Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This post was originally titled "Limbo," which I typed in the Title box this morning and saved it until I was in the mood for that kind of "Limbo" writing to finish. I even down loaded a picture depicting "Limbo" from Dante's Divine Comedy, but that mood never came. Limbo is the place you go after life, but it's neither hell nor paradise. It's reflective of how you lived while alive, stewarding your life in such a way, you neither lived it to the full or destroyed it in all entirety. That lukewarm living is despicable even to us mortals because you have resigned out of a life given. So you wait to die, imprisoned by lukewarm nothings.
I think the idea came from the place I'm in and the movie I watched last night. This constant waiting, waiting for things to happen to us, marriage, job, baby, vacation, death, birth, anything! The movie "Up In the Air" is about such a man, who lives in the margins of a life of traveling 265 days a year. He's constantly up in the air and never home. Although he's happiest there, he finds that he's been missing out on his sisters' lives and the life he could have had with someone, any someone. I understand him and the life he lives, and if it were not God's provision, I think I could have been living that transatlantic life and never landing home. I did live it for a while, and in between the constant moving, we got to know a few people and got a peek into what sharing a life with people really meant.
If I had watched this movie a year ago, I may have tried to move again....over seas and felt as though I was slowly dying in the waiting room of life. Because if change and movement doesn't happen naturally, you make it happen by moving literally. Limbo in between moves, as if the moving was the "real" life and the period in between were just intermissions until the next big change. I still feel a little bit of that because old habits or paradigms are hard to kill, but I've been waking to what real living is. It's the girls' weekend, where we dress up in the cute sequined skirt to dinner even though it's too cold out, it's receiving funny texts from friends afar and laughing aloud, it's eating pastries standing up at a Korean grocery store and looking at movie posters...I
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Blessings and Curses have been spoken to us along the way and some are directed us so our ears can hear, and some are spoken to us in whispers, but deposited in our souls none the less. I have also been the one to bless and curse my sisters, sometimes in secret and sometimes not. I am also the one who have received blessings and curses and more often than not, believed the curses more readily than a blessing that pursues restoration in a person. I have to repent and confess that I have not always been the life spring of blessings and my tongue has produced such wickedness, Marilyn Manson would blush. I want to speak into people what's real and not flattery or falseness, to lift up and not break down.
I would like this to be true of me when I have physical daughters of my own and hope they will believe in what the Word says they are instead of the standards of the world. A childhood friend of mine is a genius and not only is she smart, she also is beautiful and talented. She is kind as well as a little dirty when she tells jokes and she runs like a gazelle. There is nothing she lacks and she's perfect the way she is, but I was surprised to hear that her husband wouldn't let her look through fashion magazines because she was feeling insecure about herself. As long as I've known her I never thought this would be something she would believe about herself, that she was not as good as the girls on those glossy pages. This may sounds like a speech for a beauty pageant, and this may have been what I would have said if I ever were a beauty queen: I dream of a world where brothers and sisters speak true of each other, encouraging the good without flattery so that they may grow into the being they were created to be, never shaken by falsehood because they will know the truth. Then, there will be no hiding, protecting, lying or rejection. Just you and just me. Thank you.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Prov 18:21
Friday, April 16, 2010
We may further discover what God's putting on our hearts, far past the date of breaking fast...
If you would like to learn more about Crossing Borders and or make a contribution, please visit our website.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Day four and "hungry" is not something you get use to or adjust to. Apathy sets over you, because all you're trying to do is fight the fatigue for preservation of your own life. I noticed that I was getting increasingly irritable and it's not the comedic picture of an SNL skit where a school girl is starved for french fries, but anger, a lashing out because someone else is demanding energy that you can't afford to expend. Every minute is a fight whether to keep going with this fast or just forget the whole thing because I've learned enough. But I really haven't, every day I endure, I learn or realize something new. Hungry isn't simple as just the empty feeling in your belly, but it comes with feeling physically cold, sleepy, apathetic, confused and emotionally tired, vulnerable, irritable, and concern..no, heartbreak.
I was chatting with a girlfriend who is participating in this fast and she was expressing how she wants to give her baby everything that's good for her, chicken, broccoli, salmon, and that NK mother's would want the same for their babies, but can't even feed them a bowl of rice. I once fed a premature child a bottle and he wouldn't suck even though he was only skin and bones. It broke my heart to see him so thin and I felt a sense of urgency for him. I was pleading with this tiny child to eat and I wasn't even his mother. Hans is even heart broken over how much weight I've lost already and is begging me to start eating again because he can't bare to see me like this. How much more wounded and broken is the North Korean mother who watch their children waste away daily?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I woke up this morning a little different."Starving" and couldn't wait to eat breakfast. After I finished the portion of food I allotted for breakfast, I was surprisingly full. Not the kind of full where you wish you hadn't worn your skinny pants to dinner, but I was satiated and thankful. This might be appalling to some of you, but I think my stomach is shrinking because I'm actually getting use to this portion. Although, I am feeling extra weak today and making lots of spelling mistakes and typos. I'm having a difficult time making sense today, and none of my sentences relevant to the ones before. Sleepiness is also a sign of deprivation, it's a way your body is shutting down to preserve your energy for more important things like lung and heart function. Not that I'm in any danger of dying of starvation, but I think my body is beginning to weaken even more. I can see how starvation and deprivation is the perfect sedative to keep the people quiet, docile and cooperative, when you are trying to keep dominion over them.
I'm actually having a small panic attack because today, right now, I don't know if I can do this any longer. Maybe this experience of panic is the fuel for prayers for my brothers and sisters in NK...how hungry you must be, emotionally, physically, spiritually...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Then I began to think that it is such a luxury to eat healthy. We should eat healthy, everyone should, but there is definitely a tinge of neurotic control or a discipline aspect of working out and eating only organic free range chicken eggs and grass fed cows. I see the value in that, but I'm also beginning to see how frivolous that can seem to an NK who are eating their young because they're body is turning on them and you lose your mind over it. Each meal time has become an important ritual, punctuating a time of preserving your body...rice never tasted so good. I regret ever saying things like, "eating is such a hassle! can we not eat three times a day?" or simply, "I wish I didn't have to eat." Those comments come from a mouth of an entitled person, not thankful of what we have. I am thankful for God's mercy on me that I have food to eat three times a day, and in between...
Monday, April 12, 2010
While watching TV in the evening, Hans and I noticed how many commercials are dedicated to food and how many shows there are just about eating different kinds of foods around the world. We decided that this was food porn, especially in our state. It made me think about how the NKs would be amazed at how much time and energy we dedicate to food. Some of us dedicate our whole lives to cooking food, tasting food, judging food and talking about food. While the rest of us eat all that they cook and plan a way to lost all the weight we've gained from consuming all that food. whew!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
To put ourselves in the shoes of those who are still suffering from lack of food, Crossing Borders is starting a program called “Fast or Famine,” where for five days participants will eat the current North Korean food ration.
North Korea is not suffering famine-like conditions currently, however food is still a major issue. If there is a bad crop year the whole country feels it. The country still relies heavily upon imports of rice from other countries. In 2009 China reported a 40 percent drop in crop production and they were not able to export to their neighbor, North Korea.
Each person who agrees to participate will be given a small bag of rice as a ration for the week. To supplement their diet, one can eat a small amount of leafy greens with each meal. Though this portion may seem small, the ration is what the government tries to give. Most people receive less.
The fast is from April 12-16. Participants will be encouraged to email journal entries about how the fast is affecting them. We will post some of the journal entries on our website. Crossing Borders will accept donations on what participants would have spent on groceries during the five days. If you would like to participate in the future, just let me know!
I will be posting some thought I have while on this fast and it's not to say "look at me I'm altruistic" but I think I will see a sliver of what the NK's live though as their life, and not a fast that will end in one week. This hell ends for us in five days, but this is their reality.
Friday, April 9, 2010
This is me thinking about how I think I was born too late or too early for someone and while we never think about age or the life stage when we're together, in the end and unspoken, it makes a difference. Soon, we'll both progress into the next stage our lives which will further divide us and this makes me feel the loss that is not yet a reality, but makes me think that I would never know this loss, if I never have met you. Some say that it is better to have loved than never loved at all, but is it true? What of us after the fact? what do we gain but the once vivid memory of us fading into a wistful sigh? I wish I never met you.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Then, came Charlotte. My husband isn't the most verbal person and he may not be able to tell me exactly how he feels at times, but he knows me. He says to me, "you know, you really are Charlotte." At first reaction, I gave him a nose wrinkle, a disgruntled expression to show I don't agree, but I guess we have those commonalities; Perceived as a princess with a charmed life, slightly naive, she's a runner, had trouble getting pregnant, then got pregnant, then had a miscarriage, adopted a little girl, and she even a husband that was the unlikely candidate who turned out to be perfect for her, instead of staying with the resume perfect husband who she dreamt she would be with as a little girl. Charlotte at one stance says things so deep and has a strong sense of right and wrong, but in other instances says things like, "Is my hair too shiny today?" I can totally relate to that...there's a reason why some of my friends call me Jessica (Simpson).
One thing though, I would like to imitate more of Charlotte is her sense of clarity in her circumstances. She is essentially a little girl, only aged in chronological age, has a strong sense of dream, perfectionism, and idealism, which lends itself to her naive notions of the world but also benefits her by giving her the ability to be resolute in what she believes. My friend J points out that she makes all of her decisions according to her reality. Which is almost uncharacteristic of an idealist, a dreamer. At times...ok, most times, we dreamers are in our heads so much, we can't tell between what the present reality is and the ideal situation that would be, that might be. However, I want to make one thing clear in my life, to make choices and decisions according to what's real right at the moment, rather than all the if's of the future. I've made certain decisions according to what might happen, like preparing for this child that never came. Choosing to stay in the suburbs when we've always talked about living in the city, choosing not to go through with my masters, all to prepare myself for this child that could show up at any moment. Cutting off certain relationships because I assumed they would betray me in the end. We can never predict the future, but we can see the situation at hand and make the most of it. I'm not saying you should never plan or prepare or even dream, but sometimes, one must decide according to her reality.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
When rain comes, I try not to cry and stay strong and especially when that rain turns into storms, I make sure I have a good mantra to go with my stiff upper lip. Just like how I said, "we live in a fallen world, how can I expect to be exempt from things like fertility issues and miscarriages? I accept whatever God allows in my life." Although this is true, I never allow myself to be weak just for a little bit while I to mourn over the things lost and broken. No one would blame me, except myself. Until recently, I rarely let people other than my close family and friends see me shed tears (if I could help it). When I did let people see the "weaker" broken side of me, there was an overwhelming sense of empathy because they can relate to a human being who cries, instead of a cyborg.
Between being the carefree teenage girl of yester-years and today, I became .... well, serious. Second guessing myself, taking myself too seriously, getting nervous around people. I don't know what happened to that girl that would suddenly break out in song at any minute of day. I use to be bubbly, cheery, and people even called me ditsy (ok, people still might call me that). I use to tell a killer story, with comedic timing, gestures, a song and dance, just to make my friends laugh. I don't want to be cyborg any more...what's being "perfect" when I was perfect (in my own way) before I started trying to not have any weaknesses. Let them make fun of me, let them take advantage and snicker, I will become God's best best version of me. (That's not a title of a cheesey "I like me" children's book, but it's a cheesey title of a book written by John Orterg - read it. Full title is: The Me I Want To Be: Becoing God's best version of you).
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me 2 Corinthians 12:9
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I think that joy is let out of us and childlike behavior is squashed when a series of unfortunate and hurtful events happen in the course of our lives. Children are joyful and carefree, free spirited because they haven't seen. At least not yet. I hope that no matter what I see in my life, whatever hardship or suffering I endure, joy will not be let out of me and what childish behavior in the eyes of the "mature" will not be curbed and I will not succumb to the shame they dispense. PD had said on Sunday that Joy is a Child, because what man or woman who has joy can keep it a secret or hoard it? Joy is something that is instantly released, readily available to every opportunity for laughing, dancing, singing and generally, having fun!
In a related topic, I had a conversation with H who had pointed out that it's difficult to make close friends post college. When you are, again, "mature." We say to ourselves, I will preserve my energy, emotions and have limited spots available for those who qualify for friend-candidacy. "Who do I want to INVEST in?" It's as to say that we have only a limited amount emotion or love and we need to be savvy about where to invest the limited resources to receive the greatest return. So when we are asked "how are you?" it's difficult to open up and tell people how you've really been because once you used your energy to tell this person your story, you start to run low on your story count, or energy level, or emotional points. Not to say that I'm totally above this, it is by the account of series of bad experiences that makes me stand offish and put up the wall of reservation. But it's not because I'm collected, cool and refined, it's fear that closes me up.
What if we were like children? To share, dare I say carelessly? Have you been in a first grade classroom? Every hand up is a story, not the right answer to the math question you just asked. It's "oo! oo! I have a story to tell! I want to share!"
Monday, April 5, 2010
when its love?
how can you win when its heart...
when it's yours and it's mine?
who can win?
to manuver, plot and plan our moves
to conjur up, fashion and practice our words
what can we do to win?
does anyone win when its either you losing me
or me losing you?
you are embarrassed or I am
allow, to give a chance to reject, or to accept
when we protect ourselves and our pride, who can love us?
its egoism, self preservation, pride, self importance
perhaps we call it "i never want to hurt again"
perhaps just a series of bad events
perhaps, it's "i only want to know love and safety"
the facade we put on keeps us from what we long for most
but when people grow together, it's hard.
relating is hard
staying honest is hard
being myself is hard
risking is hard
but we must make a decision to risk it all