You Still Are

It’s been a while since I wrote like this on empty sheets and blank slates a stream of consciousness. One of the kindest writing styles—letting my soul get blanketed in the black and whites of the paper. You were sad and possibly nostalgic, yet I felt whole even in the emptiness and the dark of the night around us. Sometimes the balance of the light and the night seems offset, but at least you’re there in the morrow to see the sun rise.

I recall snowy nights and long and lonely walks full of joy and sadness in the glitter of the snow and the chill of the crisp air against my coat. Did you know that in the loneliness exists the bittersweet breath of life? You can only be lonely after experiencing the delight of another kindred soul making its way in the universe with you. Man… this universe is large, but somehow our world is the size of a corridor winding around itself. So many memories and so many thoughts that brought me back to life on this odd night. How is it that everything seems okay lately even when the world is tearing itself apart?

I saw your failing ventures and smiled—the thought of you leaping out of comfort and trying something new brought me joy. I saw success in the small moments where creativity blossomed like cherry red blossoms on the tree. Thank you, world, for bringing love after death and bringing life from the soil. Thank you for the tears that fall from my eyes in bittersweet emotion as my eyes stay hydrated. Thank you for the breath in a quiet room and the beats of music playing in my ears.

And if you’re sad, just know that you will still remain…loved…imprinted in the hearts of others. Hike your mountains and walk your winding roads. Make good and bad choices, but keep going. Whether or not I remain here today or tomorrow, my will will stay in the air as it fills your lungs. There are so many ways to love and I love so many times.

                                                                                    You are loved,

                                                                                    Hellen M. Barroso

SJT

… And yet I love to hear you sing because when your voice rings through the air, your honest soul reverberates and the strength of your heart resonates and I can’t help but look into those green eyes and feel the clarity of a light beam through the foliage in a tropical rainforest.

I’d Lie for Only You

I guess I’ll write to see if I can evoke the thoughts within my heavy head and chest. I guess I’ll see if the world isn’t too dark to face in this tired state of mind. My love is heavy and my eyes are hot and damn it’s hard when the past is dredged up. It’s one of those moments where everything triggers and I just want to move to Portugal. But fuck I learned to love and now I’m scared of what is coming around. I don’t really pray but if I did I’d ask for another day, another dollar but only if I keep the same lover and if he’d know what it’s like to be sad that it wouldn’t be penetrating deep like it does to my core. Will tomorrow be a Brand New day that I can face as I open my windows to let in the sky and a mosquito or too? I guess I’d pray for forgiveness for all of the times that I wasn’t enough and that I decided to give up instead of move onwards into the day that tomorrow could be. It’s a pandemic, really, the way things end up with slight infection catching on and infesting the tendrils leading to the veins coming out of your heart (is that right?). It hurts me to hurt you but fuck am I sad sitting on my bathroom floor under the burning water. Maybe I’ll feel something.

Relief

There is strength in knowing that you’ve traveled far and true in the realms of what it means to be a human in hurt. There’s a certain relief at the resignation of knowing that the Earth will continue to orbit around a sun that has yet to burn out for eons to come. There is purity in knowing that the wind can quell your sorrows and place your anxieties to sleep if you give it that power. There is a cleansing in cold rain drenching your clothes in a downpour if you lend your muscles to the power of nature so that they may relax. No matter what tribulations you journey through remember that your heart is still beating with the hum of the Earth and your breath inundates your lungs like a transparent and active ocean.

The Gardener

Growing a garden begins with an idea that motivates you to plant seeds of varieties that you believe you will love. Soon after you will measure the plots, determine the seed depth, placement relating to the sun, and the watering schedule. Eventually, the first shoots will sprout and something within your chest will also grow because you are now a creator whereas before you simply imagined. What happens next all depends on you. Will you begin to forget the strategies you used to cultivate your flowers, will you inadvertently introduce weeds or pests into your garden, will you become careless in your watering schedule? I hope that you will be the patient gardener that sings in your garden and pulls out weeds like doubts that choke your flowers. Just remember, that all roses come with thorns, yet none intends to prick, but rather only to appeal and grow—so if at some moment you catch yourself on a spike be compassionate enough to not uproot. When you stroll through a garden that you have cultivated with love, your soul will rejoice and all around you will be peace.

To Be Taught Hope

There were never doubts or darkness in those eyes, there was only excitement and expectation. You never settled for less than you deserve and you never gave less than you knew you could. It thrilled me, won me to you, gave me hope and dreams of life. Now I too expect, deserve, and give what I know I can. You have been sculpted by many artists some controversial, some absolutely lovely and you are the finished product of love and battles that I have never understood—it’s intriguing. My favorite moments are those where you linger on the features of my face and you know all that you want in that moment. I am full of calm, a peace that you gently placed in my life and I am grateful.

Duality

Lately I have learned about the duality of life. I met this magnificent young woman today that was capable of so much, but the world around her did not understand her lived experience. I learned of the importance of being kind when people around you are not and it’s not necessarily because turning the other cheek is ethical, but rather because some people’s unkindness doesn’t quite stem from a place of hatred or prejudice and instead stems from personal insecurities. People have been teaching me that they are so much more than a vessel for the mind, they are a reflection of the world and I am learning to take them as they are even when sometimes it hurts. I have also learned about myself and my own patterns of behavior when dealing with sadness: I tend to overcompensate in the settings outside of where my sadness originated by overexerting myself and doing all that I can to be the embodiment of joy. I think it has to do with my own pain manifesting itself in an outlet that tries to push the pain out of others and bring forth a smile, a laugh, or some type of positive energy. This is when people believe I am the happiest, but in truth, it’s when I am at the lowest state because I will do anything that I can to get higher and so I seem relentless, perhaps even childlike in my passionate demeanor. So yes, lately I am learning about the duality of life and how the good comes with the bad so that when I am down, I can propel myself back upwards.

Necessity

She’s an angel for raising a beautiful soul such as yourself. The love she houses in her body for you radiates to those who bring you peace, joy, and love. The more that I learn the more that I love and I am so grateful that your kindness grows. In turn there is little else I desire and you spark a light within me as I fall deeper. You’re not a necessity, but damn does it feel good to know you’re there.

For the Love of Teaching

On behalf of the universe: I am sorry if the love you are receiving is a shallow kind of love.

They look at your choices and shake their heads in disdain almost as if asking, “is this the little that you want out of life?” You shrink into yourself a bit more each day as your supports dwindle, but you’ll recognize tomorrow that you didn’t need that shallow “love.”

Too many believe they are superior, but little do they know that you will learn of the workings of the minds, the shaping of our society. Remember that lofty titles are simply just that, lofty… They often lack the essence of meaning, they are a result of reactivity instead of proactivity.

This brings me to the concept of teaching:

If you ever want to know what truly ails someone, become their teacher. They will show you why their soul aches or why they live. Your students will demonstrate to you what it means to understand and to discover new schools of thought. So while the rest rest easy on their cloud of inflated ego, remember that you will hold the essence of existence in your hands. While they rest with minimal understanding of what it means to love and care for others for all that they are, your soul will purify in the light of others as you walk with them on their journey of understanding and learning.

Become a teacher and you will learn of the depths of love and the energies of the universe. You will gain a working idea of what is necessary to spur positive change in your life and the lives of others. Don’t ever forget: without a teacher, the rest would never have attained.