Category: World Perspective


Singing my Soul: a Week of No Headphones

Two birthdays ago my father gave me a glorious pair of bluetooth running headphones, and they have served me faithfully; up and down mountains, on bike rides into the city, on trams and trains and leaning my head against plane window panes. I love writing to jazz. I love running to podcasts. I love a long bus ride with a good audiobook. I lost … Read More Singing my Soul: a Week of No Headphones


Conversations with my Subconscious

It was 5:15 a.m. and my hands felt like doorknobs stapled to my wrists. My fingers had been absorbing the bulk of rain-wind-early-morning-wintery-chill combo, and I had to garner support from at least three of them to shift the gears on my bike. I’d long since forgotten I possessed toes. I was biking to Il Forno, the Italian bakery at which I play brunch … Read More Conversations with my Subconscious


What do you find? I beg my soul

  I trudge through the desert while balancing the water on my back, blinking to uproot the flies and to bat away the sticky sweat from rolling in my eyes. My vision is blurred by endlessness; no mountain no tree no landmark just dunes and this dusty shuffle casting fiery shadow prints. My feet sink ever deeper, deeper in the blister sand with every … Read More What do you find? I beg my soul

Blood, Sweat and Tears

By the time I reached the taxi stand underneath the bridge, it was 10:40 in the morning and beads of sweat were dripping into all the wrong places. My jeans were suctioned to the backs of my legs and I kept wiping my brow on my flowy cardigan which sort of felt like scrapping sandpaper against damp skin. Little bits of me, thanks to … Read More Blood, Sweat and Tears

Unlocking Cages

Indonesia seems, to me, to be very similar to Morocco. Perhaps this is my Western mind not able to discern non-Western cultures individually and simply lumping them all together, so perhaps this is the cultural ignorance speaking. Like how I cannot discern from which Asian country my teaching colleagues come (Laos from Cambodia from Philippines from Malaysia), when it is tremendously obvious to them. … Read More Unlocking Cages


Taking My Name Seriously

  I often assume a persona when I am gathering myself to go into new situations. I think, today I am going to be Robin Williams in The Dead Poet’s Society, as I enter into the high school classroom and meet the students I will be teaching for a semester. Or Julia Robert’s character in Mona Lisa Smiles. This removes fear or other hindering … Read More Taking My Name Seriously


Going Somewhere

I have forgotten that the librarian slouched behind the “Reference” sign can see me, the me that sits and stares with unparalleled attention at the page. I have forgotten to breathe for a bit, allowing the swells and heartbeats of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon to do the breathing for me. Apparently it’s working. I’m still alive, I believe. I don’t remember … Read More Going Somewhere


Velvet Dust

Sometimes I contemplate the Universe’s step-brother. How he likes to sit in his purple chair on Tuesdays at 2pm and listen to jazz rifts, sometimes pretending like he’s a trumpeter in a velvet suit but not the kind who like to wear socks. He does that, sometimes, that pretending he’s in a velvet suit. But only on even-numbered days. Those seem to be the … Read More Velvet Dust


Less Bills More Adventures

Everything in moderation, Johnny, she says as she swats the bag of pretzels from little Johnny’s grubby fingers. Everything in moderation, Bridget, he says as he withdraws twenty careful dollars and folds them into his leather wallet. Everything in moderation, little Gregory, she says after she had said no to his pleadings to spend time with his best buddy, Richard. Food, money, friends…I am … Read More Less Bills More Adventures


When I Think I Live in a Small Town

I hear things like, “it’s a small town thing.” “You can’t get away with nuthin’.” “Everyone knows each other…everyone is in everyone else’s business…” “You gotta drive an hour to even get to the nearest Walmart.” “Door’s always unlocked, Loretta, you just go right on in there.” “Damn, that’s my cousin I’ve been kissing?” Sometimes I myself say those things. To me, Emporia is … Read More When I Think I Live in a Small Town


Meeting John Steinbeck

The front door clanged open, and I as my Nature’s Paradise-clad self, greeted our new customer with a big smile and a, “welcome! Is there anything I can help you with?” The recipient of my inquries was an older gentleman–mid-70s–with a pair of shocking blue eyes. The kind of blue you might see in those infomercials of old, the cameras zooming around Carribbean lakes … Read More Meeting John Steinbeck


Star Therapy

With our bellies brimming with beans and dark chocolate after a long day of plowing through rivers and hiking across woods, Lindsey and I picked our way carefully across the river in the sudden darkness. We towed foldable plastic beach chairs and big cheesy grins; the stars were dancing for us, and from small island of rocks in the middle of the low river, … Read More Star Therapy