Allegory of the Cave

I’ve been thinking a lot of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave recently.
Imagine prisoners tide up side by side in darkness placed in front of a blank stone wall. The prisoners can turn their heads nor move so that they can’t see one another. Behind them there is a fire and the captors have people walking in front of the fire with puppets so that it casts a shadow upon the wall the prisoners stare at. Any sounds and talk, these prisoners believe come from the shadows in the wall. This is the reality they live in and they have no knowledge of people or the captors behind them.
One day they are set free and have to crawl through a narrow tunnel to an opening into the outer world. When first reaching the outside they see the light of the sun and it’s blaring and painful because they’ve only known darkness their whole life. It hurts their eyes and burn their skin, so they retreat back into the comfort of their darkness into the only reality they’ve known their whole life, not understanding it’s been an illusion.
However a few realize there is something more outside and decide to go back into the light. Over time their eyes adjust and the sun feels good. They realize in that moment that the shadows they thought were real were only replications of what is real under the sun while some stay in the darkness, those who go outside can finally live free.
What I believe is the reality can hurt when you live in the comfort of illusion for so long, but eventually the light of reality is the only way to live a life beautiful and free.

allegoryofthecave #plato #reality #illusions #freedom #justiceforahmaudarbery

An excerpt

As a teen, I used to stare out my window and watch the few people walk by with a dog, a child, or just by themselves.

Sometimes I’d catch a flower of the Jacaranda tree float down almost magically placing itself amongst the trodden browned blooms stuck to the cement.

And if a walker stepped on it, my heart would break just a little that such a perfect bloom would become just like the rest, once beautiful and light now smeared with sticky sap turning brown, just like the rest.

Once I saw my best friend walking past with my other friend. They walked passed and didn’t stop to ask me out or say hi.

I felt nothing. A little relieved that I didn’t have to leave my place watching the world both still and alive.

God is Warm

Little Clary asks, “what does the word God mean?”

And I think, “hmmm well he’s the word of creation, the one who created everything.”

“But he’s not real right,” questions, “because I can’t see him?”

“Well he means to have faith. You can’t see God because it takes faith, like love, you can’t see love but you feel love right?”

“Why did God make you so warm? I can’t see you warm but I can feel you warm.”

And he speaks poetry to me in every word he says.

“Yes baby, it’s like feeling warm.”

Why Does Time Fly

Time goes as we move in the flow,

And even with eyes open wide,

My mouth drops low,

When I see how he grows,

Body, mind, heart, and soul,

Like a rollercoaster ride,

Climbing up slow,

And sliding down as if we are flying

With my stomach a flutter

And my head high,

As he asks why?

Why do the stars shine,

And gray clouds cry?

Why are my eyes bright,

Why does the sun light up the sky,

And why do I love you

And it makes me smile why?

Excerpts from “Letters in the Dark” #5

It’s as if you walked out of the pages from my diary when I was twelve. It was my sacred diary with a castle on the cover and a cheap metallic painted lock with tiny key that held my deepest secrets. I had an untainted ideal of love and who my soulmate would be.

After years of convincing myself that man was a silly fantasy, here you stand.

Sagittarian Mama, Aquarian Child

Lying in bed with my 3 year old he says, “mommy because….. I love you forever.”

“You know what forever means?”

“Yeah because you’re always with me.”

“I love you forever and ever and ever.” But as I speak I think, well there’s a chance by circumstance I won’t be here forever, realistically thinking. “But Baby, what if I’m not here forever? What if maybe I am sent away one day?”

He stares into my eyes silent for some time. I stare back.

“Well then I will fly up and catch you. Yeah I will fly up and catch you and bring you back down so you will be with me forever.” He speaks with conviction.

“I love you baby Forever and ever!”

Porches

Pure Bliss

Slow mornings

Vanilla steamer

Cappuccino

Ficus Benjamina

Gentle sunlight

“How’s you cup.”

“Mmmmmmm”

1.5 Generation Christmas

I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas.

It was like my brother and I were Hansel and Gretel wandering like orphans wandering into strange yards watching through windows other families cozied up by a fire place with a Christmas tree illuminating the room and families holding tradition.

We stood outside doors waiting to be invited in and watch them open presents and enjoy the good high spirits of whatever tradition they celebrated while our own parents worked all night and day on their busiest night of the year.

Neither completely Korean nor American, we had less tradition to hold on to, but the dream of my parents was for us to belong here.

And so I am,

Making ornaments,

Witnessing my children completely apart of “their” tradition,

And I am standing completely a part of it rather than watching through someone’s window,

Finally belonging.

Musingnude #18 on eight year olds and relationships

I picked Elijah up from school Wednesday and he stood outside of the car looking at me through the window. 

“Hi Elijah! Are you getting in?” 

“Marcus (his best friend) told me he likes Jerilynn now.” 

“Aw, get in the car love. Did that bother you?”  Elijah’s been crushing on Jerilynn all year.”

“No, and…. he told everyone that I like Jerilynn.”

“Aw, did that bother you?”

“Well, no I guess it’s a good thing. I mean, it is the truth and who cares if everyone knows.” I’m completely in awe of how confident my eight year old is. I know I would have been mortified and probably completely deny it, but I contemplate telling him because I don’t want him to question his confidence. 

“Did Jerilynn say anything about it?”

“No, but she just smiled and she still talked to me.”  

When Jose got home from work, I ask Elijah if I can share his story. He nods. Jose is amused. 

I ask Elijah, “so do you want to have a girlfriend?” He’s in third grade and too young. 

“Nah. I’m too young.” Good boy. 

And Jose chimes in,”and having a girlfriend is like having homework.” Elijah cracks up hysterically! 

“That’s so funny! I hate homework.” And we laugh. 

“Wait, are you saying I’m like homework?”

“Well I like homework.” He winks at me smiling. 

The next day I pick Elijah up and he stands staring at me with a smile on his face. “Mom! Everyone wants me to ask Jerilynn to be my girlfriend because they all know I like her.”

“What did you say?”

“I said, ‘having a girlfriend is like having homework.'” Still laughing and smiling. “So Luis said I need to make her my girlfriend and he’ll take care of her because he can cook and clean and that kind of stuff.” I’m cracking up.  

“So what does Jerilynn have to say about all this?” 

“She ran up to me and said hi. I told her to meet me under the tree next Monday.”

“What? Why?”

“Well Marcus is too shy to talk to her and he stalks her so I told him that she will be under the tree and he can go talk to her.”

“That wouldn’t bother you? I thought you liked her.”

“I do like her, but I think he likes her more and I guess I could like Jada and Marcus could have a chance. I don’t want to have a girlfriend. They’re like homework.” He laughs again. He is going to find any excuse to use that line. The rest of the ride home Elijah is singing songs and in a good mood. 

I have no words. This boy amazes me at how mature he is and understanding he is about his friend and also that he feels too young for a relationship, but I’m also asking myself how I’m going to parent from here on out when kids are already talking about relationships. Smh

Racism Talk with a 7 Year Old 

  
Elijah: Mom what is racism?

Me: it’s when people judge others because what they look like or who they are and I think it’s the most ignorant behavior. Why?

Elijah: my friend at school is not my friend anymore because he told another kid who’s black that he looked like poo. I didn’t like that so I don’t want to play with him. Is that racist?

Me: that could be taken as racism

Elijah: at school when we learned about Doctor Martin Luther King, they said he marched and spoke to make everyone the same. He was peaceful and didn’t fight with people. Then someone shot him. He was the best president huh mom 

Me: (chuckling) I think he was one of the best too, but he wasn’t a president. He was a preacher. 

Elijah: some brown people are better at things than some white people right?

Me: yeah there are all kinds of people that are good at things and sometimes not good at others. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is. 

Elijah: I like being brown though. 

Me: what else do you learn at school? Do you know about Christopher Columbus?

Elijah: no who’s he?

Me: no one. Just wondering. They usually tell a wrong version of that one.