Saturday, March 28, 2009

sparseness of words

I spent today in a moment of reflection. It began from this never-ending exhaustion I've experienced this week. At first I blamed it on the fact that I have been working every single day since the semester began. Then I decided that my work schedule is very limited so possibly it was caused by allergies coming on from the changing seasons. I still feel that this is part of the physical reason, but I've determined that it has to be something more; something far beyond a change in season, or lack there of in Changzhi's case. I am becoming deeply rooted in this place, for reasons beyond that of normality. For that, I feel I am leading two separate lives. I feel very connected to a few select people back in the states. Ironically none of the people I feel close to in America live in the same city as the other. My how we grow and change. I feel like each one of these people brings out a part of me independent of the other, yet still they all have some similarities to the other. The deep roots of Americanism, or the ideals of that, connect us all in one way or another. I had to move to China to learn that. That being said, my original self is struggling with maintaining some form of that lifestyle I am to return home to all so soon, and at the same time grow and adapt to the person I am becoming here and now. How does this work? How does this balancing act, this transformation, fully occur without hinderance or defect? I am uncertain. Just as I am uncertain of what happens within the walls of a cocoon yet I know the beginning and end results are significantly different.
All that being said I feel like this change in many ways is unknown to me. I feel that I live my life of normalcy, as normal as a foreigner can be in a land so vastly different from their own. I work, I study, I read, I spend time with my friends. All the while becoming increasingly tired. Maybe this feeling is coming from the Lord trying to tell me to slow down. Maybe I'm missing something. Something I can only learn while here, in this place. Maybe I am too focused on my life of increasing monotony and I'm overlooking moments of extraordinary influence. I am on the downward slope of my time in Changzhi and I find myself more unsettled about leaving this place than I was with coming here to begin with. Why is that? Maybe coming to that understanding, or the realization that question even exists is the reason for my exhaustion. Maybe my body had to rest in order for my mind to become clear enough to ask these questions.
What's next?

"By waiting and calm, you shall be saved. In quiet and trust lies your strength."
~ Henri Nouwen

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