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there is a season [continued]

so there is a time for grieving, a time for healing.

two months out, exactly, a carilloneur is playing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from a nearby church steeple in downtown Boston. no, it's too corny. butyes, it's real. that is precisely what is happening.

*kiota*. first name. she contracted it from 'kiotara'. Korean verb meaning 'to turn around'.
*bandal*. last name. adapted from another Korean word meaning 'companion' or 'sidekick'.
*al-Astraya*, new last name she wanted me to start using. directly from the Arabic meaning To The Stars.

"we are visitors on this planet. we are here for ninety or a hundred years, at the very most. during that period we must try to do something good, something useful, with our lives. if you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the true good, the true meaning of life."

that's from His Highness, the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet. it's on a scroll in David's office. David is the Executive Director of United Planet. UP runs the project in Cambodia that would have turned kiota's life around had she lived. it's turning mine around right now.

look what she did with a mere one-fifth of that ninety. two thousand, almost three, posts to us here at LJ. innumerable TH convos to save others. creative writing. photography. SAT's. college half a world away.

on April 12 and 13 she lay dying. on June 12 and 13 I have gone from being a check writer to being a Team Planet Member to becoming a volunteer into wherever they will fit me.

"In Cambodia, United Planet supports orphanages, as well as child education / protection centers which provide room and board for children who have suffered domestic violence or whose parents are unable to support them. Volunteers mentor these children, many of whom live on the streets, by encouraging them to complete high school and go on to college. The children attend regular school, but their education is supplemented through volunteer teaching. Extra attention is given to those children that may have started school late and need help catching up. Volunteers also teach agriculture and gardening, lead recreational activities, and help out in the surrounding villages."

I cannot tell you how .... emerged .... I feel, reborn, reading this precise description of her life and hope in print --- --- instead of reading other precise descriptions of her death and living hell in print, in med books on suicide, cutting, and personality disorders. it's like i'm coming out on the other side of an eclipse. and i've used that description of her before, too. my time for med books is long over. turn, turn, turn.

on January 27 I couldn't have told you what United Planet was. on January 28, I was one of a dozen people who got a fundraising E-letter from her entitled "Help Me Volunteer in Cambodia" .. in her usual breathless style. and now, there is a time to travel. one day I will be standing in a room in that orphanage. hugging a child. there will be three of us there. in the moment.

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." said Rynosuke Satoro.

kiota, you are sooooooo .. sly, would be your cousin's word. you want a lot more from me than dollars these days, don't you :) "where will I meet you?" was one thing you texted me in Olympia. "I'll come get you" and "I'll pick you up" were others. and you still are. with even more excitement. not at a bus stop or in front of your libe, this time. from inside me.

so we will be going ocean-ing together. it occurs to me that this is the other half of your journey --- around this world, that is. possibly come back through the West Bank .....

and another of your friends has just joined me, from a few years ago, from now, on here, in that world and this new one in my LJ ... and she is so welcomed ... but of course you know that.

Becky [up there] was just dreaming, looking at the waves, wading in them too. That was in Turkey. This is in everywhere. where you are too.

Ode To Joy, indeed. an ocean of joy ...


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
What I think is really neat is how you are turning this event of Kiota's death and turning that into life for yourself and others. You truly are taking this and transforming it into something very positive, change in your life to help others and yourself. There couldn't be a better outcome for you...and those you will eventually help. :)
Jun. 14th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
I agree completely with what meow said above. It's... inspirational. You really are an amazing person.

So are you going to Cambodia then? I can't wait to hear about that.
Jun. 15th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
WOW, both of you ... what beautiful taste Kiota had in friends, who've now become mine ... Meow, I'm really floored by you, you're getting some tears to rise in my eyes, tears of joy and gratitude...and Kala ... both you guys have gone through all your personal hells and still are, and next to you [next to everybody else on here, really] I think I lead a charmed life...what can I possibly have of myself to offer you? .....well, that's not up to me, is it!!!

I am so excited about all this I'm vibrating, practically. I just sent the Exec Director my tutoring resume and tonight my theatre resume...he's totally into bringing the world together, healing the world, actually, through graphic images...like Kala did when she held a private memorial for Kiota with a picture and a candle, and her photo of that is now living in her family home in Israel and her family loves it ...

I don't think it's a question anymore of IF I am going over there, but WHEN, and in what capacity ....

I just found out that they want to build a library for the kids, too....wonder how I can help in that.

As you [and everybody else here] know, I really really believe that people might die, as we all will someday, but their dreams do not have to die with them.. Kiota is very much alive in all of us, each and every one, who loves her in her and his own special way, for whatever our private reasons are, shareable between no one but Ki and you, or with a few special Friends, your choice... Her dreams have certainly taken hold of me ...

I will certainly be taking all of you along with me. As you will and want to come, and how far, or not..... The biggest thing I am called on to do right now is to buy a camera and learn how to use it! *blushes* so I will be a real baby in the canyon on this one. But...uhm ... I will have a very good teacher, won't I? *blushes are erased* and i need to be at least competent for you to look at the pics ....

I really don't know why all this is happening to me: "this" meaning Meow and Kala and all the rest of my new Friends who have gathered around her table with me ..please take what you can use for yourself, I try to feed you all I can, you're as important to me as I am to myself, [nearly, lol!]

Jun. 15th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
This was very sweet -- thank you! You're an artist -- I'm sure you'll have lots of fun with the camera once you figure out the mechanics of it (which are quite simple nowadays) and do some great things with it.

But wow, yeah, Cambodia! I definitely want to see how this unfolds. :)
Jun. 15th, 2008 07:49 am (UTC)
O Lady Meow, you and me both!

In fact, just as I typed that, I thought, "I had been thinking this before, too .. in my relationship with Kiota!" ... all the relationships ...... and, well, all the Kiotas too, as a matter of fact XD
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
Charmed life or not, you have plenty to offer. And I really, really appreciate it.

Don't worry about the camera thing. As long as you have fun while you use it, it will turn out great.
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Yeahhh ... leaning toward a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT.

Guess what other digital rebel owns one.
Jun. 15th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
*coughNikonisbettercough* ;) Nah, not really. The Rebel is supposed to be a pretty nice camera. I say go out to a camera store and try and whole bunch of different cameras out. Ask the sales people about advantages and disadvantages of each. This website may also help: http://www.dpreview.com/
Jun. 15th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
lmao, Caylen. What I find out from that link is mostly sticker shock. One Canon costs $1130 and the Digital Rebel, $684???

The pricey EOS 40D comes with a 135mm zoom lens. I suspect that I might be comparing a red Ferrari with a blue Citroen.

Anyway it takes me back to the day when Kiota crowed all triumphantly and ecstatically at buying hers very cheaply on Ebay ... until it got there with no lenses. Then she went into volcanic furies and Force Five hurricanes, and we all expected an armoured attack supported by dive bombers. Many tried to tell her to read the fine print on the Ebay offer. Or at least on the box. Which clearly said "body only". Then of course she suspected all manner of evil conspiracies at the "factory-sealed" assembly line or from witches and warlocks of the deep darkened forests.

What? Our lady doesn't know what a *body* only is?

So at least I'm learning from that :)

I also surmise that Miss Canon and Miss Nikon both have their bodies prepared by gnomes somewhere in the caves of northern China. It's the same body. It's also like those cartoons you see about gas stations: all the hoses come out of a single big tank underground where you can't see it! The only difference is the sticker shock there, too...

But now I have to scoot like a snowshoe hare away from your fury at this Nikon insult and away from your pursuit [throws off GPS collar and skeedaddles]
Jun. 16th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Oh, that reminds me. Beware of the so called "gray market" cameras you can buy online for really cheap. I'm not exactly sure how different they are mechanically, but the cameras do not come under warranty which can be a big headache if something happens to your camera. Make sure you ask plenty of questions from wherever you are buying it from if they are not an authorized dealer. [http://www.mycamera.com/index_graymarket.cfm may explain this a little better.]

Nah, I'm not actually offended by the Nikon insult. I've never actually used a Canon so I wouldn't even know which brand I like better. I'm sure you are basically right about the caves of China, though.
Jun. 16th, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)
The irony, of course, is that no camera is as sensitive as the human eye. Or feline one.

OOOOOh thanks for your warning, KA!

O no I would never go into the 'grey market', you're right, warranties can turn out to be priceless. Especially if you don't have one. And need it.

You're just risking too much money. And peace of mind!

I may be about to zoom all over the globe but I wanna have an 'authorized dealer' dude, anchored down somewhere, to whom I can bitch if I need to.

Also come for suggestions, creative ones maybe.

It's certainly a negative if they see you walking into the cyberspace store as a little plastic AmEx numbered rectangle with legs [or, with typing fingers] attached.

Guess I'd rather be a hare than that!

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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