012// Missing Season

I should have known it when I felt it first –
when the colours on the leaves started changing 
and the air became real crisp in the morning- 
It’s in the glimmer of rays that shine onto windows
and reflect through condensation on a glass of water-
the one that I held to my lips right before I smelled it-
right before it filled me up and I sighed it out.
Then I wished I could have it back again. 
It lingers in the mist and rests among the leaves-
only to let its presence be known by the soft crunches that sound so familiar. 

She told me her heart
always aches this time of year 
and I said “listen, I get it.
Autumn is missing people season.
At least it’s poetic.”

With a sentimental heart,

Kolina

10.21.17

It was Romantic

Recently, I took the train to Toronto and immediately felt nostalgic. The sun was rising like a bright orange globe hanging over Hamilton and glimmering just.. ‘so’ through the windows.  This was the first time I’d been on a train since I returned home from galavanting through Europe with my family this summer. I felt that old familiar ache you get in your chest when you’re ‘happysad’:

happysad
/ˈhapē/ /sad/
adjective: your gut is clenching because you’re just so giddy and every experience is flashing past your eyes as if it’s just happened. But your heart is also sinking because it won’t happen like that again.

It was wonderfully peaceful, being on the train, and made me reflect on how lucky I am to have had that time to travel with my family– a gift that not many get to experience.

On the way home I stumbled upon the poem “Dead Poets” , by Lang Leav. The story goes that a young girl pledges her life to the poetry that lives among the shelves of an old library. They are filled with authors that have now passed. The poets are sad for her as she doesn’t realize she will now relive heartache as it happens to her throughout her life.  She ends the poem concluding that “poets are among the damned… having hands that do not know what they seek”.

I resonate with this. It seems that people who experience hardship somehow make beauty out of their lives. It’s incredible to me and I want to do the same. However, this hardship can become a safety blanket. A warm space to crawl under when the world seems a bit smaller and darker.

There seems to be some preconceived notion- through media, books & films that the main character must overcome great sorrow, heartache and hardship to make the story riveting. There was a big part of me that romanticized hardship as a child. I used to put so much weight into yearning for a tragic beauty. For a life that threw me around, beat me up, and spit me out a strong independent women who could take on anything. Realistically, that’s exactly what I got, but is it romantic? 

Much of my poetry is quite sad, or reflects on hardship that I have experienced or witnessed. Sometimes I wonder what I would write about if those events where not part of my life. What will I write about when I get to a point in my life when there is no sad or heartbreaking poetry left? Why is poetry better when it’s sad? Would I be the person I am today had I not been able to persevere? Probably not. 

I started a new book the other month and in the beginning I wrote “I want to fill this with book with happiness.” A harder feat than I expected considering I spend a great amount my time during the day actively seeking out good. Why is it easier to dwell on the bad, rather than zero in on the good? It seems to me though that we need more celebration of happiness. To make a choice to consciously know it, see it, feel it and remember it.

I want to romanticize happiness. 

Perhaps if poets are meant to re-experience as they create their art, they can then relive the good as well.

Wishing you all a lot of good & a lot light this Monday morning.

With Love,

Kolina

 

 

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

Fuschl Am See

Much of the writing I find myself recording in the little books I carry around with me is observation. Throughout my time in Europe I did my best to see people, to listen to the things that were occurring around me. One day, while my family spent some time on the lake in Austria, a particular family caught my attention and this is what I wrote once I swam back to shore:

 

“I am sitting on a dock in the middle of a lake; it is crystal clear, surrounded by mountains.

The water is cold.

The cold kind of fresh that makes you feel clean when you jump in

A family of four swims up to the dock

There is a dad, a mom, a daughter and a son.

The kids are young.

The boy yells “komm papa komm! Los geht’s!”

They are giggling and all smiles. I watch them for a while wrestling and throwing each other into the water.

Normally these things make me miss my dad- and while this reminded me of the times we used to have together- it made me miss the idea of family as a whole.

For so long I have wrested with the idea that having children is selfish.

That time and resources should be invested elsewhere.

Lying here, mesmerized by this happy little family I feel like I can’t tell myself this anymore.

Someday in the far future I am going to have a family.

I am going to have kids and adopt kids.
From a very young age I am going to look into their shining eyes full of potential and teach them how to take on life and appreciate it with every inch. of. their. souls. “

 

 

With love,

Kolina

Little Books & Cider 

Kelsey and my mom went to the British museum this morning, yet again more proof that my sister has a deeper appreciation and understanding of the old treasures this town holds. We see it differently, each adding our own perspective to this trip, both valid in their own ways. Then their are times that our opinions overlap in one way or the other and it’s lovely to bond and giggle our heads off (normally while my mom looks at us like we’re a little crazy.. which lets be serious we probably are).

While they went off looking at mummy’s, I met my friend Kyela’s old roommate, Brooke in south Kensington for a cider. This is Brooke’s third time in the UK and so we spent some time talking about the lifestyle of the people that live here. We talked about how both of our lives are in very exciting places right now. Graduating (or nearly), deciding which country we might live our lives in, ways to advance our careers etc. Now, more than ever, we have choices to make about the way we want to live our lives and we’re actually at liberty to make them. It seems that the world is at our fingertips should we make commitments and work our asses off to get there. Seems simple right? Maybe not so much but I still stand strong in the though that anything can happen if you’re willing to work for it. Brooke took the subway with my up to oxford street to meet my family (thankyou thankyou for helping my directionally challenged self). On the ride she read one of my little poetry books. She also has one off her own that she sent me some pictures of later on. It was refreshing to connect on a very personal level with someone I had only met once or twice before. We spoke of writing honestly about life experiences. Without filtering, it’s important to capture the raw emotions that navigating through this world brings out of us. We found that we had written about the same topics, often time using different words or images to depict the same feelings. That’s fascinating to me. That we could experience something and describe the same thing in different ways. Brooke if you’re reading this keep writing. Someone some day is going to enjoy it just as much as I do. 


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

007// Finding Home

I wrote the first few lines of this poem in a grocery store parking lot in the notes section of my phone. The idea of home is something I’ve turned over in my mind for quiet a few years now and I’ve never really been sure what to make of it. However, in a hotel bed of all ironic places, I think I finally found the words…

And so that makes me think you really can’t make homes out of human beings.
Because they take things with them when they go.
Like the smell of their baking
or the sound of their voice when you call them on the phone.
They take their laugh
and their cologne
and the way they touch you.
They take the comfort
and the reassurance
and every answer
to every question they leave behind.
We settle like dust into the spaces between their bones
and when they go,
the parts of us that we moved in go with.

Humans are not your home.
you are.

Root into yourself. Dig lower.
Plant love so deep within yourself.
Tuck happiness into the safest corners of your rib cage
so that you always have some where only you know to look
Run your hands over every inch of your body
until you know it as well as the walls of the house you grew up in-
And know that you are home.
Say it as you feel yourself breathing-
One hand on your chest
another entwined in your sweet smelling hair,

“I am home,
this body is home,
my soul is so beautifully safe in this home.”

|k.tavares

006// You Don’t Make me Feel a Damn Thing

Show me that there is more

That there are bumps in your clean cut edges.

That you would rather free fall than let all of the pieces fall into place.

Give me a reason to stop breathing , and make me like it so much that I never want to fully fill my lungs again

I want you to be wild and all over the place

So much so that I could spend my entire life searching and never uncover all that you are

I want you to thrill me

Be so terribly human that it hurts not to touch you

I want to want you but you don’t make me feel  a damn thing

|k. tavares

2014

When Someone dies, You lose them twice.

If you have lost someone close to you, you already know what I am about to say. If you have not, I am so happy for you- because it means that you have not experienced what I’m about to talk about and this is good. This is safe and warm and wonderful and I hope that you do not understand what I’m typing about anytime soon.

Someone close to you dies- physically they are gone. You will look for their face in every crowded room. And you will chase after strangers that look like them until they turn around you realize their eyes aren’t the same. And you will wake up in the middle of the night and cry their name. They will not answer like they have 700 times before. And there will be a hole in your chest where they used to be. You will have thousands of questions. Most of them will not get answered- but you will gain understanding. Losing someone has an odd way of humbling you.

But you lose them a second time when you begin to forget. When memories start to blur together and you aren’t sure if it was their birthday where they said something stupid and everyone laughed or if it was christmas. You can’t remember if that piece of advice is something they actually told you, or if you think that’s what they would have said if they were still here. You start to forget what it feels like to hug them and you’re unsure of what their laugh sounded like. This whole forgetting thing really gets me because it is so damn cruel and unfair. It will feel like it’s your fault, but it’s not. It is so unbelievable human and uncontrollable but that doesn’t mean it won’t drive you crazy because how could your brain betray you like that.  It will catch you so off guard because all of a sudden you can’t remember what they smell like anymore; and you’re lying in their clothing on the floor but you can’t find it and that’s when it hits you that you’ve lost them once again.

That second time will hit you so much harder than any bullet.