2012, Day by Day

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Apr 4

Chaos, too, passes

Life is slowly returning to normal. I’m getting used to a 13-year-newer car. Spring is “finally” pushing its way into bloom, though the equinox is still recent enough that this feels a little early, on the whole.

Sometimes we just need shaken up a bit to remind us to appreciate the peace we’ve built.

Weirdest night ever

Drove to the next town to pick up some random toys at Lowe’s. Saw something like five or six dozen deer out grazing in the fields. None of them entered the roadway in front of me.

Coming home, I was taking it kind of easy… And a driver going the other way thought I was going to turn and turned left in front of me. I jammed on the brakes, felt the pulsing of the ABS, and wham!

It was over. One car just barely undrivable, one pickup with a bent axle and otherwise superficial damage. No injuries. He called a tow truck down and we got towed nearly home.

Mar 3

Freedom of choice does not work for people who are addicted.

- Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt

Induced Insomnia

I can take an iPad to bed and read it until my eyes hurt from the light (even at the minimum brightness) and not feel tired, but as soon as I turn it off, I fall asleep nearly immediately.  No matter how interesting the thing I was reading was, it would lose its fascination as soon as it was really dark.

In reverse, if I keep the iPad out of bed, I can fall asleep much earlier, even if my mind is racing over some thread of research I’ve been doing.

Feb 5

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

- Henry David Thoreau (via lazyyogi)

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

- Oscar Wilde (via lazyyogi)

Above all, I want to seek the Kingdom of God. I don’t know how. I’m going to work for this. I also know that part of the seeking is to discern what the Kingdom of God really is.

Why? Because I am homesick. I am homesick for the Kingdom of God, Heaven on Earth, the Peaceable Kingdom. This place does not exist. I don’t know if I will ever see it. But it is certainly worth living for.

The Mission of Peace hurt. It tore a hole inside of me and filled it with the pain of the world.

Love hurts, ‘tis true. But it is the hurt of worked muscles, it is the labor pains of a new creation. “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

Every day.

- "Echoes of China: thought, stories, reflections from the Mission of Peace" — a zine by a friend of mine regarding his trip to China in 2001.  "This is an important story I have been given… pass it on."

Jan 9

The first thing I faced at school [after returning from China] (besides my friends’ cheerful greetings) was Sociology Class. We watched a video about inmates on death row. It was horrible and scary and tragic. Then the bell rang, and everyone went to their next class. That seemed wrong to me. I wanted to take time for these people, victims of poverty, anger, mental illness and hatred. I wanted to cry about these people. I wanted to campaign or talk or at least to pray.

But I went to Math Class.

It is natural for me to adapt. It happened in China, and it’s happening here. My internal clock adapted to the time change, my digestive system to the food.

However, it is my fervent wish that I do not adapt to society spiritually. I want to remember what happened in China, and I don’t want to be the same person I was before I went.

- "Echoes of China: thought, stories, reflections from the Mission of Peace" — a zine by a friend of mine regarding his trip to China in 2001.  "This is an important story I have been given… pass it on."

Jan 8

"let’s walk," I said.

We linked arms and walked, slowly. The rooms in the Shanghai YMCA hotel are laid out in a square design, and we slowly followed this circuit, circling as we tried to find an answer.

"How can the two of us possibly hope to change what is happening?" she asked.

I had no answer. In coming to China, we were thrown out of our lives of comfort into the harsh reality of a world full of problems. Broken. Less than whole. We knew that China has problems, but we also knew that our communities have problems.

"It’s so… impossible! I mean, if I succeed in doing one thing… like if I get one friend out of a situation where she’s being abused, that’s good, but… but what about all those other people out there who are abused or abusing or scared or alone…"

After a little while, Sharon began to walk with us, joining the conversation. Then, Dee spotted our worried faces and began to walk with us, hoping to help. One by one, our group slowly grew as we walked together.

Suddenly, we realized that we had our answer.
“You who follow such a pathway
of unwavering cheerful service
shall be seen by many others
and, by inspiration, lead them.”

*I cannot change the world alone.*

*But (o great and joyful thing) I am not alone!*

- "Echoes of China: thought, stories, reflections from the Mission of Peace" — a zine by a friend of mine regarding his trip to China in 2001.  "This is an important story I have been given… pass it on."

Jan 7

On the morning of January 7th [2001], we went to the Memorial to the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

On December 13th, 1937, Japanese troops entered the city of Nanjing, at that time the nation’s capitol. The Chinese leaders had fled a few days earlier. The citizens of Nanjing, abandoned, were unable to rally any kind of organized resistance. More than 300,000 men, wimen, and children were killed in less than three weeks. The Japanese soldiers destroyed everything in their path; looting, burning, raping and killing. Some were buried alive. Some were left in the street to rot until the Red Cross buried them, two months later. Thousands were systematically butchered and thrown into the river. The ground we walked on was a mass grave containing more than 10,000 bodies.

Most of the Japanese soldiers were teenagers. Some my age. It scares the hell out of me, what we have potential to do. What we have inside of us.

What I have inside of me.

*Never again: this is why we need peace.*

*Never again: this is why we need love.*

*Never again: this is why we need God.*

*Never again: this is why we need each other.*

- "Echoes of China: thought, stories, reflections from the Mission of Peace" — a zine by a friend of mine regarding his trip to China in 2001.  "This is an important story I have been given… pass it on."