540. Cider

A kindness fruit I could scarce eat
and frolic healthy for a month,
granting smiles at the thought
those words are genuine —

Yet wine I sometimes waste those fruits
trampling sweetness for self-pity,
and words which nourish souls for days
can’t satiate a wrath so petty.

Notes:
Some days are just a struggle against your own worst self I guess. Winning that battle alone is an achievement in its own right.
T: 30

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539. Winter Train Tracks

Survives the green of pines
amidst the endless grays
of brutal winds and clouded hope,
so ever stoic, unafraid —

But bloom do cherry blossoms
when light and life resumes,
a beauty in their brevity,
heedless that tomorrow looms.

Notes:
Does it make sense to ask which lives a preferable life?
T: 15.

2019/03/26

Finding time and motivation to reflect remains a struggle for 2019, at least for the written portion. My writing production in general has been abysmal, and while work does its damage in eliminating many minutes of the hour and the days, that excuse is still nevertheless an excuse if I’m sufficiently motivated. Perhaps I can like this train ride find the morning hours friendly towards writing to completion.

Sleep as always remain an issue of contention, an irony that I wrestle with as I actually make more time for bed these days than the past year. It seems mere hours alone in bed has not sufficed, as sleep does not arrive when the mind has not learned calmness. I can’t hide my disappointment in spending 8 hours resting in bed last night (mostly to make up for only 5 the night before) and yet not sleeping for maybe more than 5 of it drifting in and out of consciousness. Perhaps the fairest assessment was my reprimand at work, which for future re-readings of this note should allow that moment no serious recollection. At any rate, a mostly minor incident as such would have meant little, but the problem with poor sleep is that I can’t shake off the dying leaves nearly so easily.

Just remember: you can’t change other people’s actions, only your own. The moment came and then it passed – if you allow the moment to remain, you do so holding onto poison and not expecting the poison to harm your bond and peace of mind. You shouldn’t dwell beyond the lessons of the moment learned – you shouldn’t write for all posterity what you resent momentarily.

So instead, you should focus on what counts for blessings, of which there are always many even when the night is dark. That quivering fear, that shiver of a subtle breeze in darkness never goes away, but if you can pay attention, those sensations are no more our enemy than our friend. Sensations we experience: sensations we are not. Reactions we experience: reactions we are not. To find peace is to become aware of moments, to understand that moments do not last, and allow the moments leave in peace for both those moments and for you.

So blessings in experience and adventures then: my career prospect, despite some kerfuffle, appears to be tracking in the right direction. We will hopefully find out in the coming days if some of my good fortune converts. In my social life, I have been keeping strong on my goal of being less insular. Joining a social flag football group allowed me exercise as well as some physical thrill and antics. At my best, that positive energy on the field reflects quite well as to who my best could be. And then there of course is the ever-increasing awareness of my body steadily aging – pain and soreness seems stick around for several moments these days. They are fast becoming good acquaintances. But they too shall pass (I hope), a reminder to give care and take care. We are not only our bodies, but we are also our bodies. To show compassion to our bodies is to show compassion to our world – hardly a bad thing.

The train has nearly now arrived for another day of work – a cold one, despite the blueness of an open sky and steady sun over us. It’s a moment worth absorbing.

12/31/2018

Well now, here we are, on the eve of 2019 – a rather unspectacular year 2018 was, though the highlights near the end certainly looked somewhat promising. I’ve been going steady on a job I enjoy with coworkers I am rather fond of. I’ve been reconnecting with people that I haven’t seen in a while, in some cases, years. I’m making efforts to attend events and be a social person, even if the easier route is to live within my own head in my apartment, diving deep into one strategic game or another that ultimately amounts to naught. In all, not a completely wasted year, but it’s got a fair share of disappointment too.

Love and all things romance has its high points, but 2019 could use a bigger step up. Work abruptly ending between Feb-Sep really hurt my ability to amass any savings to pursue any of my ambitions. Even now, the current job pays a rather paltry sum – it is somewhat frustrating, to be frank, that others I know who are roughly in my educational circle, are making 3-4 times my rate, for work I too would be more than capable of. I am of course happy for their own successes, just rather restless about my lack thereof. We all have breaking points, and while it’s nice to know mine comes with quite a bit of resilience, I’d rather just not test it all that often.

Another area that has totally fallen off my radar is my own physical health: a good sense of habit built in the first 7 months has disappeared, and the physique pays its toll in increased weight and general lack of stamina. I’m not totally at a loss, but it’s definitely not anywhere close any of my projected targets. But on that note, perhaps I should identify the areas to focus on for 2019:

1) Graduate is a must, given the urgency of the program having ended.
2) Physical workouts to be reintroduced into the schedule. Saturday mornings seem like the best candidate. Aim for Weds night as the acceptable losses.
3) Keep at least one in-person social ‘obligation’ per week. While some events coming up will work itself out for this, I should also seek to be proactive like I was this past year.
4) Grab the reins and be bolder with my initiatives. While a great deal many failed to live up to my imagination/expectations, some of them worked out great. I just have to accept that failure (or less harshly, lack of acceptable success) is part of the process and if you don’t throw coals into the fire at all, then you get nothing more than imaginary points.
5) Find the words to write. As usual, the writing frequency tapers off, and while the year lacked highlights worth notarizing, a simple aphorism or reflection can never hurt.

Just those focuses should be more than enough to get myself to 2020. One last piece of advice to myself when reading this again at some point (if ever): you can’t change others for themselves, only you for your own self. Build your base, be confident in what you have to present as worthwhile. And since you struggle with this point, remember specifically: focus on honoring actual obligations, and not imagined ones. Rest as often as you need the strength to meet your challenges.

And perhaps, if you can, try to stick to 2 hours at most a day of entertainment. The games are so fun, yes, their strategic components scratches at a compulsive itch within your addicted mind. But oh, there’s 5 goals you have to focus on, important ones at that, and time spent in these virtual realms can never help you reach that. A great escape that you certainly can’t deny, but deny it you must. Your restless mind, properly channeled, can tackle much better objectives with actualized consequences.

09/02/2018

Interesting week or two of non-routine eventfulness. Guess I needed that more than I knew. A certain staleness of creeping existential malaise has overtaken my thoughts of late, chipping away at my positive disposition when I linger ever slightly too long upon some crevice or another of the internal abyss. I suppose one would call this dread, as it were. A dread of failing to meet up to my expectations of where I could be and what I’m supposed to be doing. A lack of progress, despite the pace of action. A flurry of movement, but no discernible ending…

But it’s a new month again, and while I’m one step closer to that point of inevitable gloom, I must once again find hope and push on for something better. It’s the only way; to keep up, we have to keep moving. To surpass, we can’t stand still. A thought can leap across the chasm of time; the body takes the scenic route. Let’s touch things up a bit. If I don’t like what I see around me, I have within my being some ability to change that.

08/14/2018

Mysteries will not cease their hold upon my ever imaginative what-ifs. Always the what-ifs – what about what is? So pre-occupied do thoughts of sleepless nights venture to some other fantastical world, thus leaving this one further unattended to. Trouble here brew aplenty – perhaps a troubled mind flees from its stressors by engaging in these flights of fancy.

Let’s be honest with myself then: I lack resolve. Persistence. Drive. Things I need to dig myself from ruts I keep landing in. Some troubles are world-inflicted, sure. But some troubles (and means of resolving trouble in general) are largely self-inflicted. If I have to circle one thing upon my list of things I must improve upon, it has to be that. I have my blessings to appreciate. I have to now work on this last critical element. If only discipline would build as easily as I can self-motivate via words. But then again, I do tend to be disdainful of actionless drivel. Come on self, you can do better. Be the person you wish to see more of in the world.

Effort and efficiency must match. One without the other is just like a house with only pillars. Build it: you have the ability. That much has never been in doubt by anyone, least of all you. Sow the future – you can reap its rewards when the time comes.

07/19/2018

Another chapter of the life book closes, as the roommate moved today. Two weeks remain of these cats before they too join him on his next adventures. I guess I should be better with change and loss, but alas the solemness it brings never quite loses potency.

Yet, I prance on with a largely slow-paced life, seemingly unaware of imminent looming deadlines forcing change upon me. Something has to give, or rather someone like me who must muster ever more effort at a more consistent pace. He got his break now – I need to go catch mine. We may not the purest masters of our fates, but we’re not mere observers either.

07/03/2018

28 days…nothing beats the earnestness of an inevitable ending. I wish it were otherwise, but then again, it’s in large parts my fault that it’s not otherwise, no?

We knew these dates will come eventually, and now they’re near. Ironic how little we appreciate time until there’s only so little left. I’ve screwed up so much for not moving faster 2, hell 3, years ago. The chickens are coming home to roost, as the saying goes. And while the best time to plant that tree was 3 years ago, and the second best is now, so the other saying sorta goes.

I could wish otherwise, but I am currently not otherwise. How many times must I relearn that lesson? 2018 is making itself into a conclusion type of year. I have 27 days and less than 3 hours left to follow suit.

Today was a good start. But as we all know, consistency is key. Tomorrow may be J4, but that’s only a light excuse for easing up the throttle. I know where I need to go, so let’s take those steps and get there.

05/31/2018

One last day of May. What if it was my one last day at all? Would I spend it differently than what I have planned? Where is the earnestness which I started my 20s with? Where goes all my ambition and yet unrealized dreams? All so I can stagnate here and feel so restless all the same…

One last day of May then. I’m not getting any younger after all.

05/20/2018

Answers are intriguing. Nay, answers are addicting. So then, does looking for that next hit makes me a junkie? I suppose it does, in a way.

Life appears to be moving so slow these days, and yet, I feel so rushed. I feel the need to slow down, to clutch to my books and retreat to solitude. Why the scrambled thoughts? Why the lack of focus, or rather, the lack to desire to focus on the necessary tasks? Distractions certainly aren’t hard to come by. I’m the guy who plays the games for side quests and ignores the main storyline. Unfortunately, in the game of life, that’s a foolish thing to do!

Only so many days of promising myself tomorrow is the day to fix the problem before tomorrow’s too late…