Sunday, October 19, 2014

Daughters of Broken Trails

To Duane Vanberkom

One Amerasian's Story

The word "Amerasian" was coined mainly during Vietnam War when American troops fathered many Asian children primarily in Vietnam, but it is also an occurrence wherever U.S. troops were stationed.  When U.S. service members fathered children they would literally abandon them once their tour at that duty station is over.  Therefore, when the Vietnam War occurred, it left many children fatherless at its wake when the conflict was over.  Not all soldiers left their child willingly or knowingly, however.  There was no social media to put the word out, so essentially the connection is lost.  The child then grows up in Vietnam or in the Philippines impoverished and ridiculed for being a bastard child.  There is a website that discusses this phenomenon at length here.

I was one of the lucky ones, however.  Although I never had gotten a chance to meet my biological father, I had a father and didn't live impoverished like many others did.  He raised me since I was two-years-old when he fell in love with my mother.  I also have one sister and two brothers from their union whom I love dearly.  My father, Walter, adopted me and gave me his last name, and with that the whole soul connection to all his relatives, heritage and ancestors. Because of him, I am also part Ukrainian-American. My mom and dad are still together to this day.

What I do know of my biological father is that I am part Dutch-American from Powers Lake, SD, and Native American (Blackfoot) which is so obvious in my facial features.  I tracked him and his relatives down many years ago when he was battling cancer.  Unfortunately, even with that, he did not claim me. 

You see, I have lived my life full of love that I received from my friends and family who have been ever present in my life.  I didn't need my bio-dad's acknowledgement, just a confirmation of my lost heritage that I can never claim.  Actually, I do, nevertheless...

Here is a prose poem I wrote during PBS's series on Amerasian's many years ago:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Meditation 101

It's Peace Week at Pasco-Hernando State College, and today I stayed for the Introduction to Meditation session and was reminded again the power and importance of meditation.  The professor that led the session has a Doctorate in Psychology and she presented all the health and emotional benefits of meditation--in which she instructs her patients to help heal themselves.

I have done meditation off and on during the course of my life and the thing I struggled on my own is the visualization process.  In the session this morning, the instructor led us through a bustling city to find a singular inviting door off the alleyway, we are then led through corridors and down a few steps into an olde world library.  She made us visualize a large, dusty old book and flip through the blank pages.  She said now imagine you write down everything that bothers you, hurts you, worries you and watch those pages filled with your writing, and as you do so, you will soon begin to feel lighter, releasing all that anger, sadness and fear.

It was the most powerful visualization exercise I think I have ever partaken in.  The tears started rolling down my face, luckily and hopefully everybody's eyes were closed, too.  I indeed felt lifted and lighter in spirit. She said we should carve out at least five minutes a day in silence and with ourselves.

I think I can do that.  In fact, I will.  Maybe you should try it, too.  There are a gazillion of guided meditation to be found online as well as YouTube, as well as the self-help books and cds, so you have many resources available to you.  The question is do you want to unclutter your mind and world and operate at your optimum level?  Then there is no reason not to.