When I said that I’m going to make time for books again, I really want to commit to it. Hence, my first review for 2018. I hope you’ll like it.
I’ve always wanted to read this book since I found out about Thought Catalog. Bianca Sparacino is one of my favorite writers from the site. Not to sound bias, what really gravitated me towards this book is the cover. It’s an abstract! Also, the title reminds me of the quote: “bloom where you are planted”
Whether you are into poetry and prose or not, I hope you can give this one a try. This made my soul feel at ease. The impact and words remain—tattooed in my whole being. I mean it in the most sincerely poetic way possible ✨
Title: Seeds Planted in Concrete
Author: Bianca Sparacino
Available in (physical and digital copies):
You can also get an audio version from: Audible
For those who loved me like a soft dawn
For those who loved me like a hurricane
These first two lines already caught my interest. I’ve always said that life is a one big paradox; that nothing is absolute; that there’s something good in the bad and bad in the good. We, human beings, are self-conflicted like that. Most times, we are always in between things—neither this or that. Most times, we are a mixture of both. To stick to what the book seems to be all about, it is divided into two parts:
to hurt to feel
to love to heal
Each page speaks contrast. How there is flaw in beauty; hope in chaos; smile in tears. It focuses on yourself. It is empowering. What I also love about this book is that it is gender neutral. My feminist ass is satisfied. Bianca did a great job mentioning both men and women who might be going through the same thing. After all, this is all about surviving, loving and caring for oneself and others. Life in general knows no gender. We are all humans trying to live.
I bookmarked some pieces to highlight and talk about here so you will get more into the book and understand what I mean:
xxxii.Imagine how different the world would be if from the rooftops of our very own apartments, if from the crowd filled city streets, we yelled our love for one another rather than our hate. Always remember that the human heart is approximately the size of two hands clasped together. There is no coincidence in that.
How beautiful is that? Encouraging love among humans instead of hate. Only us can save humanity. The word HUMAN is there for a reason. There is no coincidence in that.
xxxiii. Take your life back from your flaws. You are so much more than your mistakes, and the things you dislike about yourself. Tell me, who were you before you let your flaws define you? Before you zoned in on your shortcomings, your imperfections and your weaknesses? Who were you before you allowed such things to dictate your existence? Before you started saying no to living when it tapped on your shoulder because you were disappointed with your body, because you didn’t believe in yourself, because you constantly compared your value to what others portrayed around you? Who were you before you let your faults limit you, and what have you given up, what opportunities have you held like sand between your fingertips because you empowered your insecurities instead of empowering your confidence?
You know how people always say there is no point in crying over spilled milk? You need to accept the things you cannot change because in letting go of those can you truly be free. Then, be the change you want to see. Again, I’ve said this a gazillion of times, nothing is absolute. There are things you can’t and can change. That’s what I learn from Amor Fati, at least. Be gentle with yourself.
xliii. Isn’t it beautiful? How our hearts can effortlessly fall in love with something as simple as a smile. How one single spark can inspire wildfires within us, and how the idea of forgetting the way someone made us feel is just as absurd as the coast forgetting the ocean, or the Earth forgetting the sun. Isn’t it beautiful? How ruthlessly we still hope, how deeply we still surrender.
We can’t really forget how someone made us feel, can we?
xliv. I was a shade of scarlet,
he was a shade of yellow,
and all I wanted to do was live life
in a perfect shade of orange,
like the exceptional merging of colours,
the unique communion of hues
that dances within each sunset.
xlviii. I will meet you within the holes of the sky, the
untouched tunnels where dreamers stamp out
the supernovas. I will meet you within the
intensity of the sea, between the waves and the
horizon – that small sliver of Earth where
feeling is preserved like a mounted butterfly in a
glass case. Where is the paradise that surges
I will meet you there.
Just look here the imagery she created with her words. My heart somersault inside my chest. I’m in love with this kind of poetry.
that we often favor nurture rather than nature.
We favor the heartbreaks, the dishonesties, the
ghosts that haunt our spines, and forget the fact
that nature never lies.
Nature never asks for permission, it
simply just exists, as it is. A cloud will never
refrain from crying, a mountain will always
stand confident, a tree will grow where it is
planted, and it will grow strong,
because nature never denies itself.
Nature never doubts or withholds,
it never plays small, it never submits.
Be more like nature. Do not let your mind
taint the beauty in which your heart has felt.
Rather, stay wild within your love, within your
curiosities. Let your passion run raw like indigo
currents, until you have unapologetically,
ruthlessly, set yourself free.
Aren’t these words too powerful? My heart hurts in a good way. Sometimes, we need this kind of reminder. Don’t we?
lxi. Remember what you are made of the next time you think you are bulletproof. You are white bone and silken flesh; your heart is made of gold and glass. Stop trying to make yourself indestructible – like any soft creature it is in your nature to break, like any soft creature it is in your nature to heal.
Let us allow ourselves to heal. The scars will always be there and there will be wounds that will forever bleed but maybe, just maybe, when we don’t inflict this pain towards others, it will heal. We will heal.
lxvii. For years you let yourself believe that you were a prison, a home to all of the intervals of time you wasted being confused, or heartbroken, or unhappy. The truth is, there are things inside of you that the world needs to hear, there are breaks and breakdowns that will mend hearts and patch sores. Do not convince yourself that your suffering was futile, that your scars are simply scars instead of stories. Do not keep your past suspended like an anchor in the back of your throat, for it is time to speak. I promise you – the voice you think is simply just a whisper, is actually made of brazen thunder. It will bellow through the bones of those who need it, it will clap within the veins of a seeking heart, and when you least expect it, someone will thank you for sharing the mausoleum of lessons you boarded up within, and you will finally, finally, understand why you had to bleed.
lxxiv. You are never really mortal if you love and inspire someone deeply. In that, you will always live on.
This. This is why I write. I hope my words reach you, too. Somehow. In whatever way. That would mean the absolute world to me.
lxxxiv. Do you understand? What you are made of? The very stars combust in the night sky with the same atoms that make up your mind. The trees breathe the same air as you do, the very salt of your skin is the same salt that crashes against shorelines due to the turning of the moon. Can you feel that? The nature within you?
Please love yourself.
I know, I bookmarked A LOT. I loved all the pieces here but there is one I don’t particularly connect with.
lxiv. Let your words
shine like Spring,
For those with Winter
in their bones.
This reminds me of what I wrote in my blog post for Seokjin: You are the most beautiful flower in the middle of winter. I also added recently: my crystal snow in a spring day.
I just think that words should shine in all seasons. People who have Winter in their bones (like I do) don’t necessarily mean that they are cold; that they need warmth. I find comfort in the cold. People who are Spring or Summer don’t mean they are all sunshines and rainbows. There are people who wilt in other people’s brighter days. This is how I take the poem, at least. It’s a poetry, anyway. It may be different for us. 🙂
Have you read this already? If not, I highly recommend this!
This book is about embracing both the good and the bad. You can’t get rid of the blackholes. They don’t necessarily make the galaxy less beautiful. You can’t get rid of the dangerous sea creatures, they are part of the beauty of the ocean. I have mentioned about Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa before. You can only know the true meaning of the most beautiful moments in life when you accept the fact that life is not always good; that there will always be bad things. But, that’s all okay because there are always better days ahead.
Sometimes, we know what we want to tell ourselves but we still look for people who will tell it to our faces. Maybe, this is what you need at the moment. You will never know the impact of the book until you pick it up and read it. Let me know if you like it, too!
If you want to read more of Bianca’s writings, here are my favorite ones from her Thought Catalog articles: