Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rainbows and Butterflies

This Spring has not been rainbows and butterflies. In fact, I've seen neither one so far...

It's been warm and cold and cool and windy and a little warm but then the wind blows again, it rains, and it's freezing cold again. We've had to replace some of our seedlings that we transplanted into the ground because of wind and cold-weather damage.

And once again, I'm reminded how weather can have as tight of a grip on my mood as the loving Aunt Flo. I've been happy and sad and mad and apathetic and a little humored but then the wind blows again, it rains, and I'm raging mad again. I've had to squeeze Doug's hand and allow myself some time off to recover and rediscover why I want to be here.

Let me try to use a relatable example to help you understand how I've been feeling. Do you have siblings? Have you ever fought with your siblings (over stupid things?)? Have you ever been so angry, so frustrated and raging mad that all you can do is scream or cry? Yeah, I do have a sibling and I have felt this way. You probably know I have a twin sister; we used to fight all the time over just about everything. We would scream and cry and even yell, “I hate you!” I don't think I've ever told anyone else in my life that I hate them. Only my sister. My only sister. I've never understood how someone so close to me could make me feel so incredibly furious! Do you know what I mean? As Doug would say, Y'now mean?

Yeah, thas kinda how I bin feelin.

I haven't yelled “I hate you” at anyone, but I have screamed and cried. And I've asked myself why am I here? Is what I am doing here worth this heartache and pain and all these tears? And I am wondering why I am having these intense emotions in this foreign land where my only sister is not.

So I've been thinking on these things while I rest and while I work. Why are people smiling one day and hiding the next? And in my own way I've been trying to listen for answers. I've come up with a couple of things that I would like to share, in a rambling kind of way.

I think people just want to be understood. When I'm misunderstood, I feel out of place. I must be in the wrong place if people don't understand me. I want to move to a place where I am understood and therefore can be myself. Most obviously, being understood means being able to exchange words effectively with other people, verbal communication (if you're of the speaking/hearing kind). But understanding also encompasses how we dress, how we work/carry out tasks, our response to any given situation (spoken or unspoken), how we eat, how we wash dishes, how we prepare foods, how we stir the pot (literally and figuratively). Anything and everything we do or don't do is communicating some kind of message to people. And this can really suck sometimes. Usually it's pretty easy to control what we say to people, but it's harder to control our nonverbal communication.

I think hate really just comes down to love. They are both really intense emotions that I think go hand-in-hand. I may be really naïve to say this, because maybe I don't have any legitimate reasons to “hate” anybody. Nobody has maliciously killed anybody close to me, I've never experienced true hatred from anybody else to hate back, etc. But I do know that the only person I have really been hateful towards is someone who I love very, very, very much, and who loves me back.

Needless to say, there are a lot of misunderstandings at ARI: a lot of broken English, broken Japanese, quizzical expressions, frustrated sighs, “neverminds,” apologies, eye-rollings, smiles, hrmphs, laughs, and ignorance. But what I am trying to believe more and more everyday is that underneath all of this is an immense amount of love. Not only rainbows and butterflies kind of love but the kind of love that also lends to disappointment, anger, and maybe even hatred. Note: I do not want to belittle anyone's experience with these emotions or say that love and hate are all the same. I just want to share how some really intense negative feelings have shown me love in a new way.

So let me quit flappin' ma jaws and share some pictures from this week that have nothing and everything to do with love:

Viewing samples of baby dragonflies at Art Biotop
Listening to "Rustico" play at Art Biotop, two very talented ladies!
Knight Field is growing up!
Tater sprouts!
Cookie baking crew for ARI Sunday
Mexican cuisine for ARI monthly gathering!
Enjoying food and fellowship
Doug made a tetherball court for us to exercise our muscles and frustrations and fun! 
Flower weeds in the wheat
Sam from Myanmar working in the wheat fields
We had 4 birthdays this week! (and 4 friends from home off the top of my head: Sean, Marc, Morgan, and Sam!) If Birthdays aren't a representation of love, I don't know what are!
Ferns uncurling
Momiji friend
Fields and Mountains 
Doug says my hair is long enough for a cow to lick! Check it out!
Vic from the Philippines preaching for ARI Sunday at Nishinasuno church!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you are learning so much there. It has been and continues to be so enriching to read both of your reflections on this time. I look forward to having you all over for lunch when you return.