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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Kaleidoscope

My life is a kaleidoscope of minuscule things, woven together to form a breathtaking display every time I look. Today it's porn stars and strippers and Peace Corps' volunteers, Google employees and homeless people and a massive crocodile from down under. Today is also Star Wars flats and homemade piquillo cream cheese spread and Aristocats, as well as Donut Man and Halal Guys and various LA food haven. Then there's the swing and the ballet and the theatres, there's the music and songs and the lyrics. It is a mismatched plethora of things that graced my day, and my life.

The moon shone upon me last night, as I lay quietly on my bed. It was a full moon, bright as the day itself. I could feel the blanket against my naked skin and my hair rustled on my pillow. The little fan running a little noisily on the corner of my room, perched on a makeshift bed sheet container made from cleaned kitty food bucket. I stared at the moon, and it looks back at me. I was home. I was loved.

I don't need a medal or an award to tell me how far I have gone. I don't need a round of applause or a standing ovation to understand the magnitude of my accomplishment. No, I did not do anything 'special'. I did not do anything to deserve a front-page headline or a click bait article. I did not do anything 'live changing' or 'awe inspiring'. I live. That is all. And what an achievement it is.

We like to imagine romantic tales and wondrous stories, the underdog saga that defies odds. How's this for defying odds? Every second, maybe even a nanosecond, our body cells are dying. A part of us, our skin, died so quickly that our house and place of living is littered with our dead skin cells. We are powerhouses that convert energy from other living beings into energy to power ourselves by means of devouring it. And how we grow. How our conscience and soul grow so beautifully. Like looking at a seed of crystal that grows and grows until it was a sight to behold, and still it grows.

We're frail and weak. We're hopeless and useless. We are savages and heartless. Yet we prevailed. Even in the darkest night we still look forward to the light of day. Else we make our own light of day. Even in the most rock-bottom moment, we can still tell ourselves: It will be ok. And we effing believe that. We simply refused to be snuffed out. We simply refuse to give up and be broken. Every heartache, every broken trust, every lie and malicious words and horrid action that suffocates us, that renders us to pieces, shattered us like a broken china, yet still, we smile. Still, we hope. Still, we refuse to lay down and die.

Not everyone has this strength, but for those who don't, there are others who will reach out to them. "Stay with me." "You will be fine." "It's okay." Sometimes we lost our own battle. Sometimes we win. Sometimes, a simple smile or a tender hug, a feeling of skin among skin through handshakes or high fives, it's enough to rouse even the weariest soldier to march to battle one more time. Now tell me Human is not amazing. Tell me Human is not resilient. Tell me Human does not deserve a chance.

For each the dying flowers, there will be million that bloom as beautifully. We are just too stupid to understand when to quit, too stubborn to know when to give up. And we lived on because of our stupidity and stubbornness. We lived on because of our persistence. Even when there is no 'Hope', we will make one. Oftentimes we do not call it hope, we simply trudge along to continue to live. And that insistence that we will live, that insistence to see another day despite the pain and suffering that we experience, what is that if not hope?

I wrote this thinking of the darkest moment of human history: the wars, the killing fields, the gas chambers, the plagues, the slavery both old and new, the prosecuted people. I wrote this thinking about people who did not have a better chance in life, people who got trapped in a degrading circle of life and unable to release themselves. I wrote this thinking about ordinary people and privileged people, one that thinks they have no accomplishment and one that got their accomplishment belittle because of their upbringing. I wrote this thinking about all of you who shared this Earth with me.

You, you did good. You did splendid. You are magnificent, wonderful, amazing. We all have our own battle inside us, and the fact that you are still alive right now, reading this or hearing this if you can't read it, is a great accomplishment. Be proud of yourself. Each of us has a war within us, some are more violent than others. By living you are a work of wonder because you survive the war in you, as well as the external assault of the world. Don't forget that. You. Are. Awesome. And if you are in a better place, if you can feel good about yourself, look around you and try to help others who staggered under their burden, who felt despair over their wars. A simple smile, an easy laugh, a hug, a caring hand and tender eyes, a heart that love, that's all the backup they need.

My world is a beautiful kaleidoscope of mismatch minuscule things, a special kaleidoscope that only I can see. What's in your world? I bet it's as beautiful as mine. As we sat here together holding (virtual) hands, you enjoy your kaleidoscope and I enjoy mine, let us savor our beautiful differences while embracing our souls. We are not alone. We are never alone. Come, and take my hand.

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