texting, morse code, hand-written, typed -- what does one need to be/do to write?

Chopin's Waltz in C Sharp Minor

I've enjoyed this piece for a long time now. I think I first heard it in high school. It makes me want to dance.



I've been meeting regularly now with a few women from work -- women who are living, thriving, and loving. Myriam is one of these...

the saints and the poets

Living in the "in between" is my theme this year. A friend and I were sitting outside at a pub in Pasadena talking about the GRE and our future. We considered the importance of living in the now. He brought up, Our Town.

Emily: Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?

Stage Manager: No (pause). The saints and the poets, maybe. They do some.
Oh, and then, my high school principal walked by, and I said hello.

Weddings and such.

Went to my neighbor's wedding Saturday. Growing up, my siblings and I were the little kids next store -- the Esquivel boys are more than ten years older than me. I always liked the middle child: long hair, electric guitar, rebel, etc. At this wedding, my brother and I were suddenly adults.

It was cool. We danced, and I particularly remember this song. Weddings and cheese go together like a horse and carriage.


A friend chatted me up this morning, and guess who came up?

Chances Are.

I want Charles in Charge of me.

A person should not believe in an "-ism," he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."

A story in six words?

For Sale: Baby shoes, never used.

Ah, Hemingway... sometimes, I really don't like you.

Mis primos....

It's such a joy to have a big family. My cousins are, frankly, amazing.

Hélène Cixous --- WRITE!

I say yes. Yes, Hélène Cixous, yes.

Writing: as if I had the urge to go on enjoying, to feel full, to push, to feel the force of my muscles, and my harmony, to be pregnant and at the same time to give myself the joys of parturition, the joys of both the mother and the child. To give birth to myself and to nurse myself, too. Life summons life. Pleasure seeks renewal.
-- "Coming to Writing"

It is time to liberate the New Woman from the Old by coming to know her -- by loving her for getting by, for getting beyond the Old without delay, by going out ahead of what the new Woman will be, as an arrow quits the bow with a movement that gathers and separates the vibrations musically, in order to be more than her self.

Listen to a woman speak at a public gathering (if she hasn't painfully lost her wind). She doesn't 'speak', she throws her trembling body forward; she lets go of herself, she flies; all of her passes into her voice, and it's with her body that she vitally supports the 'logic' of her speech. Her flesh speaks true. She lays herself bare. In fact, she physically materializes what she's thinking; she signifies it with her body. In a certain way she inscribes what she's saying, because she doesn't deny her drives the intractable and impassioned part they have in speaking. Her speech, even when 'theoretical' or political, is never simple or linear or 'objectified', generalized: she draws her story into history.
-- "The Laugh of the Medusa"

And why don't you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you haven't written. (And why I didn't write before the age of 27.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it's reserved for the great - that is, for great "men"; and it's "silly". Besides, you've written a little, but in secret. And it wasn't good, because it was secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn't go all the way; or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension of it, just to take the edge off. And then as soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty - so as to be forgiven; to forget, to bury it until next time.

Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: not man; not the imbecilic capitalist machinery, in which the publishing houses are the crafty, obsequious relayers of imperatives handed down by an economy that works against us and off our backs; not yourself. Smug-faced readers, managing editors, and big bosses don't like the true texts of women - female-sexed texts. That kind scares them.
-summer, 1976

21 November 2008

Getting and Knowing

A friend passed along a Dylan Thomas poem to me not long ago, and it inspired a poem of my own. I've appreciated Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" for some time -- there is a feeling of "to the resistance!" or "viva la revolucion."

After Dylan Thomas

I'll take what I can get,
You say,
And me?
I say
I'll get what I am able to see.

Do we mean the same thing?
I simply want to touch him.

-- kNOw
(Saber and conocer)
Pain shall be meaning in my lips,
Shall be flesh blood and bone surrounding.
Learn to revel in the reality of
Wide-eyed and blind


A friend and I spent November 7-9 in Santa Barbara on a mountain top
monastery in Santa Barbara. A week later, the monastery burnt down.
I wonder what happened to
The Little Prince and to the painting of the suffragist nuns we liked so much?
Thank you Mt. Calvary.
Thank you quiet brother Roy for the calligraphy and singing and Rumi.
Thank you for letting us be "wise kids": romperers, explorers, and lingerers.

Tori Amos

She's pretty cool. I listened to "Crucify" in my car this morning.
Looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
Ive been raising up my hands- drive another nail in
Where are those angels when you need them

Why do we crucify ourselves
Everyday I crucify myself
Nothing I do is good enough for you
Crucify myself
Everyday I crucify myself
And my heart is sick of being in chains

And, let's not forget "Winter":
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that Ill always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Then, I see this the other day...a comic book based on her!

She's definitely cool.

"Happy Endings" by Atwood

I'm teaching this semester and using a text chalk full of great short stories. We discussed this one Wednesday, and we spent considerable time on the ending:

You'll have to face it, the endings are the same however you slice it. Don't be deluded by any other endings, they're all fake, either deliberately fake, with malicious intent to deceive, or just motivated by excessive optimism if not by downright sentimentality.

The only authentic ending is the one provided here:
John and Mary die. John and Mary die. John and Mary die.

So much for endings. Beginnings are always more fun. True connoisseurs, however, are known to favor the stretch in between, since it's the hardest to do anything with.

That's about all that can be said for plots, which anyway are just one thing after another, a what and a what and a what.

Now try How and Why.

William Shatner digression

Captain Kirk, the old guy in Boston Legal with...pause...James Spader,

and singer.

For some reason, I've lately found "That's Me Trying" so compelling -- perhaps it's Aimee Mann or Ben Folds.

"Has Been" is a good one -- so is "Common People" and "It Hasn't Happened Yet" and "Live Like You're Going to Die" of course.

so long...

I'm sad to see myspace fade off into has been - ness. It started off so fun -- commenting on my brother's profile from hong kong -- the only way to reach him really. Now "a place for friends" is on facebook, but I find it so hard to upload photographs on facebook.

Anyways, I just find it sad.

I've never been good at letting go.

20 November 2008

He tells you that he needs you, he’s a liar
He tells you he’s a hero, he’s a fool
He tells you he’ll stay till the lords breaking day
Then babe he ain’t nothing but cruel

Oh roses and cigarettes
Pillowcase that remembers you
the scent of you still lingers on my fingertips
Till I think I might go insane
When will I see you again


I'm looking through a small catalogue of Uncommon Gifts, and one of them is a pillow with a Winnie the Pooh Statement on it:

"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you."

The statement strikes me as strange and I want to disagree until I think of Winnie the Pooh saying it. I read the Tao of Pooh a long while ago and liked it.

Indian Summer

It's an indian summer, and I'm thinking about what I who I am and who I want to be.

For the love of spirals....

Remember this?


Sometimes I watch House because of Robert Sean Leonard.

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber'd here

While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,

No more yielding but a dream,

Gentles, do not reprehend:

if you pardon, we will mend:

And, as I am an honest Puck,

If we have unearned luck

Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,

We will make amends ere long;

Else the Puck a liar call;

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,

And Robin shall restore amends.

a story...

the air is full of spices...

We recite scenes from Sense and Sensibility. We look out over the ocean. We dream. We speak. We love.


I'm nobody!

Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!

They'd banish us, you know!
How dreary to be somebody!

How public like a frog

To tell one's name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

I came upon a gift a friend gave my sister and I one Christmas when we were kids...ED's poems were hand-written on tea stained paper. It was that time of life when we watched Little Women and Sense and Sensibility, bicycled around in our skirts, laughed and giggled as we made home videos in Big Bear, and pretended to fight against the rain and wind with dramatic flair all the time.

"There is a path from me to you that I am constantly looking for."

A friend recently wrote me that she and her friends would read Rumi aloud in high school and laugh. Now, she says, Rumi invites pause, if you will.

I love him.

"Today, like every other day, we wake up emptyand frightened. Don't open the door to the studyand begin reading. Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."


For some reason, I find this terribly funny -- terribly being the operative word.

granola eating, birkenstock wearing hippie head

Been thinking about making homemade granola for Christmas presents...


Recently heard this for the first time, and I thought of the incarnation of wisdom.

Ecclesiasticus 51:13-2213 While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. 14 Before the temple I asked for her, and I will search for her to the last. 15 From blossom to ripening grape my heart delighted in her; my foot entered upon the straight path; from my youth I followed her steps. 16 I inclined my ear a little and received her, and I found for myself much instruction. 17 I made progress therein; to her who gives wisdom I will give glory. 18 For I resolved to live according to wisdom, and I was zealous for the good; and I shall never be put to shame. 19 My soul grappled with wisdom, and in my conduct I was strict; I spread out my hands to the heavens, and lamented my ignorance of her. 20 I directed my soul to her, and through purification I found her. I gained understanding with her from the first, therefore I will not be forsaken. 21 My heart was stirred to seek her, therefore I have gained a good possession. 22 God gave me a tongue as my reward, and I will praise God with it. -- RSV

Hunger hurts...

Been thinking about how we sang this song to and from Sky-diving: Heath, Bri, Arwen, and I.

I saw Heath the other day in a show at the Attic. I brought a friend, and we laughed and laughed. I believe in laughter.

In the Summer We Eat Roses

A friend wrote this story, and here are a few lines I couldn't resist posting:

"In that room he builds the dreams he wants to remember."

"Just after their mother died Virge drove so fast the stars and trees tangled and the road opened up and part of his mind got caught on a hooked moon. Catch his eyes enough and it'll come back, smooth the starburst scars on his forehead, settle and stay."

"You'll talk and talk. When it's night we'll climb the hill to the abandoned cemetery and we'll sleep in the blue flowers and you'll wake up and tell me my dreams and I'll tell you yours. This is what I'll say: We live in a house, painted red with a wild jungle for a yard, it is a hot summer. You take your shirt off and I touch your back with my fingertips. I hold up a candy house like they have in stories and I bite it and you bite it. We eat and watch each other and we're married now. I hold up an apple, smoked soft and so sweet it makes you sick to smell. I break it with my hands and we each bite, in love now. I hold up a rose, fat as a basketball, and we eat. We eat rose petals 'till all that's left is a hard green nugget and all else is night around us and I look at you and see me and you look at me and see you."

19 November 2008

Peace is every step

Yesterday, we celebrated Practicing Peace on campus. I sat on the lawn with the hippies, and they painted my face with red and brown colors.

I gave out this:


Take my hand.

We will walk.

We will only walk.

We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere.

Walk peacefully.Walk happily.Our walk is a peace walk.Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn that there is no peace walk;that peace is the walk;

that there is no happiness walk;that happiness is the walk.

We walk for ourselves.

We walk for everyonealways hand in hand.
Walk and touch peace every moment.

Walk and touch happiness every moment.

Each step brings a fresh breeze.

ach step makes a flower bloom under our feet.

Kiss the Earth with your feet.

Print on Earth your love and happiness.
Earth will be safewhen we feel in us enough safety.

Thich Nhat Hanh,Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, 1999, p. 194