Friday, October 22, 2010

They Came to America

They came to America.

Full of hope. Full of dreams. A bright and wonderful new future.

They came to America.

Among China's best and brightest university students.

A picture in a passport. A seat number on a plane. An ID number in a university database. A faceless enrollment number.

A friend. A classmate.

They came to America.

A birthday party. Happy 23rd! Tomorrow we drive!

A sixteen soul, three car caravan to northern Michigan to see the autumn colors. Destination: Tahquamenon Falls.

A sunny, clear, dry day. Beautiful driving weather. Two cars stop at a rest area to regroup.

Waiting. Waiting. Phone calls to the five cell phones in the last car. No answers.

They came to America.

News crashed abroad.

2 Chinese students killed, 3 injured in North Michigan car crash

Phone calls from frantic parents rained thousands of tears, "Are you alright?" Two calls went unanswered.

They came to America.

Full of shock. Full of grief. A sad and unimaginable future.

My baby. We just said good-bye at the airport. And now, there you lie. We brought apples so you won't be hungry on your journey. We brought money so there is money enough. Mama will bring you home.
My baby...

Bowing at the coffin of a stranger. Once. Twice. Three times.

What words are there for the parents? Connecting in the raw emotion.

Choking back deep, throbbing sobs...

"I'm so sorry..."

The voice cracking...

"I'm so sorry..."


In life, I did not touch you.


In death, you touched me.

The stillness

May troubled wanderers who have lost their way
Meet with fellow travelers,
And without any fear of thieves and tigers
May their going be easy without any fatigue

For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain
Until then, may I too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

They came to America.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I send my condolences... Life is short yet to have it cut so short... an event like this rips to the very core of our hearts. To lose loved one all of a sudden without warning brings shock to the losses that were not expected. It is with our prayers and sympathy we share a moment of silence.

  2. Mary,
    Thank you. In fact, I did not personally know this young man. I attended his funeral in a somewhat official capacity representing my department.

    So what then does this post have to do with internal gong fu? Years ago I would have stood stoically stone-faced in the presence of such overwhelming emotion... as did some of the other young men in attendance. Big boys don't cry. Be strong.

    After years of practicing feeling and connecting and allowing, I find myself more easily connecting with feelings, opening to allowing, noticing what shows up.

    In another blog-life, I wrote in a very feeling-less, "objective" academic style. It took a lot of time and effort to learn to write with more feeling, to express myself more poetically.

    My intention in this post was to release some of the energy that woke me up at 3:30 in the morning crying from this tragedy.

    My intention in this post was to model feeling and connecting as discussed in Journal Notes #9.

    What did you feel when you started reading? Did you notice your feelings change as you read? What are you feeling now? How is this showing up in your body? Are you holding anywhere? Shoulders? Neck? Can you let the sobbing pass through and notice...

    After I got this out, I sat for a while with a cup of tea. Then I did some rock-n-roll stance and discovered a new, more subtle level of feeling in my kua.

    Everything's all connected... because we're all one piece...

    Peace everyone! And be careful on the road!

    Thank you for caring, Mary!