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It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 

 

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I seem to be thriving of late with last minute decisions to do things.  Last minute as in spontaneous choice making.  A little out of character one might say except for the times when looking at a calendar of planned events makes me feel weighed down and suffocated.  Even when the spoken for time is meant for fun and recreation. 

I blame this schedule phobia or heightened anxiety to the many years of single parenthood, raising my daughter, alone.  All the while, working 2-3 jobs and attending college part-time and sometimes with a full credit load.  Woah Nelly.  Overload to the max.  I don’t think I ever quite recovered from the stress strain and demands of my time and efforts.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that any of that whole scenario was unworthy of my attentions, particularly the raising of my daughter part.  She was, and is and will always be, worth every single bit of care and consideration that I ever have or ever will proffer. 

I am just saying that I got worn out and used up in a sort of whole person, mind, body, emotions, psyche and spirit kind of way.  That even though I have re-charged and many years have passed since that totally uber time, there have been other demanding times (e.g., running businesses and grad school spring to mind) that have collared a lot of my focus. 

So today I am going with the flow and have decided to run out and meet the day in a retail sort of way this morning.  Wish me luck!  I’ll be with friends and family, which has it’s very own share of the upside and the potential downside ~ if you receive my meaning. 

Ahhh, life in the times of me.  I’ve said it before but it bears saying again, simple folks living simple yet extraordinary lives.  Yep.  That’d be me included in with that bunch, for sure.  Hope your day is a good one.

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending a mesmerizing performance at the local art center.  The story line centered on the friendship built between two men who hailed from different cultures and social contexts.  Two men on a stage led the audience on the journey of their friendship through the years against a backdrop of gorgeous and breathtaking photography and video.  One of the men was killed in the pursuit of his passion, wildlife and outdoor photography, and the remaining friend wrote a book which was subsequently adapted for the performance art piece. 

In the play’s program the director wrote about the “shallow and deep simplicity of friendship.”  He likened friendship to a river that we “often cross shallowly.”  He wrote that “[T]oo often we fail to see it [friendship] with the significance it deserves.  Simple friendship has depths that cannot be plumbed.” 

These words and the strong thought and emotion provoking dialogue between these friends have taken up their fair share of my head space this week.  Gotten me reflecting on the unremarkable and the remarkable aspects of my everyday friendships and the sustenance that each relationship brings to my life.  There are the friendship brooks and creeks, burbling and percolating along; the ones that mirror huge crashing waves of both ecstasy and despair; the streams that fill to overflowing in the spring and freeze up tight in the winter; the deep broad still lakes mirroring back who I am and the lay of the land; and ponds, some spilling over that may one day become a lake and other ponds that have shrunk and are in the process of drying up from seasons of drought. 

Some are ripe for plumbing the depths with the hope of revealing new treasure.  Others already plumbed, some with slightly disappointing results and others that inspired a big huge shazaaaam.  Not all friendships are meant to be plumbed but instead are transitory in their very nature ~ their gift made richer by their impermanence. 

I love the meandering creeks and eddies, the written word and the performance art pieces that live on in lively and quiet debates  ~ the internal plumbing of the soul, psyche and heart.

My recent medical diagnoses has required me to change my eating habits. Drastically. As long as I can remember, salt has occupied its very own food group at the base of my food pyramid. Other foods were mere vehicles for my favored and craved after salt. I now take in less than 1000 milligrams of sodium daily. So as one might imagine, this shift in diet has not been without some grief and overall loss of appetite.

The change in diet and my faithful following of the doctor’s orders has rested solely on fear. Fear of being permanently plagued with the unbearable vertigo and the loss of what has been up until recently, very keen hearing. My desire to not lose my ability to hear and having endured severe bouts of vertigo for months on end have been the impetus and motivation, which in turn has fueled my robust adherence to this new eating lifestyle.

Changes take some time to grow accustomed to. That, along with the immediate revocation of my loved longed for and lusted after salty goodiness, basically stopped me dead in my tracks when it came to cooking anything tasty for myself or wanting to cook for myself. When cooking for others, I continue to cook with salt and have not required my friends or families to adhere to my strict new diet needs. But when it has come to my cooking to sustain myself that is exactly what I have been reduced to ~ cooking and eating to live and to survive; forget the thriving and enjoyment.

Up until this weekend that is. Today I am cooking a pot of white bean soup that is much lower in sodium than I would have formerly prepared but still has more sodium laden ingredients than I have been allowing myself. I think this is okay. I didn’t go hog wild ~ just enough to make the soup tasty enough to make me want to dip my spoon in more than once or twice.

The delicious savoriness is enveloping my little abode while the soup perks away in my slow cooker. Chunks of bright orange carrots, carmalized yellow onion bits, diced fresh shiny green jalapenos, a bit of browned salt pork, two dusty green bay leaves and a healthy dose of deep red cayenne pepper mingle with the white beans, all bathed in a splash or so of beef broth. I tossed in a dash of ground nutmeg just for kicks. So far, smells delisio.

Comfort.
A reclaiming of my kitchen.

If you were here, I would ladle you up a hot bowl of white bean soup.
Comfort.
Comfort with a spicy kick.
Oh yeah, baby, time to get back in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the idea of creating time in a box. My post today includes additional notes I jotted down in my personal journal to help me toward creating my very own time in a box ~

On Joy the Baker’s blog, she posted about her time in a capsule project that she and a friend undertook. They each placed several mementos in a box with attached notes about the item and then wrapped the box and tied it with twine to be opened 7 years in the future. I like this idea. And have been thinking about it for a couple of days.

What is keeping me from creating my time in a box? For it is clear that something is preventing me from doing so. I get excited; feel the excitement viscerally and then… nothing. I put on the brakes. Get stuck. Glued in place. Paralysis sets in.

A very familiar process that has been repeated multiple times in multiple ways throughout my life but with the same result ~ a stymied creative spirit, a damming of creative juices and subsequently a pervasive depressed soul.

So what can I do that can move me toward action, if only a baby step or two?

Time Box Items

1. A lock of my purple hair to remind me that even in my 50’s I still have a sense of stylish fun;

2. A copy of my paystub so I can remember where I was working in 2011;

3. A photograph of my living room or a portion thereof to help me remember where I called home;

4. A photograph of my art supplies on my long birch art table to help me remember that I was an artist even when I was not producing any tangible pieces;

5. My adoptive Mama’s salt shaker, the clear glass one with blue paint circles and metal cap to remind me that this was the year in which I made a major major change in my diet and went super low sodium;

6. A self taken photograph of me so I can see how I have changed in the ensuing 7 years;

7. A photograph of me with my daughter, the grandkiddos, and the rest of my clan to keep safe in a box for 7 years even though I cannot guarantee their safety in the world outside.

So here is proof of artistic life.
One baby step at a time.

A bright and shiny new leaf is now on full display.  This calendar year is brand spanking new and filled to the brim with potential for goodness greatness and gladness. 

I feel a sense of promise and a lightness of being with the prospect of this changing of the guard.  Psychological underpinnings I am sure.  After all, this first day of the first month of this particular new year is arbitrary and yet another attempt by my species to control even time ~ over which we mere mortals simply have not the right nor expertise.

Makes no never mind. 

Not in my psyche heart nor spirit.  Not today  Not in this moment.
For in this particular moment, on this first day of the first month of this fresh new year, I feel a synchornicity with life and a simple joy in being alive that I have not felt in a very long long time.

So whether this year unfolds as a bright and shiny joy ride or a quiet contemplative exercise in living, I am grateful to have a demarcation of the old and the new ~ the already lived and the yet to come.

Happy New Year ~

I went for a little visit over at http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/12/make-a-time-capsule/.   And since then, Joy’s idea of creating a time capsule has been popcorning around in my head.

Popcorning, careening, burbling and marinading

Since I have barely been able to stifle my creative self’s unmitigated joy and enthusiasm for this project, it looks highly possible that I will be fashioning a time capsule of my very own.

I love the idea of intentionally placing mementos and reminders of my life today into a receptacle that will not be opened or peeked at for seven whole years. In our short human lifespan, a lot of life and living is crammed into seven years. A whole of experiences, ups and downs, ins and outs, progress toward goals, shape shifting  and imagined dreams.

As well as a whole lot of forgetting of daily living, goals identified that prove to be so fleeting one cannot recall them seven years in the future. Yes, the body of what I remember is not as large as what I have forgotten in my conscious mind.

What a great project idea and the timing is impeccable. Don’t you think?
Let’s do it!
Let’s make our own time capsules!

Thank you, Joy, for the suggestion ~

Waking to a peaceful quiet this Christmas morning, my thoughts turned immediately to the blessings in my life ~ of which there are many. A humbling exercise of gratitude.

How is it that I have so much at this juncture in time? So much life, so much healing taking place inside my mind, body, psyche and soul, so much love, so much ability to experience living on multiple levels, so much sustenance providing food and clean water and so much wonder and delight.

I am blessed. Indeed.
Over and over and over, again.

I do not want to squander a single solitary moment of this blessed life that I am given.

This weekend I am re-connecting with the glue that gives my life the texture and richness bright swirls cloudy dark nights and most of all the love in my heart.

Yesterday I watched my daughter navigate her day, and a busy day it was, with competence humor and grace and in all of the potential holiday craziness, I had several occasions when I said out loud, to myself ~ you are my family ~ you own a big big chunk of my heart ~

Today I will be spending time with my sister and as much as we can push one another’s buttons, we can make the other one laugh harder and longer than any other human on the planet can. We are sisters. I am thinking that there will be an occasion or two when I might gaze at her and say the same words ~ you are my family ~ you own a big big chunk of my heart ~

These times are the best of the holiday season ~ I am a lucky and grateful woman today ~ my family is near ~ within hugging range ~

Life experience. There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing that can take its place. Life lessons.

Lessons learned yesterday, one week before, several years previous, a decade or two in the past. These life lessons when learned and understood, add to our wisdom.

Today, I benefited from life lessons and experiences that began many years ago and continued to come around the bend quite frequently. These particular lessons were tough to live through. At times these experiences challenged my belief in human goodness.

Some might say that I survived these particular life lessons. Today’s experience reminded me that I am more than a survivor ~ I am a thriver.

Speaking truth to power.
Without breaking a sweat.

November 2018
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