It’s 2013 already and I have no resolutions

I see all the pieces of my life, like little islands, somehow coming together to create a map.  They don’t seem to quite connect but they make up who I am.  They seem to have rigid borders but I’m not sure they need to be this way.  I don’t know where I belong now, just trying to enjoy the day.

Walking to the beach yesterday after 3 bitter cold weeks in Europe and Washington, DC and a week lying in bed from a nasty cold was like a warm bath.  I did some yoga at the tiny park before the steep slope up to Diamond Head and felt the sun beat down on my face.  As I stared out into the sea, I reflected on the past few weeks, past year and the two and a half years since I moved here.

My life here in Hawaii is not what I’d expected: I imagined a quiet, contemplative life enjoying ocean breezes and lazy afternoons with few distractions and worries.  There are days like this but it ends there; reality lingers and catches up to you.  I didn’t expect to Continue reading

My Failed Attempt to Ignore 9/11

I was going to ignore that today was 9/11.  But when I turned on the radio this morning,  it was of course the main topic of discussion, as it should be.  Then I went to a church service and it was the theme of the sermon, again, as it should be.

The incidents on 9/11 in the US were indeed horrible and we were all affected on that day.  I was in Washington, DC at the time and lived just 8 blocks from the Capitol and congressional buildings.  I didn’t have a TV so I walked down to an Irish bar that opened up it’s doors early for others like myself.  It was mostly full of hill staffers in suits.  They were streaming out of the Capitol and into the streets, walking who knows where.

It’s horrible to think of the approximately 3,000 people who died that day from the attacks.  Though what first went through my mind when I heard the preacher say that number was what about the millions who’ve died in Congo over the years of war?  Acts of terrorism in the Congo are being committed every day, particularly against women.  That is just one out of many examples of unrecognized atrocities around the world.  It is of course not a numbers game, I realize this.  It is not the death toll that matters.  Though what does seem to matter is that the voices which cry out are heard.   The US, being a superpower is of course going to have one of the loudest voices on this planet.  And even more importantly, a voice that will  most certainly be heard.

Though honestly, at this moment, I feel detached from both the deaths of 9/11 and such devastation in places like Congo.  In fact, I don’t really care.  There was a time when I would tear up thinking about such losses, but all I can think about now is the loss in my own life.  As it should be.

What I mostly thought about this morning during the sermon was I want to see my mother’s death commemorated every year on newspaper front pages and magazines.  I want NPR to spend the day discussing my mother.  I would like to see two huge beams of light streaming out of New York City in remembrance of my mom.  She had nothing to do with New York, but I want that recognition.

Realistically, I know these things will never happen, but to me, her death deserves just as much time, attention and honor.

I want to scream from the tops of New York City sky scrapers and let everyone know that my loss is greater than theirs.

Mind numbing cold

Pali lookout on a rainy day

I went to the Pali lookout today, though not on purpose.  I was in the area and somehow ended up there.  As I looked into the horizon it was chilly and raining, but I didn’t care.  I wanted to feel cold. I stood there and shivered as the rain poured down on me and I hoped the rain would come down even harder.  I needed to know I could feel something besides sadness.  And hot; it’s been really hot lately.

I cannot believe these words are my own, but I miss the seasons.  I want to see the leaves dropping around me with brilliant colors; the smell of the leaves decaying as you walk through the park.  I want winter.  A cold and bitter winter that reminds me I am alive.  Seeing life go dormant around me sounds comforting.  I want to lie in the snow and feel my skin burn from the cold.  I want to see my breath fog up around me.

Friends of mine would say fall and winter were wonderful because nature would drift to sleep for a while and then come back alive in the spring.  I always saw it as everything just dies.  There was nothing I found particularly beautiful about it. Fall was the beginning of the end, as I dreaded the dark winters.  But I think I understand it now.   There is a predictable and soothing rhythm to it.  Even the most treacherous of winters will eventually birth forward a beautiful spring.

Home is not a place.

Being in DC has been great, it feels like a warm bath: comfortable.  Seeing friends has been wonderful and the familiarity is refreshing.  Soothing even.   Yet the inevitable has begun – forgetting street names, getting lost, noticing all the new bars, stores and restaurants that have popped up since I left.  It’s happened everywhere I’ve lived, but after almost 10 years of my adult life here and having left less than a year ago I am a little bit surprised.  I believe the brain can only retain so much information.  I barely remember any street names in the town where I grew up, though I could get to my parents house with my eyes closed.

I am having a hard time coming to terms that I’ve left at all.  This is where I have some of the deepest connections, yet I’ve chosen to leave. And I don’t see myself coming back here.  So it feels like a home I’ll never return to.  Leaving California to come here was difficult, but this feels different.  I was in my early 20’s and hadn’t Continue reading