Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who am I to blow against the wind?

One afternoon in 2002, while I was living in Chengdu, I had wandered into a restaurant and was sitting, looking out the window at this big, uncertain world around me. People were everywhere, like in so many cities, but especially characteristic in Chinese cities, and I remember thinking that I was so insignificant, so helpless to make any lasting change or impression on a world so troubled. At the time, I was in a relationship with He Zegang, the man who would the next year become my husband, and in that moment, I thought maybe 20 years down the road I would be able to look back on the life we made (thinking it would be in China) and you know, write a book like every good American should. And I thought I would title the book "Blowing Against the Wind."

produce market, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. 01/07

Tonight I have a heavy heart. It's been a couple of days of feeling the tidal wave of responsibilities and ambitions may overwhelm me, and I suppose it only made matters worse that Laurie and I watched A Mighty Heart, which my tender and susceptible heart could barely endure. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth a viewing. I'd also even more highly recommend Krista Tippett's interview with Mariane Pearl on Speaking of Faith.

Today I also learned that one of my sisters in infertility had a chemical pregnancy from her latest round of IVF, and my soul purely aches for her. I thought of her yesterday as I was dashing between projects, and said to myself "I'd like to live in a world where she finally gets her positive pregnancy test." Alas, it's not that kind of world, quite apparently.

It's just one of those times when it all feels so gruesome, so enormous, so beyond reach, you know?

shy girls in DaMiao Village, Sichuan. 05/01

I've been working on a post about sweatshops in China and how to find companies who engage in Fair Trade practices, but it's not done yet. So, in lieu of a completed post with carefully thought-out ideas, I'm just showing up as your fellow human tonight, sad and concerned about the state of our world. Do you think about these things in your daily life? How do your encounter the vastnes of our human experience? Care to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

little Meimei and her great grandmother. DaMiao Village., Sichuan. 01/07


child_of_africa said...

i don't have anything to share or any words of comfort to attempt tonight. tonight i can only say that i am myself overwhelmed by such a new sense of helplessness and apathy and almost despair. perhaps the only thing i can say i know is that there are always those days of power and vitality and healing and joy for all of us and i will wait patiently for the next round.

korin said...

I also have no words of comfort, other than that I love you very much. SOme days are so hard to live through, and yet we do. YOu're in my heart.

Knittah said...

Yes, I think about the state of the world in my daily life. All the time. Recognizing how insignificant we are among the cosmos is one of the things that makes us human. Choosing to exercise our power to make a difference is also what makes us human. To see the void, and still have hope, that is the divine in us.

always young at heart said...

I am blown away by your caring heart. At a time of year often colored by greed, you are focused on what is important, namely, making a difference in the world anyway possible. Your caring heart does make a difference as does anyone who reaches out to another in need. love you, sweety.

ArtMind said...

Celeste, thank you for being so caring and kind! I think the world needs more of that!
I'm touched by what you write and want to read more, so if it's OK, I added your blog to mine.
I'm really happy I 'found' you...