I Have ArrivedPosted: July 25, 2013
From the corn fields and county fairs of Ohio to the Big Apple with an Empire State of Mind, I have arrived. From the churches and country roads of Moldova to the minarets and the calls of the muezzins of Jakarta, I have arrived. From the residential suburbs and the rice paddies of Chiba to the Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama, I have arrived.
Each arrival has delivered me into a new part of myself. Ohio delivered me to New York, where I became lost and found inside of love and Islam. I found myself again within the loss of love through divorce and a spiritual movement called Subud, which delivered me to Moldova and Indonesia. Indonesia delivered me into a new career, which has brought me to Japan where I am currently teaching English. The doors have all been open, all I must do is continue to walk through, in sincere and patient Surrender. I wonder what is waiting for me here in Arashiyama.
It`s quiet, early morning quiet. There is a special quality and feeling to early mornings that I love, but often miss because I am not a morning person.
Some things never change, many things do…
I am awake this morning because I took the overnight bus from Tokyo to Kyoto, and I can`t check into my hostel until 4 p.m. I want to experience the infamous Bamboo Grove before the talk of tourists floods the area. I walk upon a paved pathway cradled by trees, some of which have drawings etched and initials with hearts carved into their skin. A human`s need to leave his or her mark behind, proof of their love for each other at one moment in time.
I think of love and how it has been etched and carved into my skin. Scars of love, each one a gift, a lesson learned and understanding that has shown me what is well for me in love. I have learned that I must see all aspects of who I love, the good, the bad and the ugly. Then I must decide whether I can accept all of him, because people don`t change unless they choose to. I am not claiming that I am a victim of love, no, I am guilty of clingy, emotional, desperate, lonely love. I am painfully aware of patterns within myself that push me to choose the same person in a different body. I won`t choose that man again. I have suffered enough and worked too hard to heal. I will not give my happiness away the next time around. You`re not supposed to give that away.
My memory leads me to the best example of love that I know. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails”. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) As I stare at these verses, they speak to me of Divine love. It is the way that God loves us. It is an example for us, the ideal, a hope, and a possibility.
A dear friend of mine once said to me, “Anyone who has known you, has known love”. Oh Allah, please allow me to arrive again through love. Love has killed me a hundred times, and I`ll be born again a thousand times through love, inshAllah.
Kim Joseph is a Writer and a Teacher who is originally from Youngstown, Ohio. She is currently living and working as an English Teacher in Kimitsu-shi, Chiba, Japan. Kim enjoys teaching, but has always known that her true talent resides in the Culinary Arts. She hopes to study Culinary Arts in Italy in the near future, so that she may open a cafe somewhere in the world one day. Kim`s writing has been published in The Huffington Post. Most of her work can be found on her blog.