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One of the wonders of modern living holds sway over me still and most likely always will.  The ability to turn on the tap and have potable water appear ~ instantly appear and then with a slight flick of the wrist make it hot or return it to an icy coldness.  Now that is life in the fast lane, baby.  And we haven’t even mentioned the luxury of the flush toilet.  Oh my!

I grew up in rural areas.  My childhood was a blend spent between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic Shoreboard.  The constant being the oceans and country living.  For most of those years we lived without plumbing or electricity.  Sometimes we had electricity and no plumbing.  My adoptive parents liked to say that they had running water, they’d just send me and my sister running to fetch it.  Yep, that was a real knee slapper, their little joke.  Explains though my life long awe of running water that does not require me walking for over a quarter of a mile or more and making like a pack mule hauling back 5-gallon bright red plastic jugs or multiple re-purposed white bleach bottles of the clear liquid. 

Although I have yet to taste a sweeter more pure cup of water than what ran in one of the springs on a homestead in a faraway place, I have to say that the trade off has proved worth the exchange over time. 

So earlier today while I was letting the hot water sluice through my hair I closed my eyes and said a little thank you to the Running Water Goddess and the Universe at large, for such a gift in my daily life.  This blessing of running water.  A blessing that millions of my species do not have access to, whose very lives revolve around the seeking and retrieving of this liquid manna. 

Life is about perspective.  At least my life today seems to be and just a little shift in my focus has helped me participate in my life in this moment.  Helped me send up a prayer of gratitude to the Running Water Goddess and loosen my hold on what was feeling a lot like the running water blues.

Should I stay or should I go?  This question has me off kilter, off balance, out of sync.  Centered I am not. 

It seems this question of where I will live or more specifically, where will I grow roots has been a long asked question.  One that hovers over me sort of like a lazy man’s lasso ~ too loopity-looped to really ensnare anything.  For all the years that I lived in California attending grad school, I was unsettled.  This condition was due, in large part, in knowing that upon graduation, I would be called upon to make a decision ~ to choose between a warmer clime and those whom I call my family.  The choice though is never that simple or at least it feels laden with much more. 

I chose to return to the Land of Almost Always Winter to be close to my clan.  And now here I am again at the crossroad of choice.  Do I apply for a position in a much warmer climate near the ocean or do I take a pass and continue on here?  If I take my familia out of the equation, I have to admit there would still be considerations.  Things like a regular paycheck at a job that I will have held for a year next week, a rented living space that I like (even with the leaky roof) and a few local friends whom I enjoy their company.  And then, of course, there is the little or actually big fact of not having to pack up and move, again. 

Now, some might say that I am putting the cart before the horse.  I mean really, why don’t I just go ahead and apply for the position and then consider all of this other stuff.  Well because in order to apply, I must request letters of recommendation and only want to ask this favor of colleagues if I am truly interested in the job.  Plus, I realized that it’s go time as in let’s get it together and figure out where I am going to commit to living for a while.  If I am going to stay put then I could and should (beware of the should says a little voice) begin taking the steps to open a small private practice in addition to my 4-day work week. 

Come on self.  What’s the hold up?  The hang up?  What exactly is the sticky wicket?  The answers are here within my heart and mind.  Right?  Allowing myself to know what I know is easier said than done in the moment.

Life in the moment is good.  Very good.  Too good.  At least too good to wait until November to formally give our honor and thanks~giving for this abundant life. 

So my family and I are gathering this evening for a spring Thanksgiving Feast.  There will be the American dinner icons ~ turkey, mashed taters, gravy all served up with loads of yummy side dishes.  My daughter sparked the idea last week and the rest of her clan quickly climbed onboard. 

Life is good.  And when it is this good, one must eat.  Eat delicious homecooked food and sip a bubbly beverage, or two.  And you know me, who am I to swim against the tide ~ at least when it comes to celebrations.

Talk with me

and share with me

those things that you hold dear. 

Let us exchange the delight in our respective lives.  Tell of the beauty I behold when I look deeply into your eyes.  Let us build on the excitement of the spark that ignites when two minds meet and mine the gold of their hearts. 

Yes.

Let us talk and talk

and we will build castles in the sky and in the sand, complete with bridges

traversing our hearts our minds our souls.

Let us go deep

into the valleys the interior landscape and the shadowed unknown.

Exploring plumbing searching

We will be amazed

over and over

again, with treasures discovered.  Long lost and sort of forgotten

until now.

Talk with me.

@junemoon 2012

Stone after stone after stone followed by another and another.  Skipping.  Bouncing.  Springing off the surface of the deep blue ocean or the merrily babbling stream.  Stone after skipped stone bouncing after the next stone leaving only rings of water and a dollop of watery sound in their wake. 

Those are the daydreams of this snow-locked woman on this sun filled day in the Upper Regions of the Northern Hemisphere.  Daydreams of beaches covered with loads of smooth small to medium sized oval shaped grey and slate black stones left high and dry by the outgoing tide.  Each aching to be chosen by the best stone skipper on the planet.  Each yearning to be held, just so, between the index finger and the thumb, curled in the brief safety of the expert hand.  Each thrilling at the very memory of flying through the sun kissed air, hurtling toward the open ocean from whence they came ashore.  Each ready to do the dance.  Each vying to be the most skipped stone this side of the Pacifc. 

Daydreaming in the sun, my friend, is never over rated.

Take two ibuprofens.  Drink them down with big gulps of water.  Do it quickly lest you be oxygen deprived due to inabilty to breathe through your nose and only your mouth.  Keep a goodly supply of Puffs with lotion tissues nearby.  Apply Neosporin to painfully irritated raw nose. 

Do all of the above throughout your day and night.  Allow the common cold to run its natural course.

Oh I almost forgot to mention, give in to food cravings and allow yourself to be comforted by a steaming hot cup of tomato soup.  Sodium milligrams be damned.  One’s spirits must be buoyed and nurtured during times of physical illness in order to quickly return to health.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

As you may have guessed by now, I am being visited by a headcold.  I realized that this is the first cold I have succumbed to in over a year.  My memory timeline includes such mileposts as my daugher’s birth year and her age at any given point in my adulthood.  An example being, when did I date the woman with the long flowing blond hair with those deep blue eyes?  Well let’s see, my daughter was about 7 years old so I would have been 26.  Another memory milepost is when was the last time I was able to sleep lying down?  Well let’s see that would have been toward then end of January 2011 so about 13 months ago.  And I haven’t had a head cold since then.  Oh the meandering places my mind does travel when my head is all stuffed up… 

Life is good even with the raw nose and achy muscles.  One cold in over a year just isn’t that bad.  Right?  Nothing that taking two ibuprofens won’t help.

Get ready

Get set

Not ready, yet.

Just the other day, which at this stage of my life can mean a couple of weeks or months ago, I realized that if I were to die in that moment I would not feel ready to take my leave of this life time.  This realization arrived with no small surprise.  You see, I have spent big chunks of energy, time, effort, imagination and sheer will power to keep my precarious hold to this earthly planet.  And that is not to speak of my multiple beseechings of the Universal Powers to alternately open my eyes to the wonders that this life has to offer or to take me quickly to another place, another planet, another existence or to simply extinguish my flickering flame altogether. 

I have struggled with varying gradations of melancholy and depression as far back as my memories travel.  Years of spiritual searching and guidance seeking ~frequent findings and losings of faith ~ years worth of various therapies ~ book after book of helping myself books read, re-read, dog-eared and cursed ~ multiple sundry eating plans, herbs and self-medication, followed by much self castigation with equal amounts of guilt for being so un-grateful for life’s abundance.  

Scattered amongst this turmoiled angst, moments and sometimes days of brightened mood.  Such a welcome respite in a choppy sea of deep blue and inky black depths.  

A certain thought has cropped up now and then of ‘if I were to die right now… .”  The thought  followed by a variation of ‘it wouldn’t be a moment too soon’  or ‘a perfect moment to leave.’  So one might understand a bit more the surprise, the startle if you will, that I felt with that initial response of ‘no, I am not ready.’  Not ready to leave this life, my life, in this moment.  As I have mulled over this new response, which has remained, I have come to understand that my life feels more precious to me than in the past.  Many other realizations have crystallized as the marinading of this new experience continues. 

Today though I wanted to share that I am here.  I am alive.  I am not ready to leave.  I am living.

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. 

 

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.

June 2019
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