BEE STING (A 7th Grade Student’s Poem on Doubt)

Doubt is like a bee sting
Piercing through my flesh
Injecting its venom in my mind
Struggling, twisting trying to break me
Leaving me with thoughts of “I can’t.”
I doubt me.

My teachers doubt me
But I grab the stinger and pull it out
Using “I can’t” as my number one power source

I am proving a point
Doubt means to
Feel uncertain
Doubt has been everywhere I’ve seen
The Sting
Feeding into me,

But I break past it.

I don’t doubt me.
You might doubt me, but I don’t.
My teachers might doubt me, but I don’t.
Even my family might doubt me,


Rest in peace, Notorious B.I.G.

SR ~セルジオ・ルバルカバ

Anxious in Highland Park

Greetings Los Angeles,

Today I greet the people from Highland Park on the North-east side. It’s a positively gorgeous day, with glistening marine layers overseeing The City and teasing the possibility of a little more rainfall before Spring kicks in next week. It probably won’t rain, but it’s nice to see the remainder of a California winter grappling with the sunlight for control of the sky.

And what a magnificent thing it is, to think the Spring is just over the horizon. Through so much work and wandering about over the last couple of months, at some point I seem to have forgotten about the seasons and the way everything has its time.

Like anyone else, I’ve created a routine out of my time, and the routine has become so ingrained in my mind that it’s seemed like something of a permanent state, when in actuality it’s only the latest chapter in the midst of so many more which follow.

This might seem logical enough, but it’s actually been a challenge for me to place into perspective. I’ve been struggling with a sense of direction lately, feeling out of place at work, and questioning just where and how I want to focus my time and energy as more time passes. The experience has been daunting, and in certain moments, it’s been frightening.

At times, the fear has made it difficult to appreciate the beautiful things in my life, including the simplest things like a conversation with friends and family, or the sound of a bird’s chirping in the morning. It’s also created anxiety, which in its darkest seems to turn the future into an unbearable weight on the mind that isn’t just difficult to carry, but more difficult to let go of.

Fortunately, even through the depth of these emotions, I’ve been able to recognize that probably the best thing to do when I feel overwhelmed is to reach out to others. Each time, this has proved to be just right.

Though they might not fully know it, the people in my life are the heroes and saviors of my life, as even in the moments when I can’t fully be with them, they can be with me just enough for my senses to rise past fear and anxiety and join them in the world. This is the greatest gift of them all; as it happens when the sunlight overtakes the cloudy haze over the sky, the realization that I’m still here for people to hear from, and that the rest of the world is still there waiting for me to be a part of it is more precious than any of the things I can worry about.

And I can find this precious nature about the world in the whirl of a car passing by, or in the relief of an exhalation from my lungs. I can find it in the sight of strangers smiling at one another, or in the memory of my own moments smiling before my friends. I can also find it in the comfort of earbuds enclosing my eardrums, or in the sound of people chattering about in conversation as they resemble the birds chirping in the morning. Watching them, I know I’m just like a bird too, and that I’m just saving my song for another time to be inspired by theirs for a moment.

Everywhere there is this moment. Everywhere there is a friend, or a place, or some other resource to find hope and refuge in. Everywhere there is life rising from the depths of the universe in full force, and everywhere there is something just waiting to have such energy returned.

And so, as I look up and prepare to lift off, whether in rain or in shine the sky continues to support my dreams.

I can only be hopeful of how everything ahead will show this to us, but in the meantime, I thank again everyone who’s supported this ode to the people of Los Angeles.

With more soon,