November 28th, 2008
A friend once described his cancer experience
as taking a dump in public,
I’m at the sauna watching a little kid skip off
just having flushed a semi private toilet
I wonder if this is a Western description, or
an age marker of how we see our body
There’s a woman in front of me
belly dancing with the water,
an old gal not afraid to show
a baseball size lump above her kidney
and another whose facial wrinkles juxtapose
the taut lean muscle of her torso
watching a medical procedure on tv,
much like my own, holds everyone in fascination,
Each culture has a unique relationship to their body
from what they choose to put on to what they choose to take off
how that skin, an organ that’s both dead and alive,
is worshiped is then unique to the individual
I look at my abdomen often,
like I look at my grandmother’s house in pictures of my childhood,
like I look at every apartment I lived in, before I turn in the key,
like I look at the gardenias in my mother’s garden,
Temporary and beautiful simplicity to cherish,
Everything will be okay.
November 26th, 2008
The trees are completely bare
and the rain brings a foggy blanket
of soft yellow contemplation
and hair thin strings of light that enter my room.
I feel lonely.
For the next three weeks
a 10km walk and weights
will be like sleep to a soldier mid war,
making hospital preparations
makes me want this feeling to be so temporary,
but it’s not.
I feel like a cat on a hot tin roof,
like the surgery is broad casted on everyone’s mind the second we meet,
not knowing what to do but not wanting to be touched either
knowing I just want a hug and a kiss
but just don’t have anyone to ask it
so why be uncomfortable with a thought deferred?
Why do we make ourselves suffer?
The things that make me happy are many,
wearing bright color clothing in winter, taking photos,
writing, deserving a shower after a good workout,
loving the little things like a facial and learning every day–
I know friends by the language they speak to me
I want a partner as good as the friends I have.
In my quiet resignation and protest,
I throw myself in the wind, vacation message on:
China, Canon and Claudia on my mind, saying Nihao
to the land of the Terracotta army, Tiananmen Square and Great Wall.
Hope it hugs me in silk and kisses my tears away,
The world is big place to conquer.
November 22nd, 2008
It’s been so difficult to find motivation to do my routine. I make myself go to the gym but after 8 minutes my run turns to a walk and I do maybe half. I know I’m brooding, magnifying concerns, trying my hardest to be strong and allow logic to steer the situation, but it’s not working.
Calling home to tell my family that I’ll be in the hospital for three days for major surgery was not easy. I had already cried my eyes for a day. They know how much I hate hospitals and surgery. I sat and looked at my wall for three hours the day I got the news. The only way I’ve been able to smile is to laugh at my own situation. I have three benign lumps with the biggest being 5cm by 4cm, the length of my index and the width of three fingers, on the uterine wall. The myomectomy will require four abdominal incisions and two weeks rest time of no walking. Not only do I have my reproductive health to worry about but now the knowledge of being physically helpless against a world I have always ran to tackle. There is a part of me that wants to lash out but I know I am as fragile as any human being. I don’t like feeling this way and thousands of miles from family. I have to be strong for myself. I have to maintain my usual routine so I don’t let these feelings of despondency, anxiety or anger grow.
I think, “Well, if uniballer Lance Armstrong wrote about his experience to cope, why can’t I?” I don’t want to play the victim nor do I want to be on the defensive. I can already hear my grandmother’s medical explanation that it’s because I’ve chosen to stay single. Women of all ages can have these problems with genetic disposition being the number one overwhelming cause. This isn’t something I can explain, confess or apologize for. Uterine myomas are slow growing masses that are responsible for the added hormone levels and painful menses experiences of females. Looking for information on the internet, many women have reported that myomectomy was not a procedure strongly advocated in the states due to the fact that not a lot of doctors practice it and the insurance prefers a full hysterectomy instead. Even the thought of a four day stay at the hospital for 2 million won is nowhere near the amount I would pay back home with insurance.
Through laughter, anger and anxiety, I know enough to be thankful that I’m in Korea.add to del.icio.us
November 15th, 2008
Sometimes I think Winter is a masochist,
enjoying watermarking black over true blue skies
stripping green foliage to pallid tans,
thick canopies of green now turned red carpets
crunching beneath boots and layers of coats.
I wonder if the leaves enjoyed the moment,
were they happy turning green, amber, red, brown?
or were they only happy in the everlasting seconds
floating from branch to bunch that I kick around?
I wonder if leaves ever had any regrets or
a deficit in timing.
How do you take it back: the moment, the year,
the fears that held you back,
the mountain you could of cross, but didn’t?
I think of past regrets and future roads watching the leaves fall
making sure the present is a soft note of the leave
instead of a blind cacophony of unhappy aspirations.
It’s so difficult to achieve that walk.add to del.icio.us
November 4th, 2008
I finished my 4-5 hour first of the month phone marathon to friends and family. Until next month, my life outside the classroom will be silent. A conversation echoes in my mind, “I bet you don’t write poetry anymore. I think you’re too busy for that.”
Is it the end of my season as poet? The last poem was over two months ago. I can blame the academic literature for my classes as much as my solitude. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me. Undress a poet and you find a philosopher and just as there are times for rowdiness and libations there are also times for reflection and work.
I sometimes think about my ex and how much I loved him. Yesterday was the first time in a year that I dreamt him. Every once in a while, I hear from his daughter and I smile remembering how much I loved that girl and still do. I don’t answer any correspondence, though. It’s enough to know that I influenced someone positively, learned about myself and felt love.
My time in Korea has taught me that much like learning, emotions come in packets. It’s the simple quiet days where you can shed a tear, comprehend and hug yourself. It has taught me that though I make plans, the Lord leads our feet where they need to be, so change of plans is not bad at all. I’ve come to define myself not by others, not by the adversities I’ve faced, not by fear, but only through myself. My strength is only as good as my soul that manifests in the words I speak and write.add to del.icio.us
October 25th, 2008
“Adding music in this context may cross the thin line between a killing machine and a dancing machine.” This is what an experts had to say on music and movement at two of my favorite websites Ask the Expert and Scientific American.
On the Net:
Confess your sins on line brought by Canon Dr. Graham Kings, the vicar of Islington in jolly London. While the trend to confess our sins to everybody but a priest has been around since the dawn of time and the internet, especially in the internet, I wonder how effective this method will be. His website by the name of his book, Signs and Seasons, features a chat session but I have not been able to tap into the live chat.
Top 10 extremely cool psych experiments by Mission to Learn via long time edublogger TonNet, Milton Ramirez, at Education and Technology. You just get me is one of my favorite looking at the discrepancies between how people view themselves and the way others view them.
Remember that human learning comes in spurts and by association: I am bewildered, discombobulated, addled and befuddled, profoundly confounded and perplexed! Repetition is the ugly jeans in the closet that you never throw away, like redundancy is a teacher’s rice and butter.
Quote of the week by the National Chauvinistic Husband Association, “Three principles for not arguing with your wife: won’t win, can’t win, don’t want to win.” Go Japanese! Lol!