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The Fuel

Thoughts with tiny bubbles

My head submerged underwater and my lungs breathed out the condense air as tiny bubbles floated over my face. The evening news showed deaths of Asian women in Atlanta a few days ago, but I refused to listen to the thought and immersed myself in the bath water relaxing my mind. 

Two days ago, an active shooter murdered 10 innocent people at the King Soopers Grocery Store, in Boulder, Colorado, nearby a cafe I frequently spent time in to write. There was a clearing force injecting my heart, to clean nonsense and only give space to those who loved me and no one else.

 

The rest of the world no longer mattered, and I felt forced to shelter in the comfort of stable friendships, critical people only, because those were my community. I didn't want to speak or process my grief to anyone around me. I wanted to close the door to the friends I have yet to meet or develop relationships with, and focus only on the current and immediate close circle of families and friends.

 

Those violence almost closed the door to a future filled with harmony, new friendships with beautiful lives and souls, and almost impeded my growth as a human being.

 

My drive and purpose in life came knocking on the gates of my brain, and asked it to open and relent compassion for my well being; through trauma processing and making connections with my fellow coworkers and customers I met on a daily basis.

 

I realized, my purpose was to send out beautiful energy and to help others in words, action, and love, more than I received. It was my calling to fulfill as a fateful destiny, for which I never chose but it chose me and happened accordingly. 

After witnessing those tragedies via social media and television, I almost lost my sparks. It stunted my creativity for a couple of days, from fearful thoughts that I might pose as a threat for a senseless and irrational human being. People who committed mass shooting, racism, rapes, violence, terrorisms at all levels, including stalking and gang banging, have no purpose in life, their souls full of egos. They felt the existence of good prevents them from their freedom to release the erratic behavior to oppress those who pose as revolutionary. They felt threatened in their subconscious by good lives, opportunities, diversity, tolerance, harmony, and peace. The crazies almost had their statements fulfilled, but that would only suppress growth of our future and ridicule our youth. 

Came back my thoughts to the knocking of my own heart beats pumping my subconscious. It asked me to write out my thoughts and gave me a newfound freedom of expression. It was my right to be Asian because I was born with it, and my right to want gun safety, and my right to grieve for my beloved Father, who died a month ago.

 

I had the right to process it, to not fear it, to be angered by it, but not to be negatively moved or provoked by it. I was the strong tower who had the right to sunshine, and it was an ordained future. Those vile acts and the death shan't lead me to captivity. I was free to express my emotion, because it was sane and creative, not vehemence of ghore. 

Submerged underwater, my brain cooled down, the door to my mind and heart opened for a life of adventurous journey, running with beating pulse pacing my life to enjoy it once again. The tiny bubbles kept floating over my face and I rose up exposing my shoulders over the bath water.

 

This was a thought processed, after a few dismal days.

 

Just write.

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Clementine, my son.

~This romance of oranges was written in Honor of Matt De La Pena and Caroline Sun, and my friends, Derek and Renata Garcia.~

 

Love came to me during a sunny day with nothing but the glory of the skies above. The skin on my body was rippled with sweat as the water from the grove sprinklers sprayed over us, rooting the soils and splattered on my skin. Atop the second lowest branch, where I lived, the Earth was at peace and the wind breezed through the leaves with a soft gentleness upon my whole body, round, supple and naturally orange. 

 

My name was Pomelo, but others called me Junior, because I was a medium sized gent with a penchant for water drops. At times I screamed to the top most branch where Old Pomelo was and he always said, "Son, there will come a time when your worth will enhance human kind. Think of all the many oranges in the world and the vitamins we preserve. We are giants of lineages of fruits!" I believed him, no matter how low I was to the ground and how much rotting days approached. I was sure I would one day be picked for something great.

 

My buds came early last Winter, and the grovesman planted a special fertilizer upon Mother to feed her nutrients. She sighed of relief as her branches drooped and she breathed out "growth" from the eye of her bark and kissed each Pomelo with a drop of liquid love. Pomelos lived hundreds of years and at times, thousands, depending on the grovesman and purveyor. We were their birthed inheritance, and treasured investments, so we all trusted on their kindness for foods, lodging, births of new buds and fertlization.

 But,...all dreams of family and love plucked out of me when a grovesman came and poked me. He took his syringe, as large as 50 mililiters, and sucked out the spirit and vitamins into his tubes. The orange fluid flowed into the plastic bottle, and I wiggled out of fear. "Please pluck me and have me with a decadent joy. Instead of taking my life this way. Please, spare me the suffering and bitterness of a rotting body over Summer and Fall. Please...," I pleaded and pleaded. He was ignorant and kept depleting my vitamins and body fluids. I wanted him to peel me off, and I felt I was sacrificed as a useless scrab. Uneaten waste was my destiny. He left with those plastic tubes of my juices as I wept. 

 

"Don't worry, my dear," I heard a voice. Her soft motherly voice came to my leaves and I heard her next to me. It must be the next tree nearby. I looked up, and I saw her, another orange, with a different life, different trait, different beauty. She was the most gorgeous species I've ever seen. Her skin brighter than my dark orange, with her peels matched the sunshine above us.

 

"I am Mandarin," she whispered, and giggled. She was smaller in size, but so beautiful, with perhaps a nectar sweeter than I could ever imagine. "We will meet again, but for now, let's dive deep our souls into our buds and branches for the sake of life. Our buds will regrow, and a new progeny will come," she explained.

 

"Mandarin, you've gotta tell me your nickname," I said. "Mine is Junior."

 

"Mei-Mei," she said. "I was planted when Mother was just a small three feet high."

 

"Your Mother was an immigrant? I was native here, but Mother has been here for decades." I told her.

 

"I know. We were planted here next door, for a new life," she said. "The Grovesman worked inside the plantation for a study. We are their main focus."

 

I, Junior, never understood "studies." I hoped it won't left my soul rotting away in the heat that my peels grew fungus.

 

"Stay quiet, they're back," said Mei-Mei.

 

Mandarins were beautiful, with a gentle tartness on the palate that was small and meshed with the taste buds as desserts for men and women. Their kind were loved by Mother's ancestors. We were long lived friends and the descendants of their friendships. My heart on the buds of the branches breathed in a subtle pink hue of romance and love. I was mezmerized by Mei-Mei. 

 

The grovesman came back, this time with more empty plastic tubes, yet, the searched for Mei-Mei, and palmed her in his hand. He kissed Mei-Mei, and inserted the syringe inside her body, and took a seed from her Mother, out of the top most branch, where another Mandarin had died out of the extreme heat in the Redlands Orange Groves.

 

Mei-Mei cried as her peels moistened, and I felt her spirit crept up the branch and stayed there. I did the same, leaving my body and peels at its place, as I crept up my branch to stay solemn upon the sympathy of the Mandarin carcass before me. 

 

We grieved together, and often, we came out to the tip of our branch and cried together. Remininiscing the long gone friends who were plucked as we stayed in spirit in our branches and Mother caressed our souls with songs and melodies harmonizing with the wind.

 

Mei-Mei and I, Junior, bonded over Summer and over the dead carcass of friends unplucked and over-ripened. We didn't get plucked instead our bodies were preserved inside a covered plastic, and it was kept there as Specimen A and Specimen B. 

 

Fall came and our souls sang together, in baby blue romance, bringing our hearts melodies of ripened red hues of love.

 

"We join us here, as souls to be. Our bodies lives on.....We gifted them with our harmony, and our hearts lives as one."

 

Mei-Mei and I sang all the time, and over Autumn, when our leaves fell as we grieved our barrenness and lifted our words of hope and faith to the Earth, for a harvest next season, in fortuitiy. 

 

A month before Winter, a grovesman came and dug a deep hole nearby, and Mei-Mei noticed a seed was planted before us. I, Junior, didn't want to witness another Mother came to the grove without a welcome, therefore, I summoned the dead leaves to cover her on the Earthen soil, protecting her soul.

 

"Another Mother tree, Junior," Mei-Mei screamed. "Another family."

 

"We must wait, and we must warn them of the grovesman and the impending deaths and plucking seasons," I told her.

 

Rain poured, and the muddy ground almost covered the new Mother. She must struggle through it, but came a leaf, sprouting up. Not all seasons were meant to break you, because some were meant to strengthen you and birth a new life.

 

The grovesman chaffed the planted Mother, and fertilized her, letting her grew speedily over the soil. A month flew by, and the new Mother, stood tall, about a foot, with growing tendrils of leaves teasing me of new souls inside her core.

 

"We will have an extension of us, Junior," said Mandarin Mei-Mei. "I overhead the grovesman, researching of its budding season, and sending more water to splash over it. We will have some, too."

 

"What breed?" I asked Mei-Mei.

 

Uncontained of my joy, I perched over the tip of Mother's branches, and saw the new Mother grew. Months flew by, and a tiny flower came bursting out into the nothingness of the grove, bombastically exploding with colors of white and tiny buds surrounding it. 

 

"Heeelllllooooooo SUNSHINE!" the little voice said. "Hello Mother, Hello Father!" The tiny flowers cracked the barriers of sounds between me, Junior, and my Mei-Mei, Mandarin romance. 

 

"Father?" I asked. "There was never one."

 

"Mother?" Mei-Mei asked. "I was just a few buds amongst the many."

 

"Oh, not so fast with those self-deprecating thoughts! My name is Clementine! I am YOUR SON!" the tiny voice called out loud. It was vivacious and with a strong personality, and outburst of optimism inside him. 

 

Mei-Mei and I, Junior, sighed and embraced the sound of the gentle wind as Spring kept on, and Clementine budded into small oranges, smaller than Mandarin, with peels as dark and smooth as me. 

 

A grovesman approached, and plucked me first, then Mei-Mei, and our souls crept into the branches, but our bodies were to be the delight of man. 

 

"Should I creep up to Mother," asked Clementine.

 

"My son, there are many things, we must say to you," I told him, as Fatherly as I could. "First, my name is Junior, and I am a Pomelo."

 

"My name is Mei-Mei, and I am a Mandarin," she said. "Echo. We must name him."

 

"Yes, I agree," I said. "Clementine is your family name, and your soul is ECHO!" 

 

"That means.....I AM ECHO and I am a CLEMENTINE! I AM THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE NEW DAY!" said my son, Echo, the Clementine.

 

Our family stayed at the Redlands Grove since then, and new souls came and by, but life kept on, as fruits blossomed, and seasons never faltered, but families stayed together.

 

The End. Just Write.

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Letting go

My hands were deep underneath the Earth, fingers searching for roots to pull up as I knelt to soil level over the green sprouts of my carrots. There were no rabbits, just my soul in joie de vivre inside the life I earned for the writing I composed. I was a local author in provincial Loveland, Colorado, not quite suburbia, but countryside with a few lovely families nearby and a farm to tend. Snow melted months before and butterflies 🦋 flew by beside me beyond the trails to run in early morning. I pulled the elongated carrots and placed it in my basket next to me, and stood up to water the other vegetables on the plot of land. 

 

My house was not the biggest in the block, but it was good enough to hold me in peace and I made enough to sustain a living. A life I filled with the love of literature and the joy of writing and best of all, he made breakfast to enjoy it with me. Perhaps, the family was asleep, and I was a mother, a true gift I never knew I could have. The love of my life held me close and kissed me, and we enjoyed the eggs over-easy on toast, and hopefully, my Mom was still alive.

 

The dream I once knew made me lagged behind as I clenched it, and stubbornly dwelled upon it, over and over again. It caused jibberish and prayers to utter upon days and moments of my life, without a wholesome truth behind it and it was full of the fears that I was a prey by the devil who wanted otherwise. But, the butterfly kept flying near and so did the blue jays, finches, red-tailed hawks, and several eagles. It was pregnancy of faith that I needed to unleash, because I kept on the dream of that quaint house with a plot of land and the love of my life with a life of literature.

 

Truth was, I was on a journey only God knew of the plan. I could pray and pray and hope and hope, to thwart the enemy's curses and prayers upon me, but it only built these walls of fears over me, and it closed in to my life. 

 

So, I had to let go. No more dreams, because I had to work. I was always working, but my soul was complacent. My mind was focused on the dream, not the now. It looked ahead and hoped for a future, a plan unshakeable and unbreakable, but I realized now, it was God's plan that was worth my days and nights. I had to surrender everything, even my dreams, and the hope I had, everything to embrace what may come. The butterflies kept flying nearby, and this time, the eagle perched on a tree, the finches hopped on the ground near my feet, and phaenopeplas flew all around the fields in the farms nearby my house. These beautiful birds entertained me and kept me in love with nature, life, my heart and God. It landed near me, always, and the caterpilar made its cocoon in my tomato plants last Summer. It was a sign, to enjoy it, one step at a time.

 

Dei Gratia. Just write.

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