May 27, 2014


I took a semester off writing, and s
o it has been a while. 
I've been having difficulty coming up with things to write about lately, 
so today I took on a One Word writing exercise. 
Today's word: 'Sultry' 

Sultry reminds me of the Brazilian coast in mid-December.
Sultry reminds me of family clambering into cars too small to fit all of us and immediately rolling the windows down and trying, in vain, not to touch each other's bodies lest we experience another ounce of warmth.
Sultry reminds me of finally making out palm trees and miles of sand peppered with umbrellas, towels and chairs.

Sultry sounds like crashing waves, seagulls overhead and the "thud" of soccer balls and volleyballs making contact with limbs.
Sultry sounds like the far off humming of jet skis and speedboats. 
Sultry sounds like complaints regarding the weather interrupted by laughter and the popping of cans and swishing of ice in drinks. 

Sultry feels like sand burning into your soles, heavy air, and clingy swimwear full of sand.
Sultry feels like the stickiness on your hand that accompanies the sound of the ice cream man.
Sultry feels like coming out of the salty water, unprotected and into the glare of the sun. 

Sultry smells like surfboards, which were kept in the shed since last summer's end. 
Sultry smells of dense ocean breeze that warms instead of cools and wafts subtle hints of seaweed, abandoned shells and other such fishiness mingled with sunblock. 
Sultry smells of barbecued cheese, discarded coconut shells, and steaming corn on the cob.

Sultry is the humidity that lodges in your throat with each breath. 
Sultry is squinted eyes and diminished apertures
Sultry is something welcomed after months of frigidness. 

Sultry looks like relentless smiles, lopsided sandcastles, and foaming waves. 
Sultry looks like exhaustion resulting in the settling in of mothers, fathers, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles into a car, sighing in contentment, heads on shoulders and laps, arms intertwined and eyes dropping after a day in the sun. 
Sultry looks like driving for hours in traffic while singing campfire songs, cuddling wearied children, and drinking the last of the mango juice while planning "next time".

May 18, 2014


Early on as children we're taught the concept of keeping our hands to ourselves. I learnt it. I understood the idea of personal space. However, I developed a habit that, if it did not come at anyone's expense, I expand my own bubble. During summer drives, my hand finds its way outside to ride on the wind. When I walk, I walk with my hands outstretched. My fingertips linger on the fences, bushes and trees it finds. Not always, of course. Sometimes they're burdened with loads and cannot explore their surroundings. 

Many times these escapades result in the unconscious gathering of treasures. Other times the results are only bruises, cuts or scrapes. The treasures often come in the form of flowers, leaves or the sound of my fingers making music as they scrape along aluminum railings. These I smell, press and memorize. 

The hurt is sometimes a treasure in subtle form as well. From these I learn. Other times there is no redemption in the hurt. Of these I let go.

Of course, this all goes beyond the physical state of things. What I want to learn is to be just as open in mind and character. Too often I feel closed up and defensive, too burdened with my own loads to accept the treasures I could be gleaning. There is so much to be gained from living, and so little to store up in hoarding. So I've been coming out from my shell a little bit just to see what others are saying, doing thinking. I have been observing, and soaking up and allowing my mind to stretch its fingertips and explore its surroundings.

So far I've gotten criticism, negativity and hurt. These I learn form and let go. 
But so far I have collected many many treasures. These I savor, memorize and share. 
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