Showing posts from May, 2017

Three Men...One World...

Recently in Portland, the city that I have lived in for most of my life, there was a horrific killing on the MAX train platform in the Hollywood district. A man, harrassing two teenage girls, was called out by other passengers, sadly resulting in the death of two men and the brutal injuring of a third. These men, who didn't know the girls personally, are heroes. They embody what it means to be human and care for others. Sometimes when I look at things around me, I feel like we have totally lost our way. We have become a society that does not notice or care for one another. People are stuck with their faces in their phones, lost in technological forest of Facebook, Twitter and the like. We have lost the ability to connect on a personal level, have conversations, see eye to eye. My students talk of texting a friend that is sitting next to them in class, days filled with Snapchat stories and livestreams. The personal connection of days past have given way to a world where personal c


It  is interesting when traumatic events happen to people. It's like a giant rock blows through a window and pieces of the window fly in every direction. Gently, we pick up the broom and sweep the pieces into a small pile where glass shards of varying sizes lay. Each of these pieces came from the original window, but when you carefully try to glue them together, you find that although they fit together, there are rough edges and chips that don't quite fit together. Technically, the window is now whole, but is it like it was before? Trauma can come in many forms...each of us experiencing the world in very different ways from different views. When something happens that shatters your world or your heart, it is not easy to just pick up the pieces and move on, unaffected. Picking up the pieces sometimes causes bloodshed, pricking of your fingers as you gingerly pick up the smallest shards of glass. Each piece is crucial. You need each one to put your life and your heart back toge


Grief is a strange and amazing teacher. The last two years have been filled with lessons that I never imagined were necessary to experience or learn yet one has followed another. It has been, at times, so difficult that I thought I would break. Grief is also strange because it is an intensely personal, yet public emotion. Others try to understand and support, but really no one can wrap the feelings up other than yourself. It is a journey that must be walked alone. One of the loneliest journeys I have experienced, a time when even those who care deeply have been kept away. The Five Stages of Grief are real and tangible. I think about two years ago in the months following Javad's seizure, I was stunned and in survival mode. I was going through the motions, in denial that the outcome could be anything other that compete and full recovery. Six months in a medical coma began to shift my feelings. I would talk to a God that I wasn't sure I believed in, asking for healing of my swee