gardening

Tis the season to get out there and enjoy the weather. Rain or shine, I’ve been out there building a whole new landscape, literally. Child me would be super surprised that this is how I’d like to spend as part of my summer–watering flowers, getting the soil ready and planting seeds. I’d never thought I’d follow my mom’s footsteps in creating a garden. Or wanting one or putting in the work. But lately, it’s become another beautiful thing I’ve been doing in my life that adds so much joy, peace and happiness in my atmosphere.

I saw a red cardinal yesterday near one of the new flowers I planted and it was such a little piece of happiness in my day. I’m looking up DIY garden beds and coming up with ideas on building some in my yard. My dream is to grow some veggies and fruits I can use for my cooking.

There’s just something about the sunshine that keeps me wanting to go outside all the time and soak up as much as I can handle. Use what I’ve gathered and bring it back out into something wonderful and productive.

Mom's flowers
we need more color in our world

These flowers aren’t mine, but these are what I’d love to see more of in the coming months. These are ones my mom had years back.

nature

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It survived another month
The fragility of petals
Grasping a millimeter of stem
Rooted for some kind of stability.

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Winds tampered its solid grace.
The calm nights hushed sounds
Of crying rain and cats meows
Wanting to be heard, to express.

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The light grew outwards
Unable to contain its bravery
The audacity of survival
The power of life’s everything.

first comment on youtube

I just got my first ever YouTube comment on a video I made about the calm life in Oahu, Hawaii. What a great surprise on Earth Day! I am so happy about it because it’s a video I made out of complete joy and inspiration for a trip I care so deeply about with full of nature, peace and beauty. The way life is there is so different from the way my life is here. I don’t get to wake up to a serene beach and full sunshine every day. I don’t see peacocks just walking around exploring freely. There isn’t much wildlife where I am at all, really.

And to see a comment means so much because it’s like a sign that this film matters more than just me; even if it’s just one person. So thank you, whoever you are, for making my day. I think this German YouTuber has a channel for decor diys. Check her out, if you’re interested—Deko Ideen mit Flora-Shop

i am with you

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For several days I’ve thought of how to express this sentiment to you. I could only come up with this…

I am with you. I feel the same way sometimes. I am positive we all do. It’s hard to truly feel secure with where we are in life. The world changes all the time; moment to moment. There are times when the darkness can consume us and seep into every thought and action we make. But time does heal and being focused on what matters help a lot. What are your values? What are your dreams? What kind of world do you want to live in? Think about these things and what you want to do about them.

love, up-close

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As I walked by the little pond, I saw lily pads in a group at the center. The whole environment was calming with a couple of ducks and people from afar. I zoomed in with my camera and saw water lilies scatter among the green leaves. They were small and hard to see. This image reminds me of how easy it is to forget the things in life that make us happy. But if we put effort to dig a little deeper, get a little closer, there are little pearls of beauty we can appreciate.

admiration for El Capitan, Alex Honnold and Free Solo

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The above photograph is of El Capitan or “El Cap” as I’ve heard it endearingly called. Seeing this in person is phenomenal. I could stare at it for hours.

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Here it is again on the left at a different angle.

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And here, again.

Now imagine someone climbing this. Imagine a lot of people. I became fascinated with El Capitan so much that after one of my long days of travel, I just felt like watching videos about it. I am very fond of documentaries and short films about nature, so I was interested to see what I could learn. I came upon a random video about a rock climber named Alex Honnold.

Climbing El Capitan
There is a climber wearing blue at the top, but if you look further down, I think there are two other climbers below, too.

No, I don’t think any of them are Alex, but they could have been. I’d never know. This was taken on one of my last days at Yosemite. We drove past El Cap (which you can never not stare when you drive by El Cap) and I told my love, “Hey, I’m just curious, what if someone’s climbing RIGHT NOW.” So we got out of our car, I looked up and saw no one.

I decided to test my camera’s zoom capabilities. I zoooooomed as much as I could and this was what I captured. It is so surreal. Honestly, one of the coolest things I’ve seen in person. I had this “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” moment.

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I Googled Alex’s name to see if he had a documentary of his own to watch. Different movie times popped up for the film Free Solo as the first thing. I thought it was weird that a movie was out now involving Yosemite while we were in Yosemite. Watched trailer. Got interested. Checked movie times at my hometown. Nada. The movie would be gone by the time I arrived back home. We decided to go to Smith Rafael Film Center since it was the nearest. I loved the film. So much.

So now, this documentary recently won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. To me, it was just this cool film I saw about the place I was currently traveling in and now it’s this huge thing. Feels odd to see something normal at first explode into something famous like that. It’s amusing to search on YouTube today compared to when I did when I first saw the film. There weren’t nearly as many videos out then as there are now about free solo climbing, Alex Honnold or the film Free Solo.

It makes me so happy to see that mainstream media is more open to the real adventures in the outdoors and highlighting one of nature’s treasures in the process.

two too many

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These photographs were taken during one of the best years of my life. I went on so many adventures and learned more of who I was. I felt free. And yet, it wasn’t forever. The photographs stay there and the memories come along, but the reality is still different. It’s different because time has passed. Maybe those horses aren’t there anymore. Maybe they’re somewhere warmer. I will never know.

In a moment, the memories of who I love come flooding and my heart becomes completely arrested by the thoughts and feelings of what they meant to me; what they mean to me always. It passes. These moments come and go. Sometimes they stay a little longer because I have more time to think about them, but mostly, they kind of wander in and then quickly walk out. But it hurts every single time.

Coming across these memories of adventure makes me yearn for a time like that again. It won’t be the same, but it’ll be another section of my life I can be proud of. And although I said these photographs represented a good year for me, it still had a lot of ups and downs like any other. There’s no need to exaggerate or forget the bad either.

The reality is that a true photograph of a moment isn’t going to be perfect. To me, a good photograph is one that tells me something about true life. It isn’t going to be right or wrong. It isn’t going to be staged or predictable.

It’s just a moment in time. The day this was taken, we drove on a very long road and there was green grass all around us. This place was new to us. It was clear and we saw these beautiful creatures just doing their thing. I wanted so badly to gather that essence; that attitude. I got out of the car and just took out my camera. One snap, two snap. That’s all. And even that may be two too many.

reaching a milestone

I’ve written on this blog for several years. Truly, this platform has been one of the greatest things in my life. I reached a big milestone yesterday and I am so proud of getting here. It is not what the achievement is necessarily, it’s more about what it means to me. It signifies a passing of time in many moments in my life. Moments that I can’t fully remember or have documented anywhere else other than here. I put a lot of time, creativity, and love into the posts you see. Just like the greatest heights of a redwood tree and the depth and resiliency it carries, I see this blog as such. Ever since the beginning, it has been an aid to me in expressing myself when I felt like I couldn’t in other ways.

It started as a travel blog. One that I created to stay in touch with loved ones back home. After just a few, I stopped posting. I had ideas of posts in the back of my mind, but I was barely on the internet let alone blog about my life.  Since then, this blog has gone through many identities. It was a poetry blog for a long time and a place to put my photographs. I started posting more about travel, diy projects, sustainability and food. Then I had this idea to interview really cool people as a project and it was all so fulfilling to me. I decided to call this the portfolio – in progress because it seemed fitting.

It was here where I learned I wanted to be writer, a poet, an artist and an activist. I created some stupid posts and raw ones. I wrote about the happiest and worst times of my life. I experimented and posted about new art forms I got into, showcased my off-center photography and displayed my disjointed paragraphs of writing; all here as a representation of a forever evolving piece of myself as I evolve in real time.

It was here where I met some really talented and good people. I am sad to say that one of my favorite blogger friends recently passed away and it broke my heart. She often visited this blog to support me through her comments and likes. There were many times in which she did not relate with what I posted (like the places I have traveled to or the Asian cuisines I cooked) and yet, we bonded over those differences, too. Maybe she valued seeing photographs of places she probably would never visit or learn about cooking with ingredients she never used. I realized through reading her blog that you can learn and do anything at any age. You can connect with someone despite the many differences you have if you and that someone are willing to learn from one another.

I’m not sure where this blog will go in the coming years. I am, however, grateful to have you readers visit and read each time I post. It’s an honor to feel like this matters more than just to me. I am happy to know that some of the posts here inspires you or makes you smile.

butterfly petals

butterfly petals

I don’t think butterfly petals is their official name. I don’t know the name of this flower at all. It was so eye-catching though. They were so perfect, they looked like they were made by hand; a controlled and intentional creation. But rather, they stemmed from nature. Grown from a blueprint unseen and unpredictable. I would always want these butterflies free. Never bound and always floating, as they should be.

fly away
as far as you can
or stay
on a single petal
for as long as you want
be free
feel free
bloom nature’s origami
butterfly statues
velvet to touch
fragile as silk
resiliently invincible

clarity

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we sat on the rocks. early morning trying to catch the sunrise. we drove in it as we drove by it getting here. we weren’t disappointed though because we’ve seen so many. it never gets old chasing the sun. it’s too beautiful and you just feel like the whole world is greater than whatever worry’s occupying your mind. we talked about our fears at the moment. wondering if we’d ever catch our dreams and if time could heal whatever it is making the whole world so broken lately.

i saw the ripples move in and away. the wind was pretty steady. so grateful i brought an extra layer of clothing. it let me sit a little while longer. there were two major rippling patterns. one went to the right and there was a mini one hitting it at an angle. it made me think that no matter how solid your path is or the wave you’re riding, there can be a little one just angling you away. some waves made it through okay, but some got completely off course and disappeared.

it’s okay though because they ended up being on another track. just like we do. we get on a wave and then get knocked out sometimes. we get up and get on another. then we ride along until we get to where we need to go. maybe we’ll meet our fears along the way. maybe we’ll make friends with it. and maybe it’ll all be one someday and everything makes sense.

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