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Sacred Life

17 May

This past Saturday I was informed of the passing of inspirational woman, Tam Tran, who I was fortunate to get to know while working together in Americorps through the Public Allies, Los Angeles program. Tam was truly a strong and fierce spirit, dedicating her time advocating for social justice, particularly immigrant rights.

I recall her telling the story of how her and her family’s immigrant experience moved her to become an advocate for others. Here is a video of Tam speaking on immigrant rights.

However, not only did I see Tam as dedicated activist, I have to say, she had a quirky personality to her. I also noticed her urbanista fashion sense. I would often wonder how she found such cool boots and oxfords in the thrift stores. ūüôā

Now, what I failed to mention earlier was that I found out about her death when I was at a wedding with a few of our former co-workers. Sitting in a trench of emotional juxtaposition, I was reminded again of how SACRED life is. The message that life must be lived to the fullest in every moment rang loud. We can’t control when the universe calls us back into our spirit forms. But, we can control how we live our daily lives and make sure the breaths we take in our human form are not wasted.

Tam you will be missed. When I think of you, I think of a womyn who lived indefinitely in the moment and didn’t waste a breath on the trivial.
Thank you for all you have taught me and the community through your life.

LINK to Article on Tam

05.18.10 Tuesday Night Cafe will be dedicated to Tam

[Tam, I heart this pix of u!]

remembering joy de la cruz

5 Oct

joy de la cruz

joy de la cruz

today was the 6 year death anniversary of a dear sister-friend, joy de la cruz. being so, i found myself drenched in thoughts & emotions about joy, love, life & death. reflecting on the many lessons i have learned from joy’s passing, i recall how immensely i have grown and changed since that one evening in october.

tonight i sat at the dinner table with old ucsd friends. we talked and reminisced about joy. we shared stories about her zany and random tendencies (like how she once slept on top of a denny’s. wtf, i know. i don’t believe it myself.) yet although we pretty much agreed that she was a crazy one, we also agreed that her complicatedly contradictory self is what we loved about her.

referred to as the “fairy god-mother of student activism,” tonight i giggled to myself because it was just so true. she was involved in every movement at ucsd. joy was one of those rare individuals who was all over the place and u just couldn’t figure out how she got around (cuz she had no car) or where she got her energy from (she seemed to always be partying or working, but never sleeping). as much as i tried, i could never quite understand her. but i admired her none-the-less.

so how have i changed since 2003? in too many ways…the reason i always talk about living life in the moment and in true joy is because of the impact joy de la cruz had on my life. if it wasn’t for her, i don’t think i would be this involved in putting my art out into the community. if it wasn’t for her, i don’t think i would be out engaging with people the way i do, trying to understand the heart and passions of those i interact with. because of joy i never want to take a moment or any person for granted. i try to live as honestly and vivaciously as i can.

never take a moment or a breath for granted.u never know when it could be your last.

be true to yourself.

live with no regrets.

live life in love and in community.

don’t postpone joy

…these are the lessons that i’ll never forget from my dear sister-friend.

thank you, joy.


rainbows of transformation

2 Sep

over the past few days i have been contemplating the events going on around me. with the fires buring, the deaths happening in the families of close friends, the illnesses that have come into my life via family members, and all the changes within the social structures i once knew i can’t help but feel exhausted, uneasy, and in a questioning mood. what does this all mean?

essentially, all these occurences could be seen as stimuli for being depressed. but, i don’t neccessarily feel completely melancholy. i just feel like i am waiting for the moment when i can understand what all this means in the context of the universe and where life is taking me, where time is taking us as a people.

as for now, all i can really read into the accumulation of these situations is that CHANGE is inevitable¬†& CHANGE is happening right now even if i don’t want to acknowledge or accept it. What kind of changes will the wind bring for me, my fam, my friends? All i can really do is ask is for¬†PATIENCE to be my companion right now and TRUST that life will continue to unfold beautifully.

and so, i think of rainbows….


rainbows have always been a reminder of inner transformation and the influence of a greater spiritual influence in my life.  whenever i see one, much like when i see pink roses, i feel that i am being taken care of and guided.

the picture above was taken in oakland, ca in feb 2009. my bff jason perez, his partner carmela, and my good friend genesis and i had just arrived and needed to refill our gas tank. although sleepy, i looked up and to my joy i saw this ranbow arching over lake merrit (my favorite spot in the bay area).

to me, i was being told that life is beautiful, that life is where it is suppose to be at for me at that moment. i felt blessed and in love with a world that was able to communicate with me through the miracles of nature. to this day, rainbows mean so much to me. they remind me that life is meant to live in a way in which we illuminate our light to others. we need to give beauty back to the world just as we recieve it in our lives.

today, the image of the rainbow kept popping up in my head despite the ugliness outside and the uneasiness inside me.

may rainbows always fill out lives and flood our eyes and hearts with love, light, and beauty. may they be a symbol that we are always able to transcend.


more info on rainbows….

below is an exceprt from 

check it out for various meanings of rainbows and the colors of the rainbow….

according to the story of noah’s arc:

“The rainbow is called, in this transformational story, a divine covenant sign – in our terms a life and death promise … a divine pledge of:

a) a new beginning when the old is swept away

b) unbroken divine love and care

c) the cyclical evolving of a new world”



we fight, we love

12 Aug
because we just do...
because we just do…
above is my entry in the NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum) t-shirt contest. Hopefully I submitted on time, seriously! ūüėČ


below is my partial muse for the design…


we fight/ we love by q-tip featuring raphael saadiq (listen here)

”¬† we fight and love so much

 sometimes  i get confused of who we are 

maybe if we just stop and chat

¬†we’ll find out who we are “

i¬†don’t think that I could have said it any better than q-tip. sometimes we just talk to much. we get caught up in this and that. too much noise can cloud our true understanding of who we really are. sometimes¬† we let ourselves become reactionary (although it cannot be helped sometimes and may even be neccessary in certain moments).

i say, listen to this song and take a piece of advice from q-tip. whether it’s our reactionary response in relation to another person, an institution, or even ourselves i advise we step back, take a breath, and evaluate each situation from a holistic perspective…maybe it is in these moments of thought and reflection we will find more of who we really are and understand how to share that wonderful person with the world.

hope & happenstance

3 Aug

hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in ones life. hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude.


for the past month or so, i have been taking time out to examine my thoughts and feelings on life & living in order to better understand who i am and who i want to become. for those of you who know me, i have always been into contemplating the deeper meaning of life and happenstance. at times, i have been critiqued for thinking too much. sometimes, i frustrate myself because i do. but i would never change this about myself, because it is in thinking deeply and reflecting¬†upon¬†how the pieces of life’s puzzle fit together¬†that i find¬†the greater meaning in my life.

one thing i have learned in this past month is that hope is crucial to getting where u¬†want to be.¬†without hope how can one move forward in life? we all hope for certain things, but how can we understand hope in a more intimate way? how can we connect with hope at the center of our being? i don’t have¬†the answers. i am still searching. but as i search, i try to practice engaging with what i think hope feels like emotionally and then i attempt to hold that feeling in the core of my being while focusing on whom or what i am hopeful for. it may sound crazy, but i guess u gotta try it to understand.

back in 2003, when i lived in mira mesa/ san diego area, at a time in my life when i was again searching deeply, i would notice that pink flowers were blooming in my front yard. i took these pink flowers as a sign/ symbol from the universe that i should continue to think positively and trust that¬†everything would be taken care of. given that pink roses represent joy, happiness and love,¬†when i started noticing all the pink roses and flowers in my neighborhood and everywhere that went, i felt that it was a sign i was being taken care of and that i should just remain hopeful for my future. everytime i would see a pink flower, especially a rose, it was as though i was being told to TRUST in life’s process.

in these days where i have chosen to pursue a path that has no guarantees (if you’re wondering, i have decided not to go to school to get my MSW, but to pursue my passion for art), i have noticed the resurgence of these pink flowers all around me and i am reminded that i am not alone. i feel the universe guiding me and directing my heart to its truth.

some people stay focused on reality and consistently point out “what-is”. although i see the point of this, we cannot stay fixed upon what-is. we must look beyond and have a vision of something different and something more in order to create a change in our lives. to stay focused upon what-is does not leave room for what-can-be.¬† let us move towards a time where we have an emotional vision of what we want our lives to be so that we can attract it and achieve it.

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