In Response to Ivan…

“Every time I was able to perform or improve my skill I felt like I was a part of something greater, like I was destined to do something with this knowledge I have, but just as it reached its peak, something happened and it had to end.”

I relate to this feeling on innumerable levels. Because I am an artist, I know that feeling of being invincible whenever I’m on stage. The moment I step away, the moment the curtain closes, the moment the lights turn off I feel so lost.

Ever since you fell in love with the music
You find a way to express what you feel
But the moment that you get away from the mic, you don’t know what you doing

Yes, that is another NF reference. No, I’m not sorry.

It’s crazy how I feel like I’m levitating whenever I’m performing, only to be burdened by the weight of the world every time it’s over. I’ve always wondered why. Perhaps it’s because music can express what words cannot. Perhaps it’s because I know what I’m doing for once. Perhaps it’s because I can be whoever I want.

We’ll see.

l o v e

I’m a Christian. Shocker, I know.

All my life I was told to blindly follow rules. Do this, do that, don’t do this, do NOT do that, and I did as I was told. Can I be real with y’all? (You can’t answer, so I guess that leaves me no choice). Not only did I do as I was told, I judged everyone who did not do as was told. I hated them with a passion. I believed that they didn’t deserve God’s love, that they were going to hell, that they were evil. This isn’t a therapy session, though (totally not making a reference to my favorite artist of all time, NF).

There was a point in my life when I lost everything. My friends. My family. My voice. Myself. All I could do was write. At the age of 12 I wrote this line in one of my depressing journals:

If pain is an ocean, then I must be a reservoir. 

Emo, I know (IT’S NOT A PHASE MOM). It was at my lowest point I had a revelation I was pushed even lower. Imagine being at rock bottom and losing everything and trying to find hope by reading The Bible and reading this as soon as you open it:

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.                      (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 MSG)

All this time I thought I was right, and I hated anyone who didn’t agree with me. My Real, in reality, was just as bad as the Real of someone from the KKK or any other terrorist group. When there was no one to love me? I realized what my Real is. It is to love. Many people tell me I’m one of the kindest people they’ve ever met, but honestly, I still have so much more to go. The Real will always be out of reach, because to completely reach The Real is to reach perfection, just as Passing Strange ends with ambiguity and the Youth not reaching The Real, which depicts life as it is. The way I get closer to The Real is by searching and finding. Searching and finding new roads to love. Searching and finding new approaches to love. Searching and finding new [all] people to love.

I’m a Christian. Shocker, I know.


pain, pain, go away, please don’t come another day

Someone once told me if I feel pain it’s a good thing; it means I’m still alive. “The Formula For Portraying Pain in Art; Building Chairs or Forging Tools to Ease Suffering Can Transform It Into a Creative Force” by Sarah Boxer echos that someone.

“The only way people can really describe pain is to objectify it,” because we all know for sure how it’s caused but can’t put words to how it feels without referring to what caused the pain.

This makes sense, then, when we consider, “When people forge tools or build things, they are often trying to alleviate discomfort. But first they must define the discomfort.” Pain drives creativity. Pain forces us to think outside the box and to figure out a way to at the very least lighten it..

This is just a physical expression of something that was inherent in me from a very young age. Who would’ve thought that aesthetic Tumblr quotes like “The loneliest people are the kindest, the saddest people smile the brightest…” are actually rooted reality? We use our painful experiences to create art.

These “beautiful pity parties” (as Michael so eloquently articulated) really do force us to realize we are not alone. When I write a song, sitting next to my dusty, worn keyboard, wringing my hands, fiddling with my bitten pencil, with my tears blurring the world around me, I could only hope the objectification of my pain could alleviate someone else’s.

I could only hope I’m still alive.

I’m a hopeFUL romantic, not a physicist

Emotional amnesia makes me a hopeFUL romantic

I have emotional amnesia. Don’t worry, I remember everything pretty much as well as anyone else, but I don’t remember how I felt during those memories. At my highest mountains I feel invincible, forgetting they’re the step before the drop, while at the lowest valleys I feel depressed, not being able to remember the mountain tops. Because of this, I am forever a hopeFUL romantic. So of course, when we were going around in class reading Judge Soderberg’s monologue, I kept mindlessly counteracting his accusations with examples of good. I have to point out that I am not naive, though. I just have hope that one day, love will change the world. Petit united people of all colors, socio-economic status, and ages with his crime. As much as I respect his amazing abilities (I don’t think I’ll ever not be in wonder of what he did), I don’t really agree that his crime is a “good” one: his intentions were not to unite; his intentions were to simply conquer another feat for himself. This is just a thought though, please don’t come after me!


Knowing the backstories of everyone in the book, it really annoyed me that the judge is very forgiving of Petit while simultaneously speaking damnation upon Tillie and Jazzlyn (and anyone like them). I think the effect of doubling these two events is supposed to show the stark contrast between “bad” vs. “good” crimes, but I just ended up being irritated. Where is the line between art and crime drawn? I am aware, however, that if the judge doesn’t treat these matters as black and white (which they are not), the justice system might not get anywhere.

And so the world spins.

People get into accidents, people get divorced, people lose their homes, people die… and the world spins. This hurts quite a lot. For the longest time, I expected the world to stop spinning every time something bad happened to me. I expected people to drop their lives and come to my rescue. It didn’t take until I was literally left with nothing that I had the realization that the world spins, and it will never wait for me to keep up. Instead of giving up, I started working on using that to make every day an opportunity to make the world a better place, because as Xhesika mentioned in her post, we are all connected in some way, shape or form (what did I tell you about being a hopeFUL romantic?). I actually have at least one connection to almost everyone in our class, which still blows my mind. I guess everything happens for a reason, right?

The bridge that unsettled me the most would have to be the one between Ciaran and Tillie. Ciaran hates the prostitutes, hates the drug dealers and addicts, hates the Bronx; yet, Ciaran has sex with Tillie. This is a physical turning point for Ciaran, who is warming up to life in the Bronx and seeing the humanity in these prostitutes, drug dealers, addicts.

This brings me to the bridge that makes my heart sing, and possibly the most unpopular one: Ciaran and Lara. This is where the hopeFUL romantic in me shines. I see myself in Ciaran. I try my best to forgive the people who have wronged me (I’m still working on it); some of my closest friends are people who have hurt me the most. Martin Luther King Jr. stated “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us,” which is what Ciaran and I have come to believe. I could speak forever on forgiveness and love, because at the end of the day, I believe love is the strongest force in the universe. As you can probably tell, I am not a physicist.

World Domination by a Young [not] Prodigy


I recently saw a video of a three-year-old piano prodigy playing the keyboard with all her heart. She is brown skinned, dark-eyed, and has a a considerably long name: yes, you guessed it, it was a video of me.

I’ve got to tell you though, I was (and am) no prodigy, nor did I know how to play the piano. I was, however, three years old when that video was taken. I also put every bit of my heart into playing the keyboard, although it didn’t sound ANYWHERE near as good as the piece I have chosen for this blog post (Sorry, I can’t post the video of me here, in fear of causing immediate danger to you and those around you; I can guarantee your device will catch fire)

This piece, “All of Me” by Jon Schmidt (attached, watch the whole thing!!!), is the epitome of modern piano music. It’s a very bright yet suspense filled song, and there are numerous melodies (I like to call them thoughts) that occur; you’re at the edge of your seat pretty much the whole time.

When I wasn’t beating myself up about the fact that the Schmidt has more talent in one hair of his head (P.S. He has no hair) than I in my entirety will ever have, the song made me feel like I just conquered the world. The music sounds like something you would play whilst (yes I said whilst, I have to sound classy at some point) dominating the world.

Do I like him, or is he just tall?

For today’s episode of G’s honest and thought provoking blog postings, we’ll be discussing the very important question of whether bigger is really better. Why do all my short girl friends (shorter than me and I’m SHORT) want a guy that’s over 6 feet tall? Honey, you ain’t even gonna see his face!

Of course, art isn’t much different than love interests. Just like how a girl is consumed by the height of her boy toy, I feel like art consumes me, especially if it’s big (which isn’t rare since I am rather small). An example would be the London Terrace Apartments, whose dimensions and seemingly endless windows seem to watch and judge me. My virtual tour did no justice to the actual size of it, especially since I viewed it from ground level (because I was a noob and didn’t make it on the High Line, thanks for noticing) and because I was thinking of how the dude who created the apartments jumped off those buildings (which sounds cooler than dying peacefully in a hospital bed, right?)

Most importantly (I need an answer, please): do I like him, or is he just tall?


I knew watching the same fairytales countless amount of times would come in handy in life one day. Other than giving me unrealistic expectations of men and an obsession with happy endings, these fairytales also come into play when novels I read in college make allusions to them. In Let the Great World Spin, “Miró, Miró, on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all?” (McCann 112) is a more morbid version of “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” asked by the Queen from Snow White. Joan Miró was a Spanish artist and Surrealist, and it is a piece of his art that is on the wall of Claire’s house, which she zoned in on while smiling uncontrollably when the sergeant brought the ultimate bad news. Here’s another fun fact: There’s an instrumental called “Miro, Miro On The Wall” by Hugh Buckley, who was actually born and raised in Dublin!

Speaking of real-life human intersections, there’s quite a lot of them in the book (I lost count at 50). This reminds me of the word sonder, which is defined by The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows as “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own… an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.” This book does an excellent job of depicting this word, leaving me amazed at the interconnectedness.

One such human collision is the one between Lara and Ciaran, which really intrigues me. How can he fall in love with her, the very girl who was involved in the accident that killed his brother? Even given that she wasn’t the one driving and that she tries to atone for her guilt, it is quite fascinating that Ciaran falls in love with her. This reveals how in reality, almost nothing is black or white, but a gradient of grays. I admire how well McCann illustrates humanity and humanness.


Let me just start off by saying that I am beyond SHOOK. I’ll give you a little background on how I function. You see, I tend to be absorbed into the world of whatever book I’m reading; I become the book. “Read Chapter 1 for homework,” Professor Purves said. “It’s a great read,” she said. While I do not disagree with either of those statements, they did NOT prepare me for what the book had in store.

The prologue begins with the whole “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” type of scenario where a man (Petit) is standing on top of one of the twin towers is New York City. Suspense is built as people of all backgrounds watch anxiously at what he is going to do. Is he going to jump or nah? The prologue ends with him starting to tightrope walk to the other tower, to everyone’s surprise.

Chapter 1 starts with the story of two boys and their mother and a physically absent father in Dublin, Ireland. The unnamed narrator is the older brother, while the younger one is John Andrew but goes by Corrigan, which is actually the family name. Now, Corrigan is a special character. He is what I see when I look into the mirror. “[Corrigan] might have been naive, but he didn’t care; he said he’d rather die with his heart on his sleeve than end up another cynic,” his older brother describes him (McCann 21). Corrigan was blind in his love in that he did not discriminate in who to love, and he made himself vulnerable and open rather than be a skeptic like his brother. This is probably also the reason why I don’t find any of the characters as alien or baffling.

Corrigan really intrigues me; he seems to have no limit whatsoever. Even his brother rages on and on about how Corrigan is being taken advantage of. I believe McCann captures humanity beautifully: so beautifully, in fact, that I see myself in all the characters. Corrigan drinks starting at a very early age with the poor and the alcoholics, not to get drunk but to feel the pain of people everyone else considers trash. We see his love for people again when he moves to The Bronx, following the orders of the order of monks he joined. We see how is life is like through the narrator’s eyes, who follows because of a war in Ireland.

When the narrator joins Corrigan in The Bronx, he receives a culture shock. He sees a black person for the first time, and he cannot stop staring. Younger me relates to the narrator, because a village in India looks nothing like the Big Apple. After one hell of a rollercoaster ride in the Bronx, we end the chapter in a hospital bed, which made me fling the book across the room. Let me just end with saying that I am very much still SHOOK.