Wednesday, January 31, 2018

To Remember

This morning in yoga class, this song came on during the shavasana (cool down) and it broke me.

I was mid-way through tears before I could even recognize why.
It's like my body knows that part of us is still in Cambodia.
And I wept for that.

Not over the sadness that I was ever there.
Not because I regret going.
But just because it was.
It happened.

January 2014 visit to Cambodia

And now it's in the past.
And a piece of my heart still lives with a pig farmer in kompungseu province.
And a new mother in Phnom Penh.
And an economics student who is engaged to his high school sweetheart.
And I can't get those pieces back.
And I don't want them back.
But I'm not completely whole without them.
And I feel that.

I lived in Cambodia from August 2007 to July 2008.
It was a tremendously painful and life-changing year.
My body knows we are in the thick of a ten-year anniversary.
Like beyond July of this year, maybe it will feel even more odd that I'm still talking about this.
That I'm still feeling this.
Like, perhaps, I've been given 10 years to reconcile this.
And I think I will always need more time.
I will always want more time.

January 2014 visit to Cambodia

Music is a powerful force.
Like that song in yoga class this morning.
It evokes feelings we didn't know we had.
There is this "Cambodia soundtrack" of songs that pop up in my world today via Pandora or iTunes or wherever, and I'm brought back to that time.

Time and time again.

Songs like, "Stranger Girl" by Peter Bradley Adams.
And "There is So Much More" by Brett Dennen.
And "Stay Alive" by Jose Gonzalez.
And "All I Need" by Mat Kearney.
And "Every Age" by Jose Gonzalez.

 September 2015 visit to Cambodia // riding moto with Kanya

These songs are in my bones and that's where they will stay.
Because beyond those songs, or the occasional Facebook memory popping up on my computer screen, that's about all I have to remind me that:
-it happened
-it was real
-I'll never be the same

 September 2015 visit to Angkor Wat

Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and the first thought that crosses my mind is Cambodia.
A memory.
A student.
The school.
That time.

Wherever you've been. Wherever life has taken you. These recollections demand to be known. To be remembered. It's like our subconscious is saying,
"Yup, here it is. Don't forget. This is worth remembering."

And so, on mornings such as this, I sit and I remember.
And I weep.
On a yoga mat.
Ten years later.
Because little parts of me will always be spread around the world.
Where they belong.
With people I love.

And maybe that's less about lacking wholeness,
and more about possessing great courage.

Because people who don't want to be known, find ways to play it safe. But as Brene Brown says, "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."And so fragmented hearts are the "price" we pay for having shown up in the world.

I may never be a person who jumps out of an airplane for fun.
Or makes a bold character for a reality TV show.
But I can tell you that what I lack in entertainment value, I make up for in heart.

Because showing up and letting myself be seen is the most courageous thing I've ever done.
And will continue to be the most heart-breaking and important thing I ever do.
And that makes it all worth it.