Wednesday, October 23, 2013


(Yu Sum and Denn, at their house, 2013)

I've lost count at the amount of times I have been asked why my parents moved to Hawai'i.  The most common answer I reply with is, spoken cooly: Why not?.

I have never tried to properly articulate the answer, nor had I really proposed the question to myself.  It just made sense that they moved there, or rather my mother's desire to be there.  There is no way to properly answer that question, at least not without saying, "Long story short...".  But there is no long story short, just long story.

The ocean has always been a significant place in my life.  From as far as I can remember I always found comfort in its presence.  I always wanted to live by it, it was always something that I had been reaching for.  Retracing my past it was always a destination.  When my family lived in Toronto, we would venture down south to Florida to stay by the Atlantic, when we lived in New Mexico it was California and the Pacific, in Texas it was either Galveston, South Padre, or Penescola for the Gulf.  The end of a journey was always marked by the arrival to the ocean and for my parents now they have finally arrived.

If one were seeking out the presence of the ocean their entire life what better place than a remote island.  There are few places in Hawai'i, especially Maui one can not know of the ocean's presence, let alone its sight.  It is so ubiquitous that there is a reversed proportioning of land to sea: where as on the mainland there is the ocean as a shoreline and opposite is a land that continues far greater than one can see to the horizon over the ocean.  In Hawai'i, the land rarely forms a horizon.  And when land does it is often a neighboring island in the horizon, to which one can always see how dwarfed it is by its scale in a vast infinite sea which surrounds its edges.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

God B'wy

(Sisters, 2013)

I can't say I lost you, at least not to your face.  I can write it here and I know there won't be any objections.  A distance has been growing between us for a while now and for the first time ever I feel like an adult, especially when I say goodbye.  

I remember that last night we shared together, how I left early knowing that there was no proper way to say goodbye.  I held in my mind many ways to do it, I tried to make one or two of those happen but they didn't.  I told myself it wasn't your fault, that you had people to see, and goodbyes to say.  We had dinner one last time and in the amber glow of a street at night we hugged.  I whispered something I can't remember into your ear and we held each other for some time.  Michelle was there, looking at us.  I didn't see her with my eyes as they were closed but I could feel her presence.  I can't remember the last time we were alone.  I said it sincerely then I had to be a joker and say, as my final words to you, "Smell ya later."  

The truth is I'm not sure if we will ever see each other again.  See, as in see each other the same way.  Nor do I claim to know what the future holds, how we will feel, how we will see, and the matter of all of that.  All I know is now: that I stopped carrying Liam on my shoulders, speaking for his absence, and acting like he was still in the room with us.  The other day I came across an old recording I had made, one that I recorded right after a certain phone call with you.  I remember that moment very well as I didn't have the strength to talk to you, I was afraid your voice would break my heart and that my voice grew more burdensome to you.  Instead of talking I just played, I Need You by America.  Hearing your silence and the song playing felt like forever passing, eventually after the second chorus I hung up.

The phone rang, it wasn't the usual ring but a distinct ring tune I programmed just for you.  I answered and waited, I heard nothing on the other side; I would've preferred heavy breathing from some serial murder to the silence.  Eventually your voice broke the silence, it was that fragile side to your voice, the one that worked like a key to some deep crevice within me.   

I used to have this gut feeling about you.  I franticly been looking for it everywhere like a mother lost child.  For years, for a long time I kept piling up fuel for a fire that had long been extinct.  I used you as a reason why my heart wasn't in it with others.  It was easier that way, but perhaps easy is the wrong word here.  There is no other way of explaining it.  I had always been lost, as well as I have always been alone.  What I tried hard to forget in those Infinite Moments we shared was that fact, but the truth is I never felt like I belonged (to you, and who I was to you).  The heartbreak that followed our falling out wasn't losing you and that place you gave me in your life but realizing that fact was fact, proven by trial and rectified by failure.  

To say something that shimmers with the warmth of hope here: All the love I have ever known, which has been many, with many faces, was all my own.  To those I thought it was for, they may have helped that grow, may have helped me discover it, but it had always been there, within me, and it took me believing in it and in myself for it to have ever been realized.  It took me a while but I finally have it.  There aren't faces nor names to place with this love, no this one is uncomplicated, never runs away (here one day and not the other), this one stays, it has picked me up time after time, and it hasn't never done me wrong, no, never, ever, ever, FOREVER, EVER-EVER.