Monday, September 15, 2008

death and all his friends...

this weekend i learned that a patient of recent died. no couple has affected me ever yet as much as this one. she stayed in his room after his first massive heart attack, not willing to leave the bedside, saying they've always been together and she's not leaving now. he did okay and they joked around all the time and we got to know them more than i wish we did and he transferred out. then his body tried to die again and he came back. she grabbed my arm and hung on as we settled him into our bed. she would hold his head and whisper in his ear as the ventilator did his breathing. and he did okay and transferred out. then he tried to die again and he came back. she was exhausted. she told me above the hum and hip hop of machines "i've always prayed i'd go before him, i just can't live without him." and he did okay and he discharged from the hospital.

and this weekend i learned that he did die, just a month after his first hospitalization with us. in the hospital. death and all his friends won the tug-of-war.

if nothing else, this whirlwind of a weekend after getting back to the country, this helped me decide that i am done in the intensive care unit. i accepted a new job today where i'll get to stick stuff up people's butts all day :) and i couldn't be more excited.

if i ever come back to the ICU to do this hellish work that no one should deal with every time they go to work, i have a lot of maturing to do. i feel totally defeated, but i knew the whole time, even before i started, that i didn't want to work there.

it's humbling and so wonderful at the same time. i think it'll feel freeing once it hits! death is always there. i accept that, i know there's so much more. i think a lot of people think they can deal with death just fine, but they've never seen it or experienced it or helped others experience it. living on this side of life it feels so final. especially when you don't really know what's going to happen to that soul from that lifeless body that you're taping up in a plastic garbage-bag-like tomb. maybe that's what was so hard for me. maybe i'm just a total puss.

i was reading tim ferriss' blog as he quoted Dr. King:

“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.

You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.

You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.

Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.

And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.

You died when you refused to stand up for right.

You died when you refused to stand up for truth.

You died when you refused to stand up for justice.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From the sermon “But, If Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967.

i definitely am not stepping into anything heroic next. or a greater cause. it was so defining to work there. but i'm believing that i'm finding something amazing next... i don't so much understand it.


i think i'll learn to screenprint.

or knit.

i'm tired of crying today.

end of babble.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Morkens were delivered via IcelandAir this morning to Keflavik @ 0620! We were picked up by our couchsurfing hosts Styrmir and Lilly and drove to their home on the marina cliff to meet their 3-year-old daughter, Freja, and thoroughly entertaining cat, Tristan...

This is the view from their living room window...whoever said Iceland weather changes every hour or minute totally lied. It was rainy and so windy today (38miles/hour) that even the seagulls couldn't fly forward.

Their home is the white one on the very right side of the photo. Icelanders are among the healthiest people in the world with a woman's life expectancy to be 83 and man's 79! Styrmir said it's because everyone has a tablespoon of cold liver oil and starting at 2 weeks old, babies are put in a carriage outdoors, irregardless of weather or storms, for 3-4 hours until they are 3-years-old...

Our couchsurfers hooked us up with sweet orange waterproof pants and maps and books that we can take along our travels! The wind really is holding Justin up...

Tonight we have some German couchsurfers also staying where we're at...and the journey begins...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

i'm a new soul in this very strange world...

...making every possible mistake.

what do you do when you know all the answers but have an impossible time living them? with what feels like everything. all the time. was it always this way?


"This is a happy end
'Cause you don't understand
Everything you have done
Why is everything so wrong?

This is a happy end
Come and give me your hand
I'll take you far away

I'm a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit 'bout how to give and take

But since I came here
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake"
-Yael Naim

yet still, hallelujah.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

i've got 10 friends and a crowbar that says you ain't gonna do jack...

the silence i have heard within myself has been for far too long. i don't know what my voice sounds like or what it even is. i am agreeable. i don't argue. i have been very content for very long to let you think whatever you will about whatever you think about.

maybe it's because i want to be a peacemaker. and i truly want to love people for who they are. and i want to be a listener and have you tell me anything you think/feel without feeling judged by yet another person...especially another Christian.

BUT. when i finally do have something to say it feels awkward. especially when i know it may offend another person. but sometimes it does need to be said, doesn't it? sometimes we are in a place to have a voice. sometimes the people who do have the louder voice are completely wrong and yet they have the louder voice and they are the only ones being heard. because we aren't saying anything.

we aren't saying anything.

sometimes it needs to be said and there is no one willing to do it. because it's uncomfortable. because maybe we don't really believe it in the first place...but feel that maybe we should...but not today. today is not the day to speak up.

but maybe today is the day.

i have "my own issues" with criticism. i sometimes thrive on it, because then i know that i'm actually doing something right. i sometimes fume with what i want to believe is "holy" anger because i can't believe another person who is supposed to be my friend or support would talk about me in such a way. but i usually do this only within me. but sometimes something needs to be said.

so i said it. or more so wrote it because it was an email sent to me.

and i wrote back a long, researched email and i used my voice that i usually stuff and sit on comfortably like one of those cushy couch cushions on your parents' new posh couch (which they can finally buy now that you're out of the house;)

and i was so embarrassed, so humiliated. after i sent it. why doesn't google give us more control to erase our mistakes?!

i began to rethink everything i had said and wished i could delete other people's inboxes for their own sake (or more so mine). i kept hoping that this email wouldn't change their view on me or lower my "cool" level or make them respect me less.

then a day passed (which sometimes we just need the day to be over and the new beginning offered with the next morning is profoundly different). i reread my email and was proud of it. i said everything my heart had been trying to shout out. it wasn't offensive, but was slightly heated. i gave my voice an outlet and it was the truth.

why do we try to be so careful to not step on our brother's and sister's toes? how will we ever bring heaven to earth without using our subtle voices to speak against wrong and injustice? if we are only working to be nonoffensive how will we ever challenge people to be the people they have been created to be? why do we keep our voices so subtle and meek?

so i'm talking in circles again...


Monday, February 18, 2008

on the threshold of eternity...

may we live. may we live chasing our ambitions, our love, our damn ideals. may we quietly speak above the dogmatic 'christian,' who gives christianity the negative condemning name it has. may we have eyes big enough to see the one downtrodden. may we have hearts big enough to love the awkward, annoying, ugly outsider and forget ourselves. may we fight against the man who drives us to be less than we are. may we see our potential. may we never forget our God is boundless, exciting, sovereign and loves us more than we can comprehend. may we enjoy the hell out of the small things. may we live in the freedom we busily forget we have been given!

let's go to new zealand! or...i don't know...atomic coffee?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

everything was beautiful and nothing hurt... know when you feel that everything must change? like the way life is happening all around you, but it could give a damn about your opinion? yet it's something so unsettling you know it's not right, but something so tremendous it doesn't seem possible to change.

or consider the way we've been trained to think that we're going to go to college for 5 years (these days...), be in debt until we're 35 from that college, and then work until you're 59 1/2 to have saved 3mil -- only to find out we'll still have to get that part-time job at the vfw doing pulltabs so we can still get our grandkids those ugly matching sweaters and then that's it. that's what we've been working towards. and that's life?

and we had these dreams in high school that may have changed, but probably became gloriously magnified, in college? only to transform and morph into a "career" that sort-of fits those dreams a little? then we can still pat ourselves on the back to think we haven't given up our ideals until we can't remember exactly what they were anymore.

and we feel the twisting knot in our gut and sometimes shivers in our bones, that it doesn't have to be this way. to feel like money is the driving force in life to determine how many opportunities we have to fill the void. sure we'll have kids along the way, kids that'll get to live the same circle so they can have more cute snowpants kids to repeat that circle. the circle of work, come to our cookie-cutter earthtone "home," eat some hamburger helper, sit on the slumberland couch exhausted from work, watch "everybody loves raymond," sleep, repeat.

"the day came in, the day went out
and not a bit of peace was spoken about
and it feels like, a suicidal world
and it feels like, hell...

i think im safer in an airplane,
i think im safer with my lungs full of smoke
i think im safer on the jetway,
than a world without hope"
copeland's lyrics

justin said awhile back when i felt as though i could never get out of being a nurse (and felt as though i "sentenced" myself to it by completing my BSN) that there's people all over the world who have to work just to survive and get food for their family. no one asked them if their job was their "passion" or something they even "liked." these are words we throw around all the time, figuring out where we "really belong." i thought, how selfish are we?


linnea was talking about how she has been following this author's blog who wrote a book called "the four-hour work week." on our trip to las vegas last month i started to read it. i can't get this out of my head...
"1. Retirement is the Worse-Case-Scenario Insurance
Retirement planning is like life insurance. It should be viewed as nothing more than a hedge against the absolute worst-case scenario: in this case, becoming physically incapable of working and needing a reservoir of capital to survive.
Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed for at least three solid reasons:
a. It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter -- nothing can justify that sacrifice.
b. Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn't work. The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That's a bittersweet ending.
c. If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious hardworking machine. If that's the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you'll be so damned bored that you'll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You'll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn't it?"
The Four-Hour Work Week, author Tim Ferriss

wholly dear God in heaven, does that not resound like something breaking through to the core of those of us who haven't fallen content yet (YET) with the beat of the drummer called mediocrity. everyone has their reasons, though, don't they? but when i think about it i see those 9-5 people who have forgotten they really aren't stuck in it as if they're in the wizard of oz falling asleep with the falling, dainty poppies... (am i being melodramatic today?...yikes...however, i'm going to drag it on!)

so how is it going to change?!
what are you going to do?!

does it have to be this way because the economy thrives when we are wage slaves? and we are being "responsible adults" when we work 40-hours a week?

as of this moment, though, everything seems beautiful. being 25 and had a career for 2 years, i'm not afraid i'll be stuck in it. justin and i are recovering dreams and dreaming new dreams that we will actually really DO and are working towards now. i am discovering this thriving group of people around me who are struggling with the same avoidance of the 9-5. it is so refreshing and inspires so much hope to hear our joint musings and bitchings about "why does it have to be this way?".

because it doesn't.

the life we are living without a doubt has us working more than we'd like, but we are finding the loopholes to keep us away from the mundane "everybody loves raymond" nights and life as usual. we are finding community and hope in the people we are surrounding ourselves with. we are finding that God is everywhere and everything is spiritual. we are finding that we still have that world-changing purpose we thought we did in high school but thought wasn't realistic after college.

screw the 9-5.

"All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don't tiptoe." Shane Claiborne's professor