Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time Travel - A Poem

for my sons

If I were given the chance to live again
To feel the pure love of a mother and father
To revel with the friends I never had
To run where my heart wished to
And meet a true love

If I were given an elixir
To make the past disappear
To remove the pains of my youth
To erase the sorrows that destroyed my faith
And look at life with a smooth brow

If I were granted the power
To change one moment of my story
To alter the course of my existence
To explore new universes
And all that it would entail

I would refuse the gift
I would refuse it every time
I would slam the door on the salesman
I would stub the toe of the scientist
I would curse the witch
And free the genie

Because in choosing a new past
I would lose my future
I would lose you
I would lose the happiest days of my life
And the reason I felt it was worth living

Your love shines through me like the piercing rays of the morning
Your smile envelops me like a coat on a cold day
Every second of your existence fills my consciousness with awareness
Every moment in your presence makes my heart burst with love
And your every word is engraved more indelibly than sacred text

How could I love you so much?
How could I not?
And how could I ever wish away
that led to your creation?

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.
--Kahlil Gibran

I love my sons at every moment, but there are moments when I am looking at them and I overflow with emotion. Love is such a wonderful thing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I have my very own time machine

I was walking through the grocery store the other day, and I was struck by the red apples that were on display. They were larger than the apples I have seen earlier this season. I picked up one of those luscious looking red apples, and inhaled deeply. I was instantly transported to a different time.

When I was four and five years old, I lived in a rural part of Washington State near the border of Canada on an apple orchard. While my parents were working in the orchard, us children stayed in the car or played amongst the trees that bordered their working area. I wasn't afraid of those cheery trees. There is something magical about that time as we ran through the neat rows. And every act was accompanied by the smell of apples permeating the air.

I have had other smells bring me back to Washington, and to a small ranch house in Tepusquet on the outskirts of Santa Maria, to the backyard of my home on Alvin Avenue, and into the arms of my love when I was first a doe-eyed innocent. Closing my eyes and taking in the smell at those rarified times is like being a child again and reliving something I never wanted to forget.

I found this quote in an article called "Smell and Memory" by Shigeyuki Ito that perfectly describes how I feel my memory and smell are intertwined.

When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered· the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory" -Marcel Proust "The Remembrance of Things Past"

The article gives a few scientific reasons why smell triggers memory. It is worth a read.

Friday, October 9, 2009

On Hope

We are not rainmen in the persuit of hope. We cannot dance around and wait for some of it to fall on us -- however parched we are for it. We must ride up into the clouds and seize it, force it down our gullets, and let it infuse our hungry cells. Hope is not for the helpless. Hope is for those brave enough to fight for it.