Wednesday, April 22, 2009

work. love. life

Chris and his friends and I were walking around St. Mark's when we decided to escape the spring chill and end our aimless wandering by rushing into a bookstore. While perusing the stacks and stacks of magazines, I kept annoying Chris by making loud, obnoxious remarks: "Gosh, where is Sojourners Magazine?" and "I really wish I could get my hands on the latest issue of Sojourners Magazine!" just loud enough for the clerk to hear, roll his eyes behind his ironic black frames, and go back to reading Chuck Palahniuk or whomever. Chris was not amused, but I thought it was funny.

It was even MORE funny (sometimes bad grammar just works) when we actually found the latest issue of Sojourners on a rack! I was very excited, especially because I wrote the cover feature! Chris snapped a photo.

I know. I am a dork. Anyway, it would please me immensely if you read my articles. One is an interview with environmental activist Majora Carter. The other, a profile of an incredible Oakland-based nonprofit, Green For All.

I've been wondering what love is all about. I remember in my junior year of high school we read The Grapes of Wrath and learned that the fantasy of perfection is not real love; rather, love is looking past flaws, enduring struggles, and coming out of fires more firmly bonded, purified, and chastened by the flames. I appreciate the sentiment, but how much is too much? How much are we supposed to go through before we say, OK this isn't working? How many disappointments do we endure before letting go? How many differences do we try to work out before we admit that we are too different?

I'm not sure.

Halmonee dying has forced me to admit it: I am afraid of death! From a young age, at church summer retreats, it's been drilled into me that good Christians don't fear death, but I fear it now. I don't want anybody else to die ... especially my parents. I hate that I am so far away from them. Nowadays, I've been like a needy ex-girlfriend to my parents, calling and texting them often. They are really weirded out by it. Finally, after I sent my mom a random text, she called me and was like, "what is the meaning of this? What's wrong with you?" What could I say? "Ummah ... just ... don't die, OK?" After a bit of silence, she laughed and then started nagging me about how it's my fault that I moved away from her and that I should be good to her while she's alive rather than asking her to stay alive and why am I not saving money and why won't I go to a Korean church and why am I not married yet and why am I still living in a house with 12 cats and on and on ... sigh. It made me love her just that much more. After all, there will probably come a day when I won't be able to hear her nagging me ever again.

life is too short. viva la vida

Speaking of which, have you all seen this incredible children's choir from NY? Eugene Cho blogged about a group of children from a poor community who find hope through song and the direction of their conductor. Watch the video! Their faces will break your heart and lift your spirits. I had to muffle sniffles at work watching this.


  1. that video was great. you were right, I loved seeing their faces as they sang.

  2. remember calvary days when we used to sing our hearts out in the elementary room?

  3. totally. Remember Adonai! OMG. I can't believe we wore white jeans, red tshirts, and cheesy grins while flashing jazz hands and singing shine jesus shine. Somebody has a video of that somewhere ... must ... never ... unearth ... it!