Yes to life: my life – the life as I interpret it

It had never really occurred to me why I have chosen such a name for my blog. I could use my name, something that was important or fun for me, or something related to then-focus of my writing, which was poetry.

Just yesterday night it came to me that the life I define as “my life” was a part of life, and more importantly, it was a part of life I keep define based on my “interpretations of what was going on in it”.

This was quite strange, because it told me pretty much what every wise person/book was saying – I make what my life is and I am responsible for it. It also said that I was in control of it, I could change and make it better with an intention and a switch in my perspective.

How does this sound?

………………………………..

Having control over my life is very liberating and empowering. It means I am not the victim, but rather the boss and mastermind of my life. I may not change what I do not like, but I sure can change how I interpret or care for them.

Having control also means that I may have so far limited my opportunities unknowingly because I draw the line for what I accept in my life, what I care for, and what I do not have.

What if I choose to have more positive light in my life?

What if I want to take steps to get out of my comfort zone and move up and farther?

What if I want to take more risks and dramatically change things like the work I have, the city I live in, or the way I spend my days?

What if I explore and find out what is more important to me – my current life and the current/future financial stability or moving back to where my family and spending time with them?

What if I leave my fears out of the door and open space for more love, hope, opportunity, and joy?

What is I accept the miracles, self-love, kindness, and being in the moment?

………..

Earth would not shatter, but my life could certainly expand.

I could both change the way I interpret things already in my life and reach out to opportunities, miracles, money, success, recognition, wellness, and happiness available out there further away from the circle I have drawn for my life.

I can be courageous enough to re-evaluate my perspective and expand the circle of life around me with a clear intention, a child’s amusing and hopeful attitude, and a little bit effort.

I do not know what these mean for me or whether or when I would start taking the steps. But I am glad that at this middle age of my life, I finally understand myself, my life, and life as a whole better.

It is mine and I draw the lines. I can change these starting now.

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Saturday morning musings

It is another quiet and peaceful Saturday morning filled with the great scent of freshly brewed coffee and the excitement of all the possibilities that the day may bring.

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It is rainy outside, which tells me that being outdoors today is not a practical option. It will be a day of home-entertainment I guess, including the dreaded house chores 🙂

I am doing something out of ordinary and have the TV on. It has been sometime that I watched TV. Once upon a time TV was very important for me. So was reading books. Things change I guess. In the last 1-2 years, I switched to writing and reading blogs than doing these activities.

The following certainly does not apply to me 🙂

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I think three things influenced this change:

1) My lower back problem that makes sitting in the couch uncomfortable, so I rather prefer to sit or lie down on bed in the evenings. This means I am away from the living room and hence the TV.

2) Shopping bans on books that started as a short term ban, which later is extended naturally. I used to buy 2-3 books every weekend, which was a great pleasure that I always looked forward to. Two years ago I started my budgeting and frugal life journey, which told me that what I was doing was not a great idea, also considering that I have had many books that I have not read yet. The massive decluttering followed the shopping ban showed me this very clearly.

3) The fact that I am resentful towards the cable provider. I have a package involving phone, internet and cable. While I was able to reduce my bill by negotiating with the company, I must say I am pissed that all of these services cost so much. In addition, I cannot cancel my cable because it is a package, and if I do remove it, phone and internet together would cost me more!! Which kind of a mentality is this? I feel like my cable service is a waste and I do not feel great about it.

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But I would like to encourage everyone to call and negotiate with their service providers; I was able to reduce my internet-phone-cable service and another important service in the last one year. For two years in a row I also get my credit card fee to be waived. I will change my credit card sometime to get rid of this fee altogether. Hoping to get a cash-back one because honestly cards with loyalty points are not great; it takes a long time to accumulate the points and when you collected sufficient points, then the service or item you look for may not be easy to get or available. I was lucky enough to get 3-4 plane tickets and a number of great items through the loyalty points so far, but I keep asking myself whether it is worth it. 

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Anyways, back to best of life – I hope everyone will have a great Saturday today! I wish we all can get the best of this beautiful day 🙂

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Sunday morning musings

Another lovely summer morning – hope everyone is gonna have a great day!

I am enjoying my coffee and the bright day outside. Already walked in the yard to see how the plants/seeds were doing. Some of the seeds germinated alright and my potato and onion plants are growing. It seems like a spider formed his net where my potato plants are. Yesterday there was no such thing. Nature is an amazing thing. Perhaps I should start studying zoology 🙂 The yeast and lacto bacilli bacteria in the sourdough starter, yeast and all bunch of bacteria in kefir, and all the lives in the yard….. I have a little piece of nature here 🙂

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My plans for today is to start re-arrange the furniture in the living room, while also decluttering that area. This is gonna take a number of days as the arrangement in my mind is something new and I do not even know that in reality it will work. So I will take it easy and will come up with alternative plans if needed. But I am determined to change the current face of the room. The items that I bought yesterday from the thrift store are making this room look quite better already. I am so excited about this 🙂 One of the best times of my weekend time spent 🙂

I also am trying a vegetable sourdough today. It smells gorgeous but not sure how I would like it in a bread. We all will see this this afternoon.

And in the evening, of course I will keep watching the X-files! Friends; when I was young I knew about this show but was never mesmerized by it. Now, I am hooked! I started from season 1. Mulder and Scully are so young, so different from each other, but also so sweet and innocent. These actors should have had lots of fun and development during this series.

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When I retire (!), one of the plans I should have is to have a fan review of these and other series and characters (like Game of Thrones). So mesmerizing is this thing between Scully and Mulder, and Brienne and Jaime. Damn!

 

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And, I have reached 1,000 followers today… I never thought that I would have such a large number of bloggers finding something in my blog. What a significant milestone. Thank you each one of you….

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When I started this blog in Nov 2014, I did not know what I wanted to do with it. But I had things to say and boy, did I say them. This is one of the 1225 posts that exist in more than 15 different categories.

Notable categories include:

baking bread: which has been an intense interest since May 2016. I failed quite a bit but after a year or so now I have generally nice quality of loaves. Every weekend is an excitement because every weekend is an opportunity to try a new recipe, a new sourdough loaf. Could not ask for a more exciting hobby.

joy Journal: where I write the things that I am grateful for. The most healing experience that I have had for years. There is something exciting and surprising about finding the so called little things and experiences that fill your heart with joy, excitement, and happiness 🙂

Conscious spending: is where I documented my financial hardship, plans, failures, and achievements. It has been 2 years now that I have a budget that ever evolves and bring me not only savings, but also gratitude and joy.

Random thoughts: is where I write about no particular theme, but whatever comes to my mind, often unrelated things and events. It is one of my busiest categories of mine. Truly loved.

Kate’s short story, poems, The life in the diary, Sasha’s story, fiction bits: are my literary trials. I started this blog mostly focused on these, especially Kate’s short story and poems. i am not a professional, but i love writing free style and putting those words that come to my mind without much of a revision. Every once a while something, a sentence, a paragraph, a poem comes along that surprise me. These are precious…

Sunday morning musings: is a new one that I started lately to write solely on the joy, relaxation, and beauty of this wonderful weekend time. It is the most optimistic of all my writings and I really love this. So for so great 🙂

Now I am gonna go there and start my day. But, first let me get another cup of coffee.

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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so it has been 2 years blogging…

wordrt

So it has been two years that I started this blog??

Wow!

Time has truly flied.

I started this blog to keep my mind busy with something new so that I could heal my heart break. I was not interested in neither writing nor reading blogs.

At first, of course…

Then, things have changed.

I started to be brave and enjoy putting in words whatever came to my mind. I wrote my first poetry here; often without editing or revising, and in my second language. A couple of them turned out to be good. Surprising…. I write my joy journal here. My humble lazy recipes. My daily ordeals and baking adventures. My struggles with issues, work, unhappiness, and loss of dead ones, to count a few. Over time, I opened more and more about myself, my inner world, and my life – I never thought I would in a virtual world. What a blessing and freeing opportunity.

I also started to enjoy reading others’ blogs and learning from them; the pain, love, excitement, and issues of people out there; I come to realize once more that we all were more or less the same. I thought and reflected a lot. I still do.

I met with wonderful people here; supportive, smart, sincere, genuine, and lovely. I found myself in a community – a virtual but nevertheless real community.

The recipes made my day; even though I did not like cooking. I sure tried many bread recipes posted here, though.

I did my most frequent decluttering activities, thanks to many bloggers here that inspired me with their efforts, plans, and wisdom.

I got many useful tips about budgeting, saving, and financial health. Some of them I implemented in my own financial life.

I learnt about others’ suffering, like sickness or treatment. I developed empathy as a result.

I learnt things that I had never thought before; like minimalism, homesteading.

I learnt about myself; not only by blogging but also by interacting with other fellow bloggers.

Blogging, in a sense, has changed me and my life next to my family, friends, unfortunate life events, and career.

I never thought it would.

I am mesmerized….

And hugely grateful….

the poem with two colors

poem

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First

all what love does is to remind you

I am afraid to listen to the songs

no love story can come through

no couple I can stand to see

I am a stranger to my own silence

cannot talk my heart out of you

tired of this defiance

I must try once again

to assault your memory

what would you say

if you knew my side of the story?

 

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Second

I must try once again

to insult your memory

cannot talk my heart out of you

cursed it is, hurt

it has been years

yet years did not sweep tears

how am I going to move ahead

when all what love does is to remind you

I am afraid to listen to the songs

no love story can be read

no couple I can stand to see

if you knew, what would you feel?

it has been years

for years you have occupied me

I am a stranger to my own silence

I am left with no smile, no inner stillness

 

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A Clash of Kings; a slow, slow reading

I have known writing and finishing a piece would be a slow, trying, and often tiring meticulous process, but reading a book?

A Clash of Kings, the 2nd book of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series turned out to be just the one book that does this to me.

I want to read but it takes hours for me to split open its pages to start reading. And after hours of deliberation and effort, I read one chapter or so without feeling the thirst to keep going.

Visiting youtube or the internet to remember who the characters the book mentions were does not help, either. As a matter of fact, it makes me more attracted to the clips of the show more than the book; I have no problem keep watching them or read about the fan opinions on the net.

Why I wonder I have little motivation or interest to read the book. Why?

I am a book lover myself. I can read. And I love to read. And I am so interested in everything these books will tell me, which were not reflected in the HBO series.

I read a couple of reviews of this book, which naturally differ in opinion; some loved it and some like me are finding it as a hard or slow reading. I really would like to read the entire series as soon as possible; hopefully before Season 6 starts in April. Then there will be many spoilers on the net that I will be attracted to read. I would love to know the entire story of the first 5 books till then. Especially the  developments of characters Jaime Lannister and Arya Stark.

Maybe it is not the right time for me; maybe I have more interesting or urgent things to do with my time; maybe I am just cursed by the GoT – seeing the show earlier made me less interested in it; maybe the show is easier to grasp (there can be some truth to that; the book gives so many details of an unknown world and so many different characters which may be hard to conceptualize if one is not familiar with it); maybe I just need to be patient, change my mindset, stop forcing or expecting me to read the books at once.

Maybe it is because I already have favorite characters and characters whose POVs I cannot wait to read; maybe this is the reason that I cannot find in myself the interest to go thru each of the POV chapters.

GRRM: I wished you have not invoked this kind of conflicts and difficulties in me as a reader; the fact that your stories and characters already are making me think and re-evaluate things in life, like choices or love or duty, my thoughts are already challenged, already transforming. Tiring and influential at the same time. I want to say well done, but a girl is a little bit tired, a little bit mesmerized, and a little bit pissed off as a result.

 

 

finished reading “A Game of Thrones”

I have just finished reading “A Game of Thrones” by George RR Martin.

I had previously made some notes about the thoughts that reading the book has created in my mind; I have little else to add at this moment to what I found interesting and relating to life in this book.

Overall, I am very pleased to see that the HBO series and the book are very similar, which made it a delight to read the book. I sure loved seeing the phrases/quotes/sentences uttered in the book also used in the show.

The book certainly is better than the show – revealing more, especially in terms of dreams and inner reflections, but the show is certainly more memorable.

Writing style: I  keep thinking how interesting is the author’s writing style. I noted this before, but it does not hurt to say again that one needs to pay attention to each sentence; GRRM writes even the most critical/impactful event (such as the fall of Bran out of the window, or the death of Ned Stark) in short passages; as if it is as naturally flowing as taking a breath. And in these books with each single breath, the life and fate may change dramatically. So, keep alert readers – you do not want to miss the plots. Looks like life has many and frequent sharp turns in this book.

Should I have not watched the HBO series, then I sure would have been shocked by the death of Ned Stark. But no; thus far the author did an excellent job by desensitizing me. While I am so fond of Brienne and Jamie, I know they may as well die in the 6th book – so I am slowly but steadily detaching myself from these characters now. I thought at first maybe the author was killing the characters out of boredom or for being stuck at and not moving forward, but then I realized that if Bran had not fallen and Ned Stark was not killed, then there would be no war and thus no story anyhow. Seems like a very delicate planning.

Characters: There are a number of  notable characters in the book; Ser Barristan Selmy the bold, Tyrion, Arya, Syrio Forel, Blackfish, and the dire wolfs. Aemon Targaryen, with his wisdom and watching over Jon Snow, has been a recent favorite. Jon Snow, as someone who is constantly rejected because of his bastard status, is another character I like to read about. Too bad that he died later in the books, too (is he coming back in season 6?).

Sansa – One character that I cannot get to like is Sansa; am I the only one? I understand that she is young (what? 11? 12?), but her younger sister Arya has even more sense in herself than Sansa. Despite all she is going thru, I cannot even feel for this character. Yet, I gotta give credit to this character – the only time I have seen a shred of strength or a character was when she was forced by king Joffrey to look at the head of his father and she said to herself “I can look, but I will not see”. I think the actress playing this character did an excellent job on the HBO series reflecting this on the screen, too.

Daenerys Targaryen – In this book, there is quite an emphasis on Daenerys Targaryen; more chapters than the other characters. This intrigues me. Looking forward to seeing more how her story line will evolve over the books. Since the name of the 5-book saga is “A Song of Ice and Fire”, I kind of think that Starks (or whoever is holding the swords made by Ned Stark’s sword Ice) and the dragons (and thus Daenerys) will eventually determine the fate of the characters in the book.

I also note that one of the biggest character transformations in this book was for Daenerys; she was a frightened child (by her brother) first, then a child bride to a savage (Khal Drogo) whom eventually she loved and made him love her, and finally made bad choices that possibly resulted in the death of her husband (at her own hand) as well as her child. I expect this character to undertake more in the future; more like a mad woman who lost her mind. I know from the show that this does not happen, but man, did she really make bad choices….I wonder how does this character handle it?

Of note – The number and the richness of the characters created makes this book really interesting, too. I kept thinking; after the ‘War and Peace” by Tolstoy, this book must be the second one that has created such a large number of notable characters. Hats off to both writers – it cannot be an easy job.

 

The conflicts of human heart and mind: I have noted this before in a couple of posts, but I cannot not say it again; GRRM makes excellent points about the conflicts created by heart and mind; love versus duty; family versus honor; realm/people versus kings (the character Varys and the Kingslayer Jamie Lannister in the later books). I love these contradictions that force characters to make choices and the pain experienced as a result more than anything else (not that I like pain; pain just shows that sometimes there is no good choice). If there was another book as influential as this one in this regard, it would have been “Sophie’s Choice” by William Styron.

Now, I will start with the second book in the series – A Clash of Kings. Hope to read more about Brienne, Jaime, Tyrion, and Arya.

 

a slow read: A Game of Thrones

I have been meaning to read the 5- book series of the “A song of Ice and Fire” pretty soon after I have got them; this was 3 weeks ago.

well, I am still on the 1st book, “A Game of Thrones” and all I could read was the first 466 pages…

I admit that I am not reading it as frequent as I thought I would during these holidays, but when I read I gotta read it slowly, with paying attention to any word or sentence. And that takes time.

Why reading it slowly?

The author George RR Martin has an interesting writing style. In a short paragraph something very critical for the story can happen (e.g. pushing of Bran out of the window by Jaime is merely 4 sentences in two short paragraphs (which also includes the famous phrase “The things I do for love” (page 85; A Game of Thrones, GRRM).

Do you see what I try o say? It is impossible to read these books without reading and digesting every single sentence.

These books demand absolute commitment from the readers.

This is writing in excellence. Hats off to George RR Martin.

,

The life in the diary – XIX

Fiction
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May 17, 2013

I am so confused nowadays. I did not want to put these in writing, as I believe writing things solidifies them, but I guess I gotta talk to at least myself about it.

I met this man a couple of days ago at our work place. He is one of these new recruits that does an amazing job. He is humble though, not hinting much about his success or capabilities. He does not over-look those he meets or talks. Nor wear designer suits that do all the talk. No. He is just a regular guy with a nice attire, perfect manners, and humility. I like these in him.

He looks so healthy and full of life. He also happens to show interest in me. That is what I react to strangely. I do not want it.

Compare him with me and I see a sick person. A person who has been struck not once but twice. I am not naive to think that it is over yet. I know my chances. And chances are scary.

I cannot breathe sometime when I remember these. Fear suffocates me. Depresses me. I want to quit all for once and all. The truth is that I am more scared about these thoughts than the future health-related risks of mine. It is a vicious cycle. The only way is to distract my thoughts from them. Changing from one mental state to other, from one world of thoughts to other, is tiring. But at least it gives my mind a chance to breathe.

I want to rebel at life sometimes. Where was the nice life full of goodness and happiness? The life that we grew up with reading in the fairy tales. I am upset with this entire process; noone prepares you for the life as it is.

I am no longer a kid. I think you stop being a kid when you face life alone for the first time and then it is never the same after that.

I feel like a damaged good. Something that is not good enough. Something unreliable, unstable, unwanted. I cannot get rid of these thoughts even though I know that I should keep going and even though I know that I survived hard times and possibly am stronger than I think I am. Yet, it has not happened yet.

Whenever I find hope and excitement in life, something inside me reminds me that it is of no use to want these. That I am not good enough to even hope for things that I would otherwise be entitled to. Like taking up a new job with more responsibilities. Like putting down a mortgage and buying a house. Like imagining the next day, the next year, or my old age and retired life. Like falling in love. No, I no longer have the right to dream – my wings are broken permanently.

When one cannot dream, then what is left of the meaning of life, what is left of the joy of life?

I like the fact that he is interested in me. But, no – I cannot want it…

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The life in the diary – XIX
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Hardest love

poem
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the hardest love is the love towards
the ones we know most
their heart that beats at fights
or upon the beauty’s sight
their mind that thinks fair
or pulls one down with tear
their hand that chokes the beasts
as it sways away the fears
the eyes that shine
when they lie
the hardest love
my friends, the hardest love
is to know all these
and love anyhow
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The life in the diary – XVIII

Fiction
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May 12, 2013 (cont’d)

Today, I am feeling the heaviness that follows the realization of having lost a whole part of my body.

I have lost a whole part of my body….

What had they said when I was first diagnosed? “it is quite likely that it is only a part of it is affected; we will only take this part and leave the rest so that you can have a functional gland, however partially.”

I had felt good about this; knowing that I would not give up on the whole thing. I would not lose it altogether.

Now, there is none of it.

A part of me which served me well for a very long time. A part of me that has been separated from me in cold blood, examined in a damp, formaldehyde smelling laboratory, dissected and stained in I do not know how many different ways, parts of which were put in a biological waste bin, only to be incinerated later at an unknown place to me. Twice for that matter…Twice..

Twice I said goodbye to a part of me.

I am sure with no care or love it was handled. Maybe the pathologists said “There, another piece of specimen. Let me finish this and then meet with my friends this evening. Cannot wait..” Thinking about this me makes me sob more violently.

Poor thing… After all these years being a part of me and doing a miraculous job, it developed sickness and it is gone.

It made me sick, too.

Should I hate it?

Hate is a stronger feeling than love, but no, I can not hate it.

No matter how many times I think about blaming it for my disease; for feeling like my body betrayed me; for feeling frightened and saddened about the darkness and pain I endure or for the anxiety caused by thought of what the future may bring to me; or how victimized I feel knowing that I now was literally a damaged goods, no, blame did not play well. These made me frightened and sad, but I never, not even once, felt blame towards it.

I rather blame myself.

For losing it.

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The life in the diary – XVIII
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random thoughts

A chilly day with an expectation of heavy snow tonite and tomorrow; we may as well have our first snow day of the year.

How do I feel? Under different conditions I would be excited to, yet I am not. It turns out I am supposed to sign a letter tomorrow. So back to office  I am tomorrow unless there is a seriously bad snow storm.

Honestly, I would not care much. This week too I have come home early from the office to work within the peaceful and atmosphere of my house. I have had a breakthrough in my approach to a big document yesterday, which has been nagging me for almost a year. A year…. What a, uhm… unusual and ridiculous thing that I experienced….

I am responsible of course for this delay.. I came up with the idea, wrote the document, formed a team, made a budget; then got feedback and revamped it, changed the idea, changed the scope, changed the budget; got another feedback and realized it was not clear; re-wrote it, re-changed the scope, re-changed the budget; and then I realized it still was not good enough because I was not able to get a sense of it; it had changed so much that it looked like a patchwork with no clear design, flow, or scope.

Thus, I did not work on it for months, always feeling the pressure and low self-esteem its delay created on me. I felt so inefficient. So not like myself.

Then, yesterday eventually I had a day with no other important thing to do and I started working on it. From the beginning. The text is now better, clear, and impactful. Very good – I was in love with my performance yesterday 🙂 I am not done yet I still need to polish it. I also need to fix the budget and other associated documents. I can do this – I have come this far, I can go even further.

It is just a matter of time and mental clarity + motivation now.

how teased are we by the characters in the GoT?

I really would like to know how the author George RR Martin writes his Game of Thrones themed books; does he plan everything from the beginning on, or does he improvise as time goes on?

There are so many characters in the series that are generally good (e.g. Ned Stark, Robb Stark) and some who are generally bad (e.g. Cersei Baratheon, Joffrey Lannister).

While they are characters with bad nature, who has not felt for Cersei after the walk of shame or for Joffrey after his death?

I know these stories develop in a world and time quite different than ours, so we cannot possibly understand it, but I keep wondering whether the author is constantly teasing us (by evoking opposite emotions on the same character time to time)?

And in the case of character Jamie Lannister; boy did we hate it at the beginning for his arrogant behavior, by pushing a 10 years old child (Bran) from a high window, for being in love with his own sister and fathering 3 kids with her, and all bunch of trolling it has done to others, and killing his own cousin or someone to escape from capture by the Starks, just to name a few.

Now, after an obvious transformation after he has lost his right hand and a change in the behavior (though we still need to remember that he is not all noble or has completely redeemed himself yet; this I say mostly based on his rape of Cersei, which I heard does not happen in the books but only in the HBO series), a substantial portion of the readers/audience are applauding this character. How have we forgotten what he has done? Is through understanding the reasons of his past behavior do we forgive? Or is thru the most recent impression (which is a much positive one) we do forget his past and see him as he is today as if he has always been?

I expect more twists, more tease from the author George RR Martin; I guess that is his writing style. Based on my own amateur writing experience (which I found full of hard corners where things or emotions change in completely opposite directions in a split second), although I must say I am teased quite a bit, I also feel that this experience is good for my own development as a naive writer.

 

eyes ice blue

poem

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Oh, Brienne..

why was honor your most cherished value?

standing tall, shaky but somewhat mighty

all you cared was honor, loyalty

 

underneath your toughness was perceptiveness

kindness you would know if in presence

you were gentle somehow but this was not seen

they laughed at you, this has always been

while you did not care for womanliness

boy, did you crave for acceptance

 

tough life; suffering souls kept you company

one was your enemy

Jamie, the troll that would call you

the beast, the ugliest..

he fell once and lost his pride

with that was shattered his hide

you listened, eyes ice blue

no tears, no wrinkles, no affection

you understood and he knew

 

with one arm leaning on your shoulder

his persona was geared to stride

you saved him once and then he

for no obvious reason, that is be

you two battered souls battled first

then relied upon and you both nursed

 

they say you are in love

and he is too but does not know

I saw you together, there were moments

but I realized I did not know what love is

I have been thinking since then;

there must be different types of love

different than what I know

Oh Brienne….

what have you done?

———————–

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confusion of love

poem

—————————–

I read a story yesterday
there was love as I dream it
it pained me sort of, perplexed
I recognized the love in the text
but not the one that we had
was it love, darling?
what we had;
was it love?
………………..
what was love, darling?
……………….
in my dream
or in my deem
there was no love, darling
that was not a dream
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Wren

poem

———————

he looked in a way that
only she would understand
it was quiet and painful..
smiles were dead, silence was hurtful
pain drilled her eyes
heading low, sinking towards
all the pain
they have gone thru
this one she not knew
eye lids closed, cheeks cold
she just wished he had told
his reasons for giving up
words could have been forgotten
but silence.. no it cannot be forsaken…
she dreamed for heartlessness
whatever breath left with her
she walked away, dull and worthless
she wished he had
looked up and said
“goodbye sweetheart”
to ease her demise
no… but… no…
she turned around disbelieving
he was lying on the bed
his head turned to right
watching the wren on the window trim
as it pecked lovingly with the sun beam
———————
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darkness

poem

——————————————–

I feel fearful nowadays darling
lots happened; I am weakened
one by one I am hit
repeatedly I got up
scrapped by each trouble
slower over time
despite my best wishes
I am feeling vulnerable now
I fear I will give up
not because I think I cannot get up
but because I may not want to
you sure would say
when the next one comes
“resist darling, resist
get up, just show up”
I got so tired darling
remind me one last hope
I am fearful nowadays
I may give up

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regrets

Like anyone else, I have regrets in life.

I regret eating unhealthy food today. I regret buying a useless book at the airport yesterday. I regret not losing any weight since the beginning of fall despite making huge changes and effort. I regret living in a city with limited energy. I regret loving my job so much that I keep present wherever it is present. I regret not have spent a long time with my family. I regret not saving money while I have had it. I regret not being happy. And I regret many other things in life.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine and the more we talked, the more clear it became that regrets were inevitable. Especially when we needed to choose between different alternatives or take different routes.

But whether or not some regrets were inevitable because we had no control over them was debatable. Regrets were certainly context-dependent and some regrets were unnecessary. Realizing this was uplifting and frankly made my day; I do not need to beat myself over some regrets – I can rather accept there was no better alternative, I tried my best, it did not work out, and I can move on. Priceless 🙂

For example, I can regret buying that book and spending $25 on it now. But if I had not bought it, I could regret it, too, because I would probably be bored at the airport by doing nothing much. I chose between the two alternatives; buying and not buying. I resent my choice right now, but I could as well resent not having this choice. So feeling the regret does not serve me well; I tried to prevent boredom and did not become lucky with the book. That is all. There is no room for regret here. Let’s move on.

I regret eating unhealthy today. I do not know why I have not eaten better. Maybe I needed to shop. Maybe I did not want to cook and prepare food. Maybe I just said “okay, I will start it again tomorrow“. I made a choice and now I regret it. This regret is different than what I experienced with the book (above), though; I do not think I would regret eating healthy, for example… In other words, the other alternative, eating healthy, was an a lot better and perhaps the best alternative. This regret is well deserved, as I simply did not make a good decision. I hope that regret now can serve as a valuable teacher for me to make better choices next time…

I regret not being happy (I am not unhappy, either – I am in a neutral state between being happy and unhappy), as I know what happiness means and how great it feels. I did not make the choice of being unhappy or being not happy. In contrast, I always wanted to be happy. “Maybe you just do not know how to be happy“, one may say… (I hope noone will say this; happiness sometimes is not attainable by the way it works for others). Anyways, I regret not being happy, but I did not choose it. So why do I have regret?

I guess the answer lies in the fact that I still believe that I can be happy and I can work towards it. So far in 40 something years, I have not figure out what it is that can give me lasting happiness (except falling in love with someone great… then happiness was the natural state; I just remembered….). But there is hope. One day.

I also regret spending my time and years in a city that does not excite me. My alternative is to move somewhere else, but I did not make this decision yet. I regret living here, but cannot take the steps to change it.

Why is that?

Because I can understand that the alternative may not be so good either and I may regret it big time, too. For one, finding such a job that I have here is almost impossible. Even though I am not making a lot of money, my salary and job are stable. If I leave this job, I may never have such financial and job stability in my life, even though I get everything else that I long for for an exciting life… That is the scariest part of it.

The moment I wrote the above sentence, however, something blinked inside my mind. I remembered that using the word “never” was a way of generalizing things without much evidence. So, who knows? Maybe there are other jobs that can provide me with these stability somewhere else. Maybe I should go check for them, yes? 🙂

Writing is awesome; it helps clear things for me. But more than that I am grateful for having hope 🙂

Fiction bits – III

Fiction bits

——————————————————————

The room was silent and certainly depressing. I wasn’t sure whether our presence made it better or just worse.

She came in hesitantly. When he saw her, he broke a smile first. Then, his eyes turned dark…. She left silently.

Nurses came; we nervously watched him moved to the OR.

I saw her facing the window in the hall; her face was still emotionless.

I got furious, but stopped abruptly as I came close.

Her face was still, she didn’t even blink, but tears were streaming from her eyes down to neck. Crystal-like drops. Like diamonds.

Inside, she was shattered.

The Wren, Sept 23, 2015

——————————————–

Fiction bits – III

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random thoughts

I feel like writing about small indulges that make me feel pampered 🙂

Considering that the only expenses bigger than $1,000 were my washer and dryer (excluding my flights to visit my family and my house), I guess I am doing good pampering myself while also looking after my funds.

So here is a list that I can come up with now:

1. Having breakfast: I love having breakfast at the weekends! there is something nourishing about it and the fact that I get to have it on the weekends only, it is my way of start celebrating the weekend. Breakfast does not need to be too expensive (though it  depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, breakfast and lunch are often times much cheaper than dinners).

2. A good book that captivates my interest. There is nothing like a great book that makes your day enjoyable, time frozen, and mind and heart filled with new knowledge, emotions, and empathy. 90% of my books are purchased from second hand bookstores or charity. The only book I have had pricey was a project management book I needed to study as part of a certificate program (time to sell it now). Borrowing books from libraries, of course, does not cost a dime – give it a try.

3. Chicken noodle soup: is there any other food that nourishes the body while also relaxes the mind? What is the cost of this? $3?

4. Taking photos: that is a really fun activity. Other than the cost of the camera and print outs, the cost of all the memories and lovely pictures recorded is basically $0. Plus, can we really put a price on recording memories?

5. A good cup of coffee every once a while. I love caramel or maple syrup added coffee every once a while. There is a cafe that do these in a shopping mall I go time to time. A great way to award myself.

6. Food: food is always a tricky material for indulges. I happen to reward myself a lot by food, especially pastries and bread (though I am trying to limit them lately). My new year eve meal is almost always some pastry I make at home with beef and pastry sheets. Even though I love this meal, I am glad that I do not bake it more than twice a year.

7. Movies: Although I have not done this in years, seeing a movie at a theater is a lovely experience.

8. Tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate: whether black, green, or herbal, tea has a calming effect. On cold winter days, in addition to tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are my favorite beverages.

9. Leisure walking: Although I do not do this as often as I wish to; when I do, I enjoy it very much. Especially those that occur spontaneously where I do not before hand plan for the route, take my time to enjoy and examine the scenery (even looking at different houses and their characteristics can be an interesting activity).

10. Going through the stores at the airport: One of my favorite activities! I love looking at the merchandise and the variety of items. This is particularly nice when the airport is in a different country. As you can guess, the books sold are the ones that get my most attention. but hey, they are great 🙂

11. Browsing the stores: I have a negligible habit of impulse buying thus I am not afraid of going thru an entire store, examining and exploring the items. It is one of the meditative experiences for me when I truly focus and thus get a mental break from daily thoughts and tiredness. Thanks to this activity, I have discovered many different food (e.g. savory I am so fond of) that were not a part of my regular diet.

12. Taking a road trip: I love it when we drive on a car together with friends or family. Have you noticed that the conversations are different, lovelier during road trips? Especially when we all are going to places that we have not explored before. Whenever I have a chance to suggest an activity, i suggest a road trip 🙂

13. Music: Music is… awesome! I listen to it while at home and office. The free music channels and youtube makes it basically free. Could not be happier 🙂

14. Writing my blog and reading other blogs: Very amusing, relaxing, informative, and affordable activity. Okay I need a computer and an internet connection to do so, but these two help with so many activities (listening to music, watching videos, doing research, learning, booking flights and hotels, etc.) that their cost comes really low. Plus writing helped me to learn a lot about myself – how about that as a great benefit?

15. Planning, planning, planning: I have a thing for planning for goals I would like to tackle. Coming up with a question and then designing a step-by-step strategy to reach the goal is always exciting for me. Yep I do mess up with executing the plans sometime (my recent healthy life-style plan that I blew is a good example), but eventually all go well.

16. Sleeping in: every once a while there comes a weekend morning that makes me sleep till noon. This does not happen to much, but I believe it happens when my body needs it. Often times, it is relaxing.

17. Sleeping late: there is something peaceful about late-nights, some kind of freedom… Friday and Saturday nights are my freedom nights when I can stay up till late, reading, writing, or watching TV. Serenity..

18. Spending time in my yard: I have a small yard with a couple of trees; lilacs are particularly my favorites. Seeing them in summer is a beautiful feeling. The same thing with just being in the yard and listening to the sound of trees – the soothing whoosh their leaves make with wind…..

19. Scents: I love my perfume but due to scent-free policy of my workplace, I only wear it at the weekends. Its scent is so lovable I am glad they produced it! The same thing with candles and soaps. I have a soap that leaves a nice scent after each hand-wash. I would not change it at all. When comes to candles, I did not buy lately but I make sure to check them at the stores. One of my favorite one has honey-cinnamon scent.

20. Wearing my best shoes: I am a person of habit, so I keep wear the same things weeks after weeks. Yet, every once a while wearing a different outfit or my favorite shoes makes a difference in my mood 🙂

21. Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping. Finding fresh produce is a rare and often cheerful activity for me (where I live, fresh produces are hard to find).

22. Shopping after the holidays: this is the season for shopping!. The sales right after the Christmas are unprecedented. Boy, do I stock up? 🙂

23. Thrifty store visits: Even though I often end up not buying as much as I plan to, I love browsing through the shelves in thrifty stores, especially the kitchen items and the books. A good book I certainly will buy. The kitchen items are mostly an interest; to see all the old stuff… I have a thing for old things. They are different and very interesting for me.

24. Ethnic stores: There are so many different things in these stores that I make regular trip to one close to my house. It is a little food store where I can find the most interesting spices, hot sauces, and dried food. Plus, that store is incredibly cheap. I wonder why that is.

25. Soft facial towels: These are priceless; there is nothing nicer at the end of a busy day to come home, wash my hands and face, and feel the soft towel on my skin. I would highly recommend you to get a thick, slushy towels that is a delight to use.

26. Creams and moisturizers: my hands require hand cream throughout the day. In winter, it is almost essential to moisturize the rest of the body. I am grateful for these creams and lotions that not only nourish my body but also smell good 🙂

27. Time spent with family and friends: Do I have to talk about it? It is the favorite activity of many people. Are we not lucky?

I hope your list of things that make you feel pampered is longer than this.

Go pamper yourself in this beautiful Saturday! 🙂

why do I follow, unfollow, and re-follow?

Having a blog is interesting; not only in terms of writing, reading and learning from fellow bloggers, but also in terms of understanding my behavior and preferences, including when it comes to who to follow, when and why to unfollow.

The answer to “who to follow” is simple; the topics are interesting and writing is good. These are the primary points. Certainly it is not possible to read the entire list of posts, but a bunch of them usually give me a preliminary idea. Then, I click the follow button. Easy job.

Those who are unfollowed are a different story; I noticed a variety of reasons for unfollowing:

1. Mean, aggressive, violent/dark, or otherwise annoying characters, writings, or comments and interactions with others.

2. Those that use profanity.

3. Those that pressure their readers somehow; for example about their other social media sites – once a blogger said something like that “shame on you if you are not following my this and that site”. Ok buddy; what is that about? Sigh…

4. Those that promote their works, businesses, or skills with NO added value. I am following a number of companies, which posts valuable and useful information – I am happy to follow them. But I am not going to keep following self-promoting blogs (by individuals or companies) for no reason, for nothing valuable in return. Very simple.

5. Those that comment to every single post with text-book like quotes or recommendations. Not genuine! Not at all! (I wrote a post about that a while ago and it was effective; the nonsense at that time had stopped..).

6. Those blogs whose topic is no longer an interest to me. An example is the gardening-related ones that I was very interested in May; this interest unfortunately is gone (though I still keep checking time to time using the “tags” section). There is nothing wrong with these blogs; it is just a matter of my current interests.

7. Those who blog very infrequently; I am more comfortable following the blogs whom I get to know through their posts (and comments), and who add value to my blogging experience. I am not saying everybody should be posting every day or every week, but if the frequency is something like once a month or less, I have difficulty connecting with. Among those that I follow, I have solid connections with a number of bloggers, which make my blogging experience a great one (thank you!).

8. This one is an exception; I unfollowed a blog yesterday because the main theme of the blogger was something that badly depressed me. I would like to respect opinions, especially if they are about the people’s own lives. But I felt totally down with the post yesterday where the blogger, who refused treatment, explained the details of the disease as s/he experienced… I felt not only depressed, but also weird watching this happening…. I should be respecting that person’s decision about her own health and about refusing treatment, but I cannot take the feeling that was created on me. This is the weirdest experience I have had here and I cannot shake it off, not yet.

And then there are those who I re-follow; usually this is the case when the topics were not interesting for me at one point, but later became interesting again. I have a couple of such blogs in my list right now. Thank you for understanding 🙂

I just realized that there may be another reason why I do not follow more than a manageable number of blogs at the same time: I do not have the habit to “block” the blogs where I am in the follower list but choose not to see their posts – to me this would be weird. Whoever I follow, I make sure to read what they gotta say in their posts.

That is all for now. Cheers everyone.

pen versus keyboard

Writing can be addictive.

Yes, indeed.

Prior to this blog, I used to write on paper. It is still my favorite – I love the feeling of holding a pen and letting it glide on the paper. Whenever I have a moment to spend, I am likely to write down something; whether a plan, a poem, a note to be used later, or whatever is going thru my mind. I am good at “free writing” as well; what I write pretty much every time surprises me. All these things that went through my mind:) Give the “free writing” technique a try and see yourself.

While writing with a pen is my favorite, I must confess it is very difficult to read my hand-writing. So maybe 10% of the time I can decipher what I have written without much difficulty 🙂 That is not an exaggeration. Though I am very curious about my own writings, it is a challenge.

So, this can explain why I see a benefit in blogging (in addition to get to know good people and have good interactions with many here): I can read what I have written; my writings are available anywhere in the world through the net, and most importantly except I lose my blog-space, they are permanent 🙂

Of course it is not unusual for me to destroy things that are not useful or valuable anymore. Or, a source of head-ache for some reason. But until then..

yours,

a world within a world

When I first opened this account, I had planned it to be work-related and had one or two post over many months. Many of my colleagues have blogs and they are happy to write and promote them for professional reasons. But I could never move my own.

Then something happened and I felt that I had things to say, things to share, things to put in writing. So I changed the theme and started to write poems and a little story-line. It went so, with spontaneous addition of other pages (such as question of the day, today’s crush) and before I knew it, I started to write about my thoughts and experiences as well. Recently I re-started with few poems and some fictional posts.

I never thought I would have such a blog, write these posts, or write poems or stories like this; I am sincerely surprised. I  cannot wait to see how it will evolve over time.

I am spending quite a bit of time everyday here, writing or reading. I enjoy both of them. I have come across many beautiful and interesting blogs, which I am happy to follow. I have also started to interact with some of you about your blogs or by responding to your comments. I was very hesitant at the beginning (for a long time actually), because of previous bad experiences with virtual interactions. So far all correspondence was respectful, genuine, supportive, understanding, or fun, which tells me that I am in fact very lucky 🙂

Some of you guys/ladies are really great, smart, and lovely which makes me feel very excited to get to know you, and very grateful for;  thank you all 🙂

In addition to the changes in the types of my posts and the way I interact with the others here, I also change the topics I read about or the blogs I follow (I usually keep frequent posters and those who are insightful, kind, and nice; so the turn-over is actually not too much). That is in fact exciting as I love reading and learning about new topics. Last month I read mostly about gardening and budgeting/saving for example. I am now not that interested in gardening, but my interest in budgeting and saving continues. I also have a new interest, which is DIY. I know that anytime I am curious about something or need informal info, I can get it here.

To me this blog-space is a world within a world; a life within a life.

random thoughts

the last three days feels like fall – it is grey and the temperature is less than 14C. I am having a hard time reminding myself this is June 🙂 It is great that I am going for a long trip to a sunny place soon; I am sure my body will appreciate the warmth and sunlight.

I am feeling bored nowadays as I have not worked well in the last few weeks – the good weather certainly distracted me and led me to leave my office earlier than usual to enjoy the outdoors. Yet, my mind is now bored and the only way to cherish is to work. Those who find something great about working would understand how I am feeling right now.

As per my financial goals, I continue to shop consciously, which makes a small, but noticeable difference. And no I did not take the bus this week yet, which feels somehow awkward. Can I start doing it tomorrow?

My mood in the morning is not great – I think this is one of the reasons for me to take the cab. I do not want to strain myself further by waiting and taking the bus. The cab takes me from the front of my house and leaves me at the door of my work place. So convenient. And convenience feels good, though I miss the self-appreciating feeling when I do take the bus. Tomorrow is another day. I can re-visit this then.

I keep eating fruits (apples and oranges mostly), drinking tea once a day, eating healthy as much as I can. At least this part of my life is going more or less as I wish it to be.

On a final note, I have been trying some fictional stories lately and poems earlier. I find I cannot keep working on them for extended periods of time – what I think about while writing is what I feel . So unless I start a comedy-centered piece, I am okay with working on them only time to time :). That also means I have developed a huge appreciation for poets and novelists.

feeling like writing

Many things have happened lately; some of them very positive and thus excite me, and some of them continuous issues, and thus worry me a little bit.

That is allright; I am welcoming all. No resistance to negative issues or worries. That lessens their effect on me. Additionally, I feel like I can ask for opinion and help more easily lately, which is a positive development on my side.

Work is going well. Today, I started to gain some momentum, which is good. I need a new priority list to start fully taking care of the tasks and projects. The positive, uplifting feeling thanks to the new office and the new building continues. I am getting lots of support from work regarding my new projects and some of the issues to be resolved, which is also awesome. I am grateful.

House is allright, though the crack on my wall seem to get enlarged a little bit. I will monitor another week and then take actions. It is better be fixed before the late summer. I accepted it as a challenging issue that could easily depress me. It actually did for a while, until I figured out what to do. Even describing it was a challenge at the beginning. Now, I am improving in terms of controlling my emotions. I noticed as long as I know what to do, I can deal more or less effectively.

There are financial consequences to me as in addition to the wall, the foundation, the hardwood floor need to be broken and then fixed and the walls need to be re-painted. I am hopeful that we will be able to find floor material and paint similar to what I have right now. Of course, once the walls are opened, I have no idea what else to fix can be found, which means additional worry and financial hardship. Let me hope that this will not be the case. After I fixed it, I will sell the house within a year or so.

Though my mind is turbulent, I remind myself that life is full of lessons learnt and opportunities. I am sure life will bring me the best after that. And I will do better in my decisions, the way I deal with issues, the way I see myself and life as a whole.

Hope is  a great thing.

random thoughts

1. Writing is therapeutic. yes I am not having a blast of good feelings when I think about the possible consequences of my current issues. I want to repeat several times “I will be fine. Whatever happens, maybe not right after, but certainly after a while lessons learnt and my experiences will help me to go in a better direction, a better place in life”. Even writing this helps me to feel better. So please tolerate me writing this or similar sentences today or in the coming days.

2. Self-help books are useful in this sense. I find that the books that use the terms, such as “peaceful, welcoming, acceptance, harmony, etc.” have a positive effect on my psychology. I am aware that many thoughts, not necessarily positive ones, pass through our minds every moment. I believe reading such words and writing sentences as in (1) above, have a direct role in changing the thoughts going thru my mind and the feelings I have as a result of them.

3. Someone said today we need to be a little bit relax in our thinking and worries. I am a control freak, there is no question about that. And being a control freak and seeing possible risks/issues in future so that they can be prevented today are my characteristics. Now, a lot of people would find what I wrote about myself negative; trust me I understand why; because this kind of people are not easy or fun to work with. Yet, when a detailed, meticulous, and high-quality work is needed, such individuals like me can be very valuable. That is why I am okay with being a control freak. But do not get me wrong; it is not fun for me. I go through the anxiety and sometimes exhaustion of controlling things to my best as well as preventing or resolving issues.

4. Come to thing about it; risk assessment and preventing potential issues and errors are awesome; because they lessen the amount of trouble in future. See, I told you! Writing is therapeutic as it just occurred to me that the issues I am facing now could get worse if I had delayed facing them now. So, I should actually be okay with my current situation as long as I deal with them – a worse outcome is surely prevented!

I gotta write more so that I can understand myself and the big picture ahead of me.

I decided today that life was bright and hopeful

I am excited so I feel like I have to put this excitement into words.

I had a series of writings/poems under the Kate’s short story category; I decided to end it today.

I am very happy with this decision. While I am happy with some of its parts (that I can extend later to form other, much better stories/poems), I am feeling it is also quite a relief to let it go. I have had quite heavy feelings, and not necessarily positive ones, when I focus on writing it; an impossible love is not a positive experience (in terms of the feelings it evoked).

Come to think about it, I have other series called Sasha’s story and The Life in the Diary,  which are collections of two other story lines. Both are depressive.

I decided today that life was bright and hopeful.

I decided today that I did not need more “heavy feelings”: rather there is also joy, happiness, opportunities, peace, kindness, and goodness in life. I will focus on these from now on.

I will make my writings reflecting these. Pain is everywhere, so can be happiness.

cheers

writing and the mystery of feelings

Writing gives thoughts and feelings voice, sometime quite complicated ones even. I have understood a number of things about my experiences just by writing – it helps to analyze, define, and understand especially my feelings.

Sometimes though, I feel like putting feelings in a logical frame (by writing) diminishes their mystery.

hidden sentence

In writing what we are looking for is not total magnificence, but a glimpse of a great piece that can be woven around a sentence hidden among many pages of writing. Go ahead. Write it.

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while waiting the end of “us”

—————————————————————————————-
I trashed everything that reminded you. But memories are the worst; how do I bury a part of me?

Nevertheless, with a strange pleasure I can say that it has been four days…I was not able to feel anything for you.

Neither love nor hate.

I did not miss you.

I did not even cry.

There has been other times like this before; none so long, though. I had estimated that over time they would get longer and longer. Then, one would be “it”. “It” would be the end of “us”.

While I cry over you, I often find myself humming “Come What May” of Moulin Rouge; one particular line I like – “suddenly my life does not seem such a waste“. It is such a fragile line.. What happens if one replaces the word “waste” with “mess”?

ah, yes..

There will be an end of us.
—————————————————————————————

Kate’s short story-V

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