a funny thing…

2.5 weeks ago I was able to watch as the ER doctor pushed my bone back into my hand, washed the bloody wound with saline solution and stitched up the big gash across my hand.

Today I almost fainted as I watched the nurse pull out the stitches. There wasn’t even any blood.

Adrenaline is a funny thing…

Also, I heard some awesome news today.

“Starting tomorrow you can get your hand wet.”

It’s really a funny thing how the most mundane piece of news can be extraordinarily great news in the right context. In the context of my healing it means my wound has finally closed. It means there’s no longer any worry of infection. It means I can finally take a shower without a bag taped over my arm. It means that I’m on the mend and I’ll be back to my usual self pretty soon, though perhaps slightly more ambidextrous than I used to be.

the weeds

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. (And it’s been even longer since I’ve written a post that had any real depth of thought.) My excuse is that I’ve been without internet at home for a while (I’ll explain why later), but mainly I haven’t posted because I’ve been waist deep in the weeds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALiterally speaking, I’ve been waist deep in the weeds. A lot of my spare time in the past few weeks has been spent pulling weeds, in an attempt to make the outside of my house look somewhat presentable. I started out with a yard full of weeds, waist high, grasping and pulling at them for what seemed like an eternity. Lately the remaining weeds have been somewhere between ankle and knee high. I’ve resorted to nuking the stubborn weeds that are left with concentrated weed killer, and letting it seep in and die, before resuming the never ending grunt work of grasping and pulling. It’s been tough, but at the same time it’s given me a lot of time to think.

A lot of those thoughts have been about weeds. Some of them have been practical thoughts– thoughts about how to best get rid of those weeds with the least amount of work, thoughts about how to prevent weeds from coming back, thoughts about how at least these particular weeds will soon no longer be my problem. But a lot of these thoughts have been about weeds in the greater context of life.

Literally speaking, I’ve been waist deep in the weeds. But perhaps in an even more real sense, metaphorically speaking I’ve been waist deep in the weeds. There are many ways that you can be in the weeds metaphorically. It could be in relationships, it could be in your career, it could be physically (how the hell did I let myself get so out of shape?!), it could be spiritually, it could be in anything really. It’s very easy to find yourself in the weeds. Those weeds are constantly growing, but to find yourself waist deep in them you have to ignore them for some time. And that’s surprisingly easy to do. What it really comes down to is complacency. Being waist deep in the weeds literally has made me realize that I’ve been complacent in so many ways.

To get out of the weeds takes a lot of work. And to stay out of the weeds takes a lot of discipline. In a literal, physical sense I’ve been doing the work lately. In a metaphorical sense, I guess I’m starting to do the work too.

I mentioned earlier about the lack of internet at my house. It’s basically because I’ve pretty much moved out of my house and had my internet service transferred to where I’m temporarily staying. The house that I’m temporarily staying at apparently has never had DSL internet, so they have to pull new lines, which has been delayed several times. I’ve moved out, transferred my internet, and have been pulling weeds because recently I decided to sell my house. I’ll be moving to somewhere with different grounds, a different separate of weeds. I’m hoping that in starting over on new ground this time I’ll have the discipline to keep out of the weeds, both literally and metaphorically.

a dream

Guilt. Guilt and remorse. Guilt and remorse for something that as far as I know, never happened. That’s a weird thing to keep me up at night…

Last night I had a dream. It started off as a pleasant enough dream.

In my dream I was a youth counselor, like I had been in years past. The kids were younger, maybe third or fourth graders, and they were Korean kids. It was like I had gone back in time a couple of years, to when I helped with Davis Korean Church’s Awana program.

Like many Korean kids, these kids were involved in a lot of extra curricular activities. There were two brothers who had just come from Taekwondo practice, and they were still in their martial arts uniforms in church. They were full of energy, wanting to spar with all the other kids. I told them to leave the other kids alone, and then they started sparring me, kicking and punching at random with their little legs and feet. They weren’t really causing any pain, at that age their kicks and punches don’t do much damage, but they were being really annoying and I was trying to corral the other kids to start their bible study lessons.

After about a minute of it I was getting annoyed, so I pushed the older brother away. He landed on his back pretty hard, and his head hit the ground. His eyes started to bleed, so I grabbed a towel and started carefully dabbing the blood away from around his eyes. After a while the bleeding stopped, and so I told him to open his eyes, and he responded that he couldn’t see, that everything’s dark.

“I’m scared,” he said, “everything’s all dark.”

Before I knew it, his mom had been called and he was on his way to the hospital, and I was left holding a blood stained towel. I distinctly remember looking down at the bloody towel in my hand when an overwhelming feeling of guilt and remorse came over me. It was agonizing, to the point where it woke me up, and try as I might, I couldn’t get the picture of the bloody towel out of my mind.

And so I was left with a feeling of guilt and remorse, for something that as far as I can remember, never actually happened. Sometimes I wonder if dreams have a meaning. If so, what would the meaning of this dream be?

the fiddler

This weekend I saw the “Fiddler on the Roof” at a local community theater. It was my first time watching a musical at a community theater, so I didn’t really know what to expect. It turned out that the performances were surprisingly decent and the ticket prices were less than half what they would have been at one of the bigger theaters, so I’ll probably be watching more community theater productions.

The story in ‘The Fiddler on the Roof’ centers around the family of Tevya, a poor Jewish milkman living in Russia. Tevya has five daughters, the oldest three are of marriageable age. Tevya is a very traditional man, (in fact the opening song is about Jewish tradition), and wants his daughters married according to Jewish tradition. Each of his daughters’ marriages move farther and farther away from the Jewish traditions that he holds on to.

The eldest daughter is arranged to marry the town butcher, who is much much older than her, but Tevya agrees to the marriage, thinking his daughter will be better off by marrying the rich butcher. But she instead wants to marry her childhood friend the tailor, despite the fact that he is very poor, and so she convinces the tailor to ask her father to allow them to be married. Tevya is stunned and angered by the breach in tradition but eventually relents and allows them to get married.

The second daughter falls in love with a Marxist revolutionary, who gets called away to Kiev to work for the revolution. Before he leaves he asks for her hand in marriage. Tevya initially refuses, but after some soul searching allows them to get married. He realizes the world is changing, and his daughters are marrying for love instead of through the Jewish tradition of matchmaking. Tevya, who himself had an arranged marriage with his wife, asks his wife if she loves him. (Funny how the topic never came up during 25 years of marriage). She dismisses the question as foolish, but eventually admits that she does in fact love him.

The third daughter falls in love with a Russian. This is where Tevya draws the line, he cannot allow his daughter to marry a non Jewish man. She ends up eloping with the Russian, leaving Tevya wondering where he went wrong.

The story ends rather abruptly with the Jews being kicked out of Russia. Tevya, his wife, and his two remaining daughters pack their belongings, planning to move to America. The story ends with the fiddler playing a song on his violin. Tevya nods to the fiddler and the fiddler follows along on the family’s journey to America.

I didnt’ really understand the whole part about the fiddler, so I looked it up. According to Wikipedia The Fiddler is a metaphor for survival, through tradition and joyfulness, in a life of uncertainty and imbalance. So that makes sense. The story ends rather abruptly, with the family scattered but I guess the fiddler traveling with Tevya symbolizes that life goes on.

Despite the obvious differences (Jews living in Russia versus Koreans living in America, and five daughters versus two sons) the family in the story actually kind of reminds me of my family.

My parents weren’t really an arranged marriage, but I’ve often wondered if they really love each other. In truth I thought they would divorce as soon as my bro and I finished college (maybe that’s a subconscious reason why neither my bro and I finished our four year degrees.) But I guess they’re better nowadays, they’ve learned to live with each other, so I guess that’s some sort of love.

My dad kind of reminds me of Tevya. Lately he’s been really getting on my case about marriage, getting to the point where he’s actually even arranged dates for me. A few months back I got into a huge argument with him about how stupid I thought it was that he was arranging these dates. My dad’s not an overly traditional person, but I guess in his generation people would’ve been married by the time they’re thirty. Nowadays people are getting married later, and I’m not sure why, but for some reason I always thought that thirty-two would be the age that I would want to get married. And he wouldn’t really outright say it, but I’m pretty sure he’d want my bro and I to marry a Korean girl, even though neither my bro nor I have dated a Korean girl for any real length of time. So I guess that’s where the ‘tradition’ is with my dad– probably like Tevya he will be forced to live with his offspring turning away from those traditions.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • cheap tickets for musicals
  • stories that make me think about my own life
  • despite not knowing how to play violin, the fiddle continues to play

post review

As one year ends and a new one begins, I find myself reflecting on the past. For me this year marks the end of a decade and an end of an era. Since zero through nine years is the first decade, turning thirty marks the end of the third and beginning of the fourth decade of life. When I came to that realization I felt really old for a while, but then I realized that there’s still a lot of living left to do.

For most people the third decade is a decade of change. It’s the decade where most people graduate from college and start their adult life, building careers and families and what not. For me it was also a beginning of a new life. It’s the decade where I became a Christian and got baptized. Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I never found Christ in college. I have no clue what my life would look like, but I know that without a doubt my life would be completely different.

I started randomly browsing through my picture albums from the last few years. It made me realize how immensely blessed I am, with good friends and a job that is pretty flexible. And I’ve come to realize that a lot of those blessings came from the church. That’s not to say that I don’t have great friends through work or through school, I have awesome friends from my old job at CalPERS and at my current job at POST, and have awesome friends from high school and college too. Despite being such an introverted hermit I somehow have been blessed with great friends, and for that I’m thankful.