Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deft Honesty

As kids, we're told that honesty is the best policy and that lying does no one any good. However, because they don't want to scare us off, they often don't tell the while tale behind these maxims, in this instance, that honesty can place an enormous strain on relationships and that the blow up from being caught in a lie can lead to losing everything you've worked so hard to achieve. I know these realities well, having incorporated sincerity into my daily interactions and doing less than sincere deeds in my past. There is much for me to learn about being more deft in my honesty and how I state my intent, and I'm equally certain that my approach will create the kind of life I seek. This is doubtless because few things destabilize a relationship's foundation more than deceit masking true intent.

When people close to me became wolves in sheep's clothing, I became much more hesitant to place my faith in other; to this day I'm weary of accepting aid from other, the possibility of them using the act as a tool of manipulation never far from my thought. That kind of mistrust is all encompassing, leaking into all aspects of how we approach people for the first time, and is a feeling I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. For this reason, I always seek to let those I see as friends in on what I intend to do, no matter how off putting it may turn out to be. My lack of wording skill has alienated me from a few friends, that I won't deny, but even with that, my choice of lifestyle has given me a life with little regret. White lies can help to create harmony and encouragement, but what use is creating that kind of environment when the truth can bring it down as easily as a house of cards?

I recognize the dangers inherent in the truth, especially those which have cost people their livelihoods, if not their lives. That said, I can't really see the value of trying to cover it up, since it only adds to the impact of the truth when it finally comes out. Exceptions to this surely exist, but to me, no matter how painful or devisive it is, those you have even a modicum of respect for deserve to know the truth about what you seek; to think it's better for them never to know is to insult and devalue them as human beings. If there's anything I'll learn more about being honest, it's that a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down. Perhaps this is the key to reducing the possibility of involuntarily isolation

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crossed Wires

I read a children's book on a girl coming to America from China and her troubles learning English(which even one an award, back in the eighties). While the book itself felt greatly patronizing, it did get me thinking about what it's like to leave your old life behind to live in a new country, which I wrote of before, if I remember correctly(I'll post it up as soon as I can find it in my physical archives), but never from the view from someone who's living with the fact in the country. Those thoughts inspired this poem, which I eventually hope to turn into either a children's book or a comic of some sort. At any rate, give it a read and let me know what you think.

On the first day of 1st grade,
My teacher called on me
I could answer her perfectly
'Cause answers were all I knew

When that metal hawk left Japan
A carryon carried my life
But one thing just wouldn't fit
That one thing was Chie

She spoke in ways I understood,
sharing her tales and cookies
She spurred me on and made me strong,
Like no one else ever could

In fact no one else ever did
Try and put things in my reach
Even other kids with their colorful words
the kind schools never dare teach

In this school I was the zebra
Among a pack of giraffes
It was as if I had no mouth
Until Ms. Duvall gave me one

She tutored me when school was done
And showed me utmost care
With her, my English became my pallate
To paint energy in motion

She had me saying hi, hey and hello
To all I met in Torrance
She helped me grow more and more
My joy with her grew more and more

In time I only had one thing left
And that was try to make friends
But practicing English with my peers
Unlocked the shackles restraining my fears

"You sound like a FOB!
Your mom taking our jobs?
Me love you long time
Just go with your own kind"

Shattered-my desire for friends
Silenced-my passion for English
Scrapped-my love of school time
Sullied-my faith in others

The stir of words went up in smoke
Adrift above the recess ground
I watched from atop the Jungle Gym
A world now oceans apart

And so, for, the hands of time
Lead me to who I once was
But as I walked, I found a note,
It's tongue of the home I left behind

"I know you're angry, I know you're hurt
But silence isn't the answer
How can they know what's in your heart
If you won't let anyone hear it?"

At first, it left me quite perplexed
Who could know the tongue of my home?
But then it hit me who studied it
And that was Ms. Duvall

The day after I read that note
It stayed within my jean's pocket
It's message lit something deep inside
Which I felt as I sat down for lunch

Beside me was a girl in plaid
Who stirred her chocolate pudding
I lifted my eyes and flashed a smile
Extending to her, my hand

Since then, we've grown to be BFFs
Sharing life's many grand spendors
Should Ms. Duvall Ever come across this
Thanks for everything, Linda