Thoughts Of The Day

When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it.

See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic.

We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake.

And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.

– Robert McCammon

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MY PUBIC HAIR – A TELL TALE FROM GOYA TO STOYA

“My personal history with pubic hair is as touched by trends as any woman’s. If it’s not touched by trends, then it’s touched by men. And media, and corporations who sell us razor blades, domestic wax and tweezers.”

This is the first time I’m sharing an article here on my blog directly from the source. In any other circumstances I will not do it because I am not really into re-blogging but this one is simply too good to let it pass. The article is thought-provoking, interesting educational and it’s about art 🙂 What could you want more? I remember writing a similar article when I just started blogging. You can read it here.

It is written by oana Cristina Casapu, the Managing Director of Art Parasites Magazine. Enjoy.

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Monday

I was in in the country visiting my mother when I first heard him. Yes (you read it right) heard him.

We went to a resort very near where my mother used to live. The place was gorgeous. There were natural spring water pools, trails to hike, beautiful falls and lots of nature’s best keep secrets. The owner didn’t alter what was there, he simply enhanced it. What a wonderful idea.

I was about to hit the water when suddenly I heard  My Way of frank Sinatra floating in the air from some unseen speakers somewhere. I always admired people who can sing convincingly; so I decided to look for the origin of the sound.

My curiosity led me to place on top of a hill next to the pools. There, stood a half-open picnic cottage and the sound was indeed coming from the inside. I was amazed to find out that the owner of the voice was a very small boy of about 12 years old. He glanced at me once and that was it. I can hardly believe it. The voice and the boy didn’t go together. (And it will always be like that)

I saw him again the next year and the year after that, and the year after that… He was one of the boarders of my godmother and it happened that my mother’s place was next to the boarding house. There were lots of boarding houses in that area, since most of the kids were from the mountains and only come home in the weekends.

When I look at the old holidays photographs, I am a bit surprised to find him almost in every each of the snapshots. I didn’t notice him around that much. He just a kid my niece had a crush on and I’m a grown up doing grown up things; only much, much later that I spoke to him; and only by coincidence.

I’m not what you called an outgoing type. When I am in vacation I stayed at home with my mother. Never been to a disco or things like that. I read mostly. That time it became a habit of mine to spend an afternoon till late at night at the boarding house. Mainly because I became very fond of a new born baby (who will later become my godson) whom I baptized Ngit-pa, which means ugly in our language, and ngit-pa he stayed till this very day. Few people remember his real name. I’m not one of them. I called him that because he really is a ngit-pa in a very adorable way.

One time I was alone gazing outside the window at groups of students coming out of the local high school just across the street when he came in. When I first heard his name I thought it was Mandy short for Armando. Only when he said it to me personally and I grabbed his school ID for confirmation that I found out it was really Monday, as in the first working day of the week. What an unusual name; especially for a boy…

I don’t know anymore why and what we talked about but I remember that it lasted till 1:00 in the morning and ended up with him saying to me that he thought it was boring to talk to old people and now he knew that he made the wrong assumption. I wonder if it was a compliment or an insult.

Anyway, the talk became a habit. I often avoiding going to the boarding house early in the morning (because guarantee he will be late) or in the evening (because he will stay up and will be late the next morning) but as it happened, we seemed to always catch each other one way or the other.

He taught me to strum guitar, I wrote letters for him (even provided the stationery) to his one and only greatest love Tracy Ann, the prettiest girl in the neighborhood!

We had a lot of fun together with other kids in the boarding house, playing cards, singing in videoke, going picnics, climbing over the fence of the school just to sit on the roof watching the full moon, things like that.

Monday was a very handsome kid with a brain to match; I do not know any girl in town who didn’t had a crush on him at some point in their academic year.

He was in a pilot class and always on top 5, a campus personality, a dancer, a singer and captain of CAT. Nobody would ever suspect the kind of troubles he was going through. No one would ever guessed that his father drunk too much alcohol, his mother was working out of town God knows where, that Monday had to stretch 100 pesos the whole week sometimes two weeks, depends on how fast his mother could send his allowance to cover his school and life expenses.

That he owed my godmother more than three months rent, that he ate his portion of rice in his room because he was embarrassed and didn’t want the other boarders to see that he ate it with nothing or whatever one peso could buy. That he was washing buses till late at night to earn pocket money, or he forced to play cards till 4:00 a.m to pay for his school projects.

I offered to lend him money several times and said I was going to talk to his mother but he refused both flat out. He never told me the reason why. I was worried about him. He’s almost as old as my daughter. If only my niece was as dedicated as he was regarding her studies. No, my niece thinks she was born an Onassis or a Trump.

The last time I saw Monday, I hardly recognize him. I knew right away that he jumped over the line. He crossed it. I first heard it from my hairdresser and Monday confirmed it. He said:

“It’s hard not to have money in my pocket. Besides, they do it to me, never I do it to them.’”

I asked him if he thinks there is a difference. He said:

“Believe me or not, I do not sink that low yet.”

My heart bled. I could not understand his parents. Monday has only one brother and worth every cent his parents were paying to send him to school.  If he is mine, I will do anything to be sure that he got the best education I can afford. But then again who am I to say?  I didn’t know the reasons why he was in that situation and probably I will never know.

The last thing I heard about him was from my mother. She told me he didn’t go to college and he was working somewhere in in the city. I can’t help it, but I find it a waste. A waste of a bright mind, and a wonderful kid…

Fast forward to present time:

I got him on the phone the other day (I didn’t know how he got my number and I didn’t ask) the first thing he told me is this: “I’m not a kid anymore.” Which puzzled me. He said he was calling to tell me that he graduated from college and now a certified civil engineer. He even sent me a graduation picture. He changed. Gone is the little boy looks, replaced by a young man carrying a bit of extra pounds especially in the middle. He resembles his father. Something I never thought possible. He invited me to see him if ever I ‘m in the country and provided me with home address and cell number. He told me it’s so delicious to be grown up. I don’t know what he means by that. I purposely lost the information he gave me. I find that although we cannot outrun the past, we cannot possibly go back there expecting  to find everything untouched…

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The never ending complicatedness of simplicity.

My eyes are heavy, can’t hardly stay awake. My dream world beckons to me telling me to give in to the desire. That pure feeling of absolutely nothing… ahhh, pure divinity! Darkness takes me, and I find myself wandering in circles. The clouds part, the sun sinks and the stars unveil themselves…My ‘night’ has fallen.

And though I can feel your presence grow ever stronger, ever nearer…I can never reach you, for I am too lost in my dreams. Nothing else matters, not you, not me, not my sanity. Just let me be free, innocent, and careless. I desire simple things; however, to some this may be hard to understand, the never ending complicatedness of simplicity.

Stardust 1035

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Tuesday Musing

The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.

—Fernando Pessoa

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Throwback

RM,

Do you remember the time you were serenading me across the street on your knees while your friends were hovering in the background encouraging you? How about purposely throwing away important basketball matches simply because you thought I was more concerned about Jethro’s game injuries than yours?

You were so childish. You were only 17 after all. But it was not an enough excuse to behave like a four year old. Remember, you only going to ride in a vehicle if it is maroon, fairly new and with sound system on board? How about the times you refused to leave a mall arcade unless you get an ice cream sundae?  You know why I tolerated you as much? Because I thought your mother was a friend of mine. Well, she was; until…

Did you forget already that you got so angry with me because I didn’t wait for you to come home from school so we can go to the cinema and watch Titanic? I went with Leo instead. You must know that I am not the type to wait. I have my own schedule and it doesn’t stand still for anyone. Not even you.

You were full of yourself. You demand constant attention from everyone and will do anything to get it. Like disturbing a team meeting by coming so late, singing a song while putting off your shirt. Or ringing me hundred times a night till my brother had enough and hanged up the phone on you.

I don’t know why you did those things, you lived just across the street from me, your bedroom was facing mine, and I could even see you while you were making those calls.

Do you think singing: “There was a time in my life when I open my eyes and there you are” at 4:00 in the morning was cute? No, it was not!

Louie cannot appreciate (who can?) that you kept scandalizing us whenever you saw us together. Hindi ka nakakatuwa, even when you waited for hours outside our gate because I refused to talk to you.

Probably the only thing you did right was when you invited me to dinner on Valentines Day and gave me… ah-hum…roses and sang a song for me.  But you made so much drama out of it that it eclipsed whatever good intention you might had.

People found strange that you had to interrupt the performer in the middle of her repertoire to ask for the microphone so you can blurt out “Remember me” by Renz Verano, and Jesus! You could not even sing!

When you stood up to offer me the flowers in exchange for a peak on the cheek you got applause from everybody, and that seemed to encourage you to act up further. Every time I reached for your gift, you re-tract your hand and hid it behind your back just to repeat your infantile performance over and over again.

I wanted to walk out; leave you there on your own; but one of us had to be an adult and it will never be you.

It didn’t end well between us, isn’t it? I should not have taken you to court for harassment, but you left me no choice! The concept of “no is no” was not only unheard of but totally not acceptable for you. I know that you are used to getting what you want all the time, but I am not like everybody else; I can only tolerate that much. Enough is enough.

When you started calling my name in the videoke almost every night and you didn’t return a piece of my personal clothing you took without me knowing… then I knew it was time for me to do the right thing; teach you a lesson.

Your mom will never forgive me, I know that. Her ego could not take that someone would dare to defy her and shame your elite influential family. Well, I guess you all didn’t know me. Nobody but nobody can intimidate yours truly. At least, your brother understood, and why not? He knows you after all.

I heard you didn’t make it to UAAP, you become an engineer instead.

And I am right about your daddy am I not?

Another blow on the carefully staged image of your mother.

If only she had believed me then.

Anyway, all water under the bridge now. But they say you still the same, still treating women like your MVP trophies. I can believe it.

The last time I saw you, you greeted me as if it was only yesterday. You even tried to stop me from walking away from you by grabbing my wrist.

You’re lucky I didn’t smack you right on the face. It will probably wipe off that perpetual smug look on it. Kudos though, you can read expression now. No need for me to say something. One look from me and you let go of my arm. I can’t forget the disbelief that was written on your face while I was walking away. You read it right, I DON’T DO THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE.

 Manager

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Paper Town

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
― John Banville 

If someone would ask me who my first love was, I will say it’s Rolando (out of no one better to consider) though I’m not really sure if I ever been in-love. (My mother said I’m not capable of)

I met him one afternoon I was waiting for my (rebel) elder sister to finish their class officers meeting (though I doubt if there really was a meeting. With her, nobody knows) which was held (suspiciously) at one of her classmate’s house. It was beginning to get dark so I decided to come in and sit in the kitchen, and there he was; looking tall and immovable like a __ statue (a fitting nickname his peers used to tease him with) he looked at me intently (a habit he had towards anything or anyone) I ignored him. He was grown up (in my eyes) already and I was just in the 5th grade. He was in the same class with my sister. Besides, I find him creepy.

I was surprised to get a letter from him the next day. His sister (who was in the same grade as me but lower section) Joy delivered it while I was waiting in line for the flag ceremony. I put the paper inside my pocket and forgot about it. Till my mother washed my uniform, found the damn thing and gave it to my father.

“You don’t believe what’s in here, do you?” He asked me. I shook my head thinking: I don’t even know what’s in there.

He shoved the letter back to me and commanded me to get rid of it. I scrolled over the words before I used it to light the fire to cook rice. It read: white even teeth… nice legs… cute smiles…and kissable lips. Everything was written in English. I wonder who really wrote the letter. I find it too sophisticated for a freshman sitting in lower section of a barrio public high school. No chance.

I got letters from him almost every day for two years. Most of the time, I put them somewhere and forget all about it, or tore them up without reading the contents. One time, I even tore one  of his letters in front of everyone  while he watched. If look could kill…

But I did have lunch in their house. Joy asked me once to eat with them, her parents wanted to see me. I wonder why? I went with her for several reasons: one because I eat lunch in school anyway and mostly alone since my sister was always nowhere to be found. Two because their place was way over the big railroad bridge and I always wanted to go there but not alone, and last because of curiosity. I secretly wondered about this not bad looking, quiet, moody teen who chose to go after me instead of the more popular choices around.

Their house was dark and tall and the kitchen was upstairs. They used cutlery instead of eating with their hands and looked at me quite scandalized when I did so. I didn’t eat much because I lived in a fishpond and used to eat lots of seafood plus meat all in one meal instead of just rice, vegetables and noodles floating in tons of water.

All and all, I think I didn’t give much of a positive impression. So what? I ate my lunch on my way back sitting under some bamboo trees. Joy was patiently waiting few feet away looking even more scandalized than her family. The only positive outcome of the whole meeting was: at least I have met the real authors of I love you, honestly love you letters: his two sisters who were in college. (Damn! I hate to be right)

If his parents didn’t like me, I didn’t notice it with his attitude. He hanged around our building more than ever and everyone knew about us already. It was embarrassing. He even snatched my self-made (fashioned from cigarettes carton) baseball cap (he let one of his mates snatched it right off my head. I tried to run after him but he jumped into the muddy rice fields and I was wearing complete uniforms. My mother would kill me if…)

And return it the next day full of graffiti.  The nerve!

Emmanuel came into my life at the same time, and what a way to do it. He had beaten up one of my classmates (Gabriel) to a pulp. I found him sitting next to home economics building bleeding. The side of his nose was torn and so were his lips. When I asked our school secretary who did it she told me it was her uncle, Emmanuel.

I found the uncle sitting just outside school’s gate on a railroad wearing a red bandana. He was a complete stranger to me. Nevertheless, I marched up to him and laid my case. (Before coming out to confront the guy, I already heard the reason why he punched Gabriel. It was because he told this outsider not to destroy school’s properties; in this case, plants.)

All the time I yada-yada-ya to him, he just looked at me amusedly eyeing me up and down as if I had no single clothes on. I felt so humiliated.

The next time I saw him was in our house. Surprise, surprise, he was the leader of the gang my sister was a member of, and it properly named KATUGA (kain-tulog-gala – meaning: eat, sleep and roam around) I disliked him even more. His brother Arthur always called me Gladys Knight. I wonder why?

Emmanuel reminded me of Robin Padilla (or the other way around) he was sort of maginoong – bastos (gentlemanly vulgar) and he set his eyes on pestering me. One time, he locked me between his legs to braid my hair! And he was constantly making side remarks. I wanted him to disappear.

Rolando on the other hand was getting bolder. He started to demands things from me. When I asked him for a reason, he showed me a letter (which clearly written by my sister) that I am agreeing to have a relationship with him. I was shocked and decided to avoid him. What followed was a cat and mouse chase. The once quiet and love struck teen turned into a bonafide psycho.

I remember one time I was looking for my sister and found her in the middle of a gang war at the big railroad bridge. Students everywhere! On top of the bridge, in the water, everywhere! Everyone was fighting! I was so busy looking at the spectacle I didn’t notice the train was coming. Rolando as if by magic appeared from nowhere and pulled me to him on the side of the bridge. The footholds were merely 2by2 and hanging in the air. I had to cling to him. He tried to kiss me and when I told him I would jump he said: “Then jump.” And I did. When I came out of the water, he was there waiting for me. He successfully fended off a slap from me and held my wrist tightly.

Couple of co- gang members of my sister came to the rescue. Rolando retreated simply because they were outnumbered. I didn’t know that he belonged to my sister’s rival gang, Indian Hiders (what a name!)

That was not the end of my episode with Rolando. He began harassing me in public. The worst thing he did was ripping my uniform open just outside the school’s gate on the front of all our fellow students. I was standing there half naked in front of everybody. Very traumatic.

He only earned two weeks suspension for it after we ended up battling our case in faculty office, where he branded me a tease and I accused him of being a psycho. It didn’t stop him though. He kicked my umbrella off my hand and broke it to pieces, and stole my school bag as well. He followed me everywhere and I was really beginning to get paranoid. I started seeing him everywhere (even when I transferred to another school in town)

To top the situation with Rolando, Emmanuel decided to abduct me. He did it while I was walking on the railroad carrying our final exam papers. They grabbed me and put me on this thing that can ride on rails; the thing has a fitting name__ skates. Not surprisingly, my sister was with them.

They put me in some barn, a kind of storage for giants’ native fans which were normally for export. He was sitting on top of the unmade palm leaves waiting for me. My sister said. “He will not harm you. He promised me.” Duh???

But he really didn’t. He just talked to me about things I didn’t understand then while kneeling in front of me and holding my hands. I must have annoyed him somehow for he dragged me afterwards to the bridge (again) together with his members (including my sister) when we reached the place, there were other people on the other side of it (The suspended structure connects two big adjoining barangays, which respectively the residence(s) of both psychos) I recognized Rolando, standing at the far end of the bridge.

Emman put me in the middle of it and pushed me gently saying:” Move! Go to him.” When I refused to walk, he told me: “Move Cherrilyn, trust me.” So I did.

Behind me I heard him shouting: “You want her. Get her. If you can, she’s yours.” I thought what am I? Someone’s property?  But I kept walking. Trust him he said.

I saw the face of Rolando getting nearer and nearer. He was looking intently at me without blinking, eyebrows knotted together, am I scared?

Before I reached him I heard movements behind me. I looked behind and saw Emmanuel without glasses for the first time. He put me behind him and what happened next was a blur. I remember punches being thrown, bloody face of Rolando, him falling off the bridge, Emman catching an arrow on his leg, my sister exercising karate on her Indian Hiders boyfriend, I don’t even remember how we get home. I kept hearing the voice of my sister telling me not to tell things to my father. I didn’t.

All and all, things turned out alright. I lost a trustworthy medal for losing one exam paper which coincidentally belonged to my academic rival Alma. Everybody believes I did it on purpose. Lucky her, she graduated top one.

When I moved to another school in town proper, I found out that Emmanuel was attending the same establishment, he was a senior-lower section, and I was a freshman – pilot class. He acted as if he didn’t know me. I did the same. What happened between us was million years away.

The last time I saw him was in a café. I was already married to my ex. I went to the toilet and saw him standing there next to a jukebox. He had a few and started to talk to me. I tried to ignore him but he followed me to our table. I introduced him to my ex and he instantly sobered up.

I saw Rolando once much earlier. It was fiesta and I was watching an old fashioned barrio dance and he was there. He followed me all the way home. Me and my youngest sister managed to elude him and locked the door. He knocked for quite sometimes before finally giving up. I never see him again.

Then, my eldest sister came to get me to live with her. I set foot in Manila for the first time. Not exactly in the capital, somewhere nearby.

A beginning of a new episode, a different life…

Beautiful People

“I don’t think good-looking people realize how lucky they are. It’s all very well telling people to love themselves, but that’s not easy when society has skewed people’s perceptions to be so narrow and limited. If you don’t conform to society’s view of beauty, you’re invisible. It hurts, when that’s you.”

-Unknown

 

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Careful

This week, show us something careful — a photo taken with care, a person being careful, or a task or detail requiring care.

Just another day in paradise…

A passenger jeepney carrying loads of people. A standard scenario  in my country of birth. See those happy faces… Danger is the last thing on their minds it seems. Be careful people. Hold tight and don’t fall.

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I saw this in Japan the last time I’ve been there. There is something endearing about this image. I find it fascinating to watch. Be sure that you stack those pieces neatly on top of each other boys, so it won’t fall.

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Thinking Of Spring

O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro’ the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o’er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languished head,
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee…

~ William Blake

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She

You cannot really fit her into any stereotypes and that I guess makes people uncomfortable and makes her all the more gorgeous and mysterious. At one moment she appears to be elusive, distant and at other you will see her melting while listening to her favorite song or reading her favorite lines. When everyone is busy trying to put her gypsy soul in a box, she never give in; instead she continues to dance to the music of her own heart…

Just from the looks of it t feels like she is someone who should have given up a long time back. Her feet are bruised and her hands still shiver every time she thinks of those memories and past, but something doesn’t allow her to just sit and rest and allows everyone else to redefine her. Some people say she has that spark,  others say that she has too much pride, but all you need to know about her is that even in the darkest of nights, her spirit will strive to see the morning light, that even after everything that happened and will happen, the fire in her heart will always survive…

You can tell it from the sadness that lurks in her eyes that she had been engulfed by darkness so many times.  Shattered. Broken. Bleeding. Left in terrible pain with scarred skin, open wounds and yet, she can sit under the moon and feel every star as if she’s one of them, leaving me in awe of her and making me realize that her heart is a flower that can bloom in darkness, even without light…

She isn’t perfect; in fact, she is far away from it. Her eyes are always searching for something she is not even sure if it really does exists.  She often closes her eyes and wishes for her heart to have more courage, for the chaos that brews in her mind is sometimes too much to handle. She never tries to hide her flaws and wears them with pride together with the scars on her skin which are the proof she survives good battles.  She’s not perfect but she’s real, there is no sign of pretense. She always tries to be as honest as possible and in the end, that is what matters…

Don’t try to understand her. Her heart is a mosaic made of pieces of all the things she ever loved. She is the books she reads, she is the nights she spent gazing at the stars, she is her favorite songs, she is all the times she felt her heart is too heavy from lifting the weight of the past, and she is nostalgia wraps in a a surreal moments of beauty. She is the sunsets that she watched, and the summer which gives a sigh of relief as soon as it hits with the first drizzle. Don’t understand her. Just dwell in her presence and let her be…

When she is happy, she is walking on sunshine with that gorgeous smile, and an aura that is hard to miss.  On other days, you would see her slowly closing herself down, shutting her heart to the outside world, and slowly succumbing to the chaos that has risen inside the folds of her being. She feels every little thing from the depths of her heart; she takes pride in living without layers, living without any sort of pretense of masks.  They tell her not to live on extremes; they tell her to find balance and not to feel passionately for every little thing.  She doesn’t know how to do that because for her living and feeling are the same thing…

She is beautifully chaotic in her own ways, so if you do fall for her, expect it to be a wild chase.  With her, there is no balance; she always plays in extremes ends of life, sometimes as wild as fire and at others as cold as ice. Some people do tell her that she is too much to handle but I can tell this much that she is genuine and her feelings real and there are no lies in her eyes.  She is terrifyingly beautiful in the sense that she expresses her soul.  Her eyes has spark, her voice has passion.  You can throw her in fire but she can love deeply even in flames…

She still has rough edges around her soul and she never wants to be told that she is pretty.  She is the one with bruised hands, and a tired heart. She is the one who gets locked in cages but is still able to fight her way out.  She is the one who likes her face rough and without makeup.  She is the one with words that cuts through your spine, she doesn’t care about pleasing, and she comes straight to the point.  She is always hungry for more and knows nothing about the word elegance.  Maybe she is terribly broken and hurt, but her spine can never be bent to will…

She is the kind of book you want to read in complete solitude with at best just a mug of coffee. Her each page is stained with brutal honesty and raw vulnerability, to the point where you start shivering. Oh, but oh, she’s such a page turner. She is the kind of book which you feel like shutting at this very instant. Damn. She’s making you uncomfortable but you cannot put her aside because you know her soul has too much truth. She is the kind of book which will overwhelm your entire being and you will start throwing around her best written quotes. She is the kind of book you will never really finish, for each time you re-read her, she has different ending…

~ HD #Honest Musing

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Coincidence

I was walking in town when I saw this card among so many in display inside a revolving rack that was standing at the front door of a gift shop. I was immediately drawn to it because it reminds me of Hemingway’s six word story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Sometimes life is full of luck, like getting dealt a good hand, or simply by being in the right place at the right time…

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