CH 7 UNDER PRESSURE (Hanako)

 

Something deep in her, a familiar voice she had trusted many times before had said, you take a step, I’ll be there to meet you. It felt as though by putting herself physically in motion, she was saying “yes,” to that voice, thereby mobilizing her destiny in the process. (Read the rest of the chapter at HanaHawley.Com)

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Photo by Tom Parkes 

CH 5 A KOREAN IN JAPAN (Hanako)

Korean. I’m Korean. Did she speak Korean? Anyoung haseyo? A shake of the head. “I’m sorry. I don’t speak Korean, either.” 

Sometimes, she couldn’t help but say, “sad, I know. Pathetic, really,” depending on how insecure she felt about it at the moment. (READ the rest of the chapter at my website.

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photo by Thien Dang on Unsplash

CH 4 WHAT IS THIS? AN APARTMENT FOR ANTS? (Jiro)

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Photo by Joseph Albanese

He feels like a sardine in a tin. A gorilla in a too-tight suit. Gulliver living among the Lilliputians. Okay. So that last bit was a small exaggeration, but every time he bumped his head on a doorframe at the Airbnb he and Hanako had leased, or ran his shoulders into something because the space was too tight for his six-foot-one frame, or he had to sit on the toilet and his knees jammed up against the closed door (was that TMI?): He felt like Gulliver. He felt, cramped. READ MORE www.hanahawley.com

CH 3 AIRPORT LIMO

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photo by Jason Ortego

Without him, she would probably become a recluse; wear afghans around the house, order everything she needed online, live her life through social media, raise three dogs she would dress-up and treat like her children–too afraid to interact with the outside world for fear of failure or rejection. (Read More at HanaHawley.com)

The past fades away…

I can barely sit still in the hard, plastic chairs facing the stage and as always when this moment comes I wish I was standing in the mosh-pit where it’s too crowded for anyone to see my face and judge my reaction.

The spotlights are roving and tension building music seems to be drifting from somewhere although I’m not sure if that’s the ambiance in my head or if the band is playing.

My ears are hyper-tuned to the emphatic screams of girls yelling, “JOSIAH” and as always I think for a moment that these voices are the loudest.  Every time a voice is heard clear and piercing above the rest, my heart does a little victory dance.

Afterward, as the cheers fade and the stage empties, the fervor-ed and surreal state I’ve been drifting in dissipates as swiftly as a rosy dream I might cling to when morning comes.

Cool, night air fills my lungs outside the stage and I realize that this moment in time will fade just as quietly, with just as little fanfare when the time arrives for Josiah to come home.

Silence —-is daunting.  But I’m not afraid because, “We are all time voyagers leaving history in our wake, pioneering into the future” (Erwin Raphael McManusChasing Daylight).

And the future is where I want to go.

Video of the Week: TED TV 12 min A North Korean Refugee Escapes

65998fcf328b0fc1dd1804a666104042c04d57ee_254x191“Born in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee left for China in 1997. Now living in South Korea, she has become an activist for fellow refugees.” Ted TV

I love this story.

Hyeonseo paints a real and stark picture of life in North Korea that is heart-wrenching.  The severity of any international crisis would be totally lost on us if not for stories like hers.

http://download.ted.com/talks/HyeonseoLee_2013.mp4?apikey=TEDDOWNLOAD