drawing by yours truely in the summer of '99

when joey died everyone was sad
the dishes piled in the sink
the bills piled in the mailbox
and i didn't cry
for months.

so, we decided to get a little cat.
he's sweet, like joey was,
and he loves to play, just like joey did.
he sleeps on the bed where joey used to sleep,
and they even eat the same catfood.



She hadn't realized how angry he was when

she told him to "take out the trash".




i challange you.


stop picking at your lips

here's a story of sorts that i wrote a little while back. i debated about posting it because i don't want anyone to read into it too much. it isn't about me; it's not about anyone i know. it's just a story about a girl. even if it was about me, which it isn't, it's very important to me that when anyone reads something i've written, that they take it for what it is- the words on the page. it's separate from myself and deserves it's own entity.

“It’s been over three years now.”

“Don’t think about it.”

“I have to,” the grit beneath the girl’s heels crunched as she shifted her weight; “if I let myself forget I might do it again.” This was a reasonable argument. Her friend did not rebut immediately.
“It wasn’t your fault, you were younger then.”
They both knew this didn’t matter. It had happened, and it was now a part of them, no matter how many reasons they came up with to justify the whole thing.

“I still shake, you know.”

“I know.”

The sun beat down on the concrete steps and made the muscles in the girl’s eyes strain as they looked over the cars evacuating the parking lot.

“Like when I think I see him, or hear him or anything, you know...”

She knew. The girl’s friend slid down the brick wall and crouched on the ground, books on her knees.

“...i shake.”

“I know you do; I see you.”

For a little while they sat there together. The traffic rushed by, people came in and out of the doors and went up and down the steps to and from the school. It smelled like fish sticks, tater-tots, and gasoline.

“Stop picking at your lips, you’re going to make them bleed.”

Too pensive to be embarrassed, the girl did as her friend told her, and opened her backpack to look for some chap-stick. She found a strawberry flavored glitter-gloss, a Ruby Red moisture stick plus, and some Maybelline waterproof Shimmering Sunset Pink lipstick. She stared intensely at the gaping bag for a moment before zipping it shut and pushing it aside. She went back to picking at her lips. Her friend scowled.

Just then two Muslim girls appeared from behind the far corner of the school. They passed by, walked up to the crosswalk, pushed the button, and waited. The light changed, and the cars slowed to a stop that seemed as smooth and rhythmic as trees swaying in the wind or waves rolling with the tide. The girl watched them effortlessly cross the street while her friend took out a notebook and started working on some math. The girls made it safely to the other side of the street, smiling vibrantly and talking with their hands as they went. Somewhere somebody snapped their gum; a car drove by blasting abrasive rap music, but the girl was unmoved. She stretched her neck to try and watch the two Muslim girls as they all but disappeared behind some hedges leading up to a library. Once they were inside the building the girl stopped watching and she once again began to notice the hearts and names carved into the walls, the shattered glass and cigarette butts scattered around the trash can, and she tugged at her low-rise jeans in a futile attempt to hide her peek-a-boo thong.

“Hey, your ride’s here.”

The girl’s friend pointed at a roaring dust storm charging towards them, closer, faster, closer, faster, and finally coming to a screeching halt before them. As the sand and dust began to clear away the engine sputtered and a young man came into view. He flashed a big white smile and shouted to the girl to hop in the car. She got up and greeted him with a series of coughs that were brought on by a combination of some remaining unsettled dust and cigarette smoke that emanated from the window. The girl threw herself into the black leather bucket seat, tossed her bag on the floor, and turned to wave goodbye to her friend just as the young man stepped on the gas, jerking the car forward and whipping her neck around at an unnatural angle.

“I missed you baby.” He said to the girl, who, rubbing her neck, did not respond. She kept a fixed gaze out the window while picking at her lips. The young man took his eyes off the road for a moment to look towards the girl inquisitively. He sensed her dis-ease and, naturally, searched for something consoling to say.

“You look hot today.”

Her lips were bleeding now.

“Thanks,” she replied.



LAUGHTER YOGA -- A widow goes to her rooftop every
day to laugh, meditate and escape from the craziness
of her 20-member family -- proving that laughter is the
best medicine for the body and the soul in a new
documentary, "The Laughter Club of India."

TIME Magazine
Jan. 17, 2005

Learning the Yoga Way of Laughter
Six in the morning is way too early for the kind of raucous guffaws that are echoing around a sports ground in central Bombay. Walkers and joggers are frowning at a group of 40 people hooting and slapping their thighs, eyeing them with the jealous disapproval that hardworking commuters reserve for all-night partyers on weekdays. But this is no carousers' dawn chorus. There are no drinks and very little talking, and most of the group will shortly be on their merry way to work. What there is, nonstop for 45 minutes, is hysterical, weeping laughter. So what's the big joke?

Actually, there's none. Dr. Madan Kataria, 45, explains that when he started his first laughter club in 1995 after reading about the medical benefits of a good giggle, he ran out of funny stories in a week. So, throwing in a few yoga stretches, he tried encouraging people to laugh for no reason. His formula for laughing yoga clubs proved infectious. There are 1,800 such clubs in India alone, and an additional 700 around the world from Finland to the Philippines. Every year on a Kataria-inspired holiday called World Laughter Day, celebrated on the first Sunday in May, 10,000 Danes gather in Copenhagen for the world's biggest mass chortle. One of the world's funniest men, British actor John Cleese, was so overwhelmed by the good humor he felt for his fellow man after a session at Kataria's club in Bombay, he called it a "force for democracy."The physical and psychological benefits of laughter are the subject of serious scientific study, but Dr. Kataria, who practiced general medicine before taking up his laughter mission, prefers intuitive explanations: "We don't need doctors to tell us it's good for us. We know it is."

One of Kataria's students, Alka Bhatia, who volunteers her time to teach at his clubs, says laughter pulled her out of depression. "There's a lot of pressure in my job," says Bhatia, 35, a middle manager at an import-export firm. "But now if I get stressed, I just have a little laugh at my desk and forget everything."

What if you just don't feel like laughing? Kataria says there's no problem with faking it: "Your body doesn't know the difference." At his clubs, which charge no fees, instructors get the yuks rolling with a "Ho, ho, ha-ha-ha" chant or perhaps the "lion laugh," which involves sticking out your tongue and flapping your hands by your ears. "Laughter can't solve your problems," says the laughing yogi. "But it can dissolve them." It's not that great a pun. But Kataria, like a man without a care in the world, nearly laughs his big, smiley head off. --By Alex Perry/ New Delhi

i'd thought today was world laughter day... apparently not. nevertheless, the sentiment couldn't hurt, and i don't think that Dr Kataria would protest to a few extra guffaws. so, happy post world laughter day.

Photo Credit: http://www.the-tidings.com/2001/0817/laughing2.htm


a tree called life Posted by Hello

homage to edward

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
e.e. cummings