fish, don’t die

i fed the fish swimming through
the blurriness of the morning viewed
through a window obscured by
my sighs

the rain you bring in this room always
half-chokes my hearing
to a muffled vacuum

where do you go?

i forgot how the shore’s breath
tastes like, how
the sweetness of music pounding, swaying
the milks of my heart
felt like

when i lean my face against the glass
i see the back of your silhouette walking
a murky path to
only you can know where—

did you just shrug?

i tap your shoulder
only the glass squeaks

where is your hand
when i dance through sakura trees, piano keys
tickling the falling petals, daffodils
floating around me

i’ve never seen spring bloom in
our room after all, so i
learned to love the rain

have you ever smelled
what they’ve all smelled?—
the vase of roses
i always wear

you must be made of dream material
i am just pink-painted porcelain—
skipping beneath
the feet of you and your fellow giants
playing chess, or
watching tv

Follow me on instagram: @nele_ponce
I have some poetry in there.

diary entry 1/5/17

I’ve long come to a happy conclusion—several contemplations and philosophical self-inquiries later—that love is something you can feel only if you’ve learned to love yourself. This is obvious to many, and inevitable realization of life at least for those who meditate on the idea of love and the self and such matters. We realize that love is the end-result of a sense of independence and an awareness of your own needs and interests, like a squiggly line that straightens to a single, perfect, end point that twinkles. That love cannot be formed in whole if it was attempted to be made with only half; rather, love should exist as a whole before it experiences shared love. In other words, you shouldn’t try to find your other half in anyone else when your other half should already be filled with your own richness. It’s a simple concept, so much so that it’s overwhelmingly attractive.

I wonder, is it truly as simple as that? I’m not too sure anymore. How is it that I still feel pain for this love, even though I already love myself? At least I think I love myself. I’m sure I do. Or I’ve convinced myself that I do. I thought I did. Do I not truly? Maybe I don’t…

I still have unfulfilled regrets lingering after all, which cling on my back like a lightly heavy weight, which I’m not sure how to remedy, and which still remain a part of who I am. I’ve done many things that I take great pride in and that the old me would feel safe with knowing. Many redeeming self-improvements and experiences that might have erased my regrets. Yet, it seems, I have yet to redeem myself to myself, and the weight on my back has not dropped to the ground. I still walk with a slight limp, and still slightly slower than if the weight were off my back. I do not love myself entirely after all.

I can’t deny, however, that the love that I feel with William is in fact love. I feel it. I feel that it is true love; its own intensity the only proof I need to claim its validity. I feel it with the warmth in my heart when I imagine him smiling, or walking with his hands in his coat pockets, or slumping his shoulders, giving himself an aura of apathy, or when his half-closed eyes look lazily downwards at me. When I imagine all these—which have recently been blurred by my own latest problems and insecurities—I realize that I’ve been forgetting how to love.

I realize, just this instant, that it was not the world around me that had gone mad, which might have threatened the simple formula for the ultimate realization involving the experience of love: love yourself before you can love others. I needed not to engage in another extensive philosophical analysis in order to reconfigure the universal formula, for doing so would be reconfiguring it to my own insecurities (In fact, the gears and cogs within my brain were already logically sorting out the beginnings of a new theory which would undermine the original formula—most of which have already evaporated from my recollection). Instead, it was me who had momentarily gone mad from an old insecurity incited from a series of small incidents, and everything else in my life had coincidentally jumbled up in concert.

I might have to contradict myself by saying that perhaps I still do love myself. Perhaps I had only forgotten to love myself for a moment. Though I am still insecure (which I’ve just now learned about myself and now acknowledge), and I still bear the aforementioned regrets that weigh me down slightly, I love who I am nonetheless. I only hate my circumstances. Especially my recent circumstances. I’ve been really quite unhappy with these circumstances.

But I don’t think that they are circumstances impossible to fix, or at least get out of, as long as I have now acknowledged that I myself have still ways to grow and improve. I still have more about myself that I can love, all of which are still waiting for me to get there.

I’ve been angry (and still am) with William, with my relationships, and my circumstances because I thought I had my life comfortably sorted out. I was safe in all these expectations, and I fell too into the entire romance of my life that when they collapsed, I became lost. (It’s funny how I had to relearn everything I have just realized tonight. I had written numerous things about these same matters, and had given myself these lessons already. And yet, they had become so easily forgotten when my emotions become overblown and boil all the logic floating around my head.)

the seeds of my ethical theory—the ethics of empathy

Consider the following moral dilemma:
You are at your best friend’s wedding just an hour before the ceremony is to start. Earlier that day, you came across definitive proof that your best friend’s spouse-to-be is having an affair with the best man/maid of honor, and you catch them sneaking out of a room together looking disheveled. If you tell your friend about the affair, their day will be ruined, but you don’t want them to marry a cheater. What do you do? (x)

In this situation, it is important to be fully understanding of each individual relevant in the matter. What you say to or do with each participating individual must be fully reasoned and thought out. Although I have personal obligations to my best friend—and am perhaps obligated to better consider my friend’s emotions and values—I must also take into full consideration the emotions and values of the cheater. For how would I be solving anything if I were biased to the extent that all I seek to do is maintain our friendship? Precisely because I care for my friend, I ought to take other factors into consideration.

For instance, I must ask, why does the cheater cheat? Perhaps, when I find the root of the conflict, I realize that it was not the cheater at fault; rather, it was my friend who had prompted the action. And when I realize that the fault rested more on the collective emotions and beliefs of my friend (rather than those of the cheater), I must then take this into significant consideration when deciding on what to do in the matter.

Fault, further, must be attributed to a certain aspect of my friend’s character. If I find that the fault belonging to my friend, and which has caused the cheater to cheat, may be detrimental to my friend in the long run, I must take action to remedy it. Even if it requires acquitting myself to some cruelties. Even if it requires telling her of the atrocity done to my friend by the cheater, given that doing so is the best course of action to take. But in seeking to remedy it, I must again be considerate and caring in my manner of doing so. For if my friend sees that I am lecturing her, and she has been offended from me doing so, my attempts to remedy anything become fruitless. This is where empathy plays a critical role. What sort of countenance must I adapt in order to persuade my friend towards bettering her character, and directing her more towards the good?

Additionally, I must take into consideration the limitations of my own powers and ability to control the situation myself. How much control, if any, do I have in directing any participating and relevant individuals towards the ideal outcome? Because I have such limitations, I ought to realize the extent of my abilities. The extent of my abilities therefore determine the extent to which I have the obligation to take action. If a situation in which all action I take are ultimately fruitless (though unlikely, as often most actions we take have some morally significant effect on at least one individual relevant to any moral dilemma), I ought, morally, to care, but I ought not to feel obligated to take any action.

mathematics of morality

I think that morality can be quantified. Since Truth is absolute and objective, surely there must be some concrete mathematics to attain it. The mathematics behind morality, however, inevitably becomes convoluted with the natural subjectivism of words. And where morality must be quantified with words and concepts, the mathematics of it becomes even more intangible with the natural tendencies of these words to be obscured, or de-universalized. For instance, the concept of “selfishness” is one that is subjected to individual unique interpretations. Therefore placing selfishness in any moral formula, or theory, always becomes muddled with too many different interpretations of it. The idea of “happiness,” further, more often becomes subjected to too many different definitions, and we seem never to reach any agreement surrounding it. Because of this, it becomes even more difficult to reach a conclusive formula for happiness.

And so I think that we must attempt to first reach a conclusive agreement on the more basic concepts involving morality in order to move on to more abstract concepts. Just like how mathematics must first work with basic additions in order to move on to more complex procedures.

Though I may say these things, I myself wouldn’t even know where to start. For instance, what constitutes a “basic” concept? Happiness would at first seem to be a basic concept, until further looked into. And so shall we look into the contents of happiness? For instance, the idea of wealth, which again seems already so simple until further investigated into. From the concept of wealth we may then categorize different types of wealth. For instance: material wealth; wealth in terms of time, of the number of acquaintances that I have, of the number of people I’ve positively affected, and so on.

Like this, I’ve created smaller units able to be quantified within the entire paradigm of morality. Perhaps it is through doing this we’ll be able to reach some objective agreements on certain things surrounding morality. And through doing this, we may work our way up to more complex concepts.

Still, everything that has to do with words always and inevitably falls into an abstraction, as even the most basic words fall into interpretation. If we were to quantify anything with words, there will always be some room for abstraction. But what if we were to quantify words with the mathematics of possession? For instance, basic material wealth is possessing at least this much currency in a given society (involving the currency that would be gained if the assets of the individual were liquified), and so we create some formulaic expression that creates a relation between currency and the society that would produce what would constitute basic material wealth. So we then use “material wealth” in its most modest form to attempt to define what would constitute another basic concept.

I am fully aware of what a grand and probably impossible venture this is. I myself already see too many loopholes within it, and because of it, it may be a fruitless endeavor. But it is an idea nonetheless, and an interesting oneat least to me. Though I may never come back to fully developing this.

the timelessness of the Universe

The Universe is timeless. It never was, or will be. Nor is it even what it is, as it is, right at this very moment. The Universe is constituted of the literal and absolute All, without regard for time, as it is immortal. And immortality possesses no conception of time. Thus, it constitutes every moment that has existed, does exist, and will exist. So, because the universe is timeless, it just is, for “was” and “will be” are concepts of time, while “is” is a state of being and not a direct indication of time. That is, to claim that something “is,” can refer to a characteristic in perpetual, absolute existence. Everything that we perceived to have existed, that we currently perceive to exist, and everything that will happen in the future are all simultaneously occurring Now. It all simply is, with all moments, and possesses itself in its entirety, as it exists Now, all at once. Only that we are mortal and we cannot even catch a glimpse of the “consciousness” of the the Universe to comprehend the all-encompassing Now-ness of everything.

Note that when I say consciousness, I merely mean possession. I do not mean consciousness with opinions or beliefs, but a consciousness that simply “knows” in that it is itself.

more on the conceptual idea of love

When we define love as the total acceptance of something for exactly what it was, is, and will be, it then becomes an impossible concept, for the concept becomes much too perfect and beyond our capacities. We can never understand anything in its entirety after all. We only know things partially, and we fill in everything else with our own ideas. Like puzzles with imagined pieces used to make up for missing pieces, conjured from already-existing pieces. But even with the pieces that are already there—that we’ve already found—such pieces of information may not even be true. In this way, the entire puzzle is perpetuated with imperfection. Although I may love cheez-its, I only refer to my love for its taste. Note that I am not expressing my love for its entirety, for it is impossible for me to know everything about it. I don’t know exactly how it was made, processed, etc. etc. I only assume it was made in a way that is not harmful to anyone or anything, or that it contains ingredients that are entirely acceptable to me. But had I known that it was made or processed in a way that somehow harms me, someone else, or something; my love for it may diminish, or even disappear entirely.

But my realization of these flaws does not now invalidate the love that I had for cheez-its. That is: although my love for cheez-its may cease in light of its shortcoming(s), my love that had existed before realizing its shortcoming(s) remains valid. I can still claim that I had loved it. This explains why people tend to fall out of love. They realize something unfavorable about the subject of their love (e.g. a person) that taints everything else about that person—in other words, the rest of the puzzle. Yet, they still loved and fully experienced it nonetheless.

So, although love in its purest most absolute form may not be possible, I can still validly claim that I did love, albeit flawed in that I did not know everything about what I loved. Which makes all love that is both experienced and given, flawed. Not that all of the love that I’ve experienced doesn’t exist entirely; just that they are imperfect. And all the love that I will ever experience in my lifetime is conceptually imperfect.

In this sense, imperfection may now even serve beneficial to me, for the less I know, the more I can love. Conversely, the more I know, the less I can love. I do not mean for anyone to pursue this sort of ignorance, because I do not believe that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is not bliss, because the more ignorance we have the more expectations we have. And to have expectations is to pave and often shorten our paths to our own downfalls. We must instead pursue knowledge—pursue knowledge about the things we love. The more we know about the something or someone, the less likely we are to be disappointed with the things that we don’t know about them.

Queued thought: does this then make love at first sight possible?

you’re a filthy son of a bitch

you’re a filthy son of a bitch
but if you prepared me a tub of your filth
i’d bathe in it

your hair can grow in such unpleasant areas
but i would much rather tape my eyes open for it
than look where you’re not present

peanut butter makes me want to puke
but i would eat it from your mouth
if it means i get to kiss you

i’ve once lingered on a god for his surfer-like golden skin
but i would lotion myself in your oily sweat
as long as you’d let me embrace you.

Part I: on losing and possessing (people)

Recently, I’ve been losing several friends and close ones, both out of necessity, out of their will and my own. Because of it, I’ve learned to not be afraid of the possibility of “losing” anyone.

But in truth, there is no such thing as “losing” anyone, for the simple fact that I can never “possess” anyone. To “possess,” in the word’s most perfect form, would mean to have total control over something. To control, further, requires knowing something in its entirety. That is, to know it in its whole being, from its beginning to its end. To know every single detail about it, so that I am able to predict exactly what happens to that something until it ceases to exist. Which then carries with it expectations–expectations for precisely how that something will continue to exist, and the context by which that something will no longer exist. To possess something then, would essentially mean that I would be the god to that something.

From this, it becomes impossible for myself–for anyone–to truly possess anything, because I cannot fully know the course and end of anything. I cannot truly “possess” a pen, because that pen is susceptible to misplacement, theft, or breakage, and I cannot predict such occurrences. I cannot possess money, because likewise, money is susceptible to the same courses and outcomes. Even more so, I cannot validly claim that I possess another person, because I have too limited comprehension of that person.

People (and objects) only fall within our sphere of influence–we cross paths with each other, and (as crude as it sounds) we merely experience these people. Therefore, we cannot lose anyone; in other words, we cannot validly claim that we have, because we cannot lose something that we never even possessed in the first place.

When someone can no longer be near us, and when we can no longer experience the person, we may mourn for what can no longer be, and in appreciation for what was. We can mourn in such a way, and to do so is totally plausible, in fact we should; but we cannot be angry. To be angry would have meant that something has failed, or that something did not go the way we intended it to go, which implies that we had something in control which we failed to control, when in fact there was nothing to control. Controlling anything is god-like, and thus impossible; we can only influence.