Around the Sun

3/18/22

What I would say to my younger self.

 

If you listen closely,

I’ll tell you what I know.

 

It’s a story of “coming-of-age,”

braving the bumps and bruises,

and healing from contusions,

believing in meditative breathing

and becoming a sage

that I hope you learn from.

 

I’ll whisper it in your ear,

so you won’t be embarrassed

about what you don’t know.

 

It’ll save your life,

but first, it’ll bring you to tears.

 

It’s objective truth;

the truth that’ll take the “Hell”

out of Sartre’s “Hell is other people,”

so you don’t give other people

power over you,

so you save me

thousands in therapy,

keeping the meaning of life

a simple endeavor—

“Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

 

I know you are terrified

but with every breath

I start to come alive.

 

You’re not alone.

 

I’m on the other side,

awaiting the path tomorrow

you paved yesterday.

 

Weather the storms of life

with grit and gumption.

 

Perfectionism is a loaded gun.

It kills your joy

then shames and blames you

for missing the mark,

 

a conspicuous sinner,

whose only sin was believing

the formidable assumption

that love requires a dollop

of perfection.

 

Time is your friend.

 

It’s kind to the young

but cruel to those who pretend,

wasting their life,

again and again.

 

Your experiences will influence

how you view the world,

so be careful which path you take.

 

If you find yourself all alone

with hatred as your only friend,

fight the feeling to forsake and frown,

which weighs heavy on your smile.

 

Forgive those who’ve hurt you

and cast not the first stone.

 

Smile on the train terminal

as you wait for the tall blond

on the 3 o’clock

to the Starbucks downtown.

 

If you want to unlock

the secret to friendship,

constructing character is the key,

 

a key chiseled, ironically,

by betrayal and pain,

since infancy.

 

Faster is not always better.

 

Don’t set the clock to beat it

at its own game.

 

Many matchstick men have tried,

ending up short-changed,

stung by the sting of relativity.

 

Worry less

so you can enjoy more

the limitless possibilities

in store

for you

when you slow down

the pace of the plot.

 

Mind games is a survival mechanism

of insecurity

played out on a stage of popularity

with brand names soon to be forgot.

 

Voluptuous virginity in a white wedding dress

is sweeter than all the ambrosia

on Aphrodite’s tongue.

 

Kindness is more than a word,

although all words have spark of light

because words bleed meaning,

infused with divine birthright

even out of the mouths

of mortals and neophytes.

 

Kindness is more than a noun;

it’s looking around

for someone to share

corn-on-the-cob

à la carte.

 

It’s a verb of caring

that takes the “Do Not Disturb” sign

off the door knob

of your heart.

 

Listening and understanding

are more than gerunds,

they leave behind immortal memories

and proof that we lived and we tried;

 

they’re the prison door opening,

realizing the door opens from the inside.

 

Congratulations on your success.

But don’t confuse victory with identity.

 

One is who you are

and the other is doing your best.

 

God favors you

not because of your accomplishments

but because He enjoyed creating you.

 

Consistency is the key to progress.

 

Make a habit of pushing yourself

past your self-imposed limitations.

 

Instant gratification

is a slippery slope to hedonism.

 

It’ll leave you feeling used

when you find out—

many years from now—

the number of people you’ve abused,

casually dating to find the perfect person,

who only exists in the movies.

 

Sarcasm is like drinking cheap whiskey.

You feel high for a while

then wake up hungover,

hearing the same sad song

playing over and over.

 

Sorrows are sticky,

clinging to you

no matter the city,

leaving you feeling dizzy

from the regrets

or things you’ve tried to forget.

 

Your annoyances tell you

something about you.

 

I’m not judging.

I’m just saying.

 

In a few years

you’ll be fifty,

running out the clock,

wishing to be you again,

thinking about being young again

and the newness of the game

and the gift to keep playing.

 

Self-doubt is an albatross

tied around your neck.

 

It keeps you down,

looking for cracks.

 

So you pick up a rock,

a rebuttal of rage and raw emotion

to throw at those in the center of the pack.

 

Fight the temptation to turn around,

while you still have time.

 

The changes you make now

will influence me

sooner than you think.

 

After all, you’re me

with a skateboard full of insecurities

and I’m you with a truckload of degrees

and opportunities,

some blessings

and some bad puns,

a few more broken promises

and a few more rotations

around the sun.

2 Comments
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Mariann
Mariann
4 months ago

So profound, so beautifully written

Sari
Sari
4 months ago

This poem is so full of pain yet promise, hardship yet hope, suffering yet salvation. What a powerful expression of a life’s journey.

8/8/22

Friends feed the inherent desire in every single one of us to be seen and heard and remembered. And that makes us feel immovable and immortal as if the universe itself came alive to witness a miracle. And nothing we say or do will ever be forgotten. (This hints at the foreshadowing of a personal relationship with the ultimate Being—immovable and immortal—who is closer to us than a brother and who created us to know Him and to be known by Him.) But what if this convivial concept of friendship escapes us?

Read More »

7/29/22

Godspeed

if you’ve dropped your keys,

hat or hash pipe

into the “rabbit hole”

of delusive fantasy,

whirling and writhing down

an eternal abyss of insanity,

further and further away

from the drain of objective reality.

Read More »

7/22/22

Our reassurance

is His willingness

to be caught in the cross hairs,

a red dot

at the intersection

of an atoning fare

and a predetermined time-slot.

Read More »

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