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This time last year I made my own pilgrimage of a lifetime. I traveled with the Tibetan Nuns Project to Dharamsala, India. It was a soul-changing experience. The dust-filled Delhi days whirled by giving way to the molasses slow Dharamsala mountains. Oh, how I miss them. And the sky, the blue awning stretching wide overhead.

Adam Zilinskas passed away around this time last year. It was sudden, it was unexpected, but in away it was beautiful. Even the butterflies said so.

I remember Adam and his gentle words and his caring being. I light a candle in his name this day and many days after… I remember the sweet, kind nuns and their words to me, “When Tibet is free, you’ll have a home there with us.”

It’s going to be hard. I don’t know when he’s leaving, but it must be sometime soon. It breaks my heart just a little bit more every day. There’s just… something about it that I can’t pin down. That I can’t… let go.

I gave Erika one of Eithne’s bracelets last night. Silver Celtic design. We had an issue over tutoring and I felt like she just couldn’t understand that we cared. That we were just another cog in the system fucking with her life; so I gave her the bracelet and told her to look at it whenever she felt we were getting on her about crap. Because if I gave her something so important to me, it’s obvious that we care about her a lot. I think she understood.

I have strep throat. Or so it feels like. I think I’m going to have to go to the Dr today (again). I just can’t get better. I’ve been awake since 5.30am. Not helpful. I see Barbara today–that at least should be helpful.

Sometimes I just feel so out_of_control of my life and my body. Especially when it comes to getting sick and getting well like this…

I lie, staring blankly at the ceiling. The memory of her hand gently caressing my face fades into the misty half-morning light. I fade with it. Sway of back, arch of breast echoed in each tear that trickles slowly down my pale cheeks and tumbles unwittingly into oblivion. I wish I could tumble with them. The whitewashed sky folds its suffocating embrace around the skeletal trees–and I exhale.

Another day.

Authorities have fired an official in central China after city inspectors beat to death a man who filmed their confrontation with villagers, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.

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The killing has sparked outrage in China, with thousands expressing outrage in Chinese Internet chat rooms, often the only outlet for public criticism of the government.  The incident has also alarmed advocates of press freedom, who say municipal authorities had no right to attack a man for simply filming them.

Police have detained 24 municipal inspectors and are investigating more than 100 in the death of Wei Wenhua, a 41-year-old construction company executive, Xinhua reported on Friday.

The swift action by officials reflects concerns that the incident could spark larger protests against authorities, whose heavy-handed approach often arouses resentment.

On Monday Wei happened on a confrontation in the central Chinese province of Hubei between city inspectors and villagers protesting over the dumping of waste near their homes.

A scuffle developed when residents tried to prevent trucks from unloading the rubbish, Xinhua said.

When Wei took out his cell phone to record the protest, more than 50 municipal inspectors turned on him, attacking him for five minutes, Xinhua said. Wei was dead on arrival at a Tianmen hospital, the report said.

Qi Zhengjun, chief of the urban administration bureau in the city of Tianmen, lost his job over the incident, Xinhua reported Friday.

The beating was condemned online. “It’s no longer news that urban administrators enforce the law with violence,” said an editorial on the news Web site Northeast News, according to The Associated Press.

“But now someone has been beaten to death on site. It has brought us not surprise, but unspeakable anger.”

Chen Yizhong, a columnist on Xinhua’s Web site, asked why violence by city inspectors is allowed to continue. “Cities need administration, but urban administrators need to be governed by law first,” he wrote.

An international press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, protested the killing.

“Wei is the first ‘citizen journalist’ to die in China because of what he was trying to film,” the group said in a statement.

“He was beaten to death for doing something which is becoming more and more common and which was a way to expose law-enforcement officers who keep on overstepping their limits.”

明日の私の作り方

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing. Other times I think I have an idea of where I would like to go and where my path is headed.

I looked so happy two years ago. Christmas day. What happened? I lost 40 pounds. Lost my family, gained a new one, lost and gained so many different things. *sigh* It’s been a strange time for me. I feel invisible, yet conversely I feel entirely too visible. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m just tired.

One thing is for certain, I can’t wait for the 24th and our trip down to TN and Paige’s house. Phoenix is so excited to see the boys. He already wants to start packing. I do too!!!

It’s going to be The Best Christmas Ever!

It’s only a few days until we welcome our first foster child “R”. I am excited. He was born September 28th and so is still very small. Barbara is bringing over a crib tomorrow. We have one here, but she wanted to donate one complete with mattress to our cause. A lot of Phoenix’s old clothes were in the basement, so they’re washed and folded ready. Amie is making giraffe curtains this weekend (Thank You!!) specially. It’s such a big… thing. If only he knew. Maybe one day he will, even though it is unfortunate his mother is currently sick, he is giving me great joy.

It’s hard to comprehend some days. In the space of a week I’ve done a 180 degree emotional turnaround and now we’re getting “R” on Tuesday. Just one week after the first call. Seems so strange. It’s exaclty what I wanted and felt I needed, but all this waiting now is driving me insane. I guess getting the crib will give me something to focus on… getting it all set up and made and with a little stuffy for him. And finishing the room off… taking the remnants of the Halloween party out of there and setting the cute pictures back up. I also need to clean the diaper genie and figure out the old straps on Phoenix’s car seat to turn it back into a baby seat… errr….

Oh… and go here:

http://freerice.com/

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“A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, ‘I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, violent one, the other wolf is the loving compassionate one.’ The grandson asked him, ‘Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?’ The grandfather answered, ‘The one I feed.'”

– Blackhawk

I feel like that a lot at the moment. As if there are two of me inside both fighting over the scrap of my body remaining. I have to be conscious every moment about the one that I choose and the actions which I take. This year has been a difficult one, but I feel it all stemmed from my visit to India. It is certainly true what they say, that speaking with a great spiritual being such as the Dalai Lama or the Karmapa can cause old karma to ripen. I think that has certainly happened for me. Of course, that isn’t taking away my responsibility but just acknowledging how this all began.

I really need to get back into my photography. I feel as though I’m missing something. A part of me. But tell me, what is there to photograph in Cincinnati, OH? Nothing really, is there? I just can’t for the life of me fathom anything but trees and more trees. And I am NOT a nature photographer. It is hard having a child that I need to care for, so that I need to do any escapades before noon. Rather limiting. Perhaps I will go investigating and see if I can find any.. people. *shrug*

I am exhausted today. Not really in a positive frame of mind, but trying to force myself. Fake it until you make it, right?

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley

So, I seem to have lost my focus. I still fight for the freedom of Burma and Tibet, but I am not so vocal here. Others are and do it just as well. I think I would like to rededicate this to writing, photography and my own renewal. Burying myself beneath helping others find freedom is not helping myself find the freedom that I need in my own life. I have led myself into this place of stagnant illness and slipping life and now is the time to fight back. I have too much to live for to let myself die.

Yesterday I started the process of living. We went for a walk in the woods, it exhausted me and gave me a medication resistant migraine. But I still won’t let that get me down. I am grateful that I was able to revel in the beauty of the trees and the november air. I am grateful for so many things. I am happy, I am beautiful, I am succcessful and alive.

I won’t let negative thoughts take me any lower than I already am.

I can beat this and crawl my way slowly up this mountain.

“The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done,
we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change.
So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger,
but in wisdom, understanding and love.”

– Jennifer Edwards

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It is the hardest thing to master. I hold on to everything with tightly clasped palms, afraid to let the rancid cockroach within them fly free. I cannot forgive them for what they did, no matter how long I berate myself or force myself, this round peg into the square hole of their choosing. I cannot accept what they did and lay it down on the road. I cannot unburden myself so easily. I hide behind fighting for the freedom of others, but what of myself? Trapped here? Sliding down a one way street to only one outcome.

I don’t know how to win this fight, I don’t know how to use my spirituality (what remains) or my knowledge to fight off this demon. I am an army of one, standing solitary against an angry hoarde.

Perhaps it was always supposed to come down to this.

“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.”

-Pema Chodron