Photo courtesy of Scott Neeson, Founder CCF
I have been remiss. As if I went west to Cambodia and dropped off the edge of the earth.
And so I did in a sense. I dropped into a world that is so unlike anything I have every experienced, a world that is foreign to me in all its sights and sounds and yet it is all so familiar that I am more at home here than anywhere before.
I did not write because nothing was happening, but just the opposite- so much was happening. So many heart wrenching and joyous experiences were coming at me I could not put words around them.
It was like being in a meteor shower of the most intense inspiring, awesome and terrifying moments. And no time to sort them out or gain an analytical, rational foothold. A free fall into a connection with phenomenal kids desperate for a place of safety and love, Down into a seemingly endless gap that separates those of us who have with those who do not and the very personal and direct call to get involved.
CCF is like a Bermuda Triangle of love — kids who deserve better and break your heart with their stories and struggles, an environment seemingly without a shred of hope and a band of warriors committed to making a difference in these tiny lives. Anyone (not just me) who comes too close to its magnetic field falls head over heels.
In a kind of melodramatic way I felt totally inadequate to relay in the simplest terms my experiences. I longed to be a poet. Like Rumi or Robert Frost or ee Cummings or Maya Angelou. I wanted to be able to use words not to simply narrate the events but to capture the heart and spirit of my experiences, to paint a picture, to move you to the places that I had been moved to.
A thousand of my words were not adequate to do the job. Barring the talent needed to do the job I just stopped writing.
But then I missed writing as if I have lost contact with some part of myself and my virtual friends whose support is so key as I continue my adventure. And so I start to write again because (of course) it is all about me, my need to express, my need to feel connected to you – whoever you are or are not.
And blogging is a bit of a conundrum really. A bit like the Japanese Koan “what is the sound of one hand clapping”.
Is a blog a blog because someone writes it or when someone reads it?
So, I write as it someone is reading, someone is listening. I write as if I am speaking directly to those invisible folks who somehow want a glimpse into my journey, my Cambodian adventure.
And in the end, I would hate it if did not make an attempt document the rare and extraordinary experience of being with the Cambodian Children’s Fund in Phnom Penh. That I am one of the few people here to document the amazing day by day events that go on is both privilege and responsibility. That my inadequacies and self-doubt would get in the way seems self-indulgent or simply my ego totally concerned on how good I might be as a writer vs. how phenomenal CCF is as a place of magic and wonder.
In any case I am back to blogging – me with my rambling sentences, long winded explanations, creative punctuation, and grammatical errors and misspells that escape the best spell checkers. I am back.
And in lieu of my own poetic words I offer you this from Maya Angelou
… a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Excerpt from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings