wickannish inn@ tofino, van island. gabe was here for interview.
Going home, going home
I'm just going home
Quiet light, some still day
I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by
Through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more
Mother's there expecting me
Father's waiting, too
Lots of folk gathered there
All the friends I knew
All the friends I knew
I'm going home
Nothing's lost, all's gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
No more longing for the day
Going to roam no more
Morning star lights the way
Restless dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life begun
There's no break, there's no end
Just a living on
Wide awake with a smile
Going on and on
Going home, going home
I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by
Through an open door
I am going home
I'm just going home
(a version of 'going home,' dvorak symphony 9, largo)
the boy and me, and our other bro returned to toronto today. it was a real 007 operation. meet at airport. check in within 5 min. a scuffle with the security guard ('you be careful with that please, for god's sake!'). internet hello from fish to gabe. upward we went. down we came. meet dad at airport. came home. slew of things to do and such.
and all i can really say at this point, at 2:27 am is that i have 9:30 am meeting and i will be there, hence im still not going to sleep much. again. gah.
there are many emails and messages i want to answer but there just isnt enough time right now. i want to also comfort people and be nice to them but there are no room in my mind. i feel often mad angry. red eyed monkey, bare teeth. ooeer.
i feel as if i should go punch a wall or something. but that will be of no use.
mom/dad took the boy to their bedroom for the night. he'll sleep there like a little baby he was. granny's eyes are rimmed red from tears. my other bro is worn out i am sure. and i am okay. i have so many thoughts, prayers, loves sent to me from so many friends. gabe wouldve been smug to have so many people being interested and wishing his well-being.
i wrote wrote and wrote more when i was in kelowna. i even wrote during the five minutes i had with him in the viewing room at the hospital. did you know that viewing room in kelowna has no real name? it's just called room 100. there, i said good bye and whole slew of other things. from mom. from friends. from me. did i cry? no. im not shedding tears at the moment. may be i wont have to. im trying not to. with gabe, it was never tears. always jokes and foolery, perhaps exasperation.
brother brother brother
that's all i think of right now.
if such thoughts could bring a person back, it would have. but alas, it wont happen. i am to prepare for eulogy of him for saturday. a big chunk. in double languages.
but as i carried him all the way from kelowna on my lap (i lied and put my jacket around him while takeoff/landing so that i can hold him and not put him on the floor. i played a fat man), i of course feel that i need to do the eurology. it is my little wee brother.
apparently you arent supposed to say a deceased is 'heavy' while carrying the ashes, says granny. old korean wives tale. i think it may be a bit far-fetched. but nevertheless, he was not so heavy at all. just enough to be weighty on my lap. like a bunny.
oh gabe. how am i going to get through next couple days? it is a problem when one has been such a charmer. your friends are all teary. mom and dad granny are all pink. your older brother was mourning. me-
i love you. that's all i can say.
i love you wee little brother.
as i held you during the flight.
as i am mad bonkers in love with you.
i wont let you go in my mind.
not yet. not now. not later.
not until you are going to buy me some fancy drinks.
and give me a sly look.
about things that are just too funny to explain.
it feels as if someone is pushing ice cold needles, like the ones at the dentist, through my rib cage. this hurt.
did it hurt when your car crashed?
they said it woudlve been instant.
it better be. please dont hurt.
though we lectured one another constantly
i know i wouldve done anything for you
except buying you fags and lending money (ha ha)
as you wouldve done anything for me.
please wake up and call me.
i left you messages on your phone.
i know it's dumb. i have your phone.
you would so laugh that i have no idea how to operate your fancy phone.
if you check your messages, you would know that i was en route to get you.
to bring you home.
check your messages.
and do get back to me.
i love you.
i am here in kelowna and i am leaving tomorrow.
i came to pick my brother up and i will just do that. awesome. it is a task that i would have never wanted to let anyone else do it. i have no idea why. nevertheless, here i am. am very lucky. i just wish we can catch the direct flight. fingers crossed. damn.
weather forecast says that saturday may rain. that would not be so nice. but it is only 30%. so even if they were right, it may not rain after all. please hold it till the evening brooding clouds!
time has gone fast. one of my childhood acquittance, fr. john will perform the mass for gabe. ha. i bet neither (or anyone) really saw that one coming. well, i didnt, for sure. i am glad that someone who knew him will be leading the service.
i am eating all kinds of junk food. not because i dont have enough time, but because i want to. decadent in times of suffering?
i think much work are to be done from this point, including amending an old 'lack of' relation with some people. i wish i was better at being compassionate. right now i feel as if im some kind of thing from children's illustration- all brain and teeth. many. ooh. and hands holding phones. im answering phones!
you are all supposed to be surprised.
the boy who fed with fire is done feeding the pyre. i find it ironically beautiful for some bizarre reason. fire is magical, capable of making so many miraculous phenomenons possible! am very glad that the pyre will clean off any flesh wounds, hurts, scars from my wee little brother. the dandy will be clean and fresh again. yay.
i wonder if what i feel is really how i am feeling- too even and static perhaps? am i supposed to collapse in tears? i find that more likely i will be: teeth-clinching, red-eyed-from-anger, fingernail-digging-on-flesh, locked up jaws.
ooh what an angry picture eh.
i feel like the little kid who plugged the hole of the big dam with a pinky. watch out. it's going to roll. amazing. scary. a bit sad. wondrous. dreading. but mostly, the dam is full of love and a bit of yearn.
i have loved you to bits,
wee little brother of mine.
and i am not done.
for a long time.
im going to hold you,
which i never did once we grew up,
except for the times i returned home from afar,
because you came from a long journey,
almost 400 miles in a day,
and you are off to even longer journey,
but i will hold you, from here,
and i wont nag.
i never really nagged.
i was saying i love you.
it's just that i am rubbish at saying it normally.
but why would i say it normally to you?
you knew i was off the kilter. ha.
you do know i hope?
hello all, i hope each one of us had a good week, even in midst of trials and difficult moments, each of their own and as part of a larger collective group.
i am heading back to toronto tomorrow with my brother. he'll be all clean and fresh, no longer bound to the flesh wounds. i am glad as one could be at this point. and once back in toronto, there will be a service for him at the catholic church:
it will be taken place on
saturday 1 may 2101 at 10:00am
at st. andrew kim korean catholic church
the service will be lead by fr. john park
and would be about an hour long.
the church is located at:
849 Don Mills Rd. North York M3C 1W1
i am very glad to say thanks to you all who have been so sympathetic to my family and please do not feel badly if you are busy. this was a sudden event and rather than rushing it, i would rather take the comfort in fact that you will remember my brother in passing moments in upcoming days.
please take good care of yourselves and also let's take care of one another. be well please. not because it is a sad day, but because that is what we are here to do- to be human. to oneself and to others.
it's on wynford drive and don mills road,
if you are taking public transit:
1. take the ttc up to eglington station. from eglington, you could take eglington east and get off at don mills/eglington, then walk up a block to north; church will be right across from the ESSO gas station.
or you could take bus 100, flemingdon park, which will drop you right on the corner of the esso station.
2. if you are taking the bloor line, get off at pape, take the don mills north bus. get off at don mills and eglington, and you will walk up a block north to reach the gas station.
3. if you are driving, you need to get to don valley parkway south (esp. if you are taking 401), taking south. take wynford drive exit, then continue to west. after a bit of curves, you will reach don mills and wynford drive, where the church is located on the northeast corner.
gabe has been involved in fatal auto accident on 26 april 2010.
he was in vancouver attending his affairs- professional and personal,and unfortunately, he was too tired to complete the drive.
during the night, he was trying to complete the last leg of the drive from tofino-vancouver-kelowna to see some friends. but at highway 97, N49'48'18555" and W 119'43'41.424", approx. between 2-230am, he lost the control of the vehicle.
it was a human error we believe, and luckily, the death would have been instantaneous. quite a silver lining.
i am not too sure what we are going to do for the memorial services for now, but if you would like further information, please let me know. by thursday evening, we will be able to bring my brother home. i am doing my best to bring him home, free from all the bruises and hurts, to my granny, mom and dad.
thank you for all your supports and i hope that you found him as amusing as i did. sometimes amazing, even. i debated on whether i should write this- his last update, and have decided that this is the right thing to do.
please do take courage to go on, but if you could remember him just once in a while, we, the lee family, would be very honoured.
a silly monkey who loved her brother,
more than she have ever realized.
and perhaps bit more, as days will continue to pass
a silly monkey who loved her brother,
more than she have ever realized.
and perhaps bit more, as days will continue to pass
i loved him dearly
he was wee little
full of buggers and bugs
mischievous or annoying
i couldnt tell nor i differentiated the two
one day i realized he is taller
one day i realized he is stealing my fags
when he said he'll go look for a new opportunity
i said go and see whats out there
shame on you for not trying to leave the city earlier
rainy days in kelowna
storms mad winds
even the ships stopped for a bit
for that sea was angry and untamed
if the ships arent moving
does he have to cross the depth of acheron
all by himself
never in my life i wondered about
carrying ashes in my hands
it is all just a big masquerade
in my head for now
i loved him dearly
he will always be wee little
full of buggers and bugs stolen fags
mr. banksy has a habit of appearing at uncanny places when most unexpected. and oddly, his characters- especially the rats, are hilarious, dirty, often clueless and brilliant simultaneously. how is it possible? i have no clue.
but here's a rat of banksy's, as found in china town, in a dirty closed-shop window. holding- what i thought was a clarinet (ahaha. perhaps for personal safely, i should say it looks like a rocket or a missile).
the best thing about banksy is that his icons speak so many different things at given context. this one- i have no idea what it actually wants to say, but clearly, it is whimsical. it made me laugh and me laughing consequently made others to stop and take a good look. it is always nice to stop to take a look at the smallest differences in daily routine and pathways. we all realize it's never the same. well, then lets not take it for granted.
as it is another spring friday, i was walking not slowly, but with no particular drive in my steps. fast enough that it's not aimless, but slow enough so that i can still catch unexpected things.
and then street, as a place where millions of thoughts cross physically, will show and tell many different things that have happened already. and knowing that these events are part of real life, it is somewhat comforting to find that there are endless- not the first yet the last time. and through personal experiences and shared memes, we, as a group sympathize and share unspoken details of life. sometimes comfortable, sometimes quite stressful. like the little bird, expired and freed from its physicality, found on a street.
luckily, the little guy was not ravaged by the street animals nor was damaged by careless traffic. still a bit life- like, the bird has gone away to a different dimension. where to? i am not too sure, but somehow, i found it at some sort of pause, a state of peace. as i was just about to pass by, what was left of him was enough to make me pause and think of life. and what is left once it takes another form. is there an end to a life? what is afterlife? is there one? i have no idea.
but one thing for sure: another expiration of life form is strong enough to resonate with another life, a different species at a different perspective. i found some newspapers near by and wrapped him in it to dispose to the nearby bin. rather than leaving it to elements, i thought a small relocation would be more appropriate. the bird no longer would care for the fate of its former body, but as another life sharing a small bit of space and time, it was the right thing to do, to stop and take an action i think. ultimately it makes not much difference. yes i know. but the importance may be that it is the small individual differences that makes a narrative a success. it's never the same repetition. consonance, yes, but duplication- no.
Then came another funny coincidence in life. there it was, another bird in sight.. except this one was quietly waiting to be brought to life. a part of a small old style birdbath, the stone bird with barely visible eyes were waiting, eyes closed for now, for its bowl to be filled with water, to move with the passing wind, to reflect the day light, and to draw and sing endless circle with each raindrop. karmic cycles. and simply beautiful.
and its patience resonated monkey with a small but real hope of... tomorrow. of things to come. this is what spring does to me. brings me a renewed sense of hope, of green barley grass smell, something i can only faintly recall (from long ago childhood), which is still more vibrant than the smell of the asphalt. it was a blessing to take a long walk today. as i had the time to find coincidences, unexpected clashes of individual lives and the resonating thoughts of individuals, however far we may actually be. i thought of many people who are very dear to me. i thought of distances. and luckily, was filled with sense of hope.
pandora left hope in the box. difficult, not enough, yet enough to sustain self. especially when times may be a bit difficult than expected. but as a simple bird takes many different forms and point of narrative, i am simply happy to resonate. amplified by hope. love to you all.
a short square envelop came
with waft of spring and renewal
message from the eastertide
full of hope and nice thoughts
with hint of banff pines and that
head-clearing white-ice smell of winter
unasked however freely offered
it crossed the miles and miles of
oceans roads mountains and people
and it came and landed
one of the most sincere moments in life
when a person can speak
without worries misunderstanding expectation
when a person can listen
and be warmed by the simplicity
of shared overlapping joys of
if one can understand another
through the miles of distances
different words and languages
encapsulated thoughts on paper
of resonance that has came over the time
that would be miracle
it came today in mail
i am the recipient of the square envelop
which holds many speckles of
laughters and appreciation
a human being to another
like the spring bird it swooped down
and whispered the news of eastertide, afar
in short beautiful sounds
the sounds one can only hear
with the ears that has been tuned
for the heart that is so generously open
(painting: woman in blue reading a letter,
jan vermeer van delft 1663-64)
alponse mucha, one of the best of art nouveau, the grande style of fin de siecle.
this is spring, from his four seasons series.
(rest of the photos are monkey photos from here and there, around work-home route. i am rather proud of them)
today the light was that of a pale, faintly-scented, young woman. the girl with brown ginger hair, feisty but she does not know yet. her beauty lies in fact she is oblivious to it. simply occupied with other treasures she finds on her way, she have not seen herself in the bubbling brooks nor calm pond, to see how she captivates her surroundings- the branches full of life, leaves and flowers, the clouds that provide gentle cover from bright daylight, the air that is hot, full of energy and vigor, seeking relief, looking for its mate.
with the sudden blossoms everywhere, it is difficult to pick out which flowers are the most beautiful. i say though the bunched hyacinths are pretty, they are too intense, too close to the ground. easily missed and almost too noisy once you find them. they are like little school children. all the sudden im thinking about the front cover of the french school girl, madeline, all with same hats and uniforms, hand in hand, marching and taking over the entire sidewalk, museums, wherever they go.
tulips are my favorites, minimalistic, all efforts of one bulb culminating into one single flower. but tulip is too noble, too chic to be that girl who is totally oblivious to her seductive beauty. the yellow trumpeting daffodils are the real juvenile delinquents. they are too busy looking cool, looking away from one another, smoking another fag, drinking cheap cider. how do i know? ive seen them since they were little bulbs, with their bare white butts up to the sky when the snow finally melted.
i found the reminiscent of last year's hydrangeas beautiful and faded. pale, like fairy wings. light and airy, they are the opposite of ephemeral beings, the transient burst of life now kept in memory, the beige veins carrying the shadows of once-busy chatters. magnolias are bursting in their white glory, but they are too full, too sexy to be the lady of the spring. more like ladies of late 40s and 50s, where one's smile carry more weight through the gracious crow's feet, rather than the hiding their history under a thick coat of make up.
then who is left? who is going to decorate the lady of the spring? the girl who just barely pauses to look where the road continues, too busy stepping on new green pasture, lips slightly apart, rising curves along her white skin, barely covered under the spring easter dress? i say... it's the cherry (and apricot) blossoms. white young flowers, abundant with honey and pollens, they invite every passing soul, for a look, a breath, a drink of nectar.
here she is, the lady of the spring. waiting for her may king. once may arrives, the frenzy of fertility and festivities will reach its peak, the branches heavy with plentiful riches, the heady scents of full-blossoms, where the lady of spring will lay with the king of may. it is his tradition. he has the right to impregnate any woman in the village during his 'reign'. and by end of may, he will fall, and her, no longer a girlish maiden, will wait, till her bosoms fill up, swelling with another cycle of life, reaching another cusp on the summer solstice. she will continue to grow, larger and warmer, barely contained under the victorious julius' sun and maddening augustus' glory. until the day of the first browned leaf, taking another trip, swimming into the small cool stream, a new change in midst of dusty summer arid heat.
but it is still spring. her porcelain skin is still untouched yet, her hair still light and voluminous. it was a beautiful day today. and i have many things to look forward in next little while. i am waiting, so that the spring lady and may king could glow in their exuberant glory. because when he falls, it will be june. a season of another story. and i will be glad for another chapter. renewal. reconnection. familiar excitement. joie de vivre. till then, i shall be patient and appreciate the fleeting beauty of the pale, yet still wee bit cold spring sun. bright and open. sharp around the edges of shadows.
ooh btw. new natalie merchan album, leave your sleep is out. it is heartshatteringly beautiful.
long time ago. i would call out to my brother (or his direction, i would say): 'hey, slowpoke!' and he would turn around and be upset. and i would try to getaway with it:
mom: dont call your brother by name! (bro sobbing)
monkey: but mom, really, i was looking for a slow dude, and if he thinks he is one of them, it's not my fault!
mom: then why did you call him that?
monkey: i wasnt! he just decided to answer. is it my fault?
mom: (point to corner)
monkey: (shuts up and goes to corner to stand quietly)
haha. what a problematic child. i still find it funny.
i recently decided to follow a blog:
want to know what it is? do go check it out yourself!
anyways. she made a comment awhile ago on a post about how people may have done something to get to a point of obesity and it sparked many anger. i think it is grossly misdirected. much anger and reactions. weight issue is a sensitive one. sigh. i should know. i was an overweight kid. but that doesnt excuse one from acting out and pointing finger to another human being. so below, i copied my reply to her thread on 10 april 2010 post. all i want to say is that it is easy to appoint someone to be the black sheep rather than thinking how the actual issue came to a focus and how we would solve it. a reactive issue usually means that issue actually do exist and it needs action from everyone in the society. individually and socially.
let us be responsible and happy eating and moving, and to put the best, honest effort with self-motivation rather than a simply wish to 'fit in', 'be nice' and 'better' (oh the last one makes me shudder). happy wknd everyone!
(reposted from fed up with lunch)
the ones who claim that they are heavier due to alternative reasons beside food consumption/lifestyle issue, why are they offended by the idea that others may be heavier because of those two issues?
no one has been particularly criticized by the writer of this blog. it was a statement made to the majority of the people with extra weight. majority. right. which means there are always exceptions.
in general, there are tendencies to blame obesity toward eating/life patterns. as much as there are other reasons (medication, body build, genetics), those reasons simply are not the cause of the majority of this global obesity cases.
as mentioned by many others, obesity is only one manifestation of collective and interconnected problems- food industry, consumer behavior, genetics, family/social changes, use of time etc., and yes, there is no proof to say that a single obese person should/could have only one or two definitive reason to explain their current state. just like heart attacks, diabetes and breast cancer.
if one is a bit overweight from outside but has no significant health problem, then who cares? vice versa, who cares if you look good in size zero and has clogged arteries? people will always judge and you cant determine and correct others on every occasion. the real focus is on oneself-
what is the cause of your current issue (if you were to have one) and how can you fix it?
the writer of the blog was merely mentioning what i think is the 'common' reasons of obesity. if it is not you, dont get upset with the writer. get upset with the people who expressed those particular attitude toward you. just because you are angry with general public, it does not give you the right to pelt someone else, singled out.
just think about how 'you,' the lost reader felt, as 'singled out' outsider in midst of 'thin' people.
if you didnt like it, why are you doing it to another person?
and the writer never advocated for underweight, as much as she did not advocated for overweight. everyone has their natural weight and when one is not in that range, your body will tell you. rather than paying attention to others opinions ('you are fat' as well as 'you look great because you are size zero', both are ridiculous), lets take the effort to see where oneself is and how one may solve that problem.
if you need, eat more.
if you need, eat less. simple.
if eating will not change your current state, look into other things in your life.
as things do happen with some sort of explanation. once you have an explanation and once you believe in it, take an action to change the situation.
simple? yes. difficult? yes.
as body size and actual state of health are not interdependent qualities,
simple and easy is not necessarily the coo-existing condition.
keep up the great work ms. q. there are people who really appreciate your work. and as those people exist, there always be people who will be negative towards your work. the only thing we could hope for is individual reactions, based on responsible reasoning. and we can only believe in the honesty and effort of every individual.
last night was a small dinner gathering at the chemist's place with german medieval scholar and monkey. chemist is a very interested in things like backyard gardening, healthy and sustainable cooking (vegetarian he is), and is a very enthusiastic cook. both german scholar and monkey like to cook and eat with others as well, which means it's always a good time to cook and eat.
underemployed doctor monkey, two phd students, we are a talkative bunch. the topics jump from catch up from the last choir concert to easter, house renovation to heterotopia. and the most nicest thing about such crowd is that we are not bound by politeness or previous exposure to a new subject. everyone is eager to take a piece of the current conversation to continue.
and i continue to chew on last nights supper leftover, seaweed-noodle-green stew-ish thing (it does taste much better than it may sound), i cant help but to reflect on a simple expression: one cannot just do one thing.
it is a borrowed expression from michael pollan's omnivore's dilemma, 'you cant just do one thing.' i have been reading on food culture, policy and cooking for awhile. the first book that made me go 'whoa' (think matrix) was the fast food nation. then came 'supersize me.' 'food inc,' 'in defense of food,' countless movies and books since then. the diet is the new religion. 'eat this not that,' 'mindless eating: why we eat more than we think,' even the first lady of united states have declared war on obesity: letsmove.org. we all have heard much about eating disorders and now there is even a new one: orthorexia. you know that friend of yours who loses night of sleep because she put a 2% milk instead of skim milk in her small coffee? well, she may be suffering from orthorexia nervosa. it refers to people who are obsessed about 'eating right,' from the greek 'orthos': correct or right. it's a manical obsession, dogmatic approach to eating.
what the hell happened to us as a general population? weve been trying to lose weight for ages, governments and doctors telling us what to eat, how to eat, with food products with all kinds of stickers from big-brained people, like the heart-foundation (which, really is just another lobby group, though slightly better than tobacco people i suppose), all sorts of numbers and solutions for weight loss everywhere.
and why the heck are we still fat?
you see, i think the problem is not about obesity. obesity is just a simple manifestation of another thing, something... more... complicated and... ugly. i think it may be partially due to laziness. there, i have said it. you say, wait, we are talking about weight issues and you are calling people with weight issues lazy?
ooh before i get stoned, let me tell you. in a sense, yes. i am not saying all people with extra weight are lazy. but our inclination to laziness in many different aspects have added to the extra poundage. elevators. cars. pre-made food. more time for work, which means more income, therefore richer life, yes? well, i think it's crazy. richer life with what, years of inhaling your 'assembled' lunch (corn corn corn and more corn. oy dont forget soy), and by the time you have some money, you are no longer able to... walk without taking medications? urrr. i think the problem is that it is simpler to think about income and 'sucess' than making time to be conscious about one's action. because. to be conscious, it takes efforts. one cannot be conscious to everything all the time! (unless you are enlightened, or high, in that matter). yes, one has to pick the right battle. and what is more important than... actually living?
living is a verb, it happens now. NOW, as you read these things. as we run as fast as we could for the future.
i have digressed. all i wanted to was to reflect on the expression: you cant just do one thing. the simple desire to eat better have created new business models and new problems. whole foods, where one is to feel better, may not be so much better than walmart. it is organic, but what does that mean? is organic avocado that came from chile really good for you in middle of the winter in toronto? what about that zero fat yogurt, if it is fat free, what is in it? (gum) what do you mean it is zero fat? (it means that the 'serving' only contains trace fat, hence, dismissive. but did you know that 'pam' spray serving equate to 1/3 sec of spraying? does anyone actually time it?) tuna is bad, so i can have cod? (it's endangered!) saving your family from overly processed and carbon-ridden dinner out by having steak at home? (the carbon output will now equate to driving around in SUV for three straight hours, for that steak dinner). local food is better, so you buy some greenhouse stuff from ontario- wait, what about the cost of having 'un'seasonal product by building all sorts of infrastructure?
the expression remains true.
it is so easy to say: hey im going to be good and eat healthy, local and vegetarian, etc etc. but what is not so easy to see is to see how one's action may effect the world around oneself. and this principle applies to everything else. look into the states and the national health care policy: we want healthcare- wait, what do you mean it's gonna take ages and more taxes? oops. or the recent vatican statement: faithfuls, dont sway by simple gossips! sure, nice thing to say to your group of swayed sheeps, but does that actually solve the problems that already exist? yes, they could say 'sorry,' but we all know that it is not enough- then now what? we have to think more. but it's hard! well, that's life.
it is so easy to have a generic solution. but it is an entirely a different thing to have a generic question: now how would this effect everything else?
the simple fact is that though we are all individuals, we cannot help it but be related to others (you came from somewheres to begin with, didnt you?), and there is no way to measure one's influence in a scientific method, as it is almost impossible to figure out where a reaction have originated and how it may alter one's action, then causing next reaction.... complicated. but very simple when you just say: cant just do one thing. bah.
food ethic is a very hot and fashionable right now. everyone wants to be locavores and chefs. that's nice. now lets really think about each action one takes. may as well enjoy every little bit of life, as it is one's own life, at the present. future is important, but future is not present. more love we have for present, we may have better hope for the future. and then we may be able to afford to look back, because of the simple fact you have a memory, not just a passing glance from almost unconscious, sketchy past.
enjoying my frozen corn kernels (yes they are bloody good out from the freezer), i think of what i may do tomorrow to help PO. he has lost 14lbs in two weeks. is it a miracle? no. i think it's hard work. why hard? because. it wont happen without conscious decision, efforts and resources. not just him, not just me. but within all of his context. i think i am going to feed him some beans. black beans and rice. and he says he doesnt like beans. you wait and watch.
i like beans and rice.
7-foot, bronze statue that hangs 200 feet in the air on a church bell tower in East Sussex, England. It has been dubbed by the locals as "Jesus in jeans."
the holy week and easter wknd is always a bit of a mess. after 40 days of repenting madness will do that to any soul i suppose (though the modern practice itself is much softer than the ones of contemporary ramadan, from what i have seen personally). easter, an old tradition that is familiar to most of the westerners now primarily exists in forms of:
hot crossed buns
egg hunts (which is just bizarre, it has nothing to do with anything)
dyed eggs (and consequent egg/cress salads)
luncheons or brunches (family stuff made easy by long wknd)
church services (one of the two- the other being christmas)
and probably in that order of importance as well. hey there's nothing wrong with it. really. it's been a busy week. theres been lots of classical music running around town in forms of cantatas, passions, service music. extra musicians and soloists in various places. bright coloured advertisements in newspapers and shopping malls for easter gifts (the funniest one being disney promoting 'alice in wonderland' re-release as 'perfect gift for the family this easter!' but what does it have to do with anything? since when jesus promoted giving stuff around?) i think whatever it has became for every one of us, that is not one person to judge against another. the only thing i could say is that since it being the long wknd and all, that i hoped people had a chance to experience something different (not just going through the motion of it, but to really experience it, whether it being dirty pants made by sitting on half-melted hidden easter cream eggs or sitting in the church trying to not fall asleep), and enjoying those experiences for whatever it's worth.
i personally had a questions-laden easter. in so many levels. there has been much personal commotion but that's for me to keep and to hint only (ahahaha evil me), but there are much more objective issue that has been pressing in my mind: the recent (though not new) accusation of the sexual abuse regarding priests and boys.
now, im not into saying what's right or wrong. i do know what i think, but there are fervent people on both sides of the arguments regarding how it was dealt and i think if you have been paying attention to the news, one would assume you have formed some sort of opinion already. so hence, this will just be a brief reflection on such big elephant in the room. (please dont stone me in the street; if you are unhappy, simply write/talk to me. before you stone me, depending on your argument, i may even agree to be stoned)
the bible, word of the lord, have been a continuous interest to me in many levels. i was brought up in asian catholic household, the kind that takes religion seriously (my granny still thinks that i am doomed to burn since i stopped going to church). years of sunday schools. then working at the church for the main service (it's a big church with over thousand families registered). the things i have studied (western arts and philosophy) cannot be discussed as entirely separate entities from religion (impossible).
for instance, one of my favorite painters, chagall, his paintings are often drawing from the bible, literally and figuratively. all those glorious bach cantatas and passions (and others i suppose). things like symphony of psalms (stravinsky), gloria (poulenc), the continuous literary references (portrait of artist as a young man-joyce, la porte etroite- andre gide), buildings of major importance (notre dame of paris, duomo of milan), history (geneva as calvinist reform capital, the religious wars, shaping of united states in the appalachians), even consumeristic things (did you know kellogg the cereal company was born out of religious/holistic stance on health reform mvt by the kellogg brothers who ran a sanitorium, and those amish breads you will soon see in farmers markets), even to daily expressions and idioms ('forsaken,' 'by golly!' etc etc)- it is impossible to dismiss it simply.
so in a sense, im already defending myself from the criticism i may/may not take religion seriously enough. gosh the things one does in 'worries.' i may even clarify that i am experienced in catholic tradition, but really a practicing secular humanist- and that is not to antagonize one with religions, as a true humanist, one's interest lies in the welfare of fellow humans, including self, and the principles and actions i have taken/will take are based on critical thinking and that may be based on everything i come in contact with, including both religious and non-religious thoughts. only thing i disagree completely would be dogmas and dogmatism of any thoughts/ideas, including 'scientific' thoughts.
in order to not to go completely insane over this subject of sexual abuse of children, i will keep it brief. my thoughts are very simple.
1. even a single case of abuse is bad (including child, sexual and non-sexual)
2. there are long-standing cases of sexual abuse by clergymen-children (along with non-sexual abuse)
3. i do have to assume not all accusations made against to the church can be true. but some will be, the percentage of it doesnt really matter (refer to point 1)
4. therefore, the church should have issued an apology to the victims and the general public should accept the apology, along with a grain of salt (refer to point 3)
5. and that offending members of the clergy should be dealt with the appropriate branch of the general law (the secular law court), and that means the church must comply to the request of the law and try to be clear as possible (with record keepings and all). in fact, they should be the ones who are even more vigilant of such things (much like if you have an unruly child, you should keep an eye on him and do consider where to bring him for a dinner out- there are behavior-appropriate places. if risky, dont risk it. take calculated risk but winging something would be an inconsiderate gesture to other co-habitants of the world)
6. therefore, the recent action taken by the vatican regarding the recent case, drawing comparison to the current issue to 'collective violence suffered by the jews' was a bad move. and so is calling the general reaction a 'gossip.'
why is it so difficult to say 'sorry?'
if the church as the governing body have been used to the idea of apologizing for its human fault, it would have been much easier to deal with this particular issue on emotional level (let's leave the legal part as i may never get to finish this post then). these accusations are not new and there are long lines of standing victims. as mentioned, 1 person in that line is already a shame. this abuse scenario is not unique to the catholic church, true, but that should not be the ground to dismiss the charges brought forth. a human life, yours, mine, someone else, they are all the same in a sense it is a continuation and reflection of human history, from the past to the future. one's moral sets, actual biological progression, social interaction, they dont just sprout in one's mind with no preparation. even a simple seed needs water and nutrient (initially stored within seed itself, prepared by the mother plant and evolution/or creation, the important fact is that it is ready to germinate in acceptable- including non-ideal, conditions) to grow. a human being, a social animal, needs and acquires more, certainly.
i do not like pointing fingers. but in this case, i want to justify (ugh) that i am not simply pointing fingers at an entity with steaming anger. i am simply thinking: what is the morally acceptable action at this point? why did we, as a collective body, failed fellow human beings? what can be done? what is wrong with current reaction in my personal understanding? what are the things that 'should' (with grain of sand, that word) be done different from this point?
why does it matter?
because i live in a society that is larger than my immediate interest. and the repeated history of human suffering of all forms, as unavoidable as it is, can be dealt in many different ways, some 'better' than others. and because christianity have contributed many goods to the human lives (in forms of arts and religious form, take your pick), i want to see it prosper, as best as it can, in harmony with other things- coexist. it has been on heavy on my mind that most difficult thing in life is perhaps the action of 'acceptance/tolerance.' we cant all agree. on anything. we cant all understand. but that's okay. acceptance and tolerance does create enough buffer for all these differences to exist without choking others. and that's why it is so difficult. it's not a free or simple action. like pointing fingers in anger and screaming.
easter miracle can mean so many things to so many different people. it meant busy work week and some real nice cultural experiences for this monkey last wk. the failing (in my eyes) of the church at the moment is not the end of the world, but i dont think it should be tolerated either. it needs fixing. how? i donno. im going to try to think about it. if i come to a solution, that would be great, though i doubt any single human being can solve this problem. meanwhile, i am going to take liking to the idea of 'jesus in jeans,' the top picture. he doesnt have to always hang onto the cross. the whole idea of easter was he overcame the crucifixion. i dont see a reason why anyone would be NOT happy to be off the bloody cross. it's painful. and by being off the cross, he not only fulfilled the religious plot, but also became approachable, walking around in undies as the bible never specified whether he had new cloth on sunday morning (but does specify his linens were left in the tomb), so a shirt and a nice pair of jeans are good plus.
happy easter. the miracles do continue and life is full of in comprehensively amazing things. let's not miss it because one is too busy becoming a dogma of oneself.