Thy name is Krypton.
Your mantra divulged.
And my soul, my dear soul,
shivered and shriveled.
D. Yustisia 10/01/15
In the corner of a busy block in Brooklyn, I came upon some writings on the wall. I stared at it smiling and my mind wandered to once upon a time when the time was younger and nicer. The writings on the wall took me to a story of a girl who loved a boy and a boy who was crazy for her. They were young, indeed, only 19, a pair of fools in love. Each never thought of what would becoming of them. They never shared their dreams and still unsure about their own future. But to be 19 and in love, you’re allowed to go crazy beyond realization that what came next might just be the end of everything. Love made you did something silly. “Would you be my wife?”, the boy asked one day. The girl was astounded. The boy might just got caught up in a moment (it was his birthday anyway). But maybe something more happened deep in his heart. The girl looked the boy in the eyes, wanting to know if what she heard was real.
I read the writings on the wall and I distinctly heard my self said,”I do”.
One day, I walked pass by the street in Manhattan and saw the Chrysler Building almost two hours before sunset came. Sunlight reflected on its gleaming metal body creating a pink hue. I was mesmerized. Standing on the edge of busy Manhattan street, I took several shots of the building that its luster lasts through century. A friend told me how she loves Chrysler Building and wants to visit it someday and I promised her to take some shots if I ever near the vicinity. I went inside a store that lines up Fifth Avenue without caring about the change of scenery outside. Darkness fell and it seemed making Manhattan subdued. The footsteps of some tourists and people coming home from work became less and less. Meanwhile on the other part of the city, people flocked in Times Square where neon lights were the attractions as if moths to the flame. Chrysler Building and its twinkling lights seen from afar, like a lighthouse guiding some weary and tired people, like me, towards another destination to reach home, Grand Central Terminal. I walked down an alley where I heard the tinkling of utensils and glasses from a restaurant nearby. I saw a couple set up a tripod and took some pictures of the Chrysler Building. The mix smell of dust, old buildings, weather and pee wafted in the alley way. Between the light and the dark, people can get lost in its mystery.
As I typed this journal, I remember a discussion between me and a beloved one about sleeping in the dark. I need a sliver of light, just a small source of light, to be able to sleep. I’ve tried sleeping in the dark and it’s hard for me to concentrate. The mystery of the dark makes my mind working on a weird scenario. He said, sleeping in darkness makes his other senses more apparent. I suppose he’s right. I listen attentively when I slept in the dark and sometimes I chose to stay in the dark when migraine hit me. During the full moon, I let the curtain open a little bit to let the light get into the room and it felt somewhat calmer. Back in Manhattan, where the wind blew strong and picked up some strewn papers and plastic bags, I saw a man sleeping in front of a closed store. He covered his face with his hat, perhaps wanting to hide from the Manhattan lights that can be blinding to someone who just wanted to have a goodnight sleep.
Dear old boyfriend,
I found your emotions typed neatly on a piece of yellowing paper.
I read the contents of your heart in the A-B-C’s of your unsophisticated language.
In those whirling-twirling, upside-down and lopsided world we called “our world”, I was yours and you were mine.
I have listened to the relentless words upon words from your lips.
You whispered some nonsensical dreams that I didn’t mind at all.
And I had heard them in the hundreds hours we shared. I have felt them through your fingers.
Then you came, and you have come, and you made me glad. You made me mad about you.
We spoke about life, though we must’ve sounded pathetic.
Did we have some memories then? Here and there, have you ever looked at them? Searched for them, deep in your mind?
Then, you remember. I, too, remember a part of us. The way we were.
I called you ‘my beloved’ and you let me. You let me.
I let you submerged in my ambiguity and I called it LOVE.
D. Yustisia 05/28/15
While I was walking towards Grand Central Terminal, accompanying my two daughters and their friend, I came upon this man. I was taking several shots of the Chrysler Building at night, when suddenly my eyes saw the man sleeping on the sidewalk. He laid down on what it seemed to be two pieces of cardboard. The man crossed his legs and covered his body with a jacket. His face was partially hidden under a baseball cap. The man’s trolley, his primary tool of transporting and to hold his worldly possession laid close to him. Under his head was what I believed to be his clothes, in a bag, that became his pillow. As the dusk set, the wind blew a little bit chillier. People kept on passing by, some would stop to take pictures of the Chrysler Building. Under the dim lights in a somewhat quiet street between some buildings with upscale shops, bar and cafes, a man slept soundly without any care in the world. Scattered litters around him, dusts that settled and blown away by the wind, didn’t bother him at all. I took one shot of the man, and kept on walking. I didn’t want to wake him or maybe I tried getting away before I felt guilty for him. In my head, I could hear a song,”She calls out to the man on the street. Sir, can you help me? It’s cold and I’ve no where to sleep. Is there somewhere you can tell me?” from Another Day in Paradise, a song written by Phil Collins. The night sky had darkened and on a train ride home, the song kept playing in my head. “It’s just another day for you and me in paradise. Oh, think twice, it’s just another day for you, you and me in paradise”.
I was watching a TV show when at almost the end of it, the character in the show narrated this quote by Frederick Douglas,”It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”. I was truly touched by his words. Frederick Douglas was a former slave and an abolitionist. He was known to be vocal for the civil rights movements. Frederick Douglas makes me think about the Black History Month that happens in February. For that reason, I’d like to post words like quotes and poems from African-American great men and women, to honor them and to celebrate the Black History Month the way I know best, through photography.
So, happy new year and I hope your holidays were well spent. Thanks for supporting my blog(s) through out 2014. I know I didn’t write or tell you my story all the time, but I will try to this year. Last year was the year of heartbreaking and soul crushing for me. I wanted to complain more, but then I realized if I complained, I would use my energy for nothing. But to stay quiet was unbelievably hard. As a mother of two teenage girls and a preteen boy, I have to show them how to persevere. Sometimes it’s hard when I needed to cry so much, I didn’t want to do it in front of them. I didn’t want them to worry about our lives, cause it’s my job. This year I hope I can be stronger than before, smarter and more resourceful. I’m not going to make any promise, I just need to do whatever I can.