Tues., March 24th, 2015. 8:15 p.m.
This afternoon we flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, accompanied by a freeing and cooling HEAVY DOWNPOUR of rain that cleared the heavy smoke from the mountains above the city. That smoke’s been hanging over somewhat brown, dry Chiang Mai for weeks, from what our friends tell us. It’s a product of slash-and-burn agriculture.
We rise at four in the morning, to fly from Bangkok to Tokyo, then Tokyo to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Jacksonville where we stop for a few days.
It’s been FANTASTIC to be here, to learn, to grow, to stretch, be challenged, and share. How privileged we are!
This morning at the third and last of three different “mini-moves” in the past two weeks within Thailand, as I packed our bags in the smoky hills above Chiang Mai, I felt my spirit begin to rise up and rebel and get sad and slightly panic-y again, because of constant transitions throughout my life. I was not surprised, as I’ve learned to recognize the old, familiar pattern in myself, by now. Whenever I have to pack my suitcase again, I get feelings of sadness and upset, no matter how exciting, exotic, wonderful or adventurous my travel itinerary or opportunity is. Circumstances many other people would die for, are jealous of, make ME feel a little sad and a little deprived! I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the life of almost constant transitions.
This morning, I went to God with my sad feelings. Immediately. It helped and, of course, when I finished packing, I felt a little better too. Then the “goodbyes”, the shuttle vans, the (fantastic!) day-visit in a home, airport waits, security, departure lounge and a very rough and nausea-producing one-hour flight. The rain. The steamy heat of Bangkok, stepping out of the airport. Now we will sleep. It’s all okay. I was able to say, several times throughout this, another transition day, in a life of constant transitions, “God, help me please, with these negative feelings right now, about traveling? God, thank You that you are with me, with us.” I meant it. And He did. And He is…
Psalm 9:11 – Proclaim among the nations what HE has done..HE does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.
Psalm 10:18 – defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
(thinking of these words of God in RELATION to……the outreach to children-at-risk and our ongoing prayers for, and small budding attempts to also begin reaching out to some of the mothers..)
(and our hearts are filled with joy for the privilege of being involved in this work!)
The Birds Chat.
Chuckle. Coo. Chortle. Twir.
Click. Play a flute.
Whistle. Call. Trilling. Scales.
I’m a magazine person, but hard-copy.
I mean, yes, being able to obtain and read new BOOKS on electronic readers, because of living longterm in places without public libraries, easy access to, or reasonably-priced books in one’s own heart language, has opened out my life and given joy in absolutely watershed manner. KINDLE was a life paradigm shift!
Magazine-reading though? Uufff! I’ve tried. Those large sections of favorite subscription mags that ARE posted online, free to read, have been carefully perused by me with an experimental eye towards hoping that I could adjust myself to savouring online mag reading with the same deep enjoyment that I derive from feeling the smooth clean paper edge, thumbing for the single corner of the page, gently unsticking it from the next sheet, then turning the leaf.
Hearing that satisfying little “swish” as my eyes drink in the thoughtful words, the bright colors and images of the carefully-crafted article created out of photos and words matched up to make an entity to encourage me or provoke me towards creativity or cause me to think more deeply, or to delight me.
I really tried, but no go.
It would be SO to my advantage if I COULD adjust to reading my beloved mags online. That’s because, residing where I do, or, in some places in Africa as I used to, our magazines don’t arrive.
Even if we HAD gritted our teeth, tightened our belts and forked over the check for subscription rates by airmail to our distant and exotic locales, that amounted to 3 to 4 times the sum of a regular domestic rate for a magazine subscription.
No. These bright glossy foreign magazines in mysterious brown sleeves, piling up in the 3rd-world-nation post offices seldom made it to their destinations (our postal boxes). They were too tempting, in a context of scarcity and need, or in a context of too many people wanting to practice their english. Christmas cards often did not make it either and one time, many years ago when we lived in Sucre, my best friend from second and third grades, Joelle, from Switzerland, made me a needlepoint wall tapestry by hand and sent it to me from Geneva to Bolivia. I never got it!
Which sometimes still makes me mad, when my “Good Housekeeping” never comes for a whole year!
Oh well. Minor annoyances, right? And, this kind of thing does have its recompenses. Delayed gratification can sometimes be just as good or better than instant or monthly. These years I’m into CT magazine and, the other day when P. and I arrived at my m.i.l.’s place from South America I was showered with almost a literary Christmas of CT issues from 8 and 6 and 4 months back, shiny and new and still crisp in their wrappers. They’d been WAITING for me, SAFE on the cardtable downstairs, in hardcopy form – a FEAST to enjoy in the month of May.