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.
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 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!
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.
to be the leaky tap
from morning to night.
can’t find where to turn the water off.
adrift on naked air
my skin, raw