Friday, July 28, 2006

culture camp

My son and I are attending culture camp in Tulsa. It is an opportunity for families to gather to celebrate the joys of adoptions and also navigate the difficulties. It is awesome to be in a room of 200 Korean kids adopted. In this room they run, jump and celebrate each other. I am not sure how they process their uniqueness as a group, but they do in some child like way. I hear stories from parents, my son or daughter looks forward to this week all year long.

As a parent, it reminds me that my family is different. It reminds me that my family is special, unique and tremendously blessed. We are a Korean-American family. I try all year long to be the same and fit in with American culture. However, we are a thread that makes the tapestry of America beautiful.

I think God for this week and I am blessed to be part of this group. Especially the beauty of these wonderful families.

Fearless Joy,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The longest birthday

July 24th began for me waking up at 6:00 AM in Paris to get a shower and finish the last details of packing as we headed home. But the story begins in May.
Amy booked me on her flight to Paris, but did not buy the ticket. She just did not pull the trigger. She was waiting as she sometimes does when she purchases tickets. The hold lapsed and the ticket price went up 2 grand. So, I could fly on her flight if I wanted to spend 3000 dollars. She was going to be sitting in Business class and I in stowage/class. I told her that she should sit up front, she would be more comfortable. She felt guilty, but I told her. I want you to do sit up there.

Well when the ticket lapsed, she had to have me connect. So, I connected through Boston on a separate plane from my wife on my birthday. We arrived early for our flight, but Amy got us into the Admiral's club where we could COLD Diet Coke, water, and wine for free. Also, we could use our laptops since there were plugs on the walls.

Well, Amy's plane left first and I had time to wait. So, I put in Braveheart and watched the Director's commentary with Mel Gibson, never did that. So I had time.

TIme came for me to board, so I went up to my gate. I boarded and used my cool headphones that have better sound than the worthless earbuds of American Airlines. Flight came and went, I was awake the whole time. Arrived in Boston and left Boston.

The gist of this longest day. Somewhere over Kentucky, I looked up in my extreme tiredness and thought, "Guido, what a great day. YOu have watched Braveheart, guilt free. You have finished two books, guilt free. You have been to Paris. You have two great sons. You have such a relationship with your wife that you can send her alone across the world and both of you can have a sense of no guilt about that decision. Your relationship has a sense of pragmatism in its romanticism. Who cares that your meals for the day have included plane food and a dry tortilla wrap in the Boston airport. Your life is good."

The second longest day of my life was about gratitude and I turned a year older. If this is what growing up is about, then I gratefully welcome it.

fearless joy,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The French

Interesting place, France. It was the wealthiest and greatest country in all of Europe. Before the 18th century, it was more poplulated and wealthier than any country. Ending World War I, it was the most dominant country in the world, but it had no resources to make it stick.

It was the center of philosophy, with Aquinas and Voltaire. It was the center of wealth with French Nobility. It was the center of Art with Monet, Manet, Picasso, and others coming here.

Funny thing to remember from history is that French Revolution was a reaction to the nobility that was corrupt. The revolution brough Guillotines and Napoleon. Neither were much for democracy. Unlike the American revolution which was a move to democracy that worked, the French revolution stalled and started. It reminded me that democracy is a hard task for people who do not know how to be free. Imagine Iraq and the countries where democracy is just trying to be learned. Perhaps, America is the anomaly and France is the standard. Perhaps, we cannot expect everybody to figure it out without a few failures. It took a generation in France to understand it. So Putin...might be Russia's Bonaparte.

Just an interesting thought as I walked through Musee Carnavalet, the history of Paris.

Fearless Joy,

The ancien regime

Louis IVX, the great Sun King of France thought highly of himself. He put his statue above the bust of Caesar. Louis had a chapel in Versailles. The nobles turned to worship him as he sat on the balcony worshipping God. That is the Divine Right of Kings on steroids. It also gives some reason why France went into Revolution.

Amy in Paris

Amy on top of the Arche d' Triomphe.

A mennonite in Paris

Flody Landis, the anti Armstrong, is going to be in Yellow tomorrow as he heads up to the Arch de Triomphe and down to the Plais de Concorde. I will be on the old Champs Elleyses watching him.

Fearless Joy,