dear feet,

are you flat, is that why you hurt so much?  I know that i haven’t been caring for you, like you’ve been caring for me.  I know that standing 15+ hours isn’t very thoughtful of me.  I will elavate you tonight.  (a’misa)

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Dear Fate,

There you were dressed in soft brown, a cloak charged with destiny, chanting unrelentlessly, so that one cannot challenge nor dictate the future events of self, but merely listen to the all-encompassing sound of your voice, echoing through the caves of the present.  You did not whispher, you did not shout.  You spoke.  You said the facts of life, you told me that time stands and teeters on the edge of one’s own reality.  That if one does not take hold, take agency of now, then off jumps time, leaving the now devoid of anything other than nothingness.  There you stood, speaking the simple truths of yesterday and tomorrow.  I’d like to think that you are waiting for me to do something with my life, to take control, to change the world, to take a stand.  I’d like to think that you are hoping to see the potential in me.  You stand, and speak, you are as you are.  And I guess, I was listening.  [trying to be hopeful with an unhopeful attitude, just not wanting to give up, a’misa]

Dear Nina Revoyr,

You are just as much a mystery as the characters that you spin.  I am only reading the second book written by you, and already you have weaved a character that I relate to so much, and yet she is so different than myself.  You mention all the places of my past, of my own history, and yet have tapped into a connection with the people of Los Angeles that I so greatly cannot tear myself away from, though I have dreamt of leaving this place since high school days.  As you write a story where Leuzinger High School and Inglewood High are the backdrops to two girls lives, I remember driving home on 135th street, near Rosecrans, right across a street from Leuzinger.  Nina, did you live in Gardena?  You must have done your research, because lady, you seem to know more about the history of a people, than I, who am from the people that live and breath this small city.  There is something wonderfully honest about revealing the community of the local African Americans and the Japanese Americans.  Both of your stories, so far have been about this multi-racial relationships, about these two communities coming together and developing identities from these experiences.  If only someday I can craft a story that may depict such beautiful mosaic of friendship and love, of the local store owners and those who live nearby.  Of gentrification of cities, the incline and decline of wealth, and those stuck in the middle, just watching as communities consistly change and the people are replaced and displaced.  Thank you for your stories, for they are much more than that to me.  You have crafted a history that I can relate to, and feel, and be moved by.  [gratefully yours, a’misa]

Dear Fragrance,

My mother tells me of a story of smelling her mother’s blouse.  My mother was a young girl, perhaps seven or eight.  When her mother was away on business or traveling with her latest beau, my mother would sneak into her dresser drawer and pull out one of her fancy blouses, the silk ones that would absorb all the lovely scent of a night out.  My mother would press her nose up against these clothes and inhale the complex honey musk mingled and stirred with the aroma of the bustling streets of Paris.  Arpage, she said.  It was the scent of Arpage.  She said that she would pour a little bit out of the bottle, replacing the expensive elixir with water.  She would douse the blouse with more of the perfume, and buried her nose in the memories.  It helped her cope with her mother being gone and having left my mother alone with her siblings.

Years later, my mother dabs Arpage upon her neck the day of my wedding and when I walk over to hug her, I not only smell my own mother, but her mother before her.  I wonder when I will inherit a bottle of Arpage and pass on the generations of what women smell like in my family. [merely a link in the lines of generations, a’misa]

To the person that is reviewing my work right now,

Do you dream?  What are those dreams like?  Are they scary, or tense, or winding and circling, or mundane?  Did you fly to your local coffeeshop in a car decorated with painting of cherry satellites?  Or did you sit in a park?

Lately, I’ve been dreaming that I had a dream.  But is dreaming? A sliver of a sleeping consciousness.

Hope you like my submission.  I liked your website.  [in strawberry mist, a’misa]

Dear Self,

It’s been quite a while since I’ve taken the time to write a journal entry.  Recently I heard a Bill Moyer interview with the writer Louise Erdrich, of a novel she wrote recently called Shadow Tag. The main premise is about a woman who is writing a ficticious diary that her husband is secretly reading.  She writes in this journal to pretend that she doesn’t know he is reading her thoughts, and is at the same time, feeding him lies that slowly kill him from the inside out.  She then writes in her actual journal, which she keeps under lock and key in a security deposit box.   It has changed the way I’ve seen journaling, or even truth telling.  I constantly trust the account in which people write, but now realize that perhaps, people, even I, am simply consistantly writing fiction, when I think I’m writing non-fiction.  That everything is a fabricated, wishing of something that isn’t. [strange, a’misa]

Dear Writer’s Workshop,

I have to be honest, life is discouraging right now.  I submitted some writing to various publications, and have not heard back yet. I submitted a few paintings for a gallery show, and they were rejected.  And yet, buried under all the pot, beer and stovetop ramen, I have found that there is something within me that still wants to express myself, and is still not giving up, despite some shitty situations.  Not giving up….Refusing to give up.  Pushing it harder that I ever could, because I believe that good writing is not necessarily gifted, but crafted, shaped and molded into forms that speak to people.  I wish to write to the heart of emotion, to my community, both in locale and in interest. I refuse to give up because I have met friends with this workshop that push me and believe in me, and in writing, and I, in them.  I refuse to stop because then this momentum that I have gradually tired to increase, will die.  And without the outlet of writing, coupled with the support of a community of writers, I will die too if I stop.  So thus, my ideas of a break is a weakling response to myself.  It is a fear within myself, that I am not good enough, that my ideas are not worth sharing to the world.  Thus I commit myself to writing letters to the world this sessions.  Letters to my Mom and Dad, Letters to my husband.  Letters to you, letters to fellow writers. And of course, a letter to my unborn child (hah!).  It is an honor to write alongside all of you. [in solidarity, a’misa]