Venice Beach | Wings and Faith

The Kiss

My nephew, Alli, brings me with him to Venice Beach. A flawless morning, not too chilly nor scorching hot. Everywhere you look, there is animation. Absolute freedom on the beach.

Baby Birds

If there is one thing that I am learning in America — it is to grow back wings. And only with faith will one be able to take flight.

God can be too creative. He likes drama. He will make you cry, he will make you scream, he will make you lose your head, he will carry you, he will cry with you, he will give you choices, he will make you see, he will make you decide, he will lift you up.

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Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Whirlwind

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Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Mid-January — I attend a creative writing workshop entitled “The Empty Notebook”. I sit down for the next two hours with 6 others. Introductions are made. One is a native of Florida, another is from New York and the rest are locals. “I’m from the Philippines and I am new here.”

Emily, our teacher, asks if we brought our notebooks.

Exercise 1: She reads to us a poem in a book from her Vassar College days, and then asks us to write down the first impressions after listening to the poem.

All I remember is a chilling cryptic poem about familial violence. The tough part comes — read out what you wrote.

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I read the first two pages of my notebook — My mind is blank. I’m trying to focus on something I was, I’ve been passionate about. Leaving home seems to have robbed me of the rawness of emotions I used for nurturing something in me. I am sometimes lost in emptiness, living in a place that is so new, unfamiliar and so far away. I need to bring the fire back to keep me sane and grounded. Despite the emptiness, so much is in my head right now — it drowns me. Half of me is here, and half of me is in a place so impossible to be in. I can’t turn back. I’m trapped. I miss sunshine, I miss the exoticness of home, I miss the beach, I miss sand covering my feet, I miss the noise surrounding the walls of my humble abode.

Palm Desert

Bump and Grind Trail, Palm Desert, early February — My only brother brings me to climb a rocky path. In the next one and a half hours, we catch up with each other’s lives. I reminisce the younger days, how much I missed being with older siblings, childhood dreams, rough times, as well as happy times.

Like a second wind, there is nothing more consoling and liberating than the point of view of a brother. Novelist and poet James Joyce once wrote, “Men are governed by lines of intellect – women: by curves of emotion.”

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My brother taught me more manly stuff like riding a bike. He inspired my love of adventure and the great outdoors. He always brought home beautiful photos from nature destinations such as Sagada and Mindoro. Little did I know that the Fuji film cam he gave me would kickstart a deeper passion for photography. (He took the photo below with the phone he and his wife gifted me for Christmas.)

Bump and Grind Trail, Palm Desert, California

We finish the trek.

I hear it from him, “Failure is not an option.”

If only I had half the grit of a man.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Phone Photos of Silver Lake and Brunch at Millie’s

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Yay! I am a new owner of a 4G phone, a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. Getting the hang of mobile photography. Let’s start with my neighborhood. Honestly, walking to Sunset Blvd. was more pleasurable with just a phone and twenty dollars in my pocket.

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Went to this old American breakfast place called Millie’s. An institution in Silver Lake, Millie’s is open only up til 4PM and is always packed, oftentimes with long lines, but I was lucky to get a seat by the bar. Eggs, toasts and pancakes are popular, as well as their Mexican-inspired and vegan options. It was difficult to choose what eggs Benedict to get. Settled with California style, traditional Benedict merged with avocados and crisp smoked applewood bacon, with rosemary potatoes on the side. The hollandaise sauce was flawless. The explosion of flavors sent me to a foodgasm. The serving was hefty, but it was all worth the trip. Staff is wonderful, food is served quickly, and it really feels like a friendly neighborhood eatery.

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Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Joshua Tree National Park | Trailing the Sun

Cholla Garden Boardwalk

A happy week to everyone!

Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National ParkMorning Rays
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Cholla Cactus GardenCampingJoshua Tree National ParkFrom A Moving CarVivid YellowLost Palms Oasis TrailLost Palms Oasis TrailLost Palms OasisRockyCalifornia DesertLost Palms TrailJoshua Tree National ParkLost Palms OasisAt the end of the Lost Palms Oasis Trail

With special thanks to Marichi and Jonathan Lo for the adventure and photos of me.

Photographed by Tina Tan © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015