Rings of Experience

These memories are not yet fuzzy: the hallways and staircases of the Duangtawan in Chiang Mai; the Causbys' living room in Dujiangyan; the view from my tiled balcony looking out on Qingchengshan.  It's incredible to think that my body -- so small, so fragile -- has experienced all these places and more, that the rhythm of walking from my apartment to my classrooms ended less than five months ago.  The air conditioned Billy Graham Center at Wheaton, standing in the Kuang Si waterfall in Laos -- airports and buses and train stations --

These are all a part of me now, because we are shaped by both nature and nurture.  If nutrition and trauma and rays of the sun can reform our bodies and rewire our brains and reprogram our cells, then I must believe that all these places I've lived, the people I've spent time with, the languages I've spoken, the meals I've shared -- all of these have also made and unmade and remade me, in elegant, intricate ways that I can't even begin to grasp yet.

I carry this with me.  In me.

I'm pondering chainmail as a metaphor for life: all of the rings worked together to make something else entirely, something that is strong and resilient and flexible, something well-crafted and beautiful.


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