Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The most inspiring conversation of 2013.

Today I had the most inspiring and meaningful conversation of 2013. 

For this I have to thank my friend, whom I hadn't seen in several years. These years have been more than enough to twist and turn our lives upside down and downside up and back again, like the craziests of rollercoasters, yet there we were, as if we had never parted. 

And I just sat there, listening to his story, living every little detail feeling amazed at how much we've gone through since we last saw each other.  We laughed at how we used to be and what we used to talk about and how we are today, and I just looked at the hurt in his eyes when he told me all the bad stuff that's happened to him, and then the spark in them when he was telling me about all his dreams come true and the ones still in process. 

We talked for hours.

And even after we said goodbye, my mind's just been racing and meditating on all we talked about today. I look back at how I was all those years ago, many things I had forgotten, all the dreams I had back then and how many of them have come true, and how my core me is still the same, yet how much I have changed and learned, much of that learning through falling. 

Because I've learned it takes great courage not to fall, but to learn to get up every single damn time and say, HEY, I CAN DO THIS. 

In my opinion, one of our educational systems' biggest failure is that you get taught about math, chemistry, biology, physics, you name it, yet you are not taught about how to live, how to love, how to pursue your dreams, how to handle heartbreak, how to live a passionate and fulfilling life, how to enjoy ice cream on a sunny day and how good it feels to go barefoot on grass.

How one of the most important things in life is to never lose that childlike spark and sense of wonder about the world around us.

And eventually we get lost in the hecticness of life, we forget to stop and just enjoy the little moments. We forget we are HERE, RIGHT NOW, IN THIS MOMENT, and that whatever happened before it's already over and whatever may come next it's not yet here anyway and may never actually come to pass. 

We forget to ask ourselves if we are actually happy doing what we are doing, and if the answer is no… what are we waiting for to change it?

We forget sometimes it IS okay to feel sad, to feel lonely, and that it IS okay because we are human after all.  That it is normal to want to be alone for a while, that it is normal to want that hug at 2am on a chilly night and that it IS okay to have a bad hair day and just stay home. 

We get lost. 

I get lost. 

I get lost in  the day-to-day, in overthinking way too much and getting worried over things that aren't really important. 

But in the end, we all find our way. No matter how crazy or bad we think a situation is, eventually it all works out and we are left with a valuable lesson and an extra notch of strength. Every scar is not meant to be hidden but worn proudly instead, because just like every soldier gets medals of honor, every scar says I-HAVE-LIVED. 

I don't want to be whatever title is a synonym of success these days. I just want to live passionately and feel passionately and dream passionately and TRY to be the best person I can be every day a little more surrounded by the people I love. 

We are nonconfirmsts. We are dreamers. We want MORE.

It comes with a price, for "these times are hard for dreamers" but I know no other way to live.

Kerouac put it too well when he wrote “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

I just marvel, at how the Universe conspires in our favor. How an opportunity comes out of the blue and it's up to you to get up and grab it. How people come and go, and how it IS okay for people to come and go from our life, those who must stay, stay.  How things happen when they're supposed to happen, given you steer in that direction through action. 

That things take time, and that sometimes you want time to get by quickly but also sometimes flies by TOO fast and before you realize it's gone.  That every single moment counts because you don't know when all of it will be gone. 

"Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore" (But meanwhile it flees: time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail)

That if we do good, we get good. And if we do bad, we get bad. 

How it is okay to say no, to people, to relationships, to opportunities, to things, if they're not gonna make us a better person. 

That true friends DO exist, it's just a matter of finding them. Or them finding you. And that caring for a friendship goes both ways. 

That letting go, letting go of all bad feelings and insecurities is the way to go. To let go for a living.

How the Universe sends you something in the right time, a sign, a good conversation like the one I had today, a new friendship, a rekindled friendship, a kid smiling back at you in the street, to constantly remind you that you shouldn't be taking yourself too seriously, or a reality check slap to get you back on track on what really matters.

Today made me get my heart and mind back on track in so many ways. 

I'm very happy and thankful about rekindling a very valuable friendship. Have a friend you haven't talked to in a while? Just do it.

And maybe, maybe I'm just crazy and you get nothing from this, or maybe we are all crazy and I can make you think about what I've been thinking about all day. And maybe you read a paragraph and you thought "I'm done with this nonsense" or you read the whole thing just out of curiosity, 

All that matters is you realize you are HERE, RIGHT NOW, IN THIS MOMENT, totally, utterly and completely ALIVE, even if it's for a few seconds. 

And you smile. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dear Young Dreamer:

May, 2012.

You and I sit, face to face in the middle of the street. I don't sit on the sidewalk because it would be harder to see you, and for the conversation we are about to have, I need us to be facing instead of next to each other. 

It's around midnight, which has become our usual rendezvous time or so it seems. Time for french fries and cold waffles in the park and sneaking into your house and changing two flat tires at 2 a.m. We seem to discuss what really matters late at night, when the world around us has gone to sleep and it's just us. As it should be. The world does seem to interfere in how we relate so this is the perfect time to be real. The dark of the night holds our words and the silence of the night lets the whispers of our hearts sound louder creating our own micro universe for us to exist in.

All the hours leading to this moment I've been terrified to my bones, an eagerness that has been chasing me for the past months in thinking of this day. But now, finally with you. I feel perhaps not calm, but completely focused. Centered. Grounded. 

Small talk lasts only a couple of minutes, as there is no time to lose for we have wasted too much time already. I have wasted too much time already. 

You have just come from a party and you have sneaked out of your house so we can talk. So we sit, and I open my mouth. The night is cold, but there is fire inside of me like the brightest of embers and the words just piece themselves together like a necklace of atoms, one by one forming molecules. I speak endlessly. You nod from time to time, give me a shy smile, or only stare at me. Tonight I can't seem to bring out any words from you and the silence makes itself noted.  Still, I go on. If there is one thing I have learned is not to keep these kind of feelings captive, for they need to be set free. I sense and fear your silence but the flames inside of me make it impossible to stop.

I say all what I have ever meant to say and keep nothing in. In my entire life I have never been so sure of what I wanted as I am in this moment. So my lips utter words my spirit has been longing to say for so long.

You look back at me with your big, brown doe eyes and the curly hair that frames your face. You don't realize, but I am equally surprised as you are to hear those words out loud. So I say them again. This time, I think, I say them for myself to hear. And I keep saying them over and over, and it feels good. It feels like a dam has broken and now the might of the river runs freely. There is an organic beat to those words, like a song I've yet to fully understand.

I then proceed to give you what I have been working on for so long. I get the envelope that sits next to me on the pavement, and which holds my heart inside and hand it over to you.

I ask you to see it in private, and you nod. 

A security guard comes over to say it's not allowed to park where I have parked, and I say I will be leaving shortly. He mumbles angrily and leaves. We both stand up and I give you a hug. And I don't want to let go. For the past years I have taken pride in learning not to overthink and 'letting go for a living', and I have, that is why we are here, tonight, I let go of my insecurities and dared be happy. I take pride in letting go but I don't want to let go of you. Not now, not ever. I've always been one to cherish human contact and the closeness of you next to me one more time electrifies my skin like a powerline plugged directly into each neuron in my brain.

We both walk away, I get into my car, look back one more time at you walking towards your house, and I drive away into the suburbs and into the night. 

We both know the rest of the story and I will not say more than I need to, only that it was then I learned not all fairy tales have happy endings. Some fairy tales are meant to be enjoyed while they are written until suddenly the pages run out and "The End" must be hastily written on the very last one. It was also then I learned not even words like flames are enough to melt the ice cap that sometimes grows over hearts.

You know, I carry loads of memories of what little we both shared. But perhaps among the most special ones are the day we just drove around and ended up having dinner at Friday's, and the day we ended up at Kloster and while I was ordering the salad I was going to take to my best friend's house, how I kept thinking how your smile glowed under the restaurant's dim lit space. The little quiet moments. At the time, I was too afraid to admit I wanted that feeling of being with you to last forever and beyond the clouds into a million sunrises and sunsets of holding your hand. 

Ours was a story of ups and lows, like a roller coaster, of headspins and plunges, and turns we both certainly did not expect. We both laughed, we both made mistakes. My share of mistakes is what haunts me to this day. I think we both learned from our story. I for one, came to know regret, and these endless nights where my thoughts race like galloping wild horses know how many times I have felt sorry and how I should have done this, or that, differently.

Traces of your smell linger in the fibers of my senses, and how your skin felt intertwined with mine is now just sensory memory my spirit aches on remembering, like a little mark on my soul permanently etched with a white hot iron. Every note of the songs we both used to love and show each other hit my heart like delicious tiny sound bullets I keep torturing my spirit with.

Oh what a terribly beautiful thing our story was, and what a nuclear winter it brought and how it forever changed me, how it undeniably changed us all. Oh how beautifully heartbreak stings, like an all too familiar thorn safely pinned with all its might underneath my sternum.

To the memory of what once was, of what could have been, and what is no more, and to the memory of what we shared, hazy and golden, like a bright Saturday afternoon nap, Dear Young Dreamer.


This video was recorded one day before giving you the envelope. And this is what was in it. Like I said back then, I gave you my heart in that envelope. My pictures, both from my phone and my camera, with a mix of words from the songs we (used to) love, some altered to fit better and my own words. Here is everything I ever meant to say.

(Please watch in HD and fullscreen so you can read the book. I know, it takes a while to load) Then you can see more pictures below.


the envelope, moments before i delivered it to you

piecing together everything i ever meant to say

stolen homemade waffles and sharpie tattoos at the park

two flat tires at two a.m.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When the world was sleeping

Back in December I was out of the city with my family in a really nice resort taking time off everything, since my previous blog post it was the first time we were spending out to try and get some solace together. 

It was here one night where I met Alessia, we had only talked online before and we got together here, in the vaporous and humid night at the resort, and we went exploring and laughing and talking about everything while everyone was already sleeping. There is something about taking pictures of someone right when you meet for the first time, you get to know them along your lens.

My blog has been silent, way too silent for way too long, but it's finally time to speak out.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'll be seeing you around, Abuelita

My grandmother has passed away, at 6am on this brisky sunday morning.

There's a new cloud in the sky,
There's a new tree sprouting from rich, moist, mossy soil,
There's a new star shining bright like diamonds in the Universe,
There's a new leaf on a tree,
There's a new drop of rain,
There's a new breeze running free and playful across the world,
There's a new wave in the Sea,
There's a new empty space where you used to be.

But I see you in every corner, in every plant, in every flower, in every single thing that surrounds me, for that's what you were made of: stars, nature, sun, flowers and boundless love that never stopped burning like the brightest of bonfires.

From Nature, which you loved so much, you came, and to Nature, which you taught us all to love so much, you now go back, to become part of it all once more

My friend, my confident, my personal storyteller, my nurse, my cook, my play partner, my teacher, my second mother, my angel, my shining star, the sweetest perfume on Earth.

For all the laughs we shared, our several inside jokes and secrets, and how you greatly made me into the man I am today,

I'll be seeing you around, Abuelita.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hours before departure

I sit here, packing, and I feel really nervous. But not in a bad way. I'm eager-nervous. Happy-nervous. I go through the list of things I have to take with me in my mind, and run by everything twice or thrice, making sure it's there in my suitcase. I check again. And again. Aaand again. I dont want to leave anything. It's a very small suitcase since I won't be staying that long, but it serves its purpose. I also carry my blue backpack, which I've been using since junior high or earlier, which always comes to all my adventures, and this time comes carrying my camera gear, some chocolates my Dad gave me, my little Star Wars moleskine journal, two pens, a sharpie, a hoodie, my headphones and all my personal documents, my boarding pass, my passport, my ID, the works.

10 years I have waited for this moment. When I will FINALLY get to see my favorite band live. Bands like this one never come down here, Guatemala is far too small a country and the general music taste lies somewhere else very far away from what I like, so thats why it gets REALLY frustrating. I grew up with their tunes embedded in my spirit, and now, I'll get to experience that first hand, their music being created right before my eyes and ears and senses. It's no longer watching a DVD, a youtube video or the albums. This is it, this is the REAL DEAL. This is one of my life's dreams coming true. If you had told me 10 years ago, I would one day see this band live, I wouldn't have believed it. 

I still remember sitting in an internet cafe, with a 56kbps connection, where I downloaded two songs from this relatively new band... The Used , and I loved those two songs instantly. One of those songs is still my favorite song up to this day, and those who know it and those who I've dedicated that song to, know how much it means to me, and how much of an impact this band has made in my life. One of the reasons why I ever first picked up a guitar was so I could play The Used. Their music stood by my side through thick and thin, through the best and the worst, while growing up, and always inspired (and still inspires) me in a way only those who love music passionately can grasp and understand. 

Saturday October the 20th will mark a very important point in my life. 

Dreams DO come true, all they take is a little patience and hard work, and that is one valuable lesson I've learned during my life. 

The time closes in. I finish packing and re-checking everything. The moment gets closer and closer and I cannot help but feel happy beyond words. In less than 6 hours, I will already be in Mexico City. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

La Fototeca's Creative Weekend, Part two

Second part to the amazing weekend spent with my team at La Fototeca.

our brainstorming

on our way back home