tiny worlds.

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Okay. Okay. Wow. Hmm. Okay. It’s okay.

Those were my thoughts on a Monday morning.
Two of my best friends, terrified and excited and worried and exhausted.
Their details, I won’t share here, but the circumstances had me holding back tears on the line.

“I need sides on 48 and 12!” I would holler out to my buddy, also cooking on the line.

I would pace back and forth, heart beating and trying to keep it together.

After things settle, and my heart is more at ease, I start focusing on my week, getting things tucked back in, like tapping a stack of misaligned papers on a table.

Tuesday, Work and Ramen night. Visit friends in hospital.
Wednesday, Work and Cater Captain of Zeus party. 13 hour day.
Thursday, Work and Prep for private catering gig. 13 hour day.
Friday, Cater private gig. Clean. 10 hour day.
Saturday, Record day of lunches at work. Cook gumbo for Mardi Gras event. 12 hour day

More often than not, I would say to myself, “Okay dude, don’t freak out. It’s going to be okay.”

My friends, so heavy on my heart, and so many other hearts.

I did what I always do to clear my head.

Clean.

After my private catering gig, my kitchen was horrid. Tomato sauce splattered everywhere from rushing around in my tiny space. Pots and pans stacked and my oven was a mess. After visiting with my friend, I came home and put on some music. I steamed my windows with the heat from the water and washed dishes till my fingers were wrinkly.

I get my steel brush and scrub the tomato off of everything. I remove my burner tops and scrub scrub scrub. I scrub it all away. I tear up a lot. I take deep breaths.

On my knees, I’m scrubbing my floor with a towel, enjoying how easily the dirt just washes away.

I take out the trash, let out a sigh and turn off the light to my kitchen knowing I will be doing this exact same thing again in 24 hours. I am okay with that.

I don’t mind cooking for people. You have to know that deep down, they will not know how much work goes into the food you cook. How much you have to clean up afterwards and how serious you are about your craft.

It is, at the end of the day, about the table we all sit at. That place I write about so often where we sit and talk about hard things that make our necks tight with fear and also the place we fall in love again and again with the people we share our tiny worlds with.

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I think about the breath of a new baby, and its cries that are as natural as breathing. Cries that make you believe in God again and restore in you that there is something bigger that ties us together, even in the midst of small nightmares and restless nights.

The truth is, you never know when the world will crack beneath you. You live in the terrifying moments and exhausted moments as you would when waking up next to a warm body, while the rain taps against your windows.

We live in all the moments, and we breathe life into each others worlds.

We are all, like I always say, small galaxies, floating infinitely, capable of such deep love and pain and beauty,

Birthed from the bellies of our mothers, and the mothers before them,

breaking water. breaking bread.

discovering again and always, the sacred life of the Beloved.

road to darjeeling.

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I live a lot at the crossroads.

I know what I’m getting myself into here, diving into the grey area we all struggle with. I’m okay with that. More so, I have to poke at my story a little bit. I see more than just crossroads. They are roads that lead all directions. Some at different inclines, some that are scary, and some that curve around steep terrifying edges.

I remember the road from the train station in India that takes you to Darjeeling.

Flat at first, and then you start climbing. Little houses and stores line the curves, every so often coming across a “Coca-Cola” sign from the 80’s and you remember how vast some empires reach.

I am afraid of heights. But I was okay with this.

Along the winding road up the mountains, we picked up a few people. It’s a little weird at first, then you realize this is how things are here. Personal space? Nah. Squeeze in a few more. Don’t like people staring at you? Get over it.

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This road, albeit at times frightening with its steep cliffs and no guard rail, was met with some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Tea farms. Small schools. Roadside snack joints. Tea shops. Cool foggy air.

It all seems like a blur at times, considering how long ago this was for me. But I think of it often.

Life presents options in various seasons, and some more important than others. I’m not talking about the day to day decisions you have to make, because I know how much that stresses you out. Since being off my foot, I’ve been at the register at work and all I see are people stressed with decisions. “What side would you like?” followed by a huge dramatic sigh, all the while hoping they don’t have some sort of breakdown.

I guess I’m a little like that as well.

I am not expecting answers, though. I am only discovering how I thrive in the midst of turns and inclines and dead ends. But on these roads, you still pick up people. All sorts of people. You see terrifying things. They might break your heart, and they might fill you with deep joy.

I’m not afraid of questions, nor am I afraid of crossroads. And I am not selling my soul, but finding it.

Slowly-slowly, listening to my history and imagining my future,

from where I came,

to where I am going.

the mystery of other worlds

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Sometimes, when I look out into a room,
or when I sit at a table,
I imagine tiny universes
sorta, spinning around.

I see them give and take,
smile and nod and reach,
as though they are trying to understand another world
vastly different from their own.

I understand this.
At times, I am the one who helps facilitate.
I am the one who keeps their glasses full
and their plates warm with food.

It is not the burden of Atlas that I carry,
but the weightlessness that comes
with noticing the invisible things
and the gravity of a new discovery.

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I’ve always enjoyed space.
I love the mystery of other worlds,
which is why I love the mystery in you. As you.
This unknown galaxy swirling like the Milky Way

Don’t let this time go to waste.
You only have a few moments to be this connected
and to discover!
and to explore!

I remember watching the sun shine on your skin
How it glowed, and also its shadows,
the way it allowed me to stand in wonder
as I do always, when I stumble upon a world not my own,

a little universe
with its own fiery suns
as swirling stars.
there you are,

sitting and falling,
moving with intention,
all with a slight lean,
as different worlds do,

drifting into their own forever.