just here.

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I’m so happy by the water.
So happy by the trees.
Unbothered by the Chinese security guard who talked to me for 10 minutes in Chinese that I could barely understand. Wô bù míngbái.
Not concerned with the stares.
Just here, enjoying God.

The grandparents they raise the babies. They teach them what the birds do. How they sound. What the say. They show them patience, sitting patiently while the fish leap, “yü”, a baby not few months over two calls out to the water.
They show them the beauty in walking along the path at a slow pace, admiring all that is here, sharing this space.
So many sounds.
The woman clapping her hands to circulate her old blood, still so young and alive.
Lineage is so evident.
Groups of adults play hide and seek behind trees and bushels too small to conceal them. But they still hide anyway.
Because its good to capture moments. it’s good to be free. It’s so damn good to laugh.

One of the few times I’ve gotten to see peace and feel it inside of me, just like I do when I’m in the confines of my own walls.

The clouds darken. The trees stiffen. And we are existing with a moving spirit.

moshing for enlightenment

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From rumbling cities to humble country roads, these places of prayer and worship exist. As soon as I came to each entrance an overwhelming sense of peace and a demand for respect was present, every single time. No matter the location, it is clear that a higher power is present in each and every detail of the arch, pillar and door. You can feel the power of prayer in the stillness of the statues and the time put into creating such beauty.

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These Buddhist and Hindu temples and Mosques were my favorite elements of my journey through Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. So much peace dwelled in the stone and gold, reminding me of the importance to always keep my temple, connected to a divine spirit as well as my own. To always strive to posses peace amidst the chaos. And to take time to marvel at the beauty of things that stand silently and speak for themselves.

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42 days – hiatus.

Lately, I haven’t been writing. I wouldn’t call it a writer’s block, I just opted to observe for a little while. Take in all of my idleness, realizations, inspirations, let downs, conversations and moments in a different way. I just stored them for a day like today. I revisited my journal for the first time in over a month and let it spill. Things I’ve observed in 42 days:

  • I must continue to learn to be happy with my happiness. It’s enough. It can always evolve, but my happiness is just that … it’s mine.
  • People won’t ever understand how life can be enjoyable with being in a relationship, occupied with a person or in love at this “peak” in my life. Balance is achieved through introspection and taking the time out to be selfish and get to know yourself. Life has so many peaks, a lot at least one out to reach your prime of self-love.
  • Silence is golden.
  • My bed since I’ve been in China has been a puzzle piece to my peace.
  • Take time to heal. I’ve had to continuously acknowledge my scars, some of them are fully healed and others I’m still tending time. All in due time.
  • My body feels restored again. In every way. It speaks to me and I’ve been listening.
  • Forgiveness is hard.
  • Closure is necessary for me, but everything won’t conclude in peace. Often times, we have to make our own.
  • The present is all we have. The past can no longer have power over all that I have.
  • I am enough, always was.

love is life, and life is free.

This  weekend, I went to Hong Kong to experience the gay pride parade. It was beautiful to feel the energy from people shamelessly proclaiming their pride and belief in justice in love, sexuality and identity. It felt amazing to be able to support so many of my friends in this monumental event. Love is life,and life is free.

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from philly to the philippines.

for our week long Chinese holiday break, me and my friend Jihan decided to get away from the chaos of the city, and spend our time off in Cebu, Philippines. It was there where I finally felt a little peace of home.

Brown people, with smiles as big as the horizon, I was in awe of not only the beauty of transparent ocean, sugar-like sands and numerous palm trees, but the spirits of the Filipino people were breathtaking.

When we came to the end of the 3hr trek from Cebu City and walked off of the ferry onto the dock at Bantayan Island, we were greeted by men from the island, insisting that we let them carry our bags with no pay. Later at the village’s 141st Founding Anniversary town disco, our friend Tata who we met earlier that day said to us, “When I saw you come off the boat, I said wow, those are blackbirds” . 

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To be described with such imagery and comparison to something so free was comforting. It was like that moment like, “you see me, how I see me too?”. It was even more special because of my last name, Starling which means “blackbird”.

For the first time in 2 months, I didn’t feel feared. My differences were embraced, admired and I almost forgot that they even existed. It felt good to say “hello” as I did before I came to China, just because it was on my heart to and that same greeting be reciprocated with pleasantness and authenticity.

The Philippines reminded that love is real, fearless people exists, happiness is very simple and the horizon is where anyone can look to and find a peace for and of themselves.

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1:05am.

tangents.

creating your own reality, in the midst of a reality that already exists often happens when you’re lost and found in translation. what a beauty life can be when you push your imagine and you have the privilege of being lost. you can discover every realm of your mind, question and improvise upon what does exists.

the moment when you feel and realize that you love you enough, more than enough. self-love makes you feel capable. the world is yours to love and when it doesn’t love you back, you just turn to you.

in time, clarity arrives, always. be patient.

so many people don’t know what it even feels like to live with your heart. use your body as a holistic entity, finding the balance between the mind and the heart is essential to living out your purpose and happiness.

love, don’t deny yourself of love.

i won’t deny myself of love, of any healthy kind.

peace.