a near-perfect hiking day

a near-perfect hiking day

It was really fulfilling to be out hiking in the sun. The wind was a nice breeze and there were a few surprises we didn’t anticipate for. For one, we saw several turtles just soaking up the warm air. There were also a couple of horses nearby and the tree flowers are blooming a bit. We even encountered a whole new route we didn’t even know existed. The hiking experience will certainly change when more foliage cover up more of the paths, but for now, I am grateful and comfortable. It makes me consider more of myself as a Spring person.

There were a few changes from my take a walk with me post of my visit last year. The water has actually come back and more than I’ve ever seen it! We also saw lots of poor fish floating above water. I researched a bit about it and it seems their deaths are due to the temperature changes from the recent weather patterns. It makes me so sad to have seen this. It also made me really cherish all the little creatures I saw, including a stoic frog, a few quiet ducks, chatty geese, running squirrels and cute tiny birds. The day was certainly energetic and lively. Everyone we passed seemed truly happy to just be in nature.

Here are some photographs from the day:

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green tip #13 |celebrate mother earth

green tip #13 |celebrate mother earth

I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy. – Marie Curie

Earth should be celebrated everyday and Earth Day is a nice reminder to treat our world with respect, kindness, understanding and a bazillion hugs and smiles. I want to admire it longingly, gazing up in the sky when the sun sets and the skies are filled with indescribable colors of love. I wish I had more to give as it has given a lot to me.

And I can give more, all the time. Giving back and continuing the cycle of life is how we can all function together when our resources and ourselves can unify. To continue changing and evolving for the better takes time. It takes a lot of effort and cannot be done in one day. Just try one thing. I remember when I was first inspired to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I was overwhelmed. There seemed to be so much I should have been doing and it felt really difficult. But I decided to try one thing. Then I tried another thing. And I’m still trying new things and methods to lessen my carbon footprint, to lessen my dependence on plastic and to be realistic about stuff; past the superficial happiness that quickly fade. Consuming things just isn’t the same anymore—buying, eating and etc. I’m not perfect at all. I am just beginning. Each day is a learning day. I think essentially, it’s just taking an extra step and thinking, “how will I recycle (dispose, reuse, compost) this when my use of it is over?” Here are some ideas for you to try your one thing: Earth Day Website and tinycaravan’s list of ideas.

Here are some more:

  • Plant some flowers or trees. Sunflowers are bee-friendly and we need more of these little friends!
  • Go for a hike somewhere and appreciate all the beauty you see.
  • Do something that requires no electricity, no carbon, no plastic or all three!
  • Show love by creating art of nature–paint, draw, write poetry, etc.

One of the many positives of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is that the experiences are more worthwhile. The happiness is deeper because they aren’t motivated or supported by money, by recognition or society’s standards. They’re meaningful in ways that touch my soul like walking in nature. To really challenge myself in looking at what I use and own in a completely different way. To appreciate the little things. To have more memories.

Here are some of mine:

happy earth day.

unlikely friends // a stop motion film

unlikely friends // a stop motion film

This film is composed of 33 individual photographs to create the stop motion effect. There are 2 additional ones at the end. This was a first attempt at stop motion film.

I’ve always wanted to try. I gathered these photographs earlier this week and finally had time and motivation to put it together last night. I would like to make more of these films, but I know it involves a lot of patience, balance and time.

It’s really short, too. I learned that it takes a lot of very small movements of photographs to create a smoother film. I hope you enjoy.

our time & our love

our time & our love

To pursue something more than what limits you. To go beyond the normal tendencies of our emotions. We feel this echo of ourselves that we’ve grown from into another person, renewed or broken down. Our beings are constantly changing. All the time. I walked into this beloved bookstore I used to go to. I love the ins and outs of each aisle; passing by gems of information. A new recipe here and a photograph there. I picked up a children’s book I never read before. The lines of the illustrations; the amusing story and the takeaway at the end. Life is not simple. We don’t live in dreams or fantasies. But that doesn’t mean there is no fun. There is and can be and ought to be. That’s what little happy surprises do to us. Like seeing the sunsets we weren’t planning on seeing. Hearing a child laugh or feeling a warm breeze in the summer night.

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One book I encountered was about a Taiwanese artist named Tehching Hsieh. He had devoted several years to art performance and if you research more, there’s this intriguing fluid message about time that will wash upon you. At least for me. What is our time? What do you think of time and how do you use it? The art of being human coalesce into the continuing calculation of time is what Hsieh subjects himself into.

To me, in my philosophy of my whole life’s work I would say that life is a life sentence. Life is passing time. Life is free thinking.

– Tehching Hsieh

So when one does their day to day routine, I wonder what it is they are trying to achieve? Is there anything to achieve? An ongoing message is that our time is our decision. In terms of a metaphorical way of speaking and our actions, we commit because we want to. We are in motion as by what our name is, by what our jobs are, by what we stand for in terms of someone else; our familes, our friends, ourselves.

This is just to give you something to think about as it has me. Black and white only exist in films and even then there are sometimes mysterious fades and lines of color. They sneak in only after we see the film develop and there is no way in erasing. Or to go back to what it used to be. I am not telling you how to live as you do not others. Even when there is a speech of command, there is no guarantee of rules. No guarantee of what bounds us if we don’t bound ourselves.

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And then I see this quote from the actor Chris Evans about love and ex-lovers. “If you’re ever fortunate enough to love someone and have them love you back, it’s worth protecting that. It’s rare that someone can truly know you.” Truly knowing is rare. To be intimate with someone. To share secrets no one else knows or to have memories no one else have. It’s special. Sometimes it’s so heartbreaking and sometimes it’s so heartwarming. It’s funny and whimsical and silly to think of what we used to be as kids and what we used to think were true. We have to value these things. Value the time that was used to make these kinds of memories. Value the love you had because it was a true one.

I suppose this entry submits a little part of what I think. A mixture of ideas and reflections that aren’t easy to say in one breathe. They aren’t as straightforward or clean, but they mean something to me. They mean a lot.

trust

trust

I’ve been having some issues with WP and seeing my reader or doing anything for that matter. I hope the little kinks work themselves out. I somehow navigated around the whole thing, although, still unable to read other blogs. Felt inspired to write for a couple of days, but then when I log in here, I have issues. So I refuse to leave without posting something.

belief in anything involves trust. it involves vulnerability. belief has a mixture of fact, a mixture of hope and a mixture of spirit. sometimes trust comes so easily because of something silly like appearance or superficial values. it’ll be given when there’s enough time for bonding and involvement and love shared among individuals. trust is natural. trust is a kind of truth we rely on, so we know we’re not alone. it allows us to have faith in something other than ourselves or more than ourselves. but we never know for certain if we’re right. but that’s okay. because it’s happening all the time. the time is now. the location is here. trust, along with many other entities, is what makes us human. can you see it? no, not really. can you draw it? no, not really, maybe a symbol of it. but you can feel it. below are a few photographs i’ve gathered that will probably make you stop and look at it. think about it. making you have thoughts and reflections that you can’t see, but you can feel. can you trust how you feel?

trust (a poem I originally published in 2013)

at the end of our days
and we all will have
there will be many moments of clarity.

what will you trust then?
if only you have this time to live?

the things you misunderstood
will be nothing.
the memories you make
will be something.
the name you have
will be the only thing

there is much distrust in our world today
which breeds such
unpleasant and unproductive qualities of man.

trust that there are those
who will love you forever
for nothing more than love itself.

trust that there are strangers
who will do more than
those who know you sometimes

trust that there will be
a light in you to guide you
to wherever you need to go

the worst mistrust of all
is the one with yourself.
so trust

trust will open
anything you want

trust creates strength and stability
in anything you want to create.

these are some of the things i’m learning
there are some of the things i’d like you to learn
I trust you understand my messages.

honestly honest

honestly honest

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Like a gentle mother, you hold their hands.
The baby insecurities you used to store away.
Wandering in dark corners of sequestered forests.
But honestly, honest, who isn’t broken?
We were once young, under the sun,
Cradled from the innocence of our time.
But that is not real, that is not forever.
Beauty of humanity is we are so fragile.
From only a year on earth to 100 of them,
We are who we are.
Thank you for being honest.
To me, you were a perfect, empty statue,
Until you broke it all down
Out of the hollowness
Into a vision that is so unique,
so original, so complex,
So full of your beauty.
Each moment is new
Nothing is perfect
Nothing is the same.

 

 

diversity is beautiful

diversity is beautiful

the words you speak become the house you live in” – Estelea (blogger friend)

I have these words posted on my wall and I read them this morning. It makes sense. What it means and the importance of how we talk and what we talk about eventually become a part of us. On the way back home today, the sky showed its most beautiful colors. Pink skies are the prettiest, I think, with it swirling among the blue sky and orange sunset. With every turn the car made, I could see colors just peeking through the spaces of the tree branches and above backyards of houses being lived in. Beyond the highway, I could see it clearer and it made me really feel grateful for all there is. Simple as that. Something we all see without anything other than with our eyes. To feel with our insides without needing to speak to connect with.

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ebru art piece – to make your own, read this

Colors are beautiful. Without all the diversity, there wouldn’t be any emotion, character, and harmony. There would be nothing. One color stands with another and mixes and blends together as naturally and easily as any other. And this reminds me of an observation I made on the train the other day.

We all try to make it. Foreigners and natives alike, we try. Try so hard to wake up in the morning to reach the too early designated time someone had the brilliant idea of. To not cross it. To start our day by it. To earn a living and reach closer to what we want our lives to be. I’m on the train and I see a man with well-made shoes, but not well-polished. He takes out an English textbook. English is not his native language, I assume, because he looks like my dad. But it’s only an assumption. Our world is so big and there are so many possibilities of everything that we can only assume. And he reads. Learning more, taking on more because he wants to. Because he can. Life is less scary when you know what you’re in for. Or not. Maybe it’s scarier to face the truths. To face reality. Maybe he’s braver to want more. To seek all and not just get by. I wonder how many times he’s thought of where he’s been and where he wants to go.

Diversity is beautiful. These are my words. I want to live in a house full of diverse ideas, to share a love for life and explore it all. I want to live in a house of which was built on the foundation of kindness, happiness and peace. To live among individuals who want to work together and make a stronger, healthy world. A house that is protected and appreciated for its shelter, comfort and relief. Because then, what is a house otherwise? Where American Dreams don’t come true and words like us and them meant we were against each other?

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ebru art piece from above shown under blacklight

We can all illuminate our colors and still be in harmony. There is enough space & resources for all of us, if we let it.

the things we own & meaning | sustainability

the things we own & meaning | sustainability

It’s now February, beautiful February. It never lasts as long as the other months, but it does hold quite a bit of quality doesn’t? I always think pink. Or red–a nice warm vision (although the weather may show otherwise). With recent events, we can use a lot of warmth nowadays; inside and out. Whenever I see children in the city, young, cute and energetic, I remember that we have to teach them. Teach them to be kind, to share, to respect one another. To love.

And so I wanted to show some love today.

For this, specifically, are things I gathered that were either secondhand from family or friends or from my adventures in thrift shopping. I took a moment to really think about why these items were important to me. I encourage you to look at the things you own/use/have and really think about its meaning to you. Do consider what you buy, why you buy and for how long you will have it. Consider in investing on pieces that matter more and last longer.

I used to really love just browsing a store and if I saw something I really thought I liked, I’d buy it. Nowadays, it’s not the case. I do still like browsing and I sometimes have the urge to buy, but it’s not at all like it used to be. A lot of the things I see in stores don’t have meaning to me anymore. I take an extra moment to think about: 1. Is this something I have already? (Nice jeans, but how many do we need of these?) 2. How long will this feeling of happiness last? (A lot of times, my answer is.. until I have it and then it just becomes a part of my other wardrobe pieces). 3. How important is this to me, really?

Here are some of my dear things:

my first 35mm camera (secondhand):
I had a 35mm camera prior to the one I have now. It was my dad’s and it did take really beautiful photographs. I remember I had to look everywhere for their specific batteries and it was a journey. But it was worth it. Below is a photograph from this camera:

thinking

cigar box purse made of embroidery beads (thrifted):
It was so beautiful. It was my first time going to this thrift store and it had so many unique and funky things (a huge telescope, colorful sofas, etc) I saw the purse sitting on a shelf and it was so eye-catching. It’s also very well made. This item reminds me that there are beautiful, practical upcycled items–makes me feel inspired & creative!

t-shirts (secondhand):
I think this is something everyone can relate with. I wear all kinds of t-shirts I’ve gotten over the years from loved ones. I especially like the oldie ones. They hold special meaning to the person I got it from, but also for me. It’s not just a shirt I can get at a mall. There are stories, memories and reasons behind them.

Although I care about these items, I know that they are only a catalyst of what holds the most value: time, ideas, emotions, people & experiences. One day, these items may find themselves in a new home with new owners who can feel the joy and inspiration I’ve had. Or at least I hope so. Even if it just produces practicality and ease in someone’s life will be enough of their existence–but it should be sustainable.

rejoice.

rejoice.

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how easy it is to be happy,
if we think to. decide to.
john cusack said it right,
“why can’t you be in a good mood?
how hard is it to decide to be in a good mood
and be in a good mood once in a while?”
– Lloyd Dobler (in the film Say Anything)

this simple quote moved me.
i think of it sometimes out of the blue.
when i’m thinking of something else
doing something else and then i see john
talking with his sister and i hear this,
“how hard is it to decide?”

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how many beautiful views we have seen?
of how many suns we have felt on our skin?
to touch all the textures of food, fabric, & flowers.
smelling rain, cafes, clean clothes and mom’s home cooking.
singing to feel all our insides because we know the words are true.
and swinging on the swings like the first time as a kid.
to be carefree because it’s okay to stop worrying some time.
smile and smile and smile and smile and smile
laugh so hard tears come out and your heart can’t take it
and you’re out of breathe because it is so funny.
or the feeling of calm in the morning on a weekend
& drink the warm tea & hot chocolate & indulge just because.
to speak with friends and family and know you’re not alone
or to be alone knowing  who you are & where you’ve been.

rejoice, because it’s a good time to do so.
it always is.

Happy Chinese New Year friends!

the edge

the edge

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You know when you watch a film with a lot of meaning to it and they capture this shot in which no one is seen, but you can feel a very heavy presence of something.. sentiment or emotion or something left behind? I get this feeling a lot when I see the edges of the sun as it sets. When the colors mesh together so beautifully in the sky and taking a photograph of is so pointless because it can never be captured. Although, I still do try often, it’s a truth I’m learning to accept. I have given up a few times now more recently and just enjoyed the view for what is without the camera lens.

There are some memories you don’t need to have physical proof of. I know my parents used to take photographs at only very important events and nowadays, it’s such a common thing to do. The food we eat, the people we see every day and the place we live are captured in a million photographs. I often find myself looking at photographs I’ve taken in the past year, at trips I went on and feel grateful to have documented as I have. But it’s the stories attached to those things that stick out, right? The stories of the moments you want to treasure and know it cannot be replicated.

I know it sounds super random, but I love seeing the day to day of how things were when the photograph was taken. Like with my parent’s photographs, they have taken shots of their old apartment and the old car they used to have or the garden they grew or even the logo of a soda bottle in that time… it’s fascinating to me.

The idea I would like to be is to capture the moments in between; right before the edge is gone but enough to enjoy it, too.

some home cookin’ VI

some home cookin’ VI

Been cooking a lot more lately. Can you tell this is because of the colder season? (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food dish) I usually cook udon noodles in a soup, but it’s really good in a stir-fry, too. Also, I was afraid of cooking eggplant.. there’s something about it. The eggplant parm came out good though. Maybe I’ll try some other eggplant dish someday.

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black bean, corn, tri-color penne pasta with turkey meatballs, shredded cheese and tomato sauce
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stir-fried udon noodles with broccoli, fish balls, bok choy, fried tofu pieces, in a sauce with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce, sesame oil
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Spicy tri-color penne pasta with marinated sauteed shrimp with green onions and parmesan cheese (looks rather plain but it was super delicious)
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eggplant parm, my first time cooking this dish. it’s tasty! There were more eggplant hiding under the sauce.
i am nice

i am nice

i-am-nice
inspired by Crumpled Paper Cranes’ Five Hundred Cats project
*this sweet cat got adopted, so it was bittersweet, I’m sure s/he’s loved wherever s/he is.

a friend & protector,
her/his motto:
do not trespass without ask.
cute also comes with claws.
my favorite of all the others.
their sweetness filled the room,
quickly, s/he found a new home.

I.
When I move,
You see my true self.
I follow you with love,
Love to chase mice for you.
My friends say I am nice.

II.
New friends, I’m happy to meet.
Smells of enticing food, I must eat.
I will rub them to show they are mine.
Hey, what’s that over by the window?

III.
Other cats, they pay no mind.
Boring they are. Sleep through time.
Adventures, here I come!