Boy, I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.
—A phrase I first committed to memory in 4th grade, after we took D.A.R.E. class. I’ve embraced this notion since then, and used it to get through some tough or miserable times. But this past weekend that I spend in Khao Yai with Anne, Alex, and Davis made me realize the strength of this mindset. It is practical, yes. But now I’ve felt the strength that is associated with it as well. We planned a getaway to the nearby National Park for just 2 days, and were pumped to be leaving at 6am to start our nature weekend. We took a cab, van, and kapow to the park entrance. Right on cue, the torrential downpour began, with the biggest and loudest thunder cracks I might have ever heard. This sucked like, a LOT, for about 5 seconds. In that 5 seconds, I saw everyone’s mind mull over the situation and come to the same conclusion separately— This could blow, or this could be great. And we’re already here and we’re going to stay here, so we will make it great. And after those 5 seconds, we all had huge smiles plastered on our faces. We immediately hitched a ride in the back of a pickup truck to the visitors center. We were laughing so hard I thought I was going to puke… all the while being soaking wet and sliding around the bed like crazy people. It was hilarious and the most pure fun I’ve had in a while. We were farang turtles in this National Park where no one visits in the dry season, hitching rides in a huge thunderstorm. We looked crazy and we felt terribly alive. While in the bed of that truck, the realization came. If I were with any other combination of people who had even mildly decided to let on to any internal complaints, it would not have been half as much fun. But since they were all being strong and embracing the situation, I naturally followed suite without even fully realizing it. And together our energy played off of one another, jokes flew, and laughter was plentiful. Attitude is everything, and it made a potentially miserable experience a hysterical one. And I’m so eternally grateful to be spending each day in Thailand with these amazing people who constantly show me how to grow and also let me see how much I have grown.
EBOB - Got your letter the other day and I made a copy to keep and gave the original to Mabear:). We are so excited that you are having such a life expanding experience.It sort of seems like you are experiencing the wide-eyed wonder of seeing things like a child, but with the knowledge and appreciation of an adult. Most adults spend their lives trying to get back that type of feeling. I think it takes a certain level of perspective in a “new-to-you” situation to get that feeling. That is one of the best things about traveling outside of what you are used to. We all get so wrapped up in the mundane repetitive aspects of our work and play lives at home that we kind of get a “been there, done that” attitude. Then when we travel it’s all new and exciting, and you get to see how other people live, so you can pick the good parts of how they live and take them back home to integrate into your life. Trying to live your life to the fullest every day is just an attitude, and I think traveling really helps you to see what is important and to see how other cultures try to get there. It’s a philosophical thing! Ask Sav how she embraces it.
I don’t want to come to find that all my years on earth were intended for me only to know safe love — the world’s version of love. If I am to receive and live a love that has a known a shape and form that doesn’t bend or break or bleed, that’s a real problem. A hindrance. Love isn’t plastic.
It’s not my resolve that equips me. My knees are busted open and blood-shod from falling in my pursuit of her heart. But in my weakest moments, I can know this love. Because of my weakest moments, I can know this love.
The most beautiful part of my story these days is bloody.
The person in our lives most challenging to love — the child in our home or the friend down the street or even our blood-kin — is the instrument for bringing us to the end of that plastic kind of love and the beginning of our own personal revelation of the cross as a doorway, not just a destination.
They aren’t our greatest challenge, friends. They are our greatest asset.
So, Go again.
It’s in the going again that we wear our strength and find out from experience what we know in Word— that that tree was more about life than death. Though death was required.
Go Again: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara
[I have modified slightly]