Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chisel to the Stone like a Blade to Flesh

I think I'm done.

Life feels like a series of momentous moments linked together by a string of luck and chance that determines how those moments turn out. I remember my moments clearly. The time I really looked at myself in the mirror the first time. The time my mother said my brother looked up to me, without any sort of jealousy, despite... everything. The time my father brought home flowers for no reason and I saw my parents kiss the first time. The time my grandmother kneeled by my mother's bed and said, with the biggest honesty I've seen in my life, that she wished she could have taken this hell, cancer, instead of her. The time my mother said, sitting in a chair somewhere, that she felt like she had a great responsibility to take care of me because she'd chosen me. And now lately, looking in the mirror and seeing my Korean self looking back, and fighting with my father to the point of him saying if I wanted to walk away and never speak to him again, then fine.

If life is a marble statue, I believe genes and blood is the stone, and these moments are the chisel. But how the chisel is put to the stone is determined not by either of these, but by chance, luck - by how we choose to process them. And I think I'm done processing these last two now.

From looking in the mirror I was forced to make a decision if I liked what I saw. And I decided I liked some parts and didn't like others, and that I would choose to change those that I liked the least. I have. From hearing of my brother's feelings, I made an effort to understand him, and learned to see the world more like he does and respect his point of view. Now I'm jealous of him sometimes. From the kiss, that my parents, however unlike a storybook their love is, love each other in their own way. From my grandmother I saw the infinite love of mother and daughter, and like an inmate seeing god I can't deny it. From what my mother said of my adoption, I learned I never want to be a burden to anyone, I never asked to be and to my power I never will - I will never be a duty but a choice. 

The most recent two are linked. My mind was spinning with seeing my Korean side, and I couldn't pick it apart, I couldn't settle it. Something was nagging on my mind but I couldn't figure it out. Then we fought, and I walked away hurt and angry and confused and frustrated. It took a long while to process that one, and it ended up linked to the other. But I think I'm done.

It's difficult to put words to this one. I'm still conflicted. I still believe I'm a Korean and am unsure of what that actually means. I'm still hurt about what dad said, because emotions can't be controlled like that. But I feel more like an adult. I think what I realized is that I also make sacrifices to walk my path, just like I've seen the things my dad sacrifices, and mine are just as much and as little worth as his. I rebelled against the idea that he would sacrifice other people around him, but I think that what he really sacrifices is himself; risking to end up alone. And I realized that I am no better than him; I am ready to sacrifice him to walk my path, even if that's not what I want. Stubbornly, stupidly, he has raised a daughter who is just as stubborn and stupid. And that is the road I will walk. 

Then the words are spoken again, "cancer". Someone else, somewhere else, linked but not too close to me, but to someone else. I hear it and I cry. So I'm wondering... does my father cry? Does he speak to anyone? I don't know. And I'm thinking, my path will not be like that. I am not alone, and I will never sacrifice that. Another momentous moment, another lesson learned for life. While somewhere else someone else has been told their life is about to end.

1 comment:

ShadoWolf said...

You're so wise and brave. And not alone. Hang in there.