She's only five years old and unaffected by death. A little innocent light with so much joy. But that will soon change and I hate it.
"Hey, why are they burying Aunty Carla? She can't bake those yummy cookies in the ground! Stop!" she screams. The people who weren't already crying allowed tears to drip down their faces. "Stop it!" She screams, tears streaming down her face.
Unexpectedly, Levi bends down and hugs Dina. "Dina, she's going to sleep." Levi whispers, "Don't be so loud or you'll wake her." Dina cuddles Levi and wails. He strokes her hair and her back lovingly. That just overpowers me. I start crying loudly causing a chain reaction in the small group. Soon everyone who loved Carla are sobbing uncontrollably.
I walk up to the makeshift stage and begin my little speech, "Mam was kind and didn't hesitate to help someone in need. Her helpful spirit got her in trouble a few times but I don't think she ever regretted it. I-"I pause clearing my throat from the tears, "I won't ever let her out my heart, she will stay in here in peace. I love you, Mam." I place my hand on my heart. AOT SALUTE. My tears soaking the clothes I'm wearing.
"Don't cry Eren! Aunty Carla is just asleep," she cries trying to make me happier. I give her a sad smile and nod while walking off the 'stage'.
Slowly her coffin gets lowered into the hole. The closest relatives take turns with the spade, covering her inch by inch with dirt.
Bye Mam. I will miss you...
The Kids- Spoken Word
We're the kids nobody knows
We're the kids nobody hears
We're the kids nobody listens too
We don't beat the same drum
We don't sound like the rest
We are not fueled by; greed, lust, and fame
We are fueled by; society's rejection, our rage, and our pain
Because we are not mindless slaves
Our lives don't conform
We are more than we seem
We are not just poor kids with a dream
We are the speakers for the kids words can't be freed
The kids like me, like you
That know the world is insane
And we are not afraid to phrase the truth even if we sound crazed
We are more than you know
We are more than you hear
We are more than you listen too
We are more than our rage
We are more than our pain
We are more than our dreams
And I promise you this is not a phase
These are the thoughts in our brains
That makes our hearts pulsate
That keeps us breathing
and fighting to stay alive
We are the kids nobody knows
We are the kids nobody hears
We are the kids nobody listens to.
Bottle in the Sea
To Whomever Receives This Bottle:
I never expected that I'd be lost and forgotten to the world. I suppose I write this hoping that perhaps you will remember this note sometime after you finish reading it, and in that way my memory lives on. Somehow that's enough. Now listen closely, if you've found this bottle it means that even though it has been tossed to and fro by the waves, perhaps pulled by the undertow and cracked against the rocky reef, it still found you. With that being said, life may break you, but know you are too strong to shatter. Your journey is your own. Do not be afraid if it's perilous. Take heart. Face your worries for they will be too afraid to face you. Ride the currents, do not let them control you. Listen to your heart for it is more than just a beat. The one you seek will find you when you least expect it, and they will give back what your journey has taken away. Your boat, your guide: you chart your course, not anyone else. Take responsibility for your faults, but do not apologize for them: they are what make you human. Dwell not on your mistakes, because your mistakes will sail you on the greatest adventures.
Easter Sunday we'd be at the pier, Matt and me, skipping stones and eating whatever takeaway he'd bought on the way there. If it was sunny we'd enjoy those golden rays. I'd lean back and bask in them, listening to those long and winding yarns he would tell. He was the best tall story teller in town. If it was raining we'd put up one of those fishing umbrellas and enjoy the soothing sound, watching the droplets make their splashy entrance into the lake. So mesmerising. Plus there was the obligatory chocolate eggs, of course. Perhaps we over indulged a tad. It didn't matter what else was going on in the world that day, in my world on Easter Sunday it was only the two of us. We had the lake and each other; we had nature and whatever the spring weather wanted to do was aye-ok.
Since systemic racism affects families, causing an intergenerational disadvantage in terms of education and economics, the new "mom and pop schools" and giving young folk from cramped intergenerational housing high quality hotel accommodation and food was a great step in the right direction. Though it was done based on socio-economic need rather than ethnicity, many living in such conditions are of BAME backgrounds. The hotel system gave us a great way to increase access to talk therapy too - a great way to undo the damage of ACEs. It gave all poor kids a chance to save money for their future needs and learn life skills in a safer environment. The kids were also eligible to train for jobs within the hotel and earn hospitality and catering qualifications, further reducing the spread of the pandemic by "bubbling." It gave us all hope for a better future within a society more at peace with itself, more capable of the complex forms of cooperation all developed societies require - after all, human tribes were small groups that needed to learn how to get along with one another and avoid conflict.
Society can only function when we honestly mirror one another. We can have two mirrors of emotional indifference in a dog eat dog world, a hell. We can have two mirrors of love in a cooperative world, a heaven. My trick is to hold both kinds of mirrors in my heart and see whom each reflects, treating them accordingly; for otherwise the mirror of love is shattered by icy paranoias over time and the mirror of coldness becomes seen as a bleak truth. I wish I could go back to that time of childhood innocence, the time when mirroring love was enough, but this world is far to messed up for that and I owe a duty of protection to the young.
Her hazel eyes were a melt of autumn tones, fending off the winter frost. Freckles, light, delicate; sprinkled softly on her sun-kissed cheeks. Waves of brown hair that refract the sun's gentle light, penetrating it's smooth layers. She was a Goddess on Earth, a blooming flower amongst the leaves.
I originated from a cruel place. Was raised among barbaric conditions, and faced brutality. And finally, I learnt callousness. I became stone-hearted. But when my little bundle of joy arrived, a thing me and my wife made, when she came- my daughter; everything changed. She reminded me of love and bond. I couldn't let her into the world of viciousness. She was soft, and breakable, like the snow. She was was gentle, and she was my world. I knew, that if she ventured into my dark world, she would hate her own existence. I desired my daughter to have a life of positivity and satisfaction of living authentically on purpose. She was the melody of my beating heart. She gave me hope for the future. She was my life, my world- I decided, she would live a good life.