Wednesday, November 2, 2011


A Comment
"I guess I just bloom where I'm planted," she said in response to my comment that living abroad is hard. It bothered me because saying something is hard doesn't mean you are unhappy. Saying something is hard doesn't mean you aren't connected to a place. It wasn't the "blooming" part that irritated me, it was the gloss over of the difficulty. In ten years I'd wager I will still have connections to Japan. Perhaps my idea of blooming differs.

The Issues
Living abroad in a culture where I can't read or write, where I am a guest and not a member, where the military has power over my life beyond the reaches of anything in the civilian sector, where I am basically a single mother Monday through Friday, where I have no family present, where I have had to build up a support network from scratch, is not the easy way. I am not alone in shouldering this kind of burden, many military wives do, maybe even her, but apparently the taboo is in saying it is hard. Maybe her glass house can't take the hit of reality. I didn't consider that.

Shine the Turd
We shine the turd, rubbing it into a high gloss, to make it something it is not. The harder we rub, the shinier it gets, but it is still shit. Apparently, naming that which is, must be guarded against. Such a shame. Think what we could grow in all that manure if we were free to stop polishing it?

In the End
Military living is first and foremost about transience. I don't feel rooted in a temporary place and yet this day, as each day, is what I have- maybe that is what she meant. The resolution lies, perhaps, in the recognition that things are what they are whatever their name. We each have to find our own peace. My mistake was thinking I was in sympathetic company and in thinking that speaking of something would bring me peace. Peace is within, peace is without borders, and sometimes peace is full of organic matter that will wildly sprout blossoms someday.

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