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2015 Photo Journal

Wisteria

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There used to be a lot of wisteria around the train station, near my house, but that has long since been gone. It was one of the few places around here where it grew, and for years one could go without seeing it.

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However, recently I have noticed it growing everywhere: in gardens of houses on my walk to the school, in parks, and in the most random of places. Have the seeds of those plants, which have been gone for the last few years, finally grown elsewhere?

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It is as though these new plants are saying, “You thought you could get rid of us so easily?!”

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2015 Photo Journal

Graduating Today

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So, my graduation ceremony is later today. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

I asked for the day off from work and received it, so I’m going to do a few things before heading over to the venue. This includes meeting friends and getting ready. I was set a task, by my brother, to see if I can surprise my teachers/classmates by showing them what I look like when I used to model. Since I quit working in the fashion industry, I’ve rarely ever worn make up or concerned myself overly so with my appearance. As part of the task, I’m going to do full hair and make-up for the ceremony.

Part of me is excited to do this, while the other half of me just wants to grab the damn diploma and be done with it. That’s the lazy part of me, I guess. As a compromise, I plan to wear casual clothes (including my garish orange flippy-flops) under my regalia. It’s not like anyone’s going to see it, with all the layers and sashes I will be wearing.

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2015 Photo Journal

Pink Blooms

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My students have been obsessed with the cherry blossom tree outside our school. They’ve been trying reach the blossoms in order to make more bouquets for the instructors, although we’ve all asked that they don’t. We all have bets on whether or not the tree will be naked by the end of the month. We think it will be.

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2015 Photo Journal

One More Month

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One more month and the school year will be over. I have a feeling that it’ll go by quickly. I’m not sure how I’ll be the last day of class. This is my first year working in an academic setting and it’s been much different that I thought it would be. I learned a lot about the New York school system, both good and bad. I’m looking forward to summer vacation.

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2015 Photo Journal

W3.05

IMG_20150502_005604There must be a reason that May’s birthstone is green. I think it’s because of all the greenery that comes to life in this month. They say that April showers brings May flowers, but besides flowers, leaves appear on trees and grass really starts to take over the lands. I think emeralds reflect that, but that’s just my opinion.

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2015 Photo Journal

At the edge of the woods was an old house…

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There was once an old cottage on the edge of the woods. In that cottage loved a little old woman, along with two young children, who she had been caring for. The children were brother and sister. The brother was a timid sort, who preferred to stay inside with his books all day. The sister, on the other hand, was very adventurous and found trouble often. They slowly grew in that cottage, unaware of the world beyond the trees and dusty roads, knowing only the old woman’s love.

One day, the skies were heavy with rain, with pitter-pattered like a clock. Both siblings found themselves seated around a roughly hewn table, contemplating on the fact that the old woman did not come out of her room for breakfast. This was rather odd, but the two (who were now in their young adulthoods) thought nothing of an old woman wanting for a little extra sleep. With that sort of thought, the two ate and saved the older woman’s share for later, before the sister went out to her garden and the brother went to study his tomes.

When noon passed, and the two still did not see hide nor hair of the woman, they became concerned. That was most unlike the old woman and was cause for alarm.

The brother knocked on the door, behind which the old woman slept. There came no reply. Afraid, he turned to his sister, “Do you think…?”

Shaking her head and taking a deep breath, the sister announced her intent to enter and opened the door. The room was dimly lit. The two cautiously approached, with hearts in their throats. The old woman was fast asleep in her bed. They let out the breaths they were holding.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, the brother gently shook the shoulder of the old woman. She did not awaken. Concerned, he shook a little harder.

Finally, the old woman opened her eyes.

However, the lively spark usually found within her kind blue eyes, was merely a sparkle. The siblings looked at each other. Things were not well.

“Oh? Have I overslept, dears?” the old woman asked. She seemed to had lost a good amount of her energy. “I’m sorry, I’m sure you can do with a hearty breakfast by now.”

The old woman struggled to get out of bed. Watching her struggle, the brother placed a hand on her shoulder and pressed her gently back against her pillows. Knowing what was likely to come, the two locked eyes and nodded. They agreed not to let sorrow overtake them just yet, as there was still some life in that old frame.

“No worries, let us take care of you, as you have taken care of us,” the sister replied, preparing to retrieve the leftover bread, meats, and cheese from that morning.

“Don’t hesitate to ask for anything,” the brother added. Although the old woman seemed as though she was going to disagree, she remained resting against her pillows.

“While you eat, would you like me to read to you?” the brother asked, after his sister had brought in a tray of tea and food.

“That would be lovely.”

And so the days continued much in the same way. The brother would spend hours narrating grand adventures only found in old novels, while his sister prepared meals that went mostly uneaten. Both knew that their time with the old woman was short, but endeavored to enjoy it as much as they could, making sure to create tender memories.

Almost a month later, on a day that the skies were blue as aquamarines and the wind was still, the two entered the room as was their routine. In the sister’s hands was a tray of fresh bread and warm honey tea, while a large tome was held in the brother’s. The room was filled with light, which flowed through the large windows and across the bed in which the old woman slept. However, this time, the woman was no longer sleeping.

The room was still, save for a handful of dust motes dancing along a beam of sunlight.

Silently, the brother laid down his book and the sister her tray. They had know this day would come, but it still didn’t make it any easier. Not a word was spoken, as the brother held his sister, and she held him in turn.

When the tears stopped, the two partook of the bread and tea, at the side of the bed. A small portion was left behind of the plate. Their final meal as a family…

Then, a few pages– a poem– were read aloud for all to hear, before the page was bookmarked to never be read again.

Finally, in the evening, a grave was filled and covered with wildflowers, a heel of bread, and a book. As the sun went down, the two looked at their work. Many might say that this was all that was left of an old woman who had raised two children, but they would be wrong. The siblings knew better: all the memories and love they held for the old woman was what remained after all was said and done. They did not see themselves as unfortunate in that regard, as they were happy with what had been given to them. They had been loved and in turn had loved, and in the end, what more could anyone hope for?

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2015 Photo Journal

From my Students

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My students brought me a little gift yesterday. On one hand I’m a bit concerned that someone climbed the fence to get these, and a little saddened that they were plucked, but I’m touched at the gesture.

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2015 new york Photo Journal

Another Walk

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Brother and I went walking again. This time it was a bit further along the Bronx River.

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This area was more akin to a small forest than the last spot and had a cool little walkway under one of the bridges. The walkway was flush level with the water and the space between it and the bottom of the bridge was very small.

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It was also very dark. From it, you could finally really see how deep the river is in some places (at least 5 feet). I loved it, my brother, not so much.

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Brother and I want to go back when the fish start coming around again, since we think we can see them under the bridge, if we use flashlights.

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2015 Photo Journal

W3.04

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The color purple is often used to symbolize royalty. In this case, it could very well represent the royal robes of faeries native to Yonkers, New York.

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“How did you come to that conclusion,” you ask, looking on Yelp for the closest psychiatric hospital in the area. Well, when I showed these pictures to a good friend of mine, she said that the flowers reminded her of a faerie’s dress. Looking closely, I had to agree.

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“But there are no such thing as faeries,” you say, shaking your head in disbelieve. Gone off the deep end, she has, you think.

To that I have to reply, “Have you ever seen one?”

You shake your head, no.

“Well, then, how can you say something doesn’t exist, simply because you haven’t seen it? People in India have never seen snow, but we know very well it exists. And how about air? Can’t see that either, but if I cut off your ‘supply’ would you not faint and then die?”

IMG_20150420_133959“But that doesn’t have to do with anything!” you reply, “Those are just flowers, wet purple flowers.”

“Look closer. Just because these may not have faeries in them, it doesn’t mean that they might be hiding in other ones. Next time it rains, or any time in fact, look closer at those flowers to see if you aren’t missing something.”

“Rubbish,” you huff, walking away.

“I see how it is now, you’re just jealous that you can’t fit into one of those dresses.”

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2015 Photo Journal

For my Mom

IMG_20150501_234223Today’s my mom’s birthday. I won’t say how old she is, since I don’t go out of my way to court death. She may see it as another year older, but I see it as another successful year of being awesome.

Last year, around this time, I was busy complaining about finals and my part-time job. As a present, I managed to get a hold of some sushi grade fish and made a chirashi bowl for dinner. This year, I had her pick out one of her gifts and will give her a little something to open up tonight.

I don’t have anything special in mind for dinner, but I can brew her as many cups of coffee as she likes…