Join Me in the Race Around The World

I am launching an interactive series on race and identity, a mosaic of cultural autobiographies. It bears some semblance to Project O but was inspired by the exchange over my posts on slavery and on black Santa. Race Around The World will not be a forum for opinion so much as a glimpse of our stories so that we can achieve a panorama of our racial topography around the globe. Slavery lingers in the human heart in the form of racism and bigotry. There is a difference between living in a community and living in community. I’d like to examine how community is possible as people engage one another across racial lines. I am most fascinated with the tension we internalize that makes us conscious of our color and ethnicity. These are two things that give us a sense of belonging, and it will be interesting to look together at the circumstances that make us feel displaced and impel us to locate our roots.

If you’d like to participate and share your cultural autobiography on A Holistic Journey, please email me
1) at with The RACE for the subject
2) your answers to the following questions
3) keep your answers on the shorter side, and limit answers that need to be longer to about 200 words. (To those who’ve seen my writing series, do save spit!)
4) send me your best draft. Stellar writing is not what I’m after but I am keen on presenting quality. If I make minor edits, which I’d rather not, I will try to retain your voice.
5) remember the link back to your blog so I can publish it.

I will be emailing back many of you with any further questions your story prompts in my mind. The elaboration will be included in your list of answers so that your contribution reads like an interview. These posts will run in the order I receive them in.

*Your contribution may include clips of posts you already have up on your site. Send me the link to the original so I can direct readers to finish your story there. I leave it to you to reblog or post the contribution you send me on your own site but please wait for me to put out your final product. Feel free to reblog this introduction to the series. Thanks for joining me in the Race Around The World.

Though race refers to biological attributes like color, and ethnicity to sociological factors such as culture and beliefs, feel free to use the terms as they are meaningful to you.

1) Where do you live? How do you define yourself racially or ethnically and why is it important to you? Please tell us about the racial makeup of your family if you were adopted or come from a colorful family.

2) How diverse was the neighborhood and school you grew up in? If you have ever moved, whether to another city or the other side of the world, please tell us when and where, and the ways the cultural differences between the places shaped or made you think about your identity.

3) When did you first become conscious of your race or ethnicity? Please describe the context or a moment when you noticed you were different in color or language. It could be a scene with strangers, the park, school, work. Could have been subtle feelings you recognized or a blatant attack of bigotry. If it was a season or chapter in your life, tell us the impact it had on your sense of self, confidence, or emotional development. Can you share a bit about the fear, loneliness, longing for acceptance?

4) Do you consciously gravitate to certain company? Are you more comfortable, more at home around people of your own ethnicity? Have you observed a social or behavioral tendency in your own people group you would rather not perpetuate?

5) Are your most meaningful relationships with people of your own ethnicity?

6) How much does racial affinity give you a sense of belonging compared to a shared faith or interest? Think about the groups you are part of: writers, homeschoolers, mothers, hobbyist, artists, colleagues, church. Would you rather spend time with those who share your cultural food, tradition, and values or those who share your interest or mission? Where do you feel the greatest ease and connection?

7) Do you consciously try to keep yourself or your family active in diverse circles?

8) Optional. Children seem color-blind. How have you explained color and culture to your children or grandchildren as they got older? Did you ever have to handle a situation where they were a victim of racial slight or slur?

9) How did you set out to secure a sense of acceptance and belonging in social contexts, especially if you have faced hurtful experiences?

10) Do you feel it is not fully possible or even imperative to shed all racial stereotypes and judgments?

11) What has struck you the most in working through this exercise? Any closing thoughts on race and identity you would like to share?

Holistic Wayfarer
A Holistic Journey

Elaine Likes Random and Unedited

Sometimes when I am driving to work I stare out my window to the West and look at the mountains. It is always a different view and I half expect one day to see UFOs hovering in plain sight. I am pretty sure on that day I will simply turn around calmly and go home because that will count as a sick day. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe the corporate powers will use some UFO insurance for that day and get a refund for their lost work time from the government. I am sure there will even be some type of stimulus package to pay for those lost hours and that money will come from the only source possible, the paying people of each country. And what if those UFOs just decide to pick up and leave… go right back home because all they found were dumb animals that have only managed to visit their own moon? Then we end up paying for a “comp day” we spent in fear or in bomb shelters, all the while the “aliens” were laughing their asses off and taking long range pictures with their high tech cameras. They then decide “hey we can make it back home in time for dinner” and leave. All the while we wake up to a tax hike the next month. How fair is that? Can’t we at least get an alien burger out of this? For the love of Zeus!


The Dream They Didn’t Let Die

I awoke one morning in our New York one-bedroom to the sound of piano keys going. Mom’s surprise. She had saved I don’t know how long waitressing, for her dream. She’d never gotten to learn herself and had chased the vision of her daughter’s playing. Korean Mom of course had to get the best. I don’t know how in the world she managed to tuck away enough for a new Yamaha, a beautiful rich brown. Thankfully I picked it up easily, performed solos in elementary and junior high, went on to teach and compose. Mom said the apartment came alive whenever I’d play on visits from Pennsylvania during college and the working years. But when I relocated to California 13 years ago, the piano sat with no more songs; to Mom and Dad, the keyboard was a tangible part of their girl on the other side of the country, and to me always the testament of varicose veins a mother had earned from waiting tables and walking in 11 at night.

With no other recourse, my parents sold the piano and were so thankful to be able to give me something when I got married. It was a bittersweet parting, for them and for me, but the practicality of it quieted my regrets. It’s been more than 20 years since I left home for college, had a piano of my own. It so happens I married another dreamer. It hurt him for my parents to have had to sell the sacred memento of Mom’s love for me and, in his words, for my “talent to have gone unwatered” all these years. The piano that my husband had saved scrupulously for rolled in through the door last year. Shiny black, she slipped right into the console recess as if the space in the wall had been cut for her. The Yamaha looked made for our home. Little Man was so excited watching Mom on the keyboard and Holistic Husband said I played as he’d waited for in his head.

What is a precious sacrifice your parents or spouse has made for you?

Holistic Wayfarer

The Daily Opinion – The Past

If you could go back and change one decision in your past what would it be? If you write a post and wish to send it to me through comment or pingback I may reblog it. Thanks! -OM

The Daily Opinion-Opinion vs. Fact

Opinionated Man:

This is a great example as to why I do The Daily Opinion and my open forums for self-promotion. I hope she doesn’t mind the reblog and the visits. -OM
Note: Comments disabled in this thread, please comment on her blog. Thanks!

Originally posted on melissuhhsmiles:

It’s hard to say whether I base my opinion off of opinions or facts. I try to be well educated on a topic before I make any conclusions, but let’s face it, we often base our opinions off of how we feel about something. And maybe once we learn more about it, our opinion will change because we feel differently about it.

Then we often get our news from talk shows and talk shows are generally opinionated in themselves, so we’re only getting one half of the story. I like to hear both sides before I really decide what I think is right. I don’t think there is any news that isn’t biased. And like social situations, it’s better to stay neutral until you have a decent argument against or for a certain topic.
My biggest pet peeve though is when people are so opinionated that they haven’t even thought…

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What is the Daily Opinion?

For those new here “The Daily Opinion” is simply my thought prompts for the day. They aren’t always serious, but they are many times created to generate discussion. I read every comment on this website, even if I don’t always respond (which rarely happens), but I do try and stay out of the Daily Opinion threads. My comments tend to monopolize a discussion since it is my website and that is not my intention for these prompts. I will take an interest in some topics and in those I will probably enter into the comments. I hope these are fun, interesting, and perhaps thought provoking for people and the comments that have already been shared from those in the past have been truly fun to read. Link to the folder is provided below.


Ignorance on Autism…

  • LTS3 minutes ago

Having worked with kids for 25 yrs I am going to state this. Many kids , autistic or not, do not listen to the teachers and continue to do stupid behavior. Most times letting them get themselves in a “jam” and letting them see how stupid it is , is the ony way to get through to them.I can imagine the teacher has has to deal with this kid often and decided to let him exprerience how it feels to get stuck and see if he could get himself out of it…

  • Lgieh6 minutes ago

The teacher did the correct thing in this case. We all know that if the boy had hurt himself the parents most likely would be suing the School District and/or the teacher, looking only to make a quick buck, as they probably are contemplating now “…waiting to see what happens at the teacher’s hearing”. One thing she did right by video taping the boy with his head stuck was that she had proof he did this to himself and that he wasn’t in any danger or wasn’t harmed in any way, either by her or anyone else. The second thing was, that she was actually trying to teach him a lesson, not to be going around sticking his head in a place where it may get stuck, as well as how to free himself if he somehow doesn’t learn the lesson and does something like this again. I’m glad that some other parents came to her defense. It would be stupid to fire this teacher especially since she seemed to handle this situation correctly and hopefully, the boy, and his parents have learned from this and not try to make a quick buck from the teacher or the school.

  • Billy12 minutes ago

Maybe that kid is a constant handful, and she either wants to teach him something with this or get him placed elsewhere. “Autistic” can mean a million different things, not every autistic kid is helpless like many would believe, and some can be downright trouble makers, just like any other kid.

  • Ann Marie7 minutes ago

I would have recorded a couple of seconds to show his parents and be like see johnny isn’t the perfect angel you think he is at school, he is a handful sometimes (as all children are).

  • bonnie2 minutes ago

The Fire Dept. had to come to our school once when a kid got stuck very similarly, people just like to be outraged these days.

  • Peaotis4 minutes ago

A democratic form of entertainment.

  • Ryan6 minutes ago

I think we are getting a little to sensitive. We all had kids do goofy stuff like that in school and get embarrassed. Maybe she shouldnt have videotaped it but leaving him there for a few is ok .. No wonder our country has become a country of addiction..

A Teaching Lesson for Autism? Really???

Apparently this is a teaching tactic for autistic children… leaving them with their heads stuck in a chair for 15 minutes. I must read up on more “teaching techniques” for autism. I wasn’t aware this one was used. Way to go Goodrich, MI.


Why Blog ? DJ Don Charisma – The Powerblogger Analogy

Opinionated Man:

A nice article and I like how he used the analogy. -OM
Note: Comments disabled on this post.

Originally posted on Don Charisma:

Quite a few moons ago I used to be a DJ. It’s not on my about page, because I wanted to keep it concise. Who knows maybe one day I’ll be a good enough writer to write a book … would anyone buy it ? don’t know, who knows, doesn’t matter because I’m not a writer …

I started my DJ’ing as an assistant to a friend of a friend. George, as we’ll call him I used to work with. A good guy, a friend to me, encouraged me a lot and gave me a push to get a 300% pay increase. I was also a good friend to him, I remember once he came to work with an awful hangover. You know the one where you’re considering suicide because it feels so rotten. Well it was one of those. I took him out for a walk by the river…

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10 Things I Consider Sacred

Someone to walk with as long as you can together, to build a life with. Who sees you at your worst and has vowed to stick around, and encourages you to your best. The ring sealed the vows you made before God and Man, a sacrament of an institution bigger than your best intentions. Because the happily ever after is indeed a fairy tale and you will fail one another miserably.

I grew my son inside my body; the air I breathed and the nourishment I took in were his very life. I died to give him birth. The blood, the impossible pain, all of it just the beginning of the everything I have given my child. No one loves him more.

The Life in the Womb
It’s mind-boggling: a baby is born ready to learn, with 100 billion nerve cells (my son apparently has more because, according to my husband, the wife-who’s-gotten-dumber-since-giving-birth gave some to our boy when he was inside).  That many neurons – the number of stars in the Milky Way – in just nine months. A person who hears, feels, grasps, kicks and stretches, hidden in the bloom of a woman. Just how do you go from nothingness – – to completeness?

Our Body
Who taught us to breathe? How does the heart know to pump blood, push life, to every cell? The kidneys are chemists “whose tasks are more complex than any electronic computer conceived by man.” (Dr. Henry Bieler) Human history is how old? And Science has yet to unlock the secrets of the human body.

Years ago I read that even loose affiliations serve to mark our place in the world, give us a sense of belonging. But friends are precious, aren’t they? Who am I that people would take pause from their concerns to ask how I am, or give me gifts? There is no pretense between friends. Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away. George Eliot

You need a relationship to be able to kiss someone but you can’t have a kiss without a relationship. Which is what made Judas’ betrayal of his Lord so twisted. Judas well could’ve just led the Romans to Him, “Here’s your man.”  But the disciple chose to plant a kiss, make a mockery of the years he had dined with, talked with, laughed with his Teacher and Friend.

Keeping aware that the world doesn’t revolve around us. We expect our kids to get this, a lesson we struggle to learn.

Being willing to heal from the past

Celebrating the moment

Keeping in view a future you want to move toward

Wayfarer on A Holistic Journey

What does the future hold?

‘Lucid Dream’? 1:

‘There is no era more so then now that will embellish upon the lies that have fallen down the centuries and as we sit and watch the sun going down with the drink of lust in our hands, we will see only visions of what we are to know. Yesterday is carved in stone and the winds will blow away the rushing of the waves and all that comes before it, will be the sound of drums upon the mountains as soldiers carry their swords to pierce into the sides of the rib of Adam. So it will be that none other can come then that which already has been spoken. NO word nor refuge for the hallowed earth that bellows under the weight of the labour she is in.

We will not beseech for the eyes to see the sun as it fades into the glimmering sea and as the moon shows her face to the stars that lived a million years, will light the night and point toward a ravened haired beauty. She will swallow the sea and it will breathe inside her bosom. She will land inside the cavity of the earth and lift up her hand to quiet the noise of the cries of the world. As time moves through the rivers of our lives her call will screech into the night and all who hear will wail and hide their faces.

Within its belly, her voice will fall silent as it was in the forest. She will fade in the waking minds of all who perceive her reflection within themselves and they will crumble and fall away into the muddy pools of time. Her hand shrivelled and her bust sagging as the horseman ride side by side through the streets of coal and soot – covered by the breath of the men who climb out upon the windows to see the reflection of the lake of tears.’

~IW~ From – Idiot Writing

Relationship Advice – Articles on Women Folder

I feel it is my duty to share my knowledge of women to the world. I shall place my scripture here. -OM

Dear OM – Help! Relationship Advice!

Since I don’t own a “Dear Abby” column, I will start this thread for my weekend amusement. I just know there are tons of people that have questions for me about dating, relationships, and women in general. Let me share my wisdom with the world. Ask me anything!


WTF Google+ I????

What the fuck was that Google? I just added my new google plus account and suddenly it hyjacks my posting name and my posts are under my Google+ name? Did I miss a button or something? That was freaking lame. You just lost me on that one guys.


So What Are You Offering Your Readers?

With every post here, I turn my nose up at her who’s bold enough to take minutes of your life. I make her answer, “Who cares?”

Who cares what you write? Well think about what draws you into a post, keeps your face in a book. What I want to look at is not the intellectual benefits of reading, but why we take such pleasure in it. We are preoccupied with Self. We are not dying to hear out another preoccupant who yaps without giving us a word edgewise. But we love a good story, romance or gore. Think about why it is you read so you can know how to write.

Among the highest compliments you can earn is that your work made me laugh or cry. A physical response. I watch the guys in the octagon at the gym. Their blows land with impact. To think – words can do just that. Some time back, a post I came across cut open a deep, quiet wound. Good writing. A fizz of chemical reaction between me and the words. If we were able to maintain our distance, remind ourselves it’s just a poem or piece of fiction, we wouldn’t respond with our body, sensibilities, memory. King says, “The object of fiction is…to make the reader welcome and then tell a story…to make him forget, whenever possible, that he is reading a story at all.” (On Writing) As a teenager, I sought out this transformed reality in the proverbial escape into books away from my unhappiness. We like to lose this world, our very self, in a good book. But reading isn’t just anesthesia or a verbal trip to the theme park. We’re not only running from something, in many cases, but running to.

King says, “If you want to be a successful writer, you must be able to describe it, and in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition.” Effective writing often taps our autobiography. It sights the strands in the reader’s own story – of love, sacrifice, heartache, mystery – and yes, we feel the tug. When we’re happily settled in the cheap paperback fling, it’s not only because we daydream the thrill of courtship but because it answers our inmost longing to be romanced by life. The horror genre? Apart from how interesting he is to read of, the boogeyman is someone we all know. We’ve all been afraid. Whether of a person who haunts you or the voice in the dark that murmurs you’re not good enough. King says he writes so the reader can lift the truth from the web of his fiction. We love suspense for the unpredictability it mirrors of our life, the questions we live daily. Why is the battle between good and evil a classic theme and not a cliché? We don’t tire of it because justice is the assent of the spirit, redemption its cry.

But we want more than the reflection of our own tale, especially when there is so much of the painful in it. Compelling writing also echoes the story under our story. It is the yearning for the distant country C.S. Lewis saw, the hopeful suspicion that the five mortal senses are not the arbiter of reality. And just behind the familiarity, we discover possibility.

Suffering and beauty lift us out of self-absorption to something greater than ourself. Even humor, a touch of beauty for its dip into joy, helps us get over our bad self for the moment. There is lightness. Life isn’t all about shuffling along under a load. We can set it down. Trust that Someone or something’s got our back – God or friend or peace with self. When we hope or even fear as we ought from the lessons of literature and poetry, we realize a fresh reverence. From the vast range of possibilities ancient and modern tales disclose, we learn new ways of responding to challenges and can exchange the load for a dream. We hope from – even demand of – our reading that it deliver us from the tyranny of the mundane. There is more to life than these four walls. And the soul sings – in reader and writer – to envision something larger behind that corner up ahead. It is the Narnia adults follow kids into.

Why show, not tell? Why go to lengths to paint it in a poem or novel when you can simply say She was beautiful. It was horrific. The universe takes my breath away? Not only do these declarations fall flat, they are inadequate. It is the ironic insufficiency of the human word that has seen writers and sages from the first incarnate Whisper scrambling to describe the fullness of experience so those on the other side of the story can see, hear, feel for themselves.

So what are you offering your readers?

Holistic Wayfarer
A Holistic Journey

February Newsletter – Revisions

It has come to our attention that certain measures are not being implemented to ensure the continued job satisfaction and productivity of the workforce.

Below are the recommendations we have received for changes to previous – changes(please refer to original newsletter):

  • Unisex Restrooms WILL be implemented and a female image will be placed above the male one – the male one will remain upside down. 69 cubicles will be available – because women cannot wait very long for a rest.
  • Cocaine Wine will be mandatory (it will save costs on coffee) and a doctor’s certificate will be required to excuse you from having a glass as you roll into work each day at whatever time you decided to get your lazy ass out of bed.
  • We have noticed too much fraternising between male and female staff on the premises – the swapping of duties is creating confusion and no one seems to know what their responsibilities are –  please stop it – use the 69 restrooms provided to establish your differences. After dinner cocktails are acceptable AND encouraged, though we will move the wine bar from the top floor to ground level for health and safety reasons. Coffee will still be served next to the restrooms on all floors. Please do not loiter – unless waiting to use the cubicle.
  • Please, we keep our business professional and it is up to you to ensure you do not distract others from their work – should you be reported for creating a disturbance and entering into light banter and not focusing on the minimal tasks set out for you – you will be given more wine – and a tracking device.(for health and safety reasons)
  • The dungeon (aka – think tank) will be kept silent through the consumption of wine – ie Wine. Should you hear screaming – send more wine.
  • We encourage ALL female staff to sign our petition to include mud wrestling as an Olympic sport. It is our opinion that it needs to be moderated for health and safety reasons and making it an official sport will enable that to happen. To show your support of this cause to protect this traditionally female sport – Practice sessions are compulsory – and expect our male staff to be available for coaching purposes(for health and safety reasons) Practice will be held in the car park on Friday Afternoons and Monday Mornings so don’t use the parking area on those days. (There is a muddy field across the way in which you can park your 4 x 4). We will also have tickets on sale to the general public to support this worthy cause – as we feel it will increase company profitability and pay for the wine and coffee.
  • The Christmas Party which will now remain on the fourth floor – for health and safety reasons. Please arrive in your mud wrestling uniforms for the professional atmosphere of uniformity – Management will provide the necessary mud to sling. We will not provide the usual compulsory wine on this special day and instead we WILL provide free biscuits for with the super sized free coffee. (and some fruit-cakes, depending on how much we raise from practice sessions)
  • Whoever keeps revving their BMW at 3 in the morning and singing ‘the ants went marching one by one’ – please stop it, or we will have to speak to Chick Norris to bring more wine – for health and safety reasons.

~IW~ From – Idiot Writing

The Sexy Man

‘Sweetest fruit come

Quenching parched,
Now cleave
Now join -
So as I grasp

And gasp for air beneath
Life’s heaviness adrift
As your weight drops to lift

Me in and out from my mind
As the ups and downs I see
Of how you pour deep into me
When numbness I can’t find

Lower down to where I fall
With words you may not know
The part of me that I can’t see
The you my heart makes grow’

~IW~ From – Idiot Writing


midnight In wonderland

we felt so grown up 
when we were kids
and now wonder that 
we are so old when 
we're not yet grown

we started losing 
our parents to 
time and frailty.

in the cycle of life 
things go upside 
down sometimes

you rush
d o w n
  rabbit hole
     into a world
above the logic of sorrow

and find you are so
small, but remember:
Mom's high ceiling, 
your sure ground.

see the sky and trees
in your pool of tears
they're the other side 
of life. how beautiful 
things are when they drown

how clear it is underwater.

you long to run 
to the garden 
beyond that door 
but you don't fit

life would feel deformed 
under the weight of loss 
if it weren't for the faith 
that was bigger than the 
life that shut down

she archived her fears and 
hopes in her kids, did
anyone hear the story 
in between, did
anyone   look?

when the blood of your 
heartache empties so
thick and rich hold fast 
your heirloom assurance

the midnight of your dreams
is really a new day.

for anyone who has loved and lost

Holistic Wayfarer

Dear Life

‘Leave me not with hearts despair
Remove not what I glean
Take not what thou haste from me
Whilst rushed past all I dream

Bide me not with anxious times
That waste mine spirits call
Lure me not into thine lines
Ensnaring as I fall

Be set adrift…’ GO!’ Say I,
Wash out to seas beyond
Dimness shan’t veil yonder sky
To which I must abscond’

~IW~ From – Idiot Writing

Dear WordPress

Dear WordPress,

I appreciate the new followers lately and it seems my count is finally fixed. At least for this week. I wanted to send a quick message to everyone that visits my website.

If you don’t like my content or my writing style don’t come back! Stop emailing me with what I should change or how my views or off. If you really want to set me off please keep commenting about how inappropriate my content is on certain topics. If you don’t like it go read or some other garbage.

I won’t change my views, writing style, or writing in general for any of you. Not unless your nickname is God. If that bothers you feel free to kiss off.

-Opinionated Man

10 Things Asians should not say to Foreigners

Opinionated Man:

LoL, fair enough. That was fun reading. -OM
Note: Comments disabled on this post. Please comment on his article.

Originally posted on Eyagee's Blog:

Inspired by this post by Opinionated Man, I thought I’d do a counter-compliment to his post.

10 Things Koreans should not say to Foreigners

  1. Are you American? Dude, not all white people are from the USA.
  2. (Speaking to a non-white person from Canada) Do you feel left out in your country? Seriously, learn what the term Ethnic groups means and read a website.  Geeze, we know you know how to use the Internet!
  3. How old are you? None of your damn business.  Older than you, so you already know to use the formal style of Hangul, so use it already.
  4. Are you married? None of your business.  Learn the term ‘personal boundaries’ and look up how that applies to non-Koreans why don’t you?!
  5. (My wife got this one) Teacher, you are sexy! WTF, do you really don’t know how to behave around adults? Why don’t we have a conversation with your…

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