New Zealand part 1

I wish I was the one jumping off this building.

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Tip toeing delicately across the platform, heart pounding in my chest, voice caught like a dead weight in my throat. Inching closer and closer as I peer over the ledge; my sanity begging me to please come to my senses.  I can imagine both the fear and the exhilaration that must come from the fall. I ache for that fleeting sensation of freedom, the bewilderment of falling through the air. I can almost hear the wind whispering the secrets of the universe as I whip by it, though I imagine it’d be hard to decipher under such a circumstance.

“What’s the meaning of life?” I would cry, but I’d have already reached the ground long before I could catch the answer.

Of course I’m not talking about a 911 crisis here. I’m standing at the bottom of the Sky Tower in Auckland. It’s your typical city tower with sweeping panoramic views of a very pretty city, only for some reason someone thought “wouldn’t it be cool if we allowed people to jump off this thing?”

It’s my first day in New Zealand and I’m stood outside my hotel, gaping skyward as person after person plummets a whopping 630 feet from the top of the tower to the landing pad. I’m exhausted from the gruelling flight which stole an entire day of my life (seriously, I left Friday night and arrived Sunday morning) so maybe that’s why I’m tempted by such a crazy prospect. I think I must be losing my mind because I march straight up to the payment desk and ask how quickly they can suit me up. The clerk smiles at me and says I can suit up in 15 minutes… just as soon as I cough up $225.

This is where the story comes to a crushingly dull end. There’s no way I’m paying $225 to fall 630 feet when I can pay $400 to fall 16 500 feet. But that will come later.

It’s been a long planned trip, and for years it seemed like it was so far in the future it was never actually going to happen, but here I am in New Zealand for an entire month of adventure and camping. My father and I cooked up the idea to come here a few years ago. Let’s do it, we said. And miraculously, beautifully, joyfully… here we are. We’ve come with a hefty bucket list, keen hearts, and a sense of discovery. My older brother even decided to join in on the fun, making this the first family vacation since my childhood.

Here are some highlights from the trip so far:

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Coming face to sort-of face with the Moa, New Zealand’s unfortunately extinct flightless bird. The largest of these birds could be 12 ft tall and upwards of 500 lbs, apparently. I also came face to actual-face with a kiwi bird, which I learned are more bird-mammal hybrids. The park I visited finds and raises kiwis from egg to adult in order to increase their survival rate in the wild. The cost of raising just one egg is $3000 US!!.. well worth it, I say. They are unique gems, such a joy to see and enjoy.

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Hiking (oh! pardon me, tramping, as it’s called here…) Maunganui Bluff. The images above are all taken on the same hike. Can you believe how breathtaking this country is? I’m just blown away every time I wake up and admire the scenery around me. Throw a dart randomly on a map of New Zealand, and guaranteed, you’ll find something beautiful.

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Seeing Te Matua Ngahere… the father of the forest. A very old, very large tree. I think there’s some debate about the actual age of this tree, but let’s just assume somewhere in the 1000s. Girth 16 41m!!

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Glow worm cave tour! I actually just finished this up today. Sat in a boat and cruised in the dark through a cave lit by a stunning galaxy of glow worms.

And this isn’t even everything, I had quite the adventure in Hobbiton yesterday, but I think maybe that merits it’s own post. In any case, the further along in the trip we get, the more overwhelmed I become by just how much there is to do and see in this country. It’s hard to imagine spending any less time here. More updates to come!🙂

Hope you guys are all doing well. If any of you have been to NZ, please drop a comment down below and give me some tips for things to do that you loved! I’d love some insight🙂

 

The award for most disorganized human of the week goes to…

I think I must be amongst the most disorganized of humans. Honestly some days I wonder how I even manage to wake up. Do you guys have days like this?

For example, this last Sunday my boyfriend and I decided to make an impromptu visit to Canada’s Wonderland (which turned out to be the best ever decision), and half way through the day I received a text from one of my friends which read: sorry I don’t think I can make it out tonight…

I scratched my head for a moment and then I remembered we had made plans to go see a monologue slam. Good thing she cancelled because I wouldn’t even have remembered to cancel I’m so disorganized.

and before you say it, I know what you’re thinking: Why not use a calendar?

Well I do. In fact I have an agenda that I use, a phone calendar, and a flip calendar which I keep on my desk. The problem in this last example is that I didn’t write our date in any of these.

I did, however, manage to write down a doctor’s appointment which I scheduled earlier in the week for just this morning. Last night before I went to bed I looked at my flip calendar and said to myself okay, don’t forget your appointment tomorrow morning. The appointment was for 10:30. At 11:30 I finally looked at my calendar and had that self loathing oh shit moment. There it was written clear as day: Doctor’s appointment @ 10:30.

So what was I doing that was more important than making it to my doctor’s appointment, you may ask?  Making pancakes. Yup, fluffy pancakes and maple syrup took priority over finding a family doctor. Welcome to my brain. The fact that I missed this appointment is made 100 x worse by the fact that it’s literally the second time I missed it this week.

That’s right, I’m so scatterbrained lately that I forgot about the same appointment twice in the span of 4 days. The original appointment was for 10:30 on Monday, and at 10:35 I had the oh shit moment and called them right away to reschedule it for today. Sigh.

I’m writing this quickly before meeting some friends tonight. At least I’m remembering that. On my way out of the apartment I spent literally thirty minutes looking for my keys which I ended up finding in the pocket of the sweater I wore this morning when I ran late to the doctor’s office.

Once I returned a sweater to the Bay 3 years after it was given to me as a Christmas present. And yes, they did take it back.

The other morning I prided myself on only hitting the snooze button 7 times before getting up.

Is there a pill for this? Do any of you have any suggestions? I need an app on my phone with a hand that comes out and hits me upside the head to get me on track. This is why I’m such a minimalist wannabe. If I have nothing, then I will lose nothing. But I suppose even minimalism won’t help me remember doctor’s appointments.

not far away

love isn’t far away
it’s not hiding anywhere

you didn’t need to
cry over losing it

you can’t lose what
you’re made of


I posted this to my instagram a few days ago and thought I ought to post it here, too.

Here’s to you, clunker

A very sad thing happened yesterday. My beloved little bike was stolen from outside my apartment building.

Bike theft in Toronto is super common, and I knew that, which is why when I bought this clunker bike last year I only paid 60 dollars. This is a real piece of junk, I thought, nobody is going to bother to steal this. And for eight glorious months, I was right. Sometimes I would leave it overnight at bars, friend’s houses, etc, always locked, of course, but out in the open. I never had a problem and I didn’t care. I would often leave it wondering if it was the last time I’d ever see it. It wasn’t a nice ride or even that reliable of a bike, either. Just a couple weeks ago I was riding it during rush hour when the front brake literally just fell off. I was on the sidelines of one of the busiest downtown streets at the time. It’s hard to pedal, the gears are super rough, and it’s rusted and peeling and just all around in poor condition.

But something happened in the last 8 months that I didn’t expect… I fell in love with it.

Honestly. I adored its capacity for failure, its quirky gear shifting, its rust and its peeling paint. I loved that I could plow straight through pot holes and it would just keep chugging along with its bruises without batting an eyelash. I felt so much freedom because of it. I was flying past cars trapped in traffic jams, weaving my way in and out of construction areas, and best of all, I was liberated from shitty public transit. My bike and I, we ruled these downtown streets. And now, my beautifully imperfect clunker bike is gone. I’ve already been fantasizing about finding it for sale on craigslist and then pulling a stealthy “oh I’m really interested in this bike” to “THIS IS MY BIKE, YOU BASTARD”, flipping them the finger, and then riding it home triumphantly. But I don’t think it’s going to happen.

The worst part of all this is it’s totally my fault. I got cocky thinking nobody would take it so I started locking it up outside over night instead of in the bike locker of my building. I feel like I’ve let my bike down. Someone told me today that I should feel happy for whoever is now commuting on it because of how awesome it is and how much they must be enjoying it. And honestly, I think I can do that. I hope whoever stole it sells it to someone who was really hurting for transportation and needed a cute little rusty bike for cheap to brighten their day. I hope that the person who stole it uses the money for something like a birthday gift for their kid/grandma/dog and that the receiver of that gift is so stunned by the generosity which they were sadly not expecting from their no good bike-thief parent/grandkid/owner that they overwhelm them with tears and gratitude. And then the thief is so moved from the appreciation that they realize there is more to life than thievery, and are inspired to embark on a life of redemption and charity.. yeah.

God speed with your new life, dear beater bike. I’ll miss ya.

I know, art isn’t always pain.

I never know what to write here. Sometimes I open up a new draft and sit down and at worst it’s like my brain got drunk and passed out. At best I’m the airport attendant who issues you your boarding pass and checks your bags, only no one is in line and there aren’t any flights going anywhere, so what am I to do? Just twiddle my thumbs and imagine all the trips I’d love to take.

It’s not just writer’s block or a lack of ideas. I think there’s plenty in my life that would be interesting to write about. I think that’s the case for most of us even though we struggle with the words. I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert at the behest of one of my favourite co workers. She’s someone who really gets me and could pretty much be me we are so in synch. When she recommended I read it, I bumped it in line ahead of 5 other booked recently lent to me to read and plowed through it in 2 days.  Not because I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert (I only read the first 100 pages of Eat, Pray, Love, although I do mean to finish it), but because it seemed like a pretty relevant book to me at this point in my life. She talks a lot about creative living, inspiring the reader to create, create, create like it’s our birthright… because it is. I remember when I started this blog I felt like it was a major channel for my own creative living. I basically rediscovered my love of poetry because I decided to open a wordpress account one day. A lot of my poems exist because I suddenly had this empty canvas to put them on. This blog, though monstrously neglected, means a lot to me because I know it’s here, waiting for me. My own little universe of creative living.

I think one of the biggest things I took from the book is that your art doesn’t have to come at the cost of your happiness. You don’t have to be pained to be an artist, although it sure fuels a lot of creative work. When I think about it, though, when you’re happy, you’re happy, right? You have all this happiness energy that you exude and pour out into the world, to the people around you, and it’s a joy to do. Happiness energy is readily accepted by those around you, it amps up the happiness energy in others and everyone falls into this trap of idiotic bliss where everything is possible, so why not conquer the world? But when you’re hurt, you have to try to contain it somehow. You have to go to work, to the store, and unless you’re an asshole you have to do your best to contain the pain inside yourself so that it doesn’t taint others. And that’s where the art comes in. Since we can’t let the pain loose like we can with happiness we have to put it somewhere, right? Something has to diffuse it or it’ll destroy you. At least that’s why I think I put so much of it into poetry, and the rest of it I just dance or yoga out. After channeling all my hurt into a poem at least I can look at it and say it was all for something.

I’m not saying I only enjoy writing and creating when I’m miserable, I love creating all the time, it’s just that it feels more necessary and potent at times when I’m at critical breaking point, you know?

Semi-related, but did you guys know there’s an awesome poetry community over on instagram? I’ve been posting a lot of smaller poems there, random thoughts that come into my head (even the happy ones!) If you guys are also on there leave your name in the comments so I can find you! You can find me over there as @taehreh.

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

another round

here we go, another round in the
boxing ring. you against me this time
goody for you, I think you may have won.
how dull, hum drum, just another woman
who loves you. set the doll aside, its
weeping eyes can put out a fire before
it combusts. I heard energy cannot be
destroyed, only transformed, and this
woman, too, like the fruit flies who pop
persistently in and out of existence from
nowhere. off to find another painful body
to experience, hopefully one a bit better
suited this time, or at least with some very fine
armour. one with white white teeth and some
plump, pink lips that you’d happily bleed
to be swallowed by.
after all you’re that kind of a guy.
I think that last punch wasn’t
even thrown by your good side.
save the worst for last, like someone
else I used to know. strike low blow
after low blow. hey, here’s some space
for you. I have miles of it, you couldn’t
find me with the Hubble telescope.
how’s this? can you feel me again?
can you taste this waning love on your
tongue like yesterday’s leftovers?
pack it up and don’t forget to toss
it in the trash after the fact cause
you never meant to bring it home in
the first place.