Saturday, September 20, 2014

10 Things I think about on the Paris Metro

Here's 10 things I think to myself, when riding le metro in old Paris *French accent*





1.) "Why are these things so crowded all the time. Ugh. It's just seven more stops.No big deal. Wait, what's that smell?"

2.) "Why are you eyeing me up and down? Yeah, I'm looking at you three. Hoochies with the Jay-Z crop tops. What the heck is your problem? I can eye back, too. I'd love to show you what I'd made of but this is my stop. Laterz"

3.) "Oh God,there's a hot guy right there. Why did I tie my hair into a ponytail?? Did I even put on lipgloss!?  Let me just inconspicuously check myself in the reflection of the door. Crap"

4.) "Oh yeah. Just suck your faces off in front of me. It's just been about five minutes since my sandwich, no biggie. Oh crap, look away. Don't make eye contact again or they'll thi- oh, they're making out again. I'll just stare at the metro stops up there. It's going to be a long ride. I should offer them a napkin"

5.) "Ew. Why is he holding his baguette under his armpits. Isn't he scared tha- oh shit. Her hair just touched it! DUDE. WTF. I'm getting hungry"

6.) "Don't touch my baguette, don't touch my baguette, don't touch my f&@&$% baguette.I don't want air to touch it either. What? Stop judging me."

7.) "I'm so tired. Ugh my heels hurt. What the heck is she wearing? Is he drunk? Yup, he's definitely American. ugh. Americans. Why is he... oh. that's disgusting. I'll be so hungover tomorrow"

8.) "Next time, can you please leave your child at home? Geezus lady my ears hurt. Just give him the damn phone already. Everyone's looking at you. Oh, you're going to not give a crap. Dude, did you see that, she doesn't give a crap. I wonder how my nose looks from the side."

9.) "If you think I'm planning to rob you or blow up this subway because you don't understand my creole, by all means go ahead. Suck it, Frenchies! I bet you're wondering what the heck I was saying a few minutes ago. Yeah, I'm smiling. Look away if you don't like it."

10.) "No, I'm not giving you a euro for that crappy song. Are you kidding me? You suck. that's not music. It sounds like a giant boulder grinding a wailing woman. My ears are hurting like shi- oh, shit. I missed my stop. UGHH"


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blank Pages

Long time no see, readers! Its been a wild ride this summer. I've found myself in various places and came to know many faces. I was travelling around Italy for a time and because there's so many details that I want to remember, I kept jotting them down in my personal journal, every night, every break, every train ride that I can. As a personal challenge, I don't re-read anything that I write in my journal. I let my emotions take control and proof-reading would make it unoriginal.

Nights ago, however, I broke my promise and decided to read some of the previous pages- not all- but some as far as March or April of this year. It's quite fascinating, really. Not my life- but fascinating to experience my emotions a second time through my own words. Of course, there are a lot of spelling errors, some grammar mistakes, some lipstick stains here and there- a tiny smudge of eyeliner that probably got there by my clumsiness. But overall, there was something deeper than I found in these smudged pages. And this was it:

We are never the same person twice. We are constantly changing from the person we think we are, and the person we ought to be, to the person we really are. Each day introduces a new word, a new emotion, a new face, a new book, a new friend, or even a new dream. These written journals were different everyday. Sitting here, reading my own life's story through my own words- wait, not my words, but the words of the person  I was that day- can make one think he's being deceived. There is so much to dig for in between the lines. But I know better than to dig up in my own dirt.

Writing gives you the power to create a reality you want your readers to become acquainted with and then believe solely in. (Even if the reader is your future self.) Whoever I was on May 15th, knew that the Cindy I'd be today, wouldn't care about the little negatives; I'd only want to remember the achievements and the things that made my heart smile that day. I look at the last couple pages of my oh-so-beautiful handwriting and realize that there is an unchanging subject within these inked sheets. Reading words that almost seem foreign to me, I note that there is constant emotion through the curves of each letter, a sigh in every dotted 'i' and a name- a name that seems too familiar, even now. I skim through the words and see his name, a place, a time, a feeling, a question, and then it ends with a promising line...a lingering hope for tomorrow. Tomorrow was always written anew.

Tomorrow is a word heavy with hope itself. But we hope that there exists a Tomorrow and we beam at the thought that Tomorrow will be Today's better half. We focus so much on the coming twenty four hours when sometimes the answer likes within the present. Whatever happened to making Today count? We have all these blank pages, so why don't we fill them up with happy memories- happy words, happy phrases- happy stories. Don't we want to look back at our lives and smile at the good things that happened to us? Don't we want to re-read our life stories the way we re-read our favorite novels and say, "Sh*t, that was a good book."

 I will write every day until I can't no more.And I will carry hope with me, small enough to fit my pocket but big enough to share with others. I will always look forward to having my fingers smell of ink and have paper cuts here and there because it gives me hope; hope that my story will always have the good pages after the bad, sad ones; hope that one day my great grandchildren can read my life and use it to meditate and live theirs.
Every good book has its tears and smiles- and always hope. Hope makes everything beautiful. It makes one sleep at night. I visited Juliet's house in Verona during my trip and Hope was all around me. Girls kept leaving notes for Juliet and couples swore their undying love for each other under Juliet's famous balcony. They all wore it; hope for finding true love, hope for staying in love.

To end this post, I'll quote a book that I'm reading and came across just a few hours ago- literally. It goes like this "Please always remember, the secret of survival is to embrace change, and to adapt. You see, you cannot draw lines and compartments, and refuse to budge beyond them. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair."



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fountains



Dedicated to Mothers everywhere, especially to Silvia Flores, Cynthia Murray, Nancy Moore, Kayleigh Moore, Rosita Cruz, Iris Cuello, Rina Mendez, Liz Betancourt, Melanie Blanco, Thara Blanco and to my guardian angel - Lorena Blanco. 


I found my inspiration for this blog entry exactly a week ago, while I was strolling behind Les Halles in the city of love. The metro station is one of the busiest in the city- everyone's in a rush, everything's in a blur. 

     There was a familiar wave of sound- the gushing sound of spring waters in a hot summer day's whispering breeze. Following the crowd and directing myself to the source of the gurgles, I found myself near the Fontaine des Innocents (Fountain of Innocents) and I pulled out the Mother's Day card I had just bought and sat there for a while- pen in hand, trying to catch my breath and organize my thoughts and words. 
      Writer's block hit me as my eyes concentrated on the water, falling in sheets of crystal, basin by basin, glistening here and there at the touch of the sun's warm rays. A fountain so majestic, with so much beauty with the details of her structure, of her design- is with every right, the center of attention in the park it was placed in. Was that not the purpose in the first place?  To be noticed? To ease the fast crowd and fast life?
          
     Dumbstruck by the beauty and magic, I decided to describe to my mother exactly what I was looking at and share the emotions that penetrated my heart and flowed into my soul that afternoon.

         The words started to flow on the pink flowered card and they described the many cracks and tattered surfaces of the fountain. I sat there amazed at the thought that something so old and wrinkled, probably even forgotten, withstanding the heaviness of times -century after century- can still stand so tall and confident and look ever so beautiful doing so. There is a divine beauty in even the most broken of things. 
       Pen aside, I watched as lovers sat near the fountain, as the men in uniform sat down and enjoyed their subs, stopping ever so often to take a glance at the fountain. There were kids running around and throwing wishes into the fountain with the smiles of everlasting hope and unwritten dreams. It was hard to imagine being in the center of an urban city like Paris- a city that never sleeps, when you find yourself in this little hidden oasis. 
               

     I saw that this was the resting place for walkers by, the place of utter peace and meditation for the troubled mind, the place of inspiration for the poetic heart, the place to cry when you write your first mother's day card abroad, the place to console the tears and the place of finding a spiritual encounter with God. Because that's exactly what I felt when I gazed at le fontaine while thinking of my mother.


       Mom, you, like many other women I admire, stand tall like this fountain I came across. You stand firm in the midst of chaos and troubled waters- firm in your wisdom; firm in your strength; and firm in your faith. Women are God's gift to the world and mothers are the fountain of life. There are no words to describe the love a child holds for his mother. 
      To you mothers who work two, three, four jobs- working tiring hours at the office, in the hospital, in the salon, in the classroom, in the cafe or at home- and still manage to end the day with a heart filled with joy and a smile as radiant as the blue sea- let me just tell you that we love you and we thank you. 
       You are our fountains of rest and of joy- our place of refuge and of hope. We run to you- our angels- for warm hugs and the occasional "everything will be alright" because we only believe it when mom says it. Because mom is the only one who will cry with you and wish she was going through the painful moments for you. 
         You are beautiful with every crease, every love handle, every wrinkle and every silver hair you flaunt. You are beautiful because you were designed that way by angels- and like the fountain, you age slowly and your radiance only grows with time. Like the fountain, you bring us closer to peace. You bring us closer to God. 
           To younger mothers, be like Le Fontaine des Innocents. Be glorious and strong- be a fountain that flows with springs of wisdom, patience, love, joy and faith. Be a fountain that refreshes the heart, cleanses the soul and flows into the lives of those around you. Design yourself in a way that years from now, you will still be the place of refuge your children seek. 
         Mom: you are my fountain of hope; my fountain of peace. I love you so much and I miss you everyday. Happy Mother's Day 

XO, 
Cin



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dangling Keychains

Its been an entire month since I've last posted on the blog. I've been tied with scholastic obligations and this specific blog was very long... very..complicated.

Originally, I was going to name this blog "Locked Forever"- inspired by my trip to the Lover's Bridge a couple weeks ago. I saved the draft and when I added my new material- changed it to "Sinking Keys"... hopefully you'll understand why.

February 26th, 2014

A visit to the Notre Dame in Paris today led me to the infamous Love Lock bridge in Paris- yes, THAT bridge from the show and the movies. Magic surrounds the bridge and its remarkable to read these locks, and see locks locked on other locks due to limited spaces. Its a sight to see! 

As I walked away into the sunset, I faced the inevitable questions that one may come across the love lock bridge. While this may seem as a very romantic gesture that your special someone can do for you, I wondered how many of these locks' love was still locked away forever. How many of these couples are still together? How many of these wedding locks are still tied in holy matrimony? How many of these were locked by cheating, lying hands? If I jump over this bridge, will I be killed by the millions of rusty keys in the water? Skeptical, isn't it?


March 15th, 2014

My blog takes a huge turn today(bad choice of words?) While I first wanted to talk about locking love away forever, the missing airline that is all over the news gave me new thoughts and meditation. 

Trying to go about my daily routine, I took some time to sit down and follow up on the Malaysia airplane and came across different theories. Sitting here, I find myself crying and shaking. For a split minute, my mind created an image of myself in the hands of hijackers and in a few seconds I pictured my mother's desperation, my family, my friends- all wondering where I was.

These families are all connected by two very important keys: they have someone who's missing and they are holding on to hope.

Hope. What do we do with hope? Do we keep locked on it forever and throw away the key? Or do we hide the key under the mattress? 

#prayersforMH370 

April 2nd, 2014 

The time has come to close this blog post. The longer I keep it open, more events trigger my emotions and it's important that I get closure on all these floating thoughts. 

Have you looked at your key chains lately? We hold so many keys that we've forgotten which lock they go to. Some might not even be useful anymore. I still have the key to a diary that I don't even have anymore! 

Life is the same way. Locks - the object of security or safety- can be very dangerous. How many times have we locked pride in our hearts and thrown away the key? Think about friendships lost, and grudges that last a lifetime. The sea of life is filled with so many unnecessary keys- keys that might be too deep to ever find again, keys that have dissolved and disappeared in time. Irreversible. 

How many secrets have we locked away that would've changed someone's life? "I should have told her I loved her." There are millions of murder cases that will never be answered. Their secrets have gone to the grave in history along with its victims.

We lock away our hearts to avoid being hurt. Do you remember what happened to Davvy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean? Ouch. 

We tend to lock ourselves in conformity too often. If you ever dare to chase your dreams, you will need to let go of the known and be open to the unknown. Moving to Paris was the most amazing yet hardest thing for me to. There are countless things that I left behind, things that I had to let go of- things that I lost the keys to and locks that have no keys.

Maybe the key to life is to have less keys. The less keys you hold, the less weight on your jeans- on your heart. Live a life of open locks and an open mind. Don't lock pride, grudges nor bad memories. Why have all that extra clinking? 

Lock away your dreams and throw away the key so that you never give up on them. Lock away love when you find that special someone and you're sure that your love is forever. Lock away hope- because hope is what can keep a heart going, even when the day is hard. Lock away warm memories- because they will make you cherish the past and look forward to the future. 

Take some time to look at your key chain. How many keys does yours have?








Tuesday, February 11, 2014

City of Love but no Lover?



Yeap.
Its that time of year again when the place gets filled with Red Kisses and Roses, and chocolates, and its all about the love movies on TV and Facebook gets overly crowded with hash-tags like #bestboyfriendever #sweetestdateever #love #loveforever #lovehim and then I be like #yolo.

Society has slowly forced single people to look at Valentine's Day as a reminder of how lonely and pathetic they are. So, many of us are getting emotionally prepared for what lays ahead of the week and already we feel as if though we're being smothered with all this lovey mushy atmosphere and we 'pretend' to hate it only because we don't have it. But do we really not have it?

Someone asked me a very interesting question. "Cindy you're in the City of Love and you're single. Do you think that'll get to you?"  Now now, friend. I am not bombarding you lol. This is a legit question. Will it hit me? Will I be annoyed and feel as if though a guy is the only thing that will make me feel happy? Chocolates give me bliss all year round. Screw chocolates on Vday. So my fellow singles, will you be sad and empty on Valentines Day? The way the media and society want you to?

I say screw it! I say lift up your head princess or that tiara will fall. I refuse to sit back and mope around the place when I only live once and hold the key to my own happiness. The day will be spent with my friends and it will be filled with love, laughter, food, beer and facebook messages to my friends at home and my family. Because they are my real valentine- they love me and show me throughout the entire year!

So I suggest you get up and go have fun! I will buy myself a red rose (because I can) and I will treat myself to some wine (because I deserve it) and I will dress in red and wear that strawberry flavored lipstick (because its so sexy.) Because I love myself... because I am my own valentine. Because you gotta love life and love all the little things about it. Celebrate the fact that you are loved. Celebrate the fact that you love that movie, and those old pair of jeans. Celebrate that you love spaghetti or maybe sushi. Celebrate love in all that you do!

I am in love with the idea of love and that is my inspiration for this year's Valentine's Day. I will be out taking pictures with my friends and pictures of lovers in the City of Love. I will flirt with life and be charmed by the Parisian sunset. I look forward to one day spending a romantic get away with my future boyfriend (there's no denying that...) but for the meanwhile, I'll have my own adventures and spend the day of love with love <3

I may be Cinderella but I certainly don't need no Prince Charming to come and rescue me...

Bisou Bisou :*





Saturday, February 8, 2014

Castles, Dungeons but no Dragons

Today I walked on grounds where kings, queens, princes and princesses walked before me- centuries ago.

My friends and I visited the Chateaux de St Germain - a royal palace in the Yvelines department- where all of France's kings resided. But according to the visitor's guide, they only lived in the Royal Palace during the sunny days of the year, and then go back to their other castles when the weather was too bad. You know, normal royal people stuff.

The Palace was stunning and a massive structure. It was almost surreal to be standing inside and getting around the place. It now serves as an archaeological museum and its once courtyard is now a public park.



Fire Place ;) 
My heart pounded with curiosity as I entered each room; their arches, enormous windows, the every detail in each center ceiling crest and doorways exhilarated me. There was something sensual about the King's king-sized fireplace. Was this where he would seduce his queen? Or his mistresses?

Would I have enjoyed that? I think maybe yes.

Moving on ...

We strolled outside to the courtyard, and dazed at the scenery of it all. Even thought it's winter and the weather looks depressed- it was beautiful. I bet even the hundreds of servants would forget about a hard day's struggle and take a few minutes to gaze at the horizon of mountains, trees, French earth. The immensity of the Kingdom was that of a fairy-tale book.


Again, the imaginative spirit took me away to centuries back and I smiled as I saw myself in my medieval corset dress- emerald green with gold velvet drapes and golden thread work - strolling in the courtyard overseeing the gardening peasants and having them take the red roses to my headquarters.


Yes, I would've been one of those princesses.
I would've had a gigantic library filled with fiction books and art pieces of my personal private painters. The king would have made for me giant pillows of my favorite color linen and engraved on them stones of the rarest kind- all just for me. (Yes, Ive given this a lot of thought)
 We came across the edge of the courtyard terrace overlooking Paris and what used to be the kingdom's plantations. There were seats along the edge and it wasn't clear to me if they had existed in the days of your majesty or put there for the convenience of tired tourists (the place is HUGE).  Regardless, I bet the princesses had their romantic getaways and mischievous acts of love here. I bet it is an awful romantic place to visit in the spring- when the flowers are all over the park and courtyard and the majestic fountains are turned on. I'm not a princess but I spent the day inside a castle. Not a princess but I had my royal getaway.  



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pour L'Amour De Paris



Today, I was taken away by the fascinating portraits of Photographer and Filmmaker: Brassaï (1899-1984)


My friends and I went over on the metro to a photographic art exhibition and waited for almost forty five minutes in line just to get in.

It was spectacular. Brassaï dedicated his time to capture the life in Paris during the 20th century, making sure he seized each moment of the Paris night life, the Parisian women, his friends (including Picasso) and of French life, prostitutes and all!


I sat for fifteen minutes to watch one of Brassaï's own film. A legit black and white film- grainy and all! It was magical. The audience consisted of some elementary students, some adults and myself. We all laughed and tilted our heads from left to right when the images turned over. The film was about nature- a clever humanization of wild animals in their natural habitats. For a few minutes, I was in Paris of 1924, a moment in time during the World War, a moment in time when Parisians enjoyed everything that the French rightfully should. 
He captured lovers strolling down Concorde hand in hand under night's romantic fog.. he captured children and parties, artists at work; he captured his lovers (Or so I believe since he used one particular girl in many of his sensual portraits) and many of Paris' architecture. He has captured the soul of a fascinating city in a time of chaos and shared it with us.




Paris hasn't changed a bit ! I watched the women in his photographs- so elegant and poise! They seemed intoxicated with feverish happiness and accessorized with luxury and shimmer. Some women in the portraits had their cigarette in one hand, wine glass in other and still managed to look glamorous and sensual; dangerous but adored. This is the Parisian spirit reflected in the people today. Paris is outlined by gorgeous buildings and their gothic designs. Some are more classical but that only adds to its fascinating history. Paris is filled with young and daring love.


The exhibition runs up until March of this year. If anyone is around, this is a definite Must See! :D
Exhibition location: Hötel de Ville.
From 8th November 2013 – 8 March 2014