Sep 22, 2009

Poems and Commies and Doctors.

I'm looking through old files on my computer and found this old poem written after my first trip to China, summer 2007.

"Red Dirt."

I think my heart leaves a trail of red dirt.

I am a consumed person since having traveled into the Red country.

Now all I can do is wallow around thinking and discussing and preaching and debating the country I cannot seem to purge from my veins.

It’s swimming, swimming in me.

Traveling from my heart in a linear motion to my feet.

And leaving a trail of red dirt wherever I go.

It’s either my ground up heart, or the remnants of China that are left behind.

It is strange how a place so far away could have ruined me, and yet

Made me come alive.

Could have changed my course forever and stolen my previous dreams.

It’s that red dirt.

Reminding me of people far away who I do not understand.

But love.

I’m drawn to the red dirt and I don’t know why.

But I will go.

Even if it scares me to death.

I'll live on the red dirt, because it is my purpose.

I think after all that China and I have been through these past 3 years, from planning and fundraising the trip to Ningxia with Intervarsity to having an address here, it has been a dream come true. Often I walk around thinking, 'why me, God?', 'why do I get this life?' 'why am I a 5'10" boisterous redhead in China?'

But most days when I walk outside and breathe in the smog, I know that this is it. This is what was meant to happen, even if it doesn't always make sense. What a beautiful feeling, huh? I hope that for everyone.

Today I had lunch with an old friend who happens to be a student at my university. He is the president of the student union (I'm not sure about that translation - though, how are there unions in China?) and I met him through another teacher last year.

We sat down eating aloe and milk soup (delish) and discussing his plans to go to America for graduate school. If all things go as planned, he will be a member of Yale's Class of 2012 graduate students.

We talked about his father's job in the government as an anti-corruption officer, his knowledge that as a Party member and because of his father's job he could become a "governor" easily, and about the differences in what Americans and Chinese hope for their future.

He was surprisingly introspective and even allowed me to express my differences in opinion about the Nobel Peace Prize designation to the Dalai. Lma. He was angry about it. I was indifferent but supportive. And we sat and slurped our soup.

And I thought to myself, 'thank you, Lord for this day, for these people, for different ideas and opinions, and for the chance to learn from this college student with big dreams. But mostly, thank you for aloe soup.'

Tonight two of the three doctors that I meet with each week came to my house. They brought me moon cakes for the upcoming Chinese National Holiday. I decided that I need to work on my "you shouldn't have!" face because whenever I gasp in excitement over a gift that is presented to me, Chinese people that that I don't like it. hmmmm.

We sat on my floor and talked about the Grand Canyon and poodles and boys and marriage and how I have been fat my whole life and my fractured foot. It was just like last year and felt like no time had passed. I remember the last time I saw them in the beginning of June I thought to myself, "what if something happens and I can't come back to China and I never see them again?" I was paranoid of this because I love these people with all my being. It was so nice to be reunited.

Here on the Red Dirt.


agapelife said...

I love that I have this to read so I know what you are thinking, doing, feeling etc. I love you from thousands of miles away! missing you

.elle.b. said...

i love reading your blog. so much. we're so much more connected this way! <3