day by day nothing changes / everything is different
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
–Mary Oliver, Dream Work
sometimes a handful of words arrange themselves into a perfect pattern and echo the sounds your heart needs to hear.
Visiting a city the second time around means you get to cut to the chase. No more obligatory tourist areas, long lines, museum fees. Our agenda was simple:-
1. barbecued beef & pork patties (bun cha). this famous establishment on hang da was literally a minute away from our accomodation. perfectly salty, sour and sweet, wrapped in a cloud of barbecue smoke. how is it that i typed that out and just tasted it in my mouth?!
3. learning how far we’d go just to feast our eyes on more bolts of cottons, linen, silks and denim than we could ever imagine. took a ridiculously long cab ride out of the city and got greeted with more fabric stalls stretching out as far as the eye could see (and then some!)
4. learn to love in this city for the second time around. we did good.
the scared is scared: i come back to this special short once in while, when i need a little wisdom. tonight is one of those nights / just as i was about to forget the feeling of being exhausted, of having your heart hurt from bruises, of a fully formed tear making its way down your face. we nearly made it. just shy of a winning streak / i am studying for a test tomorrow. in assessing and evaluating levels of ability, there is norm-referencing and there is criterion-referencing. the former says you’re not the best, but compared to the other 90% of the population, you’re a star. don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. but the latter dares to tell the ugly truth: that a defect is a deficit, no matter what shape it sits in / so, my darling, reflect or deflect?
tomorrow is the start of another week. i have the most ridiculously packed five days ahead but cheongsams are all i can think about, all i want to wear to work. last week i wore my first one that dips slightly below the knee and suddenly i am smitten with that perfect length, dreaming dresses up in colours and prints. i don’t know why i spent twenty years rejecting cheongsams for being uncomfortable and scratchy when they are really just sheath dresses with pencil skirts, with delicate collars that go no higher than a regular button-down. sensible but sensual — what’s not to love?
(sorry — i’ve forgotten the links to the original images. saved them a while ago from etsy/ebay sale posts.)