Incr-Edible Bad Mom

Sometimes I forget how little he is.

We were throwing maple seedlings and watching them whir to the ground.
Amidst the fading grass and tinges of autumn, I found a bright red bead.
A berry.

"Look Boo, a berry! It's so pretty, but it's not edible!"

"Mommy, can we eat it?"

"I just told you it's not edible!!"

Mopey little boy. Looks down at the leaf-strewn ground, mumbles,
"I don't even know what edible means."

I feel this small.


Black nor White

Black and White.

A friend wishes all things were objective. I'm not sure what her brief facebook comment was about, but it might have something to do with wanting things to be either/or. Black or white. Her friend then commented:
". . . all human beings want a clear goal to work toward not some mushy middle ground that you have no way of knowing if you have achieved! Aren't we blessed to have a God who has a clear plan for us and reveals it to us!"

Objective. Clear. Black. White.

If you've gone to a paint store to get a can of white - whoooa! not so easy, right? If you've ever tried to wear a black shirt with black pants, you quickly realize the blacks don't match. How can that be?? White is white; black is black. Isn't it?

Pearl White
Luminescent White
Antique White
Pure White
White Flour
Rice paper
Snow bound

Toucan Black
Baby Seal Black
Space Black
Jet Black
Black Iron
Black Bean
Night Black

Is God the only One who can truly be and see Black and White? Perhaps we human beings, with all our failings and baggage and self-centeredness can really only see black and white from a distance, and easily call it such. But as we approach the ends of objectiveness, can we really be so clear and simple and finite as we think?

If we got in the sparkling light of pure white, would we know we were fully immersed? Or if we were enveloped in a night darker than black, would we know we were fully enclosed? Can only the Ultimate Being speak "Black" and know the richness and fullness of it? Can only the Great Amen know White in its pure, final light? We are to reach for Black because there is a Black. We are to seek White because there is White.
I contend that all the colors in between are not a justification for Relativism, because indeed, there is a Black and there is a White. If we choose to say we want black or white, are we missing all the beauty in between? Are black and white goals that we look to while on our path of sanctification? Does God give us this prismatic refractory to show us the complexities and fullness of his Infinite character?



in my head.
You wouldn't think homework for a second grader would whoop me. With my genius iq 'n all. Ha. But it has. My head and heart are full. It should be blogged up. But instead I'm clogged up. Ha. I'm full of myself today. Maybe cuz I haven't had my coffee yet.

Oh and I'm out of that funk. I think it's just hormones. You know that stuff that's been totally whacked out for 90% of us women and makes us suffer for 3 weeks out of 4 but nobody has wanted to help us because after all we're just hysterical and naggy and irrational and it's just the way we are and not a result of all the crap in the world that messes up our innards? I'm glad to be out of that funk. At least until the next time. Which is like in a week.

Hang in there with me. More profundity to come.


Why I Don't Like Superheroes

They're like boys' Barbies. I don't want my dark-haired, almond-eyed son to think he has to be an over-testosteroned white guy to be valuable.

In fact, I don't want anyone to think that.


My Korea

A high school friend who I've rediscovered by facebook is this very moment in Seoul for his work as a lighting designer/professor. He is posting hundreds of photos and it's making me nostalgic.

So I share with you my heart. My Korea, my Seoul. thank you Kathryn McNeil, whoever and wherever you are.



I am underwater. Hard to move. Hard to hear. Thoughts percolate, then rise up and *pop* like soap bubbles. It's glossy and pinkish and bluish then disappears without leaving a trace. I'm left standing in a conversation with a blank look on my face. Like I don't get it, or I am incapable of getting it.

What was an almost neurotic sense of orderliness and perfectionism, girded by insecurities and overlaid with raging hormones has, over the years, melded into depression. Almost as if my emotions have given up. Tired from holding itself upright for so long. I've fallen back after getting to such a good place. Why? I don't know.

You know, it's not what you think.

It's not what I think. I'm perfectly functional and you'd never know I was depressed. I don't lay in bed with the curtains drawn, crying needlessly. No. I just can't finish a sentence. I keep losing that thought, that connection.

drift drift *POP*
drift drift *POP*

I can't get very interested in anything.

I should be blogging - Eden, garden walls, Israel, His sheep, neither Jew nor Gentile, neither male nor female, wives submit, ability and roles, insults, adoption, the barren, saints, princesses. SO many thoughts.

I can't get myself there. My mind drifts away...


Blackbelt - grrrrowl!

I love Ann Taylor.
See Ann Taylor.
See her animal print.
Run, animal print, run.
Run - ninety dollars -
right onto your credit card statement.

See Blackbelt.
With her ten dollar sweater.
I know. You're getting the two pictures mixed-up.


Where Were You When

Originally posted September 12, 2008:

I remember that very morning discussing how to get there.

My colleague and I were headed on a 2-day session at our client's in remote western Maryland. We had been there several times before, but this time, I looked on the map to see if there might be a better route. Should we cut west on the Pennsylvania turnpike then head south? or should we head south then head west along a Maryland highway as we usually do?

In the end, Vince and I decided to take the usual route across northern Maryland. We left early in the morning and were busy talking about our families, the client and other things that you share with a liked team member.

My cell phone rang as we were driving in the beautiful mountains of Route 68. My secretary called in a panicked voice asking if I had spoken with my husband. My heart started pounding and my head began to feel warm. My immediate thought was that something had happened with our family. She went on to explain in a breathy voice that America was being attacked. We had to drive quite awhile before we came upon someplace, a motel. We stopped to see what we could find out. The few patrons were already grouped around the lobby TV set and watched, unbelieving, as we saw in real time the South Tower being hit.

We had no choice but to keep going to our destination, a hospital. When we got to the parking lot, Vince and I, both looking to the same Savior, against all professional tradition, sat in the company car in our client's parking lot . . . and prayed.

We found out that this facility was the third tier in the line of care in cases of catastrophes. By this time, the Pentagon had been hit and there were conflicting reports about Flight 93. We started our meeting, with heaviness. The series of meetings were to last 2 days, and at any time, helicoptors and ambulances might be coming with the casualties from the Pentagon or Shanksville. We continued, heavy-hearted, with the visions of the tower hovering in our hearts.

As the hours wore on into the late afternoon, with no radio contact, no helicoptors, no ambulances, we knew. We knew it was bleak news. Our clients, nurses trained in emergency preparedness, were frank: despite the number of people that had been injured, there weren't enough survivors for their hospital to be needed.

At the end of our sessions, Vince and I headed to our hotel rooms. We each sat in our own room, feeling alone, helpless, lost, and feeling like never before the deep primal need to be with our families. We met the next morning for breakfast, neither one of us having slept well. We continued our meetings. I don't know how we did it. We were there and we had to keep going.

As we drove back across Maryland, and as the news of the Shanksville tragedy became clearer, we realized that had we driven across Pennsylvania the morning before, we probably would have seen a plane in the sky, plummeting down toward an empty field.

I know that how I was touched is nothing compared to what others lived...are living through. But I was touched, as was every other in our country. And, what is it like compared to people who live with this violence every day in other parts of the world? They leave their family in the morning, not knowing if they'll come back with a limb missing, tortured for apparently no reason, or if they'll come home at all. Might we learn something? might we learn to have some love for our fellow human beings who suffer through attacks every month? every week? every day?

I have no conclusion to this story I've shared. How can there be? It is just my heart, poured out for the sadness and evil in this world.


School Lunch, Day 2

I am so proud of myself. Heh. How long can I keep this up??

Clockwise from lower left:
Dried cranberry
Tomato juice
Doshiddok of
Rice and barley
Hard-boiled eggs (from grain-fed chickens) with sea salt
Black grapes (lots of antioxidents!)
Grilled cauliflower (paprika, butter, salt)

along with
Keem (seasoned dried, pressed laver)
Foogo container of 1/2 organic juice, 1/2 water

Taking bets, anyone?


School Lunch

Boo doesn't do sandwiches. If he's at a friend's, he'll eat what's offered but he's the kid who'll eat the innards and discard the perfectly wonderful 7-grain organic bread. (Like that was cheap!) I've been so horrified at the school lunches that this year, I made a New (School) Year Resolution to pack more lunches.

So here's Boo's first day snack and lunch - clockwise from lower left:
7-grain pretzels
Tomato juice
Doshiddok of
Home-grown cucumbers
Home-grown cherry tomatoes
Black grapes (lots of antioxidents!)
Krab sticks (still processed, but made of pollock, not unidentified fish stuffs)

along with
Foogo container of water
Organic fruit juice


Not Ready Yet

Boo started second grade today. He has had an exemplary attitude. But it all became too real last night. He knew if he went to sleep, it would be tomorrow: Second Grade.

He brushed his teeth and washed his face. Daddy read him a story and prayed. He was snuggling with dad when silently, he turns away from him and begins to weep. Mommy is called in for reinforcements. It's nice to know, that even at the ripe old age of seven, he still needs mommy's soft hugs.

"What makes you scared, honey?" He weeps into my chest and warbles, "I'm not ready for times tables!"

I think God may see our troubles the way I see Boo's: knowing I will be there for him, to help him, assure him, hold and comfort him - with my heart a mixture of love and empathy and tickles.

Twice-Cooked Eggplant with Photos!

I made the eggplant dish again last night. I actually followed my own recipe! and this time, I took pictures. Check it out!


Blackbelt in Silk

I haven't shown my blackbelt prowess recently. I know. You've been disappointed. How about this ultracoolhipsoftsilk card holder??

So. Cool. I can'tstandit!
Now I have to get some cards.

Gay Pride

I am savoring this last week of summer vacation. It's been unseasonably, unreasonably cool. We went to the Zoo last week and the Aquarium yesterday.

My son loves the Teletubbies. Do you remember the bruhaha over them?? Some TV guy even accused these TOYS of being gay. Like what toddler has not walked around with their mom's purse? Not to mention all those hunkly European men who carry what American men pejoratively call "purses."

Boo wanted his Teletubbies to see the Aquarium. He wanted to take Tinky La-la. Or whatever the green one is called. I really did NOT want to end up carrying it around. Cuz you know, us moms are trash cans/tissues/shopping carts all rolled into one. I tried to tactfully get him to leave it in the car without success.

I finally tried a tacky tact. "Kids will make fun of you," I said.
I'm proud to say his response was, "I can handle it, mom."
I would have cried if I had been in the moment.


A Coat of Many Colors

I am shy. And brash.
Forward and introverted.
I am warm and cold.
I am accepting. And temperamental.
I'm very much a loner, but seek connection
I'm a conservative Christian.
And a Democrat.

Both And
Either Or

I've been thinking about my college days a lot lately. I accidentally on purpose found an old boyfriend. He crushed me. I was a fool at my fool-hartiest. If we are all finding out who we are at 18 19 20 21 22, then I had the double duty of finding my Korean-me, too. It wasn't until I saw other Asians that I saw myself in the mirror. I dated a series of Korean guys, including this now-hunkly guy who is some sort of diplomat flying around to foreign countries and meeting with the Secretary of State. (Yeah, her!) I don't envy or covet or romanticize. What I am doing is lifting up another layer of malodorous stuff in my Pandora's ReCollections of Unhappinesses and Insecurities. Recollections. Recall.

Suddenly, I was in college: drinking the Asian brew - breathing it like air. I had been happy as a teen. I had great friends, I was busy, active, got into the college of my choice. I just never knew there was this parched side of me. I drank and drank, unselfconscious, open and free. Then I realized that the Koreans were staring at me. I had spent my previous years with white people staring at me, questioning me. Now, these Koreans were staring at me, too. And soon, I could tell that the other part of me was getting dry and needy.

I came as a little girl and flourished in a white world. My tongue was round and slippery like Spaghetti-Os. They had come later, the angularity of Korean clinging to their tongue, unwilling to slide around in their mouths. They helped at their parent's Korean store, went to Korean church, hovered in clubs with others of their ilk. I didn't dress like I was supposta, I didn't say the right words. I danced with abandon, drank with the guys. I hung with people I liked. Chosen by one category: interesting to me.

Many of my white friends don't see Me. Even though they think they see Me, they really only see themselves in the mirror. They call it Colorblind. I call it Blind. I don't see all of who they are, either. But not for trying. Sometimes I don't want to because 'with all effort, be at peace with your sisters.' My best friend turned out to be a Black Woman. Maybe she wasn't Black enough and I wasn't Yellow enough. Did our negations create a positron?

Why is Both And so hard for so many people? Nobody is simple. Nobody. My friend's mentally challenged sister takes sermon notes that you could preach from. And how many years of living did it take to come up with the book All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten?

The patches come together to make a whole . . .
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of
-Dolly Parton
. . . or the raiment of Joseph:
. . . Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.
-Genesis 37:3
God made me into a coat of many colors. I am Korean. And American. Conservative Christian and liberal thinker. Shaken and stirred.

*Pojagi wearable art by Chunghie Lee


A Different Association

I went to the Parent Association meeting last night at Boo's school. We are sending him to a Christian school. Not your run-of-the-mill, Christian-heritage or Christian-background school, but a true-to-His Word private school that prays before every meeting and every meal as well as most behavior infractions. Some of you might consider it "too religious" for your taste.


They served cookies and little bottles of water last night. The water was called "Nirvana." Hee.