Little Letters : April 3, 2017

Ever feel like the world is too much. Just too damn much,always asking for your attention to this headline or that breaking news. Early morning routines,structured around social media check ins, as if our day will be predicted whether we saw that perfectly stylized picture of a succulent plant wall. How fast can our blood pressure rise knowing at 5 am that unkindness and loud mouthed brashness and brassiness is still the new law of the land? Could a revival of materialistic television shows like Dynasty, Dallas, or big loud porsches that talk to their entitled owners not be far behind, replacing Dragons that fly or Girls who dream? And then there are the fads and trends of whether to roll your jeans or not, rip them at the knees, trucker hat or not, diy or buy, boho or sleek, clutter or minimal, on and on and on, creating a community of unsatisfied but ever hip and with-it cool “misfits”. 

The above sentiment was the kind rolling in my head as I penned today’s selected poem sometime last year. 


Still the thoughts and questions that had me writing this poem invade my head space, today. Now, though my friend ‘why’ has gotten cozy with the ever bad influence of ‘fear’ and ‘complacency’ and her oft labeled slutty sister of ‘I don’t give a fuck anymore, think what you want, bastard.’  I sort of like the little sister way better than the other two. 

Yes, the sister and the sea, who with its unpredictable waves, love of the crash and burn, who beckons again and again to try, try, try, no matter the predictable outcome of its water spouts eventually crashing , with you sliding on the wet sand head first into a clump of flea infested seaweed, these two demand that you try again. Admidst those saying, ‘Don’t rock the boat’ , the sea and the sister says , ‘Try you! Try. You.’

Yes, ‘Try you’ she says to me. ‘Try. me.’ 

– Mona

Little Letters: Monday, 3/27/17

Good start of the week to all.  Here I am in front of my laptop, writing. Writing a blog post and not the next great novel, but I am writing and I’m taking that as an inch forward.

The poem I selected to look back on for today’s post, was written very early on in my Instagram poem sharing experiment, one or maybe two years ago.

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I wrote this poem at Occidental College sitting behind an iron fence, on a dark green bench, looking out at the school’s track, while waiting for my daughter’s track meet to begin.  I would arrive, purposefully, very early to all her meets. At least 2 hours because I liked the quiet of that campus, the trees, the benches, especially the view of the track, with its burnt rust colored track, large green expanse, hearing the chinkclinkclack of the hurdles being set up, the grass being mowed, the sprinklers.

It took me back in time to when I ran round and round on college tracks. The hard pain of sucking in air through lungs that burned, face solid and expressionless  while one’s legs churned through runner paces of quick, light, powered pushes of speed.  It almost felt, at times, that I would lift off, take off, go up and away. That feeling, alone, is why I ran.

At the track, eighteen year old me was an embarrassment to my close-knit, glamorous, female centered family.  I sweated. I smelled. My hair was in disarray. I breathed heavy. I looked like dust.

They never came to see. Tracks aren’t shopping malls with cute boys, fried fast foods, and plastic containers of sparkly goop and gob. My female cousins.  They ignored my accomplishments.  Treated them and me like they never existed, taking my mother along, sometimes, with their beliefs that I was “odd”, “fast”, “ugly”, a “loser”, a “partier”, “selfish” for going away to college and the list goes on and on and on.

One day she came. She escaped her close-knit and clannish ways. She got in her car and drove down the 405. She showed up. All made up. All fancy in her beautifully matched outfit, coiffed hair, perfumed heavily, and wearing a bright pink lipstick.

In addition to the glitter that was my mother, I remember she stood up the entire time I ran.  I saw her through the corner of my eye, as I turned each corner of the track, as my legs churned through, lungs burning, as I took flight and was out and up and away.

After, I went to her in the stands. Climbed up the stairs. Folks around her were congratulating her. Fawning over her. Saying this and that. More that, than this, to be honest.  I reached her, tapped her on her shoulder, as her back was to me facing her audience and  she hugged and kissed me, squeezing me back down to her atmosphere of make-up, matched outfits, combed through hair and perfumed air. My lungs burned more. My eyes welled up as I watched her eyes darting around to see if anyone was watching her actions. Always playing to the audience. Playing. Pretending. Wishing. Dreaming.

But the burning of lungs, the almost flight was real, ma.  I don’t have to wish for it. I am.I am. I am.

My flume of escape went far beyond the smeared pink lipstick stain left on my cheek that day in the stands at the track.

That’s what I thought about as I wrote and worked on the above poem, waiting for my daughter’s own track meet.  No plastic pink lukewarm smear shows of supposed female solidarity from me to her, for sure.  Just a loud-mouthed cheering fool who remembers. what I remembered.  And so, I wrote.

– Mona

Little Letters: Monday – 3/20/17

Happy First Day of Spring! I spent the past two days ushering in the change of seasons by doing some yoga and watering my garden and crocheting and eating and fixing up my studio and yes, doing a little writing, just a little, but some and that’s enough, right?

My poetry seems to always touch on the raw and rarefied emotions experienced by all people. The sadness, the hurt, the complex anger and fear that society demands of us to tap down and hide away. Push away, push away, little girl. Play nice and look nice. Well, I refuse to do that. Push away? No. Expose it. Pick and peel away until the wound is out in the open and if one is lucky enough, get a blast of cool air to dry it up and scab over and remain a scar,a final badge of the survivor’s fortitude and belief.

In my attempt to heal and get “through”, not “over” the trauma of my younger self’s lfe, because it’s ridiculous, ignorant, and insensitive to ask anyone to get over a life experience that scarred them and changed them forever. Please remember that.  Yet asking someone or yourself to get “through” it and make peace with it and sit with whatever “it” is, that’s something we can all work on.

Spring Equinox signals a new beginning. A washing away of the grey and dissappointing winter. Wash away, wash away, wash away the judgements and unacceptance of the grime that the world sometimes shakes onto us. Wash away, but what if it doesn’t want to wash away. Stubborn damn dirt. 

It’s okay. This dust. This grime. The not so perfect matchy-match kind of life’s residue. Let the dust of a life well lived settle and breathe it in and sit awhile with it. You just may discover a new friend, a soul mate, a companion, a reality that yes, you can live with. 

Out of a weekend, sitting with my own inner grime, this sprouted: 

Monday’s Little Letters

Hello. How are you? I hope you are well. Me? I’m doing alright. Neither here not there but still here and that’s good enough.

I usually post my daily poetry ramblings over on my Instagram page, which I will still do because I like that instant share of creative words and exchange with others. Here though on this blog, every Monday, I’m going to post one of my stitched together “Little Letters”, otherwise known as poems that I have written and the ones I re-wrote and re-worked for cadence and message.

In this Monday post, I’ll on occasion explain the process, the why behind my “little letters” because as we all know, nothing is really too small to be insignificant. Everything matters. Every action. Every thought. Every “little letter” thought up and stitched together, matters. If not to the world, then to yourself and that’s good enough.

So here is this week’s “Little Letters” pick:

Little Letters: 3/13/17

This poem started with this pic that I took during a yoga challenge I was participating in on Instagram a few years back as my now defunct Love2Bloom, crochet and craft persona since 2005.

After the pose of the day was struck and the pic snapped and posted onto my feed, I scrolled through the comments on my previous days posts. One caught my eye. It was a comment from a woman in England on a previous days video of me, asking me if I was alright because it looked like I was about to cry? I couldn’t figure out if she was being mean or concerned or funny. It puzzled me. I just didn’t get her. At the time, not getting her was grating. I’ve since figured it out that its not my job to get other people. I’m just here to live and be. But that is now.

And that was then….

The video was of me trying to get into a fold over flamingo pose with a bind. It was a hard pose for me back then and still is.  I made it though but I guess my face showed discomfort or sorrow. I couldn’t help but laugh finally after initial confusion at the comment because, yes, I was not comfortable and that’s what this woman was commenting on but in truth, I felt accomplished getting into that pose and afterwards the twisting that my internal organs received from that particular contortion was a  wonder.

I laughed out loud and snapped the pic. My face in the video was not the serene and yogic meditative portrait of so many other yogi’s on Instagram of ease and beauty.  It was my truth, my face made up of Picasso sharp angles and distortions, a funny face, a disjointed face, a crying face. Discomfort on the outside and shown to the outside as frail, sad, confused but in reality, in truth, a roar, a gurgle of the laughter of self-acceptance that is beyond decency. Pure Joy.

And then I wrote.

And shortly, thereafter, decided to shuttle Love2Bloom for good.

It was freeing and a good choice. I haven’t said that until today, but yes, it was a good choice.

I roared.

-Mona

It is Enough

Writing poetry is a way for me to get the chitter chatter out from under my brain. To make sense of the emotions that I have over current events, family experiences, and memories. It’s such a relief for me as the words come out and are stitched together in rows of one, two, three, maybe even four word sentences. Get it all out and once that happens, it can be released. Those feelings of fear, anger, shame just gone, or at least lessened a bit.

Most of my weekly poetry I post onto my Instagram page, as it tumbles out of my head. Here is a more recent poetry post I composed as I sat under a rather large Eucalyptus tree at the park.

I love the way that parks sound, especially during the weekdays, early mornings. They have a particular silence to them that is mesmerizing, hypnotic, really. A silence that is so rare in today’s noisy world, it’s jolting to the senses at first but after a few seconds is so very healing. In that kind of silence, I can finally listen to what my brain is whispering and on that particular day this array of words came out and really spoke to and through my heart. I can only hope that my mind hears what my heart whispers, “It is enough”.

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– Mona

P.S. Just in case, anyone is wondering, I write using my given name, Ramona and my married name, Reyes.  Ramona Reyes.  I blog using the more casual, Mona, which is a shortened derivative of Ramona.