Archive for April, 2012

Excerpt: Avery’s Sojourn

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

This is a small excerpt from a larger piece I have been working on for the last couple of months. Tentatively titled Avery’s Sojourn this excerpt is just a little blurb from the beginning. It is still a major work in progress but a couple of people have been asking for previews but everything is still under heavy construction and there is a lot of work to do still but here is a tiny glimpse into Avery’s life. Enjoy

 

The soft fluttering of cotton wings caressing the tear stricken face of a young girl fills the dark empty space of the old wooden cabin as they gently kiss her cold skin and retreat back again into the darkness from which they came. Ragged breath wrenched itself from her dry cracked lips as her body tried to remember to breathe. Avery lay in a sleepless world with her eyes barely open and her eyelashes sticky with tears. Her bare arm lay underneath her head, outstretched as if she had tried to grasp something only to fall too short and the other lay limply dangling from the table’s edge. She lay like an abandoned rag doll tossed aside by a fickle child in a tantrum. Broken and alone she stared with unseeing eyes at a single object; hard, cold, and black, it lay opposite from her across the dark mahogany table. The gun lay lifeless, absent of the warmth it had acquired from a shaking hand only hours ago.

Avery blinked slowly as another cottony wing embraced her cheek seeking warmth from this cold place only to find none hidden within her sallow cheek. She curled her numb fingers, feeling the rough wood beneath them. She flexed her hands, then her neck, slowly testing if her body still had some life left in it. As she pulled herself slowly up into a slouched sitting position she began to tremble. She felt the tears well to her eyes again as she stared at her antagonist at the other end of the table, remembering the terrible thunder clap as it rang through her entire body. It was not the first or the last time she would hear that terrible bang rattling in her ears. She squeezed her eyes shut, remembering.

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Shout Out: Chef Mackenzie

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

I just got back from a brief but wonderful visit with one of my oldest and best friends who now resides in Napa, California. Yes, that does mean I have an awesome excuse to visit the beautiful wine country just a short car ride away from Berkeley. She attends the Culinary Institute of America in Napa training to be a chef and baker! Yes, she is that cool.

She showed me the place where she gets to learn how to cook and make pastries at the CIA and I was a little jealous. It is so different from the life I am living at college here at UC Berkeley that it was refreshing and new.

It was so great seeing her because she is about to head out on an amazing adventure to Nantucket where she will be doing her externship. Though I will miss her dearly, I know she is going to have so much fun. I know our last little visit sure was fun, including chasing giant rabbits, walks on railroad tracks, long talks, awesome food, lots of laughs, and best of all swimming at night in a pool with all our clothes on! So here is my little ode to Macky. I miss you already and have a spectacular time in Nantucket.

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Violinist Versus Time

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Weathered hands patiently adjust clothing
that hangs looser everyday
as time slowly wears away the very flesh of life
Whittling away with an ever persistent knife
That has had its blade at us since the beginning
molding us from this shapeless lump of clay
into something beautiful
only to continue cutting away
past the point of beauty
into the world of obsession and tradition
where we cut not because we must
but just because we know nothing else.

Just as she knows nothing else
than what she has done her entire life
Waking to leave a bed that has molded to fit her shape
to stare into a mirror stained with time
leaving it hard to distinguish her figure
from the dull glass reflecting into aging eyes
Dressing in all her best clothes
to greet each day with dignity
Leaving the house with a moment’s hesitation
at the door that divides her world
Looking back in to see if anything had changed
it never does.

Out on the streets she returns to the spot
where she always stands
a corner between a bakery and a restaurant
facing a street that never ceases to move
like the pumping of blood
the people are thrown forth to be dashed about
and clatter from one place to the next
Searching, Searching
but never finding because they seek
with closed eyes and blind hands
She shuffles slowly across this chaos
to recover her normal spot
holding with delicate the child of her life
The fruit of her labor
She sets it down on the cobbled street floor gently
opening it and delicately withdrawing
The weathered red violin

Nestled against her neck, safe and secure
she hovers the bow over the strings
just centimeters away from contact
Savoring the silence before sound
Lovingly she lets the bow embrace the strings
letting them sing together in harmony
as young lovers who never grow old
She closes her eyes and hears the symphonies of her time
hears the grand sounds of order being made from chaos
listens to the fading cacophony of the street
and is drawn away into her violin
like the guiding hand of her husband
at their very first dance

But the burden of age causes her to quake
shaking the once steady hands of a musician
transforming them into brittle bones
that bow close to breaking on the weight of time
the violin screams out uneven notes
without melody or harmony
just noise
noise like the busy streets
or the baker yelling out the window
or a waiter being scolded for dropped dishes
the chaos of the world
imprinted on each string
that wails as each note of the world is drawn upon
She hears it, she knows it
yet she continues to play
because in her mind the sound of symphonies
lost are almost regained

With shaking hands she persists
she knows nothing else than the feeling of the strings
vibrating with life under her touch
so she continues everyday
on her little corner
dressed in her best
never knowing which day will be her last
but still she plays
because like Time
she doesn’t know how to give up

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Holi: Festival of Colors

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Yesterday at UC Berkeley was a celebration of the India holiday called Holi. At Uc Berkeley and many other places this festival is considered a celebration of the coming of spring. ANd who is it celebrated you might ask? By a bunch of people gathered together in one place to throw handfuls of color at each other.

This is the before photo where we are all nice and clean. It didn’t last long at all.

And the after photo. Random people just throw color at you and try to get you as dirty as possible. I think it is one of the few times in which someone will be happy and thank you for throwing something at them.

It was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing in the years to come here at Berkeley. I think I still haven’t gotten all of the color off of me yet but I regret nothing.

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Sepia Glow (Stoplight)

Friday, April 13th, 2012

A stoplight blinks, shifting through the spectrum of color on its own accord. Bathing the street with red, yellow, green, with no cars coming or going. Empty streets filled with the sound of an old newspaper blowing across fence posts. Catching and flying away again only to be ensnared soon after on another. The front page hits an obstacle undiscovered, the skinny leg of a human. She doesn’t move, doesn’t remove it, remains still and stoic. Her eyes turned upon the light, which changes without purpose. The sepia streetlight casts dark shadows across her gaunt upturned face. Her mouth hangs slack and her hair hangs listless against her face. She shivers, her body quaking under the force of her rail thin body.

A broad faced hand rubs her back, as if searching to draw out the the warmth that had fled her body. Instead, it only encounters the mountainous bones that jut from her back in place of flesh. He reaches over across her body and pulls her ragged coat tighter around her body to keep her warm. He says nothing as he does this, just watching her face with devotion in his own melancholy eyes. He pulls her coat tight around her frame only to watch it fall away as soon as he lets go. Her hands do not even flinch to close her jacket, hanging limply by her sides. Her eyes blinking like a fish as the green turns to yellow.

Blinks to red. He lets out a soft sigh and buttoned her jacket for her with slow patient fingers. Skipping the third because the button was lost a long time ago. He hesitated for a moment over the empty socket, wondering as he always did, where it had gone. When had they lost it? He moved again to her side like a faithful dog. He reached down and gently grasped her hanging hand. He held it, cradling it like a baby bird in his broad palms. It hung lose and unmoving but still he gently grasped it.

A tear fell down her sallow cheeks without a movement or change in her appearance. The only difference was the drop of water, which rolled down her face. Her makeup had been smeared down her face like a harlequin mask. With his other hand he reached up slowly and with the sleeve of his coat he wiped it away. The trail of the tear that had journeyed down her face was etched deep in the stain of her makeup and even he could not rub that away.

Blink. Red. A twitch of a finger so close to closing around his. He turned his drawn down face to hers with a spark of something close to hope in his tired eyes. But there was nothing. She stared still with her upturned face watching in the sepia glow the turning of the purposeless light. He turned away again; his face turned towards the sidewalk, as the street lamp cast their shadows right under their feet. He shifted them slightly but no matter where he went he stood upon his own shadow and it below him.

They stood together under the sepia glow, one hand grasping another but hope had left long ago. Lost under a couch with a button unfound, unilluminated by the street lamps shine. But still he held her hand as the stoplights changed and no cars came.

The newspaper, which had wrapped itself around her bone thin leg like a hungry child begging to be fed, flapped against her raw skin in the wind. The persistent tug of a child on a mother’s skirt on a soft summer day, it rustled against her. The crinkle of its skin deafening, like the drumbeat of sin. Her hand tightened around his as she began to scream. Her empty and changeless eyes reflecting the lights of change as her mouth contorted with pain. The wail of a banshee burst from her empty lungs, pushing outward with the force of a raging waterfall. Gushing forth with the agony of a childless mother and a motherless child, she screamed.

He held her hand with eyes t unchanging turned on the disappearing sidewalk that wound away like a snake into the darkness of the night. He gently pet her hand like a baby bird that had fallen from its nest. But he did nothing as he stood next to his wife except stroke her hand rhythmically and dutifully. His heart had nothing left to give. A gust of wind ripped the newspaper from her shaking legs and cast it into the street to begin its dance a new.

Blink. Swallowing the scream, which still burned like acid in her lungs, her face eased as if nothing had ever changed. Her fingers loosened and fell slack in his; he never let go even as she slipped away and red turned into yellow, yellow into green, and green into red.

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Breaking Point

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Laughter is strung out between souls
Souls that will never touch or see one another
But still feel the tug and pull
Of the string between two cans
That vibrates as words crawl from one to another
Spanning the space between those who cannot see
But still believe
Like whispered secrets sent from window to window
By children without bed times or nightlights to guide them
They cling to that string and use it to weave a life
With or without finding the end of that thread
The thread that pulls and strains
As time places the weight of distance
On the iron shoulders of eternity
Strumming the string of vitality
Feeling the shiver before the break
The untwining of the thread
Right before it unravels
That last grasping second as time slows
Before there is the
Break
Can you hear the laughter drifting away
On the ends of a broken string
It echoes out and fades
Never to reach the end of that line
That was strung too tight
But never tight enough to hold the other
Anchored at the end
Where two souls would become one
Like a violin strung too tight
The wires scream and grind until
The breaking point
And the twang of a string destroyed by the twisting of time
The loss of sound with a deafening silence
Brought about by the abundance of sound
At the end of an unraveling thread
That carried so many secrets
So many laughs on sunny days
The sounds of a soul crying for the other
Will never find their way
Left alone now in the world
Knowing no one is on the other end of that string
No one to listen or care
Just the silence
Suspended on the wind
Until it is picked up again

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Anchor

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Music notes drop with concrete feet
To brick pavement crumbling underway
Finding footholds that slowly dissolve
Into the quicksand of time
Fading away into a generation that belongs
No where and to no one
Being dragged downward by the music notes
Cradled in your arms like anchors
That you refuse to let go
Clinging to as if it was life as it takes you away
Gripping onto stonewalls
Which crumble under the weight
Of a broken string as if hell rides on its heels
But there is nothing here
Just a musician pulling notes from the air
Like whispers from the breeze
Light and free they are caught from the wind
And tied to a string
Spun from clouds like a child’s dreams
A balloon floating away tied down by a thread
That separates it from freedom
By a fragile bond that quivers in the wind
The anchored note roams outward
With hope to stand again
But is reigned in before it can drift too far
Down the corridor of time
For a moment it will linger there
In the space before the next string is plucked
And the last fades away
The dying moment lingers with a sadness
That is tangible in the air
Suspended in a moment of being
That will never come again

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Salinas Bike Race

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I went with my little brother to watch his team mates do a race in Salinas. They are the ones in the bright green helmets and amazingly colorful jerseys sporting blue, pink, and green. The Ritte team did an amazing and entertaining job. They seemed to have a lot of fun. I am proud to say that his entire team dominated the field and took first and third place in the race. It was really fun watching these passionate young men do what they do best, cycling.

Sprint Finish!

Sweet Victory. Matt got first place and they all did an awesome job. I hope I can attend more races in the future. Preferably the ones my brother are actually in next time.

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