Sharing: First Post After a Long Absence

I’ve been reprimanded quite a bit lately because I haven’t posted anything.  But I promise, dear reader, I have an excuse!  I’ve just moved from Bangkok to Wellington, New Zealand,* and I will admit that the energy of the move and house-hunting and job-hunting has kept me from blogging.  I will also admit that I’ve been too wrapped up in exploring this lovely little capital at the end of the world to think much about writing or grad school.  In my defence,** I am incredibly smitten with my surrounds and with people here and my mind has been elsewhere.

 

Part of why I am so smitten is that I didn’t properly anticipate how much I would love living in an English-speaking country again.  I am struck by how much it means to me to be able to have connective little conversations with the baristas at the coffee shops I frequent or to flirt with the guy who works at WelTec.  I really appreciated all the smiles I got in Thailand.  But if Thailand is the Land of Smiles, New Zealand feels to me like the Land of Small Talk.  And I am really loving it.  I’d forgotten how those little conversations with friends-you-haven’t-met-yet can really brighten your day.  Even if it is a wintry, drizzle-y day, as has often been the case.

In the spirit of appreciation for small connections with friends-you-haven’t-met-yet,  I’d like to give a special thanks to Daniela, a fellow Wellingtonian, who blogs over at Lantern Postwho nominated me for the Twin Awards.  These little moments of connection and recognition are just lovely and I really do appreciate them.  I’d also like to share a bit of Daniela’s poetry, which gives a little bit of insight into my new hometown:

Street Performer

On Saturdays street artists are out,

downtown on Cuba Street,

marking their patches of concrete,

between market stalls,

amongst passers-by,

bending around corners,

not on the way, just in the view,

singing for nickels,

dancing for laughs.

 

And there he was,

all young and bouncy inside his sneakers,

pants low on hips with blue hearts sewn on knees,

his mum did it for him he tells me.

 

Just setting his circle right now,

but show will start soon,

and he is really good, he says,

excellent in fact,

real juggling acts, like in circuses,

and fire eating, real fire mind you,

made with kerosene, a real poison.

 

Really, if I will stay he will show me,

usually lots of people come and watch,

he has a regular crowed now,

and does acrobatics, dangerous staff and for real,

no tricks, like some others do,

no, not him,

he is for real.

 

Just stay for a while, he will start soon,

mind if I have a spare smoke and a lighter,

it will be real good,

he does this for living,

his folks are still in shock,

but he does what he loves, and that’s all that matters to him,

to make people laugh.

 

Just stay till the end of the show,

it is going to be awesome,

at the end he will pass the hat around,

you know how it is,

has to pay rent, buy beer,

loving what you do does not,

pay bills,

you understand.

 

*Why does WordPress not think that New Zealand is a word?  Really, WordPress, it’s a real place!  Not a fairy-Neverland.  But, honestly, you wouldn’t know by this picture:

I mean, look at this!  I live here!

**And now it seems I am spelling like them too….

 

 

 

Creative Commons love to mollyeh11 and PhillipC for the photos!

Paper Angels, by Olive Twist

In my years living in Bangkok, I have found it difficult to meet others who also write in English (my Thai is not nearly good enough for Poetry) and are looking for a community in which they can work on writing. One of the things I love already about blogging is the immediate sense of community and camaraderie I feel with others who are also on here sharing their words with the world. It amazes me that this seems to happen so organically and easily on WordPress. In only a month or so of blogging, I have already met some inspiring, beautiful people who have encouraged me to write more and more.

One of these people is Sister Olive, at http://olivetwist.wordpress.com/. Her ‘twist’ on spirituality and delicate words bring beauty and emotion to heavy situations. Olive nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, which really warms my heart. I feel so appreciative, especially since I am new to this whole realm.

 

 Not being a rule follower myself, I am not going to bombard you with facts about me or with a giant list of other blogs I like. Instead, I am going to take this opportunity to slowly share some of the amazing writing I’ve found floating out here in cyberspace. Check back on Sundays for writers who are making me smile.

This Sunday is dedicated to Olive. Thank you, Olive, for really making me feel welcome in the WordPress community and also for encouraging me.

 

Here is one of my favorite gems from Olive’s blog.

Enjoy!

 

 

Paper Angels

http://olivetwist.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/paper-angels/

by Olive Twist at http://olivetwist.wordpress.com/

(The Iris Diaries)

The wind began sending messengers to Iris when she was very young.  Wandering artisans always surrounded her, giving her poems and art and stories. One day as she sat in a café filled with smoke and laughter, a man with faded denim pants and a worn plaid shirt approached her.  He had a familiar mystical flame about his brow, and his reddish hair was curly and matted.

Iris had been inking a picture of a snake climbing up a tree in her sketchbook when he approached her, pointed at her drawing, and said, “Get rid of that snake.”  Then he handed her a piece of dirty folded up paper and went out into the street, as the wind blew open the door.  She unfolded the paper and found these words written in blue ballpoint pen:

So long on this road back to the wall,

I’d pray I’d die before I’d fall;

Death wish in a land of hell,

Don’t want to cry, search for the well

That gives to me the truth of truth;

In it’s sweet light (don’t need no proof).

Walking middle ground

I found my song in a silent sound

Where eyes don’t hide behind

Masks that make you laugh when you should have cried,

That let you live when you should have died.

So long on this road but I hear the call,

I see the truth and with it walk tall.

It aint the stand I’m afraid to make,

It’s the illusion the world wants me to take

That sees the light and clouds the truth

With its lack of faith and search for proof.[1]

She could feel soft flowing air and a rustle of wings.  There was something comforting and kind about the man.

A mysterious long-haired lady with wintery eyes handed her a poem scribbled on aged brown parchment:

The one who weaves the wind

Stood grey before me.

The woods were dawn-grey

Dripping, soft, and so quiet.

The wind-weaver

Was catching shadows and mist

For her loom…[2]

A young man wearing a purple tie-dyed shirt gave her a little poem as he passed her one day, and she sensed that protective spirit again:

Love is the vine

Given mankind

To help him find

His home divine.[3]

One breezy morning while she sat upon a squeaky porch in the ghetto, a man with soft green eyes and glasses approached her and offered her a poem:

The flowers open

At thy feet

Beads of

Dew

Wonderful and new

O

Angel of light

How many dawns

Have I drunk from your cup?[4]

The affection that the Iris evoked from strangers was disconcerting. Why did poets pop up like flowers wherever she went?  Why did they all speak of spiritual things?  She felt that someone was calling for her and wanted to be her friend.

A young man handed her this poem on a small piece of white paper with only his name “Sunrise” on the bottom:

The princess in purple

Carrying her guitar…

She shares her music

With all who’ll listen

Her gentle ways could be an inspiration to all

If only they would take time.

Even her ring is purple.

I’ve seen her on the streets

I’ve seen her in the parks

Always ready to share her music

And her heart…[5]

Iris knew that people were drawn to her, but she wondered why all of the writings were spiritual in some way.  Did people see something that she could not see at the time?

Now she can see how the wind loved her long before she knew him. He had been loyal to her in a sorrowful land, and had filled her life with meaning.

One morning she talked to a man in the donut shop where she worked.  He wore glasses and had curly blonde hair and a beard. She told him of her dream of meeting Christ in an elevator.  A few days later he visited and as she was cleaning the counter, she found a story written which he tucked under his napkin:

Immediately and noisily the doors opened, a mild shock far exceeded by the presence of a man, dressed in a loose white robe, staring directly at her out of the elevator—so directly as to imply he knew in advance where she would be standing…And so it was, and the surrounding city with it, corners dissolving into a blizzardy whiteness, glowing brilliant for a moment and then fading, edgeless as the voice of this prophet, into gray, into black, into liquid- no light, no sound, no scent, no feel, no taste- only absence, vacancy, and peace:  only the consciousness of a smile, the smile of God.[6]


[1] “Back to the Wall” by Jude

[2] “The Weaver of the Wind” by Margaret

[3] By Kelly

[4] From Michael

[5] By Sunrise

[6] By Al

OLIVE TWIST ©2012

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