July 24, 2003

A Hippie Ethic

4:46 P.M Pharmacy Building Austin -- TX

God. It's a gorgeous day outside. I mean, truly picturesque. I feel very lucky to be alive and well here in Austin. Just got back fr9om volunteering at a soup kitchen downtown. Good thin I came hungry, too, because there was plenty of food. What perplexed me though was the mixed feelings I had about my experience. I guess poverty caused me to feel uneasy. I don't enfoy seeing others in poverty. It disturbs me.

All these questions pop up in my head about these homeless people. Where do they sleep at night? What became of their relationships with their siblings? Are they happy with their lives? Or is being poor really not that bad a gig? Right now, I guess what's so bothersome is that I don't see the distinction between their lives and my life. If i feel disgusted by their existence, feel pity, then is MY life to be pitied? Essentially I am without home.

Essentially. my relationship with my siblings has deteriorated and that disturbs me. Sure, wealthy people can feel out of place, rejected and sure, wealthy people can have fall-outs with their families too, but at least, the rich can put on an image of success. Perhaps I cannot answer for the homeless of Austin, but I can answer for myself what I think will be a successful 9outcome for me. Maybe being fed by youngsters when I am 40 is not my picture of success.

Perhaps volunteering and eating recycled foods despite being incredibly wealthy will, or riding a bicycle to work despite being incredibly wealthy is also. Pewrhaps it's about having power over oneself. "unlimited power" by Anthony Robbins, check it out at your local library. I do remember wanting to live in poverty out of choice and using my money for goodwill, goodwork, and activism.

July 01, 2003

"Piecing the Puzzle"

Jester Dorm -- Austin, TX

The day before I left for Austin, my youngest brother, Luong, and my darling baby sister, Jessica, worked on a jigsaw puzzle that had been strewn carelessly across the family game-room for months without progress. We got our gathered our talents and aimed to put this bad boy together. It was difficult at first. Actually, that is an understatement. It was daunting at first; pieces were organized yet no connections; many times promising leads turned eventually turned into dead ends.

We were frustrated, figity, and flatulous (well Jessica mostly), I called for a group break to analyze and reorganize our approach. Our second try proved slow, at first, then all of a sudden Luong called out, "Got one!" quickly followed by a "got one!" from Jessica. Shortly thereafter, I, myself, was piecing things together. We worked at this incredible rate for another 30 minutes; pieces seemingly connecting themselves and without difficulty.

I was feeling lonely just yesterday, as you read in the previous entry, so I decided to make it a point to contact my peeps. I called mother at work, and although rattling me out for having left Dallas, I felt a peculiar warmth of intimacy...the kind that annoys you but you appreciate nevertheless. Then I called and met up with an 'ol friend, John Tran.

We talk for a little bit and head out to a tea shop and there I run into another friend, Bee, who is getting married in two weeks. Then, as I am talking to Bee, another friend named Jeanie, who happens to work there, approached me and we did the whole "hi! wow haven't seen you...da da...the whole nine yards. She told me that in the shop were other people that I knew...I was just socially overwhelmed and didn't even bother to come over to say hello.

Point in case...sometimes you complain to yourself how lonely you feel, only to complain another day how you don't have any control when you're being bombarded with friends. This is Dao, signing out. Oh, again, if you know any musicians or any related contacts for musicians email me at dal_nguyen@yahoo.com