010//My Kindness is Raw

People say that I will change
As if the world can harden me

They have looked at me with the same knowing in their eyes,
since I was 15 years old
As if they can predict that one day my kindness will be all used up

it has been eight years since I first noticed it
the only difference between now and then
is that I cannot be used, stepped on or pushed aside

My kindness is as raw as ever.

 

 

With Love,

Kolina

 

 

009//My Mother is a Shapeshifter

How can i understand
what it means to provide a home
when i have not felt
what it’s like
to have
two hearts beating
together

i age, and think to myself
that i understand
sacrifices
willpower
strength
and resilience

without ever having
the expectation to reciprocate
the way She has
moulded Herself to fit my life

when our souls were empty
she was the river that filled me first
when i was tired
She would rise as sunshine
to help me grow
when i was weak
She became my energy
only to give up what little She had left

how did i get here
if not for Her

She is a fortress 
a barricade that rose
around me
that fought against the world
for a single soul
the wall that has held me strong

My mother is a shapeshifter
and I am trying to flow
into the ebbs and waves of who she is

so that i too
can lay myself down
and ask
who do you need be to be?

With all of the love for my angel Mama on earth, and my angel Oma in heaven.
I am the luckiest to have you both.
Kolina

Keep fighting, Stop Struggling: The Miles Levin Story

On the path of others
Are resting places
Places in the sun
where they can meet.
But this is your path
And it is now.
Now, that you must not fail
weep,
If you can.
But do not complain
The way chose you-
And you must be thankful.
–Dan Hammarakjold

Something beautiful I wanted to share.

With sunshine & love,

Kolina


*** Image from an unknown source, please email me at withlovekolina@gmail.com if you know the artist so I can give proper credit.

Places Love Exists (Europe Edition)

For about as long as I can remember I have been showered with love. I am so unbelievably lucky to have grown up in a family that said “I love you” more than necessary (you can never say it enough).  I’ve always inherently known that love exists. Love is important. Love is a powerful emotion that guides passion, and caring, and changes the way we interact and give to those around us. However, what took me some time to appreciate is the multitude of ways in which love manifests itself around us. In fact, is has become a huge fascination of mine to search for it everywhere. So in little notes and scribbles I have acquired lists of places where I think love exists. Here is the Europe edition.

  • On a ferry boat in Greece where a father pretends to be a choo-choo train for his little boy up and down the isles.
  • The families on the streets of Paris. Both mom and dad cuddle and play with their children before they brace for the night ahead.  A heartbreaking form of love.
  • A teenage girl walking down the street holding her father’s hand.
  • The driver who skyped his Canadian friend on our way to the airport in Athens
    • Also, the way this taxi driver so absolutely adored his life.
  • A woman walking past me in Florence on the phone, pep talking her friend.
    • “You got to give it all you got and if that doesn’t work you are going to try something else. You can do this.”
  • The strangers on the street who helped my family get me to the hospital in Greece who then texted AND emailed us to see how we were doing.
    • We were no longer in their country anymore and they were still checking in.
  • The man in Italy who thanked me profusely for buying a single pen from him at his merchant stand. He clearly used this shop as a main source of income.
    • He apologized so many times for not being able to speak english. I wish I could have apologized to him for not being able to speak Italian.
  • My aunt who I have only seen a few times in my life, hugging me and crying as we drove away from her house in Nürnberg, Germany.
  • The family on the pier at Fuschl am See, Austria.
    • “Papa, Mama, Komm!”
  • An old folks home that was having an afternoon dance in Munich, Germany.
    • We stood in the streets, watching through an open door, as a room was filled with moving feet and laughter
  • The way my heart felt when I walked into a room and was embraced by friends that I had not seen for years in Schwabach, Germany.
  • The way thousands of voices sound when they gather arm in arm and sing a song called “Wahre Freundschaft” (true friendship) while the sun is setting on a field in Romania.
    • Also, the way culture has a way of embracing your identity and binding two people together in forever friendship.
    • Also, the act preserving a culture.
  • Le mur des je t’aime, or the wall of “I love you’s” in Montmatre, Paris.
    • I sat at watched as couples young and old, kids with their parents, and friends kissed and posed for selfies in front of the wall that has ‘I love you’ written in 250 languages.

I think the take away here is that it’s everywhere and its all-encompassing. In the past I have often tried to decide which forms of love were more important or unimportant to me. I didn’t give romantic love any sort of value until I experienced it. I know the earth shattering reality of what it means to share love with friends and family while they are still alive, because I know loss. There is heartbreaking love. There is love for places. Love for strangers. Love for humanity. There is SELF LOVE.  I’ve learned it’s all so very important and the ways in which love is present in your life changes. It’s easy miss out on the beauty of one form just because you’re too busy looking for a different one.

Most importantly though (here comes the cheese) … give love. everywhere. always. to everyone (including yourself). no matter what.

With Love,

Kolina

008// When does Compassion Become Naivety

I tuck the people I meet into hidden parts of myself and they get lost;
preserving their goodness in me like flower petals hidden in a book.
They are pressed perfectly in time this way
and in so doing I am unable to hold onto the ugly.
I see only the parts of them that are fragile, angelic and delicate-
and I keep nothing of them other than the impression they left when they first impacted me
I did not realize the danger of seeing beauty where it does not belong
until I found it making a home inside my heart

when does compassion become naivety

k.tavares

Daily Prompt: Retreat

Some random musings as I consider the word “retreat”:

When I think of a retreat I think of getting on a plane and starting a new life.
I am stepping off of the platform, nothing but my pack on my back, no plans other than to find a place to stay. A place for me, a place where I can retreat to when it’s rainy or the language barrier becomes too much.

When I think of retreat I think of running. Red hot sun burning on my back as I pound my way down the beach in my bare feet. Hard breaths in and out as I heave. Breathlessness is where I retreat too when I need to be reminded I can breathe.

When I think of retreat I think of you. Making myself so small and tiny against you so that nothing can hurt me. I am curled up and safe as I retreat into the spaces between your heart and your brain. A place where only you can find me.

When I think of retreat I think writing. How words mix on paper to remind me this world is how I interpret it. I am continuously weaving and wondering. Placing and rearranging. I retreat to the paper when the world gets too heavy.

When I think of retreat I think of music. The kind that makes your heart so full and heavy. The kind you belt out while sobbing. The kind that fills you mind and soul. I retreat into the vibrating chords until I find a balance between myself and the sounds.

via Daily Prompt: Retreat