ellipses in the sky

how many of these photographs do i need to see and take before i say, “this is enough.” possibly a million of them? i never get sick of these. ever.

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take care

The mind has its own mind. It will keep going, thinking, planning, worrying, strategizing long after my head rests on the pillow. There’s this conflict at play. Breathing usually assists in balancing the whole being. Like opened windows in summer’s day as new air freshens long dormant corners and walls. The machine of my body works overtime. Arms will hold onto heavier things and the heart will beat faster than necessary. My legs will walk miles and miles before sitting on a comfortable seat. And my back will support me in any position I happen to land on.

But we all need rest. It can come in forms of love. To be held onto by warmth of another being and feel the embrace of someone else’s care can make a huge difference (a hug, a snuggle, a shoulder to lean on). Or it can come from a walk in nature. When the birds are flying above and engaging with life head on. The ducks will swim along and it will be calm because that’s their life. Love can come from our own pace. To take it easy and let ourselves just be. No need to be anywhere, no need to see anyone and no need to need. Love can come from anywhere, if we let it. A book, a film, a laugh, a cooked meal.

I hope you all are well and remember to take care.

2/1/18 thoughts

Stability treads on thin lines of balanced equations. They don’t align always and they are rarely ever perfect, but it is possible. There is stillness in the chaos of our paths. Even among the rush of the mornings and the late-night thoughts of future goals or fears we are given streams of minutes in which life isn’t among these intervals. They are special moments that kind of present themselves naturally like baby waves in the oceans or taking in a deep breath. They just happen. They appear when the sunlight enters our window as children walk to school and adults run to the bus. It’s the little rain drops that stick onto our car’s windshield and we see them ever so lightly fall when there’s enough to create little streams. It’s when we see steam come up from a nicely made pot of tea. I want to grasp onto these stable moments of life. Try to cherish these little bits of being still and being aware. Holding onto rapid movements is like riding a roller coaster ride, while carrying these calming moments are what keep me grounded near the foundation where it all began.

quiet snow days

Alone. Surrendering underneath the rising sun. Hot. The heat radiates onto the roofs of snowy abyss, melting down creating icicles on the edges of shingles. I stand before the open vast blanket of beautiful, untouched snow. After multiple repetitions of shoveling the millions of snowflakes from under, over and then walking piles across, I took a moment and stopped. I looked over ahead and there was a dry, wilted plant just standing above the surface. Most of its stem was buried and some of their old leaves drifted away as the wind passed through them. I heard nothing. The cold air brushed on my uncovered pink cheeks and this time I could hear a far away seagull at a distance. I could see the light glisten on top of the snow mountain piles; looked like glitter was sprinkled all around. Beneath window panes were drips of melting icicles as they descended into another part of their journey. For no reason at all, the calming (and cold) image stays with me. Despite the warmth from clean, dry socks and heat from a hard working heater—there is this moment that comes along with me. And takes my attention away for a little bit just to admire the purity and breathe of life in nature I so greatly value.

(2013)

Redwood National Parks | photo diary post | travel

Redwoods was comfortable, but at times it took my breath away because of the exhilarating beauty. 

I feel so connected to something so close to my source, my soul. Redwoods gave me peace and calm.

One hike here is not like another. It’s all a different experience.

Fern Canyon

 

Smith River

The Redwoods changed me. I felt so much peace and connection to the area and the trees. The air reminds me of being at mom and dad’s house and the sea breeze.

Banana slug

…I even love the banana slugs, even though in the past slugs have creeped me out so much.

I was skeptical of coming at all. I thought maybe it’d be too long to be in one place, but I adored it. No access to phone and internet made it easy to relax and chill.

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To read my poem, a redwood tree, click here.

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” – John Steinbeck

capturing light

Light through clouds
My dad took this photograph

Capturing is such a savage word.
Like taking a prisoner without freedom.
But capturing light is unlike its sound.
It’s more like setting oneself free.

I ended up printing this out for my dad and it came out gorgeously. I know I’m biased since he’s my dad, but wow, it’s one of the prettiest things I’ve seen that I haven’t seen in person. I wish I could get a shot like this, but I don’t think I ever have. Thanks dad <3

dearest moon

Many a nights you were the only one awake,
While sleeping eyes wander in dreamy lands,
You arrived on time as the sun takes its break.

Long night drives can be so deceiving,
Sometimes calmness prevails, but other times…
It means getting lost without any meaning.

But regardless of whichever it is,
Your presence means everything,
Like a lingering memory of a dearest.

papawei scenic lookout | maui, hawaii | travel

A short narration based on a piece I wrote called, our dreams, conveyed through these photographs.

The words above were: We flew in from a place that had everything we ever needed. A home to protect us from danger, food that would feed our empty stomachs and love that would warm our hearts until the end of our times. yet, we always want more. We always want to live out our dreams as we imagine, explore lands we have never seen and confirm to us that life is more than just what we see. Life is more than just the actors in our lives and the adventures they live. We are the stars of our lives. Every action has a reaction. So, here I am, flying in the sky to reach my dreams. To make a world as beautiful as I know it can be.

living peacefully

I wanted to make a digital scrapbook-type image.

draft one

draft two

The above reads: We drove by these creatures of the earth. We saw green grass and blue skies. The trees and grass were of abundance. No longer did our car feel like we were in a sea of others. We were the minority. We were the ones visiting. Maybe we always were. I saw these horses peacefully eating. I wish there was no barricade between us. To live in peace. To live as naturally as we were born to be. What is that life like?

time and time again

Time is a great cause for reflection. Sitting on the trains, waiting for the green light or anticipating for better days. Time has this natural ability to just be. I look up above me and the leaves of the high trees just stay still…until the wind pushes against them and they sway. That’s all and then they come back. Nothing too big and not a huge change in their lives. I’m starting to realize this way of living and comparing it to my own. I don’t do that. Is it because I’m human? Or is it because I just choose to let things get to me? Time to reflect on the latter. Life is taken too seriously sometimes. I take things too seriously sometimes. Sometimes a good laugh is just as appropriate as a long deep sigh.  Sometimes thinking of the positive isn’t a delusion, but a possibility. Time is a great healer. A wise master who is full of silence, but full of action as well. Taking my time and time again.

originally published on July 18, 2011

Washington State stories and recommendations | travel

It’s getting colder nowadays. The sun sets earlier and the morning darkness creates the perfectly imperfect atmosphere to stay in bed. But we can’t and life goes on to another day of being (or an attempt at being) a productive human being. That was a lot of “beings.” But I long for summer, as I knew I would when I thought this months ago when I was taking the warmer weather for granted. So here, I look back on the places I’ve seen this summer at Washington State. A lot of things stand out to me: the way Seattle streets have slopes that are so deep you find yourself walking up city mountains, the natural beauty and awe of Mount Rainier, how architecturally focused the city buildings and street layouts are and experiencing some crazy driving on the highway. Make sure to hover over the photographs if you want to see some caption notes.

Highlights:

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park
Waterfalls at Mount Rainier

When are we ever going to see another purple mountain?” he asked as we looked at the view. Mount Rainier reminds me of the person who always looks great in any situation. You look up and there this strong energy of beauty.

Advice: Go early. Finding parking and sitting in traffic coming in can be annoying, so be prepared! Also, the two-storey visitor center was full of small informational exhibits and comfortable seating to rest. They also have a mini food court and gift shop on-site.

The Wing Luke Museum of Asian Pacific American Experience

This was easily one of our favorite places in the whole trip. To visit Uncle Jimmy’s (James Malcolm Mar) store and hear/read the stories of the pan-Asian Pacific American immigrants and refugees was a very surreal experience for me. I felt like I could stay for hours. I wanted to absorb their words. I wanted to value their experiences. The architecture of the building itself and well-detailed exhibits are worth taking the time and walking through each area. There is so much history I learned from this trip that I never learned from school.

Advice: Take one of their tours. The gallery attendants know their stuff and they are very nice. There is also a gift store if you wanted something to remember the trip by. Also, ask the attendants some food recommendations in Chinatown area as we did and we found a gem because of it!

Touristy Must-Sees

Space Needle

As having been to an observatory before, I wasn’t so ecstatic to visit the Space Needle. It just seemed like something touristy to do and a local store owner had told me it wasn’t worth the money. We arrived early and there weren’t that many people there yet. Seeing the view and taking in the fresh air made it was worth it for me (as a tourist). I ended up being the one who didn’t want to leave and to stay as long as I could. Standing on the platform, being 520 feet from the ground, seeing all the landmarks like Mount Rainier, the art sculptures of Olympic Sculpture Park and seeing how much life there is all at the same time is kind of calming, yet exciting. Maybe I was feeling a little sentimental because it was our last day.

Advice: There are multiple electronic ticket booths outside and depending on the time of day, the prices will change. We went in the morning, so I think it was cheaper because of that. Also, if you’re driving there, there are some parking areas down the street. I’d do some research because we later learned some areas were cheaper than others.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

With loads of stores to visit, food to eat, the very first Starbucks–it’s a pretty popular place. Truthfully, we didn’t care about the Starbucks thing, but we did see a long line, so a lot of other people did. I appreciate and love the variety of stores, craft vendors and farmer’s market goodies. For those heading over there, I dare you to find the Bob Ross and Daryl Dixon (cardboard cut outs).

International Fountain

International Fountain

Music blaring, children laughing and running around and everyone else relaxing and sitting nearby. It’s easy to “waste” time here since the fountain show is so fun to watch. If it was a hotter day, you bet I’d run around there looking silly.

Seattle Monorail

Seattle Monorail

It’s a quick and cheap ride to see the city in a whole new perspective. It reminds me of the monorail ride at Seuss Landing at Universal Studios. There was a family of adult tourists that came on and they were funny. They apparently didn’t know what ride this was, thought it had multiple stops and couldn’t originate which one of them suggested to go.

Chinatown

After our visit to the Wing Luke Museum, we decided to explore Chinatown a bit. We ate some delicious Taiwanese food, played some chess with life-size pieces and walked all around. The sloped streets under the hot sun definitely made it a workout!

Nature’s gems

Hover over the photograph to see the  name of the place.

Narada Falls

 

 

Snoqualmie Falls Park
Reflection Lakes

Special Mention

Seattle Japanese Garden

Seattle Japanese Garden

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Ahhhh I love this place so much. We ended up purchasing some koi food at the entrance booth and it ended up being a lot of fun. The stillness and calmness of the environment allowed us to take our time. Quiet like a library, this experience called for some sit down and walk through time to admire the details and architecture of the environment. Whenever I tried to feed the koi, a quick duck would turn up and steal their food. It kinda turned into a game of throwing the food at the right time.

If you want to see more Washington State-ish posts, I linked some below :) I’m also going to publish a post about food for this trip in the future. For all those foodies out there, beware, there are some pretty good drool-worthy photographs on the way.

Another photo of Mount Rainier in the things I’ll never see.
An artsy photograph from in the space needle.
Narada Falls inspired a poem I wrote called waterfalls. I also posted more photographs of Narada Falls in the post, too.

stillness in change

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As ever beautiful nature is,
Life’s challenges comes as easy.
In the midst of chaos,
There are also roses of care
Grown, delivered and received.
Streams of light still shines
Even in the last moments of sunsets.
Streams of water cool and calm in the night.
For a mere few hours, a new day begins.
A new path to create if we choose to.
Or an old path to follow if we do not.