what we held on to

what else did we have to hold on to
other than the messages we shared
or the old and newish memories
all the nostalgic objects and places
awaking our care, tearing us deeper

what else did we have to hold on to
if we couldn’t have your embrace
or take strolls on the streets as we did
and enjoy any sort of engagement
to open your mind and your heart

what else did we have to hold on to
apart from the prayers and hopes
that our paths would cross someday
when the truth had set you all free
and with us you can begin again

Thoughts Before Flight

As I entered, momentarily gazing

at the many faces of those seating

on the vehicle I would settle

until our destination was reached

a couple that spoke together softly

while holding their hands together

a man drowned out all the noise

while his eyes roved like mine

a small blonde boy walked the isle

his mom followed closely behind

a bearded man swallowed pills

and closed his eyes in preparation

I wondered how we were able

to have such trust and surrender

to the abilities of human beings

who are imperfect just like us

we were able to set aside

the fear of everything possible

how often did we do this

consciously or unconsciously

close our eyes and fall back

and hope the universe will catch us

9/1/19

Two days ago, I took a flight with my family across the country. As I walked down the aisle to reach my seat, I couldn’t help but look at the faces around me in wonderment. In my anxiety, I thought at first, “These all are the people I could die with.” I scanned the faces, saving them to my memory.

A man, a women, a couple, a family, a mother and child. All on the same plane, the same destiny for the time being. They fastened their belts, and awaited for liftoff. As I took in this scene, I realized something very significant.

These are people of faith. All of them really. Why else are the potentially surrendering themselves to the capability of those in the deck? Having trust in a vehicle that defies gravity in a way they can’t even fully grasp? This was interesting to me.

Humans are creatures of faith, trust and hope constantly. Whether we notice it or not. It is an odd but beautiful thing. We know what could happen, the negative possibilities or even life threatening consequences of our everyday choices. Often, we have to set aside fear (I am very afraid of heights) so that we can fulfill our needs, dreams, and ambitions. As humans, we evolve each moment we surmount our nature in this manner, and trust that by doing so we getting closer to reaching our purposes for living.

I found that even being thousands of feet in the air was quite a wonderful experience after all, and I would quite like to do it many more times over.

Poetry by Rupi Kaur: A Review

Poetry has always been a style of writing that I loved. I write a bit, but I have always loved reading poetry. To me, it’s a very freeing and vulnerable sort of writing. Poets reveal pieces of their hearts, convey their values and ideas, and express concepts in a often illustrative and touching way.

I have had the pleasure to read Rupi Kaur’s books, “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers.” Usually, the poetry that I read is much different than Rupi’s. At times, when a poet touches a deeper concept, they don’t write about it directly. They may use figurative language to describe it and leave the reader to decide what it means. Although this style has its charm, it can lead the reader to be a little frustrated if they are not able to comprehend the meaning the poet is trying to express. However, this is not the case with Rupi.

In Kaur’s poetry, she evocatively and vulnerably describes the thoughts and feelings that come with loss, love, abuse, femininity, family, beauty, and identity. She does not hold anything back in her poems, and writes them in a language that is accessible to anyone.

In “Milk and Honey,” she cleverly sections her book into 4 portions: The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and The Healing. In the first portion, she candidly goes into her experiences and feelings of a past abuse, confusion with her identity, objectification, and neglect. In “The Loving“, it dives in with very passionate and colorful poems expressing her feelings of love, and “The Breaking” being the intense pain and desperation that comes with the loss of that love. The last portion, “The Healing,” takes a positive and empowering turn with writings about moving forward after the abuse and failed relationships. I really was found her rawness and authenticity, and how she was able to show how emotions or thoughts aren’t always easy fluid. Sometimes her poems seemed like they were taking a positive turn, but then sometimes it would drop down again to the negative. It would go back and forth at times, like an internal struggle. Her writing style seemed very psychological in that way, and I admired that.

Similarly, in “The Sun and Her Flowers,” she divides this book into five chapters: “Wilting“- which deals with grief, “Falling“- which deals with self-abandonment, “Rooting“- which goes into family struggles and honoring one’s roots, “Rising”– which dives into a new love, and “Blooming“, like “The Healing,” ends the book nicely with positive and empowering messages. I enjoyed this one a little bit more than the first, because I found many of the poems very relatable. However, I found the feminist and immigrant themes very pivotal, especially with the various issues that seem to be dividing the United States currently. Rooting was educational, and I appreciated reading about a her, a child of immigrants, pride and awe of her parents sacrifices that gave her and her siblings the opportunities and freedoms no one in any of their families generations had, specifically women. I really enjoyed reading Rising also, because I was glad seeing her move on to a new love, as scary as that can be. I found myself saying “HA!” at one of the poems where she saw her old boyfriend in the coffee shop and didn’t have a single care. That was definitely a highlight.

I would recommend these books to anyone of a mature mind, especially girls and women. Many of the poems are empowering, and even if this book is taken apart and some specific poems are selected, I think even a young child might appreciate it. However, I believe that both the books in whole are definitely better suited for who are of an reasonable age (16+ maybe), because some of the poems might be disturbing or confusing to a child.

Overall, it was truly a great read, and I am considering buying them so I can read it over and over again. Have you read “Milk and Honey” or “The Sun and Her Flowers”? Tell me what you thought of it!

Below are some of my favorite poems from Rupi, mostly from The Sun and Her Flowers.

For Mom

There are not enough words

that can help you to see

what sort of a person

that you are to me

I can only be gracious

for all the love everyday

and for not giving up

for making everything okay

I think of the sacrifices

that have caused me to be

you gave up your dreams

just to be with me

I remember the arguments

and we always have a few

but when the morning comes

you’d still smile, and I would too

I cannot even begin to think

how different the world would be

without the amazing woman

that I’m graced daily to see

I say these things to you

even though it’s not enough

to express my deepest love

and being my mom and stuff

8/4/19