Butterfly Study



Meeting The Eyes of All Others With Compassion

Something that came to mind on my walk to the gym after work the other evening:

When you realize we were all/

are all trying our best

You begin to resent a little less

Love a little more.


Ben Folds says it more eloquently, with the lens towards the creator’s realm:

“By dignifying even the most despicable character as a human being, by offering them what empathy we can manage, we also hold them accountable for their choices. You can’t really convincingly condemn a monster for being a monster. He’s just being the best monster he can be. Sure, it’s easier to make a caricature of someone you don’t want to relate to, but the more lines you can step over, the closer you can get to a subject, the better off you’ll be — and the more complex and effective your songwriting will be. From the filthy rich to the filthy minded, I learned to meet people one at a time.”


It is something I’ve fallen short from.

I think especially to a special few. Someone special, others, I dismissed.

This American Discovers: The Betel Nut!

Interesting. I just learned from a book about betel nut, the seed of the fruit of the Areca palm which is taken in countries commonly like how we take our caffeine/nicotine, although it has been red- flagged as a carcinogen (and for other stuff). It’s the 4th most common psychoactive drug after caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. People in Papa New Guinea use it commonly… super cool. I love discovering commonly used consumer goods and edibles from  other countries.

The betel nut is the size of a small tomato.

If you can get it “farm to table” (lol) you’re supposed to crush it, chew on the substance inside and chew the seed for a few minutes, and then you can spit it out.


I want to try a fresh betel nut! I know it’s not good for me if I use it regularly, but just once, I’d like to get fresh ones and try them myself.

Evening Meditations

What’s going on inside:

Gentle waves

Lapping at the edges of my heart

Warming it

Softening it

Feathering it /


Love /


What’s going on outside (sight)

Me at the feet of a beach shore

Head down in between my knees


There is so much joy

He is pleased

He tells me he is pleased /

One day at a time

For every 10 bad days

I hold onto the one good day

For every 3rd bad day, I hold onto the one good day

For every 77th bad day, I’ll hold onto that one good day /

As Annie Dillard sagely said, “how you spend your days… is how you spend your life.”

I will choose to live mine spending it in gratitude.

When you realize we were all/

are all trying our best

You begin to resent a little less

Love a little more.



Will We Give Up Our Souls For “Nation First?” Morning Meditations

When I read this as an American and as a citizen at large on this Earth, all I can think of are the millions of people getting persecuted and the lands being neglected– for being undocumented/uncategorized or categorized and thus pigeonholed into being “other”. All I can think about is the stripping of dignity and the lashings we’ve been complicit in, and the lack of love we have so demonstrated.

I am not saying particular regulations are unnecessary, but should there not be compassion and love for all [regardless of our individual values or duties] grounding our every motive, action, and law?:

“On the final night the weather was stormy. The rain was coming down hard, the rain was heavy, bashing down on top of our little boat. Darkness, darkness everywhere. I saw Parnya. She was sleeping in her mother’s arms. Her mother, Shokoufeh, had also passed out. I saw Parnya’s face under the yellow light from that damn lamp, that weak lamp, the lamp hanging from the ceiling knocking back and forth. I saw her face, which seemed bluish from where I was standing. It seemed she had fallen into an eternal sleep while in her mother’s embrace. The violent waves had beseiged us; they were bent on pulling Parnya into the sea, pulling her together with her mother and her brother, who was also sleeping on his mother’s lap, pulling all of them into the abyss of that dark ocean. The boat was shaking violently. Firouz With the Hazel Eyes (the father/husband) was a thin man, unable to assist his family… terrified, he looked over at them and said, ‘My children are going to die.’ He just cried.

Now they’ve been imprisoned on Nauru. I’m sure Parnya can’t fathom this life of affliction in any way, this life she finds herself in. A life that could break the will of the most macho of mails. She has no idea what the prison was built for, she has no idea why a harmless child has to be there, why a children with no bad intentions has to be held there. She has no idea why she has to be locked up.

The mood of sorrow that has tormented us all over the last few days emerges again/ Once again sorrow bears down oppressively /

Once again the questions smash against the rim of my mind /

Why does the Australian government have to exile little girls of six or seven years old? /

Where in the world do they take children captive and throw them inside a cage? / 

What rime are those children guilty of? /

And thousands more questions that have no answers / 

Thousands more questions that cause me more headaches /

Even greater headaches.




I am on a large ship / 

A ship that resembles a British tanker / 
A ship like the one that rescued us and brought us here /

In the middle of the ocean is a small, vivid, green, and bountiful island /

Encircled by dangerous waves / 

It is rocking / 

The waves are shaking it /

Exactly like that rotting boat from the stormy night / 

The boat that was captured by the belligerent waves in the ocean /

There are little children on that island /

They are terrified /

Their arms are raised /

They are pleading with me for help /

There are tall coconut trees growing on the island / 

The children wrap their arms firmly around the tall, smooth tree trunks / I get closer

Nilou (refugee child, youngest kid of a family he once crossed paths with traversing camps) is there /

She is wearing an outfit patterned with many, many flowers / 

Yellow and red, like the flowers growing next to the coconut tree / 

Parnya (another refugee child he watched from afar and thought fondly of) is also there / 

Standing there with her hair in pigtails /

And there are other children I don’t recognize /


The island is getting smaller and smaller /

The waves are getting higher and higher /

The waves are swallowing up Nilou and the other children / I can only hear their voices /

No matter how I try to dive into these waves, I can’t move / 

Like a stiff nail, I can’t move at all / 


That island submerges into the spinning ring of waves /

The children are still on it / 

The island sinks into the abyss of ocean / 

The coconut trees have linked hands, but they too drown.”

Writings by Behrouz Boochani, refugee, writer, poet and author of No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison

“I have a dream”

Martin Luther King’s speech lives on.. eerily… one of the thoughts reeling through my head today

The full weight of the speech’s words

All people of all

creeds of all colors

Brothers and Sisters //

when will thy kingdom come?