Your path will be an answer,
Only you can call
This journey of yours
Capture a pathway,
Worthy of your beautiful soul.
Your path will be an answer,
Only you can call
This journey of yours
Capture a pathway,
Worthy of your beautiful soul.
Can your fantasy
Be your reality?
To a living entity.
Look up the stars,
when you think of me
A fleeting poignant
A beautiful symphony
With the wind,
our voices, chattering
Years of twilight, yours.
I’ve always been asked by several people about why I am a vegan…
I guess, I can say that my becoming a vegan was a process that began when I was around sixteen. I was not born and raised in a vegan environment to be exact. My family loves to eat various delicacies of meat. (Which does not bother me by the way for I am a sole believer of personal choice.)
A few years ago, I wanted to watch over my overall health. As an athlete, I developed several injuries and with my research, I found that eating meat makes one more acidic, this does not help much on the healing of mitochondria and cells. I wanted to heal faster so I started eating more vegetables and fruits. Soon, I stopped eating pork given that I noticed that my family tree had histories of diabetes and cancer. I did not want to follow the lifestyle and fate of acquiring these diseases. I wanted to be healthy, not only for myself but for my kids someday. As Dr. Greger explains, “The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.”
As mentioned, I started to avoid meat before I jumped to being completely vegetarian almost nine years ago. It just sort of become like a process within, finding ways to live a holistically while learning that all lives matter. I started to respect and admire the lifestyle of being plant-based. I also have a profound connection towards animals. I see them as sentient equal beings. This pushed me to make my choice a lifetime commitment. Finding a reason behind each action matters. Much to the delight, my Buddhist community and friends embraced this change and I would join celebrations and out of town meditation trips with them while eating our diet. However, I am a foodie by heart, so I still enjoy binge eating plant-based treats and home cooked meals. :p
As of now, I am still happily practicing plant-based veganism. It does seem challenging from the beginning but once you learn how to meal prep and enjoy the advantage of eating fresh fruits, nuts, or salads then it would not be as difficult as it seems. The only transition that made me change my taste bud’s preference was within two months. After that, my sense of smell became quite sensitive along with my palate.
More often than not, my vegan lifestyle leads to questions regarding my nutrition: “Aren’t you hungry all the time?!!!,” choice: “But why do you have to stop eating animals if you love them?!,” and overall health: “Your body won’t be able to handle your activities without meat, you’ll lose energy!”
I do appreciate the concern of these acquaintances and yet I do realise amidst their concerns that on the contrary, I feel mighty fine: 1) I do not get as easily tired as I used to before, 2) My stamina has increased in and out of training 3) Insomnia does not occur unlike before, unless of course, I induced an excessive serving of dark chocolate. 4) All my allergy problems disappeared, note that I have been to endless tests, checkups, and doctors regarding this dilemma, and 5) There is a sense of a lightness in my being, not only physically but also with my outlook and mentality. Turns out our gut health is related to this and by eating probiotic alkaline plant-based food, I am helping my body produce serotonin. Pretty cool when I learned this the first time!
I also explain to them that, for my health, I do have a nutritionist who keeps track of my weekly food report to maintain the proper nutrition, and I do regular blood tests to check my blood counts, iron, b12, etc. Until now, I am still in the process of maintaining the proper plant-based lifestyle towards meeting my daily requirements. Right now, I am learning from both a nutritionist and a yogi mentor about balancing my food intake in perpendicular with my daily activities. I am still learning but going towards my goal day by day. All kinds of diets are after all, not beneficial, if you are not meeting your daily nutrition requirements.
Not everyone agrees given that plant-based veganism is not the norm. Some would right away disapprove of it just for the mere fact that they have it the other way around, some would continue asking me with concern or just out of mere curiosity which was fine by me especially since saber es poder, but sometimes some of their questions turn to confrontations that lead to masked sarcasm or mockery. This of course, makes me stare at the person, wondering, what to say given that it was never my take to change their idealisms but it would be appreciated at least if they respect mine.
This is why I am grateful when others understand and accept the diversity of perspective. I will always believe that choices are respectively good if no harm is being done to the self and other. I am not harming others, myself, apart from not harming animals by being a vegan after all…
Oh well… Like Gayle Forman wrote, “You win some, you lose some.”
My lifestyle made me feel better about myself and I will never say that my lifestyle is better than others, it is just better for myself.
I will leave my story with a personal motivation:
“Back in 1903, Thomas Edison predicted that the “doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of [the] human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of diseases.”
For good references about Veganism, Dr. Gregers’ works led me to further profound evidences of the long lasting effect of plant-based veganism: https://nutritionfacts.org/
He has the following books with given topics: How Not To Die: plant-based veganism, How Not to Diet: On dieting, How Not to Die Cookbook: On vegan hearty recipes, and the most recent that helps everyone given the recent situation: How to Survive a Pandemic.
I also find it nice that all of his books’ proceeds goes to charity—showing that his research was not made out of intrinsical gain but for our enlightenment instead for a better lifestyle and meaning.
The paradox of the name,
To call it the norm,
when everything has changed,
I wake up, looking about,
The rain pouring,
I sat by the window,
and how it,
Made us Change…
Can be a moment of sublime,
Created between snippets
Of wishes in harmony
For me, a smile
Should it be only a memory?
some say just forget,
Loving you was like,
A maze that I would,
Not mind, getting,
Robert Hass in his book Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on poetry essay emphasizes the importance of what is necessary in poetry writing. In the chapter named “One Body: Some Notes on Form”, he argues that everyday experiences and practices are the most efficient to use on one’s own writing of form. He induces that the schema of one’s own perception is what actually matters when writing. “Though predictable is an ugly little word in daily life, in our first experience of it we are clued to the hope of a shapliness in things” (56).
Hass tells that poetry forms made him remember the moments in which the life phrases of children accentuates the power or sense of daily sequence with one’s own perception on things and events in life. He exemplifies the point in which babies look around when they first came home from the hospital with protruding eyes that seemed to want to absorb everything around them as a way of recognizing themselves. Here, Hass tries to prove the idea that there are strong feelings of wonder and repetition which each newfound experience. It is, actually, the psychological basis for the power and necessity of artistic form.
Further showing the idea of one’s own recognition of surroundings Hass says that, “One would gradually have the sense that looking-out-of-the-eyes was a point around which phenomena organized themselves; thinking this is going to happen and having it happen might be, then, the authentic source of the experience of being, of identity, that word which implies that a lot of different things are the same thing” (57). He says that the first experience of form is the experience of one’s own formulation. Examples given that demonstrate this thought is firstly the poem “The drunken boat” by Arthur Rimbaud because here the persona imagines his own perception on what Europe is like. The other example would be “The lost son” by Theodore Roethke because he depicts the natural elements into portraying another meaning by using his own point of view.
Hass focuses not of poems about form but instead focuses on thinking about the form of the poem and the shape of its understanding. He concludes that it is the shaping itself that becomes the equivalent of the poetry presence. Because the tone and the imagery alone cannot compromise without this presence of understanding. Hass points out that the play “The Sphinx’s Riddle” made by Oedipus was an example of lacking this significant concept. Oedipus was able to narrate with a well tone and show images yet was not able to have an occuring poem because of its lack of perception of being a part of the idea/story that the persona should support. “In this poem, he found an interesting perception, an important perception, but the stance has thrown him off himself. He has not found for himself the form of being in the idea” (59). Here, he was able to explain as to why the poem did not exhort the feeling of being seen or felt.
Hass has the belief that the sense of form should be both the echo of that experience and a clue to the larger rhythms of a possible order. It means that it should be original yet it should be clarified as to which perception it was derived from whether from himself or from someone else. “It seems to me, rather, that we make our forms because there is no absolute continuity, because those first assurances are broken. The mind in the act of recovery creates” (63).
In regards to form, he first brings about the value of seeing or perception over the the musicality of the poem along. Hass said that, “Meter has the authority of a profound formal order. I think the human voice without music required it; otherwise it was just individual noise in the universe” (67). He refutes the idea that musicality alone makes a poem worthy. Stanley Plumly criticized that contemporary verses prioritize tone just like Browning did in his dramatic monologues. However, these were not monologues but are stories made by the poets based on their own lives. This shows that tone has the capability to indicate one’s own personality.
In regards to images, Hass expresses that images have the competence to make a memory alive, “Images are powers” (303). It is a relation to one’s own perception or the ‘individual revelation’ in which the physical components become images. It is the representation of one’s experience properly from what is happening in one’s life. It is what keeps writing alive and memorable.
Hass recalls on the stories told to him by a deceased old friend as he noticed that the stories in itself created power for it gave him a better understanding of his friend’s totality of being. The stories made Hass think that, “It seems to me that we all live our lives in the light of primary acts of imagination, images or set of images that get us up in the morning and move us about our days” (303). Images are the claiming of this trait in which it is both a recreation of the conscious and the unconscious. It is the making of stories from what can be seen from the world. Such as what Buson did when creating lasting meaning in imagery, by capturing the necessity.
Images make a story concrete. They give a strong impact to the readers because of the nostalgic concept derived from them. Images create a sentimental retention that creates a lasting effect. “And it is something like that, some feeling in the arrest of the image that what perishes and what lasts forever have been brought into conjunction, and accompanying that sensation is a feeling of release from the self” (275). This strengthens the idea that readers vote for the poignant strong imagery because of its eternal facet.
Images create balance between the sense of being arbitrary and being a fact. An image that is connected to one’s own experience and expressed by using metaphors or relating your story from another story. Here, it creates a greater impact of imagery and understanding. An example of this was the commentary of Buson about the life of poetry, “The high stage of my dream hovers over the withered fields is impossible for me to reach” (276). Buson refers to the writing and experience of another writer named Basho whose poem also talks about a similar sensation:
Sick on a journey,
my dream hovers
over the withered fields
Here, Hass shows that Buson’s work creates a strong emotional effect as he used a sense of incompleteness of existence and its capacity to create a better image. “It is one of the conventional phrases of seasonal reference that almost all haiku contain. It identifies the time as late fall. Here it also means, I think, “the traditional phrase ‘withered fields.’ ” His dream wanders in the world and in the poem indistinguishably” (277).
Upon reading the essays of Hass, I realized that writing poetry is not as simple as it sounds. You cannot just write it without creating a structure first. You need to have the awareness of form and proper imagery as well while connecting to yourself and to the other’s perspective. It is about making art from your daily experiences. You cannot create a work that lacks musicality and concrete perspectives of one’s own experience.
Written on: July 2016
Plato’s Republic focused on the argument of what constitutes the being of a good person. It also tackles the definition of Justice and reflects this question on both the political and personal aspects of a human being. His strategy was to develop ideas on the primary notion of the ideal society, politics, and justice while deriving comparisons on individual justice. Up until now, Philosophers and other scholars still study and write about Plato’s observations and debates. As a Literature writer, I find his theories enlightening and helpful.
Plato inspects in his dialogue the question: “Is the just person happier than the unjust person?” and “What is the relation of justice to happiness?” In these two central questions of the discussion, Plato’s philosophical concerns in the dialogue are both in the ethical and political facet.
Plato wanted to define justice and to define it in order to show that justice is of great importance. He was able to do this by a definition of justice that appeals to human psychology, instead of recognizing behaviors. His questions were: “Why do men behave justly?” Is it because they fear societal punishment? Do the stronger elements of society scare the weak into submission in the name of the law? Or do men behave justly because it is good for them to do so? Is justice, regardless of its rewards and punishments, a good thing in and of itself? Justice is always accompanied by true pleasure. Justice becomes desirable for it offers a just life of order and harmony. Justice is good because it is connected to the greater good, which is the Form of the Good.
In Books II, III, IV Plato establishes justice like the one that maintains harmony in a political body. A perfect society has three classes of people—the producers, the warriors, and the rulers. A society becomes just when the relations between the classes are right. For this to be possible, each group must perform its proper function, and each must have the right position of power. To be able to this, the rulers must rule fairly, the warriors should protect respect the notion of the ruler, and the producers should implement the skills given to them for the benefit of the society.
Justice then, seems to be a concept of profession: a principle that each class should fulfill their role given to them and to not interfere in other roles.
Plato emphasized here that to understand human beings, one has to be aware of the three parts of their being: the rational part, the emotional part, and the appetitive part. This was his way of making an analogy of the human soul.
The appetite is considered the largest aspect of our tripartite soul. It awakens our desire for pleasures such as eating, drinking, or engaging in a sexually gratifying activity.
It is important given that these desires are what keeps us alive: we need to eat to be alive and we need to propagate for the continuation of our human existence. Plato considered this to the sole part that needs money in order to satiate one’s desires. To control this, reason or rationality is needed to balance harmful excessive desires. The Republic by Plato explains the human person’s attributes and its relativity on their motives to act upon something.