Monday, March 31, 2014

Honeymooning Still

Day thirty-one
From being a blogirgin
to taking my writing
to a whole different level.
Is it really?
Already, day thirty-one?
From early days of the thrill
of writing for eyes
that are not mine -
To being moved by tears,
loud laughter,
and wonderment -
Through blogs I have learned from,
grown from,
cherished being a part of,
and commented on -
with words and without.
Thirty-one days
have passed.
And I am not the same
writer I was on February twenty-eight
two thousand and fourteen.
So here I am,
with some lessons learned
with the help of reading with Kam
and Teaching from Behind while
doing the Teacher Dance
we all know so well.
All the while knowing
that writing is a process
best left Under Construction.
And that's my two or rather
Prose Cents.




Sunday, March 30, 2014

Picture Perfect

I can still hear him
She yearned to 
hear his voice
through the files 
of her memory.

Can't recreate him
through a picture,
a word,
a voice,
a moment.
But he lives on 
and on,
to tell stories through you -
to all you will make
and all the moments you will capture.
So with the new stories you write,
and the old ones you tell - 
don't forget to tell his.
The sound of his voice 
when you drive in,
or his open arms 
when you wake up,
warm like the coffee he's sipping on.
He lives on and on
in the stories that make him 
the person you hold dear - 
in those pictures,
those words,
those sounds,
those moments -
he lives on.




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Janam Din Happies - Chiku


Do you remember
All those silly times
running around thinking
we would forever be young
and silly?
I still remember walking
around Subroto Park
feeling like time was endless
and our friendships would never change
and maybe they still haven't.
Thanks for being there, friend
over years, continents, times, and birthdays
So here's to you, the boy who will still be
Seventeen to me
And the friend, who continues to be rock solid
Even through some shaky times
when I didn't know where you were
or why you were where you were.



Friday, March 28, 2014

With age comes


Stuck in a life of zits and fits galore
It all began when I found myself looking for more
There must be more to life, I declared,
Than being stuck in a universe dictated by 8 to 4.

The price we pay for peeping into the future
You peep too curiously, you might share the fate of the cat
You might not be able to handle that
Handle the fact that your plans expired
Even before you got to taste them
Handle the lines, freckles, liver spots
And come to terms with the failure
Of all those pricks and potions
Handle the loss of those props missing
From your carefully choreographed show
Or,
You might learn that you can handle
More than you will ever know.

The price we pay for staring at the past
You stare too long, you might get caught
You get caught, you might get fined
Fined for driving your car in reverse
In the fast lane.
For not changing gears fast enough.
For dwelling on the specifics.
For breaking too many rules
Ignoring rocks, papers, and scissors
And picking sticks.
Or,
You might find a friend
From the class of 1976.

The price we pay for winking at the present
(Depends on your wink)
You wink too flirtatiously, and you may get
Nothing more than a blink
A fleeting moment gone too fast to grasp
You wink too cautiously, and you might end up
Forgetting to reopen your eyes
In the agony of how, you may suffocate why
And in the agony of a personal panic you may
Never know what
It feels to be broken.
To break.
Or,
You might enjoy that about the past and future –
You can only reflect and contemplate.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Negotiating with my imagination

Some mornings I let the dull sounds
of my imagination
lull me back to sleep.

I lie in bed and listen to the rain
that's not falling
glisten in a blanket around me.

I make up sounds of thunder and lightening
striking as I
blunder through the drops of my imagination.

Some mornings I could use a few more minutes
because my cognizance
misunderstood and let the rain lull me back to sleep.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What really is in a name?

Today, my class was invited by an older class of 12 - 14 year olds at our school to hear their spoken word performances about their identities. We heard about 20 students share a big part of themselves with us most gracefully and excellently. This part they shared with us - the story of their name - has inspired this.

Suparna Kudesia - I know there's just one in this world, but I don't think that makes me
Unique - just by virtue of being the only one named that in the world and I
Purposefully prefer to not be the only one because that makes me feel very lonely
And I know the things that make me me and how they make me different and
Rare, and I'm confident that it's got a whole lot more to do than just my
Name, even if I am the only Suparna Kudesia in the world
And even if I am the same as all the other named individuals, I know what makes me me.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dazzled


About a year ago, a family at school introduced me and Dan to Dazzle. We fell in love instntly. I mean, what's not to love about dancing martinis, finger-licking appetizers, and the best part of it all live jazz. So here we are, enjoying our Water Baby and daiquiri! And the double bass is making me happy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Birthtimes

My partner turned 27 today. In many different parts of the world at least. Birthdays are always a big deal for me and growing up they were too. When you're from a different part of the world and have many different parts of the world to call home and believe that birthdays are a BIG deal - you have some pretty long birthday celebrations. I have learned lots about time zones through these celebrations. For instance, today at 7:30am, my partner turned 27 in Australia. At 9:30am, he turned 27 in Japan. At 12pm, he turned 27 in Bhutan. At 12:15pm in Nepal, at 12:30pm in India, at 12:45pm in Afghanistan, and tonight, we will be celebrating when it's midnight in Geneva, New York, Denver, Colorado, and Berkeley, California. I find it so intriguing to wonder that when he was really born, if a baby was born the same exact moment in another part of the world, their birthday may not be on the same date! Time is fascinating to me, and to be able to elongate it out for a special celebration of a special person in my life - is truly amazing.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Letter to PF Part 1

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world


My dearest Perfectionist Fool,
Do you recognize these words?
Oh, I'm sure you do.
For these are not of the variety of flighty birds.

We were young and possibly delusional
When we sang these words dreamily
To each other, eyes closed and emotional 
Holding hands quite quietly.

Well, here's to you my PF
Part one of many to tell you 
that I still wear my heart on my cuff
and this much is true - 

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world.





Saturday, March 22, 2014

1 and a 1/2 year olds

This weekend, my partner and I are are entertaining a close friend and her toddler. Between "Uncle Dan and Aunty S'parna" we are feeling much excitement, joy, and momentary bewilderment. I have earned some hugs and many a "Emo" (aunty in Korean).  1 and 1/2 year olds are fascinating - just as any other aged kids are. She's usually pretty playful and will smile with her whole face when she's ready to. At other times, if you're not her Amma, she'll cry you to pieces. Right now, she's a bit upset with her Amma for taking a nap while Emo S'parna sang a gazillion nursery rhymes to her and worked out some functions with this little one using a slinky.

Ready for my own kids?

Umm...no.




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Colorado's Pact with the Weather Decision Makers

If you have visited, resided in, or know someone who resides in Colorado and is candid enough to chat about monumental subjects like the day's weather with you - does this sound familiar to you?

It is my unshared (and therefore, uncontested) belief that Colorado has an uncanny pact with the ways of the weather. Hot and cold whenever it wants to be, but ever so often, it succumbs to popular demands. So incriminating too! Beautiful on the weekends to make staying indoors seem like a crime; and ugly on days that makes getting out of bed seem like a grave felony. Ah, capricious Colorado clime!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On my drive home.

The ears of the moose were flapping in the wind. Gently, as it felt the gust of continuous air move its heavy body. I watched solemnly as I sat in my car and took in the sight of the majestic moose. The majestic moose, whose ears were flapping in the wind. I wondered what the moose was seeing as its hollow eyes stared vacantly at the world and its ears flapped serenely in the wind.

Are you home yet, moose?
Are you comfortable as you rest -
In the back of the truck?

And as I sat in my car on my drive home, I wondered what the moose was seeing as its head drove in the back of the semi in front of me.


My students are working to find creative uses of adverbs, so I thought I would take a risk and try it too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Circulatory System 101

I got blood.
You got blood.
We all got blood.

The guitarist and singer brooded mournfully to her tired audience. That was the most profound lesson in the human body I had gotten in a long time.



Rhyme Trap

My conversation with myself today:

A misfit of genres.
A petty pencil-mongerer.
It is I, who speaks to you
look behind these lines, fool:
Can you not see?
I am imprisoned by rhymes
and cannot be free.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Playing tag with the sun

The trees rumble
like a jiggling bundle
of bark and pine.

The wind plays games
with the tumbleweed
tumbling it around
with a new appreciation
for a light breeze.

Dust rolls us around
in a bowl of muddy brown.
We try to keep our end of the deal
with the road
while the road continually cheats
and throws us off to the side.

I take all of this in.
The trees. The tumbleweed. The road.
All along playing tag with the sun.




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Inventor

I met an inventor yesterday.
He calls himself the garbage guy.
He's trying to save the world.
But little did he know, sigh,
he made my day.

I met an inventor yesterday
To make glass, all you need
is some salt,
silica, calcium, and heat.
Said the inventor from Santiago, Chile.


I met an inventor yesterday.
He panders around for your trash.
He'll take your garbage,
and convert it to glass
Is there more I need to say?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Still Missing.


I could be anywhere.
I blink
and try to find my bearings,
and finally
I hear the sounds telling me - I'm
not alone.
Is that a cry or is it just
my imagination,
misleading me to believe this is
really real?
It'll take me some time
to realize
the whole world is watching
and waiting,
but here I am confused, floating,
still missing.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Missing.

I imagine myself
Floating
over the deep Indian ocean
Confused
about how I got there

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Frog and Toad Kind of Day

Today was a Frog and Toad kind of day.
A friends, tears, giggles, birds, snails, and a squirrels kind of day.
Today was a Frog and Toad kind of day.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Time for a to be list.

I look around at my desk.
Incomplete is its theme.
A plant recovering from overwatering.
An orange waiting to be eaten.
Papers needing to be filed.
Pictures daring to be taken.
Unread books due to be returned.
Letters that have yet to be written.
Emails still unsent.
Time poorly spent.
But here I am doing the best thing I could
for myself, my being, and my writing.
I look around at my desk
And I smile at the poem I just
completed.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Buttery Snow

I didn't really know what to say. As I shivered today at recess, I wondered day-dreamily when someone from the front office would come by and laughingly say, "Just kidding! It's too cold for the kids to be outside - we actually have indoor recess today!" Unlike some of my more valiant colleagues, I would take a madhouse of about 80 very young children in the gym, over a cluster of crying, sad, and cold children begging me every two minutes to call this recess to a close.

I couldn't see much really. The wind managed to pick up right as we began recess and the snow was billowing about horizontally. For once, I was proud of myself for layering-up. I had 4 layers on me, halfway-decent boots, a muffler, my glasses, my hood, and my big gloves. Except for one amateur mistake - jeans. My legs felt borrowed by the end of recess. I watched children huddle up and tell me they couldn't feel their hands and feet. I wondered curiously if children growing up in Colorado would have a higher tolerance for the cold than the adult who grew up in India.

Somehow, I ignored the foreignness of my legs and answered, "No, I haven't. It looks like a giantess took a scalpel to a humungous piece of ice, smiled at her ice shavings with admiration, and then spread those shavings out neatly for us to add dollops of our mundane footprints to this creamy buttery landscape of snow."

She mischievously asked again, "Have you never seen snow look like this?"



Monday, March 10, 2014

Pig Wisdom.

"I don't name anything I'm going to eat." This was the second time I heard this today.

"Is that typical farming practice?" I inquired distastefully.

"I dunno. I just can't eat something I am personally connected to." This wasn't the first time I had heard this either today.

What is it about naming then? My class, my 16 Wonders as I call them, went over to 2 farms today, one organic and one urban, to learn about how people help and support the earth. I was surprised to learn so much about pigs and which parts of them are more delicious than others. As one among the three vegetarians in the group, it was fascinating to stand amidst a group of screaming children. "Ribs! Bacon! Hot Dogs! Mmmm!" It took some effort to push away the images of the pig in front of me. It lay there, exhausted under its 350 lbs transforming almost cartoon-like into a stack of bloody ribs, a fleshy pile of belly, and...and...I don't know what part(s) of the pig is (are) really in a hot dog. I took it in, realized that I didn't have to name it to not want to eat it, and then walked away.

But really. What is it about naming then? Is it harder to eat a nameless thing? Is it because we as humans bestow value onto a life when we name it? Or is it because we protect ourselves from having to  watch Old Boy or Nova or Jenny from going to slaughter house or a processing center? Taking a pig or 5 of them to be eaten is easier than taking Minnie, Jo, Tag, Ruddy, and Phil? Hmm...

One of my Wonders came up to me and slipped his hand into mine. "Suparna, I like animals and wouldn't kill them because I like them." I braced, inhaled, and sighed, "I too like animals and wouldn't want to kill them and I don't eat them, but different people make different choices, and that's okay. It's important to learn about where our food comes from, and make choices that work for yourself and your family, and make choices that are thoughtful. Whatever you decide to do, be thoughtful and listen to what that voice inside is telling you and follow it - it's smarter than you sometimes think it is."

Pigs. Hogs. Boars. Oh my!



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sweet days are made of these.

Meandering.
Loitering.
Aimlessly moving.
Slithering.
Wiggling.
Lollygagging.
Wandering.
Day-dreaming.
Nothing-ing.

It sure was one of those days. What a treat in self-care.

Marilyn Manson even made it to my playlist.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

What is it about that day?

She asked tentatively, What is it about that day?



Was it an ending of an era?
Or the breathtaking view of standing at the cusp of a new one?
Was it the unprecedented lack of guilt at closing a door?
Or the timely opening of a new one?
What was it about that day, that keeps coming back to me?

Still, I can remember it clearly - like it's happening right before my eyes,
and I'm an invited guest to my past.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The curious incident at lunchtime.

"I've never used a vending machine before," I said with at least slight nervousness. It was 12:37pm and I could have easily excused myself from the staff lounge with the aid of a number of truthful statements.

I have to rush back before my kids get back to the classroom.
I just heard the microwave ding downstairs - better get going or my food will get cold!
What's that? Yes, Patti, I'll be right there.
It was great talking to you guys, now I'd better be off to whatever it is I must do next.
The earth just rotated a bit and urged me to move to my next stop - classroom.

Etcetera.

But through the haze of my annoyance of how words seem to slip out of me before I can grant them permission to, I heard my colleague respond to me, "Oh, really? It's pretty cool how they work. You put in the..." I was impressed to say the least. I have seen vending machines yes, but something in my prehistoric mind never fails to stop me from standing before this tall metal box, give it my hard-earned 60 cents, push a glimmering button, not be frightened by the shudders and creaks the machine makes, and enjoy the refreshing coolness of the drink that emerges from the innards of this tall metal box.

I appreciated the teacher in my colleague as he told me all about these thing-producing-money-swallowing-metal-boxes. The first ones. What they look like from inside. A museum of them. Contemporary ones that give you more than soda cans and headphones in exchange for a few presses of a button and a few swallows of your money.

My Machine Muse 
I gawked at the teacher in me that began to think about the meaning of this all. Vending. Vend (v)\'vend\ To sell as in a hawker or peddler. An enthralling discussion about vending machines ensued in our staff lounge, as I wondered about more trivial matters - why isn't called a hawker machine? Or better yet - a peddler machine! I cautioned my brain from not running too far with my ideas to rename this machine, that by now, 12:41pm, I was absolutely ready to get inside of. I was intrigued to a frightful degree. I wondered about how many nuts and bolts it had inside; how often "they" (the secret keepers of the key to this tall metal thing-producing money-swallowing box) come by while we all are busy doing things like teaching to open the gates to this amazing invention; could I sneak into the box unseen and request one of my inventive colleagues to purchase an item from it and watch the inner movements of those simple machines from within; how many types of vending machines are there; what happens if - 

"Do you want to try some Dr. Pepper?" He asked unknowing of my inner tumult. 

"I've never had Dr. Pepper before," I said with curious nervousness.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

I miss you, friend.

I miss those late nights
in your parents kitchen -
trying to solve the world's problems
and not noticing the new ones
we'd brew, staying up till four am.

I miss asking questions
in your parents kitchen -
being questioned by you
and being strained and grated
while philosophizing about truth.

I miss laughing without care
in your parents kitchen -
wondering if the midnight
ice cream sundae you'd make so methodically
would help us feel better about our mistakes.

I miss seeing your name
flash on my phone
and yelling maaaaak
with the comfort and safety
of knowing I was home.

I miss talking about life
and I miss little things
I miss your voice
I know you're there - somewhere
but my phone never rings.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Martian Haiku

Last year my dear class
Sent haikus to burn on Mars
Here is the story

I just found this story written by one of  my favorite journalists and independent writers and had the best pre-bedtime read in a long time.

In case the hyperlink escapes you: http://www.coloradoindependent.com/129118/twelve-thousand-poets-pen-haiku-for-mars-mission-art-melds-with-science


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why do little boys abuse?

Wear something different.
Cover those knees up.
Wipe out that eye shadow.
Walk like a lady, don't strut.
Your elbows are too revealing
Your cheeks are too flushed
Your hair's too seductive.
Your toe's sticking out too much.
Your skirt is too short.
Your nails are too long
If you think you're right,
You're probably wrong.

These messages came to me, 
from every inch of my reality.
I remember being seven or eight,
and worrying about not asking for it.
How can you ask for it?
Ask for something you don't,
cannot
want.

We teach our daughters to be careful.
To see every passing shadow
as a dagger waiting to strike.
To look down,
look away,
shut up because it's not happening.
Well, shut up, I say.

We tell our daughters - 

She showed her toes.
She smiled at him.
She forgot to lock her door.
She challenged him.
She worked.
She went out with her friends too late.
She hung out with men.
She laughed out in the open - 
That's why she got raped.


She is not to blame.

It's time we unteach
It's time to unlearn.

It's time we start asking
What are we teaching our sons?

~Inspired by Andrea Gibson's Blue Blanket and stories from my own life.

I have come to encounter so many survivors whose abuser is a young boy. It never made sense to me. An ugly part of it still doesn't. How could a 12 year old boy do this to his own sister? And it begs the question - how could this child think it was okay? Are we born delinquently abusive and not? So much research says it's a learned behavior - what a frightful thing to be taught and learned. When you raise a child in an abusive home, you are so likely to raise either a survivor or an abuser. That is terrifying to me. 








Monday, March 3, 2014

Really, how hard can it be to say goodbye?

Really, how hard can it be to say goodbye?

I've lived in more places in my life
than I can stick up fingers for.

I've flown across continents
and driven across states
to move my life 
again and again.

I've gotten enough phone calls
Telling me someone's no more.

I've written too many drafts
I have not sent.
I've got too many things
I have not said.

I've packed more suitcases
than I have clothes to fill in.

I've been at too many 
of my own farewell parties
and drunk too many 
of my own farewell drinks.

I've closed more doors in my life
than homes I've lived in.

I've made a lot of promises
to keep in touch, stay connected,
reach out, Skype, FaceTime, email,
that I have not kept.

And still, I don't know how to say goodbye to you.
I think it's time though-
That much I know to be true.
It's time to say goodbye to you.

So here goes-
Here's my attempt to close this door,
zip this suitcase shut,
keep this promise - 
or rather come to terms with a broken one - 
send this draft and move to my next state.

How hard can it be?
Really?




Sunday, March 2, 2014

A letter to the racist human in Japan Town in San Francisco.

"Go back to your country!"
And with that, she drove away.

If I am able to,
if I do succeed,
in explaining to you
that I am home, that
I am in my own country;
Will you stop telling me to
go back to my country?

How do I begin explaining
that I am home?
Home: a place you call your own
A place that you can count on
You know it will be there
at the end of an exhausting day
A place you can be all you are
or nothing, if you desire
and create your own universe of acceptability
and norms surpassing questionability

Where do I begin explaining
that I am home?
Home: a feeling of safety
A feeling that tells you it is going to be okay
at the end of a horrid day
A feeling warmed by the comfort of homemade soup
garnished with the unconditionality of the truth
that you are safe, free from judgement
and hate

I'm struggling to find the right words
to let you know I belong
to inform you that I have the right -
No, that I have earned the right -
to belong
to be here, in this country
and that it doesn't need to matter
that I don't talk like you,
don't look like you,
or nod my head differently.

This is my country, too.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

No longer a Blogirgin

This is it. 

This is the critical moment of my life that will allow me to look back at every moment before this one and whoop a sigh while poetically stating, "My life changed on March 1, 2014" I have contemplated a lot about what life will be henceforth. Will it change how I brush my teeth or tie my shoelaces? Will I  start eating meat again or change my career path? Will I rethink dualism or anti-consumerism? Well, after much contemplation, lost sleep, and tireless moments of planning, here it is. Mommy, friends, dear ones, I have thought and thought about this, and I have decided that I'm ready for this life-altering moment - I am no longer a Blog Virgin.

Thanks, Slice of March for giving me this chance. 

So here's to writing, each day, but with a twist - for more than my eyes to see.

Wish me luck.