The Embodiment of Truth

In the first world, before the Immortals shattered it, there was a well formed from the corpse of a god, and those who bathed in its waters became without what was within. Their hidden truth became their physical form. Some who leapt beneath its depths believed they would be reborn beautiful and godly, only to emerge monstrous and ugly. And others, lame or little, ascended to perfection when they breached the surface.

Often I have wondered, if I were to fall within it, what form would I take.

At times I thought I would become a dragon, fearsome and flighty. Other times a mass of molten fire, a body built of flaming embers. Or I would sprout wings and feel my skin pulled taught against physical strength I’ve never possessed before. And sometimes, in my darkest of moods, I would fade from something human toward something beastly, wild and unruly, untamed and forged for pure destruction.

But there is no such well in this world to become outside what I see within.

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TBT: Sacred Space

They say that home is where the heart is, but it’s an empty saying without articulating what we mean when we say the heart. Is it the space where our bodies physically rest, or the space we feel most embraced, or is it something less tangible, more spiritual?

The synagogue pictured above is the oldest in Mexico, literally known as the Historic Synagogue. We went to visit it our first day together, but it was closed, so we went back the next day. We went upstairs and ogled at a temporary exhibit from the Palafoxiana Library (the oldest library in North America), and we were amazed by the stunning architecture, how small and perhaps insignificant I felt inside this place.

But also how expansive, how endless, how holy.

Outside these doors, after signing the guest book, we walked away wondering what we’d write if we were married, one last name, or two? Hyphenated, his first, or mine?

It was inside these doors, five months later, when we exchanged engagement rings.

I don’t always know where home is–or if there’s only one. Home is with my family, and in Raleigh, and in Hoonah and Punta Gorda and San Francisco and in Mexico, in the guest house where we spent our first night together, in Queretaro where we bought our rings, in Puebla where we kissed inside a volcano, in Mexico City where we met and embraced and kissed for the first time.

Home is in each of these places, because in each of them, my heart grew.

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Where the Heart Isn’t

My writing desk vibrates with the hum of Florence + the Machine, the echoes of her voice as it thralls and throws the air, a soft vibrato all the way to my fingertips, my toes.

My toes sit soft at the ends of my shoes, slightly sweetened by sweat and the long walk across campus I made today–twice–beneath the blistering North Carolinian sun.

My right shoe is pressed flat against the floor of the faded maroon carpeting of my new campus apartment, only the ball of my left foot hitting the floor, my heel raised as I lean forward, poised for creativity, ready for my words to rewrite the world.

I’d say it feels like home, but it doesn’t. It isn’t.

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The Point of Privilege

That’s not me.

We hear stories of privilege and think of old white men in suits sipping on drinks at the bar in their kitchen–but it looks like a real bar, it’s just that big. We think of privilege and we think of CEOs and politicians, those the media has deemed corrupt–might as well toss in a few celebrities, just for for kicks. We say the word privilege and the first thing inevitably to cross our minds is this three-word phrase.

That’s not me.

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Origami of the Soul

A little more than two years ago I wrote The Plight of Paper People, reflecting on the coming close of one chapter of life as the new pages unfolded before me. I described people as paper, able to be torn and taped back together, able to be colored upon or crumpled up and tossed aside.

The changes I spoke of looming on the horizon are all the changes that have now happened, and like those paper people, I feel torn up and taped together, stained and set aside.

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A Trick of the Light

I finally retired last night sometime between three and four. I fell fast into sleep, into a world of vague and empty dreams, a world free from all the distress and anxiety that has overwhelmed me during the day and deep into the night. When my alarm went off this morning, I wearily opened my eyes, turned it off, and sent a text to my mom to leave a half-hour later than planned. I needed the extra sleep.

It took me four trips to bring everything downstairs and about four more to load the car. As I got inside, I found my anxiousness had mostly dissipated–but the day was still beginning.

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Return

I feel frustrated and slightly overwhelmed. Tomorrow I return to Raleigh to start my second semester, and in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’m more anxious or excited. I haven’t accomplished all the goals I wanted to make before going back to campus, but those I haven’t reached I’ve planned to do elsewise. And although today is Saturday and there are only four more lessons in the third book of the Pirkei Avot, I just haven’t felt in sound mind to write about that today (and when I read what it said, I felt it even less).

I need focus. But focus is hard to find in a world full of Facebook.

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To Begin with a Bang

I’m struggling as I write this to think of an appropriate title more so than of what I’m actually about to write. My creative side says I should do something explosive, a massive pun or some catchy alliteration, but my rational side tells me to be reserved, respectful, considerate of everything that has just happened.

Perhaps, then, this is an acceptable middle ground?

Either way, I should be in class right now. Unfortunately, my class was closed today. In fact, my entire college was closed today.

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The Other Olympics

This was one of the first essays I had to write for my my first semester in college. Therefore, I find it’s only fitting that it’s the first essay I post here. The topics of my essays vary widely, from personal to political to special interest and beyond, but I’m sure there’ll be something that’ll interest almost anyone in most of my essays. This first one happens to center around sports and patriotism/nationalism.

The Other Olympics

The stands are packed with waiting fans, men and women forced to the edges of their seats poised with cameras and waving flags in their hands. People from seventy countries have converged for the start of a sporting event that occurs only once every four years. The athletes will come to the field, the President and Prime Minister will speak, the torch will be lit, and the games will begin.

Not in Turin, Italy. Not in Beijing, China. But in Ramat Gan, Israel.

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