For weeks I’ve been thinking about how to approach writing about the past 4 months.  The teammates I’ve worked with, the project we devoted our semester to, the things I complained about, the friends I left, reflections on this first year of teaching, traveling to Kunming—>Nairobi—>around Kenya—>Beijing—>Tianjin and the privilege of travel, the things you can learn only by traveling, the sublime beauty of nature, what am I going to do with my future, the devastating earthquake in Yunnan etc. etc. etc.

It’s been hard to find internet and time to be recreational on the internet.  Just now I’m sitting in a Starbucks connected to a Beijing subway stop and I asked myself, if I only have the internet speed to upload one picture to my neglected Tumblr, what should it be?

Lions or giraffes or students or friends or family or mountains or skylines. 

So here’s an aerial view of Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa.  It was the one thing I didn’t expect to see because I was too preoccupied by the idea of leaving Yunnan to think about where I was going.

 In my mind, the magnitude of Kibera and the magnificence of the savannah bookend two extremes of how vast this world can be. 

"The future, does it exist?"

Today I started writing in my diary again because I had been frustrated for too long over an inability to write—most of which having to so with writing for other people to read. So I wrote freely and raged with no mercy for punctuation.

And I revisited the last time I wrote in May of 2012 and I was shocked.

Shocked from remembering how completely erratic I was and how I very nearly became a Christian. A whole hearted and tragically desperate Christian. For all the wrong reasons.

Shocked over how I didn’t think I would have a future. I was sure I wasn’t going to make it. Shocked over how little even I knew what I was doing on a daily basis.

Shocked by how frightened I was. And alone, of my own doing.

"Day one of taking care of self. Debra called me and overwhelmed me. Walked to the rose garden and the dog descended. Slashes at myself to feel sharper as a person. What was going on?
I almost lost my umbrella; thank god it wasn’t taken.” —April 11, 2012

When I think back to who I was I inevitably connect it to who I am in the present. I was shocked that these words suddenly made me love who I am now even more. As though I could not trade in those days of fear if it meant losing this person I have now. And that makes me feel like the terror was conquered.

Reading also reminds me of the moments inexperience even now. Quite frequently, moments when I feel the fog nipping at my mind reminding me what it feels like to relinquish yourself to death. The draw of it. But also of how it does leave. It rescinds and the future moves on.

As I fret over what to do with my career and future and life I am stunned by my own past belief that the future would never come. And I feel an indescribably gratitude that I was wrong.


From my phone so please excuse the brevity and other potential errors.

“One moment….it’s what I want in a relationship […] it’s that thing when you’re with someone and you love them and they know it and they love you and you know it—but, it’s a party and you’re both talking to other people and you’re laughing and you’re shining and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes—but not because you’re possessive or it’s precisely sexual—but because that is your person in this life and it’s funny and sad but only because this life will end. And it’s this secret world that exists right there in public unnoticed that no one else knows about.”
Frances Ha 

lungpeiling:

I appreciate that for all the selfie loving, peace-holding, skinny arm Taiwanese person, there is one disgruntled oncologist in our hospital who despises pictures and thinks that having an experience is already reward enough.

I love that in Guan Shan (關山) there is one 24 year old nurse who chose…

Pourquoi? 

Why is it
We cannot be
both happy and sad
both good and evil
both young and old
both independent and dependent
both idiotic and clever
both frightened and brave
both scandalous and dignified

Why is it
I cannot
go to heaven
and go to hell?
Why is it 
I can never find
the secret bridge 
to paradise? 

yalestewart:

daltonjamesrose:

nevver:

Hey Monster

😄😃😀

A-mothereffin’-mazing. Kill me now. It’ll never get better than this.

The best.  yalestewart:

daltonjamesrose:

nevver:

Hey Monster

😄😃😀

A-mothereffin’-mazing. Kill me now. It’ll never get better than this.

The best.  yalestewart:

daltonjamesrose:

nevver:

Hey Monster

😄😃😀

A-mothereffin’-mazing. Kill me now. It’ll never get better than this.

The best.  yalestewart:

daltonjamesrose:

nevver:

Hey Monster

😄😃😀

A-mothereffin’-mazing. Kill me now. It’ll never get better than this.

The best. 

yalestewart:

daltonjamesrose:

nevver:

Hey Monster

😄😃😀

A-mothereffin’-mazing. Kill me now. It’ll never get better than this.

The best. 

My student points towards a tree whose trunk has grown straight through a rock—and then marvels at it. 

Joy is infectious. 

A storm is coming. A storm is coming.

A Wakening Sky

I wish I had a picture, but I don’t.  I hope words can suffice.

I had a major period of anxiety yesterday and I went to sleep frustrated, insecure and worried.  And I woke up frustrated, insecure and worried.

For the longest time I lay on my side, facing away from the too bright window—awake and worried.  Then, I finally shifted and turned towards the light.

Outside was a cloudy mountain in the distance.  And the 7am light shone upon the glistening patties of rice—revealing a new born green.  A flock of birds changed direction and suddenly reflected specks of white, like paint against a wakening sky. 

And I thought to myself, there is something else besides fixating on those endless things inside my head.