30 October 2013

survival mode [perspective]

perspective: here comes the rain
[perspective: the view from our porch as a thunderstorm rolls in ]

because it seemed that the days had been coming in frantic rushes.  there were details to remember, a farewell party to coordinate, daniel's show going late, late, late cutting into precious sleep, arranging babysitters, a saturday board meeting to chair.  round & round she goes.

& i sat in the tuk tuk & exhaled deeply. mind racing, i thought:

"we've been living in survival mode ever since cedar was born.  when will it end?"

& then i remembered.

i remembered the woman with the recycling cart & her newborn slung in a scarf between the bars that she pushed, walking the streets asking for others' trash., unable to rest - where was her maternity leave?

i remembered the boys huddled at the bus stop sniffing the glue bottle.  so young & beautiful & already longing to be numb.

i remembered our own ming kohm & how she had to leave her tiny daughters to go work in the rice fields.  how she heard their cries when a neighbor lied & told them that she was never returning.  how she showed me how she would bind her breasts so she could go the whole day without feeding her baby.

i looked down & remembered that the coffee i was drinking as i whizzed through the city costs the daily wage of the construction workers i watch from my kitchen window.

 oh, right. 

i have never, not ever, known what it is like to live in survival mode.

sometimes perspective is like a swift slap to the face. 
 [but the good kind, like the kind that snaps you out of navel gazing & jolts you into gratitude]

this is the day


Christine said...

By sharing this, you helped others to realize what they have.
I know, I stopped to think of all my blessings!

Christy said...

Thank you SO much for the reminder. I think I need to bookmark this and come back to it from time to time just for a swift kick in the perspective pants.

Wearing a Man-Skirt (for now) said...

Thanks for that moving and dead-correct alignment of perspective, Amanda. Beautiful, sad, and just--and therefore true and ultimately full of joy. Not sure if that going away party you mentioned is for you or what your plans are, but if you find yourself swinging through Africa, Christine and I are in Malawi now, so you're welcome anytime. It's too bad we never were able to make it to Cambodia when we were relatively close... Many blessings to the whole family. - Tim

Laura Bollinger said...

Wow! Thank you for this. SO true.

Shannon said...

Perfectly put Amanda. How often we focus down at ourselves and our own difficulties and forget the true reality of most others around the world. I am the rich, I am the blessed and I am too often ungrateful. You are such a beautiful writer!!! Thanks for sharing the view from your eyes.