Archive for the ‘reflections’ Category

Photo by Toshimasa Ishibashi

By Tina Teng-Henson

I’m living my life
as it is
in this moment
as best I can
So help me God

but I can’t help
constantly imagining
(parallel processing?)
Other lives
Slightly better lives
Alternate future lives
‘If we had only’ lives
That could’ve been
That could be

I often imagine
What it would have been like
What it would be like
If we had bought a house earlier
If we had stayed in contract
If they hadn’t issued me that letter

What will it be like
To have a job again
To own a home
As we raise three littles?

My brain is always somewhere else
Imagining something better
Implicitly discontent with the present
Without meaning judgment
Not intending to compare
Not unhappy
Not discontent
It’s just the way my mind works

Instead of living my actual life
In the moment
The good and the bad

Here I sit.
In a darkened room
Letting the baby
Rest on my chest

It’s the middle of the night
Her breath
Wafts upward
The fragrance of
Mother’s milk

Tomorrow the electrician
Will come and fix
The breakers
Of this rental

Tomorrow I’ll talk to
A listening friend
Our realtor
Another parent
of three

Tomorrow I’ll listen again
For what my assignment is
For that day
And I will follow

Tomorrow I’ll hug the children
Kiss the husband
Unload the dishwasher
Prepare lunch

We’ll both take a nap
Eat well
Keep each other company

And see friends

Have mercy on me
Dear Lord
As I imagine something

Help me God
As I live
This actual life
You have given to me
And as we unfold together
what you have
Written down
Folded up

Walk with me
Step by step
Making the fantastical
Real, embodied…
The imaginary
Feasible, edible.

They’re not flights of fancy
This is not unfaithful folly

You who created me
And called me good
And crafted me for a purpose
You give me visions and imagination
To get me from here to there

Thank you
I trust you
I am not afraid

Here I am
I am yours

Tina Teng-Henson has been blessed to learn + grow alongside so many different people, in so many places: Long Island, NY — Harvard College + the South End of Boston — Nairobi, Kenya and Lanzhou, China. Tina, her husband, and their three children live in northern California.


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Photo by frankieleon

By Sharon Lee Song

In 2005, a documentary film called Into Great Silence was released, capturing a rare glimpse of the intimate, ascetic world of the Carthusian monks of Grand Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps.  Visitors are not permitted, and generally the monks do not have contact with the outside world.  (more…)

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Photo by Kenny Louie

By Christine Suh

“What’s the state of your soul? Let me clarify: I don’t mean, ‘saved versus unsaved.’ I mean, how is your soul doing? Is it energetic, weary, depleted, worn out, anticipatory, content, exhausted, confused, or disoriented? What is the state of your soul?” (more…)

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Photo by dr_tr

By Melanie Mar Chow

I recently had a new revelation: the word “mind” can be referred to as a noun or a verb. Mind as a noun is most often used in day-to-day conversations in phrases like “are you out of your mind?” or “why did you hurt your friend by saying the first thing that came to mind?” (more…)

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Photo by Luca Biada

By Diana Gee

I’m not getting any younger. My body protests with aches and discomfort from sitting too long or from sleeping in an awkward position. I don’t recover from physical activities as quickly as I did a few years ago. And my thoughts don’t seem to come as readily. Granted I have always been slow to formulate an opinion or response. I am one of those people who usually slap themselves with an “I should have said …” epiphany days after an altercation. But learning new things takes a lot more effort now. Aging is a firm reminder that change is happening. For women, that can often feel more like a sentencing instead a cause for celebration. (more…)

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Photo by Peggy Reimchen

By Ajung Sojwal

Solitude is that kind of a mystery where the spiritual experience of it completely defies the textbook definition of it. An encounter with solitude is a good thing, desperately needed even, if we really want to get to the depths of our yearnings. To be able to distinguish solitude from loneliness or isolation has been a long and painful process for me. (more…)

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Photo by Richard Walker

By Angela Ryo

When I was young, solitude was my worst enemy. I could not stand to be alone with myself for any prolonged period of time because I didn’t really want to get to know who I was. If I wasn’t working, if I wasn’t serving, if I wasn’t relating to others, who was I? Because my sense of identity and self-worth derived from what I did and who I was with, aloneness indicated nothingness. I was afraid of being nothing. (more…)

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