Dancing on Flowers

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A whimsical play of colors, I may add to it but I really enjoy the negative space.

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Bird

There was a bird
with feathers so delicate
they looked like silk,
in the night sky
the feathers would glisten
like they were kissed by stars.

The bird would chirp and sing
from an old tree branch
it would stand on the very edge
singing songs sometimes sweet
sometimes filled with pain,
songs so deep
the bird’s chest would puff out
with ruffled feathers
that looked like wool
the kind that keeps you warm
in the coldest winter night.

There was a bird
that simply lived
quite satisfied
with an external manifestation
of internal beauty.

– Vanessa Hernandez

+ "Eternal Springtime" by Auguste Rodin. modeled about 1884

I live to fall in love

I live to feel as I felt
when I was with you.
I live for butterflies
to control my stomach,
I live for my knees
to go weak by a touch,
for the days to grow long
because time stands still
when I’m with you.
I live for the sound
of a voice
that makes it all okay,
for the cold days
when you can keep me warm,
I live for the anxiety
I feel before we meet
I live to fall in love.

No matter
how many times
I claim to be okay
when I’m alone
I still am not whole
part of me is missing
part of me needs you,
because
I live to fall in love.

-Vanessa Hernandez

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Angry Died

I feel angry
I feel so angry
I want to scream
I want to break
I want to punch a wall
until my knuckles bleed
or the wall breaks.

I feel angry
when I loose control,
when someone takes away
my ability to protect myself
my liberty
when someone enters my space
without my permission
I feel like my body
won’t be able to sustain
another assault
and its anger that flows in my veins.

Feeling angry is exhausting
its blinding and draining
so I decided
Angry died
what arose from the ashes
was a warrior
fortified with a generation of suffering
strengthened by a generation of hope
solidified by compassion
embodied in a human.

-Vanessa Hernandez

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Runaway

All I wanted was to runaway
Go somewhere
I would be safe
Thinking of my apartment
I saw all my possessions
Wondered if I never came back
what were the things
I couldn’t live without?
I stared at my belongings for hours
Maybe for days
Trying to understand what mattered
Trying to evaluate
What baggage was unnecessary
I stared at my hands
Wondering if I had the strength to pick?
I started to move quickly
Decisively and with precision
Until all I packed were
My electronics and my journals.

I wanted to runaway
Without leaving myself behind
my words, my pain, my story
My ball and chain
That drags behind me
That pushes me to attain the unlikely
and keeps me tethered to the ground.

I wanted to runaway
And I didn’t have anywhere to go.

I wanted to drive until
there was no more road
I wanted to get on a train until
The track ran out
I wanted to walk until
my legs couldn’t carry me further
I wanted to ride on a boat until
It kissed the horizon

I wanted to collide with life
I wanted to relish every sensation
Be passionately loved
Feel every fiber in my body
Cry out in pleasure
Tingle from overstimulation

I thought I wanted to runaway
But really
All I wanted
Was a reason to stay.

-Vanessa Hernandez

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It Takes Courage

It takes courage
to be true to oneself.
It takes courage
to recognize the potential for good in others
and strength to turn away
from those that wish to do others harm.
It takes courage
to know there is evil in the world
and to protect oneself with light and faith.

It takes courage
to be kind
to be humble
to people that may not reciprocate.
It takes courage
to get up every day
with a determination
that today will be better than yesterday.
It takes courage
to love someone else more than oneself.
It takes courage
to live a meaningful life.

Some days I don’t feel courageous
Some days I feel fragile
Like I need someone courageous by my side
On those days
I take a deep breath
and I keep breathing
until I’m next to the person that gives me strength
or I find my own strength
because it takes courage
to live a meaningful life.

-Vanessa Hernandez

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Forgiveness

One of the hardest things anyone can do is forgive others. I think that once a person is able to forgive someone that person is freed from a mental and emotional toll that holding on to anger and pain inflicts on oneself. I remember hearing that

“You need to forgive otherwise that person continues to have power over you. Forgiveness is important for yourself.”

I always thought about that and I wasn’t sure if I was the kind of person that would be able to forgive any and all transgressions. I believe there are some things that may not be forgivable, at least I know there are some people I am simply unable to forgive. I am not sure if this makes me a weak person, but I know that I do not want to live my life feeling resentment and anger for any small or big transgressions others commit.

As I write this I wonder, what does it typicallytake for me to forgive? Most of the time I am able to simply rationalize that whatever happened is small and trivial that in the larger scheme of life it doesn’t really matter and forgiveness isn’t required. By this I mean, although I may have a flash of anger when someone cuts me off on the highway while driving, that isn’t really something serious enough that I need to forgive someone else for. Just like I don’t really consider forgiving the man that doesn’t hold a door for me, or the person that stands in my way, these are simply every day annoyances that I simply acknowledge but don’t let them affect me.

I have learned I need to forgive instances in which people have inflicted pain on me or hurt my feelings through intentional actions. It’s not easy to forgive and it doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on the situation I have had to grapple for a long time with the pain and the anger I feel to find a way so that I am not blinded by both. I used to try and understand why a certain person may have decided to take actions that caused me so much pain, but I stopped doing that because I didn’t like what it was telling me about humanity. I needed to find the value in forgiveness without necessarily understanding what prompted the person to do what he or she did.

What I found is that when I was able to forgive someone my inner peace and internal equilibrium were restored.

I didn’t waste my energy on constantly being angry instead I found that by forgiving someone I felt freed from the pain. This is something that sometimes I need to practice constantly because I choose to keep certain people in my life that have hurt my feelings in a significant way. I don’t believe this makes me a doormat instead I believe it makes me someone that is compassionate, understanding and imperfect.

Forgiveness is critical to be able to fully participate in society and build meaningful relationships. It is also something that a person has to work at every day because depending on the type of wrong, there are some things that are harder to forgive than others.

When I started I mentioned there are some things I simply don’t know how to forgive, for me those actions are murder, sexual assault, and torture.

Memories

I lost and found myself
In my memories
Some were too painful to relive
The moments I shut myself down
I erased those from my memory.

I can’t wash away the past
But I can decide what my future will be.

I buried this thought deep in my subconscious
So I could
Keep my feelings in check
Attempt to understand everything around me
Without getting lost in the noise
My emotions so close to the surface
My chest would quiver
And I needed a way to calm myself,
So I started to recall happy moments
I remembered these events in perfect detail
In my mind I’d play them over and over again
Until I found myself
Able to breathe without trembling.

I lost and found myself
In my memories
Now I guard my most prized possessions
My mind,
My heart,
My spirit
And search for moments
That bring me joy
That foster peace.

-Vanessa Hernandez

Twenty Nine

As a child I wondered
Who the woman I would become
Would be like?
At eleven I learned
How to carry myself in public,
At thirteen I felt certain
I already knew myself,
By sixteen I felt wise,
At eighteen I was freed,
And at twenty one I realized
Thirteen year old me
Was really just a child
Masquerading as a self actualized adult.

I stumbled through
The next eight years
Coming to terms with
My adolescence
Trying to embody this adult
I had always tried to be.
At some point I realized
My mind spent too much time
Reliving my past
As though trying to find something
That was never missing.

Today I am twenty nine,
And I can say with certainty
The woman I am today
Is the one
Eleven year old me would be proud of,
Thirteen year old me would dismiss as boring,
Sixteen year old me would imitate,
Eighteen year old me would be skeptical of,
Twenty one year old me would be excited for.

I am a mosaic of my past
That has come to represent
Someone that is still the same
And so very different at the same time.

This birthday feels like
A placeholder
An antecedent
To the next stage in my life
Where I’ll share my life with someone else
Hopefully live as part of a family.

-Vanessa Hernandez

Semblance of Extraordinary

I gave up on perfection
Several years ago
I never settled for average
I simply chose to strive
For an ideal
Knowing if I was lucky
I’d get close
To something that
Resembles perfect.
I start along a path
With no single definition of perfect
Only a sentiment
That average and mundane
Could never define my existence.

Perfect is a semblance of extraordinary
As I grip to that ideal
Doubt and uncertainty creep in
Echoes that are barely audible
Mixed with ambient noise
As to mask or maybe expose my anxieties.
So I avoid perfection
Not because it’s unattainable
But once attained
It becomes average,
Instead of searching for extraordinary
I embrace the mundane
Of every day life
Letting the details register
Waiting for the moment
I can offer my help.
I never settled for average
Instead I let the average
Guide my senses
So when something extraordinary
Is required
I am at peace with my environment.

I gave up on perfection
I settled on a semblance of extraordinary
By choosing an equilibrium
Between my inner peace
And the everyday bustle
Of living an average life.

-Vanessa Hernandez

There Can Be Better

There are moments to fear,
there are moments to be brave,
there are moments to take cover,
there are moments to make advances,
there are moments to gasp in awe,
there are moments to simply stand still.

To live a fulfilling life
it is not necessary
to predict every possible outcome,
it is necessary
to act with a conscientious purpose
so the future can be
a better world than the present.

-Vanessa Hernandez

Mused

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I love the beautiful imperfections