you’re doing it wrong, one of my regular customers at McDonald’s used to say. He’d say this when I was taking orders, getting ready to mop the floor, or just about any time he visited […]
You appreciate the beauty, the goodness, and the mystery of life on good and bad days. As you get older, your wisdom grows. You’re less naive. You’re stronger. You’re grateful about the good things life […]
Dreams are meaningful and achievable, but what happens to the dreams we lose sight of, the dreams that take second place? Two of the dreams that I’ve lost over the years were the goal of […]
In her poem “Little Things,” Sharon Olds writes, I am doing something I learned early to do, I am / paying attention to small beauties, / whatever I have–as it were our duty / to […]
I was standing in front of an arrangement of roses with my uncle. We’d been in the dining room when I asked him if he had a simple piece of advice for me to find inner peace. When we stood in front of these flowers, he started telling me something important about the reason flowers need watering. But I did not let him finish his train of thought because I started crying.
To give you some context, I hadn’t seen my uncle in more than five years (since the last time I visited Mexico. I was a teenager then.). In his interactions with me and our family, his presence emitted, what I’ll call, a spiritual grandeur. In the words of Ada Limon, “I env[ied], I env[ied] that.” I wanted his spiritual grandeur, so I braved myself and asked him for spiritual advice.
I’ve been more and more curious about other people’s lives. Of what it means to be a school cook, a flight attendant, a jewelry store salesperson. How does the world look through their eyes?
I’ve also been reading too much academic writing, and even though I’m learning (l love learning), there’s nothing beautiful to this type of writing (I’m sure that there are exceptions to this). When I think about my reading preferences, the reason why I am an avid reader is because I was able to make a home out of the books I read.
To make a home you need emotions, but after I read a chapter from an academic textbook, I feel like the authors only showed up to hand me the materials for me to build a home and to leave me to my own devices.
Going back to this curiosity of wanting to experience life through someone else’s point of view makes me think of my love of reading. This might be the reason why I love reading memoirs and diaries. I love how writers can share the grandest truths through the simplest and sometimes, too, the humblest experiences. When taking out the trash, an uneventful Tuesday, or a stranger become the foundations of an epiphany.