Imagine a world where…

Children of many different cultures hold hands and form friendships. World leaders shake hands and lay old quarrels to rest. Healing is brought to broken lives and shattered families. The inner city slums are cleaned up and restored. There are no addictions. The earth is clean; there is no smog; there are no oil spills. The world lives in peace and balance.

I can’t be the only one who longs for this…this heaven on earth. But where does it start? How do we begin this journey?

…it starts with you. Well, not just you. Me. My friends. Your friends. The change has to begin in our own hearts. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Admit it, there is a certain person (or group of people) who annoys the heck out of you. He or she is bothersome, ignorant, etc. etc. etc. Believe me, I get what that’s like. But today, I discovered a new way of looking at these people. As they walk by, take a look in their eyes. What are their stories? What is their pain? Everybody has it. I have it. You have  it. They have it. When you look at them this way, they might not seem so horrible anymore.

In short, it starts with you, and  more specifically, how you look at people. How can we begin to change the world when we harbor hate in our hearts?

Take it down to a small scale now. Imagine a world where you look on everyone with kindness.

That’s where the path must begin.

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Everything is poetry.

Yesterday, I turned fourteen. I am so blessed to have such a supportive group of friends and family, and I certainly couldn’t have gotten through my thirteenth year without such help. This is something I’ve been noticing as I enter this new chapter in my life.

Everything can be made into poetry. From the bothersome city traffic to the soft neigh of the country horse, and the dreamy moonlit sky to the soft, wormy dirt, there are hidden morsels of wonder everywhere. Isn’t that just splendid? Hidden morsels of wonder. If we are the hunters, searching for nourishment, we must look deeper into the everyday occurrences and objects we so often take for granted.

Get an imaginary boyfriend!

My dating experience is very limited due to my very young age (a few days from being fourteen), but I do have a few words of wisdom for anyone who wishes to listen.

My simple dating advice to anyone my age or younger? Don’t do it! I don’t care how perfect you say the other person is; I don’t care how good of friends you are; I don’t care if you’re a hopeless romantic like me who wants a knight in shining armor to carry you away to the Land of Blissful Love. Spare yourself the heartbreak and I can assure you that you will thank me later. Please don’t make excuses or exceptions and note your age. You are young. There isn’t even a reason to date somebody. Oh, you really like him? Hm…well in that case…nope, still not making an exception! Go home and write long ballads about the two of you and never show them to anybody and daydream. Anything but actually dating the person. It will most likely ruin whatever friendship you have, and at least one of you will end up in pieces.

However, I have nothing against book boyfriends. You know, dating a book or movie character in your mind. Or, if you’re anything like me, make up an imaginary boyfriend. It sounds a little lame, but it’s really not. Here’s why…

  1. Imaginary boyfriends will never hurt you or let you down.
  2. Imaginary boyfriends will not argue with you.
  3. Imaginary boyfriends can look however you want them to.
  4. You can bring your imaginary boyfriend anywhere.
  5. You can have an imaginary boyfriend at any age.

So, what do you say? Start dreaming!

First draft of something I wrote…

Dreamy moonlight pours across the quaint village of wistful hopes

the shadowy steeple, humbly keeping watch over the town like a mother over her babe

visions dance about in the minds of youths, awash in slumber

as the stars shimmer and glow, bright sequins on the velvety sky vest of God.

 

But towards the outskirts of town, where the trees loom like towers over the houses

where the deer run alongside babbling brooks like exuberant children,

sits a fair maiden of eighteen, dressed in a plain gown of ugly yellow.

Deep eyes of mahogany-colored brown dart back and forth between two men–

two rich, muscular, infuriated men–adorned in pearls and diamonds.

 

The handsomer one brings his great fist upon the girl’s face,

and a scream erupts from her moonlit, milk-white throat.

“Alas, I have failed thee, Lord! I’ve cheated a man!”

The girl’s mind drifts to an earlier day in which she tricked these men,

tricked them into paying just an extra nickel for a loaf of bread.

“God, be with me as I enter thy depths of loneliness!”

And the men violate her prized virginity, throwing her into a wagon–

their wagon–their dusty, rickety cart full of dried meat.

 

Tears, like the brooks of her homeland, stream from the poor lady’s eyes

as she wails in the abyss of ever-deepening despair.

Wishes are painted in her bursting imagination, vivid blues and purples

describing her spiraling agony.

“I am thy tainted lady!” cries she, erupting into trembling fits of fear.

 

The two men and the tear-soaked woman arrive at a sunset beach.

Oranges and yellows and reds streak across the sky and lick the salty ocean waves.

“Be gone, thy cheater!” the evil men snicker, taking the despairing girl

in their sweaty, sinewy arms.

“Oh!” whispers she, tossed into the hungry seas.

Among calm ripples and fresh breezes the lady drowns, her warm tears

returning to their birthplace.

A fair lily trampled and beaten, tossed into the garbage to rot.

 

Her legacy is nothing, her reputation ruined. Only her closest family grieves,

sinking into solitude.

“Was her clothing provocative? Perhaps it was!” Gossipy ladies chatter about the tragic death.

“The fate was self-inflicted!”

Yet it was not the fault of the poor lily, dressed in ugly yellow.

It wouldn’t have been her fault if she had been clothed in smooth black,

or towels from the bathing room!

The monsters, her killers, roam free and deemed innocent to this day,

while an unfortunate, crushed lily is remembered in scorn and

disapproval, forever branded as an untouchable sinner.

 

 

More than a Feeling

Should I start singing the song? You know, the one by Boston! (How could anyone NOT love that song?!)

However, this isn’t about music. This is about basing life off feelings of a moment. Recently I had a conversation with a friend about this. The person strongly believes in feelings as truth. I understand that emotions are very important, but one cannot base life off of them. Just imagine believing everything you feel as infallible truth. It doesn’t sound too pleasant, does it? The raging whirlpool of human emotions is quite fickle, ever-shifting and as wild as the sea. One week may feel like a lovely dream, but another will be fits of anger and sadness. Sure, you could extend that week to a month or so, but it doesn’t change my point. When it comes to reliability, I’ll take a large, steady cruise ship over a little yacht.

Of course, I’m not saying to ignore everything you feel and become a zombie. That’s not what I’m saying at all! I’m all for emotion (see my post ‘Numbness or Passion’) but you can’t let that rule your life. Begin building your life on truth, and it will surely stand solid in the midst of a hurricane.

Cardboard Adults

One of my worst fears is becoming one of those boring adults–you know, the ones who just sit around in the office all day and do nothing but check emails and complain about life and go meetings, etc. etc. etc.  I hope that when I’m grown, I’ll still have my sense of wonder and joyous heart.

Have you become a cardboard adult? That’s what I call it–someone who seems to live a boring, monotonous life, never stopping to breathe the fresh air or feel the soft grass beneath their toes. Cardboard adults often complain about not having enough time to do anything but work, but the truth is that one can make time for small pleasures anytime. Driving to the office, notice the clouds–fluffy dollops of ice cream against a candy blue sky. Don’t just drink your coffee–smell it! Imagine where those coffee beans originated and try to feel the sensation of traveling a long journey to be put in a hot beverage. (Of course, always keep an eye on the road. Thankfully I’ve got some time to get my imagination under control before I’m allowed to get my permit.)

Now that I’ve given you some ideas to find joy, I don’t want to hear any excuses. There are always stray minutes waiting to be daydreamed in. Nobody is working 24/7. How about those few minutes as you’re drifting off to sleep? Like  I said, you can’t say you don’t have enough time. Everything is bursting with opportunity for imaginative thinking.

And if you don’t naturally think imaginatively,  just try to notice things. For instance, note the patterns on a rose petal. Pay attention to the texture of the sidewalk. Whatever you do, don’t just pass life by!

By the way, thank you for all the encouraging comments on my posts! It does mean a lot to me, and although I don’t usually reply to comments, they are always noted!

 

“There’s such a…

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person.” -Anne of Green Gables
I’m reading Anne of Green Gables for the third time. Isn’t is such a beautifully-written masterpiece? It is! If only Anne were real. Her and I would have been best friends–or bosom friends, as she would say.

This quote is so true. Have you ever felt like there were multiple different people inside you? I certainly have, especially for different classes in school. (Some of that, however, may depend on my mood, my desire for the subject, and the time of day.) Yes, I can be quite a troublesome person because it can be so difficult to manage so many different Abigails. Recently, I’ve been doing away with my fake personalities and focusing on the real one.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t read Anne of Green Gables, check it out and read it already! You won’t be sorry.

Bliss

Yesterday evening was a very chaotic time in my household. In order to clear my mind and think a little, I took a long walk to a park near where I live. Towards the back of the park near the baseball field are a small set of bleachers. A few months ago, a guy and I did some stuff we shouldn’t have done there. You know, the things that make me feel shameful and guilty. However, when I reached the bleachers, the setting was nothing like that chilly March day. In fact, it was teeming with life and activity. Little children played ball in the fields with excited parents cheering on the bleachers. From atop the hill I was perched on, I heard the high-pitched singing of the ice cream truck as a soft breeze played at my face. It was then that I realized how different everything is. It’s a nice kind of different. A refreshing kind of a different, a freedom, a sheer bliss. I’m so glad that those bleachers have been ‘redeemed.’