Sitting in Phnom Penh in my favorite Coffee Shop Nom Café. It’s such a peaceful place with good (quiet) background music, great coffee and the worlds best French Toast. I always feel inspired to write in this café. I don’t know what it is, but wish I could duplicate the ambiance or energy in my bedroom at Wat Opot….sigh.
I am an emotional person. Walking around Phnom Penh, I see things and people which make me smile, but also tear up. On the way to PP with 2 volunteers, we stopped at the Killing Fields, which is on the way, so one of the volunteers could visit it. I went inside the grounds to use the toilet. It’s interesting how I was able to just walk right in past the ticket stand as if I knew what I was doing. No one stopped me to get an entrance fee or to ask me for my ticket. It was as if I was invisible. Only when I asked someone as to the whereabouts of the toilets was I acknowledged.
As I walked I passed some of the sights and was immediately overwhelmed by the energy of the place. Sadness overwhelmed me as I quickly walked towards my destination. I had been there before in 2010 and although it’s beneficial to learn a country’s history, it’s also advantageous to learn and then move on. One of our boys living in Phnom said to me that he is so tired of his government, as well as his Khmer elders and peers, using the Khmer Rouge as an excuse for the country’s current problems. He said they need to get over it already and move on.
Forgive but not forget is a mantra most people cannot deal with. If I lived with every wrong I consciously or inadvertently committed against others or held all the wrongs (intentional or perceived) committed against me in my heart or head, I would be a basket case and unable to love myself and others unconditionally. Grant it there are people I do not care for -my life would not be affected in any way if I never saw their face or heard their voice again– but if it happens, I would survive and life would go on without any regrets. Over time, I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven others. I have learned to turn away from hatred and stupidity aimed at a race, culture, religion, etc. Someone I have since blocked on FB typed to me once saying that I should not delete a response when a person says something I do not like or believe in. My reply was "yes, I should and will, especially if it is written on my internet wall". I love my delete button and probably have more FaceBook "friends" hidden than those who are are not. I do not feel any remorse whatsoever for not being privy to their daily rantings showing their ignorance and racism and all around negativity.
That’s not to say I no longer care what is going on in the world; on the contrary, I care deeply, possibly a little too deeply, but if I internalized all the shit that is going on (especially in the country of my birth) then I would walk around banging my head on a wall babbling like an idiot. I would carry the negativity with me and in turn expel it to those around me. This link pretty much sums up my thoughts about so many things. Yes, it’s vulgar, but sometimes there is not a better way to describe an incident than to use a curse word –really just try to blurt out the word ‘sunshine’ or ‘pink roses’ the next time something makes you angry –it doesn’t work, trust me.
Why do I relate with the above link? Maybe it’s because I am missing the three little brothers who are visiting their mother. Once their father gets out of prison, they will move back in with them. Loving functioning families should stay together. Maybe I am also sad that the little 4 month old who we had for only 2 weeks is back with her family. Although her extended family situation is better –family is not poor and grandparents decided they missed her enough to want to raise her- the hurt in my heart is nonetheless evident. To my caring heart I say “F*!@ That!
Ah, well it’s time to move on…maybe a nice big plate of French Toast will sweeten my mood....then a stop at Vego for a nice filling wrap to take back to my hotel, a shower, little brainless television and then bed. yeah, I think that's what I need...