Broken

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Focus: colors, contrast, shapes
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My inspiration

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.”

Hannah Gadsby

Gadsby’s stand up is pure genius. Check it out on Netflix. Here’s the trailer.

Warning: Her one hour stand up is not for the timid.

No Two Are Alike

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“The middle one is pregnant,” says the husband.

Every zebra has unique stripe patterns – much like humans’ fingerprints. 

If we could just appreciate our singularity – and the originality of others, this world would be a more peaceful place.

I like Ram Dass’ observation: When we go out and see trees, we don’t judge them. We don’t say this one is better than that one. We appreciate every tree. We should do that with people. Appreciate every person. 

Judgmental people tend to judge themselves fiercely. They believe it makes them work harder and be better. In fact, judgmental people possess an insecurity and sometimes a level of self-hate that disables them to love others.

There is strife in America right now. There is a great divide. But ignorance is being met with consciousness and ultimately, awareness will win.

 

 

 

Asian in Arizona

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I glance up and see him, pushing his shopping cart

he is sporting overalls and an enormous white beard

I’m sure he drives a white truck with flag (U.S. or Confederate?)

I’ve been accosted by his type before, in Iowa:

Hey Jap! Go back where you came from!

So I am wary

 

He’s speaking                    to me                    right now

They have a sale on bananas! A whole bag for just a dollar!

He points to a small paper brown bag in his cart

Your kids will love ’em!

 

I’m jolted – surprised – dismayed

How does he know I have kids?

And I realize that what is in my cart

are bags of suspicion, dread and cynicism

 

 

Uh “Oh”…

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Read the article

Dang it.

I love Sandra Oh. She’s cool. She’s ultra. She’s crush-worthy.

I’m trying to cut down my screen time and now THIS!

I’m going to get hooked, I just know it. Damn.

If you’ve ever sold yourself short, you need to read this deeply compelling article on the show and Sandra:

Sandra Oh Assumed She Wasn’t Up For Lead In ‘Killing Eve’ Due To Hollywood Racism (Huffington Post)

If you miss the broadcast, you can watch full episodes here (you don’t even have to log in)!

Grateful for Aging

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Photo by Alex Harvey
She sat across from me at her birthday dinner. She just turned 35. I am almost 49.

“I have laugh lines! I am getting gray hairs that stick straight up on end!”

“Well, it just makes it easier to pluck them out,” I said, trying to cheer her up.

“I am not going to complain about getting old. I LOVE aging!”

I looked at her sideways. This was unexpected. Who loves aging?

She explained, “We’re lucky to get old. Not everyone does. We should celebrate getting older, we’re so fortunate to keep living!”

Indeed.

I’ve decided that even though I live in America, where it is becoming a crime to be gay, trans, Mexican-American, Muslim or old, I hope we will eventually be like Taiwan when it comes to social issues. I’m not gay, but as an Asian-American, I know what discrimination feels like. In Taiwan, gays have equal rights.  The Taiwanese also respect their elders and take care of them. So I’m going to walk around proud in all my Asian and old glory because I know I’m lucky to be alive and kicking.

Pedal to the Metal

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photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini

We switched places at the gate

for my ultimate test of surrender

her smile and jokes betrayed her cool

take it slowly, speed limit’s 25 here

 

Am I OK?

Yes, you’re perfect

Still?

Yep, doing beautifully

 

As she drove (slowly, oh so slowly) to our cul-de-sac

I remembered my driver’s ed teacher

he was old (probably my age now) and balding

with two student drivers in the car with him

 

Emily T., tall, popular, blonde, took turns with me

She (with the perfect curls) could do no wrong

her mistakes were met with encouragement,

her proficiencies were met with praise

 

but me – with my glasses and foreign mien –

my errors were harshly judged,

and my victories gleaned silence

This injustice – as all maltreatments do – ripened into a gift

 

for his words and demeanor (and all the other abuses I’ve known)

created a wound

which turned into a scar

and thickened my skin

 

everyone knows thin skin bleeds easily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose Humanity

 

“Just because I am homeless doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart, or I’m not human still.”

Stephen Jones, Homeless man who helped victims of the Manchester Arena bombing (Ariana Grande’s concert).

Stephen Jones could have run for safety. Instead, he stayed put amid the chaos of the bombing and pulled nails out of the faces of and arms of children.

Choosing humanity over barbarism isn’t always so dramatic.  We can make this choice each day. We can give 100% focus to the person in front of us. We can speak with kindness and patience. We can take care of ourselves (diet, sleep, exercise) so that we are able to give more to our families. We can choose to do better when we know better.

We can begin now.