Lens

My Mother said to me,”I honestly don’t know what your lens is like.”

 

My Mother and I were talking this evening about race.  As a white woman, she never stood on the side of the tracks that we minorities stand.  That is not to say she is an arrogant woman, but in her words she is “ignorant” to what the life of a minority is like.

Sure is not the worst life, not all the time.

That being said, the whole thing was brought up when I told her that I have experienced racism at La Crosse.  I must stand up for myself when it happens and I do.  Not always in the best manner, however, yet I do.

Being an Asian, and looking somewhat oriental, I believe that lots of people think I must look weak and vulnerable, otherwise they wouldn’t try to fuck with me.  It doesn’t happen too often, but more than I expected that it would.

Like many students at my school, she grew up in a predominantly (if not completely) homogenous society.  That of the majority, the ‘white world’.  I, because I have been adopted by her and my Father, I gain privilege from ‘white privilege’ for in many aspects I have this privilege.

It is interesting to think that I have a different lens from her.  I always saw myself as ‘white’ for I have always believed I’m the same as my parents.  In all ways but skin, I would say that I am.  Skin has influenced my experiences in life differently than that of my parents.

My mom told me about how she went to a racial justice class and there she was shown a film.  The film had a group of women from all walks of life discussing their experiences.  She said the Muslim women were especially upset, extremely upset, because of how hard it was for those women to live in the United States.  Do not generalize from what they said, but take it into account.  They described their culture as being somewhat oppressive, in that they are second to men and the men can dictate a lot of their lives.  Also, after 9/11 their community in the United States started turning their backs to the Muslims and that for these women it was hard to rely on their male Muslim counterparts.  These are individual stories, but my Mom said it hit her in the stomach.  She was very unhappy that people experience this.

She apologized to me for not understanding that we have different lenses, and she said she was embarrassed.  She ought not be if you ask me, nor should she apologize.  She simply didn’t realize until now, and I am not sure that I have either.

It’s so bizarre to think about, that we see the world differently.  She lived in an era of blatant segregation, I live in an era of less blatant racism.

It seemed to take a lot for her to open up about it, it seemed to her rather emotional.  I felt emotional too, for I felt that we were seeing eye to eye on a topic we don’t discuss that often, yet was inevitable seeing as she and my Father brought two Asian boys into their home as their sons.

From the youth they tried educating us in social justice, racism, and the like.  I am thus familiar with the ideas, but personally have a limited experience.  This grows, as does the understanding of what my parents were trying to teach me.

Where am I going with this, I am not sure.

Whatever the point may be, I decided I want to make a film:

-I would like to find out who has been reporting incidents of racism/otherhateacts around campus and I would like to interview them about their experiences.

-I would like to interview faculty who are both of the majority and minority about their experiences.

-I would like to interview random people about what their opinions are as far as the hate report statistics go.

 

I don’t want to victimize myself or others, but there are lots of reported incidents, and surely many unreported incidents.  Numbers only say so much though.  Perhaps those were reports of rather benign comments, perhaps severe hate crimes which ought to be publicized.  Either way, we won’t know if a.) those stories are imprisoned as numbers and b.) no one pays attention to it.

At the student senate meeting, there are maybe 5 minority representatives.  Those 5 hardly gave input into the conversations.  Granted, I was only there for one meeting.  During the meeting, in the beginning, one woman stated that there has been an increase in reported hate incidents and that the use of the word ‘Nigger’ has been increasing around campus as well.  What was discussed about this?  Nothing during that meeting, no one seemed to have any comments on it.  This is interesting, because as a student senate, they ought to take these sorts of issues on.  The majority of the meeting was discussing a policy which would restrict smoking to the perimeters of the campus, and most of the statements were “I” statements, not exactly representative of the body who the senator is there to represent.

Now, that being said, I am not in a place to judge for I have not appreciated yet the work they have done for the campus, nor as individuals their own goals with student senate.  However, I was not impressed with the level of articulation in the senate nor with the maturity levels.  I did not see myself as a student being represented, so I will run for senate and hopefully represent my friends well.

I need to be more humble still.

I am: Intent

I am standing in my boxers, upper half still cozy with my sweater and jacket insulating my organs.

I am standing, looking down.  The bare feet, the soft green shower mat thing that sits around the toilet.

I am standing.  I am standing.

I look down, my piss is oscillating as the warm fluid flows through my flaccid penis.  My placid penis.

I am standing, staring at the brick, once covered in nothing, once covered in snow, currently partially encrusted with ice, the remainder of that ice shattered.

I look up, I see the shadow of the smoke as I exhale the ephemeral detriment.

I see that ‘detriment’ slowly fading, matching the pace of the burning cigarette.

Never has a cigarette been so satisfying.

So satisfying.

Smoking it with intent.  Not a habit, not a cigarette smoker, but smoking with a little bit of intent.

Make of that as you would prefer, or as you will, but to me… intent.  That is something, that feeling is something, not unique to myself, but that moment, unique to myself.

I am sure I share it with countless others, others who stand there taking a break from life, pondering as they smoke their cigarette.

I will not let it take me over, I will be stronger than that.

I look at my facebook, devoid of meaning to me.

So I close it.

So I close my eyes.

I type as my eyes are closed, remembering.

Just remembering.

This time, of moments so recent and so dear.

I think to myself.

Trihad niggas, if we ain’t together its cause y’all out spreading your wings and gettin bigger

I say to them: Spread your wings.

I see my bestfriend being a rapper.  I do.

Most sincerely, I do.

I do.

Before I see my girlfriend as a girl, I must first see her as a friend.

It is in the moments that I do, that I hope more than anything that someday she’ll say ‘I do’.

See me first as Franklin.  I must see others as they are, before imposing my own personality upon others.

I am blind.

I am blind.

I shall not drink to get drunk.

I shall get drunk as I drink.

I am me.  At the end of the day, I remember.

I remember.

I remember those niggas who always gonna be my niggas.

I turn down the sound.

I cannot.

I cannot muster enough ______ to get out of my bed and grab either my phone nor my headphones.

The reason?

I am a writer.  I would rather sit here and write.

I turn the music on, quietly, enough to be heard.

A delicate sound.  So reassuring, so warm.  “Khafole..”

The breath of air which all who have lived in the north experience, the cold, the dryness.

The cool dry inhale, more than cool, rather cold.  So in a sense, less than cool, for it contains less kinetic energy.

That cold breath, on a hot day.

The ultimate relaxation as one falls asleep.

The hug, the hug.

This delicate sound, this music, is a hug.

Chance drops a tab of acid for your ear, to be honest I wanna trip acid all year.

To be honest.

What does it mean to do drugs.  What does it mean to feel a sense of wholeness when tripping.

A sense of ultimate comfort, a sense of ultimate connection.

So much connection that I am otherwise blind to.

Once again…

… I am blind.

Nikita Nenashev.  You may know me better than I know myself, you saw me grow up.

Staying up late, talking, listening to music.  Letting go of myself, in order to find myself.

Nothing pulling the strings of my heart or mind.

A soul at equilibrium.

Me.

Do others see me in a finer lens than I see myself?

Likely.

When I took acid, I felt I finally had that fine lens once again.

I am open.  When searching through youtube for music (Funny that it, for me, is all about music and not videos, interesting) I am searching for myself.

I am music.  Whatever music it may be, we are all music.

Everyone has their reasons and their life.

I am missing.

I was going to end this blog there, but it reminds me.

I am missing.
I called the adoption agency in Appleton.  Longstory short, I have more thinking to do.  As far as their assistance, I can’t really get any.

I need to do this search on my own, I have to trace my own roots.

I am a tree.

Before I grow any taller, I must find my seed.

I want music.

I want.

I want music in my life. I want live music in my life.  I want to be with people who can create music.  I want live music. I crave it, I have too much electronic music, and I do not mean the genre, I mean electronic as in the limited vibrations that my headphones and speakers have, versus having an instrument in front of you.

(I am surprised, my phone has been next to me the whole time… literally next to my head)

I am craving.

I am craving the vibrations of the cello as it resonates next to my heart, as I put emotion into each stroke of the bow.

Investments: I invest my emotion into the movement of the bow.

Returns: I feel the therapeutical vibrations that music is, right against my heart.

Directly into my soul.

I am, I am Franklin.

I am not, 박정원.

At one point in time, in a few different points in time, I was 정원.

mais, maintenant, je suis Franklin.

I am not that good at active listening, I must be patient.

I must

I am….

Another Day Another Dollar

Late Fees: Overdue Books, Overdue Rent, Overdue Potential

The latter, it is a shame to see any potential going to waste.  My potential, well, before my potential is spoken of I must change some of my character.

There is a ton of potential in the world, there is also much chaos which may hinder or promote potential.  I hope chaos is not a larger producer of potential than is peace.

I sit and read the news comfortably at my home, and I want to pay back the world which gives me such a privilege.  I know that just because something in the world happens and I am living a comfortable life, doesn’t mean I am responsible and a bad person for not immediately dropping everything and going to help, we as privileged people are complacent however.  I would rather do what I can for people.

All my life people have done so much to help me and to foster my education.  From the beginning my parents tried educating me about topics such as racism understanding that I would face it sooner or later; they choose to educate me sooner than later.  That is not to toot my horn and say I know all, just that I am glad they chose to educate me from a young age.  They realized I would have to face it, as a minority in this nation.

Adoption, as Professor Sara Docan-Morgan states, “is a tool, it is a lens through which we can see more complex perspectives for we are not tied to one culture but are constantly strung between two”.  Something along those lines.

I would like to apply this tool to be able to help get peoples voices out.  I do not believe it is up to me to solve world problems, but if I have the chance to help I would like to.

Namely where freedom of speech is at hand.  Not even just freedom of speech, but wherever someone wants to get their voice out.  I would like to help, we’ve all had those times when we felt no one was listening yet we wanted nothing more than to have someone to confide in.  Someone to understand, someone to care, simply someone to listen.

The world listens, the world listens if the voice is publicized.  Not to say action will be taken necessarily, but the words will be heard.

That being said, I believe I am naive.  Ask me about issues, I honestly do not know the most.  I read the news from a handful of sources, primarily British and American.  They are credible, but it would be better to have as many perspectives as possible.  I need to learn humility in the face of information.  I am limited.

I just feel that there is something I can do.  I feel that it is not my place to step in everywhere, as Americans are portrayed as doing (whether to spread democracy or to be saviors), however one part of democracy I do believe in is freedom of speech.  I love speaking: it has gotten me in trouble at times and saved me in others.  Likewise, it has showed how young I am and at the same time helped me grow so much.

I would like to help the world grow via words.

I will continue my education and continue talking to people.  I will bite my tongue and will not be too quick to judge any situation before looking into it, learning the history, and what the options hold for the future.  I would really like to help people get their voice out, specifically of injustices.  Some evil is necessary, but how much actually?  That cannot be an excuse to let many suffer, especially not by those as privileged as I.  I must help those who cannot use that excuse to turn a blind eye.

I must.

 

Maybe I am not so naive.  I am not sure.  Either way, I am always surprised by how much more there is to an issue, so thinking about stuff and becoming educated is a good first step I would say.  One thing at a time.

I got a job at The Racquet, the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse news paper, as a ‘view point’ writer.  I hope to gain experience from this which I can apply to my aforementioned goal.  I also am going to be volunteering at this place where my friend Lisa is going to be interning, a place with program for training people in dealing with domestic abuse relationships.  There will be thirty hours of training over a few weeks, and after completion of training we will be able to hold sessions and be on the abuse hotline.  I think this will be good for becoming humble and listening to people.  I also want to know more about this issue because it is pretty serious and a shame for anyone to have to go through.  I was warned it is from feminist point of view, but I cannot live life solely through a Frankly point of view.

Back to The Racquet though, I am very happy about this position.  The experience will definitely be appreciated.

I am glad I am at home in Madison, Wisconsin, right now.  It is nice to have to time sit down and read the news and do some thinking in a comfortable environment.  Nothing better than your parents couch, right?

 

I am super happy my parents are not going to move, as they had been planning to have completed by the end of 2014, because I am especially fond of this home.  It is my childhood house, sure, but it is also very unique (I would say).  I like the fact that it is very open and that the main ceilings aren’t flat but rather are slanted.  It adds a lot of negative space which, as it does in photography, adds a level of aesthetic to this house that really adds some grandeur.

 

Tomorrow, I will not call the adoption agency.  Monday.  Monday. Monday.

 

Monday, no bullshit.

 

I’m very tired.

 

I am going to read George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”, for I have heard via the grapevine that it will greatly improve my writing capabilities.

 

Accessible here —> http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit

The link will open in a new window.

Only open if you have the intent to read, otherwise save your time.

 

 

Thailand.  Venezuela.  Ukraine.

Will protests like these ever take place in the land of the Chinese Communist Party?

 

 

FREE SPEECH

Procrastination

When it comes to homework, I’m doing fine. Getting a little ahead, it’s well worth it. However, my search for the birth parents has taken a hit: Franks procrastination has been reallocated from schoolwork —> calling the agency again.

How tired I felt | My life is easy

Figured I would feel tired tomorrow | I have a comfortable and warm bed

I know I should save my money, nothing but necessities for now | food is a swipe away

Hoping I’ll finish all my schoolwork | I have as much time as needed

Worried about my health | could have finished my pills months ago

Wondering what others lives are like | my life is easy

All the nights I stayed up into the early morning, what was it that I felt was unfulfilled. Why did sleep elude me?

Blank mind I have got
My friend shares her thoughts via pen
Yet no one may see

Blank mind I have got
All of the elusive stress
Kunsang hides it all

Blank mind I have got
Hope the pieces are falling
Into the best place

Blank mind I have got
This is when I need to sleep
Sigh inhale exhale

Blank mind I have got
A slate for the inner me
Drawing my being

Sitting in the warmth of light, my paper basking in the warmth of the writing, the symbols, which I set forth upon it. Lovingly, hence the warmth, do I glance at my creation. Perhaps it isn’t a son or a daughter, but it has my attention as if it were. Every minute detail, totally exposed in such a warm light, a completely natural light. A silence, I can hear my pencil against the composition notebook paper. Meant to be, true lovers, a threeway love story: the light, the paper, the pencil. All so accommodating to eachother, such a harmony: polygamists.

Toilet Run

Wordless Chorus, listen to it.  Awesome song.

 

Sauerkraut.  Awesome food.  Nothing better than a chedder brat with sauerkraut, except perhaps a good beer brat.  I’ve always liked it, kraut, the perfect condiment for such a food.

I remember trying to make a point of how much I liked it at one point in time.  At that moment, to me, it was a source of identification as a Wisconsin resident and as an American of the North.

Somebody said to my friends and I as we walked the streets of La Crosse ‘Welcome to the Great White North’… well thanks but I have been here for a while.  South-East, granted, butttt still.

I spent extensive time (in my view) at my cabin in the Northern Woods, so, I’ll be sure to welcome that gent up there as well if he doesn’t already have a cabin.

 

Anyhow, back to the Sauerkraut.  Yes, I found it as a way to identify as American and I was pretty proud that I was such a fan.  That was short lived.  I still enjoy it, but it is just a bomb condiment to me now.  

I can’t describe how I felt though, it was a naive attempt to find some identification.  Do I identify as the foods I like?  I love food from all over, so shall I identify as a citizen of the world?  Build more ego or let it go; ought I simply identify as Franklin?  I will for now.

 

For now.  We’ll see what happens.

 

E-mail came from the adoption agency, awesome.  I gotta call the American office tomorrow.  Turns out it is located in Appleton, that is where my Aunt and Uncle live.  Awesome place.  Can’t wait to see what is next.

 

Woot.

 

Stay well

First steps

#4 #3 #1 #2

So, I have my original certificate of adoption (or whatever one may call it), and it is somewhat interesting.  I like the vintage look to it, but it also reminds me of how ephemeral things can be.  I do not want this piece of paper to deteriorate, nor do I want to solely have it’s image on my computer.  I like holding it, it is a tangible part of my past.  That, and my stuffed rabbit velvet.  Both are from the beginning of my life, for the most part.

I will attach an image or two of it so you can see what it looks like.

I wonder… my parents were both short, according to this.  I am basically six feet.  Me and a lot of my friends seem to be taller than our parents.  I wonder if my children will be seven feet tall if I feed them right.

One thing we have in common is being introspective at times, who isn’t though.  「 I am trying to not use conjunctions, but ‘who is not though’ does not sound right in the context of ‘who isn’t though’ 」Interesting.  Her father died of T.B., tuberculosis, and I have latent tuberculosis.  Yes, perhaps there is a correlation…Good to know.  Yup.

A day after my birthday I was sent to the 진주 branch for adoption, pretty quick turnaround 엄마.   Sooner than later, right on.  I feel ya.  Studies are important, so I will take mine seriously as well.

I guess I never made the weight gain.  I made the height, but not the weight.  I have always been lighter than my friends.  Those who are of all heights seem to be heavier than I, except those real skinny guys.

정숙자, thank you.  I hope that you are still doing well, I figure you are 67 at this point.

I received an e-mail from my adoption service yesterday.  I made it pretty clear what I wanted in my initial e-mail to them, hopefully they will be able to help me.  The e-mail was asking what I wanted from them, so, I will make my request a second time.  Third, actually.  A few years ago I started this process, I can’t recall why I did not finish it though.

Hm.  I have to give a speech in speech class soon, not bad not bad.  I hope I do not sweat, usually I am fine talking in front of people.  I will think of it as a conversation with the class, a one way conversation.  Not so one way, because body language is a language, isn’t it?

Okay, stay well.  I am going to try to limit how much I post, so it isn’t all bullshit.  I want this to be a more legitimate blog, not a twitter feed.  There is twitter for that….. #ohreally

wait, one last thing.  I searched 정우수 on facebook and added a random person, he sort of looks like me and seems to be the right age.  Chances of this being my 아버지 (I will use Korean to reduce ambiguity), pretty slim.

Adoption+

Adoption+

Perhaps Professor Docan-Morgan summed up best what I have been discovering for the past few months: Adoption, namely being adopted, can be a powerful tool for understanding things from a different perspective. Rather, observing them from a unique perspective. What is family, how do people self-identify, what effect does racism have, ethnocentrism, privilege, etc.

Everything happens when it happens, everything happens where it happens. I am happy, I cannot wait to continue this part of my life. I feel as if a new chapter is opening up, specifically because of my newfound interest and value of writing.

Reading has always been big for me. Writing, less so. I would always enjoy creating stories for fun and for classes, and I’ve been told that I can write a good essay. It’s time to combine my creativity and my writing skills for a serious matter. Writing skills, or really, communication skills. I hope as I move along this path of communications, for it is my major in college, to improve.

I try. I can try harder. A lot harder. The more I try the more I learn. But, I mustn’t get ahead of myself. It is late. I expected to be asleep by 12. This is just one long paragraph. I can’t wait to read my blog a year or a decade or whenever from now.

Originally this was one paragraph, evidently I have edited it.

I will start attaching old Instagram pics.
I am partaking on an adventure with myself to piece together the puzzle of my adoption and what it means to me. This picture is appropriate because it is a puzzle with the image of Korea melded with a tiger.

I’d like another word, I do not like how melded fits into that sentence.

Anyhow, I have digressed. It really is time to sleep

Stay wellFranklin Robert Carnes