Saturday, January 30, 2016


     I am a new creation!
     This is what you become after affirming your connection with Jesus and getting baptized: a new creation!
     What should I expect? Lightning visions and revelations? Seeing everything in a new light? Speaking in tongues?
     All of the above can happen. I didn't expect it, and it didn't happen to me.
     Instead I feel a little more aware of my daily attitudes. I feel more acutely, when my standard of living is slipping. I also feel calmer. 
     The last time I saw Mr. P., he asked me to give him my "sob story". You know: "My mother didn't pay enough attention to me...", or: "My dad beat me with a broom...". 
     I'm making light of it, but all of us carry the scars, lovingly, or otherwise, inflicted on us by the people, who should've only taken care of and prepared us for the future. Mr. P. didn't ask for my "sob story" in order to ridicule it.
     For two weeks since then I thought about it and became sure: I only told him the partial truth about my past. This week, when I went to see him, I, for the first time in my life, shared the most traumatic experience in my life.
     No, I"m not going to tell you, what it was about. It's very hard to squeeze out these words. I'll tell you this: partially, my mother, or both parents (I am not sure) are responsible. 
     But that's - besides the point. Mr. P. wanted me to talk about my pain, so that I could put it away and start the process of healing. From the distance of a lifetime it's easier to accomplish, than right when it happens.
     Healing, therefore, is the target. 
     Another thing my counselor wanted me to do, was to write affirmations about myself. That was also hard. I had to find dozens of things, I'm good at, like:
- "I am creative".
- "I am clever"
- "I am friendly"
- "I ..."
     Can you name some good things about you? Let's go!
     I was not very comfortable praising myself, actually, but, with Mr. P.'s urging, we filled the whole legal pad's page. 
     Then he told me to choose five of my virtues, which I liked the best. I wrote them on one side of a flash card. On the other I will put my life's purpose.
     First of all, why do I need it?
     I'm going to be 58 this year. There's very little time left to waste on some lazy, unprincipled living. especially, when I think of taking care of my family. Stating what the purpose of my life is can help me to focus the above mentioned virtues mobilize my will power!
     Here is what I came up with:
     "My purpose in life is: to support my family and others for greater growth and spiritual and physical health - through my own growing achievements in those areas, by utilizing my compassion, gentleness and wisdom."
     What are your thoughts? Do you think, this exercise and writing down the goal of your life can help you achieve the desired results? Please, share, what makes you succeed, or what you gained form reading this blog!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


It's hard to do the right thing!
What is our conscience, anyway? 
The way to connect with the Higher Power's directions? 
Then why is it so easy to bury its pangs under a moment's wants?
Shouldn't we be able, recognizing the goodness of what 
the inner voice is telling us, stop the harmful behavior
and grab a hand, that tries to rescue us?
God, grant me the power to avoid
doing harm to me and to others;
to do, what will uphold  my
dignity, as Your creation,
and offer same to 
those around me.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


 I have a great new secret!
Z (134×90)     I became a Christian many years ago, when God wrapped me in His Grace and stole me away from a harmful reality of the Soviet Union and my own ignorant heart. I did everything I had to do to become a Christian: prayed and kept praying for Heavenly Father and Jesus to come into my life to save me. 
unification-church-leader-sun-myung-moon-presiding-over-mass-wedding-picture-id50700371 (1024×684)     A few months ago it hit me: I did everything, but one thing. I didn't get baptized! It never entered my mind, because for more than thirty years I was in the Unification Church, and members there get baptized only during the "Blessing" - a marriage ceremony, when the Rev. and Mrs. Moon, with the royal crowns on their heads, sprinkle their faithful followers with "holy water", as couple by couple walks past them. 
     So, I was baptized, you'll say! No, being sprinkled by a false messiah in a false ceremony is not the same as proclaiming that one dies to sin, is buried in water and rises again as a NEW CREATION of God!
     A year ago this would be unthinkable! I am not that much into rituals. Many things in the Bible I understand and yet consider to be symbolic rather than literal. Perhaps, the polite little sprinkling by water is enough to cleanse me of my sins and declare myself as a follower of Jesus?
      Where I go in the Creekside Community Church, they don't sprinkle. In front of the whole congregation they dunk people in! 
It might've been easier, if I wasn't this plump and lame and awkward! Hiding my figure and keeping "decorum" was paramount for me for most of my life! 
     The weeks before the baptism I often mentally cringed, imagining how I'll be climbing into a tub, - perhaps not being able to surmount its walls. What if the people aiding me in water will not be able to support my bulk? Will I slip and fall, drenching the front pews with water? How will I look, emerging from the tub: wet, in clothes clinging to my body, all the unsightly bulges revealed now?! 
     Regardless of these thoughts, I stayed strong and looked forward to the day, when I'll be able to make a new step in my life of faith. 
     Then the day arrived. One other acquaintance  from the local Unification Church was going to be baptized as well, so I felt a little easier. I told Sonny about my plans, and he said, he wanted to come and support me, but closer to the date he realized, he had to work. I was disappointed, but - hey, what can you do, right?
     The Sunday morning went in a blur. I made breakfast for Roberta and myself, gathered the clothes I'd be changing into after coming out of the water, and off we went.
     Many a time I wound myself up, expecting some great new change in my life, and then, almost invariably, something went wrong, and I crashed and burned. I tried to keep an even keel, therefore: nervous, hopeful, but cautious of unrealistic expectations. 
     We drove up early to the church, I helped Roberta out of the car, went to get the bag with my clothes and... it wasn't there!
     I must've put the bag down for a moment somewhere in the house and forgot to pick it up again! Like bees, the thoughts of failure and plans, how I can save the situation, began to swarm through my mind.
     It was no use: there was no time to go back to retrieve the bag. I coulnd't stay in my wet clothes after the ceremony. My baptism had to be postponed!
     Just as I was about to buckle under, the church's pastor came into view. I met him only once, but I didn't hesitate and told him about my predicament. He assured me that, the baptism was not going to start until after the service, so I had plenty of time to go, get the clothes.
     I talked Roberta into staying at the church, rather than going with me. Left to my own thoughts, I carefully drove back to the house, got the bag and went back, praying all the while and singing Amazing Grace - my default place in times of the upheavals! 
     All went well. I came back in time. The people, who were going to be baptized, got ready and lined up in the sanctuary's corner. A big round tub with steps, leading into it, was erected by the stage. The pastor and one other man stood in the tub. One by one the hopeful new Christians climbed in. They answered questions, affirming their faith in Jesus, and then crouched down, holding their arms in front of their chests, as the pastor and the aid dunked them backwards into the water. 
     "Don't think, Dina, don't think!" It was my turn. I waddled up the stairs, swung my stubby leg over the lip of the tub, realized, it was not as difficult, as I imagined, and climbed into the water. Then I answered the questions, crouched down. I couldn't go backwards easily from that position though, so, as I felt being pushed under, I turned a little to the side. That was it! I was up, sopping wet, but immensely happy, nevertheless!
Donald-Trump-Bill-O-Reilly-Wave-Yankee-Stadium.gif (330×200)
Yes, that IS Donald Trump, being awkward at the end of the
bench. And - NO - this is not taken at my baptism!
     The congregation applauded wildly, people whistled and shouted in joy, and a few pews were - appropriately - doing the "wave"! Mr. P., who was the one to recommend that church to me and support me in the decision to get baptized, ran with his phone (and a huge smile on his face) in front of the tub, taking pictures. 
     When I returned to the sanctuary and found Roberta, Sonny was sitting next to her. That was a gift beyond anything I could expect! 
     It wasn't easy for me to tell Taka about getting baptized. He grudgingly accepts me not participating in the Unification Church activities and going to another church's Sunday Service. I was going to keep it a secret. 
     It didn't work that way. He asked me, where I was and what I was doing. In fright I closed my eyes and told him. 
     "Hmm" - he said. Then added: he was baptized several times, while visiting Christian churches during his ecumenical work. One day soon I'll have to clearly explain to him the real value of the baptism!


Saturday, January 9, 2016


     Life seems better after taking a shower!
     I am confused. My whole life I believed myself to be a good, caring, cultured person. The more I live, the more I understand: I have a long, long way to go until it will become true!
     My mother and father worked very hard to put food on the table and provide for our family the right kind of life. How is it that I don't have the habit of hard work or accomplishing the tasks to the end? There were brief moments in my life, when I was able to do so with a lot of encouragement and inspiration from my environment, but - as soon as I'm on my own - I tend to make a first step, congratulate myself on a possible bright outcome and then lie down to rest on my laurels. At fifty seven it's very hard to believe, the next time I attempt something for the betterment of my life or my family's, I'll follow through to the lasting positive result!
     All of that is too vague, you say! Alright, I'll give some examples.
     One of the most significant topics: the weight loss. It seems, the only way I'll achieve it is, for someone to hit me on the head with a shovel in order to stop me from overeating and put me gently down in some corner. With the huge amount of knowledge I amassed about the weight control I still have no will power to control my behavior!  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


     I am under attack!
     Last night I found some Bengay to put on my leg. Yes, I am ashamed to write this out loud: I am that old!
    So, smelling like a pharmaceutical factory, I relaxed in front of the TV. It was late evening, and soon I dozed off, still holding on to the TV remote. Perhaps I was hoping to change channels on my dreams, if they failed to entertain me!
     I woke up to the constant tiny touches on my leg. My hand dropped down to drowsily investigate the problem. 
     A small, sloppy tongue met my hand. Chickie thoroughly licked it, while I began to understand the reason for such intimate attention: I used that appendage to rub on the ointment, and Chickie  is an un-repentful junky, who loves all things with strong chemical odors. 
     tumblr_njc85moomx1sytty3o1_400.gif (340×320)            I tried to shoo the cat off, but he was determined to taste every micron of my skin and dress, which bore the enticing taste. Plus, it's very hard to get rid of that animal, while laughing at his antics!
     After giving me a few perfunctory swipes with his paw, Chickie finally understood that he lost his fix. He then scratched at the carpet with his claws in the throws of a Bengay high, fell to the floor and began to roll around and lick himself with rapturous abandon. Half an hour later, though, he sat miserable, with his back hunched and all the fur sticking out.
     Today he follows me through the house, trying to catch a chance for another assault and a fix. Alas, my friend, I'm onto you!

Saturday, January 2, 2016


     It's the 2nd of January. The new year came and began. 
     How was the last year for you? Was it everything you hoped for? Do you feel, you gained something or lost? 
     I don't know, why, but I'm feeling low. It just seems, life should be fuller and more rewarding, than I perceive it to be right now!
     We had a nice Christmas. In the next couple of days kids lazed about, tried my patience with their lackadaisical attitudes, only to suddenly do something great, like Hanah painting with reflective paints this mural on the back wall of our house!

     On the 30th Sonny drove Hanah back to Arcata. She found a job at a theater there. I hesitate to say: "a Job", because they pay her hardly anything. I am not trying to dissuade her from working there either: as a young kid I was a director's assistant in a tiny Russian theater, where we got payed absolutely nothing, starved, fought for our ideals with our families and were constantly hounded by the KGB. 
     But that's a story for another time!
     So, my daughter once again left home. The last piece of information, which she imparted on me was, she is going to play Akela - the head of the wolf clan in the production of the Jungle Book, and the director wants her to shave both sides of her head and dye the top light purple. Yes, my dear, that'll help me to sleep soundly!
     The day before she left, we took Hanah to a Japanese restaurant. Taka let us out in front and went to park the car, so when he came in, we were already sitting down at a table, choosing from the menu. 
     We each selected a dinner item, when he suggested to also order a huge platter of sashimi. None of us objected, but Taka suddenly realized that I ordered something for myself, and began to pout. Apparently, he thought, I'll just eat sashimi. I pointed out that, he ordered a big bowl of ramen for himself, and it cost only a fraction less than my dish.The family began to feel uncomfortable from such nitpicking, and Hanah even offered to cancel her dinner.      
     As the food arrived, I found, I couldn't taste anything. I felt very bitter. I understand Taka about counting every penny, but he was totally unfair to me! I tried to reason with him, but it was in vain.
     And that's how I still feel. There is no taste or color in the New Year's celebration or my daily routine. 
     I hope, you don't think, I am upset because I was denied some food! In Japan, when a woman marries, she must forget herself completely for the sake of her husband, the in-laws and the family. That's what my husband of twenty seven years wants. Imagine, millions of women denying their own hearts and personalities! They can't be absolutely successful, and the children must feel and bear their mothers' frustrations. 
     And so, our straggle continues.