“True acceptance…means you are willing to feel this emotion, this pain in your body, forever.”
I used tracing paper. Super cool. Felt like cheating as I drew, but then I realized I was able to draw at a level of detail I’m not used to. We’ve found four scorpions in the house and one in the pool thus far.
My father was a very private man. He passed away on July 11, 2019, and we did not have a service for him in Georgia, where he lived. Instead, we will have it at my house on September 12. Here is his obituary:
Dr. Sei-Jong Chung, passed away in the early evening hours of Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home in Lawrenceville, GA. He left this world peacefully, with his loving wife, our mother Jung-Yoon Chung, by his side. As he waged a short, but courageous battle against lung cancer, he discovered a peace and joy with his family and friends he had never previously known. For this, we are eternally grateful.
Born in South Korea, he was the fifth of eight children and displayed an exceptionally inquisitive and academic mind. As a young immigrant and college student, Sei-Jong performed many odd jobs, including serving at restaurants and shoveling coal so college students could enjoy hot water. As he worked to earn his advanced college degrees, he also mentored students and Korean immigrants. On several occasions, he exchanged his skills as a technical English reader and writer for other services. It is because he possessed such expertise that we, his three offspring, were able to take Tae Kwon Do lessons and attain black belts.
After earning his PhD in Operations Research, Sei-Jong was a professor at St. Ambrose College and Northern Illinois University. As a father, he favored the “tough love” style with intentions of preparing us for a tough world. He never allowed us to believe we were victims of any circumstance or person. We were raised to believe we were the captains of our ships and that is an invaluable lesson.
During his final months, he shared with all of us the memories of the life he lived so purposefully, the people who made his journey worthwhile, and the many lessons he learned along the way.
He remains an inspiration to his family, friends and former students, and his intellect, quick wit and generosity will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
I’m reading this right now. Dr. Eger, a Holocaust survivor, is proof that our happiness is our choice in life, regardless of what happens.
I’m taking a podcast class. Seth Godin’s first lesson: start small. Your sister is your first guest…and then a neighbor…maybe a friend of a friend. But not until your sixth guest do you invite someone who has something “better to do.”
You’ll get more “yeses” once you’ve built your hexagon.
You need to develop your skills.
I love Seth’s closing: “Go make a ruckus.” I am thinking of my own…
“True joy is made up of many, many, many small moments. If you wait six months for the big thing (for example, a vacation abroad), you miss all the beautiful small moments.”
– Eckhart Tolle
She told me she wakes up anxious. I recommended writing five things she is grateful for first thing in the morning – every morning – before she does anything. Just two weeks in, she said she feels happier each day.
Gratitude can replace worry.
Daily art prompts. Today’s: “Dream a Little Dream.” I just drew and wrote what came to mind. It became instantly cathartic. Since March, I have lost a friend to a heart attack, my father to lung cancer and discovered a loved one is a severe alcoholic. This has brought to the fore some unsavory childhood memories. The spate of mass shootings in the past couple of days is also disturbing.
But art and writing are centering me.
I asked my 12-year-old niece, “Who is your favorite teacher?” Although math comes most easily to her, she didn’t hesitate to tell me her English teacher is her favorite instructor of all time, because “She is so enthusiastic about everything! She loves to act stories out.”
Here’s to enthusiasm!
“It’s not easy. I got lots of rejections when I first started out. If you want to write, you have to believe in yourself and not give up. You have to do your best to practice and get better.”
If you judge (a thing/event/person) to be “good,” then there must naturally be a “bad.” The path to inner peace is one of non-judgment.
My mom moved in with us 11 days ago after dad passed away. My parents immigrated from Korea in the 60s. You can take mom out of Korea, but you can’t take Korea out of mom. She has no filter and even though she always has the best intentions and is the most loving person you could ever meet, her comments can sound strange, random and even hurtful. But she’s just doing her, you know?
This morning, I was driving her to church when she shared this gem:
“You know, when I look at my children, I realize I am very old. Because they look so old.”
This prompt brought me to the source of our strongest emotions of late: grieving. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer on April 1st and passed away on July 11th. In that short span of time, I stayed with my parents a lot in Georgia, away from my desert home in Arizona. The colors of the lush foliage surrounded me as I took walks as breaks from caregiving. Friendly neighbors smiled and waved and I felt welcome and an unexpected sense of peace.
Death, for each of us, is as certain as the sunrise. So why are so many fearful of it? Why are so many surprised when it comes? Perhaps we are most fearful that we are not truly living.
Old bean pod, you dried up thing
no longer vibrant in our eyes
who’d want your monochrome self
bent, cracking and dull
beans spill out and
get buried in the earth
the sky cries
and a new life begins
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
The final line of his poem, “On Clothes” by Kahlil Gibran
“I really believe the universe rewards the courageous.”
Daily drawing prompt:
I’ve noticed that people keep secret stuff in shoeboxes: valuables, vices and momentos.
“All sadness is a tantrum.”
It is a war with what is (reality).
I used to read Highlights Magazine from cover to cover as a kid. I loved the stories, the nature articles, the riddles and, of course, Goofus and Gallant. I was heartened to read the CEO’s plea of humanity in his letter to the public lately. Indeed, we need to separate politics from “human decency”:
“As a company that helps children become their best selves—curious, creative, caring, and confident—we want kids to understand the importance of having moral courage. Moral courage means standing up for what we believe is right, honest, and ethical—even when it is hard.
Our company’s core belief, stated each month in Highlights magazine, is that ‘Children are the world’s most important people.’ This is a belief about ALL children.
With this core belief in our minds and hearts, we denounce the practice of separating immigrant children from their families and urge our government to cease this activity, which is unconscionable and causes irreparable damage to young lives.
This is not a political statement about immigration policy. This is a statement about human decency, plain and simple. This is a plea for recognition that these are not simply the children of strangers for whom others are accountable. This is an appeal to elevate the inalienable right of all children to feel safe and to have the opportunity to become their best selves.
We invite you—regardless of your political leanings—to join us in speaking out against family separation and to call for more humane treatment of immigrant children currently being held in detention facilities. Write, call, or email your government representatives.
Let our children draw strength and inspiration from our collective display of moral courage. They are watching.”
Kent Johnson, CEO
*20 Ways to Draw Everything
They sound like percussion for Tuvan throat singers.
On June 24, a news article described the first ever recorded video of the giant squid in U.S. waters. You can read the article here: www.sciencealert.com
“I don’t like to judge…until someone says ‘libarry’ and then I do. The place with all the words? You know what word is not there? Libarry.”
My mom used to work as an Avon lady and at the Macy’s cosmetic counter. My parents don’t throw much away, so they have many cologne bottles in the house: some broken, some empty. I like to draw them and study the text, logos and bottle shapes.