No more rocky waters and crashing waves just smooth seas.

Maybe if I just spill it all out continuously, eventually all the top stuff will be gone, all the foam and I’ll be at the heat of it all. I’ll know what’ really even on the surface, I’ll be able to twill my finger into the thick substance of my ideas, thoughts, see how they all come together. What kind of drink they make.

I’m at in betweens. Where days are beautiful and peaceful and nights are hard and I IMG_3326fear them. I’ve tried being the light I want to be but it doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. I’ve been afraid of affirming light, affirming my truest, deepest thoughts and desires because I do not like judging. I do not want to judge. But the reality is that we put people into boxes. We have to. How else are we supposed to make sense of the world? Sure we have to be able to change the boxes and have the grace to admit we might have misevaluated but still … trying to act as if we could act in such a way that is non offensive is still acting in a certain way and most of the time can be taken to the extreme of simply not being truly yourself. How can you be real with someone, how can you see someone if you do not reveal your true self to them?

And yet I’ve been feeling the pain of me expressing myself. Of me evaluating my life and others. It’s not possible to be a total relativist. When you have lived things. And you have seen that those things are in no way good, when you recognize those things around you how can you say anything but that they are not good? That would not be truth. My mother once spoke of submission, service, love, friendship meant that you have to give you whole, truest, fullest self to the other. You not being true to your core, you turning a blind eye to things you know are bad, you not having boundaries, you only “giving” is not being the fullest version of yourself.

So how do I know deal with these emotions?

I never ever ever wanted to be like “those judgmental people”. I was just told a friend doesn’t engage with me because they’re afraid of me judging them… That really hurt. Because it hurt me to have become to others someone who judges and to not be seen as a safe place to talk about things. That is the first thing I want to be for people. And yet. I also know that me seeing “those judgmental people” in the way that I did was pretty wrong as well. I judged those people. I assumed they didn’t understand me. Mostly I was hurt that they didn’t wish to engage with me. When they did I chucked them away. How dare you see something in me thats engageable.

I can’t not judge things for what they are. I think people assume that judging something as good or bad means you are equating them to that. Someone linked to a good or bad action thinks you are placing yourself (judger) outside of that category.

How to be there for people. How to inspire health, loving, light filled lives when you are so hurt and mad at the darkness that shackles them? How to truly speak love and light into people?

Not talking to me because I might judge you… I guess I need to meet people where they are. I am grateful beyond words for where I am. I am here because of those who saw me in light. But I guess what hurts most is that I feel like I am too attached to people to not want to be the one that saves them and it hurts so much to have to distance myself from them because I do not want to be enabling something I know is not the way. Because there is already a sight here and I don’t think I can be the one to bring something different. Because I end up being different and not who I want to be. I don’t see them reflecting light to me. Just a past I have cut off. Just stabs I have taken a really long time to heal. And then the ever feeling of being the only one that is always always no matter what no matter when on the outside. That be it with any type of people I am not truly at home. I am just at home alone. Because as soon as I feel at home it’s all up in the air again. And nothing is permanent but change itself.

Today was a beautiful day . It’s only nights that bring such danger to my heart and soul.

I went to a volunteer training and reencountered a beautiful soul I met at Westmont my freshman year. I think this connection along with many others I have been making will bear good fruits.

I have been dreaming aloud. I have been sitting in peace.

Yesterday I sat at the beach. Finally sitting in quiet observance. I thought of how my life had been crashing waves and rocky waters and now was calm seas. I needed to take a step back, slow my pace. Be still and be patient. The life I am to have here needs to breath easily. What are the things that make me anxious and why? Why do I run from them? Why do I fear being alone when elsewhere I revel in it?

Today after my training I felt the smooth waters. The breath. Being where I am and appreciating all of the beauty of the trees and warmth of the sun and air. Reading great class materials, happy to be learning, to be able to have time, to think about things and to look forward to things and yet to just enjoy this beautiful life filled moment. Just like gliding in glassy thick pearly waters. Delightful.

So why are the nights harder? Why do I wish them to go away? I enjoy my room but also dread the closed doors and thick walls. I just know I can’t go to things I know are bad for me and take away from the things that are good for me and yet I want to love people. So people where are ya so I can love you and you an love yourselves?

I want to do art, talk, make tea, drink wine, sing songs and play piano, draw on each other and dance barefoot, hug and laugh and make light and life. Let the love flow.  I want to decorate rooms and trees and paint the ceilings and walls and poke stars and roll in sand. I feel like all these people have forgotten they’re really faeries… IMG_3309 IMG_3312 IMG_3313


One would think that…


I knew nearing the end of my time in Thailand, so blessed and grateful, that I had been transformed and refined. I also knew that there would be elements of transformation that would not reveal themselves to me clearly till I returned. I’ve already returned to 2 different places. I was amazed in France as to how new sights seemed to me. I was so amazed because I consider myself a seasoned traveler, a seasoned cross-cultural border jumper. I often used to get irritated at people not seeing beyond them and I was amazed that a whole new level of sight had been revealed to me. Though different than the majority of french citizens and american citizens I still share(d) prejudices and frameworks. Though having gone to many different countries around the world, going to just one extra one had such an effect on me. I am awed and amazed as to the expanse of knowledge and learning experiences that humans can strive for. It is beautiful to truly grasp how infinite this Universe is. It is beautiful to see how many different reflections it encompasses. I am so grateful to be able to dive deep into these beautiful pools before me, to take this new lens, these shattered pieces and be able to look back and have still more revealed to me. To look forward and to imagine, envision and strive towards. I have beautiful visions of shining colored light laughing in the reflections of its unending dance.

Every time I close my eyes, I am overwhelmed by the exhilarating feeling of diving under a strong wave, its energy moving through your core, you diving even deeper yet. My mind is an immense ocean, gracious waves basking me in affection and inspiration.  Renewing me. Washing me. Over and over.

Before leaving France. I was scared. I was afraid. Before leaving Thailand I was anxious. Anticipating hurt and pain and new stabs at old wounds. That I would be overwhelmed by drowning pain. In Thailand I banished that fear. I thought upon the good things that await me. The things I dream of and yearn for. Put my thoughts and hopes into light and not the fear of still present darkness. Feed the good wolf. In France as I lay awake at night, adrenaline pumping at my chest I banished anxiety and observed excitement. I turned my emotions from fear to joy.

I left my family at the airport. Crying. Not wanting to leave. The first time in such a long time that my emotions of the pain of separation were allowed to resurface. And yet… This did not stop me from being in unspeakable peace as the plane lifted off the ground. Peace. Sweet, affectionate Peace. What a comfort, what a light to my heart and soul and mind. Twinkling. Little sparks of light in me.

A professor-the first to truly see me- told me my eyes were less anxious. I had no idea they were in the first place. Are the lights in my eyes back? The ones a lover once said he saw.. sometimes.  Someone who prayed for me last year now tells me she didn’t recognize me. I’ve been told my friends probably see change in me as well and they are somewhat testing that… Interesting things.

All I know is that as I arrived at Westmont I was sooo gratefully surprised by how amazingly happy I was! Not fear, not angst, not pain or anger or spite.. Just joy and love and grace and acceptance. The realization of this only brought more of these blessed lights, overflowing in me, leading me to spurts of laughter and tears and dance and gasps.



I am able to interact with people. I am able to see the person next to me and speak and connect. All the things that before stuck to me in pain and anger and annoyance are lifted, veils that I do not notice with light shining so warmly on my face.

I am so grateful.

So what would one think? That this happiness be daily, flow freely… I don’t even know. That learning so much taught me to no longer be hurt. That I am no longer lonely and no longer feel misunderstood .That I no longer think that my words and presence are unwelcome. That I no longer am tempted. That I no longer yearn for bad things, bad places, bad connections. That I can clearly always see and always do in light. No. No no.

I seriously thought that I had somehow conquered culture shock. That I had found friends that I could engage in trusting, loving, healthy relationships with. That I could interact with anyone. That I would not make bad mistakes or facilitate others to do so.

DSCF5952No the most prevailing feeling is that these things are still there. For the most part they simply no longer control my being like demons of my soul. Pain and hurt and sadness are still arrows thrown at my heart but the light burns them off. Shame and regret bring cold to my soul but the spirit still blows.

Learning to accept who I am. To have grace with myself. TO know that no matter what I do, He acts through my actions. This is amazing. I cry out to be saved of this wretchedness. To be continuously refined and built up and to bring stones of light blessings to those I encounter. That I would truly see all around me and touch them with warm, soothing light. That my words would not be daggers but warm cloths. Even those words I speak to myself.

DSCF5716Most of all , that I would dream. That I would be patient and faithful to these dreams. That I would be strong and founded in beautiful stones. That I would know the true riches of this world and be a blessing to this world.




It’s interesting to think of how little I’ve blogged in this last stretch. Even Bethany, my wonderful daily blogger I’m pretty sure is down to one a week?

So many things to process. So many cycling emotions and feelings. My words slip into each other and I lose focus as I say them. I get into the habit of not catching and correcting the slip but going back to what my instinct expressed and messing with the funny pronunciation of the word. I’ve been surrounded by too many different accents and messing around with pronunciations for fun a lot. Maybe my stoner surfer cali talk is finally fading away. The talk that when I hear recorded my eyes widen… do I seriously sound that stoned? Now I understand why my mother would ask what was wrong with me when I would get her on the phone the little I did. Something with the slowness of the intonation. There is a weighted breath.. Everything is chiilll. But sometimes its not and my words flush out to a quick beating heat from my heart that makes my whole insides beat fast fast. This has happened a lot. Something pikes me and I HAVE to speak. I feel the fire burning me from inside. The blood is pumping and I literally become shacky. How to harness this? One of my most disliked sentences I’ve heard this semester “Reign it in”. For me it stands for everything that pisses me off about “mainstream” America. Everything that leads to the other extremes. People don’t know how to let it out without freaking out so they end up either boring as heck or crazy uncontrolled. Degenerates. Most likely appreciate that denomination. I know I would’ve not too long ago. There’s something so seemingly fulfilling about yelling out who you are and what you are feeling. You want to shove it into people’s faces that YOU FEEL. They totally don’t. You do. Theres a point to this. I’m not sure what it is. Most of the time I never am. But I know there’s a point. And this is why I guess. I’ve wondered. Whether or not there’s a point to yelling yourself out like that? I’m listening to really emotionally real easing and spurring music right now. It’s helping me strive for an answer, strive to leave a mark, strive to make some sense even if it’s seemingly no sense right away. I picture myself in this floaty environment with so much debri coming towards me or out of me? and it’s just unending and expanding. But somehow I’m growing. My ability to fathom encompassing it is growing. The picture. My arms are also expanding and though the mass of things shit and beautify things I have to take is also expanding; I feel that there is a different level. A level of where we are growing together. We are feeling each other. I am understanding. And perhaps some day I’ll finally be able to put my arms around it and I’ll see what my arms are holding and it will be a time of illumination and it will help everyone understand and express and connect. But in the mean time, and if I can ever attain and facilitate this I have to continue growing, I have to be with this spirit, I have to embrace its flow of life and let it move through me even though I understand nothing of it. I comprehend that it has a purpose.

SO I ask… What is reigning it in? WHY does it still piss me off? Am I not trying to reign my life in? Am  I not trying to put frameworks and structures on everything that goes through my subconscious? Have I not built barriers to beautiful things in this world like fantasies and faeries and magical gardens and deep love and friendship because they do not serve my immediate goals and aspirations, they are not in the equation or they have too many variable that are unstable and can lead to hurt.

Hurt is bad. It’s not efficient. And this is where you see. Where we are all the same. Whether you are boring or degenerate or hiding one or the other. What you are really hiding is the pain. The fear. GOD WHY? Seriously why is it so difficult to face? Is it because if we face it and we don’t know there is a meaning to it all, then we are sure there’s only a deep dark ditch. My mind is going around is circles. I’m not sure I’m conveying the movement of my soul and heart. THe mind is looking for language that computes with this. Perhaps if you were sitting across from me you would know what I mean. And you would begin to tap into this space I’m telling you of. It’s pretty magical. But we understand so little of it. What is not mechanistic structures. What is just the breath of the earth and the people. The movements of emotions we all suppress and put into clean little boxes. And you are definitely kidding yourself if you think you are not in a box. You just made one that is totally the opposite of another or that is built with different types of walls than its ceiling. Humans are structures no matter what. It’s how we function. It’s what I want to study more of. It’s what being in different structures and among different personalities and trying to shape myself and define myself has made me feel on the verge of sanity more now, sober, than ever before.

SHOUTING who you are, who you are not and that you just don’t GAF is the most boring thing you can do. It’s the SAFEST bet to play. It’s not daring. It’s looking for a safe space where no one can actually see you they just see that you are shouting. What if we all shouted really beautiful things? WHat if we didn’t have to shout them?

I have learned this lesson before. That I say I love all humans. And yet It’s so hard for me to love those average “boring” humans. seriously. I’m tired. I’m tired of being misunderstood. I’m tired of these masks. I’m tired of thinking I can take the mask off and end up in a whole new structure of masks that are HILARIOUSLY UNPROFOUND. We had a debrief session this morning. Emotional Processing. Phases of grieving. What do you feel now? Sad and mad. Sorry.

I do not wish to offend anyone maybe internet is safe of confrontation that I do not have to deal with. But it is also my promise to myself. That I cannot do this anymore. Either the stifling of emotions or the pursuit of false emotions. Thailand has taught me what the long haul “boring” relationships can bring. But it has also DIRELY reminded me of how much I want us to feel and maybe that’s selfish? That I want to slap people so that they wake up? Maybe it’s the triply music I’m listening to . I should go listen to something that is calming. right right? NO. I want to feel fully. And I want to believe that it is possible that through all of this, through the roller coaster that is my emotional life I might be able to reach some stop points and that I might be able to share my breath of life with others. The hardest part I’ve learned this semester is SUBMISSION. YA. I know that is a really hard thing for you to imagine me doing.

I’ve actually submitted to many things in life. The issue is usually to what and how. Intensily. Or intensely reject. or try to shape.. Parents, teachers, peers, lovers. I still don’t understand the variations or the turning points of my submission or when I begin to despise the feelings of loss of identity or when i willfully abandon all sense of self. Maybe I just inherently know that what I do or am to your eyes doesn’t really matter. Though it does. Something deeper though. Sometimes I have conversations and wonder what the heck I’m talking about or trying to talk about. The things I’m describing, will they ever make sense ? Will anything ever untangle itself?

Anyways. Submission. To culture. That is where it began here. You have to dress a certain way. You have to act a certain way. To a schedule. You have a set schedule. You don’t have the time to make your own. And why would you? Everything we do is really awesome. So submit to this in joy and enjoy everything! Why would you get pissed about being controlled if you are being led to something you would want to wander to on your own anyways? Why do you feel like there is something taken from you if you can’t control the way you get somewhere? I submitted to my elders. The hardest. I do not like someone being right. Most of the time its not about being right or wrong. It’s about how you treat people… I’m not sure if I totally get that. It doesn’t fit with our culture . We talk about people mattering but why? Perhaps because there is a totally different structure of balances that we are totally oblivious too yet which we inherently understand the presence of. The issue is this is so often misunderstood and we get riled up and mix it… Just think of any political debate.

So in Thailand. I relearned how to submit to authority. How to respect this. How we are all statues. And everything we do shapes us. If you release the reigns you knows what will be happen you might totaly crumble. You probably will if you forget that you even have a statue. And if you keep in the reigns you might miss out on something and actually be unable to keep the statue up cos it ll just overflow…

Pretty much… I’m starting to be somewhat conciliated to structure. Who does not admire the beautiful architecture of European Cathedrals?

And I have come to embrace the structures that others have adopted. And I wish to learn their languages not to reject them. I want to communicate with them through this cultural forms other human realities that they have forgotten. They express them but I want to help tap deeper into them. I mean to say that I have rejected “mainstream” American culture. I have rejected Christian culture and I have come to only appreciate and connect with “rejects” or self ostracized individuals. But this is not all inclusive and when I say I truly desire community  I REALLY mean a diverse community. I don’t want to just forefront communities which are built by all the same types of people that can just go on ignoring a whole group of others. So Thailand has taught me the beauty of Americans. And I find myself desiring to connect more and more with them.

Two weeks ago I spent a day in silence. It got me pretty emotionally messed up. I realized all the bad things I think about people. I realized the way people interact with each other. I was hurt by being ignored though I was in the midsts of people and I came to realize how I usually feel every day. That no one really listens to what I say. No one really cares how I feel. It’s easier to ignore it. Coming to terms with these feelings and expressing them has brought me a step closer. To opening my heart.

Tuesday we had an awesome cooking class in Doi Saket with a great restaurant owner who took away all my French anxieties of expectations.  Wednesday I presented my final Art Project and my Religion in tribal and modern societies paper. Friday I turned in that paper and my Community Development project (Brace Yourself Westmont).

Friday I said goodbye to Ajarn Guila. Saturday we had our Thanksgiving celebration. Saturday Ajarn Michael left. Goodbyes.

It felt weird to not have things to do. Classes. Projects. Papers. We went to Thai Church on sunday at Aj Martings’ house. Mostly a Thai feeling. It was serene and peaceful and enjoyable. I realized the Lahu do not belong here. And though I love the villages. The time in the Karen village was so happy and peaceful. The time the week before in the coffee village (yes we harvested coffee) was great. But they know they are being taken advantage of. They know they are not truly welcome. They know they are not Thai. I understood this in seeing the ease of the Thai and how easy it is to let this surround you and I understood why I could not just tap into the village feel. Because I think part of village feel is the awareness of its impermeability.

Monday and Tuesday we went to the Mountains and it was beautiful. We spent sweet time in Elfish fairy country. Among beautiful waterfalls and flowers and trees and jedis and birds. It was like trying to jumpstart my heart into feeling. I got back feeling very sick. Sick and tired. Today I wondered if it is my body telling me the pain in my heart.

Last night was our last with the Lahu. We danced and laughed around a beautiful fire the boys had set up at our request. (with the intention of teaching them to roast marshmallows). So thankful Miranda pushed on this desire to have a geeing away party. It was very special. It was unbelievable really. Still… It seems unfair to me. And I am sad that this tribe that I love I am not able to have held hand in hand. Perhaps the next Go Ed students will have more opportunities thanks to us? We have built a structure? It is weird… This submission. Yet others shape it. And then I yearn to just be a crazy person dancing around to the beat of my own drum. You can’t take the sky from me… But I have learned that if I truly desire to love everyone I have to love them in a way they understand. So… How do I do this and ALSO inspire them with fresh new waters and dances and joy and sprit and light?

If you read all of this good on ya! YOUR SUGGESTIONS, COMMENTS, RANTS are much appreciated. e.g. we can slap each other awake that would be great. yes because terms of endearment still scare the crap out of me.


I am flying out on Saturday evening. Will be in France for Christmas and back in Cali for a semester in January. so hook it up ! IMG_2783 IMG_2779

Dreaming Wide Awake, Ecclectia

IMG_2714The first couple weeks of classes in Thailand my mind was overflowing. I would go to bed and though I was utterly exhausted could not, would not sleep. I would lay on my bed, barely close my eyes and the flood of buzzing thoughts, feelings, colors and scenes would settle here or there, in beautiful dreams of possibilities and ideas. I would tell myself: I don’t have enough time to day dream. This happens quite often to me. I get really good sayings about life, metaphors that roll off your tongue and leave a seed in your mind. Effluves. Things is I can’t usually remember my lovely thoughts the next morning. I can remember how lovely they were just not their form. I can remember their impact just not their incarnation. I can perhaps if I’m lucky remember the idea but not the incarnation of it.

These past weeks, I have been in classes that are giving me the framework, the language, the organizational tool to put my every thoughts in, wide awake.

A challenge I do not yet know how to respond to is how will I communicate the things I have learned in weeks to those I go back to? We have two and a half hour lectures twice a day every day except Thursday and the weekends. These are intensive times of exploring concepts, our minds and the world. We have an “art” class which is more like a philosophical aesthetics anthropology class and we have a community development class which makes me question even wanting to work in an organization. I just want to live with people. Truly. How to express the things I have learned?

I can’t even express how much of a freaking chemical reaction there is in all of this. The classes are built upon our experience. Like if our brains hadn’t been completely thrown up in the air with our experience in Thai culture and practicum then there would not have been the possibility of laying new foundations. Without our first round of classes, the easy intro where we interacted with Thai people in a comfortable setting for us and interacted with Thai culture laying a framework to understand it in our terms. Historical, political, economic information and analysis. All in a classwork, writing papers, doing our thing.

This experience has offered the possibility to provide a dissonance to our built up structures of being and seeing. This dissonance: I picture it as a building projection that you see as you would see Manhattan during a clear day that all the sudden gets static and you see there is something behind, beyond. And you can go through this momentary haze. The haze I always live in. Yet, as Michael said everything is a form. I learned freshman year that rejection of a form is still letting this form guide your actions. Rejection is a form. Today I learn that going between forms is a form. Ecclectia. Nice. Makes sense. Feels good to have terms to define your seemingly rash movements. To know they are actually guided. To begin to recognize this complex wave of seemingly unpredictable jumps and intimacies and hidings. It’s like how when I just need to write out a paper. And I think it’s absolute crap. And then I read it over and realize that there’s actually an argumentative structure to the whole thing and it makes sense and it flows and I’ve conveyed something. That’s what you get for having a French thinking structure and speaking in English. No it’s not translation it’s literally combining different tools that you equally master and using them fully yet there is a part of you that is not functioning. You can’t grasp what is happening in that moment. You can’t see. You are blind. But are we not all blind? Or perhaps this blindness will go away once I finally understand somewhat of this crazy spiral. It’s like I see spikes. Everything is spikes. But from miles away, from lightyears away, all these spikes make a perfectly round circle. It just has more .. matter? mass? width? thickness? This is my shape. Perhaps others’ shapes are simply thin lines that go straight and abruptly end and they intersect. Or maybe they are simple little dots that align.

I feel free. I know I am constantly changing I know it is nowhere near to being finished. I strive to continue to blur the lines between worlds, between masks and mirrors.

I have pretty much cried in every single class. The tears are different each time, though they are linked. Is it not beautiful how many different types of emotion we can feel? The different possible combinations, the acceptance of letting them all flow through you. The act of observing how they are touching you. How they are revealing parts of you. Parts you had forgotten, parts you had abandoned, parts you had hid, parts you had sacrificed or surrendered to the illusion of love, to the promise of security, to the structured education, to the pessimist world, to your own tired soul. Tired of loneliness and misunderstandings. With no way of expressing this.

First classes I was being told to think in a new way, to open my eyes to the world… Can you imagine ? Being told to abandon your way of thinking, of seeing? Difficult? Unheard of? I live not only with two different brains, cultures, lenses. I live with all of the beautiful, paradoxical and unsettling possible combinations of these. Everytime I go one place or another. A part of me dies. A part of my stifles. It cries to be let out. It cries for how blind everyone around me is. That they can’t see. Can you imagine? Being told after all these deaths that the in-between that I live in is how we should strive to see? That the magic, the beauty, the intersects, the dream is where we should live. GO AHEAD TRY! The underlying speech beneath all the complex concepts and sentences. The hidden, abandoned self. The dreamer. It’s like when you are half asleep. At a party, at a dinner. Everyone is talking about boring stuff. Things that seem just absolutely so so so pointless to you. Things you feel even they themselves know are empty. You go off even to sit on a different couch. You get forgotten there. Maybe you actually dozed off and everyone else went downtown for drinks. And then all the sudden you hear them talking about you. Talking about the research you’ve been doing. The project you’ve devoted your life to that literally has become your heart and soul and being. And they are not talking about you, but you open your eyes excited. Or perhaps you hear a song that you love. You hear it from afar. You open your eyes. Straining your ears to hear more. But maybe this happens in a split second and you are bouncing off the canopy and rushing in to hear more. Your heart thumping. So…. this is what would happen. Except is more than that. There is a pain. Let’s add the fact that the dinner party was more than just boring. Let’s say people were actually stabbing you the whole time. Crazy right? You’re invited to this beautiful party, by beautiful smiling, seemingly loving people. And You’re all excited. It’s like going to the disney land freaking castle for tea and cupcakes! Everyhting is sparkly. You are dreamiiiing! And then you are greeted. The smiles seem a little twisted. You’re a little apprehensive but you are too excited and innocent. You go to sit. And the feast begins. You are the feast. Getting stabbed. You would be shocked right? Scared and screaming and bleeding on the floor as they all leave you there. Tears and blood stirring on the linoleum floor. Staining the shimmering tassels of your sparkle dress. And you can just stay there. Like Prometheus. You’re not going to die from it just maybe pass out from the pain and always be on the brink, but it’s easier to act as if you’re dead and then when they come back you can greet them with a smile and go out to the bar with them, initiated into the ways. Or you can put some of the blood on your face, look at your self on the floor and decide in anger to exact revenge and retribution. Jump out the window yelling out curses, landing outside in the dirt, taking the glass shard from the window out of your bleeding arm and banishing it forth as a weapon, looking in the shadows for the cursed and dying who you can take forth against the shimmering gowns.

But oh. You have fallen down in the dust and worn yourself weary and in all of that you have brought the warrior and the follower together and you have gone forward in humility, trying to find in betweens, words, mindsets where you do not hate and were you do not bleed. And then a poet invites you to the castle and speaks to the two and  there are attentionate and their heart is beating and the poet is shining a light on the deepest wound that has been stuffed and beaten around and that you keep at the deepest. There’s the best makeup all around it. Did he know that the hole he was poking would go so deep for you? That it was the heart of it all? That its the core of your circle? The last, the truest, the fullest, the original hears herself being called. It’s like being saved ? If only you knew… This way, this new way is my way. This is me. The dreamer. And now she listens. With the three. All the more hungry. And still bleeding. The tears stinging the wounds but healing them at the same, gardening, flowers popping out almost instantly. And the three joining in hands. And all those that come from them. The dreamer reorienting them all, leading them. She wishes to speak now. She wishes to take the mind for a ride. She wasn’t asleep she was watching the reflection in blood and tears. And her eyes are still fill with it. She follows the wind and she smiles to the dreamer in all. I want to let her. I want to learn how to speak to her, I want to be her completely. Bringing shalom to the whole, the warrior needs the dreamer not the anger. The follower needs to be with the people. In their midst not staring in judgingly. But the follower needs the dreamer to not be fooled like all the others. And they both need the warrior to act it out…

Are you starting to get it? Well… I want to dream. And I am so so blown away. The ride I’m taken on. I seriously can’t wait for the next.

I’ve been asked to think of community development as Gandhi, mother Teresa and MLK would.  THANK YOU. I’ve been told we can think of ourselves as part of a whole because of the direction in which we face not form the qualifying, quantifying and organization of our actions. I’ve LITERALLY BEEN GIVEN A DREAMING MODEL. My last community development class. Asked to share three exceptionally positive moments of my life. We all were.

Here are mine:

1. My sister’s wedding. Watching her shine with joy and love and being a part of it. Of something that I had nothing to do with… So filled with euphoric pure joy.

2. Receiving my acceptance letter to go to Taiwan and Korea last summer. I cried from joy. I remember it so sharply. “Thank you God”. Literaly the answer to a prayer. The assurance, the unexpected answer to a request I had not even dreamt of asking aloud. In such a  sharp contrast with everything that surrounded me.

3. It took me a while to think of a third. To pick something. It came to me. I hadn’t realized it really. How positive. Seeing my brother performing on stage for the first time in 10 years? Seeing him doing what he loves, and my heart swelling with gratitude that I could see him shine.

I was before last in sharing my three and my voice was shaking as I shared them. Guila, my amazing professor than asked us to think of the commonalties, “what is the driving life force?” . Family. An “enormous sense of the presence of God”. I realized it was in the moments which you are still. There is a shift in time. You observe something beautiful and you see its eternity. My second one is quite different. Perhaps it is so important because it speaks of the underlying truths in the others that are not as able to grasp. The redemption that marriage represents. The redemption  of family that me being at my brothers play was. The rejuvenation and refining of humans and life.  We are then asked to dream. “How do these life forces factor into, where are they in the dream of my future?” and finally “How do I get there?”

Well dreaming and sharing them is a pretty awesome freaking darn start. Jah. Seriously I was so blown away by the last 20 minutes of class. I told Guila when she asked us to think of those three I was like “she’ got us”. Flashed to my last class in Social Problems with Winslow. Except that I actually totally started crying in that. hah. It was a little less expected.

But really how beautiful to share our happiest times? It is sharing out hearts, sharing what touches our heart. What makes us glow and letting it make others glow. It’s not that hard to share happy moments. But its very hard to share difficult moments. Darkness hates being in the light, darkness needs to be dragged out into the light. But light, it only grows and glows and makes everything it touches new.


We have been to a shining white temple, to a happy happy festival of lights where the sky was alit with the dreams of peoples of the earth, we treked through the jungle and rode on the head of elephants, and have been taught to dance, we have harvested rice that shall be eaten by those who cut it and painted together and talked and laughed and dot dot dot lived and been. 🙂

It’s magical really. This life. I’m magical I guess. A freaking talking, thinking piece of flesh that can make pretty sounds and pretty things and can change this world with my hands. And it all flows together. I loved lights and soft things and singing things and holding hands and smiles and smells. 🙂

Just keep dreaming. Thanks for everything. I’m gonna go hug a pillow now and kick my feet up.

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Phuket to Pain


I glimpsed the water, ran to the sand, stripped off my clothes and jumped in, rolling around in joy and laughter, ducking waves and summersaulting in the warm water. Phuket was a true place of restoration for me. I sighed in relief. I could not get out of the water to go have dinner after the sun had set. The whole rest of the crew was just observing the ocean from the beach… Like one of my dreams. clothed as they looked on to the liquid gold that i melted into. I felt alive again. I had almost forgotten what it felt like. To be completely surrounded and transported. On our way to the hostel we were staying at, I anxiously held my hands tight as I whispered to myself or perhaps too loudly “where is the ocean, where is the ocean”. I was soo afraid of ending up far from my love, I was ready to jump pout of the van on the next spot of beach I saw and just camp out there for a bit or forever.


I was so surprised and delighted to find out that though our accommodations were not physically royal they were enough : a spot to sleep AND BETTER, a minute walk from the beach where IMG_2308I ordered coconuts from a chill restaurant pretty much every day. It was really cool, to meet this beach. I used to have a fishing game on my phone in like 8th grade where you could chose different ports to fish at. In the moment of observing the shore, the colors, the haze, the width of the ocean and skyline I realized how beautifully different and diverse beaches are and how lucky I am to know such a different array of them. The beach culture of different places is also lovely to observe. We came during off season, there are resorts further down the cove but the beach was very open and few people came while we were there. Mainly locals playing in the water, digging in the sand for crabs? and ridding their motos down the beach.


The first night in Phuket was a nice time of fellowship, flowing conversation and interchange of our different practicum experiences as well as Adele and Michael’s time in the states promoting the program at different universities.

Our first day I reveled in the opportunity to roll in the sand, collect way too many shells, make some beach art, dance with Tippowan’s 2 year old Wana, do short spurts of yoga and of course roll in the water. Unfortunately I got pretty burnt. Oopsh. Not used anymore to my skin not being used to being exposed under the skin. Also not used to not having a huge amount of aloe verra on ready disposal.

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The next day I was sooooooo excited to go snorkeling in the clearest water I have ever swam in. Adele had asked that morning “who has never gone snorkeling?” I said I hadn’t because I didn’t know it was like ” a thing” though I totally have grown up snorkeling just not around such beautiful colorful fish and reef! We took a speed boat out an hour from Phuket to visit the Similan islands. IMG_2377 IMG_2381 IMG_2390 IMG_2524  IMG_2451 IMG_2418  We went around 3 of the islands, snorkeling at two different assigned spots with about 20 people and the best crew we couldve hoped for. We stopped for lunch on one island that I found out you can spend the night at and we had snacks and a nice hike up to a rock formation on another. Our guide played around with us, taking our picture, really intent on having a personal connection and taking good care of us, always offering fresh fruit and drink after every excursion. seriously such a good experience! I was extremely skeptical as we arrived at the company in the morning and van after van unloaded numbers of asian and forang tourists but it is crazy to think how awesomely organized the members are and how you actually feel like you are being welcomed to experience this alongside them as different speed boats headed off in opposite directions and routes. These islands used to be primarily inhabited by sea gypsIMG_2436ies, ethnic communities which completely resemble the hill tribes in their struggles as well as organization. I thought it interesting that this was the first of our encounter with the term. Our guide told us tourism is changing a lot for the people. Though I did also think about what unorganized tourism would do to the community. Would there be less because people are less likely to go rent a boat and drive to the reef or would the harm done in ignorance outweigh our impeding on the place in this way? Also IMG_2420though it might be false comfort I did feel a true enjoyment in the crew for sharing this with us… Though it was weird for me. Im used to being the insider or being with the insider, not an assigned tour. It was still an awesome experience. I got more sunburnt and went to buy an IMG_2454overpriced after sun cream which transformed practically overnight my awful deep pink burn.

The next day we ventured to the National Park and hiked a little yet unexpectedly challenging trail to a small sand beach where I yogad and swam in the rain. One of my fellow students remarked as we floated in the water “What are we doing?” we were talking about super hero movies and sports… I had just thought to myself how grateful I was to be sharing such benign conversation without angst or frustration but just small talk, sharing experiences and shallow interests as we floated in this perfect place. This was our life. in this moment. So beautiful. Perhaps it is difficult to live with this peace and awe and wonder, observing it unfold without always verbally expressing the immensity of it. Still I am seriously grateful that I can come into community with these people, that  I can express my desires and they be heard even if they are shallow things like where to get good hiking gear.

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We hiked back in an equally surprising time. It was sooo cool to be in a RAIN FOREST with rain. The leaves were shiny green, the trees and bamboos stalks brought refreshing aromas. We ate dinner at the restaurant at the end of the trail, with one of the best views ever. Perhaps surpassing my beloved Boat House in SB (though the boat house vibes cannot be equalled nor the site of bouncing dolphins. so ya.)IMG_2508 IMG_2513 IMG_2519

We rode back to the dormitory in the bed of a truck. The night life and lights bringing me new energy and excitement. I let my hair flow in the wind and took deep breaths as the scenery shifted. Freedom?

We spent one last day at our awesome beach. Lyndsay and I found some broken but willing boogie boards we had ALOT of fun with running into the waves.

I did some yoga. My favorite is going to the wake of the waves sun saluting and letting the water kiss my hands, flowing into my vinyasa with the water gliding over the whole front of my body in chatarunga and upward dog, when i take my deep breath and just smile.

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I did not want to leave. I could not get out of the water. I would start walking out and then run back to it. I finally tore myself away and went to shower and pack. It was raining. The ocean was crying. That reassured me. There was a response to our departure. There was room for it. This might seem melodramatic but its really just the truth of my state of mind and heart.

As we drove towards the airport I let my mind wander. SO IRONICALLY that day I thought about pain and memories. I thought about a quote I had read. Something about how sometimes to move on you must leave the pain behind. I thought of my garden. Of how I have left holes in it and how I have buried things I could not look at, and how now, through sweat and tears they have transformed. Like compost. Like compost the fumes arise and send aromas around us. The memories of pain and people and atmospheres and moments. This is what is left of them. They have fed your garden, they have made you who you are but you cannot return and you will never face them the same again. The fact that you can observe these elements, without them bringing on pain, with a distance and with the knowledge you are no longer connected to them, the fact that they have been composted and you know see the fruits and flowers that have grown from their compost is perhaps if not more painful just as breaking. I say Irony because these thoughts would seem irrelevant the next day. Upon returning to Chiang Mai I was contacted by a friend with a heavy heart and a difficult situation. The pain of my empathy and inability to make any action but speak words of comfort and encouragement that seemed so useless resurrected with a rushing wind all of my deepest fears, insecurities and broken dreams, hopes and loves. Memories that I had forgotten, words I had hidden came back with flashing clarity and searing pain. Things I have been pondering and trying to find answers to about how to direct my life now seemed extremely dire and at risk. Everything everything was painfully shitty. To top this off, my wrists and ankles have been very swollen so before this even fell onto me I had told myself to let my body heal, free of straining movements. Not having a yoga mat for 3 months and the difficulties of having correct alignment on slippery floors is really starting to show and to hurt. So where do you go and what do you do when you feel like absolute shit and you literally have no way out? In fact should you even have a way out? I have been saying I need to feel pain. What I have been doing is feeling ok pain like the pain of previous years, the pain of broken relationships, the immediate pain of broken heart that I could not face. I’ve “felt” this pain but I’ve also trained myself into feeling its arousal and finding ways to deal with it. “healthy” ways vs ways that can get you completely lost into the darkness you fell in and saw no light out of. I went to a coffee shop with Bethany, asking do you just sit in the shit? and after a while what? does it seep away? When there is no escape at all.

The irony is that I was in pain about there being a separation and then the first feeling of actual pain that arouse, I felt a connection in that pain. In conversations with my mother I’ve come to understand the relationships of my past and understand how they had such an impact on me and my heart. How we find comfort in each other in our pain and we were salvations to each other… How I will never again be so low again and so lost so I will never again feel the deep connection of what it is to be in continuous pain, fear and angst with people that you find joy and happiness with despite. Those moments were so sweet and strong because of the intricate pain they were built on.

And now I have opened my eyes to feeling and not fleeing. And yes, it does shift away once you let yourself to sit in it. Still. My heart has been continuously tightened. Still, I have been turning my mourning into dancing 🙂 And I have been strengthened and comforted in this and in my vulnerability and knowledge that this is not the end and perhaps this very weeping and pain and sweat and sore has something more to it. That it shall bring forth new fragrances.

I am having new visions and dreams and will be putting them before you. I want you all to be a part of it, its based on the interaction and mutual inspiration of our hearts and minds 🙂

“When we walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains!

A single day in your Temple  is better than a thousand elsewhere! I would rather be a doorman in the Temple of my God than live in palaces of wickedness. For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector.

He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold for those who walk along his paths.

O Lord of the armies of HEAVEN, blessed are those who trust in you.”

I have been in His Temple Today. I have been within myself and I trust in the good things coming.

Today was our first day of classes. I read and follow a lot of inspirational yoga teachers and motivational speakers. The other day I was reading a post of a great writer Jennifer Pastiloff who I hope I can have the privilege of going on a retreat with, about “opening your heart”. How this is not simply something to think but something to intentionally think about and do. She stared at herself in the mirror, saying this “open your heart, open your heart”. I thought it was good practice of intentionality and engaged in it. Be careful what you ask for 🙂

Today I ended up in tears after my first class and spent most of the second in aroused emotional anguish. This is ME. The Me that feels and sees the world as so much more, so much deeper and that has felt misunderstood and shout down and could not handle the harsh reality of no one engaging on this level and of facing the crashing waves of my extreme emotions. And yet when you hear that door creek open again, when you hear whispers of dreams and inspirations how can you not go home to your abandoned cave of a locked up heart?

So I will continue to shed layers and I am so beyond grateful for these experiences and for these teachers, for this life of pain and sorrow and the beauty of what you can compost from this shit. Just keep dancing and you will shed.


You know? But I don’t know


Our last week of practicum was amazing. What I was initially apprehending as a trying experience in a dark, secluded place with no internet or electricity, running water and some sort of beat up hut of sleeping accommodations was so far from reality I wonder what the heck brought me to imagine such an awful thing haah.

One of the former forang project workers we met at Pete’s house had already dispelled those misconceptions and gotten me excited to go to what he called “heaven”. He was expressively envious of the time we were about to have and this was enough to dispel fears though it did not come close to painting the beautiful picture, atmosphere and just plain breathtaking peace, light and awe that encompass this Chit’s village.

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We ventured off the main road after about 2.30 hours of driving and the scenery went from beautiful mainstream Thailand greenery and architecture to a breathtaking shining lake seen through glimpses between trees.  IMG_2176 IMG_2173   IMG_2191The car climbed up the mountain that was still arrayed in fields of rice and passion fruit orchards drying corn stalks and smiling surprised and intrigued Karen faces. We passed several communities, still climbing with the blue jeep up the red red dirt road. Finally a single stretch and some wood houses on stilts, we went up a last little hill and parked. The lighting was eerie. Yellowy orange shining and warming the humid saturated green grass, the surrounding jungly hills; the rice fields, the orchids hanging from the trees, a little terraced ledge from where Chit’s boys David and Sung and their cousin were rolling down in spurts of giggly laughter and energy. Chit’s wife we met as she ran out of the shower still dripping in her Karen skirt. What was weird is IMG_2221that this wasn’t even awkward. It was just rushed because of the need for her to get dressed quick after her shower to be able to be with us and make dinner.

Chit’s house was a bamboo weaved house on stilts though there is a structure in IMG_2187front of it that he has begun building out of wood that is very high and large and has the common Karen wood table and 8 tree stump seats around it. Chickens wander around on the wood stills that make the structure on the low and higher level. I think its pretty safe to say that Chit’s house has one of the best views of the whole village though it is not always considered best in tribal society to be slightly removed from the rest of the community.IMG_2188 In fact Chit, his wife and children spent a lot of time in other members homes be it their respective parents who lived in the IMG_2260main conglomeration of about 10 bamboo/wood houses or simply with relatives or friends. We would walk down the steep hill from his house on tire stairs. It was pretty cool.

I mentioned on my last blog that we were tired and exhausted and on edge. Thoruhout the week we did struggle with being totally in love with the community and yet very ready to be done with practicum. I knew that this wasn’t completely true. Now, as I am about to start my last set of classes I seriously wonder wWHY THE HECK I even had the feeling of wanting to be back. I guess the main thing was being tired. The sleeping conditions were not bad at all but the harsh reality is that sleeping on hard surfaces is really not that restful and pretty difficult to fall asleep. Maybe our minds were also just completely overloaded. Also we had been moving around so much, it was difficult to have any sense of comfort and we were ready to have and be around a familiar atmosphere. Unfortunately this was not the case upon returning to Doi Saket. As soon as we began our relatively short journey home I realized it. How seriously spoiled we had been. How we were about to go back to a world that had no idea of the one we had just come from that was so full of love and light and welcoming hospitality and care and concern for our happiness and well-being.

City life culture shock was intense. The reality is that I deeply love the jungle, the mountains and its people. I thrive on the tribal spirit. This comfort and understanding was made clear as soon as we arrived at the village.

We were not staying at Chit’s house, he brought us to the pastor’s assistant hosue and the house we were to stay in. It was a large wooden house on stilts. We are still unsure as to the usual use of the house. They set up bedding for us in the single closed off room of the house which was lined in windows overlooking the main fields of the villagers in the valley down below, just a few 100 meters away . Not even maybe.


There was a TV in the main room. We think it might have been the “common” room. Whatever the case, after Chit had us drop off our bags, we ventured up for a delicious dinner his wife had prepared and then he took us to meet his father and have some hot tea in a bamboo house.


Chit’s father was intensily sweet. He never did not smile to us. A tender, concerned smile of genuine happiness and comfort. There was so much in this smile that I was sometimes shy to look at him because I felt the urge to just hug ang laugh and dance with him whenever that smile fell on me for too long. The Karen are the most affectionate people I have ever encountered. Touching isn’t that common of a Thai thing. Though I know with my interactions with the Lahu students in Chiang-Mai that physical affection is expressed, I have not personally experienced the scope of that expression because of the framework that the Bible school imposes. It’s tribal people not really in tribal culture. The other interactions with tribal people have been too short to get really comfortable. Not here. Here the village is family and if you are in the village you are family. We were so at ease and at peace. The tone was set from the start as Bethany wandered off to shower in the outside tin shower and our host wandered off to give us both Karen skirts to go to the shower draped in. Chill. I’m down for a lack of prudishness when most technically useful. or always.. ha. In fact as I was practicing yoga that night in the closed room in my usual extremely minimal attire, our host opened the door as I was in a held plié position uttered “ma pen rei” and started making our bed. Slightly surprised for about half a second, I was more than happy to embrace this attitude of total chillness as to my sweaty practically naked self. My mom and Californian homies are the only ones that offer this level of nonchalance so I felt right at home. This feeling was only further enhanced as after the most frightening shower experience OF MY LIFE (took a really lame flashlight to the I later found out wrong shower that was covered in spider webs as I freaked out the whole time, trying to hastily dumb water from the bucket on my head to get the shampoo mostly out of my hair). Anyways I mentioned there was a TV. Every night there was a TV session and the best cuddle puddle of my life. seriously. So much love it was a cocoon of comfort.

The next day we were asked to teach English which then changed after I had prepared myself to teach into simply teaching a song which wasn’t too difficult though one never knows how much the kids actually retain.

After lunch we wandered around the village with Chit’s sister in law and her babyIMG_2246 IMG_2250 IMG_2243 as they showed us Muré, the pet monkey that I fell in love with and visited every single day, some bunnies she didn’t seem to understand why I wasn’t as stoked to go see and some frogs in a brick circle that they bread for food. Around the village there were sooo many chicks and their mommas and beautiful colorful roostersIMG_2255 that were not as loud as the ones at the Hmong dormitory in Naang Province at Jah’s. There were also a lot of pigs and piglets and dogs. super cute.
Khun Chit also brought us down to the fields for the first time that day, the villagers laughed and smiled and stared. One particular character walked by and handed us his scythe montinonning to already cut stalks? of rice. I was a little confused. How am I supposed to cut something that’s already cut? He just wanted us to know what it was like to cut so we both tried it out and it was pretty cool.IMG_2217 IMG_2208 IMG_2209 IMG_2204IMG_2205IMG_2206IMG_2212IMG_2254IMG_2214IMG_2190IMG_2191

The next day we went into town with Chit and his wife to witness so we thought the milling of rice. What actually happened is that we dropped off the rice to get milled and came back once it was done. We were astonished at the fact that the milling reduces the size of the bag the rice is in to half. We were astonished through the week to think of how much effort it takes to cultivate rice and how little is gained. We remembered how Boon, the MMF worker who’s farm we visited with Pete the week before had told us the rice yield this year was not good. IT was also amazing to think of the fact that we were eating rice which had been cultivated by these very people. Very cool. Also interesting to think of what Chit said: “we cultivate to feed ourselves, not to sell”. But then how do they get money? They obviously need money for some things. Even if that’s meat or gas for the car or motto…

IT was really fun going to the day market with Chit and his wife. obviously not a common place for forangs ot be. I definitely felt like I was hanging out with some older cousins or older brother or something. They bought us pad thai to eat on the go and even coconut ice cream with sticky rice as a snack. My obvious favorite. I sadly have not been able to get my fix since then 😦

We picked up the rice and then stopped for qué ti ao because Chit was hungry. always. though interestingly throughout the week there were still times when we got extremely confused about the fact that no one seemed to be eating when we did. be it dinner or lunch we couldn’t understand how chit or his wife did not eat seemingly some days and then others ate 2 as much as one would expect. the lady at the qué tiao shop was a little senile. She commented that I was pretty but my feet “not good”. I had been sitting crossed so as not to turn my back to Chit but pointing ones feet towards anything is very disrespectful in Thailand so she was not happy about that. oops.

Chit brought us to the orchard he was setting up with his wife and we also spent some time with him and his family in their particular set of rice field as they picked up the cut rice form the previous day(s) and slammed it onto a laid out tarp (that would then be tied up and sent off to be milled) that had a rock slab on it to get the rice off of the stalks. I actually understand where the rice is now. They feed the stalks to the cows.

The villagers and specifically Chit’s dad were so very concerned about us. They are used to working hard and it was amazing that they knew that we are not used to this type of work. Totally different from American society where I believe there would have been a type of shaming for not doing the work hard enough or well enough or some comment about not feeling well in the heat and sun… This is a definite cultural gap that we had the refreshing opportunity to experience. A different type of human response that proves that we DO NOT have to interact with each other in negative ways. We felt so at home, accepted, able to ask questions, able to stumble…

As we waited on the side of the road to catch a ride back to Chiang Mai I literaly felt like an abandoned kitten that has to venture in the dirty city to find subsitence. I actually was singing a personal rendition of the old blues. But seriously, it shed a whooole new light to the knowledge of “forced” urbanization. If this is how displaced and depressed we felt after having experienced the comfort of the village atsmosphere for barely a week and having to leave it for something we have somewhat come from and been able to function in previously…CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW TRIBAL PEOPLE FEEL?? When they need to venture off to this cold world they have such limited knowledge of social norms. Where people walk past each other without acknowledging each other, where there is no depth, no affection, no grace… This reality was a lot to come to terms with.

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It was really interesting and I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I spent time with the village kids, one rowdy little extravert boy in particular that would come up to us to sleep on our stomachs or run after me with my hoola hoop. The day of our departure however, I was outside throwing away our trash and was so surprised that I hadn’t realized he was squatting between the two houses the whole time. He was being so quiet. He seemed sad, a little angry. Il boudait.

Our eyes met and he turned his away. We went up to eat breakfast and were surprised when Chit asked us if we were ready. We hadn’t seen his wife or children. His family was in the field. We packed up our things and headed out I nthe car. I was still surprised once we passed the lake that we hadn’t stopped on the way out to say our goodbyes. I was still half expecting it. What is the tribal costum for semi informal goodbyes? Do they shy away from departures? Did we not really mean much? Do they expect to ignore departure as something important so its just like any other day till the day we come back? It was difficult. Yet another connection that had no real closure. But maybe it is for the best. To not always be saying teary eyed goodbyes forever, around the world. Just to say hello, to spend good times together and to flow in and out of the different parts of my family. the different homes where I have left a aprt of my heart.

Our last night of practicum was surreal. Sureal because it was surreal to think that it was so benign what was happening but so wonderfly unique, so sweet and so ful of the peace of God. We have shaped a deep bond with Chit throughout our practicum. We have seen him in different situations. At work at the office where he is the “new kid” still to some extent, at work in Hmong villages, interacting with Karen villages and completely in his element in his village. We went on a long drive on Thursday with Chit and the 18 year old kid we had interacted with. Chit had been working in the field but had just showered, had on rolled up worn out jeans, a beautiful traiditonal Karen red woven shirt and powder on the nape of his neck. A different attire than the usual shirt he wears when interacting with villagers or at the office.

We visited two villages that were both quite dark feeling. Our last night I asked him through broken translation “Was there a problem”. Yes he said “but I can’t tell you.” Language barriers.

Our last night was a night of jokes and laughter that carried on outside in the light of the bright stars and the open fire we had and where a cricket Chit’s wife caught ended up getting grilled before chewed up “arroy”. Apparently the whole village thinkgs we’re monkeys because of how many bananas we eat. Fine by me as I laughed swinging from one of the stilts of the house in construction.


We also grew addicted to instant coffee. On the day we rode off to the villages I had already consumed 4 cups… oops. “I feel weird” I told Bethany as The car bounced up and down the windy dirt road. We soon figured out change in altitude+fatigue+absurd amount of caffeine = weird drive. Chit and Chacha? soon figured that out as well as on the way back I got Behtnay to sing a song with me and soon Chit was asking us “Sing a Song”. Which we did the whole hour and a half ride back. It was hilarious. though we may have scared the kid ahah. Chits words still ring with joy and laughter in my ears “I think tonight you are very happy! You make me very happy!”.

As we stared into the warm flames, Chit expressed how sorry he was he didn’t speak English. Moment fort. “We don’t understand your words” I said “but we know your heart. You know?” Yes I know he replied.

We spent a lot fo time talking or looking for words in our dictionary that night. I asked Chit if he liked working at MMF. “Yes because I like MCMP project”. True, seeing him interact with the Karen villagers you could tell how passionate and dedicated he is. I asked when he would come home again after being in Chiang Rai. Only in a month. He comes home once a month. He’s only been working at MMF for 3 months and it then dawned on me that Tim had told us before we knew any faces or stories that Chit’s wife was hoping ot find a place to work in Chiang Rai. But seriously… Who would want to live in the city when you live in the most beautiful place ever?

I tried to ask about missing his family. Chit and his wife spoke across the table in Karen for a couple minutes. It was so beautiful to watch them. “I work at MMF. My wife work at the village. You know? “ Bethany and I both chimed in Yes! and he instantly clipped this to our reply “But I don’t know.” This statement carried all the weight of the situation we had observed and been a part of. How much his wife and 7 and 8 year old must miss him, how dedicated to work he is…

We were enjoying each others presence and I was thinking about how this moment was a gem in a life. How anything added or substituted to it would render it unfeasible. After having shared our hearts, our music, our fears and hopes through language other than verbal, I asked if we could pray “atitan”. I led a short prayer in the light of the fire that I hope was stornlgy felt. We stayed a little longer and Chits wife brought us down to the house were the pastor’s assistant wife’s family was cuddling in front of the TV. She stayed a while and eclipsed herself into the dark night. Perhaps that was her goodbye. I hope I’ll see her again.

You know?

But I don’t know.

Thank you for SEEING ME.

I did not want to blog. However I am about to head out to a village for a week without electricity before heading back to Doi Saket and speaking with mi madre last night I thought I might give a heyo before this last stretch.


This weekend was a nice time with Bethany and Pete’s family. We relaxed, went to the mall, did my Christmas shopping in October, killed my feet walking around walking street for hours carrying my heavy computer ridden bag, the new hoola hoop I acquired and eating coconut ice cream.. Hmmm. The half and hour foot massage we had I feel was enough to rub into the tightness and awaken the pain. I was sooo sore all over saturday night but specifically my knees were very swollen and my feet. Still, I didn’t manage to sleep well nor did I sunday. We are tired and worn out and a little on edge. I know for myself I am at the point where I would usually retreat to gather myself for I am beginning to hear the things that come out of my mouth and know the way people think I am looking at them and I don’t like it!

There has been an extremely amazing flow from the Spirit however. IMG_2158On Sunday Pete’s wife, Mary brought us to theSingha tea plantation. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Despite my tired, need of alone-time usual poised self I let the mazes and trees and light awaken that little childish girl that ran around giddy as can be and then enjoyed some delicious roselle mulberry tea on big fluffy cushions.

Here I enjoyed speaking with Mary and Bethany. A question arose that I was thankful for the approach it allowed me to take. Mary, who graduated UC Davis with a Music Major asked me if I was going to pursue a career in music. This allowed me to express my desire to connect and help heal through art, self expression and acceptance. This is not something I can usually express and I was so very thankful.

It has been on my mind a lot lately, the gratitude I have for people who have SEEN me. How this is what I have always wanted and have been hurt by not being seen, by  what I’ve felt as being judged, being rejected and being painted as something I did not appreciate. I was always afraid hurt and mad about this so I would decide to paint myself as a statement. If people wanted to judge I thought, at least I want to be in control of what people are judging, I want to be the one that is making them have this reaction of repulsion and I want to be the one despising. But it is the people, friends, teachers, mentors, strangers who have not assumed or have seen something else. Who have engaged me in a way that recognizes an inherent value and uniqueness in my personhood that is not something strange or displaced but that is useful and powerful. People who believed without me having to do anything whatsoever. People who help me dream and own the true me, not the one that I have built up to fight off the fear of being misunderstood, rejected and alone. It is in meeting and interacting in these ways that I have the assurance that in owning myself, in assuming that others can see me even if it might take time, I know that along the path more of myself, of this world and of unique individuals will reveal themselves. I’m not sure where this initial thought comes from, but each person in our lives reveals a part of ourselves. How beautiful toIMG_2126 know there are parts of our selves we have not even met yet. Do not be afraid, in vulnerability you find the greatest strength.

There is a balance in accepting yourself, not being sorry for who you are and being willing to humbly, lovingly interact with others to understand differences, to accept their own differences and to be at peace. Recognize their might be a mistake, a miscommunication of intention and have room to forgive, room for grace and yet still have your own personhood and be ok with owning, growing.

So much is happening in my heart and mind, bridges being built that might lead me to many places, yet I am trusting I will know each step to take day by day and not fret over what next month, semester, year will bring.

Yesterday was our last full day at the office, spent working on children’s profiles from the Burmese center. Last night we went to Grace Home for the last time and ran around the Night Bassshaar 😉

Another short and troubled night of sleep brings us to this morning and yet a great time of learning and inspiration as we visited an organization started by a lawyer who had been unjustly accused of involvement in the drug trade, fought his charges and cleared his name and is now very involved in defending and educating people on their rights and on fighting corruption.

We had to write reports and evaluations of our time here wish was a good source for reflection. I am very thankful for the diversity of situations we have been in and the ability to sit in  on so many different meetings, witnessing first hand the inter workings of an organization on the ground and on paper.

We are about to have a staff lunch and then will be heading off to Khun Chit’s Karen village up in the mountains.


Please send blessings of grace, peace and tidings of love and connection as we enter this last stretch with slight ailments and raw edges.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. I love everything I have been speaking to you about and please please please continue to let me know what these musings have arising in your hearts and minds it is very inspiring and affirming for me and I want to continue to help break down other’s walls as well as my own. We can do this together.


Much love and light