Friday, May 19, 2006

Embrace and Detach

"What I'm doing now... is detaching myself from the experience."

Detaching Yourself?

"Yes. Detaching myself. And this is important - not just for someone like me, who is dying, but for someone like you, who is perfectly healthy. Learn to detach... You know what the Buddhists say? Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent."

But wait, Aren't you always talking about experiencing life? All the good emotions, all the bad ones?


Well how can you do that if you're detached?

"Ah... But detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you like it penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it."

I'm lost.

"Take any emotion - love for a women, or grief for a loved one... If you hold back on the emotions - if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them - you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the greif. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails.

"But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say. 'All right I have experience that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.'"

-tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom pg 103-104

I somehow learned that love was one of the greatest feelings and emotions on earth and that if I loved, I would be loved in return. But this is also how I have come to know "goodbyes" so thoroughly as well. I have been so blessed in my life with the people who've I've encountered through the years and who I've established long and deep friendships with. I think someone was watching out for me. Perhaps I didn't realize it but it would give me the support I would need when the good byes got to be too much for me to bear on my own. I haven't ever had to break up with many people, but I have had to say my fair share of goodbyes.

Goodbyes weren't so hard before. I'd embrace it and feel it, cry and hug those I was leaving. Promising to keep in touch even though it was difficult, we still try. But at least most of those moments during the time we had with each other helped create a great relationship that would let me come back and pick up where we left off. So the goodbye would come, but I knew there would be more moments of love and joy. I let myself love people as completely as I could because the returns are always greater and it's so much easier to trust and love than be bitter and mean. I guess I was addicted because for my whole life, the more I gave love the more I received it. You couldn't go wrong. Even the goodbye's still couldn't stop me from loving.

It helped because I still had my own source of never ending love from my family, parents, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles, "aunts", "uncles", long time family friends, etc. My parents love for their children helped raise happy, loving kids who learned to give to others and to love others. I learned to see people for who they are and for loving them for who they are. Things were wonderful and I almost had the perfect family. But then one of those sources, a major one, my mother passed away. Suddenly it's become harder and I felt I couldn't love like I did before, but I was wrong. I still do, but what's changed now is how I deal with goodbye's.

I'm still trying to learn how to grieve. I don't want to hang onto this anymore, I've let myself cry, but yet it still doesn't seem to be enough. Will I be crying for the rest of my life? My friend did some research to help me after my mom passed and she read that although it seems like I'm spirling downwards, it's really just me letting go more and more. So I've taken that advice to heart and I'm trying to get it out. I know I'm lucky I have safe people to cry to, who will let me cry and who I can share my pain with, but it still feels like never ending pain. Especially when new goodbye's come up, it feels like new pain layered on old pain. Suddenly I'm back in a whirlwind of feelings of pain, hurt, loss... I've got the embracing the emotion part down... but how does one detach and leg it go?

What's going to happen in the future if I can still love, but I can't let go of my goodbye's.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

vous aviez l'habitude de dire la bonne nuit à moi presque chaque nuit

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

i feel like Charlie Brown

Can I help it? I was taught to love with my whole heart.. I can't just turn it off.

click for a larger version

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

everything sounds prettier in french

je veux pleurer quelque part sûr et chute endormie à côté de vous que je veux rire jusqu'à ce qu'il blesse et j'oublie la douleur à mon coeur. je veux aimer et être a aimé pour le reste de ma vie - la même personne.

Monday, May 15, 2006

kicked when you're down

sometimes you hit low spots and you don't think it could get any lower.. but it does. almost doesn't hurt anymore since you're already there.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

don't forget your momma

it's a hard day to get through.. i love you mom!

as much as your mom nags you and you sometimes can't stand her, image if that was all gone... for the majority it'll be the most heart breaking even you'll ever go through.. so give her today, call her, spend time with her, tell her you love her.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

old men's club

I'm sitting in the midst of a not so secret society of men. A group that formed after the passing of my mother made their group of friends
sharply aware of life's fragility. It felt like this change where they
realized they were getting older and were losing the time to life for
its moments. I remember when my 'uncle' stood up and proclaimed the first saturday of each month to be the gathering time for the 'old man's club'.

Thus it was a born - a gathering time for laughter, drinking (wine, beer, liquor, tea) and eating good food, while enjoying each others
company. Meetings aren't mandatory, anyone is welcome irregardless of race or sex. The language of choice is chinese, but translations go on for those who don't understand. My grandfather is the oldest and a well-respected and admired man. It was until recently that I've really come to realy know this quiet man.

They reminisce, they joke (I understand about half), there are stupid sexual innuendos, more laughter, talk about family, talk about friends, politics, more food and wine and a lot of poking fun. Occasionally an interjection by a girlfriend/wife/daughter attending will occure, usually to best the men with some witty comment. It a feeling of revelry and comraderie and it feels good just to sit in surrounded by these good feelings.

These are men who are enjoying life to its fullest right now. Men who understand life is short and have found a way to collect the moments.
So that when that day comes, whern we pass on, they'll say - I can die
happy, I've lived.

Monday, May 08, 2006

wouldn't it be lovely quit my job and move to Italy to learn the language and go to culinary school over there. Hopefully study with the owner of this wonderful restauarant in Florence where this Italian mama adopted our family for 3 hours, where I had the best meal I had ever had in Italy and it was good times with the family. Then I could open my own cafe in a city by the sea, my friend said he would come and sell flowers or rent bicycles to the passing tourists. It sounds so romantic and I don't mean the between two people type of romance, but the romance of life. How it should be lived, breathing in and out and living in the moment.

My mother had told me on that trip that if I wanted to become a chef that she would support and sponsor me to come to Italy to learn. She had always wanted to open a restaurant later in life and this woman could cook! Anything from complicated Chinese dishes to Italian calzone to French casseroles.. she was amazing! And I still miss her lamb chops! Our family had such a great time that trip, never realizing it would be our last as a whole family and it was wonderful. I realize now how much I am like her, we both had two sides to ourselves, the logical side that wanted/wants a good high-paying job to support our family (I never doubt that I will have children of my own) and the romantic side that loves to travel and dreams of abandoning all logic for passion.

However, instead of even taking steps towards something like this, I'm sitting in a gray cubicle (why is it always gray?), clacking away at my keyboard with a pile of envelopes that need stuff to my left and unfinished work to my right, with a GMAT book tucked under my desk to study later... still dreaming of Italy, wondering if I should abandon all logic and give into passion.

I suppose one could always try... at some point eh?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Whatever Gets You Through Today - RADiO (Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack)

Someone said today,
There's no other way
Of playing....

But I'll find a way,
I'll find another way
Of saying....

All the time we have for life,
Thinking 'bout the lives we had

Whatever gets you through today
Whatever gets you through today
Whatever gets you through today
Whatever gets you through today

Sometime yesterday,
There was another way
Of dreaming....

But there's another way
You don't have to be a hero....

God, it's not easy
There's a lot to keep you holding
On forever....

Whatever gets you through today
Whatever gets you through today
Whatever gets you through today
Whatever gets you through today

Whatever gets you through today (x12)

Friday, May 05, 2006

it may be your last

hug, kiss, or the last words you say to someone and sometimes you just never know. Would it make a difference if you did?

One of my volunteers who had a stroke a few months ago, passed away on Monday. I'm trying to remember the last time I hugged him, because he gave great hugs and had a wonderful smile. It made me think about the last words I had said to my mother and how often I wish it could have been more. I would say 'I Love You' every night I saw her, knowing there was a slight chance it might be the last. Although I was mostly in denial, I honestly thought she would get better. But I didn't want that to be the last, I wanted to have more conversations and I couldn't. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to talk much to her when I sat in the hospital with her and I regret every minute of it. Had I known, I would have let myself cry in front of her and talked until I had no more to say and still would have talked more until my voice was dry and cracked.

I still don't always tell people everything I'm thinking. I only tell them what I think they need to know and only if I mean it. Although if one were to ask, I wouldn't lie. I always tell people I love them now (if I do) and mean it when I say it. I always try to hug them before I leave because you never know, it may just be the last and I'll always want to remember it. Memories start to fade with time, but at least for a short while I can hang on to it.