Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Christmas Tree

A few weeks ago Desirée asked if I wanted to go with her to pick out a Christmas tree, then go back to her place and decorate it. I haven’t decorated a tree since I lived with Grace, and was never really into the ritual, but I’ve been told that when helping hands reach out, take them, so I did. She called me on the day of and asked about my plans for the rest of the evening. I said I had nothing to do. She then suggested we have dinner. She’d be making biscuits and stew, an outing we planned ever since we went to Pike Place Market together and had what were self-proclaimed to be “kick-ass biscuits”. Her contention was that she could make better ones. I told her to prove it.

Now from the outset this may come off as the makings to a very romantic and intimate night, which in some ways I guess I would agree, but you’d first have to understand the context of our relationship between when we first broke up until now. I don’t really know how to describe how I feel about Desirée. She touches a very gentle place in my heart. Not in a burning, passionate sort of way, but something cooler, more subtle, yet equally filling. There is, and probably always will be, this small sense of emotional and physical attraction, but protecting our friendship supersedes any sort of superficial urges. I guess I’d say that what I’ve come to realize is that Desirée is the person I’ve come to love most purely in my life, meaning I truly want her to be well, regardless if I have anything to do with it. Now don’t get me wrong. I’d say that I loved Flora more intensely, and I still think she is the love of my life, but there is not the same sense of control when it comes to her. With Desirée there is no sense of rush or expectation, no demands or uncontrolled desire. She’s just someone that radiates a good energy and I enjoy when it’s around, don’t hold onto it when it needs to leave. Truth be told, I’d love to reach that point with Flora one day.

I show up to her place around 5:30. She opens up the metal gate to the back alley which we refer to as the “creepy back alley” back when we were dating. The joke started on our third date when we randomly walked around downtown and I thought I had stumbled upon this small hole-in-the-wall restaurant I visited a few years back. I told her to follow me while I checked, but to her it just looked like I was trying to lead her down some creepy back alley, so she stayed back with sort of this nervous smile. I called her out and made a joke of it, something I still tease her about today after having known me better. Later, on I think our fifth date, I walked her back to the back entrance of her apartment, which resembled, of all things, a “creepy back alley”, and it was there she grabbed me by the collar for a furious make-out. I’ve never stopped giving her shit about it since.

She’s descends the stairs wearing a knitted white sweater that outlines the curves of her body perfectly. She opens the gate and gives me a firm hug. I can smell the vanilla lotion on her neck. She snakes up the stairs with a slight shift to her hips and I follow closely behind. We go through pleasantries on the way up and I walk through familiar hallways. She opens the door to her apartment and I’m hit with nostalgia. For the most part, everything is the same: the scent, the colors, the ever-present ambiance of warmth. It’s as if the place radiates in her essence. She’s moved some furniture around to make room for the tree, turned the bed against the closet door and made a bigger gap between the two sitting chairs so guests could walk by. With all that she has on her plate, she puts a large amount of effort just to put together a Christmas tree. It’s one of the things I really love about the girl. 

The room smells vibrantly of broth. The stew is on the stove and the biscuits are out of the oven. She made sugar plums earlier in the morning because I told her I’ve never had them. We catch up on each other’s lives while she prepares the plates. She’s diligently preparing for her law school finals. I tell her I’m reading a book on chakras. I guess that kind of sums up the kind of people we are. She brings out the plates and they’re gorgeous. Succulent beef cuts flaked to perfection brewed alongside carrots and potatoes in a hearty brown sauce. I swore off meat back when I was in Brazil, but for her, I’d break that oath for a night. The culmination of the evening thus far strikes me. For someone to put that much effort into showing they care, as even just a friend, was something really special. It’s one of those things that kept me believing in people.

She’s heard about two potential places selling Christmas trees. Her original spot requires a drive, but boasts “the best trees of the city” and also goes towards funding some non-profit helping the AIDs community. The other one is a few streets up from us, though with no guarantee of quality, no non-profit involved, and quite honestly, neither of us know if it even exists. Nevertheless, I suggest we walk to the second place, and if we can’t find anything, go to the first. Make an evening out of it. She smiles.

It’s a typical Seattle winter, but we’re dressed accordingly. She’s a bit caught up in the fact that her jacket is made for the rain, yet it isn’t raining, and can’t seem to stop fretting over it. I tease her to no end about it. We make playful commentary on the changes in the neighborhood as we walk through it, enter a few spots that we find interesting from the storefront, and end up buying some second-hand books for a dollar each at a used clothing exchange. Across the street there’s a guy writing impromptu poetry on an old-school typewriter for change. We give him four words to write a poem about us. He tells us to come back in 10 minutes. I can’t remember much about where we went for those ten minutes, but it didn’t really matter. Every moment with her is light, as if the rest of life’s problems fade away in her presence and vanity of action holds no importance. We come back and the poem is surprisingly thoughtful given the four words we provided. Christmas tree. Sugar plums. Friendship. Condoms. We pay the man four bucks and Desirée carefully places the poem like a bookmark into the new used book she purchased. 

Turns out, the elusive Christmas tree farm has either closed or never existed in the first place, so we end up picking one up at the non-profit AIDs center. Not much happened that I can remember at the second place (or would it be the first place?), just that there is a lot more to picking out a Christmas tree than I thought, and we spent a good amount of time analyzing pine needles and using a tape measurer to ensure it fit inside her apartment. We go back to her place and she pulls out a couple of boxes from underneath her bed. Stuffed inside are all sorts of ornaments collected over the years. She tells me the stories. Some of them were bargain catches sold at a fraction of the sale price the day after Christmas in the year previous, other ones she’s held on for years with origins tied to the Tri-Cities. One very special one is preserved neatly in a box spewing tissue-thin gift paper and wrapped carefully in soft cloth. The ornament is a bright red ball with a preserved waffle cone protruding from one side and a stream of sparkle glitter playing the role of topping on the other to finish the imitation of the pastime dessert. This one, she tells me, was put together by her daughter, Libby. 

We rummage through the box, holding up ornaments and stars to make sure the colors and shapes have enough distance from one another, ensure the texture matches with the composition of the tree. In total the ritual takes maybe two hours, Christmas tunes humming on her record player the entire time and she glides past me singing along with the tunes. I don’t say anything, but I actually hate Christmas music. I don’t really know why, maybe because I find it too “joyful”, but I’ve despised it since I was a kid. I guess that, in a way, represents some of the difference between us.

See here’s the thing about me and Desirée. We’re probably the most unlikely match to be seen walking down the street together. Here’s me, this rather serious-looking Asian guy with long hair (at the time I had long hair), covered in tattoos. Desirée is like a princess. I don’t mean “princess” in a way like things always need to go her way or that she's prissy in any sense of the word, I mean she actually came from pretty rough beginnings, but if there’s one word I’d use to describe her, it would be "regal". Someone of royalty. It’s like she walked straight out of the lead role in some classy 1940’s movie and into my life. I used to describe her to my friends as a “really, really pretty white girl,” like a slightly older version of Rachel McAdams or a much younger version of Julian Moore. Either way, anytime I’d see a pretty and respectable redhead on screen, I’d immediately be reminded of her. I guess I never really understood how we ended up together, and in some ways always found it a bit comical that we were, but for whatever reason it worked, at least for the time that we were together. 

But when I think about it more, and with all the perspective of time and distance, I wonder what would have happened had we stayed together. I'm not really sure it would have worked. The first time I questioned things was when we once talked about the prospects of traveling internationally together and for whatever reason she blurted out, “But I can’t…I can’t be like grimy…” 

I told her to relax and said that “grimness” wasn’t any sort of requirement for international travel, though it did linger in the back of my mind. I’m more like a gruffy type that will finger through his own shit if he thought he accidentally swallowed something he was looking for (that did actually happen once in college). I mean I could literally wear the same underwear for a week without issue. I know it seems kind of stupid to base the prospects of romance solely on hygiene or holiday jingles, but it could in some ways speak to some core character differences that might have emerged had the relationship continued. 

Aside from Flora, Desirée was the most crushing break-up I’ve ever had in my romantic life. I was pretty useless for the first 3 or 4 months I was in Brazil, trying my best to comprehend all that was happening and not really succeeding. But the thing I appreciated most about Desirée was the amount of respect she showed to my feelings during this time. She knew when to be there for me and when to give distance. She showed care in her actions and considered the many ways words could be interpreted when she spoke. She was, as I’ve always viewed her to be, honorable in witnessing the painful course of a crumbling relationship and compassionate to the one left trying to hold on.

I think there will always be a soft spot in me for Desirée, a part of my heart that will always be broken in her name. But it’s one of those good heartaches, one that you can look back at and relish in the lessons rather than agonize in the losses. I guess in many ways our story is just what I need in my life right now, a way to be reminded that one day you can always go back on your pain, and find a way to be grateful for it. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Notes from my 61st trip (Cura e Barquinha)

I can't do this without her.

Everyday I just am in this constant state of inquiry: "Why do I feel this pain? What did I do to deserve this?" And the rest just kind of falls apart.

I feel myself growing very old.

This love I have for Flora has completely crushed me. The fact I can even write that out and smile, surprises me.

Why was I given this life? Why this story to know?

You think that things will never happen to you, but they do. Whether or not you survive depends entirely on your training.

I've given up for so long, but I'm starting to find the courage to fight back.

I'm the type of fighter that just trains + never competes. Part of that is b/c I don't care about winning. Part of it is that I am scared to know whether or not I could.

It all comes down to how much you believe in your path.

I think I've been walking around w/ the wound long ago. I knew she was going. But part of me just kept holding onto hope. I guess you could say that's what got me through the day.

There is only so much disk space in our brain hard drive. We can only take on so many other people's stories. Choose carefully, because you can never delete them.

I honestly cannot see myself. Like it strikes me as an impossibility that no one else can clearly express what they feel in writing.

When the day ends and you have absolutely nothing to look forward to. Yeah. I know that feeling.

I don't know why part of me finds the pain funny.

What is basically comes down to is that she was too wild for me. I fought her and lost.

Oh Marcella. I totally know the pain of being a writer.

Being on the right path is a lot of work. It is downright fucking painful.

I don't know if I'm getting any better.

I wonder what that point is, when that happens, when a person transforms from hobbyist to artist.

You have to trust your instincts.

Things aren't worth anything if you haven't sacrificed.

The problem w/ writing a book on my memories, is that I am unsure of my abilities to navigate the terrain well.

How much of that remains in our adult life? Just that innocent belief we wanted the world to be 'okay', like it took a serious part of us to think about it.

Life is a constant test of defending your beliefs.

I still feel her with me. Even after all of this, I can feel her embrace on my back.

Psychics. Part of us wants to know what happens. The other part is fear.

There is a reason you are here. You are learning things that you will not realize until later.

God. So much of this is just a fucking sobby personal journal. Haha. God, I'm so sorry to all of you.

I miss You, Flora.

All of the things I feel, it all feels like I don't have a choice.

Desirée pretty much taught what it was to understand people and to forever love them.

What scares me the most about the truth is that it might change my opinion about Flora. At this point, that's the only thing that I'm protecting. It's all I have left.

God Kurt Sutter, what a way to flush 7 seasons down the drain. Whether or not you are serious about thinking it was good is I guess a cinema joke for history.

A man who is truly at peace w/ his life, accepts who he is and who isn't, and can smile at his past, is a blessed person.

Sometimes I think the wave of writing will just consume me into nothingness, but then again, what's wrong w/ that?

You wanted more from her, but when you ask yourself, how will you support that in which you want? That is your mission. Solve that problem before you get that in what you seek. But know this. The inner child in you and the inner child in Flora are friends. They are meant to be together.

What it comes down to now is how can I help my father?

In witnessing the pain of others, you must learn something.

Actually. When I think about it. Flora and my ex-Cuban-girlfriend Liana, have a lot in common.

All the pretty lights. That's how most of us will end.

When a child becomes aware that they are not very smart. They were just not given the gift of wit. That is a painful realization.

I am trying to make sense of this pain.

Can I meet Libby, Desirée?

My mother will given everything for her children. She's been w/ me thru this hurt. Every step of the way. Thanks, Mom.

When you are going thru your own person shit-storm and someone comes along to ask you for help. How will you respond?

The feeling of being free to make mistakes. That is what I gave Flora.

Monday, December 8, 2014

"I'm thinking of..."

I've been doing writing exercises out of Natalie Goldberg's "Old Friend from Far Away" which are basically 10-min free writes prompted by a single phrase, written freehand. This is one of them.

I'm thinking of Flora, where things went wrong. I mean this is the person I thought to be the love of my life, what else could I be thinking about? I find myself up late at night researching all the scientific perspective about the biological and physiological reaction in our brains that happen when we experience love and lose it. From preliminary findings, I see that 'love' is akin to a drug addiction, that our minds react in attach and detachment in a similar fashion to a chemical dependency. While I certainly see the validity to that comparison, part of me believes that deducing love down to a mere biological reaction somehow robs part of its magic and power. I think what I find interesting about the book is that it is an evidence to our constant need and striving to know, how we cannot be at peace with recognizing and accepting that there are merely some forces in the world so grand that they are meant to be left not understood, that our constant awe and curiosity is exactly what gives that force such great power.

I have a firm belief that love is the greatest force on earth, and I mean a true love. I think what those teams of scientists and psychologists are defining are sensations and feelings related to love, but not actually love itself. Call it infatuation, call it lust, call it whatever the hell you want to call it, but I think the bane of the distinction is whether or not it comes from a place of selfishness.

See, I'm starting to see w/ Flora that what I had w/ her was in fact quite selfish. It was something that felt so good that I wanted to hold onto it, have it be mine. I've been told time and time again that love is meant to be free. I guess as great and romantic that saying goes, it is much harder to actually do when time comes to let go. But I guess that's the whole irony of love. Sometimes it's like a plant, and attending to it too much suffocates it to death. The scary part is that it might never come back if you let it go (which is a very real possibility w/ Flora and I), but perhaps the key is to continue caring for it from a distance, w/o attachment to the outcome, and you let faith carry you the rest of the way. Either way, I think practicing and learning how to love in this fashion, regardless of the outcome, will make you a better person in the end.

Notes from my 60th trip (São Miguel)

No messages received. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Notes from my 59th trip (Finados)

I would give everything to Flora, but she doesn't want it. Fuck. That hurts. At the same time, I think she can see who I really am, and she wants that.

Flora was what entered my stomach, and she tore me up apart from the inside. I just don't understand why.

Zoë should open a bar called "Zoë's Place". I'd be there everyday to see a cute face.

That's how quick it was, I just saw a man in a convertible with part of his head sliced off.

We all go to find out own stories, but the ending is the same. We all get eaten.

I saw how machines made things that were not complex, complex.

I saw a machine that did not allow me to comprehend "volume". She had the head of a Cambodian snake princess.

You won't even let yourself choose the option that resolves all your problems.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Notes from my 58th trip (Illuminação)

"The path is meant to be walked upon, not ran upon, but walked."

Brazil taught me how to be a peaceful person.

I can tell Flora trusts me by the way she makes love.

Hold every moment as sacred, for we never know if it will be our last.

It is an honor anytime someone remembers my name.

The measure of a good sparring partner is how well they can receive your beast.

Indians have an explanation for everything.

Laziness disguises itself in many ways.

It is truly delicious when all the thoughts and words you've said in the past are in concordance of who you are, especially in a moment of emergency.

Desirée once called my tattoos, "delicious". I couldn't have wanted a better word.

You learn how much you love a person in the time you are apart from them.

I once asked Desirée if she wanted me to go or to stay. She said, "It must go." 
Flora told me to "stay".

Californication had one of the worst endings I've seen in my life.

In some ways, pornstars can be viewed as "curanderas". But only a select few.

I know too much about porn.

It is amazing when you have an explanation for everything.

The Star of David is basically two triangles living in harmony.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Notes from my 57th trip (Baptismo na Floresta)

Bukowski was one of those guys that didn't need anyone's help, but at the same time you wanted him to stop hurting.

The forest is dying. If it goes, we all go.

Having fun and indulging in your vices is okay at the right time, but when it starts interrupting your mission, it becomes a problem.

I think one of the biggest problems w/ me and Flora is that I really believed that I wasn't important in her life.

My parents gave me many gifts, but I don't think they expected me to use it in this way.

Japanese people are fucking crazy.

I've seen a lot of fucked up films. I mean I fucking BOUGHT a film called "Cannibal Holocaust". Like WTF?

Remember. How a person is at a particular moment is not permanent.

Life becomes a lot different when you encounter the sacred arts.

We have to believe that there exists other romantic relationships than the one our parents had.

I totally put Desirée in the position of what it feels like for black people to hate white people.

Flora one time thought that I wanted to kill her. Like seriously end her life. But she needs to know that my mission is for her to LIVE.

When someone kills themselves out of cowardice, that is a tragedy.

The first crush I remember having was Kia Charisma. I mean look at that name. I remember one day she had really smelly feet and I thought to myself, "I would still love her, even if she had smelly feet."

I dated someone from the internet for 2 years. Like we sent each other letters and presents for our birthdays. The reason we broke up is because she found out I was only 14.

The internet will show you how racist the world still is.

We weave our own harmony. It is key to see how all the hobbies in your life influence the other. It is there how we learn to live our story.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Notes from my 56th trip (Baptismo na Floresta)

I haven't seen a mirror ever since I arrived to the forest.

One thing that I love about Flora is that she will randomly take off her footwear and start walking barefoot.

These days there is so much fucking bullshit in the world. Lies, false prophets, we even have a fucking technique to make people trust them. What the fuck is that? It is a gift, a true blessing, when you can enter a place + it is honest. You can trust. That is your instinct. That is how I feel about the forest.

Quem chega são guerreiros; quem fica são guardiões.

"When water flows thru your body, and you are steady on the earth, the fire no longer hurts you. It is part of the family."

Here in the forest, you can see how everything started.

When you start understanding the lesson, your facial expressions become really honest.

I didn't choose this path. This path has literally chosen me.

Ceu do Mar will lead you to where you're meant to be.

I miss my father.

If I ever write a book, a definite 'thank you' will go to the Yawanawa tribe.

When you are truly at peace, you can enter anywhere protected. 
Nothing will harm you.

The thing about true love, is that you have to have an incredible amount of faith and belief that it will all just work out.

I am very proud to say that the majority of my life is going well.

Goddamn. When I really think about it and am honest w/ myself, I am such a fucked up mess. No, like really. A lot of you that know me only see a part of me and no one knows that type of thoughts and emotions I am passing through when I am alone in my bed. But I'm trying to straighten that all out. I really am. I just hope someone will love me at the end of all of it.

I make friends easily because I very quickly realized that I cannot make this journey alone.

There is always something you can find admirable in a person you do not like at first.

You learn things much more quickly when you are humble.

When you apologize sincerely, the other side loses all its power to be justifiably angry.

There is still a lot in my heart that needs to learn how to forgive.

There haven't been many times, but there have been a few times where I am shitting and throwing up at the same time. That is a confusing experience.

I go to a lot of place by myself, and I seem happy, but I am always missing Flora.

It strikes me as ironic that people from the 'civilized' world call indigenous people 'uncivilized'. There is a complete social order here which if I am to sum up, it would be as 'family' and 'trust'. Granted, there are their disputes + problems, like any other society. But there is certainly more honesty here .And w/o honesty, what is civilization?

'The heart balances the earth.'

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Notes from my 55th trip (Baptismo na Floresta)

O mundo é o melhor livro
E o melhor mestre vivir
Deus é meu melhor amigo
É amor dentro de mim
É amor dentro de ti.

Thank you for existing.

São Miguel a frente, São Miguel atras, São Miguel a direito, São Miguel a esquerda, São Miguel a cima, São Miguel a baixo. São Miguel, São Miguel, São Miguel. Onde quer eu vá, eu sou teu amor que me protege. Onde quer eu vá, eu sou teu amor que me protege. Onde quer eu vá, eu sou teu amor que me protege. (x3)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Notes from my 54th trip (Baptismo na Floresta)

I wish you could hear the win w/ me now, the rolling thunder, the coming rain. I wish this more than anything in my life, but the best I can do is be here, in our name.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Notes from my 53rd trip (Aniversário do Padrinho Sebasatião)

It is important not to treat love like a toy. Treat it for what it is. It can be many things, but a toy is not one of them.

It's kind of ironic that I would be really good at making money when I despise it so much.

I think Grace really wanted the person I could become, but not who I was. And I think she was always a bit sad about that. It's funny, cuz I find the same thing w/ Flora, only in reverse.

I like the person I became.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Notes from my 52nd trip (Ritual Yawanawa)

Brazil is removing a lot of anger from my spirit. It is not always a pleasant experience.

Understanding the life of another is not an easy task. In fact, I'll go as far as to say it is impossible. The best we can do is capture a second of it, and try to imagine the rest.

Sometimes there is no direct command. Sometimes you have to read between the lines. And those lessons are to test your ability to think beyond obedience.

The more I think about it, Flora checks out, in every single way I can think of. And to be honest, sometimes it pisses me the fuck off.

Viva São Miguel!

I once borrowed a friend's USB drive to have some photos printed. It always seems like an excuse when someone says, "Wait, those pictures aren't mine." Sucks when it's actually true.

It's been a fucked up past couple of months. And now I'm training to enter the forest. God.

It's funny between Flora and I. Anytime one of us accept a piece of hard advice from the other, we feel bad for saying it the moment after.

You know, it's like anytime a relationship is going through a rough patch, we think that another person is the solution, like they are the answer, no problems. But everyone is fucked up in some way. It's like at least w/ Flora I kinda sorta know what I'm getting into and it's not that bad. I mean most of is good, but the bad parts, it's not THAT bad.

I am of the belief that one should always follow their heart, but it is also important to be aware of the things that influence the heart, and the intentions of those influences. The heart, it is wise and naive at the same time.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Notes from my 51st trip (Ritual Yawanawa)

This is basically how it works. 
One moment you think you know what is going on. 
The next you don't.

I am still very nervous of what is behind a knocking door.

I would say my objective is to train my body so that it is ready to endure pain and/or travel at a moment's notice.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Notes from my 50th trip (Ritual Yawanawa)

Most of us are undeserving of true love. It is only given to those who are willing to change.

The pain I feel, from the things I witness and the things done to me, I wish them upon no one.

Flora taught me to care about the kind of person I am.

When you go through a lot of shit and manage to maintain the goodness in your heart at the end, that is something you should be very proud about.

I'm so sorry, Grace. I still feel the pain of what I did to this day.

You have to be disciplined to truly receive love.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Notes from my 49th trip (Ritual Yawanawa)

It's funny how the place we go for the cure is the same place that gives us the poison.

The questions w/ no answers hurt the most.

The purpose of one who cures is to stop pain.

No matter how little space you think you have, the person next to you is your brother.

If you truly love someone, you must accept them as they are.

It's never too much, Flora.

The exit is just as important as how you enter.

You could see the sunrise in a field of growing carrots.

You start to get good at Jiu-Jitsu when you use your head as a weapon.

Being Asian in Brazil is one of the funnest and funniest experiences to ever have.

I live a real love. That is enough for me to be satisfied w/ life.

A lot of my girl friends think that Flora treats me poorly. Some of that I agree w/. The rest of it is simply because they don't understand her. And that is my fault, in not explaining it well enough.

A lot of how Flora is w/ me is out of a fear to be in love w/ me. And I can think of a couple times where I made her unsure.

Politicians are a funny bunch. Come election time, they do their damnedest to appear straight-edge, clean-cut, honest. But at the core (and this is of course a generalization), they are the most crooked of us all.

Fuck the Iraq War. That shit started when I was a freshman in college. It's like, you made your money, and wars are much more complicated to end than most of us know. But for Christ's sake, end the fucking thing.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Notes from my 48th trip (Concentração)

Like I had to shit in a bag for the past three days. Then John came over to look @ the toilet, and then a new toilet just appeared after I got back from Jiu-Jitsu for the first time in 2 months. Like what the fuck?

You know you found someone special when you feel like they are a medium for God to you as you are for her.

Relationships are such a subjective term.

Fox News is such a necessary evil in this world. God bless those confused bastards.

True love is dangerous territory. Like to really, I mean really, believe you are safe w/ someone, then finding out to be untrue. That hurts. A lot.

The above comment has nothing to do w/ Flora btw. I just understand.

My friend H'rina google imaged the term "Big fucking banana" thinking she would find big, fucking bananas. What a surprise she was in for.

Don't ask me about the kind of porn I used to be into.

Once someone enters my life, I'm pretty much a friend. You'd have to be a pretty giant asshole for me to really dislike you.

People cut themselves out of my life more than the other way around.

Everyone is looking for a formula to true love. As if it is some mathematical equation + we just need to find the numbers and add them together. Like it is something mechanical. The truth is, true love is found only in your own way. How well you can navigate that road depends on your training.

The fucked up secret to rules is that you finally learn there are no rules. Or are there?

You know, there were some close called between Flora + I, in both senses of the phrase. But when it comes down to it, I am her partner. I cannot abandon her.

Like dead hooker porn. I would probably look at pictures of that, if they were shown to me.

My intention as an artist is to capture the funny moments.

There is something about Mike Tyson that I trust. Basically, I trust him more than Nicholas Kristof.

I'm quick to call someone a false prophet. At the same time, I've been given the gift of detecting that easily.

Kaia really liked you. And you were selfish in the way you treated her.

You know you talk too much when you lose the meaning in your words.

I'll say this right now. I would never have been able to get this far w/o my father.

Fuck Flora is so right about me. I need to straight my shit out before I step to her again.

The memories always come after you gave it away.

If someone repeated a story to you, it is often b/c you needed to hear it again.

Games where I'm supposed to think up as many words as possible that begin w/ a certain prefix frustrate the shit out of me. Because it just reminds me of my limited vocabulary. And I'm a fucking writer.

When you step back and look at it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a ridiculous human being.

You know what it is? I need to clean up the mistakes I committed to the women of my past.

There is a darkside to Flora that I am interested in knowing.

Our neighbor hit on my mom once. And my dad punched him in the face. Haha. Go Dad. (The funniest part is my dad called the police like right after it happened and felt really bad. Ah. When all said + done, my pops is a good man. Not everyone can say they had a good farther growing up.

Most of what I say is true. But you can't force ppl to listen.

I know this is not the type that you're hoping for, but I love you so much, Marcella.

The key to being an artist is distinguishing what comes from you and what comes God.

Perng did some fucked up shit to me, but I also know that I was the cause of it all.

I grow tired of people calling me a con-man.

I pay for the value of things.

I will never abandon you, Flora. Do you understand? Never.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Notes from my 47th trip (Ritual Shipibo)

I find it interesting that the preparation for a spiritual cleansing is almost exactly the same as a prizefight.

In order to be a good translator, one must know the many different ways the same word can be used.

Be grateful for the things we take for granted.

What becomes your standards of life all depends on how you train yourself.

At times, Flora is as immature as a child. Other times, she shows me my childishness. What a fabulous love we share.

Don't cheat and don't make someone else into a cheater. That's basically my M.O. in dealing romantically w/ the opposite sex.

It is important to know where you are.

Being dedicated to your work is the key to life.

You know, there always reaches a point where you can't stand the person you are dating. You reach a realization that you either leave it, or try to work through it. At least in the case of true love, leaving it is a familiar path w/ a known destination. It comes down to whether you are willing to cooperate w/ the world or force it to work only to your standards. And that boiled down to how selfish or selfless you are.

I don't think I'd call myself strong, but I am confident in my ability to adapt.

You know, sometimes in a relationship, the other person passes through a time where they can't give a lot. The duty is to give when they can only receive.

Flora showed up to my apartment in turquoise spandex and a pink shirt. Yeah. This is who I tried to marry.

You know, the world functions on give and take, and most of the time, the receiving does not come from the same person you gave. I just assume the balance is even, rather than trying to keep count.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Notes from my 46th trip (Chave do São Pedro)

You should never want anything from the presents you give others. Well...maybe their happiness, but that's it.

There is a code to being a guest in someone else's home.

I think my problem w/ romantic relationships is that I do not think about the impact an intense interaction has on the other person.

If we dig deep enough, we can always find something bad to say about anyone. But Why? (I guess if they're doing some heinous shit then yeah, but for the sake of gossip, to make our lives more entertaining, why?)

One time I gave Flora an ultimatum and in the middle of her telling me that she doesn't deal well w/ ultimatums, like they make her run away, I had to ask her to translate "ultimatum" from Portguese. I know we both found it funny, despite the seriousness of the conversation.

There is certainly a lot of comedy in my relationship with Flora.

When you step back and look @ it, people who take themselves really seriously are kinda funny.

Someone asked me today, out of all the countries I've been to, which one has the best people. Truth is, there are beautiful people in every part of the world, but I guess I'd also say, Brazil taught me how to recognize it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Notes from my 45th trip (Ceu do Montanha)

When you want someone to go through something horrible only because they put you through the same thing, just so they can feel what you feel, take a good look at yourself in the mirror, when you feel this.

I am learning how to forgive.

It is important not to be easily offended but also stand up when things are being unnecessarily attacked.

I am like a much happier person than I used to be.

Love is not a fight, but there are a series of tests, where you asked to change some things about yourself. And that is sometimes a struggle.

Love is free to some degree, but it doesn't always stay if you are not responsible.

I've made a lot of mistakes w/ Flora, and I'm seeing that now. I realize this entire time apart, this whole thing, is about making up for my errors and presenting a better self when the time is right. And I think (hope) she's doing the same.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Conversa com Preto Velho

“If you’ve met the love of your life, like you know who that person is, are you dedicated to that person for the rest of your life?”

“Yes. You must remain faithful.”

“Even if we are not together? Even if you are not sure if they are faithful to you?”

“If you really love her, you will stay faithful. It is a test of your love.”

“This love, does it come back?”

“If you pass, yes.”


“One last thing: It is important to not have any hopes with this love. No expectations. Take the love that you have for her, and give it to God.”

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Notes from my 44th trip (Casamento do Alex e Brandon)

I am a messenger of people's desperation.

To come from a clan is a powerful thing.

It is your responsibility to discipline your beasts.

I'm just waiting for Flora to come back.

Notes from my 43rd trip (Gira)

(Private Session)

Notes from my 42nd trip (Missa da 1 mês da passagem do José Abramovitz)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Notes from my 41st trip (Concentração)

It hurts to try and forget someone out of your life.

You reach a certain level of maturity when you can laugh at someone's ability to piss you off.

There is a lot of anger to be rid of from this body.

When you write, write with intention. There is already too much trashy garbage out there. Make your words matter. Make every one count.

Sometimes I just need someone I trust to tell me who I am.

I'm good at what I do, because I don't sleep from this shit
There is no escape.

There will be a home waiting for you, 
if that is what you decide that you want in your life, 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Update for my letter writer

I've changed residence to the "Morada de Sol" pousada on Rua 12. I will be wearing a SpongeBob hat for the rest of my stay in Paraty. I hope to see you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Notes from my 40th trip (Parabens)

Death is just about finding our way back home.

Despite anything that goes on between two combatants before or outside of the ring, from purely the opinions of others, the two men in the ring are friends at the end of the day. Because we get along w/ those of the same breed.

The only fans of my work are my friends that I've known in some other part of my life. I'd be lucky if it stayed that way.

Children are much closer to God than the rest of us.

You know, I can usually tell what most women will look like when they're older. 
I can't tell w/ Flora. Interesting.

Anyone who thinks crawling is pathetic has no humility. Nothing is pathetic if done w/ dignity.

You never HAVE to do anything anyone else tells you. 
Whether or not you should, is a different question.

Paulo Coelho is one of three things:

1) A really bad writer.
2) A writer w/ a poor translator.
3) Someone I am not yet wise enough to understand.

There are many places in the world which you like. 

But which one 




Notes from my 39th trip (Caboclo Guerreiro)

People should have higher standards to who they sleep with. The body is a temple. It should have adequate defenses to be passed in order to enter.

You will find me just constantly laughing, for no reason. Laughing. Cuz life is just one giant joke, and when we finally get it, we die.

We reach a point where things stop happening to us and instead we've learned how to give direction to the things we must learn to accept.

What a ridiculous person I am.

I think I've figured out what human trait bothers me the most: undisciplined arrogance.

At it's purest essence, all religions are a path to enlightenment. The problem is that human beings are corrupt.

I once told Flora that I needed to be away to protect her from something. I now see that that 'something' is me.

You know, as much as I despise "Landmark Education", I still recognize that it has genuinely helped some people through.

When I stop to think about it, Flora must live in such an insane world. Then she had to deal with ME. Haha. Jesus. The shit I must have put her through.

My friend Yoga is like this medicine that I need, but never want to take.

I see now that my father protects my art.

All my parents are asking is that I show a little more interest in their lives. That I care about them more.

Sometimes I feel that all writing is, is sharpening your tools so someone can receive your message.

If I'm to be honest, I feel a little lost w/o Flora.

I put my first girlfriend through so much shit. 
Good God, what a train-wreck that one was.

Jenna Jameson must live in a fucked up world, inside that head of hers.

Ogum, Mamae Jurema, Oxúmaré, Rainha da Floresta, Oxala


Writing is a destructive art, and what it leaves in its destruction, it creates a bridge.

If I ever kill myself, it will be "Hara-Kiri" style.

When you think about it, killing yourself is to bestow the role of liberator upon yourself. 

Marcella. You really do deserve someone amazing in your life. And that person isn't me.

My friend Hugo and his girlfriend look perfect together. If someone asked me, "What kind of woman would Hugo be with?" She's the one I'd imagine. It's as if they plucked themselves out from my imagination.

Marijuana is a sacred plant, but when you abuse it by overuse, it is like you are taking a piss on that sacred territory.

Flora, I hope you can meet me on the other side of all of this.

We often read a book at the wrong time.

Every time you call Him, God gives you a blank notebook to write in.

I try to have enough room for my friends ( the world, really ), but I'd be lying if I said some of them never got too close to the line where I considered ending the friendship. Giving up, essentially.

File cabinets. Our minds need file cabinets.

Now is the time 

I once played an April Fool's joke on Flora that I didn't get my tourist visa back to Brazil. She played it right back by hanging up and ignoring 4 of my calls. She's a quick one, she is.

When I die, people will miss me. That's a nice thing to have.

It's ironic. All I want is a simple life, but here I am living all this crazy fucked up shit.

My entire way of being started in the boxing gym.

I tried to join the Marines when I was 16, through the INTERNET. I then received a very excited yet apologetic email saying I could not enroll until I was 17. Shame on you US government. You know better than that.

I feel like in many parts of the world, the role of teacher is revered in some sense of holiness and treated as such. Except in the US and other Western Powers. They seem to be blind to something.

Sex and death are close relatives.

When you truly believe that everything will work out, time no longer remains an issue.

It has to be her choice. It is always HER choice.

All these companies: Apple, Microsoft, Google, they are essentially selling their services as a master path to be guided on.

I would get back w/ Flora if given the chance. But she has to stop treating me like shit. Cuz that's what she was treating me like. At the same time, I let her. And that was the problem. I presented myself as such, and the fitting treatment was bestowed.

Everyone, everyone has a belief on how life should be lived. Being in a relationship is about stripping the other person down until the reveal it. Then it's about deciding if you are in accordance w/ it.

Both me and my photography student lack drive + discipline. He's 12, so he's excused. I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

Flora taught me how to value my own life.

I know I wrote all this pretty stuff about letting Flora go, but fuck all that. I ain't giving up that easily.