Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You never change

Last night H and I watched a movie called the "Greatest," where it played out all of my worst fears as an idealist, as a teenager, as a daughter, as a sister and a mother. It ended in this bitter sweet way, where a family of three and a barely official girlfriend cope with the grief of losing an important boy in their lives and moved on with life's lemons and learned to make that unforgiving grief, their new norm. Its ok again...but not a hundred percent.

There was this boy, he passed this girl in the same exact place at the same exact time everyday. Sometimes he looked at her, sometimes he would turn away, but other times, they would stare so intently at each other as they passed. One day he talked to her and all they had was that one day. He died in his car as another driver plowed into theirs just at the moment he confessed his love for her. You think that it was a beginning of a long blissful teenage love sequence throughout the years and one day they would get married, because that's their potential and what could have been is so full and ideal. She wanted to know more of this boy, what's his shoe size? what were his quirky habits? what kind of a child was he? Why did everyone like him so much? She was pregnant with his baby and she wanted to know what traits were hers and what traits were definitely his. As an idealistic teenager at heart, I say, this perfect "just as I imagined it" kind of love is a terrible thing to waste.

The family was a messy one, and lived life messy and expected it to be just so. The younger brother was a drug addict and didn't do well in school, the father had been having an affair with a fellow professor at his university, an affair his wife had known about and when their son died, the mother didn't hold that family together well, but nearly had a nervous breakdown. Looking for her "baby" in her sleep and saying ugly things in her wake because she was lost in her grief.

Although this family lived a less than ideal or orderly life, because they knew that even though tragedy, death, an affair, a drug habit creeps in to their realm of reality, they deal with it better than those who paint a flawless and picturesque paintings of what their life is suppose to be. Because when that painting smudges from the shit of life, they panic saying things like "this isn't suppose to be happening to us" or "this is not fair." When you allow your life to get a bit messy because it will be, because we are imperfect and human, we can trust God to do all the healing and all the foundational work of being the pillar of "us" who are frail and weak. The relationships, the house holds, friendships we build will one day be wounded and bruised, but the One everlasting will never fail, will always stay.

One thing I know that I have Found
Through all the troubles that surround
You are the Rock that never fails, you never fail

One thing I know that I believe
Through every blessing I receive
You are the only One that stays, You always stay

You never Change, you're still the same
You are the Everlasting GodYou will remain after the day is gone and the things of earth have passed
Everlasting God.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What is me which is from her.

My mom is more than you will ever see with your two eyes. Even after knowing her for 32 years, she is a mystery to me because she just allows you to be with her and not ever demand anything from you. She'll talk to you while you're quiet and listen quietly while you talk. She senses things beyond what you say to her. She's a quiet spirit, and more times than not, she will slay you with her physical beauty, but doesn't seem to realize that she is a beauty. Her once youthful appearance is still visible even though it's been weathered and bruised through hardships she's had. She never complains because "there's nothing to complain about" she says, "it is what it is, and sometimes people will act that way, you just let them, but you be you."

There was a time I had thought to myself, "you are that spiritless mother who had died to herself to serve the family, so you had no spirit to give me." There is nothing that I will claim from her that is strong or resolute because she had been so passive and quiet throughout the years of being a girl. I am wrong. Now that I have ears to hear and eyes to see, I see that she is strong, and I did not inherit my resiliency from my father, but its from her. The years she will be home with her child while her husband is away in another country, the way she will swallow all the bitterness and anger, but she herself will remain sweet and pure because "you just have to forget and don't take it to heart. Make it easy on yourself," she says.

Every time I see her, I gain. At the end of every visit, she hands me a bag of fruit and vegetables she had grown in her garden, a bag full of bread that I had once mentioned I liked, kimchi, lotion samples, facial massage masks, shampoo samples, water for the road, she wants to give me something every time I see her. More than the occasional bag full of groceries, she gives me a sense of self that I cannot receive from my father. They say that girls gain their self esteem from their father and learn how to love from their mother. My mother loves us regardless of how much attention we give her or lack there of. I feel most of my life, we had swept her to the margins because she didn't require that much attention foer her to be content. She love us and serves us without much as a nag out of her.

It may just be, that I am aware that my mother will soon be far from me in the next couple of years if they move to Korea. And in some sense, I think she senses that too. I want to get to know her and ask her questions, she's no longer the lady that does my laundry and cooks me food, she's no longer my nanny or the once a week nagging on the other side of my telephone, but she is a role model I'm starting to discover.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ode to Xanga

Today, for some odd reason, I was compelled to search my old Xanga entries and read through them...I don't know if this blog was intentionally made for formal writing from the start, but it was amazingly refreshing to see my random thoughts on Xanga, and if I do say so myself, hilarious. I never knew I was such the cheeky random thinker.

And in honor of my late Xanga, I will depart just like this, random and without a convicting lesson or message.

The end.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Super Powers - Lyssy poo

" The function of the hero in art is to inspire the reader or spectator to continue in the same spirit from where he, the hero, leaves off...to be able to make their society juster and nobler." - John Berger

Alyssa is the embodiment of super girl. She will fly through a window, shattering the glass to pieces so that she can bust a crew of rabble rousers in the neighborhood and consequently, she's always in need of someone to fix her window. She is the guardian that will protect her room mates against anyone that will threaten the peaceful party home that is 317. She is small and with those small fists and feet, she will swing them to and fro until men who stand 6 feet tall see that she is serious about protecting herself and her friends. She is fierce in her love. Her superpower, although may seem obvious that she will fight any crime that is assaulting her loved ones, is not that, it's the ability to protect that love that is so tender.

She will come right out and say that she wants the weekend to come and she wants to have fun, but in the end, she is the more responsible, rallying her friends and is most loyal. She will protect integrity in her work and is impeccable with her projects because she will put her name on it and call it hers. She is proud of the work she does because she works hard at it and likes it. She will sacrifice what she wants to do over what is right to do. She's a go getter and will do that thing that is so hard for me to do when being disciplined for the sake of her future and the people around her. She is curious and will read about the world on goings and the world up comings, even the Friend on goings, which could be (yawn) a bore... because she wants to know.

She is the trooper, the hard nosed, tender hearted, vulnerable, lovable hero. She is kind and cheerful, making everyone around her laugh, even at the expense of herself but she'll stand her ground becaus she's resolute. She will not be overcome by life. She's not the hero that is more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, or be mistaken for a bird or a plane flying in the air. She's the heroic friend who will show you her faults and her weaknesses, cry to you for help and give you that kind of trust and vulnerability, and in turn, she will love you with loyalty and keep you in her protective grasps. She will also jump kick through a swinging door of a western saloon and kick your ass if you mess with her kin. I'm glad I'm on her side. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Super Powers - Jaybaby

"Enthusiasm is the best protection in any situation. Wholeheartedness is contagious. Give yourself, if you wish to get others." - David Seabury

"Jaybaby!" and he'll come running, do and say things that will plaster a smile on your face and soul to survive the gloomiest of days. He'll run with you on a hot morning and stop to give you rest, asking about your day, asking about your thoughts. He's not the court jester you see, he's more that you expected. He loves his family and his brother too, he will keep this family together because he wants to be that man who will sacrifice his feelings and comfort to keep us together. To be the strength for us through ways we cannot conjure up, but he oozes.

He makes those jokes, flips and juggles, not for his own self glory but his enthusiasm for your happiness. He works this hard for your sake...for you to be comfortable, for you to be happy. He will make you videos, send you silly pictures, he will spend a whole night playing a game he doesn't like so that the other will be satisfied. That's his service to you. He is loyal to his friends and will talk them up and when you finally meet them, they are just as he says because the friends he keeps speaks volumes of who he is.

He values responsibility and discipline even thought you wouldn't think so, but he is what you call in Korean 'duhn duhn hae' or solidity that gives you security of knowing you will be taken care of. He will bring you morsels of cake and small cups of drink as you wonder through the isles of Costco, because even when you're not thinking of it, he does. For some odd reason, you think that he would be a good provider even if you were stranded on an island somewhere, bring you questionable berries, and tell you horror stories around the campfire at night time. He'll give you his whole self, doing everything he can in the moment and place he's in.

When I see him, I see that man he will soon be and will do things that are chivalrous for his wife and kids. His kids will look up at him and think he is the most funniest and the strongest dad ever while thinking how creative his punishments are. His wife will quietly be still because she will not have to worry about anything else but the whereabouts of his children. We call him baby, and he is, but only because he's the youngest and not of his character.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Superpowers - Patrick

"Full bottles are quiet; it's the empty ones that make noise." - Anonymous

He has green eyes...some may say they're hazel, but I think they're green. Although he may have seen a lot and may be reaching for more, he has offers calm for the rest of us. His exterior is seems to push you away, there's a dichotomy because his heart says differently. It's like he's not looking or noticing or be bothered to care, but he will be still because he won't know if you'll want his help. When I first met him, I had prejudice ideas of what he would be before I even knew him all on his looks. That he would be too cool and a little bit of a delinquent, selfish even... He isn't though, anything but selfish, he offers relentlessly his calloused hands for his service, he says his hands are better this way, because it's a permanent working glove. He will see you carrying out a large tub to fill with water and he will walk over generously and casually, ask if you need help, only to get out to the grass and find that you're the one sitting around while he does all the heavy lifting. He just says, "I've got this." He'll never show you that he's struggling, maybe because he's just that strong, but mostly because he doesn't want to show that I've been a burden on him.

He makes you feel like you can lean on him and there will never be a fall, because he'll never break a promise, he wants to keep them. When I see how the kids flock to him, girls and boys a like, I can see that he has the same affect on the kids too. He's the kind you have secret jokes with and only the two of you know it at the moment because he doesn't make a spectacle, he doesn't have to. You're drawn by his reserved smirk, that makes you think he's scheming something and he makes you smile with delight when he explodes into contagious laughter. You're surprised how his cool exterior will melt into a warm afternoon of running about and goofing around and in that moment you see, he's come out his shell. Don't be fooled by what you see.

He's the kind you want to curl up next to, quietly on the couch when it rains or when you're beat from the day or you just need a serene moment to recoup from the world out there. He's the kind you think you can take advantage but you won't if you knew him because you want to respect him because he's not passive. He stands up for his friends, the weak, the lonely and when he notices you, you are found. He will love you by acts of service all without making a fuss or sending four horses to the end of the earth to announce what he's done. When he comes to rescue you from the tedious and the heavy, he wears his responsibility like a knight in shining armor and you wear his rescue like a crown.

He is part man and part boy, driven by his sense of duty he will honor his responsibility, but he'll fall back into being mischievous and will gladly plot against you in a midnight mission of trickery while you sleep. You can't believe all you see merely with your eyes...he'll change what you believe.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Super Powers - Kimmie

"But the heart refuses to be imprisoned; in its first and narrowest pulses it already tends outward with a vast force and to immense and innumerable expansions." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

She keeps a shy, sweet exterior, but inside I know there's more lurking.
She can't help but fall in love with you, not because it's easy but because she's brimming with love.
She has tears for all the lost, the dejected, the funny and forlorn and all of life's downfalls makes her heart troubled.
She cares in all entirety of heart that she can't overlook the injustice and finally, down trodden in her soul.
It's easy to pick her up because her heart, which is resilient and willing to be opened will not be imprisoned by sadness, and she fights till it's free...

She is elastic in her personality, quirky humor and a little bit dirty, full of contradictions because her soul expands with time.
Just try to make her laugh and she will, just try to make her cry and she will...she's not stubborn in her expression. She'll show you how she feels.
You see her heart on her sleeve, it's risky but she wears it there...it makes her nervous but she wears it there.

She is the deep sea so dark, from how vast it's dept and not from the lurking monsters within
You will fall in and swim till content, drink from it, cool off in it, wash your shame it in and she will invite you in.

There's a depth to her you will soon know, you'll just have to take a crack at this hard nut and soon she will show.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Super Powers - Greeny

"…To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…" Isaiah 61:3

He has an eye for moments and captures them because he wants to show you how beautiful it was. It's captured forever, how he sees you in his mind, you appear more beautiful somehow, more altruistic and more loving in those photographs. He captures them just so because he finds you in your best and shows them to the rest of the world, "you see? I have beautiful friends, who are beautiful on the inside too."

He reminds you too, what you are and how you appear to be. He's made the most mundane of each day to become the things we most want, when we look through those pictures. You think you're living through something that can be easily forgotten or forlorn, but flipping through the pictures, you can see that he captures all that we love about you and me. Clicking through the pictures, you can see that he's noticing everything about you, how you had your head tilted toward someone, how a silly conversation about how tired you are even though you've had three monsters that day, can turn into a moment of sweetness between you and me.

He surveys us to find his treasure and beauty.

He is an example of how to find beauty from ashes, finding courage to read through the ashes of his past, but fighting to redeem it. Writing and rewriting so that he can find wholeness and he is strong because he wants it to be better. Out of his generosity, he gives his life to others to see, although its hard to relive his pain, he will offer it as a sacrifice to us so that we can know and grow. I want to turn his camera around, not in pictures, but in words...that we see his beauty, beyond the struggle and beyond the mundane.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Super Powers - Sarah Ann

"It's what you do to the people you say you love, that's what matters. It's the only thing that counts." - Last Kiss

Our first year, Sarah noticed that this is quote was posted up on my facebook as one of my favorite quotes. We had this in common...I don't know if I ever really live by it, but Sarah does and here's why.

She's the older sister, not just in her own biological family, but she's the older sister that you always wanted. She's the kind of older sister that laughs at your jokes, but when you're being completely stupid, she'll tell you so, but for some odd reason you take it like it's a compliment. She calls it out like she sees it and because she loves you and you know it, no matter what she says to make fun of you, you want it, you like it, you ask for it. She's the older sister, who is completely the Korean kind...it's that movie or drama, where you are without your mother and your father sitting in the rain and she becomes both, bringing you an umbrella and a row of kimbop to eat. She is sacrificial in all ways, especially with what she feels and thinks. She will never want to burden you with her own luggage she has to carry while she carries yours.

She's the foundation. She's the foundation for our family, a pillar and when we can't seem to find structure, we find it in her and when she's on your side, you feel solid. She organizes us and when we are drunk with lack of sleep, she keeps us straight without slapping our faces with the cold water of guilt. Instead, she guides, she asks, she cajoles and sometimes, she'll trick you into doing it, but you can't help but to follow her, not because she rules with an iron fist, but because you can't help but to give back this way. You find her sitting and even as a peer, you want to sit in her lap and have her hold you for a while because when she does, things just doesn't seem as bad and you think her arms will cure AIDS and end world hunger. So, we become a tighter family, she commissions Tee shirts, necklaces out of clay, and small catch phrases to remind us we have good memories stored up between us.

She's warmth. She does all this, all the while, laughing at your jokes, noticing your goodness and gifts, crying and breaking her own heart because she can feel your pain, seeing right through you because she's known it too. She will told her tongue at times because she'd rather spare your feelings, always thinking how things will affect others before she spares her own heart. Sometimes, when you ask her a question, she does this pausing thing...she pauses for just one second before she answers and I imagine her thinking about the right thing to say to you. Not for her sake, but for mine. She keeps a tough exterior, mostly to protect our interior.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Super Powers - Silvie

"I begin to see that a man's (or woman's) got to be in his won heaven to be happy." -Mark Twain (addition of woman is mine)

She had a dream and she googled it. In it, she was in a room along with 2 turtles one small and big. The Big one had beautiful designs all in gold, but the small one had even more exquisite designs but the gold faded in and out like pulsing light. The big turtle was picked up and was put on people's backs with the small one by her side. When she woke up, she felt commissioned by God of the spirit.

I googled it too since I didn't exactly know what it meant when she shared this dream with me and found that it's exactly as Kung Fu Panda had taught us, Oogway the turtle sho' was wise...Tortoises (large turtles) are most often depicted in Indian mythology as wisdom or in our childhood folk tales as the triumphant turtle who found victory by outsmarting his racing "Goliath" by being persistent. In Chinese lore, the top shell of a turtle represents heaven and the lower under belly of the shell as earth with it's earth like cracks and divots and the two are united as one.

This dream I feel represents Her perfectly because in her is the depositing of heaven on an earthly being. When you watch her talk, spin, laugh, do her hippie dance and looks up at her with her doe eyes, you can see that whatever good was deposited in her is from heaven and no short of that. She gets upset and finds discouragement when she sees that there is a discrepancy between what should be, what is shalom and what is not, the fallen world we live in as the fallen people that we are. Heaven is by her side as she puts wisdom on the backs of those she has under her arm. Though she's small in stature, she impacts like a champ. she teaches kids of God's love and speaks to her youth group, she uses puppets, the pool, VBS and retreats to let them know that the wisdom of God is all they need.

She is a free spirit, but the only thing that holds her back is the flesh that contains her soul and the sin that had permeated as Even took her bite. This is when the elaborate design on the small turtles back pulsates light, going in and out, because its easy to lose sight and lose the heaven within us. But it is not lost, this heaven on earth and it can't be thwarted and it can be salvaged. We were meant to live whole, free and thrive on the goodness of the world so that this place doesn't become so dark with people who are overwhelmed by life's brokenness. In her dreams, she puts on heaven on the back of the people she encounters and in her wake she does the same. Although, there is human frailty in between the two shells, she too is protected by the wisdom of God, on earth and in the heaven she creates for herself and for the rest of us.