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

Heartbreak in Paris

I haven’t written in a while.

Half the time I think about writing something and I forget before I have the chance to do so  OR  I write it all down and think better of it. I’m back and forth between this blogging thing because everyday my brain whispers and shouts some thoughts on publicly sharing my writing:

“no one really cares what you’re thinking”

“maybe someone feels the same way you do.. how will you know if you don’t write it?”

“you’re not doing this for others you’re doing it for YOU”

“everyone’s a writer these days what makes you any different”  also “so WHAT if everyone’s a writer it doesn’t mean you CAN’T do it too” 

“don’t be pretentious” 

“but… it makes my heart happy” 

So today this last little whisper was victorious. These days it rarely seems to win. And in realizing this I’ve made note that maybe I should listen to it more often… but that’s for another blog post. Today I want to write about Paris.

I have written and drooled and dreamed and fallen head over heels for the romantic, mystical wonders that this historical city has to offer. But today I want to talk about the Paris that broke my heart.

Because you see, poverty always seems to hit me right in the centre of my gut. I want to talk about it today because I feel like everyone talks about Paris the way I have in my previous posts. It’s enlightening and enchanting AND I -can’t -believe -how -many -people- I -met AND the food- that- I- ate AND the way the Eiffel tower glistened..just so.. right against the skyline.

But no one talks about the Paris at the end of the metro line. No one talks about the poverty. Or maybe they do and I’m just not listening. Or maybe you can only walk past hundreds and HUNDREDS of men, women and children refugees literally living on the street before you start to question your right to even be in the country you are travelling through.

Let me ask myself this for the 700th time. What right do I have to be travelling for fun, when there are people who do not even have a roof over their heads. The idea that I was just hopping from country to country while those around me didn’t have food to eat was something I had a hard time wrapping my head around during my travels this summer.

“but there are homeless people at home too and you still live there”
why is this so shocking to you? you’re shocked when you see it at home too.”
” what if all of the money I had spent on a plane ticket to get here had been given to people that need it…” 

I hope with my entire existence that I never become apathetic in the face of poverty.

I felt hopeless. Stupid. Uneducated. Naive.
“why didn’t you pay more attention in french class, you can’t even communicate when they ask you something”
“Do they even speak french?”
“why aren’t you DOING something for these people”
“when was the last time you even looked into the refugee crisis, you barely know anything about it” 

When I was 17 I worked with an incredibly impoverished community in Kentucky.  At the time it shocked me to my very core that in such a rich country, there were people who can’t afford to live in proper homes. It made me question what poverty means. The different forms in which poverty presents itself. Why is homelessness so ignored?  Why had I made it to 17 (the age at which most of us have already been accepted to university) and had NEVER been exposed to this type of poverty?

That was five years ago and the issue just seems to get more complicated. Obviously. (I just don’t know how else to put it.) Right now I don’t see any other semi- kinda sorta- “solution” other than to educate myself. It’s the only thing I’ve been able to come up with that may give me some sort of direction. Some sort of path to follow towards the route that may lead to a more just world, a safer place to call home for everyone. This path will most likely lead me to a great deal of dead ends before it leads me anywhere of greater significance. But thats important too.

Most days I just feel really small. The more I learn the more poverty and the issue of homelessness just becomes more convoluted and intertwined. So wrapped up into the way our societies function that I can’t even begin to fathom an end point. That’s not to say I don’t believe in the power of humanity.  I really think we have the opportunity to make a difference.  I just don’t feel like I have any sort of answer and the problem is a whole lot more catastrophic than when I was 14 and thought you could change the world with a middle school fundraiser raffle draw.

I recently attended a talk by Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese who founded “Save the Mothers” . Her advice to those embarking on a journey of global health was to build yourself the biggest toolkit possible. Become an expert and learn everything there is to know about your field of study.  So I’m just going to keep pushing, keep learning, keep observing and searching for the right direction to take. Because right now I am small, but maybe one day, if I work hard enough, I’ll be able to do something with the small amount of knowledge that I’ve had the privilege to acquire.

Paris is awe inspiring and wonderful in all it’s glory. But it is also tear jerking and heartbreaking and a shocking reminder that poverty exists even in the most beautiful places. I don’t think that should be ignored.

I wanted to write about this because it’s all in the way you see it. Recently I changed the heading to my blog. It reads, “This is the way I see the world, and the way I don’t”.

I saw a dad return to his wife and daughter to set up shop for the night. Their bed a small patchwork blanket laid out on a concrete bridge.
I heard a mother rock her baby to sleep while busy tourists chatter and clamber past.
I was walking down a street filled with men, showering in the street fountain because they had. nothing. else.
I passed by the mattresses and piles of clothing. The attempts at making a home out of the streets.

Paris, this is what I saw.

With love,

Kolina

Tips for Travelling Through London 

Our time in London has come to and end and so I thought I might put together a bit of a concluding page of helpful tips for travelling through the city that people talk about all over the world. All in all I did not step off the place and fall in love with this place like I immediately expected, however I’ve never believed in first impressions and so of course the city did grow on my. I found that I loved the areas that were less in the business district and more so in parts of the city I found tucked away while wandering a random street. The nightlife and theatre district was always filled with energy and I’ve definitely decided the city in the evenings is something I’m a fan of. Realistically speaking, if you grew up in a city in Canada, london is going to have pretty much everything you’re used to having…probably more. It was by no means a difficult city to be a tourist in. If I were to go back to England I think I’d travel to some other areas before heading back to the city. However I really think it would be interesting to spend more time there to find the parts of the city that only locals know about. Anyways you’ll have to visit and decide for yourself! 

Here are some things I picked up along the way that may help if you’re travelling there anytime soon:

1. If your phone is unlocked, there is a phone company called “Three” where you can get a UK phone number and 12GB of data for 20 pounds. If you are travelling for longer they give you a code to top this up whenever you run out of data/texts etc. This also works in most European countries you just need to make sure your phone is unlocked or you won’t be able to use this as I wasn’t. 

2. There is wifi virtually everywhere you go– even in most department stores. I even had wifi at Hampton Court Palace. If you’re staying in London you probably don’t even need a phone card. But it can make things easier if you’re trying to communicate with people in the country. 

3. People don’t really tip in London. Generally 10%, and you only tip if the service was actually good. This is because their minimum wage is rather good here and most often tip is already included in your bill. 

4. The tube is amazing and ridiculously easy to use. When you get to the tube station you can buy something called an Oyster card (another card that you can add money too as you go). You’ll scan your card on your way into the tube and then when you scan it on your way out it will subtract that amount from your card based on the distance you travelled. Make sure you scan on the way out or it will take the entire amount off of your card as a penalty. The best part about this system is that the amount caps off at 6.60/ day. So you can virtually ride the tube as much as you want for that amount 

5. Tesco & Tesco express. This is their grocery store (or one of them) You can get anything here, yes including alcohol. The best thing is that they have a meal deal which includes a sandwich, snack and drink for three pounds. For those of you concerned about health I used to get a garden sandwhich, spinach smoothie and organic granola bar. YOU CAN SAVE SO MUCH MONEY IF YOU USE TESCO. 

6. Tourist attractions i.e. Museums, palaces & churches close around 1700 with last entry often taking place around 1630. Get up early if you want to fit everything in. 

7. London Pass– this pass offers you admission into a set amount of tourist attractions over a certain amount of consecutive days (of your choosing) once you’ve activated your pass. It includeds access to a hop on/hop off buss tour as well. The pass gets cheaper the more days you choose to use it. I highly recommend you determine whether you are going to use this pass to its full potential before you decide to buy it. You will most likely save money if you don’t use it.

8. Check out festivals in the area before you go. There is so much going on in this city! While we were there, their summer food festival was going on. Come July there’s a music festival like every two weeks. The queen’s birthday parade happened while we were there too. This is a happening city! 

I expect some other things will come to mind that I’ve forgotten and I’ll update as I go! But for now goodbye London! It’s been a pleasure!

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

004// The Artist

 

It’s that weird feeling you know

when you feel like you get someone’s heart but you just don’t.

you know you have painted waves under their collar bones and the trees on their inner

thighs

 but you didn’t stick around to help them tread water or grow in the sunlight.

How can you take comfort knowing their limbs are withering, and dying and breaking

while you kiss the life right out of them.

you completely missed her soul didn’t you?

Eyes glittering though sheets that kept out light and therefor there was no real need to feel.

she will believe you.

She will think that through cracked lips and vulnerable sighs that she should care.

but it was you wasn’t it?

You , who with half closed eyes scratched a half moon spectacle into her lower back

you that burned so painfully sweet.

She was not your canvas to paint.

No one asked you to brush your eyelashes down her hip bones, and never once did she offer sugar to tame your demons.

You who chose to drown in her waters anyways. You filled your cup until you were drunk on her scent at which point you decided she was no longer your drug of choice

You who tried to glue the pieces back together into security and safeness

but pieces of a painting never fit back the way they used too after their canvas is broken

You should have realized that I am my own work of art and destruction

it never had anything to do with you.

02.04.15