the pretty kind of people
People are not pretty,
They are frighteningly maddening.
They feel with the intensity of the sun.
Even at the surface,
Riddled with thin paper cuts-
That look shallow from afar,
But go deeper than you will ever imagine.
Hear them scream in the middle of the night
Silent but so loud in their pain.
The things we once romanticized,
those dark eyes and shy smiles
were once tortured cries on painful trials.
Can you see who they once were?
The parts of themselves they had to kill,
To allow the other parts to survive.
Go past the makeup, the shield,
the mask made from the blood we shed.
Go past it and you will see,
People are not pretty,
They are intensely real.
Peace is the anomaly
They think that because we are young, we don't know that war is imminent.
But, we feel our mothers hold us extra long in warm embraces; as we do the wetness of their tears on our cheeks because they know they cannot protect us from what will be.
We hear the fierce whispers in the night when we are thought asleep.
We are invisible, as the young often are, but we see the Elders, ours and the others, each trying to stand taller than the next, though all are stooped, backs bent under the weight of accumulated interests they have pursued for far too long; each vying to be louder than the other, as if a booming voice alone will demonstrate their power and worth.
Our games train us for the battles that await.
Our songs glorify those who fought before us-- sometimes for causes, ideals, beliefs no longer held.
Teacher says war comes when words become empty.
Or when leaders seek to distract those within their grip from empty bellies (or pockets).
Or when minds are empty and easily distracted by said leaders from more pressing issues in their own village.
The goals of those that lead, couched as they are in the interest of the moment (inherently not unlike those that came before), seem valid to the already convinced. Not so to those who long for an entirely new plot, not just a tweak, a twist, a variation on an endless theme.
The results, however, are predictable, always the same: death and destruction.
Teacher says the question, is never "will there be war, " but rather, "when will there be war."
They think we don't know, but we do.
To Die on a Thursday
Jill didn’t plan to die on a Thursday.
She hated crosswind landings and her Cessna wasn't a fan either. Mateo had warned her and even begged her not to land at the village today. It had rained for days and the airstrip would be a swamp. He wore many hats: village doctor, policeman and mailman. And even the matchmaker. It was no secret that he had a crush on her, but she wasn’t interested. Her goal was getting the village the medication and supplies they needed, that was her job.
The village airstrip just ahead, she cut power and prepared to land, aiming the Cessna at the thin green stripe cut into the forest canopy was like a carrier landing at sea.
But something was wrong. Smoke was rising from the village and at 500 feet she saw the fire. Suddenly the plane was struck from below. An explosion rocked and rattled the plane, then everything went dark as smoke engulfed her. Flying blind, she pulled up and went full throttle to fly clear of the smoke.
But as she began the climb out, a series of impacts hit the fuselage like a dozen steel hammers. Two bullets tore through the floor and exposed daylight while the rattle of automatic gunfire continued. "Fly the airplane. Breathe!" She told herself.
A second later the gunfire faded as she scanned the gauges and leveled out. A searing pain caused her to look down. A bullet had torn a gash in her leg and a steady trickle of blood was dripping from the wound. Below the village was burning and bodies were scattered everywhere. The stories and rumors about Chacon's men were true, he took no prisoners and spared no one.
She keyed up the microphone to call air traffic control, but got no answer. The gunfire must have hit the radio. Her heart sank with the thought of her friends in the village. "I hope Mateo and his daughters knew to run and hide."
She tied a spare shirt around her leg to slow the bleeding, but it wasn't working. Now feeling woozy, things got worse. The needle on the oil pressure gauge had started to drop.
"Life isn't fair," she said to herself, "I always wanted to die on a Friday."
Last year around Valentine‘s Day I wrote a bitter post about being single and how it’s better than being in a relationship.
For the first time in a few years I’m not overly bitter about the thought of dating. I think it’s a little too distracting from my current goals, but I’m more open to the idea of dating than I used to be. Going on a date is different than making a whole relationship commitment and that realization has been helpful. Basically one date does not equal relationship commitment, right?
Peaks vs Valleys
Anyone who is involved with my life knows that I'm gay. I'm proud of it. It took me years to discover who I was, and even longer to accept it. This is not uncommon for anyone that is a part of the LGBTQIA community. However, what people don't know is how it affected my mental health and my well being. I have talked a bit about this in therapy over the years but not in excess. I believe that most people don't wake up and say, "I hope I'm different that my peers, family and friends". Everyone wants to fit in. I had been out to myself since I was 14 but it took until I was 22 to start telling anyone. This was extremely detrimental to my health. I turned to drugs and alcohol to silence that part of me and it ended up leading me down the road to an attempt on my life.
I fondly look back on this part of my life because it allows me to see where I have come from. Sometimes hitting your personal rock bottom is a good thing. See it as a blessing because once you do, you'll know you can only go up.
Life is a series of peaks and valleys, and some valleys may be lower than others. Enjoy your peaks, but more importantly, learn from your valleys because you may never know who you can become without them.
Day by Day
My favorite thing about myself is that when I wake up every morning, each day feels different and new. Like I had just been born: looking up into the smooth surface of my ceiling for the first time.
That used to be a great comfort for me.
When each day is new, you can be whoever you want to be, right?
Now, I just get anxious: thinking of what face I'll have to put on that day. I feel new, but forced. This act is so draining, and sometimes I wish I didn't wake up to my smooth ceiling at all, or that I would forget the days before that, making it truly unknown. There is hope for the unknown.
I want to feel that again, not knowing what to expect. It could be, it can be. Life is what you make it, but I am so tired now.
Is squandering your precious time redeemable?
In the past they built structures of wonder
The pyramids and the Gardens of Babylon,
These days we seem quite incapable
Of build structures that are green and sustainable,
The Venus Project shows the way
How future societies should create,
Housing schemes for all to live
Fitting in with nature rather than being dismissive,
No more big grey concrete estates
No high rise buildings getting in the way,
Of viewing a beautiful and blissful skyline
Communities that combine,
Green energy and permaculture
Where we educate people for the future,
To work together in harmony
But many see this as a rose tinted dream,
But it can happen, it’s our choice
Make governments hear our voice,
Rebuild towns and cities to be a place where I believe
People will cherish and work together,
We need a dream like this more than ever
Where equality is the focus everyday,
Where people share in a far less selfish way.
I need to get over him
I need to get over him so I can move on with my life. Every waking moment I have, I'm thinking about him. He is messing with my concentration and my productivity, but I can't help it. I really thought we had something, him and I. We texted everyday and sometimes it seemed like we were flirting with each other. Maybe it was a joke, maybe it wasn't. I really could not tell. I got up the courage to confess to him one day, texted him that I liked him and he friend-zoned me. It really didn't bother me in the moment, but now I feel more and more like a fool. Why did I need to confess? We don't talk as much as we used to anymore. I feel like I ruined a good friendship. Now I feel like he wants absolutely nothing to do with me. But the question is, do I even like him that much? Or is he just there? Is this attraction merely just a result of my teenage hormones? Whatever it is, I need it to go away. Fast.