Friday, August 15, 2008

My Soul is a Good Student. (Can it name my blog?)

At the end of January - on Super Bowl Sunday, in fact- I attended a "Soul Collage" party/session at my cousin Lisa's house.

Here is a very simplified description of the Soul Collage process: a group of six of us went through stacks of magazines looking for cool pictures, cut them out and arranged them on cards. A very gracious facilitator named Mary guided us through the process. According to the website, the goal is:
"Cards containing the images you select --- or the images that select you --- come straight through your Soul, contacting the intuition, bypassing the mind."
To tell you the truth, I just enjoyed the day and had very little expectation from my soul. Lisa has interesting friends and her house is cozy and she makes great food. So at the end of the day, I went home satisfied with my little "art project." I put it away and didn't look at it again until just a few days ago, when I was packing things up for my trip to Vietnam.
When I saw the first one with the orca tail, the eagles and the flying squirrel riding the wave I laughed. When my quest for a "next step" began this July in a serious way, I signed up for a Kayak trip to the San Juan Islands...something I have always wanted to do. I went with a company called "Outdoor Odysseys" for the sole reason that they emphasized gourmet camp food on their website. The name of the tour? "Eagles and Orcas: San Juan Island Kayak Trip." I am not making this, look at their website (and sign up, because they make coconut curry vegetables and tortilla soup and eggs fritatta and teach you about island history):

At the end of the collage process, we chose one card to write about in a structured manner. I wrote about myself in the place of the flying squirrel (which one of Lisa's friends gave me at the last minute to complete my picture) and I mentioned wanting to jump in, loving freedom, being ready to fly somewhere new and tap into that adventure part of myself.

So, THAT is cool and fun and everything, and it is what I have been talking about all year: needing change. And adventure is not something new to me.

But then I pulled out card #2 and felt chills. Look at it! I had forgotten about these completely. If that is not a Vietnamese child, maybe she is Cambodian, but the way, I just got word I am teaching sixth grade instead of high school. What age is this child, anyway? And is that the universe in the background? With a transparent plastic bag? Did my soul know about the beginning of my quest and the end result of it back in January? Did it know it was going to last most of the summer until I had two weeks to pick up my life and rent my condo? Could it maybe have given me just a little heads up, if so?

Simple little art project? What do you think? I am of the opinion that my soul was paying much better attention at that party than I was. Now I'm thinking that if I had "bypassed the mind" -as the Soul Collage mission states- during college, and sent my soul to class instead, I would have earned much higher than the 3.0 that is now on my transcript.

Now, onto something so simple yet so elusive: I have not named my blog yet. You all have offered such great names, and SBill, I kind of like your Nummy Nammy one best (locker partners forever!). But none of them are quite right! Maybe if I tell my soul to name it, it will happen. But here are all of the suggestions:

Brian: What the Pho? Eating and Teaching in Vietnam

Miriam and Jo: Pho for Me and Tasty Times in Ho Chi Minh City

Dennis: Mekong, You Read and Vietnamerica

Sbill: Pho'n and Pho'nics in Nummy Vietnammy

Mine: Pho Pho Sho

Dennis, who named my China blog "Noodle by Noodle in a State of Confucian" and who was surely laughing when he read about my soul, says he is "A Slave to IT" and IT must come to him to name my blog again. He says this thing a lot, like he was a slave when IT made him stuff a few heads in a refrigerator. Dennis, can you at least try to tune into your soul to name my blog because your IT isn't even getting close? Just try it. You can borrow Jimmy Jack and my leftover Soul Collage cards if you want.

OK everyone...keep trying! It's getting close to the wire (a week from yesterday)~


Dennis said...

I have scheduled an emergency Scottish seance with Ainslie to unencumber my soul. I also made my own soul collage using pictures from one of my Applied Statistics books. So I should have a world-class blog name to offer you by the witching hour.

Also, I'm reluctant to bring this up, but... the dorsal fin is the one on the top. Sorry.

marjie said...

Dorsal fin? Dennis, what are you talking about?

The Norris Clan said...

"Pho... a long, long way to run"
Come on, sing it and you will get it! You are running, but not FROM something, but TO something. Something wonderful, motivating, and made of your dreams!

marjie said...

Karen, #1 fan, I love it. I really do!

Dennis said...

Ho Chi Mamma's Vietnummy Adventure ??