My little brother is an example. It shows you the friends you never had and what happens when life goes on, when people are gone.

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It’s my birthday tomorrow. Anyone wanna hang out?

My heart sunk, and the breath I let out suspended in the air, pausing with me for a moment of silence.

One like. Zero comments.

If there were ever a moment I’d hated Facebook, this would be it. As a last resort, my little brother was crying out into an empty blue void for a tiny red notification of attention.

Some random person off his “friends list” had the nerve to reach out to me and ask if he’d ever received any treatment. Are you asking out of genuine concern, or are you as nosy as Pinocchio? …


You get the gift of goodbye and closure at its tidiest

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“Breakups are easy,” said no one, ever. If they were, I don’t suppose you would have clicked on this post for a shot of rejuvenation from failed relationships, or at least see how I got closure with the help of a book about tidying. I wasn’t searching for an answer — it magically presented itself to me.

Breakups can be one-sided or mutual. Messy and brutal. Bitter or regretful. They can be a combination of things, leaving people feeling a little less whole after giving fragments of themselves away.

I have been on both sides of the heartbreak spectrum, and while they are awful in their own ways, I’d rather be on the receiving end than to be the one ripping a collaborated love story to shreds. …


Sharing the love on Medium

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“If someone makes you happy make them happier. This mindset will make you the kindest you can be.” — Unknown

Writers who make prose flow with precision and poets who string stanzas into poignant perfection exist here. Stories that make me cry and laugh, stories that pique my interest and tickle my senses, stories that make me think, “damn, I couldn’t have written better if I tried.” I have come across them all.

I stumbled on Medium in the late spring as if answering a calling, first scouring the platform for eye candy. …


A Quadrille Poem

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The pandemic froze us
with life on the rocks
lacking toilet paper
enclosed all year
separated
in a rut
desperate enough
to try a quarantine haircut
and a viral challenge like “Dalgona Coffee

Hoping — idly
still
to melt in a huge huddle
next season

Thank you to Tre L. Loadholt for the prompt. This is my first quadrille, and that’s what I love about writing — you can always try something new.


HUMOR | WRITING

It takes one to know one — and I’ve got every excuse in the book.

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There is a lovely guy, Vishnu*s Virtues, who is sneakily conducting a mind experiment on me. He’s tagging me in posts with subliminal messages, trying to affirm with positive vibes for me to be more productive.

I don’t know what kind of psychological trick this is:

“I’m trying to see if I keep tagging you in articles about awesome writers, it might inspire you to write more LOL.”

I’m feeling the heat. But lighting a fire under a turtle’s ass doesn’t make it go any faster.

There are countless blocks to work around. Writing is only one part of the equation. If you’re serious about creating something worth anyone’s time, you’d know writing is one part writing and ten parts editing. That can involve talking to yourself. Do you remember your first time reciting your work? …


Sharing my photography and appreciation for cosmos flowers in Tokyo

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The cherry blossoms of fall — what cosmos flowers are called in Japan, with the literal meaning of the kanji characters “秋桜” (akizakura) being autumn cherry blossoms.

According to Florgeous:

The word “cosmos” is a name given to the flower by Spanish priests who originally grew the flowers during their missions abroad. They were blown away by the flower’s petals, which are quite stately and evenly placed. As a result, they gave the flower the name “cosmos” to symbolize its order and harmony with the rest of the universe.

This is a direct derivative of the Greek word “kosmos,” which means world order. Greeks thought that the natural world existed in perfect harmony. …


A free verse poem — lessons on relationships for my daughter and younger self

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It gleams
The smile plastered on your face
as you grip a pencil
scribbling letters to a boy
on colorful origami paper
In drifts a breeze of spring innocence
Sunlight flickers
a reflection

In ten years you’d be the same age
I met my first love — a boy
All hope I devoted to
writing page after page

A message in a bottle
I’d address to my past self
Hello, Earth to Tracy
once on top of the world
only to drop and discern
you knew nothing

A tight grip
twisted around a finger
Had me teeter between attachment and affection
Asking if it was genuine or an illusion? …


The one responsibility you dread as an owner

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We have mere weeks left with our dog, Musashi. My husband, who was equally resistant as I until now, scheduled the date for euthanasia. I lost it when he sent me a link for pet cremation services. My bouts of crying increase in waves, and I wonder if the shift in energy is palpable since Musashi has been eating less.

The only time I’d contemplated his death was when watching tear-jerker movies where the dog dies in the end. The coffee table would be scattered with wads of crumpled tissue, and I’d clutch Musashi like a teddy bear in the dark. But it was okay; I’d breathe him in. …


To be who you truly are and avoid a top regret of the dying.

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“You’re not sending this thing, are you? It was like half your life ago. What’s the point?”

That was my friend’s incredulous reaction to me contemplating sending a random email to my ex. I hadn’t seen him in nine years.

I had reasons. But the words “what’s the point” slapped me in the face. I’d already created a masterpiece, and my embarrassment at entertaining the thought stung. I felt misunderstood, unsupported, and hurt by his dismissal. Worst of all — he made me question myself.

“I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

Australian Bronnie Ware’s work in palliative care has gifted her with rare intimate insights into the minds of those nearing death. She lists this as one of the most common regrets in her book, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.” …


How “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” on Netflix fights mental health stigma

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It’s Okay to Not be Okay is a Korean drama on Netflix, unlike any TV show I’ve ever seen. It will tug on your heartstrings, but in ways more emotionally provoking than the typical romantic comedy. It is raw, resonating, and relatable. I cried copious ugly tears during each episode, which was surprisingly therapeutic.

Mental health issues are depicted through an empathetic lens, which struck me personally since mental illness runs in my family. How I’ve ‘lost’ my brother to schizophrenia only scratches the surface.

My shadows were playing on-screen. It was surreal, as parallels from my life took shape across multiple characters. There were countless similarities but one significant difference. …

About

Tracy Luk

Tokyo, Japan | INFP | Minimalist | Parent | Avid Reader | Seeker | Never without a camera going with the flow with my kids in tow ◡̈♡

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