30 June 2004

Don't forget what time it is

Dear Friends-

Today I watched a documentary by the television show Frontline on the genocide in Rwanda, that happened ten years ago this year.

And as I watched as Hutu people hunted down Tutsti children, women, and men...

As over 800,000 people were killed in 100 days...

At a speed 5 times that of the Nazis during the Holocaust...

And the United Nations, who had stationed a peacekeeping force in Rwanda...

Who were the first to receive the message of the genocide...

Pulled out after international pressure...

And the disinterest of political leaders in "just an African" country...

I realised how important it is that we stay informed to the needs of the world.

Ethnic tensions exist the world over - it is difficult to find an area on earth that is devoid of them.

We, who know that Unity in Diversity is REAL...

Who know that the execution of a Youth by 750 rifles was not in vain...

That the sufferings of 20,000 people in Iran 150 years ago weren't for naught...

The afflictions heaped upon the Revealer of a New Revelation were for the betterment of the world...

And not for the denegration of humanity to a lower state...

We know that the sacrifices made by the worldwide Baha'i community...

And the Friends in Iran...

That these are for the spiritual upliftment of the world of humanity.

The world has suffered through generations of oppression...

Through genocide...

And war...

Through rape...

And carnage...

Through displacement...

And oppression...

To arrive at this Day...

In this Hour...

And we have the Remedy the world needeth.

We cannot forget our charge.

29 June 2004

"Race" is like an avocado

In my LOVELY social/cultural anthropology class (which I am taking this summer along with a five-hour field botany course), we are studying "race" - or, to be precise - the social construct of classification (i.e. stereotyping) of people based on physical characteristics.

And today I learned that race is like an avacado.

Before I continue, and to leave you chomping at the bit for a minute, I also learned a few other things. Things which we all know to be true, but can always use a bit of reiteration:

1. Race as a biological function is a myth. Read it: M-Y-T-H. That's right - no foundation...

2. So of course, all of those racial categories that we have to check on censuses are based on fallacy. So don't classify yourself. Fill in "other."

3. There is more differences that exist among "racial" groups than exists between different "racial" groups!

4. Anthropology as a discipline denounces racial classification in its entirety - and although some anthropologists operated under the false impression that races DID exist, and in an hierarchy to boot, there have been Anthropologists, like Franz Boas, who have fought against racial stereotypes and classifications since the early beginnings of the science. I love it!

So on to avacadoes...

The article we read had to do with the social perceptions of race in Brasil as opposed to those in the United States. Without going in to too much detail, and thus forcing you to click on the pop up ads, what is considered to be "black" in the U.S. can be "white" in Brasil, although the "black" U.S. individual may be lighter in skin tone than the "white" Brasilian! Just like an avacado is considered a vegetable here (and eaten in salads), in Brasil, it is seen as a fruit, and eaten for dessert with sugar! The avacado is the same, but it is the SOCIAL perceptions of it that change!

How cool is that!?!

I love you all! Go have some avacado - and try with sugar this time!



24 June 2004

Woohoo - two in a row!

I can't recall the last time that I wrote for two consecutive days! Of course, there'll be lapse of about three or four days, now, to make up for this...

Tomorrow, I will be going on a Field Botany camping trip to Southern Illinois. I am taking this class (which is SO COOL) in hopes of learning a little bit about botany & other exciting earth sciences since dear old Alma Mater doesn't have a ethnobotany major (ethnobotany is the study of plants and the way that people use them).

Plus I like camping.

This will be a 3-day trip, and normally, Nathan would be able to go with me, but there is going to be a fundraiser at the Baha'i Center on Saturday in which he will be helping. Plus, he is working for a bottled water company right now, delivering bottled water.

I have a lot of weird little things to say, but all of them require much explanation... so I will choose my favorite:

After this past weekend (the Hip Hop PA weekend) I have felt really transformed. A lot of intense emotional time, as well as a 26+ hour round trip, has allowed cool insights to surface in my brain. However, often I think of transformation as an airy light-filled process - like a butterfly undergoes... the result being a beautiful winged creature.

However, THIS transformation has left me feeling like MOLTEN LAVA! Hot and powerful and full of potential.

Tre cool.

okay - sit with that.

love you all,


23 June 2004

the afterlife is where we come from

The problem with spacing these out is thatt when I feel like writing - it all tumbles out.

Sort of like a really heavy rainstorm after months of drought.

I was walking out of the computer lab when the cover of a book that is stapled to a bulletin board in the Anthropology department - which alwyas cathes my eye - caught my eye.

The AFTERLIFE is where we come from

My friend Jessica Gaines is serving on the reservation (although I'm ashamed to say I can't say which one...) in South Dakota.

A Baha'i youth recently took his life there.

Death is a strange and sorrowful event. I fear it sometimes, but at other times - and I admit that these are rare - I feel almost comfortable with the idea.

We're only here for one hot minute.

And then we get going - we've got growth to do in the next world - that afterlife - that heaven - or, as it is in the Baha'i Writings, the Abha Kingdom.

Be that as it may - that comfort level I sometimes feel - if given a choice, I would opt for a few more years - there's still a lot of work to be done here. And a lot of that work is to be done by me.

Not in an egotistical sense - but that fact is that I've got stuff to do that no one else can.

So - I leave you with that - what do YOU have to do that NO ONE ELSE can do? I bet you'd be surprised to find out!

love so infinite that only the Infinite can give it,



Hi there, bloggy. It's been a minute...

My teeth had a vigourous flossing t his morning, and my gums are retaliating by swelling up a bit - creating alovely gummy feeling in me mouth.

I think I am going to take on a new format with this - write just a smidge evrey day or two and so keep updated - it's a formidable task to write an insightful & deep entry each time...

Nathan and I have just returned from Little Pond (http://www.littlepond.org) in Pennsylvania where we attended a weekend on hip hop (or hipi hopi, in Portugese).

It was wonderful.

I met some really amazing friends, which made me realise that I miss having a diversity of personalities in my life. As I said to Nathan, I am not used to being the funkiest of all my friends...

By which I guess I mean I am not used to being the loudest and most outspoken...

And by which I don't mean that I dislike having quieter friends. My husband - of all people, my best friend - is quieter than I. I think, though, that I am at a point where I am craving diversity. And spiritual stimulation from my comrades.

And by which also I mean I miss my dear friends of old - who are now dispersed across the country and the globe.

It is amazing how close people can get in only a few hours/days/weeks/months and years.

So to all of you abroad (meaning anyone not here - not just international) - I am thinking of you!

much love, and until later,


11 May 2004

how wonderful life is while you're in the world

Hi everyone-

it's the middle of the finals season and they are pretty heavy this year. You wouldn't know by looking at me right now, since I'm sitting in the computer lab across the street from our house trying to figure out ways to avoid studying!

Tomorrow's final is in a class that I'm doing pretty well in already, but I'd still like to do well on the final. I think I'll be getting up early to cram.

Last night, Nathan and I went camping. We were at Kickapoo State Park and our campsite was on a bluff overlooking a lake. It was beautiful, although it stormed complete with lightening and thunder that echoed through the forest and off of the bluff faces. It was really cool, and our AWESOME tent kept us nice and dry!

I'm listening to the "launch" service offered by yahoo, the same folks that host my email. Launch is the music service, and you can set your preferences by rating the songs and artists that you like. From your ratings, the radio plays other songs and artists that are similar to your tastes.

And boy do they have my number tonite. I really wanted to hear Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze." (GAP's bought the rights and has remixed it a bit and played it as the background for their summer line commercials - I like it a lot and have been closing my eyes when I hear it an remembering listening to it when I was a wee one. I don't know how I feel about a woman walking along the beach toward me and taking off her shirts, but I am glad that Seals & Crofts are profiting from it - at least I hope they are...) Anyhow, the radio has, based on my Seals & Crofts entry, suggested and played Elton John's "Rocket Man," and, most recently, Toto's "Africa."

I almost cried with delight when I heard that last one...

Anyhow, off to the land of cramming! Have a good week!

15 April 2004


Here I go again... no posting for a -l o n g- time and then a whole bunch of thoughts all at once:

Today in my Native Americans of Illinois class, a woman named Pam Alfonso come to speak. She is a member of the Menominee nation from Wisconsin, but she's lived a long portion of her life in Chicago, where she is currently a social activist...

I asked her what resources she would suggest to someone who was seeking to become socially aware & active and she said



I want to become a part of the world community, and that means becoming informed on the issues affecting all people. And she said that in order to become part of any community, you must first become involved in that community - and that doesn't mean listening to lectures and going to protests, but showing up - being there - and serving the community...

I suppose, in the midst of this quick-fix-and-instant-gratification-pushing society, I've adopted the idea that by believing something, I am automatically identified with those beliefs. But how are people going to know what I believe if I don't act on those beliefs? Or if my actions don't match my ideals?

Any beyond simple recognition by others is a much more lasting and meaningful reason to act:

Dios doesn't care what you think in your physical brain as much as how you cultivate your soul - your spiritual nature.

And one way to do that is to serve Allah's Creation - to serve humanity. And not for any self-important reason, but to express your love and appreciation of your own creation. Think about that - when someone does something wonderful for you, don't you feel full of love and want to return the favor to show your love?

And think about how immensely wonderful your creation was!

I've found that what I've done lately is retracted into the shell of my little inner sanctuary, and I've not broadened my vision - I've felt so poorly about my own spiritual state that I've lost my concern for others - self-concern is one thing (it's important to be aware of who you are - identify your weaknesses and work on them) but self-degredation due to self-criticism lead only to the worsening of one's state of being.

So how will people know how much I value them if if I fail to convey the love I feel for them? It goes beyond addressing the physical - it means really BEING there - really being concerned about other's well-being...

And it's a difficult task to shake off the husk of self-worry - to go beyond one's own self - I was watching television today and EVERY commercial was aimed as "self-improvement." Of course, first you must convince the consumer that there is something wrong with them. So almost all of the images we take in from the media are asserting that our lives aren't complete.

And if that's all you hear, aren't you going to start believing it?

So what I am feeling now is a real realisation - I am feeling love and inspiration and determination to actually make a change - to serve for real - to become involved in the humblest way possible and in that way show my appreciation for the wonder that is humanity.

02 April 2004

seeds and roots

I sort of cheated on this one... It's really a response to a friend's entry, so you should check that out first:


It's entitled "Serenity Lady Gives Birth" and it is whoppin' awesome.

Have you read it yet?
Okay, then read on:


Wow! What a cool (I sat and tried to figure out a fitting word to describe what I feel and cool is the best I could do...) way to describe labor.

I have a good friend who once told me that the way she dealt with her menstrual cramps by thinking that the pain was a sacrifice that she made so that she would be able to have babies in the future.

And there's this really cool song by the Roots called "Sacrifice" and it goes like this:

Tell you one lesson I've learned
If you want to get something in life
You ain't gonna get it unless
You give a little bit of sacrifice...

And I've been thinking about that, and about the early Baha'i believers and about our American culture and our fear of death and pain...

And wow - it's a crazy mix.

I really appreciate that you posted this.

Sacrifice. It's definitely got a "negative" image in our society - but yeah - think about the seed. it's got to split to grow, and once it splits, it's no longer a seed. And it doesn't really have any idea of what it's going to be to make it feel better about splitting - it just knows it has to grow!

So split it up!


I've been in a really wonderful mood lately. I noticed that I often go up and down with my emotions, but this has been a rather sustained mood - since Monday I've been feeling good!

I think part of this joy is due to the weblet. I am able to say what I like and get it off of my chest (I wonder where that saying came from).

Another factor is the lovely weather. It's letting me know that things are growing! I love that!

I don't have much to say today. I just wanted to say hello to y'all. Have a good day!

28 March 2004

the souls of white folks

Tonight I figured out (at least to the point where things are acceptable to my present understanding) why I decided to study anthropology. Additionally, I figured out, again to my present satisfaction, why there are so many white folks looking for salvation.

This idea came to me as I explained to Nathan why we were going to go to the Black Men's gathering in July. The Black Men's gathering is a yearly week-long conference that was initiated by Dr. William Roberts, a Baha'i psychologist. Fifteen years ago, he looked around and saw that young black men were in dire straits - and that there was no real support or creative outlet for these men. He established the Black Men's gathering, held at Green Acre Baha'i school in Eliot, Maine, which focused on the spiritual potential and empowerment of Black men. This is not to say that only one portion of society need spiritual empowerment, but Dr. Roberts saw this as a need in the community and addressed it. Nathan went once before (the year before we were married) but missed last year (it wasn't in the budget for us). But this year we're going. I say so.

As I was telling this to Nathan, we were listening to gospel music. Gospel music always gets me to weepin'. In a book we have called Spirit of Harlem, there's an interview with a Japanese woman named Yuko Ichioka. She says, and I fully understand, "I hear feelings when black people sing. When I hear gospel in Harlem, I feel more open to God."

Anyway - I'm taking my time with this story. I know you're thinking, "get on with it," but I'm going to lace it up this way and that until I am satisfied with it. Just bear with me.

In many so-called "minority" cultures, there is a strong sense of community. There is a collective identity. There is a spiritual cohesion. Think about it:

Native American cultures have endured hundreds of years of persecution, and yet many have managed to preserve a sense of their heritage.

Free black men and women were imprisoned and brought to these lands and stripped of their culture, and yet they remained defiant and spiritual, preserving the rich fabric of their heritage by incorporating it into the paradigms that were enforced by their captors.

All over the world, non-western cultures have faced imperialism and subordination and yet they still hold the core of their beliefs, albeit oftentimes altered.

And what of my heritage? This is something I've been thinking of tonight. My mom and dad are in the process of identifying family ties far removed. In fact, I see a lot of advertisements for online geneaology services, which indicates this is a growing trend. But still - what about my spiritual heritage? When I think of western culture - my culture, I suppose - I think of materialism.

Ruhiyyih Khanum, the wife of Shoghi Effendi (the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith) and a world traveler, often remarked upon the disease of materialism which infects Western society. And just because I know that my essence is spiritual doesn't make me immune of this disease.

And materialism isn't just wanting possessions - it is attachment to the things of this world. It is a groos overreliance on counting and measuring - on oversciencing things. I feel ashamed to talk about spiritual things because our society is afraid of what it can't see - spirituality is fine and good in religious settings, but it doesn't have a place in the academic, scientific world. Citing holy texts as references in a paper will get you an F for not using proper sources.

So here I am, listening to the melodious spiritual emotions of the voices of this gospel choir, and thinking my heritage is materialistic and teaches me to want and to not trust instincts but to look for what I can prove with hard facts, and I am looking for balance and suddenly


It hits me. I don't have any spiritual cohesion in this society. There is no real outlet - no real place I can go to feel safe enough to discuss spiritual things. At every twist, there is someone wanting to argue the spiritual nature of things with me - to prove to me that what I believe is wrong. And I am on the defensive always, afraid to talk about what I believe because then I'll have to prove it. How can you explain in words what is in your heart? How can you convince someone that what moves you is justified?

I think that I'm tired of having to prove things to people: to prove my stand in a debate, to prove myself, to prove that what I believe is okay. And so I look to places where the soul is valued - the unknowable is part of the everyday. And I find these things in a gospel song, in the ritual of a Dinee in Arizona, in the Dreamtime stories of the original Australians.

I am looking for my soul.

Nathan once said to me that the reason that so many people like one of my favourite musical artists was because that group offered soul. And so many people are looking for it - so many people are wounded by materialism in all its varied forms - and so many are looking for healing.

So the souls of white folks - hidden like diamonds in the coal of materialism - they're not gone, just hiding. But its going to take a lot of help from the souls of black folks, and of all the other folks in the world, to help us reclaim them.


SB could stand for many things: Strong Bad, Silly Billy, Sauna Bird. But here, it stands for Spring Break, which, of course, ends tomorrow.

Technically it ends this evening, since we will be going to bed early enough to be semi-awake for tomorrow morning's 9 AM classes.

I have so many things to write about, so I will list them, and then you can go find the corresponding number further in the text if you don't want to have to read a novel. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Ultrasound
3. New PLAN!!
4. Dolls

1. ULTRASOUND: So as you may know, based on the ongoing saga of wombs and ovaries and babies that I've related in past entries, I had to visit the health centre here at school for one last checkup on my ovarian cyst. This time, I took Nathan with me (we had both been priviledged to see Amia Carmen Allmart ultrasounded in her mommy's womb a few days prior) so he could see what all was going on inside of me!

First of all there were no babies there. I want to warn the reader at this point that one side effect of using natural birth control is that you aren't given the 100% assurance (or 90%, as it is with most other types) that you will not become pregnant, and so these entries will be riddled with worries about babies. And each time, they're just false alarms. I'm a worrier, to which my mother and grandmother can attest.

Secondly, everything was back to normal - the 13 ounces of fluid in the cul-de-sac (such a funny name) were gone, and both of those ovaries were around 4 square inches (last time, the left one was over twice that size). SO HOORAY HOORAY! I also learned from my mother, on whom I've relied for health infomration for all my 24 (almost) years, and who said, "Oh no!" when I first told her about my cyst (not a good sign from a biologist), that my paternal aunt has had similar issues, and that made me feel a little better. It is good to know that you aren't the only one in the worlds with a certain problem, and even better to know that someone in your family has gone through a similar time.

2. IKEA - Here's a funny story: we got a new bed. From IKEA. In Chicago. And we brought it home tied to our little Kia Rio Cinco. In the rain. It took 5 hours. It ususally takes 2 and a half.

And, when we finally did get home at 9.30 PM from what had initially begun as a morning excursion, we found that although I'd measured the hallway and the doors to make sure we could get the bed inside our apartment (thanks to an earlier bout with a long couch - ask my dad about that), I'd neglected to measure our bedroom, assuming a bed would fit in it, when in fact, the bed frame was 2 inches too long.

2 inches.

The mattress fit, but the frame didn't. Whereupon we bought 9 cinderblocks and some particle board from the local hardware store and propped that badboy up on blocks. It still smells a bit like a lumber yard, but it's a far cry better than the lumpy matresses we used to sleep on!

3. NEW PLAN!! Last Sunday was Naw Ruz (which means New Year in Persian), and which is the New year for Baha'is as well! A New Year means a New Plan, or at least that's how we saw it.

Let me preface a bit: when Nathan and I decided that we wanted to think about getting married, we decided that there was a possibility that we may not be doing the right thing. And since we were such good friends, we decided that it would be best not to lose that friendship. So, in order to keep that freindship going, and because we didn't really know what else to do, we made a plan. Our plan was very detailed and touched on spiritual as well as social matters - and we developed it with the idea that if it turned out that we weren't supposed to be married, that such an idea would be made plain, and we would have at least grown in our friendship.

Of course we got married. I would like to say that I knew we would, but I'm a worrier, you know.

Anyhow, we've tried to keep revising our plan to keep it fresh and up to date. And this Naw Ruz, we decided to revamp it. So here's the basics:


That applies to everything - spending, eating, thinking - all of it. Simplify.

Of course, there's more to it than that, but it's rather complicated and sort of boring for this context. Email me if you want to know more.

4. SQUIRRELS - Did you know that squirrels prefer peanuts in the shell to shelled ones? According to a study which I conducted on my front stoop yesterday, the peanuts in shells disappeared almost completely before the shelled ones even got noticed. I would have assumed otherwise, since it's easier to eat the shelled ones (as I found out while waiting for my squirrels to bite). Nathan suggested that it has something to do with instinct - how opossums who play dead don't get eaten because the instinct to kill isn't aroused in their predators. Maybe. But it's interesting nonetheless.

That's all for now. I think I'm going to lay on our new bed for a while (I've been doing it all day - I'm trying to maximise the few remaining hours I have before school stretches out and claims me in its icy grip...). Actually, it should be nice - it's been warmer and yesterday I took the plastic off of the windows. I am looking forward to the next few weeks - the Break is over, the the Spring's just begun!

17 March 2004


So this morning it snowed again. Or, more accurately, it snowed last night, so when I awoke, all I noticed was the end product.

Last night I got a massage from our friend Nellie Farnsworth. She works at the Campus Massage Center here in Urbana and once when I went in to buy a gift certificate for Nathan, I decided to get a short one myself. She is really cool and nice and she invited us to come to church with her.

One thing that I like about having women as friends is that there is a deeper intimacy that can exist than with male friends (husbands excluded, of course!). Its similar to my views on the importance of having a female gynecologist - there are certain things that you can share only with other women: menstruation, childbirth, etc - all of the things that come with ovaries, I guess. And then there is the similar socialization which is a whole other aspect.

Anyhow, it was so wonderful to have a woman who knew her stuff advise me on what to do that night after the massage - to take my vitamins and drink plenty of water - I really felt assured, especially since we have a discourse - I like and trust her.

Another thing that made me happy was this: I've been feeling rather ill since this past weekend, and I've had a high waking temperature since about that time. I've gotten a cold sore, which is a sign of a low immune system, and I've been feeling rather nauseous. From my admittedly limited experience, these things point to a possible pregnancy (since I've already ovulated). SO I was worried with this when I went in to see Nellie last night and I mentioned it to her. Her reaction was so cool. She said, "well, if you are pregnant, in about three months you'll have to lay on your side for massages." Like water off a duck's back, as I told Nathan later that night. It was great - I was heavy with worry and she took it in such a different direction that I would have imagined! I felt much better, and it got my mind off of the worry.


SO today I'm sleepy and relaxed, and I've registered and turned in all my forms, so now all I have to do is relax and study this evening. Plus I have a date with Suzanne for coffee & chatting! Nice!

16 March 2004

it's snowing

Okay, first off, Corinne, don't be upset - I only left a few days between now and my past entry!

Secondly - today it's snowing!! Fluffy white stuff is sticking to the branches of the trees in our backyard.

Nathan slept in today (he accidentally turned the alarm clock off instead of to snozze) and he is now getting ready to go to his 10 o'clock class. I don't have any class until 12 Noon, and so I am catching up on reading and the like. I am trying to keep my head above water with my reading, which is much more than I've ever had to do. Luckily Spring Break is looming over this weekend, and so I can take refuge in its long hours and catch up then. Which is exactly why we aren't going anywhere but rather staying home. To take a BREAK!!

I found out last week that my Horn of Africa teacher is the #1 fellow in the nation when it comes to Ethiopia. He was out last week and the graduate student in charge told me so. You wouldn't think to look at him, especially since he is so unlike other "leading" professors - He's even written a book on the subject but doesn't require that we buy it - very cool and humble.

Other than that - not much is going on today. I register for classes this afternoon at 4.45 - this is for my summer classes. I will be taking Anthropology 230 (a cultural anthropology class), Field Botany (with a teacher that I had when I was at Parkland - she is the reason I want to take the class!), and a few other classes to facilitate my graduation time. I am still hung up on a language - I've not taken any foreign language since high school, but I either need to take 2 semesters of Latin (not my strongest suit) or 3 of German, or 4 of Spanish, which is what I really want to take, but don't have the time to do so if I want to graduate next May (which is the plan). So I think I'll be doing the Latin thing. I hope it's not too scary!

Okay - off to do something. Have a good day.

11 March 2004


I just realised something really important.

One part of getting over jealousy is admitting that you're wrong and saying that you're sorry.

Even if that's not accepted, you realised it, and you acknowledged it. No one likes jealousy, and least of all when you're the one tha harbours it. It eats away at your insides and you feel horrible about it. And crying over it releases a little of its power over you and puts you in the right frame of mind to start to heal it.

let me tell you about caffeine

I love it. I love caffeine and late-night study sessions, but what really got me going tonight was a wonderful conversation with my friend Rachel. We were supposed to be studying, but of course we got to talking about love and spirituality and human rights and how although United Colours of Bennetton seem cool and diverse, thery still exploit women and children in third world countries.

And how we are going to change the world. We may not get it finished, but as a wonderful woman says, in the relay race of spiritual and social progress "we may not be the ones who hit the tape," but we are going to run as fast as we can!

And educate the children. Because, as Whitney Houston says, "children are the future." She knows what she's talking about there.

I love that I reconnected with that part of me that wants to grow and challenge age-old customs that aren't in line with the spiritual reality of things. To find the beauty in life - in the universe. To believe that even though the world is sore sick with tribulations that I can make a difference. That I am not merely food for worms. To shed that skin of cynicism and despondency to reveal my true loving self. My spiritual nature - that finds joy in the beauty of humanity - that loves everyone, regardless of physical limitations.

And Nathan bought me a CD by a wonderful talented woman who writes and arranges and produces and plays the piano and I am listening to his favourite song on it and I am feeling love from the universe.

I am a bit nuts, I suppose, but I am feeling so in love with everything. Like I'm afloat on a warm sea, and am merely following the bobbing of the waves - I am warm and loved and confortable, and at peace with things. But not to the point of complacency of course.

It's time to get things done! To see the nobility in everyone, even the grumpy people; to rid myself of the jealousy monkey (Katie - is the jealousy monkey a member of the Catarrhine clade?); to fall in love with the mystical side of things; to transform the world.

Ah yes - I love this feeling. I must remember it and return to it when I'm a grumple myself.

So take a minute. Think of a wonderful uplifting song that you love. Go and put it on. Think of the people you love and who love you. Think of your ancestors and of your great great grandchildren. Think of the love that is even now emanating from the spiritual realms, and just be with that. Tap into it. Let it fill you and realise that even if you're in a rut, you're growing and you're loved.

I love you!

an old lump

Last night, I was reading Blackhawk, which is the supposed autobiography of Blackhawk, a Sauk who led a "rebellion" against the Yankee settlers who were invading land which had been "promised" to the native peoples. I am ""ing everything since I am having a difficult time swallowing this information.

First off, I am rather appalled at the language which this autobiography of Blackhawk uses. Outdated and derogatory words such as "squaw" (referring to a native woman), and "brave" which, although not offensive to everyone, still carries the connotation of a "noble savage." I don't believe that Blackhawk would have used such language, and cite the limits of the translator who was only a product of his time. I wish that someone could get ahold of the original manuscript (if it even exists) and retranslate it, preferably someone who has a better grasp of the Sauk language.

Secondly, I am learning so much in my Native American Indians of Illinois class. I am really fired up about the treaties signed between the Indian Nations and the United States. Essentially, there was count after count of the U.S. government not holding on to its promises, and that makes me so angry. Mr. Thomas Jefferson, presumably in his more sagacious years, quipped,

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

Lastly, it just makes me sad. I can imagine the bewilderment of a people who have learned to adapt to a new influx of a completely different culture, and play by the new rules in which they have had no say developing, and are still treated with dislike and hatred. I feel an old vague lump of anger and sorrow somewhere in my chest, when I think about the families and lifeways that were ruined because of imperialism. Not only here, but throughout the world.

I take solace in the fact that these events were part of the birthing process of a new World Order - these sacrifices made by indigenous people throughout the world paved the way for the unification of mankind. That angry lump relaxes a little then, and I look to the present and future - of course we cannot change the past. But we can own up to it - acknowledge that we, not as individuals but as humanity, have made mistakes - and then we can move beyond it - build on that rich heritage espoused by peoples and cultures from the whole world. World history, native history - it is our history - all of ours.

09 March 2004


It came to my attention over the course of this weekend that a few more people than I expected are reading my webble. I was rather taken aback, since I thought that anyone who reads it posts, although that is a silly assumption.

So now I am going to strive to make reading this worth your while. Only, I can't figure out how to start...


Spring break is coming up, and so I'm distracting myself from my classwork by browsing possible things that Nathan and I can do over the break. Some of our friends are going down to Florida, which sounds nice and warm. Others are off to Paris. Although I'd like to think that I'd enjoy such trips, I know that what I need is a real break - no traveling, no driving - none of that. Our original plan was to take the train to Toronto to visit friends whom we met in Haifa, but we decided we'd rather stay home and venture out only in spurts.

I mean, I really need a break!

I was thinking also about materialism - and the desire of the self. I've been practising a little excercise recently called "watch the monkey," which I read about in the most recent issue of "Spirituality and Health." This exercise is designed to allow you to conquer the incessant self - my ego that pops its way into almost everything that I do!

Here's what you do:

In a group of people (like class or with two or more friends), sit an watch the conversation. Don't involve yourself in it, but listen to your ego and its promptings. When an urge to react comes, simply note it and name it. It may sound vague, but here's an example:

Yesterday night I was listening to two friends talk about W. E. B. Dubois. As I listened, I found myself wanting to say things like, "Yeah, I knew that." Even though sometimes I didn't really. I wanted to assert my coolness by showing that I knew a lot of information. And so, when these urges came up, I simply said in my brain, "monkey, your name is attention," because I would have said something to draw attention to myself.

Is that clear? It looks rather jumbled. But it's an interesting thing to do. Since the Fast is a time of reflection before the New Year, and since my ego is such a huge issue (since it's such a huge thing!), I am enjoying squashing it. Or at least reflecting on it.

08 March 2004

you know it's the Fast when...

...The library stacks smell like a chicken salad sandwich (one of my favourites!)...

morning after

Last night, we had some of Nathan's classmates over for a "mocktail" party. It was fun and messy. Fun because they are goofy. Messy because we mixed juicy drinks, and things got a little out of hand. Now our kitchen floor is sticky.

But it was worth it!

Other than that, I am tired tired tired. Time seems to be going very slowly for me, which is good, since I have so much stuff to do. The worst part about being busy is that one forgets one's obligations until the night before or the day of. For instance, I am going to go read until I have to go to class at 9. And tonight, I've got to prepare for a meeting (which I missed last week).

Sometimes it feels like there is so much stuff to do that I don't even want t o start in on any of it, since I fell so far behind. I'd rather just curl up in a ball until things forget about me.

It was windy again yesterday and they are cutting branches (early) down the street.

Off to reading!

06 March 2004


Today started with good intentions. I woke up early, and got to work. I cleaned the house, did laundry, changed the oil in the car actually, I paid someone to do that), ran some errands, and then came home. All before Nathan woke up at 11 AM.

From there, it went downhill. I was planning to clean teh Baha'i Centre, but when I drove by, I saw that it was occupied. I was all grungy and decked-out in cleaning garb, and so I decided to clean it later.

I came home again and schmootzed around. I spoke with Corinne and had a nice long talk. Nathan went off to an appointment, and when he got back, he persuaded me to rout myself out of the house and go play catch with him (the Ayyam-i-Ha llama/camel brought him a baseball glove). I was a grumple but I went along.

I had a good time!

After that, I was bushed, and Nathan had to go out with a friend to se the movie "Passion" (which don't want to see). So I went to sleep (around 2.30) and didn't get up until 7...


Now I'm just sitting around watching television - right now, I'm watching Friday's Ellen which I tape everyday.

I'm such a nerd.

I think I'll go and try out the mixed drinks for tomorrow night's mocktail party. Bye!

05 March 2004

charging leaves

Today, herds of leaves are charging all over the place. I got leafed in the face.

It is really windy!


I feel sort of silly, since I've not written for a while, but I wanted to do so since I have some time.

Today, I dropped a class. I realised last night, after an ineffective stint at homework, that I was feeling way too overwhelmed to be taking 18 hours. I thought that I'd be cool with it, but I recall being warned at orientation not to take a full load, since I would need a semester to acclimate to campus.

Very true!

I was almost ashamed to do so, since I felt that it signified that I wasn't a good student... but Nathan was really supposrtive and told me that it was insane to be taking so many hours (no offense to anyone who is doing so)!

My biggest worry about this is my graduation date. Since I am a semester behind Nathan, I will be graduating a semester later. I was hoping to catch up and then next summer, instead of finishing my classes, I could get myself oriented for Teach for America. BUT... if I don't graduate next Spring, I will have to wait an entire year before I can start my Teach for America orientation. And that will delay having kids (since Teach for America is a 2-year commitment). I'm not opposed to scrapping that idea, but I'm not sure then what to do.

As Nathan says, "we'll figure things out."

Okay, off to (one less) class!

25 February 2004

heart full of herbs

Today while shopping for Ayyam-i-Ha gifts, I ran across one of those pillows filled with lavendar and other scented herby things that you can warm up and put on varioud body areas to relieve things. It was shaped like a heart and velvety. Mmm...

This morning I went to the doctor and I was sort of excited but also a little nervous. Nathan came along to support me, but of course he couldn't come into the examination room.

I thought that the doctor might be a woman, since the nurse who took care of me was, and I imagined she was also my doctor, but then when he came in, I forgot that doctors don't do that blood pressure stuff...

Anyhow, the examination was okay, and I didn't feel uncokfortable or anything, but afterwards, I felt like a cow, or some other sort of livestock. Not that I was white and spotty, but I felt like the doctor had no concern for me as human, but just wanted to finish his job and be done with it.

I suppose I expected a different atmosphere - one where I felt heard. I wanted to ask questions, but I didn't feel comfortable to do that.

Anyhow, I was able to sit with these feelings today and sort them out, in a nice relaxed manner. It was nice. And now I am able to articulate them to you!

Oh, by the way, my examination was normal, and I will be going in to get another ultrasound in about a month, so I can check on my ovaries and see if they're normaler. :)

23 February 2004

Mr. Rogers

Today, Bahiyyih wrote about Mr. Rogers. And that got me thinking about Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood, and how I loved it! And then I figured out a cool thing! Want to hear? Read on!

I love trains. I love the idea of them - they are fun and rolley and they have tracks so they don't crash. Well, not often. And I want to go on a train for Spring Break. Not just a Metra or subway train, but a full-fledged train with a dining car and a sleeper car and all the bells and whistles that go along with it!

And I realised that part of this love of trains comes from Mr. Rogers. Do you remember how Trolley (with his fun theme song) would take us to the Neighbourhood of Make-believe? Well, that was about my favourite part in the whole show. I didn't like it when we got to the Neighbourhood of Make-believe any other way. I didn't like the little models that Mr. Rogers would take out of the cupboard in the kitchen, or once when we went out to the sandbox - I didn't like that, either. I liked Trolley. Trolley and the tunnel. Maybe that's why I like tunnels, too...

So - hooray for trains! They make February funner!

21 February 2004

paint on me fingers

I have paint on me fingers. Luckily, none on the floor, because oil paints are hard to get off. So this morning I painted my first oil painting ever. Inspired by Nancy Wong's venture into oil paints, and a desire to create something, I donned one of Nathan's old shirts as a smock, and got to work.

I am still trying to figure out how to show it online, so that you can see it.

It was a really wonderful experience - I was able to create in an environment where I felt safe and spiritual, and I knew that whatever it looked like when it was finished, I would like it.

And I do!

20 February 2004

weepy like a storm that rumbles its way through and then dissipates

Tonight, at a spiritual parenting class (no - we're not pregnant - we're just preparing) hosted by my wonderful friend Bahiyyih Baker, we went through a guided meditation. For those of you who've not experienced such a thing, the format is thus: all members relax and close their eyes. Someone with a soothing voice (in this case, Bahiyyih) then verbally guides the group through a mental journey. In this instance, we were reflecting on our spiritual nature and the spiritual nature of our [future] children. We were told to think loving things to ourselves, like living with happiness and ease, and living without suffering.

In the second part of the meditation, we were then told to think of our children and tell them the same things: live with ease, be happy, live without suffering. At about this point, I started to cry. Not a heavy snotty cry, but just a teary one - thinking of my future babies - and realising that I am scared about a lot of things in reagrds to babies and children. Namely, that I won't be able to have any.

We closed the meditation with thie quote from the Baha'i Writings, the Words of Baha'u'llah:

Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty."

I thought on the beauty of these Words, and of the idea that in a sense, we have this sort of relationship with our children - they are created with love, and we love them and protect them because of this. Of course, on a lesser scale than God.

Anyhow, I excused myself and went to go and cry it out. I needed to experience the feeling, as Jessica's reflections on Erica Toussant's (is there an "i" in there somewhere) workshop on joy and happiness have inspred me to do. I realised that although I've been feeling pretty confident about my reproductive capabilities, there is a deeply rooted fear that I won't be able to create children with my husband. That's a scary thought.

I know that whatever the case, things will work out, but I think I am coming to realise the importance of experiencing emotions as they come. Thank you, Ms. Gaines!


I am eating a salad. As I sit here and ponder the magnitude of the sacrifice that the plants gave so that I could eat them, I am reminded of a greater sacrifice, one of which I was only just recently made aware.

A few weeks back, I went to a programme at the Spurlock Museum (the University's cultural history museum) which was entitled, "Winter: a Time of Storytelling; Native American Women throughout history" or something like that. One of the speakers was a very dynamic lady from California, who had written a book on Pocahontas, based on her cultural understanding and historical perspective. Her story was very interesting, but the most important thing that she said completely changed my frame of view of the "conquest" of the Americas by Europeans.

She said that some of the Native peoples who were here at the time of the immigration of Europeans knew what was going to happen - the mass persecution and annihilation of thousands of people - and that these who understood it, saw it as a sacrifice. A sacrifice so that these poor masses from Europe, who suffered from spiritual maladies as well as social and political ones, would finally be able to be cleansed. The sacrifice of the entire New World was given for the benefit of the human race.

This blew me away. I had never before thought of this. I recall my past view of the matter having some concept of what the Native peopels "did" to "deserve" this fate. However, as I just recently learned from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha (see my past entry on "Honey"), we don't suffer because we "deserve" to, but because the physical world brings pain. We choose to experience suffering by ignoring our connection to the spiritual world. The sacrifice that these people, for whom I now have a deeper respect, made is immense.

Thank you.

19 February 2004


Today, I had a wonderful time being married. Not that I don't most times, but I really was able to sit back and appreciate it.

Nathan and I are taking a class together - it is called "Chinese Thought from Confucius to Mao." We have it Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3.00-4.20 PM. For me, it comes after three other classes, so thank goodness that it's interesting, otherwise I'd fall asleep.

Today, as usual, we wrote notes to each other in between taking notes from the lecture. I asked Nathan if he wanted to go out to eat with me afterwards (usually, he is so busy with drilling - for his Speech for the American stage class - or rehearsal that we have to rush right over to Krannert Centre - the performing arts school - where he practically lives). After a little more discourse, we decided to go to a yummy Indian restaurant.

So we walked there (it is on Green Street - the main strip near campus) and found that we had a bit of time to kill before they opened for dinner. So then we just walked around and chatted, and ran a few errands. Then we went and ate yummy vegetarian food (did I mention we've become veggheads?) before taking the bus and walking home. All in all, it was a pleasant time.

The reason that I am enjoying being married in particular today is because, contrary to popular belief, students have practically NO time to spare (if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing - namely, studying) outside of school work. And married students (like us) are therefore left with the really early hours of the morning and the late late hours at night to spend together. Unfortunately, I am a morning person and Nathan's a night owl, and so we are really left with only sleepy acknowledgements of one another before rolling over and drooling on the pillow.

Today, though, we were able to just walk and talk and be together - to share the rather mundane things that make up our daily lives. However, it was far from mundane - it was a fun and relaxing evening! Being married is such a blessing.

Now off to homework!!

18 February 2004


Here's something else that I like: honey.

Honey is so wonderful and yummy! I just had a yummy soy steamer with honey in it and was reminded of something that my wonderful friend Martha told me when we were in Arizona a few years back. She said that 'Abdu'l-Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah, said to take a spoonful of honey and then recite "Ya Baha-ul-Abha!" I looked into that quote, and this is what I found, in the book Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha:

"O thou wonderful leaf of the Tree of the Love of God! All that thou hast written was perused. It was read from beginning to end, and it caused joy and fragrance. But we write a brief but useful answer, on account of the lack of leisure. Engage thou in commemorating God at every morn and turn unto the Horizon of Mercifulness. Take some honey, recite "Ya Baha-ul-ABHA," and eat a little thereof for several days. For these thy prevailing diseases are not on account of sins, but they are to make thee detest this world and know that there is no rest and composure in this temporal life."

This was written in response to a letter from a woman ("leaf" in the Baha'i Writings indicates women) who apparantly was not feeling well (either physically or emotionally). 'Abdu'l-Baha counsels her in a loving manner to use honey as a healing medicine, along with remembrance of her Creator. What a lovely image. It is also comforting to note that her sickness or sadness was not because she had done some horrible act to "deserve" such things, but because that is the nature of this life. The physical world can bring us pain, but the spiritual world brings only joy!

Additionally, it got me thinking along the lines on which I have been wandereing this past week or so - particularly about my spiritual nature and my overall emotional state. Winter can be a yucky time - less sunlight (and therefore less Vitamin D production by your body), windy cold weather, and grumpy people who want to be home in bed under blankets.

I have been thinking about how often in the winter I get the blues, and how in such a state, I easily berate myself for my shortcomings. However, as 'Abdu'l-Baha says, it is not that I am a bad person, but that this world - specifically attachment to the things of this world (materialism) - is merely a stepping stone - a lifetime of preparation for the next spiritual world.

So yay for honey! Go right now to your cabinet, take a spoonful of the yummy stuff, and think how wonderful you are! You are a creation of the Universe! Things will be getting better! Have a wonderful day!

17 February 2004

A pinch of pollen

The Navajo have a tradition where they wake up just before dawn and greet the rising sun with a pinch of pollen (a sacred pinch). At least that's what I've read. Either way, it's a lovely idea: greet the new day with love and thanks for being alive to move around in it.

So today, rather than stress about my upcoming test (which I plumb forgot about), I will greet it as a challenge with joy, since I am alive in this Day!

It sort of goes back to the idea of "women's work" being trivial. In the same way, I've allowed myself to forget about the joy of little things (like appreciating the thrill of a challenge - how can I fit all of this information into my brain in only 2 hours?).

I love to rediscover things and find the common Thread in everything! For instance - this morning I went to fish some raspberries out of my refrigerator and found that they had all turned fuzzy and white - two days ago, they were fine! However, I am absolutely thrilled because that means that there is life everywhere! My refrigerator is the host of a community of life! How cool is that?

Maybe I'm sounding nuts, but I love the possibility that the sun shining through my eastern windows brings. A new Day. New possibilities - new life!

Good morning!


It's also very comforting in this time of global chaos. People spouting off conspiracy theories, and end-of-the world stories. I don't mean to discount the real crises, or to turn a blind eye. However, I have chosen this path that I am on knowing that in time, I will be able to address those challenges that I can (like, wouldn't it be cool to go to South Africa and work with youth there?). I'm not going to beat myself up for not being able to save the world right now. My circle of influence isn't that big. So I will do the things I can do - like educate myself - and then I will hack away at the world's problems in my own way...

Right now, I'm going to try and reconnect with the divine within myself, so that I can be ready for action when I need to be.

15 February 2004


I ate four cookies before I went to sleep and I had a most interesting dream.

I dreamt that there were only a few people left alive, and that one of them was responsible for killing everyone else. He was a king or something. Anyhow, the other people found him and were deciding what to do with him. So I put him in a pillowcase and slid him around the room, picking up the dust that everyone was leaving (we were all cleaning this particular room while deciding what to do).

After we were finished cleaning, we all decided that we should each move back into the town (we were in the country) and that this king should stay alive (he was pleading with us not to kill him) but live in the country. He apparantly did not like this - he wanted to live in the town, and so he cited a law that stated if a family had two or more people, hey should have more space, and suggested that Nathan and I move into the country.

I think I woke up about then, but the dream had me thinking along the lines of the familiar Armeageddon idea: everyone in the world is gone except a handful of people. What do you do?

Then I was thinking about all of the conveniences that would be gone, like electricity, etc. Where would we go? Then I got thinking crafty thoughts, and planning out how we would manage to survive. It would fun - sort of a Robinson Crusoe adventure. Solar panels and geothermic heating and gardening and I would have a goat.

By that time, I had completely shaken off all of the sleep and was a bit more reasonable, but it was an interesting thought nonetheless.

I like the idea of roughin' it - but only if I have to. I still struggle with camping sometimes, especially when there's a warm motel nearby. With a pool.

14 February 2004

Owie (part 2?)

(I had meant to post thie earlier, but it didn't work out. SO here it is!)

Yesterday I woke up, stumbled out of bed and headed for the potty. I grabbed a prune on the way (I love prunes & prune juice - I'm a old lady already!). After said business was completed, and I was getting ready to leave, I had a sudden sharp pain in my abdomen. I nearly doubled over with it - It felt like really really painful gas, but in all the wrong places.

After a bit of scurrying by Nate and I, we ended up at McKinley health centre (which is the university's clinic, covered by my fees - how beautiful!). I love going to the doctor's, but at one point that morning, I remember thinking that my appendix had broken and that death was imminent.

It's funny now, but not so much at the time!

After being shuffled around to various desks and filling out various forms, I was admitted to see the doctor. He asked me some questions and then poked around a bit and went "mmhmm" a few times. Then he asked me to go and pee in a cup, because he wanted to run some tests.

About this time, I had begun to feel rather sheepish. I have a tendency to use sickness as a way of getting attention - not that I become sick on purpose, but sometimes I exaggerate a bit. I wondered, 'am I being honest? Am I really in that much pain?' The pain, on a scale of one to ten, had been at first an 8, but now it had subsided to a dull ache - maybe a 2. To make matters worse, I had already emptied my bladder that morning, and the cup business wasn't going too swiftly.

However, among the opinions in my head, there was one that seemed to have her wits about her, and she told me that even if it was merely gas, that I was doing the right thing. I had felt absolutely horrid, and that sort of pain just doesn't appear. There was a reason for it.

To make a long sotry short(er)(I've been doing a poor job at that so far), after a urinanalysis, a blood test, a liver test, and later on in the day, an ultrasound (which was not like the ones that you see on A Baby Story), I found out that

1) Nathan and I were NOT pregnant,
2) My liver was healthy,
3) My blood was healthy,
4) My left ovary was twice the size of my right one, and
5) I had a cyst on my left ovary that had burst and left about a tablespoon of fluid floating around in my abdomen - that's what had caused that morning's pain.

The Nurse practitioner then said that I needed to see a gynecologist for a full check-up and then after my next cycle began, to have another one of those intrusive ultrasounds (which I thought was really cool - I was able to see inside of me!).

Apparantly, ovarian cysts are common enough - approximately every woman has at least one during her lifetime. However, just to be safe, and to check out my ovaries again (which are pearl-colored - isn't that cool?!), I am going to have to be under surveillance for the next few weeks. If anything funky shows up, I'm to report immediately to the doctor again.

blood orange

Have you ever eaten a blood orange?  They are so good!!


Just a quick update on my father - he's doing fine - no immediate danger.  However, he's had to cut back on dairy, sugar, and meat.  Those are his favourite things (and mine, too!), so I've been thinking about my poor Mom trying to find some food that he will like!

Thanks for thinking about him!  I know your thoughts and prayers helped.


Aside from all of that medical stuff, I read last night that problems with the ovaries are indicative of problems with jealousy, which I've been noticing more and more recently in myself.  Furthermore, the cysts on the left ovary are indicative "of the wounded feminine in this culture (the right ovary representing to more analytical "male" side)."

"Many women try to imitate male ways of being in the world that don't always fit their inner needs."

When I read that last line, I started to cry - a lot - like I had suddenly released.  This, I think, is tied to my jealousy of tohers.  I find that I am often jealous of women, but it is moreso the male approval that I am seeking.  Not so much anymore, but especially when I was young - I was often mistaken for a boy and sometimes wished that I was a boy, just to save myself the hurt of trying to "prove" that I was a girl.  I think in this way I learned to value the male standards more, and in fact remember a time when I was gleefully beating the pants off of one smarty fellow in my social studies class' version of Jeopardy.  I had proven that I was better than him, and therefore worthy of my womanness (of course it didn't come out like that in my 8th grade brain at the time).

This greater valuing of 'male qualities' (don't ask me to define that idea succinctly, it is more of a feeling) is especially apparant to me when I look at cultural trends.  My mother taught CPR when I was in high school and I often tagged along.  One of the things that the medical community is now noticing is that women are experiencing increasing rates of heart problems, directly realted to their entrance into the workforce.

If you think about it, since there are possibly twice as many people in the work force as there were before women left the home (now both parents work), there is simply more competition.  Even though we are as a culture slowily overcoming the glass ceiling effect, I think that girls who have grown up in this time learn to devalue their own intuitive natures in favor of a more aggressive and competitive outlook.  We are having to PROVE that we are worthy of merit.

I sometimtes feel that those tasks that I do around the house that are traditionally female chores are not really that worthy.  I should be doing them anyway since I am a woman.  It's not a big deal.  However, the more I sit with this idea, the more I realise that those things ARE a big deal - they are worthy because they take a lot of work and skill that I've developed over 23 years.  Some may scoff at the idea that housework requires skill, but I know it does.

Anyhow, I'm sure that I've come to a conclusion with this idea yet, so there may be more in the future.  For now, I'll just leave it at this.  I value the work that I do.  I don't need to prove to anyone that I am noble.  God created me that way.

slackerville USA

Hi - I've been slacking off a bit in terms of being a vigilant and regular writer at this!  I remember when I was young attempting a regular diary.  When I went back to check, I found that the entires were about a year apart in some cases.  Good heavens!

So many things have happened.  From now on, I'm going to try to do this at least every other day so that there isn't one big huge honkin' entry to wade through...

04 February 2004


Part of me is feeling inspired to write.  Another part is feeling rebellious, since there are so many of these going around that I feel almost too conform-y when I write on it.  Is this a bad excuse for interpersonal relationships?

But then again, no.  Simply an enhancer - it keeps you close even over distances.  And if you're already close geographically, it enhances your understanding of one another.  Right?

Anyhow, I am struggling with jealousy.  And ego.  Together at last.  I wish I could be rid of them at last!  When confronted with certain stimuli, there is some little programme in me that turns me into a competitive and jealous beast.  Sometimes it's a person's words or deeds, and sometimes it's the mere mention of a person that sets my blood cold in my feet and hot in my face.

It's really a horrid feeling.  I don't know if there is something to be said for just feeling it (because half of the time, I am berating myself for feeling it in the first place) or trying to let it go.

And it's not something to discuss, especially since I feel as though most of it is in my head.  I wish sometimes that I could dump everything out, clean it off, and then out everything back in - like in Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain.

30 January 2004

Today my eyelashes froze shut...

Today when I got home from classes (which end for me around 4 - making Friday my longest day - so much for TGIF...), Nathan said that my mom had called and that she wanted me to call her back.  Immediately, I thought that something was wrong.  However, I am wont to think that something is wrong if I wake up at 3 AM for some unknown reason - I imagine myself to be much more intuitive than I really am.

Anyhow, I try to call my parents (who live in Ohio) a few times, but am greeted by the voice mail - the polite version of the busy tone signalling that someone is online (and most of the time, someone is - especially when I really want to get through).  I finally got ahold of a real person this evening - my dad.  It turns out that the reason that my mom wanted to talk to me in the first place is that my dad had a CT scan ("a CAT scan for your heart") on Wednesday and it turned out that his score was 799.  "Healthy" is 400.  So whatever that means, my dad is in need of some maintenance, and soon.

My dad himself told me this news, in a nonchalant way, like he was telling me about his day at work.  Immediately, I cried.  However, not knowing if that was the greatest idea, I played it off really well, with perky-sounding phrases like, "Okay!" or, "at least you caught it earlier than later!"  I wasn't convinced, but I don't think that anyone else could tell over the phone.

It's a really scary thing - thinking about losing a parent.  I don't know if that's the case here - but the thought has crossed my mind (trampled through, more accurately) a lot in the past half an hour since I hung up.  It is especially difficult when no one seems to know what's going on.  My mom has always had it together when it came to health - any time I had a problem, ring-a-ling and she would be there telling me a) to relax, b) the likelihood that I had malaria was very very slim, and c) drink more water and brothy soups for a day.  It always worked.  Now to hear her on the other end of the telephone line saying that she didn't know was almost surreal.

I cried a lot.  I'm not ashamed to say that - I think that oftentimes crying is associated with weakness, but I know that it is a matter of addressing my feelings with honesty.  Lord knows we all need a bit of that.  Some more than others, and I am in that "some" group.

So here is my first entry.  I felt compelled to write, to "get it all out," as it were.  I almost feel pressured to add something profound and moving, but I can't think of anything - there are high standards out there for these things.  For me - nothing doing - I'm just here.