july 2nd, 2019

"Jargon" has been on my mind, lately: the words we co-opt, the acronyms, the increasingly diluted definitions; and the subsequent pollution of true meaning, of intention, of connection that certain language is meant for—

Words have power. Jargon is lazy and feigns truth. Weaponizing your (or another's) "struggle" to excuse shitty behavior is selfish. Using "self-care" as excuse to perpetuate negative patterns while avoiding scrutiny is also selfish. Breaking bad habits, self kindness, loving, trust, is a lifelong construction. Don't build your house on sand or marsh or garbage. You deserve better; and, if you find yourself wanting to settle atop shifting soil, you have more excavation to do. Struggle is not weakness, it is courage. Lying is not intelligence or cunning, it is manipulation and cruelty. Withholding information is lying; and humans (especially those wounded) aren't stupid. Addiction, (compulsive, harmful behavior to yourself and others) is an illness, if you're doing the work. It's a fucking excuse if you're not. "Forgiving oneself" is not the ticket to avoiding responsibility for harm caused. It is the commitment to love yourself while you do the uncomfortable, difficult, terrifying work of sitting with parts of yourself that hurt and have hurt others. And, you'll never forgive yourself if you aren't willing to forgive others. (How terrifying: to understand and accept the flaws of your villains as yours, too.) Consider meaning. Stop asking people that you don't care to show-up for, to show-up for you. Stop talking if your words are hollow.

To say: please please discontinue undermining the work of others by diluting the language necessary for communal understanding, relation. We have such limited ways to explain what this is like. Stop undercutting the progress of others by fucking with their sense of safety and well-being. You're fucking with their life when you prescribe your limited worldview on their journey (meaning: quit judging shit you don't even understand.) If you aren't going to do your own work, don't fly the F*cking flag of those who are working their asses off.

july 3rd, 2019

On this day, last year, I did not know yet that my Grandmother, the woman who raised me, would pass away in four days time. In four days from this day, last year, I will have had to say goodbye to Grams, over the phone, in a hot parking lot, waiting for my dog to come out of the ER. I didn’t think, then, that Brandeh would be gone in four months, too.
Sometime this week, two years ago, I didn’t think that I’d have the courage to leave my partner of six years, for good. Last Wednesday, this year, I thought I was going home to LA to be with Mom for the anniversary of Grandma’s passing. I didn’t know that I’d be going home to say goodbye to my Mother who tells me that she’s moving back to Korea—. We’ve struggled to build a relationship over the last decade. And now, she’s going away.

I wonder what next year will bring. I wonder how much I can take. How many times can a girl lose her mother? How am I going to get through the week? I have no plan, no map. It took me a whole year to even begin crying and now I can’t seem to stop. I’m lost and I haven’t left, yet! There’s this hole in my chest, in my throat. I try to explain & the ocean spills out of my body—

I guess, to say: timing is weird. life is weird. & grief is weird (weird-bad, weird-wrenching, weird-all encompassing)(weird horrible)(weird lonely).

There’s definitely some sort of trajectory to life and the universe and death and so on. There’s even a socially acceptable grace period for grief (before it gets reaaal awkward). But, nobody ever prepares you for the end of these...trajectories. Nothing prepares you for the sudden disappearance, the missing limb, the silence that rushes in and how long it stays; or the odd, unannounced circumstances that trigger memory and ache. Why does marigold yellow remind me of Grams? She didn’t have marigolds nor did she wear the color.

I’ve lost my whole family in the span of one year. 
I don’t know how to comprehend that they are no longer material, that I’ll never—

I don’t know if a warning would have helped, or hurt. But I am all alone here, now. And I am not the girl I was last July. I wonder sometimes whether I am real or refracted. I have worked hard to accept many new truths. There is much that I have yet to accept. I play the sound of her breathing—through the pumps and clicks and beeps—in my head everyday.

I do know this: 1. nothing matters more than those you love, who love you back. 2. nothing, even breathing, is guaranteed. I know it sounds like a (shitty) greeting card; but, it’s true. Where did I read that every night, hummingbirds go to sleep and some just never wake up—?

There, there’s your warning.

Forget the shit that doesn’t matter. We are all that we have. Be good and kind and soft to each other, please. I know it isn’t easy. But we have to believe that we are all doing the best we can. If not, what then?

If you’re ever given the opportunity to love, please do so courageously. Go all in. May it unravel you. Let it rearrange you.

& whenever you get the chance, let her sleep in bed with you, throw the ball a little longer, don’t forget to call every Sunday—

& whenever you get the chance, tell them. Tell them again. Show them how much—-


July 12th, 2019

dear sodom, dear salt pillar

friend, you delight in the doom of your recurring dreams. love, you orchestrate this city nightmare. we’ve identified the issue, evacuated the innocent: there’s nothing helpless here, nobody left to save. no body left burning but mine.

once I thought this could be the place; but, I learned, heart-shattered, skin sagging, that only the young and beautiful thrive inside your mouth.

once, I called this place cathedral, ignored the glass & blame & broken windows. you keep a princess in your see-through tower, & I, miserable at your feet.

women like me, tired with teeth, are ghosts & graffiti scrawled, are condemned buildings, are the dumping ground foundations that feed the dreams that cowboys dream: foul play at the fountain of youth, a tragic addiction, indeed.

once I thought I’d die like this: old and lonely, unadorned. But, now I see a new way out— I may never be as beautiful, you’ve never called me innocent. & yes, my exit plan is unromantic. But, if growing up will save me, this time, I’ll take it. If solitude is a pill to swallow, I’ll take anything to prove alive.

I’ll take whatever left, every piece. I’ll take what I can, in tact and otherwise. I’ll take the names & accusations, every last one: what your brothers call me, what your silence leaves razed. I’ll take my name: more wisdom and song and siren than your mouth could hold shut.

& out of this waking nightmare, I’ll run—