It was humbling year

I have heard many lies, from many people and come to conclude that indeed nothing anyone said is as painful as the silence of friends when needed… People lie because it is convenient. An unpractical solution; it seemingly does not work as history has told us. We have a choice to be nice with others and we often choose not to be; how odd? Ones self-worth ought to be low to hide when help is needed, promises are broken or the truth denied to gain “before the other does…” From Minahasa in Indonesia through Burma, Singapore, Hongkong, Germany, New York (Wall Street) and a snooty gay Beverly Hills residence to the White House (via my addiction in CNN) and my very personal home – all the places I have been this year; I have experienced shaming ideas of interaction. I’m not that earth bound, power driven and in need of possessing anything beyond need, but I have learned that even less is more powerful and helps me sleeping peacefully. I see more than most because I look with my heart.

In January I discovered a huge waste dump at my work place, promoted as environmentally sane… It was the same month I committed to my resolution in 2008 to participate in preserving and managing my littering of this planet after becoming a scuba-dive Instructor and seeing the devastation below sea level. The reaction I received was unexpected ignorant; I personally participated in carrying the stinky mess away, a week long process that could only be done with the help of many local Indonesians; I learned that nothing is a powerful as the hands-on participation in correcting something that makes little sense to others. It was a humbling experience.

I helped, taught and fought to educate the people giving into my guidance, gave all I have to help others in need even building a house for a stranger and I did risk my life when a boat burned on the river behind the kitchen I helped building. I learned equally as much in return and embraced friendships I now have for the rest of my life. These hold me responsible for the commitment I started; it is humbling and soothing to be a part in the life of others. I’m grateful for my responsibilities.

My relationship with Q ended in a bizarre chain of events; I felt strong, I felt secure and I felt loved; learning in the end that all had been a fabrication of my colorful mind and simply a lie on “the other side”. Ones strength is fascinating; wanting to believe in something can be powerful but blinding; I drew strength from these illusion, survived a difficult time at work and gained the humbling knowledge that indeed – drugs create distortions even in the mind of a sober soul aside. I have lost the last grain of compassion for any addicts! I am currently housing a recovering friend on my couch… I can’t fight my humble heart.

I returned to Los Angeles, finding the American life stunningly disconnected from the reality of a larger world out there. My personal struggles felt silly in comparison with the crises on the horizon, the endless war in foreign lands and the overall blindfolded views of most; that all is dandy; this problem is not mine. Instantly, the tightness of having people carrying for each other as I learned in North Sulawesi, was replaced with superficial artificialities, shocked to be back and happy to have come home. It could have all been a little too much at once, the unexpected breakup, the egocentric US traditions, old friends with their old problems, holding on to traditions; even when long proven wrong; it’s humbling to be back.

We’ve voted for a black president; and every one believes now – next year, we will be back on our feet. To be a part of voting for the first black US President is humbling, the later is plain silly. Wait until April 2009 when even the most ignorant peeps around me will have discovered that something is shockingly wrong with our economy. Right now it‘s Christmas and everyone is flocking to WalMart to purchase “made in China” presents for one and another… Oh, we are soooo stupid; it’s humbling (latin word for humus… you figure). I walk around in my neighborhood and see “for sale” signs more so than decorated facades. My slammlord land-lady still hunted by her past years of greed, desperately trying to rent out the many vacant apartments for the same ol’ price; it’s greed that got us in this mess and it’s greed that will keep us in here until we have learned to be humble, nice, helping each other and truly carrying for another, even for strangers. Life is short, live it wisely!

I’m glad I have been through this humbling year, it makes witnessing others having to “touch the fire” more enjoyable. In the end I only want to be close with others that care, feel and share in the same way I do. I have left a few souls from my past in the past. I have adapted four God children and care dearly for them. I am working in a lovely place with lovely people and I simply enjoy my moments at home. I smile when looking back at the last twelve month; it was incredible. Thank you all for participating. I’m eager to accept what 2009 is offering for me and the souls in my care.

Chef Raphael

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