Wednesday, May 6, 2009

another Photo

(I have removed the photo for sake of privacy)

I am two daughters seeking to be one.
I am two people seeking to be one.
I am two of flesh and blood seeking to be one.

I am a thousand pieces longing to be whole.
I am a thousand tears weeping to no longer drown.
I am a thousand questions seeking to be known.


This is another photo of my omoni, or Korean [birth] mother, that I just received in the mail a couple of days ago. She stated that it was taken over 15 years ago during a traditional Korean dance performance for a group of special needs children and families. I also received a letter enclosed with the photos and am awaiting its translation.


Seven more weeks remaining before we travel to Korea. Seven more weeks remaining until I step into a strange and extraordinary world that for a brief moment, over 30 years ago, called me its daughter only to relinquish me in grief and sorrow.

And now as it beckons me again, although a palpable ambivalence still troubles my heart, I must decide how I will answer to such a call.


"Refrain from making conclusive judgments at this point--that needs to be my mantra," I tell myself.

I want to have all the pieces in front of me.

But I know better. I know that I’m not ready to have all the pieces given to me. I’m still in pieces.


Nonetheless, I can feel my heart wanting to make certain conclusions and decisions.

I want to blame my birth mother for relinquishing me without consulting my birth father first. I want to blame my birth father for not being able to protect me.

I want to blame Korea for its old Confucian ways that forced us all onto a remote and isolated island with only one way out.

But it is what it is. And all of us fell under a tide of circumstances beyond our control. The point is not to point the finger at one or the other. The point is to embrace one another.


I want to make the most of this journey. I don’t want to hurry through it, so anxious to get to the other side that I lose the wonder and awe, the horror and terror of this mystery unfolding.

I want to experience this journey for the sake of the journey—for the sake not of its destination, because really, a journey like this has no single destination. There is no final arrival nor a return journey.

But it is neither a one-way road. It is an intangible type of journey. One that can find its way in circles and other times in lines and still other times it has no shape, no outline, no direction. It just is.


I still feel as though I am dreaming. I still feel as though I am wrapped up in a cloud, and although I can sense what is happening, it is unclear and nebulous. And yet, in some ways, I find the ambiguity and uncertainty comforting.

Perhaps it is simply due to the fact that ambiguity is what is familiar to me.

Or perhaps it is because the ambiguity means that anything is still possible. It means that the fairy tale could still emerge. The “happy ending” still has its chance to take hold.

But what would a happy ending even mean in this case? What does a happy ending mean to me? I know some wince or cringe at the notion of me even daring to refer to the possibility of a happy ending.


I cannot apologize, though—perhaps at heart I cannot suppress that five-year old girl who still believes in knights in shining armor and evil witches coming to their doom. I’ve tried to suppress it. I’ve acknowledged previously how foolish and how na├»ve I feel at times for clinging to such fantasy and idealism.

But I’ve got to do something with this well of emotion that swells within me. Perhaps some would choose a more mature and intellectually developed perspective. And perhaps that would be the wise and responsible decision.


I admire wisdom and respect responsibility. They most certainly have their time and place and are necessary for navigating the complexities and demands of life.

For me, though, right now is not the time or place. And a little bit of crazy is at times just as necessary as are wisdom and responsibility for getting us through the aforementioned complexities and demands of life.

Worth its weight in bizarre and creative thought. Maybe sometimes that is wisdom. Maybe not.

But I do know that I have come too far to succumb to the dull and the grey of mundane and unimaginative thinking. I like fantastical. It is such thinking that brought me safely thus far. And when the time comes and requires that I apply my more rational faculties, I will indeed employ such. As I've said too many times before, for now, I want to bask.


I'll end with a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke:

I beg have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, then, someday, far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing, live your way into the answer...


Unknown said...

Love that last quote!

Keep that "little bit crazy" it will take you far in life - at least that is what I tell myself :)

I am sure you have a following out here in sunny (for the moment) California. I have given you blog link to quite a few folk and they think you are spectacular!

Much love...M

Anonymous said...

I love your words and your writing in this post. They truly touch my heart. Talk with you soon. / Jo

Mei-Ling said...

"Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them."

You'd be surprised at how painful some truths are, so much so that you canNOT wait to receive the answers...

Mila said...

Hi Mei-Ling!

I guess the whole quote from Rilke holds special significance for me because the search took almost 7 years...and of course, really a lifetime.

The surrender and willingness to let go that the Rilke expresses has helped me deeply in this journey to find peace and hope.

I think the point of the quote for me is that in living the questions, you end up living your way into the answers...and also, in my personal story, I truly was not ready seven years ago to live the answers that I am now beginning to receive. In my case, the patience, the waiting, the living of the questions is what has enabled me to now live out the answers.

Despite the pain and tragedy and even the present duress, I can still live it all with great hope and love.

Those rooms have been opened with all their awe and terror, and even so I am willing to walk into them--to embrace the pain and the joy. I don't know that I would have been seven years ago.

There are many things that these "rooms" are revealing to me regarding the circumstances surrounding my adoption--much of which I have refrained from sharing on this blog to protect those involved--that I know I am much better equipped to embrace today than I was seven years ago...

That's the great thing about quotes...they can often mean different things to different people at different times--even the same quote can mean something to me now but mean something else to me later...the quote from Rilke was very painful to me seven years ago...but now it comforts me...

Mia_h_n said...

What struck me about this post was the stuff about the happy ending. I too believe it's a journey without a final destination. It's a new way of travelling through the rest of your life.

But I do think you can think about it in terms of that happy ending. To me, in your case, a happy ending would mean a happy ending to you meeting. A possibility to continue the journey in the way you would like. That would be a happy ending, I think.