Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MOVING...

I have been in California for 3 weeks and finally found enough courage to enter the blog world once more. To rest all at ease, I am home SAFE. To reach me know just email (cbrown101@pointloma.edu) and sooner or later I will write back. To each any every donate of money and love WORDS CAN NOT CAPTURE MY GRATITUDE!

I come to all my friends and family not give you a conclusion to this wild ride of a semester in India. Instead I find myself choked, stuck, and mentally blocked when looking back at the experience. "How was India? What was your favorite place? Do you speak Indian?" I will spend the next five years(at least) unpacking India. My india, my memories, my nightmares, my challenges, my dreams! So if I haven't answered any these questions for most of you yet, it's cause I myself can't answer them. Please continue in patience, please!

After catching up with an old friend today he encouraged me that "No one can go to India without being changed...your mental furniture will be moved." I loved this visual! My mind has put certain things into "furniture". Like my family, Jordan, my passions, my laugh, my love of people...I can perfectly see inside my mind...the armchair, sofa, house piano, love seat, book selfs. I found some kind of peace in this visual of knowing that even though I need to rearrange my furniture, these people and ideals are still what make me ME. What God laughs and giggles and loves about me. What keep my friends thinking I am funny (HA!). And what seems even more fitting is coming back to California in such a transitional phase of life. BUT...same ol' same here- GOD IS FAITHFUL! I have job, I have places to stay, I have a full belly, and I am about to get some more sleep.


Jordan and I had the blessing of traveling California and realizing everything and everyone who has and wants to support us. Thank you for each person along the way! May the God of justice and the Creator of love, grace, and forgiveness
WARM YOUR HOUSES,
RENEW YOUR SMILES,
and
LET US DANCE TOGETHER IN FREEDOM!

Be blessed.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Peace to all

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Four months...

(happy birthday jordan frye-my BOYFRIEND!!!)

Over this next week, as last week, I have sooo much going on so I thought I could give a quick update now! First, words seem inadequate to thank each person in prayer for me, our country, my state, and my family. In a few days I will have to realize I have been living in India for FOUR months now, whether tangible or not. Second, this thought leads me to again thank and prepare all these people who have been praying and been involved in my evolution. Thank you for all your patience thus far BUT PLEASE continue in this patience with me as I return to your "normalcy" in America. I will have questions and comments. I will hear and see things that you or I might have never noticed before. I will be silent or loud or absorb or pass off. Please, be patient.
Looking back one my first good memories was Indian music and now as our program is coming to a close we again were brought together by music! We got to share in a "cultural program."
Then in my Indian Folk Art class we got to perform a skit!
video


"One good thing about music, is that when it hits you feel no pain. So hit me with the music."


video

Saturday, November 1, 2008

During a setting sun


Have you ever lost the sun while it was setting? Maybe lost in the clouds, some hills, some pollution...whatever the case you continue your day cause you understand that the sun really isn't "lost" and you will see it tomorrow (inshalla). You understand that you just have the wrong view, a skrewed perspective, or too many distractions. A few nights ago I finally let go of the last part of myself. The self I wanted to produce to show the world "look at me, with my experience, with my look, look how culturally sensitive i am, how i can adapt, how accepting i am...LOOK!" Its gone in God's grace it is clear that I do not have to pick it up. The time and space that I have come to dislike in India is also the freedom that got me back to ME. What an odd thing life, growing up, distance, love, all of that. While my time in India is setting I able to smile, breath, and sleep knowing the California sun awaits me. My time left in India is dedicated to the people who invested in me while I at my lowest. My time left in India is not for me. So today watch the sun set, but don't stare directly at the sun too long (i hate those sun spot things after) and think of YOU, think of where the sun is just rising (the SAME SUN- get that) and know I will see you soon enough, under the same sun!

Breath!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Movin right along

Have you ever wondered about the "right way" every one speaks of. Like somehow you will get this feeling; the stars will align, your food will taste perfect, Mr. Rogers will high five you along the way, and then you know for yourself "Golly gee, I am on that 'right path'!" BS! BS...hear me loud and clear. I have no degree, not much experience, and no long term anything...but I know one thing so far, human existence is not BLACK AND WHITE. That 'right path' even has pot holes, big "short cuts", and times of rain. I thrive in this grey, I thrive in the "road less traveled", I live for the challenge (i.e. INDIA). Yet when I thought I knew myself, God has stayed with me through even my lowest, uncomfortable, alone, awesome, new, and bold days. MY GOD IS THERE...IS HERE. Along this weird, twisting, always changing path. Where the colors are blue and ivory, then deep green and mustard. This is me, this is katrina pushing for the best katrina I can be.

And this is what keeps me going:

"I would LOVE to talk to you soon, hold you when you return home, and hear about your heart, your hurt. Please don't be sick. I will pray for you... right now... hold on... Ok done. :)"

"I know you feel as though you are standing alone, but the way I see it (because of my journey) you are being lifted up by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In John, Jesus said "Abide in Me and I will abide in you. I and my Father are One". So as I see it.. we have all Three Persons indwelling in us as we are indwelling in Them. So we can stand tall and wait for what God has to tell us. It's time to get strong in the LORD and move on. "

"You are a brave girl for being there. I am very proud of you for all that you are doing there like going to that small school and helping out those kids. It means so much to them and i could see that in every smile and hug that they gave you. God works in many many ways, and i think he put you there for a reason not only to help others but to also help you gain an experience that will be life changing.."

"Well, you are now counting days until you come back to the USA!!!! You are a real trouper..... you have hung in there and will never have to wonder if you should have gone to India because YOU WENT!!! YEAH!!!"

"I'll continue to pray for your strength and your peace. I love you. I love you. I love you."

"Know that you are thought of, prayed for and loved on this evening, in Point Loma."

" Keep your chin up! "

To be completely honest with you family I am having a hard time, India has not been easy but today (RIGHT NOW) I smile reading: "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." (1 peter 4:12)

Please know I gather my strength FROM YOU...FROM OUR FATHER. So be strong, be bold, be yourself....FOR ME!

Sending my love and my new found laughter!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Delivered.


The anticipation had built as I had been waiting a month for my package to finally be delivered. Today was the day; one smashed up, worn out, and re taped box was delivered to one patient Katrina Brown. I examined the box and its weight. Once again some postman somewhere opened and searched for who knows what. He once again left me with the “meaningless” important things! So after getting a fill of skate mags and American chewy candies I escaped into silence. One month it took for this box to become a reality in my life. One month. I am not even the person I was a week ago, so I thought in this moment of peace I would recap one month.
Lost my Grandpa Wimpy
Lost another chuck of my pride
Gained another chuck of life with my boyfriend
Gained Bobby Mac coming to visit
Lost respect for large groups of Indian men during a festival
Lost hope in humans
Gained hope in humanity
Lost time
Gained new music
Gained self respect
Gained weight
Lost waste (to say nicely)
Lost sleep
Gained strength
Lost convenience
Lost phone
Gained silence
I honestly just want to tell you, scream to you, whisper to each and every one of you THIS HAS BEEN THE HARDEST BEST MONTH EVER. This month marks one month left in India. I remember writing on this first blog "one month down" and now one month to go. MY FRIENDS OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL. I find God in every email, every video, quick message, photo, letter, or phone call. I found God cause I was looking. I found God cause he never left me.
Now the challenge comes, as I await in shear amazement at the work of God, to live in a constant search to hear God and be heard by him. Even in the comfortable, even in the everyday, even in the busy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Help me

I have already spoken of loss and gain and how India has brought these two realities side by side. Maybe this is how life is, but now I have no escaping it. I have found my peace and confidence in India and in that I have been such a better house mate. I am back to pranks and social functions and last night the boys played dress up with me and created a pretty boy. I laughed too much to not make a video...
video

In this pure joy I finally went off to bed, tired and smiling, but I was woken in the middle of my sleep by intuition. I turned my computer on and checked my email. My mother had just emailed an hour earlier that my great grandpa wimpy passed away on Oct 11th. I am crushed. I love this man. Before I left he shared some the funniest moments from war, living, parenting, and just being a man. I respect him and will miss him. If you didn't get to him just know you would have loved him. He told it to you straight. He was an amazing fisher, gardener, father, and grandfather.


Dear friends, please pray for me, my peace, my joy, me. I need it all. Please lift up my family and we continue to live happy as Grandpa would want us to. Home has never felt farther away. I come to each one of you, I need your strength.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

60 day notice

People rushing
Feet passing
What are we missing?

Stone solidifying
Nature diminishing
Time escaping

People rushing
Feet passing
Where are we looking?

Namaste friends and family!
I officially have 60 days left to take all I can from India and give India all I have. God has been so faithful and these last couple of days have changed me forever. Certain conversations, certain violations, certain perspectives, certain downfalls, certain achievements...all has been made new. "Today is a great day. A great day for up" Dr.Seuss use to tell me. Well, I decided and I am ready to fight for my happiness and change, that God has let me come here to grasp. Maybe I wouldn't figure it out now, maybe in a few months. But I will be happy now. I will find joy in the search...in the daily journey. I have been asked if I see God and dear friend I DO. I know maybe today at this very instance you seem distant from me, from God, from the reality that is this harsh grey area called life, but I must pass on the confidence I have now gained, gathered and nurtured. Soak in those around you. Thank your mom one more time for those words (even if she was right all along). Thank your dad for that hug (even when you didn't want him too). Thank that mentor that always smiled in confidence at your hardest unanswerable questions. Thank that artist that finally articulated themselves and you felt part of something bigger than yourself. Thank that annoying gas guy for doing his job in giving you hot water and hot food. Thank God for remaining the same.