Category Archives: writing

Casualities Poem 2/30

Caualities
written by vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu
Para MSQP
Harlem, NYC Baby
April 2014

1
when i had weapons of war
you had your arms
wrapped around my belly
of bombs & nightmares
you brought
embraces and home
no violence
no battles
i brought
broken plates and kitchen
warm rice
cold lemonade
confrontation
history and science
books that can not be read
only learned over time

2
Esposa
i never wanted to be handcuffed
you never thought you were good enough
to have me
tied up and bound
freedom
that is what we were both fighting for

3
you requested love
my inside voice
cariños
carressing my high cheek bones
cantar
gliding my inner thighs

4
i requested love
speaking out loud
poesia
amazing grace translations that are
not lost but found
reading
fresh water
and
peace

5
you crave peace
of
mind
heart
soul
rhythm
100 pieces of mi corazon y mi amor
exist in our Pacific Ocean
on your coastline and mine

6
this marriage is war to me
you said you don’t want it to end
i wanted the war to end
come home
you said
again
and
again
come home

 

 

 

 

 

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Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender Poem 1/30

I cheated. I wrote this poem in 2011. The first time I read this poem aloud for peeps was in Chicago in 2012. I want to read this poem LIVE aloud for my Mum. I love her so much. Hope you Enjoy!
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Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender
Para Mama
written by vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu
Inwood; NYC, NY
2011
I watched Mama do laundry, taxes, pray daily
solve math problems on campus and off campus
speak un-broken-re-mixedEnglish
black y blueberry bruises make up and made up lives
in our blue trailer in this trailerpark InternationalIntegrationIndigenous
Incredible neighborhood of nuevaAmerica
where we ate our orange marmalade on toasted english muffins
for breakfast—whaaaaat?!!
We lived on University Avenue
Avenue of the hardestworkingDreams that mop your floors & clean your counters
The Avenue of our Mormon patriarchal not matriarchal blessings
I live there
Education was why we came to live in this fenced in gravel snow cement grass patch
We landed and discovered these pilgrims’ promised perpetual land
Opportunities don’t wait for the bus or lay-a-ways
Infinite walks under moonlight alongside a car without registration and insurance
Call back next moth, let’s see what our dreams will bring then
when we got some to give
you

She woke up early to go to work and get me ready for kindergarten
I woke up early to explore this NewWorld, this NewLandlockedLand
once ocean
the evidence is everywhere: You, Me, seashells, seapeeople, seafood
seadollars that can’t pay the rent or buy a christmas tree
or even be placed on an altar surrounded by candlelight
these exoskeletons are no longer desirable
our own skeletons come alive
we function our human machine being
protect
excrete
sense
support
feed and act as barrier
against desiccation
in
our
telestial
terrestial
or
celestial
heaven
This is the Place This NewLand
we don’t got to rely on the sea
so we aint haveta survive on ocean, moon and/or tide
no need to call whale, brother or sister
seal and turtle, cousin
We can forget those modes and mobiles of communication
We got the melchizedek priesthood and hell
We got pre-existence pre-knowing you
We got these pretests to take, we knew in our pre-mortal life
All this education pre-kindergarten

She was the 1st
1st one to leave
for college in new zealand
1st mormon in her familia
1st tongana PhD in the mainland of this united states of north america
1st
1st
You are 1st, Mama
This is the Place
1st
This is the Place, you belong
You are 1st
Not me, not Fui, not Loa, ‘Amelia or David
Not your Husband, your Father, Saia or your Mother, ‘Ana Vaimoana
Not your Sisters, Mani, Kalo, or Brothers, Haloti, Saia, Kelepi
Not your grandchildren
Not Siaosi, Sara, Vai, Edna, Fui, Kepa, Mailo, or Victoria
Not your students, your boss, your boss’s boss,
Not everyone or anyone
This is the Place
First Place
You are 1st, Mama

I listened to Mama drink coco, read books, sing out loud
She always tucked me into bed
She was the one who went to sleep late and woke up early
She was first to hang up my paintings and drawings all over her home and office
She gave me my first paint brush and paint
She gave me my first paper and pen
She gave me my first book to read

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she never knew she was the cause

i’m still in Utah. today I am blasting poetry in Sandy. One of my favorite poems and poets. I listen intently to this poem time and time again. I am always moved. para siempre. thank you Mikey. I hope you and my Papa are sharing stories. malo ‘aupito.

Seeking the Cause
by Miguel Piñero

he was Dead he never Lived died died he died seekin’ a Cause seekin’ the Cause

because he said he never saw the cause but he heard the cause heard the cryin’ of hungry ghetto children heard the warnin’ from Malcolm heard the tractors pave new routes to new prisons died seekin’ the Cause seekin’ a Cause he was dead on arrival he never really Lived uptown . . . downtown . . . crosstown body was round all over town seekin’ the Cause thinkin’ the Cause was 75 dollars & gator shoes thinkin’ the Cause was sellin’ the white lady to black children thinkin’ the cause is to be found in gypsy rose or j. b. or dealin’ wacky weed and singin’ du-wops in the park after some chi-chiba he died seekin’ the Cause died seekin’ a Cause and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him and the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him

he wanted a color t. v. wanted a silk on silk suit he wanted the Cause to come up like the mets & take the world series he wanted . . . he wanted . . . he wanted . . . he wanted to want more wants but he never gave he never gave he never gave his love to children he never gave his heart to old people & never did he ever give his soul to his people he never gave his soul to his people because he was busy seekin’ a cause busy busy perfectin’ his voice to harmonize the national anthem with spiro t agnew busy perfectin’ his jive talk so that his flunkiness wouldn’t show busy perfectin’ his viva-la-policia speech downtown . . . uptown . . . midtown . . . crosstown his body was found all over town

seekin’ a Cause seekin’ the Cause found in the potter fields of an o. d. found in the bowery with the d. d. t.’s his legs were left in viet-nam his arms were found in sing-sing his scalp was on Nixon’s belt his blood painted the streets of the ghetto his eyes were still lookin’ for jesus to come down on some cloud & make everything ok when jesus died in attica his brains plastered all around the frames of the pentagon his voice still yellin’ stars & stripes 4 ever riddled with the police bullets his taxes bought he died seekin’ a Cause seekin’ the Cause while the Cause was dyin’ seekin’ him he died yesterday he’s dyin’ today he’s dead tomorrow died seekin’ a Cause died seekin’ the Cause

& the Cause was in front of him & the Cause was in his skin & the Cause was in his speech & the Cause was in his blood but he died seekin’ the Cause he died seekin’ a Cause he died deaf dumb & blind he died & never found his Cause because you see he never never knew that he was the Cause.

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write into the fear

day 12
“Write into the fear.”–Dorothy Allison

One day, I will meet Dorothy Allison and tell her, “Thank you. Thank you for saving my life through your writing.”

Also, I would like to take out this time to give props to where props is due: I also say, THANK YOU to Audre Lorde (Goddess of all Goddesses), Gloria Anzuldua, Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Sandra Cisenors, Lucille Clifton, Julia de Burgos, Toni Morrison, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, Chimamanda Adichie, Elizabeth Gilbert, Luis Alfaro, Amy Tan and many, many more writers that have impacted my life, inspired, moved and touched me into my writing and telling  my own story. And, Yes, saved my life. I absolutely love writers because they are storytellers, historians, ourstorians, listeners, witnesses, voices, speakers, observers, sensory experience leaders and dream fulfillment-ers.

I shall say to you and own, that not only am I a Storytelly but I am a Storylistener. Tell me your story. Tell me your story with honesty and truth. I will listen. I want to know it. It makes me feel safe and secure to live on this planet. It makes me feel connected to you. I want to be connected to you. I want to know you. I want you to know me. I want us to know our world and not hurt each other any more.

Thank you Gabriella Callender, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, Marie Varghese, Erica R. DeLaRosa, Tania Romero, Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Sauliloa Niumeitolu, and ‘Amelia Niumeitolu, for inspiring me, pushing me, loving me, listening and/or reading my writing. All I want to do is write, write, write and tell our stories. This is only the beginning…

I wrote yesterday but I did not post it or post anything else for that matter. I did tell you (earlier, right, ‘memba?) that I am writing in my journal constantly and may not post it.  Today, I have been writing too but I do not choose to post it and share it with the world. It’s not yet ready to be shared.

Being in action around my writing for these past 12 days has made me see how much i have not been willing to confront telling my own story, not just to you, but to myself. In the name of writing and writers, I share with you all the inspiration that has gotten me out of my critic/critical narrator/negative/narrative and into action.

Please watch, listen, ponder, meditate and be inspired and moved into action…get out of your head and get into action. yes, right now!

My writing has saved my own life.
“Write into the fear.” Not only do I use this as a mantra,  for my writing, but for my life and  life itself.
“Live into the fear.”
For this I live freely and fiercely. There is nothing to hide ….Come on my life. Write, and live…

Thank you for stopping by.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for your listening.
‘ofa atu.

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beautiful dia

day 10, 10:05 pm
For real, one of the best days of my life—today! like for real real. for real. ya know what i’m saying. what a beautiful, fantastic, awesome day!!!! i’m so excited, i just can’t hide it…i know, i know, i know….i am so present to my excitement right now, my aliveness right now. feels so good.
it feels so good because guess what? i truly get that i created it all and that i am 100 percent responsible for my happiness! ahhhhhhhhhh. deep breath. yes, deep breaths taken consciously and freely with elegance all week, all day.
today’s post will consist of a painting of words. collage of words. complete words. no complete sentences. complete big self right here. whole and complete. FREESTYLE this.

Para Marie Varghese

chai pancakes con honey
mango orange walls
magical steps in our midst
we walk under star trees and in star tunnels
golden gurl gingko leaves are subway line veins
updating memory to our metro card
we can go anywhere
in this moment

twirled twisting fingers toes
dipping into chocolate cardoMom dreams
fulfilled full bellies growing progress growing adult air and nurturing our water
to water our plants and our hair
grown into turquoise earth and paint and brush
pearl heartbreak connecting to oyster
eaten alive
speaking to the dead
living ancestors
chick peas and i peas no longer i please and pods
and iPods and iLove yous
on repeat and replay and restay and recreate
create ate and eight
all eight all ate this
oregano pasta works hard for its money
feeds and nurtures and swallowed
wet caramel
hot raspberry coconut
covered with rust
i acknowledge your contribution, your gift, your light and your skin
you give universe, rotation of planets and gravity pull
how you do that?
how you move that?
you move train rides and pythagorean theorem in no time without proof
you aint theory you principle law
and give order to the order of my orders of my own nature of
soul self and truth Self
on surface and deep ocean epidermis
feels and feelings in skintight genes

i love you through cooking
you hot plate
platelets from my heart
pouring leche y sangre y sangria
into artichoke y lung
inhaling cinnamon y chicken
exhaling parsnips y peace
breath in blizzard
smooth oak in toffee
coffee in roots
on branch sits a red feathered hawk
winks turns flies
away glides coasts
wesssyde to eastsyde
side to side, hip bone to beat
current climax to the
edge and end of my comfort
giving warmth to my feet
grounding on solid ground
volcano mouth grounding corn
& grinding ears tweeking my listening
of you

your hand in my hand eternally
exponentially
externally y lovely

this love song is for my Self which is mi amor, mi vida, mi milagro.
this goes out to all my Selves. i wouldn’t be my Self if you were not my Self. so thank you Self for always being there for my Self.

cheetos. gummi bears. slurpees. rooftops. birthdays.
rice  y beans dreams.

i must have my own library of my sacred texts. must read daily. search, ponder y pray.
sing y eat with my hands.

***Alright mi beautiful gente, that is enough freestyle for now. i can just write all day and all night long. however, right now i am getting sleepy and now i am getting in my head of judging my writing right now. i don’t like to judge my writing, especially when i am feeling free to free style and share with you just being free.
that said, i still have to write 160 words to make it to my 750 words for today. i am going to keep on writing until i meet those words. but i also want my words to be of substance too.  not substitute.

do you remember drinking shasta? do you remember all the various colors and flavors? so you remember drinking kiwi watermelon? did you ever make your own slurpees? i did. my older sister, ‘Amelia also known as ‘Amz and my older brother, David, couldn’t wait to pour shasta into plactic cups and put those bad boys into the freezer. we would check those guys every 10 mins. it would be done and ready to slurp when it was slushee  just like a slurpee. ohhhhhh, slurpees. i am known as Miss Slurpee to this day. so much sugar. i need and should make all natural slurpees cuz i aint tryna be diabetic, peeps. my Moms is a diabetic. my Pops is a diabetic. my aunties and tios diabetic.
please support me in my my sugar free-dom liberation.
good night. sugar free-dom for all!
paz.
thank you for stopping by and reading all the way through.
thank you for your listening.
salaam.

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nurturing masculinity

“Behind the story I tell is the one I don’t. Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear. Behind my carefully buttoned collar is my nakedness, the struggle to find clean clothes, food, meaning, and money. Behind sex is rage, behind anger is love, behind this moment is silence, years of silence.”
—Dorothy Allison

it’s not like i wanted to hate men. or even hate men now. or hate patriarchy. or hate sometimes the female body i am in. or hate women who serve men and patriarchy. or wish many times i was a boy. or wish many times i could just kick ass on the street. i don’t want these thoughts.
damn, i didn’t want to do all that. i don’t want to do all that now. i do, however, am aware of patriarchy and constantly and consistently stand up for myself in it’s midst. i do not want to be all that hate. be that hateful person. be that kind of hateful girl. that kind of hateful woman. be that kind of hateful human being.
No, i don’t want to be a boy or a man but damn, it takes so much unnecessary energy to be girl/woman many times on this planet. it takes so much energy, so many thoughts, anger, rage, healing, loving, processing, healing again, praying, meditating, affirmations to affirm myself as this woman human being.
i love being a girl in my world where it is safe to be one. i love being a woman in my world where it is safe to be one. and i want to be a woman who wants to be with a man in a world where it is safe to be with one. and be together. sometimes i don’t think that is possible. and this is coming from me, who always says, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g is possible.
i struggle being with a “man.” i struggle even being attracted to a “man.” i struggle being attracted to the masculine. many times i have wished i was a lesbian. or that i was a gay guy. sometimes, i think it would be so much easier to be with a woman. or just be a nun. or just be a man. is it? actually i think i should just get out of the conversation of easier vs. harder. i want to be alive.

yesterday, i was walking down the street in williamsburg, brooklyn and i see 2 young girls, looked like they were best friends, 14 or 15 years old, coming my way. they were happy. i smiled passing them. a few seconds later, i see the 2 older men walking in front of me, looked they were in their 40s, turn their heads and checked out the butts and backsides of theses young women’s  bodies. i was completely disgusted. this happens all the time and everywhere. i see this on the street all the time. i was and still am so disgusted.

i grew up with my father’s physical and emotional violence. first, i was afraid. then it would just continue and then continue. so then i got annoyed with him and his behavior and my mother’s behavior around it all of not speaking out against the violence.  i got annoyed with being afraid all the time. because i got annoyed, i then got fed up. then i wanted to get even. then i told myself i must exhibit “my power, my strength” just like my father and brother: be forceful, be loud, be right there, front and in center.
ahhhhh yawn.
i do not choose that. not now. not from me or anyone else. and not ever. not attractive and not attracting to me at all. …not ever. i know, i truly know, that violence just begets violence. hurt begets hurt. no more. it ends here. dayum, it must end here.

last week i was talking with my great friend/hermana, Margaret and she came up with these terms:
nurturing masculinity and empowering femininity.
once i heard them from her, i said, i’m sharing these terms with the world! please take them, world, take them and share them and make your own declarations.
i declared that night to the universe and with her, that i was attracting and bringing and being nurturing masculinity and empowering femininity into my space and my life. i want to create a safe space for men and women on this planet. i want to stop feeling unsafe on this planet.
i want to stop hearing “men will be men.” i hate that phrase and conversation.

I got to meet Tony Porter last year for a minute. I thank you Tony Porter for your life and your commitment. You create a safe space for all of us to live in. You create a safe space for me already. I feel much more alive on this planet. There is so much more work to do, so much more to write, so much more to say. Please hold me accountable to make this world a safe space for all of us too. We NEED and MUST do this together.
Please share this website and the video: A CALL TO MEN WEBSITE: http://www.acalltomen.org/

HERE WE GO, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, Moana. Never give up on that.

Thank you Marie Varghese for this video!!!

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say something (out loud!)

day 7
i thought i was stupid. i thought i was just dumb. i didn’t want to raise my hand or speak out loud. before i entered kindergarten, i already could read. my mother started teaching all of us how to read when we were 2 years old or maybe even younger. maybe when we were conceived? maybe in the womb? my Mum is a reader. she didn’t mean to teach us how to read. she just loved reading to all of us aloud. all the time. i loved watching her do this and wondered immediately as a child,  what was this thing she was doing? and what was this thing she held in her hands? i thought it was magic. what was she looking at that filled my imagination with great pleasure?
i started to read when i was 3 years old.  i too wanted to be able to tell the stories she was telling us. i wanted to tell stories. i loved listening to them. her favorites: William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and most importantly the Bronte Sisters. specifically Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” My mother’s favorite. My mother has read “Jane Eyre” to us more than 10 times, back to back throughout all of i and my siblings lives. i wonder if she still (re)reads it. I will ask her the next time i speak with her.
oh, how thrilled i was to start reading! everywhere i went, every word i saw, i would read it out loud. “BYU” “conoco” “7-Eleven” “Shasta” “the church of jesus christ of latter day saints” “the book of mormon”—i’m glad that i had parents that were not annoyed by me reading aloud every single word i saw. i must confess, to this day, i take pleasure in reading words out loud. many times, before i sit to write a poem or phrasem i hear the word or words said out loud.  i like to hear things said out loud. when they are said, i can trust that. when they are not, like kept inside, hidden, or silenced. that is when i am scared. they have to be said. that’s what makes them real for me.
when i was in kindergarten, i was asked to go into the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms to do some “peer tutoring.” when i was in the 3rd grade i could read at a 6th grade level. still i thought i was dumb. i still thought when people looked at me, in my world, they saw a stupid child.   i took this on to middle school, high school, college, nyu and yale, to grad school at columbia university. gained more knowledge. confidence was in progress.
i was asked many times all throughout growing up in utah if i spoke english. and many times, i would answer “no, i don’t.” if only they knew. if only they knew my parents spoke to us in english. their english. their proud british you will save us, the great britain, english. their, we live in america now, queen of england english tongan british. yes, my parents spoke to us in english tongan british. or is it british tongan english? english tongan british or you can say it another way, british tongan english is a language that is spoken in countries where the locals/natives are bilingual (like the country, excuse me, the kingdom of tonga). where at home, with friends, on the street, they speak the native language (like tongan) and where they are punished to speak that native language (like tongan) in school and they learn british (which is not only a language but a culture and a lifestlye). when they learn british, they learn english which is not their native language (like tongan), and then they take this british and english and they vow to teach their children this british and english. therefore it becomes british english or english british. while all the same time speaking, writing, and reading in tongan. the vow was to not teach their children this british english or english british in their native country (like tonga) but the vow was to teach their children this british english or english british in america. yes. not north america. not canada. not south or central america. but america. america, silly. there is only one, and  one and only america. that united states of america. and not hawa’ii or alaska. the mainland. the main land. thaaat united states of america.
i wanted to tell people that my parents speak british english tongan or english tongan british and that is what we speak at home. i wanted them to understand without my explanation. i so wanted them to say, “yes, i got that. i know exactly what you are talking about. my best friend in college spoke that. i learned a few words. i however, speak french arabic english british or arabic british english french.” and i would give back a smile of understanding, relatedness and most importantly, connectivity or also known as connection. i wouldn’t have to ask, “say something in that language, let me hear something” because they already were saying and speaking in that language and i completely got it.

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what i will write

day 6
“Write the story that you were always afraid to tell. I swear to you that there is magic in it, and if you show yourself naked for me, I’ll be naked for you. It will be our covenant.”–Dorothy Allison

what i will write:
i will write my family’s story. our migration from tonga to hawa’ii to utah. then at age 18, i left on my own to nyc with a $1.76 in my pocket. how my family moved to hawa’ii when i was 3 months old. how at age 2, i already got the story, someone told me that my brown skin and my culture was inferior to white and asian culture in hawa’ii. how my family landed in salt lake city airport during a blizzard. i remember looking down at my feet and i’m still wearing my yellow flip flops from hawa’ii with pink hibiscus flowers on them while walking in the snow. how we first lived in someone’s basement for a few weeks/months (?) before moving into Brigham Young University’s housing: a trailer park. growing up in provo, utah. growing up mormon. growing up hating myself, how i looked, how i felt, where i came from, my family’s ways, all the violence and dysfunction, wanting to be somewhere else, always dreaming of other places, things and people. always dreaming of nyc. dreaming of leaving. going somewhere else. my mother’s story: leaving tonga to go to new zealand at age 16 on a full scholarship: academic and athletic. the death of her father at age 16. the first time she had sex was in a back of a car and she thought nothing of it. the second and last person she has ever had sex with,  is with my father. how she has never liked sex. and still doesn’t it. how she has never had an orgasm or maybe does not even know what one is. how i have not not had an orgasm in the past 8 years. how i still do not own my own body and sexuality. how i still hold onto and carry all this shame. how i want to be the one to break and stop all the negative, shameful, violent, addicting, drama y trauma cycles in my family from our ancestors and how it is a struggle. how i am still holding onto my mormon upbringing, rules, regulations, judgements, illusions, truths  y fantasies. how i struggle to express my sexuality and its not clear to me today. how today my Mum is proud of her curly curly hair for the first time in her life. how back in the days she relaxed her hair everyday. how she was not proud of her curly curly hair. how i love my curly long hair. how sometimes my curly long hair gets in the way. how i want to be seen as a person, as a human being. how i want my family to be seen as people, as human beings. how many times i don’t see my family as people, as human beings. how much transformation is needed in my family. how i want to give up on my biological family. how i have given up on my biological family. how much hurt i still carry. how much hurt i have released. how much love i have for my family. how much love i have for the world. my father’s story: 73 years old today. how brilliant he is. how violent he was. how violent he may still be. how much honor and respect i have for him. how many times i despise him and want to punish him. how much i love him. how much i am like him. how much i see myself in him. how much i am working on myself to not be like him. how much i love and i am very proud of all the ways i am like him. how i have created a beautiful family and community and home in nueva york city. how much i have grown. how far i have come. how close i am to you. how much more hills, mountains there are to climb. how many more countries i want to travel to. how much i love people, culture, art, food, plants, animals, stars, elements, science and our world. how i am infuriated now because i am not in the place i want to be with my art, my creativity, my calling, my journey. how its hard for me to accept what is and how easily it is for me to accept what if. how i want to prove myself. how i want to express myself. how many different types of ways i want to eat chocolate. my happiness. my joy and my freedom. these are just a few things of what i will write.
thank you for your listening. and reading.
‘ofa atu.

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new day, new way

day 5: sunday november 27, 2011 (even though technically its now 11.28.2011)
1:24 am. just got home. whewwww. what a magical, beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, splendid, incredible day! (Margaret and I just came out of a taxi, coming home from Van’s birthday party at a heated rooftop bar downtown.)
i went to sleep this morning at 3 am: from 1 am to 3 am, i was having my first conversation on twitter with 3 other people from aoteatoa (new zealand), fiji and australia!!! we were all discussing the representation of oceania/pasefika women in music videos. awesome convo, just couldn’t go to sleep. i promised these folks i would compile a list of oceania/pasefika artists in the usa. i want to be able to just share with you many names. sorry, at this moment. i can not. the list will come. i must do my research.
i woke up at 9 am and guess where i went today? i went to church today to the new day church in the Bronx with my friend, Margaret. I got to see Kevin and Cynthia and their 3 month year old baby. Absolutely beautiful human being. There is so much to say about my experience at this church today and what the pastor shared with us today: love, community, acceptance, activism, FREEDOM.  Right now, i will not be able to articulate each and everything that i got today at this church because i am exhausted but i will share, that i am going back to this church as much as i can, whenever i am in NYC. i was born, raised, and baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints/otherwise known as the Mormon Church. growing up in provo and orem, utah, i went to church at least 3 times a week: sunday services, family activity night, and youth activity night. some weeks i would be at church more than 3 times a week. sometimes 4 or 5 times a week.
<whewwww, i am falling asleep right now as i type this. must stay up and write my 750 words for today. i didn’t write anything in my journal since i was out all day long.>
after church, Margaret and I went to the botanical gardens in the bronx. I love so many things about my friend, homegurl, Margaret. First of all, she is a total nerd just like me. She has a huge fascination and passion for plants, rocks, historical facts, biographies, how things are made–the whole world and h0w it came to be. we have the best nerdy conversations. today we talked about: my mormon upbringing. i got to share with her some mormon sunday school lessons of how the mormon church started with joseph smith in upstate ny and tell her about the book of mormon. wow, this knowledge was so ingrained in me, that i was spewing this out like i just learned this yesterday. Margaret is always attentive and has super amazing questions, always wanting to learn more. we also talked about a million and one other things: red feather tail hawks–which we saw one today at the botanical gardens! i shared with her the leaf collection my brother and i made. and how we always created dichotomy keys with it. i broke it down with her, how my brother and i got to identify each tree by their leaf/leaves.
(must stay up, must stay up to finish this post. i did promise, that even if i am tired, i will still write. i can do this. you got this, mo.)
Margaret has amazing life stories and experiences i never knew about her and i feel so honored to know her. she is 3 years younger than me and i feel at times, she is so much more older, mature,  and wiser. she has gone through grief, like i have never gone through before and she shared with me, one of the most beautiful poems/piece of writing i have heard in my whole entire life about grief. she was sharing what grief is.
today i really got to be present to and experience the great amount of love, abundance and fierceness i have in my life. my friends are freaking amazing people. i am so inspired by their strength, their creativity, their heart and soul.
its 2 am now, i need to get ready to sleep. i am almost at 750 words. yes, thank goodness. i feel my body falling over.
i send out shouts to the whole world today. huge embraces.
***I changed the names of all the people mentioned. i wanted to keep their identities private. I have not asked them yet, if I have their permission to be in my blog.

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a walk ~ caminando

dear world, mi universe:
today i woke up so happy! i woke up in nyc.
you know, i love this city like none other.
and today i took a (self) love walk in fort tryon park.
it was fun. breathtaking. simple. gentle.
life is beautiful.

i wanted to share my walk in pictures.
this is my first walk around fort tryon park. the first of many!
***i love taking pictures of leaves/trees/color/life. On this walk, I specifically challenged myself to look at my world in a different way/using my eyes in a different way/using my camera in a different way/walking a different way/looking at others in a different way/interacting with the world in a different way that i normally do/ practicing being open to endless and other possibilities.
Life has just begun.

for you, from me with love.

welcome to my NYC!
the last picture is called “gingko leaf corazón”

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