the law.

i have kept quiet on alabama’s immigration law. until now.
i have tried not to speak out against it since i don’t have an alternative solution.
in fact, i have no idea what an appropriate solution should be. i really don’t.
but i don’t think it is alabama’s immigration law, touted as the strictest in the country.

the more i hear about it’s impact on just one ethnic group here in alabama, it becomes even more clear that we are going about this all wrong.
i am not even sure of the motivation.
fear. anger. intimidation. security. the unknown. people we don’t know. languages with which we’re unfamiliar. cultures/religions of which we are ignorant.
but assumptions are made. laws are drawn up. and the people are left to deal with such.

as i think about all of this, i cannot help but think more about those really affected by the law. what about them?
and at some time were we not all them? i sure wasn’t indigenous to the place i now call home. few of us were.
and we all came to america for a better life, a better way of living, to enjoy freedom we couldn’t get in our native physical location. and i do believe that is why so many still come today.

but what about how we treat the other?
the assumptions…the bullying…the ostracizing…the causing of fear…the questioning…the stares.
and what about the results?
parents taking their kids out of school, running in fear, no longer getting healthcare, mysteriously leaving their job. all in an effort to protect themselves and those they love…because of our fear.

aren’t we “called” to love our neighbor…as ourself?
aren’t we “called” to be our brother’s keeper?
aren’t we “called” to look after the fatherless, the widows, the orphans…those in need?
aren’t we “called” to be different?
aren’t we “called”…

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settled.

i was having a conversation with one of my cousins over dinner recently and somehow we started talking about being settled [in a particular physical location, or with your present state in general]. i seem to recall her sharing about how long it took her moving back to alabama [from california], back to where she grew up, back to her roots before she felt settled. and i seem to recall the last time i talked to her this same topic came up.

these thoughts began to circulate in my brain about the notion of being settled. and i definitely don’t think i’m there.
but why not?
it seems like i should be settled, settled in this place i have returned to now 365+ days ago, settled in such familiar surroundings, settled in my roots.
but i am not…and i guess it just takes time.

it takes time to make home here.
it takes time to make adjustments–huge ones–to the life and surroundings you have known for the past 5 years.
it takes time to settle your physical being, your emotions, your mental state, and your spirit.

being settled isn’t necessarily about a physical location, although that obviously weighs in…but it’s more about the condition of the person who is in process of settling.
and i am not sure why it is so hard…
or why it has been so difficult for me here…
or even how long it should take someone to adjust and to settle.

i know there have been changes…and pretty big ones. and maybe that is why.
but i am ready to feel a little more like home,
a little more at home,
a little more comfortable with my present circumstances.
yet with these said big changes, i have failed to do what is necessary to settle. i have often felt tossed about, just hanging on. and it seems so different–so vastly different–from making california my home six years ago…but then i had no choice, nothing was familiar.
and maybe i just don’t remember what it was like that first year…
maybe i am just not giving myself enough time and patience to settle.

why is it…

why is it that the negative seems to outweighs the positive?
why is it that the one critical comment [albeit however constructive] tends to overshadow the multiple encouraging ones?
why is it that we [i] focus on what is wrong, rather than spend time praising what is right?
why is it that we [i] get so caught up in one [my]self that we [i] fail to see the others around us [me]?
why?

these are the kinds of questions i have been asking myself lately. rhetorical…not ones i really expect to answer [but secretly wish i could].
ones that have shifted my perspective somewhat.
ones that cause me to focus on what is most important,
to strive to control what only i can,
to let go of what i cannot,
to not hash out and re-hash the details,
to see the trees in the midst of the forest,
to focus on the positive,
to believe in myself,
to display this [new]found confidence,
and to be present in the moment.

i’m still trying…
trying not to ask the why’s as much,
or maybe to refrain from bombarding myself with so many.

it’s been awhile…

maybe it’s because i have nothing more to say.
maybe it’s because i simply have issues with collecting [and documenting] my thoughts when i come home from work.
maybe it’s because i feel exhausted more than not.
maybe it’s because i have been in my own little world as of late.
maybe it’s because…

who knows why, but i have been gone from this space in my life lately.

but i am back…
and with a new look to prove it.