Sunday, December 6, 2009

Preguntas, preguntas

Our Winter break arrived for me physically about a week before it did emotionally (it takes one week to process the final grades for each class), but that gave me a chance to practice equanimity and try to base my peace on an internal locus rather than an external one. After spending Thanksgiving with my folks, we drove up to Indiana to spend some time with the Stricklers.

I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about how important it is to find the right questions in life. Catching up with old friends in a limited time frame, the conversations are steered by the questions that are asked, and so it makes sense to carefully choose those questions. Likewise, in my math grad school program, I'm constantly undergoing a process where new material is presented, and I'm initially very confused. Occasionally the teacher will explain it so clearly that I understand it instantly, but generally I'm left staring at my textbooks until late at night not even sure what it is that I don't understand. My success centers squarely upon my ability to precisely word a question detailing what I don't understand. After that, the easy part is searching for that answer on google, my own logic, or by asking a teacher. Or, as Wes said in one of his poems during a poetry reading at his house, "Living gives us a question that thinking can't understand and only silence can answer."

Craig became Mr. Dairy as he initiated Joo, me and Jalen into the wild world of whipping cream and made his famous old-fashioned buttery popcorn to accompany the movie we watched for their Monday Night Philosophy Group.

The movie was "The Last Temptation of Christ" which in itself raised some questions. Essentially, it is an alternative portrayal of the gospels, but one which is more aligned with the books that got rejected when the Bible was canonized, namely the gospel of Judas. Ironically, the book was written before the gospel of Judas was discovered so it must have been coincidence that the movie sheds a much more positive light on Judas Iscariot (namely that the most difficult and glorious act of his life was to follow God's will and betray Jesus). More importantly is how the crucifixion is portrayed, but I won't spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't seen the movie.

The next night we attended Wes and Jenny's "Flow" a culmination of much of their relationship together which includes them alternatingly leading breathing exercises, yoga, vocal cleansings, and meditation. It was a refreshing evening as Joo and I have become quite lax in our yoga these days.
Wednesday evening, we attended a drum circle. Led by an Episcopalian priest who offered some very brief reflections before starting in on a beat, it was a beautiful experience filled with laughter, meditation, dancing, and fellowship.
The last couple days were more lowkey and I did some final family conferences with Wes to catch up on our past several months. He has settled into a pattern where he travels abroad 3-6 months of the year and then returns to Kokomo for the remainder to work on his poetry and raise money for his next trips. Even though I've entered a somewhat more traditional life path now, it's always refreshing to remember that we have the freedom to sculpt our own lives and there's nothing specifically dictating that we maintain a 40-hour work week.

In terms of our own fellowship groups in Athens, Joo and I are slowly starting to find some niches. Aside from the incoming Math grad student community, we've been attending a small Korean church (which has led to Joo joining a Bible Study, social group, and cooking group), and also meet sporadically with some couchsurfing friends who have started up a volunteer group known as Rotoract.


  1. Preguntas? I keep wondering if this is an announcement that your family is growing?
    As you can tell, my understanding of Spanish is almost nil.

  2. what's vocal cleansing?

  3. Preguntas, though it may sound similar has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy! And vocal cleansing involves liquid hand soap, a long skinny funnel and nerves of stone (j/k... it's an Aruyvedic technique to help loosen up the chest and throat- kind of sounds like bored singing).