Move, On

Once a long time ago I meditated on the instances of happy and painful relationships, either between lovers or between spouses. In my country divorce is not possible. The main reason is that it’s predominantly Roman Catholic, about 98% of the population. The other reason is the way we look at marriage as a permanent thing. Of course separation of spouses happen, as well as infidelity. But since the norm is marriage then even co-habitation is frowned upon. For many families it can incur ostracization of the young lovers. Parents who have cohabited for a long time do not generally make the set-up known, knowing that it will earn some stigma and will affect the children. If they have caring friends these will encourage them to officiate their union even if it’s only a civil rite. Also, civil rites are not as respectable as a church or a sacerdotal sanctioned ritual.

As part of our public education we would discuss marriage and domestic issues in school. One question that came up was if we are in favor of divorce being legalized. That question was taken by us seriously, us not having been raised in an environment where divorce is an open option. The sound of the word “divorce” is equivalent to that of “disaster”, “failure”, “destruction”, “insecurity”, “shame”, “secret”, “lies”, and even “outcast”. The challenge of even saying anything for it, for just the tiniest bit, was daunting.

I did not care much about the question until one lazy summer afternoon as I was spending my usual dreamy lounging time in my parents’ bedroom, where there’s always wonderful lighting streaming inside from two adjacent walls, I came to suddenly put my thinking into considering under what circumstances would I be found to agree on legalizing divorce. I zeroed in on my only answer: violence. I concluded then that a person cannot be made to stay in a set-up where he or she (in our context it’s she predominantly) is constantly in fear of being hurt. But I also thought about what if one of the spouses falls in love with somebody else. Ah, this was difficult stuff to answer as I haven’t been there myself. I had to consider this angle because it seems to be a popular reason why partners split.

Is it possible for a committed person to fall in love with another not her/his partner? If I were married and it happened to me what would I do? This part I had also answered for myself, which in turn made me conclude that choosing the mate isn’t a joke nor a thing to be taken lightly. It definitely cannot be based on hormones alone, although at that time I, too, knew little about this side of things. But, hey, rhetorics is free for everyone, even for budding snotty-nosed university graduates.

spring deer

1 Corinthians 13      (click to enlarge)

Of course it’s possible to fall in love with anyone anytime. What kind of question is this in the first place? Is it even a valid question at all? Are emotions and attraction things that can be channeled the way arguments can be tiered one after the other? Is there even a fool-proof theory about loving? I mean, if God is Love, then how does one deal with this phenomenon? All peoples have their own ways of talking about this phenomenon, and does one group of people or language or worldview define the entire humanity, then and now?

For a “love” between two persons who can’t take it to the socially accepted commitment status, like for instance in my country having it labeled as bigamy, which is illegal, then how could this “love” be handled? “If I were married and it happened to me what would I do?” I guess I have to decide and move on. But since I haven’t been married and so have not been initiated into this level of existence, I will not presume that I know anything about it. Therefore, I can’t openly say here anything by way of response to it. Theoretical musings is fine but I would rather show respect to the real circumstance experienced by real people who can’t even start to find words to deal with it, not even in their own private thoughts.

But what if a married man makes me feel loved and I found it honest and genuine and non-restricting, what do I do?

Certainly not go out on a date with him. Certainly not encourage the flirtation. Cetainly not fan my vanity into a blazing ember. Am I nuts? The guy is married. He has committed himself to something that excludes anything else at par with it. As one of my favorite shows would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

But what if I, too, have started to love him? Ah, then that’s another story. To smell the coffee I think I would first and foremost honor his honesty and courage in making me aware of his care for me. I mean, who am I to reject such a wonderful gift? It’s “love” after all, it’s something unfathomable. It’s from God. It’s God’s language.

Then I would refrain from asking too many questions. I won’t even ask questions at all. I would nip all questions in the bud. Here Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle applies: defining an electron’s state alters its state. I will refrain from putting my finger on anything in order to pin it down, they be descriptions, qualifications, quantifications of this “love”. Any attempt to pin it down, in this context, will result into a failure. Defining it will destroy it. Getting hold of it will cause its demise. I would leave things as they are, without defining them — be they concepts, words, situations. They will not be turned this way and that for closer examination. They will be left as a blur and will not be designated into compartments or categories. Their rawness will be respected. That way they will not be suffocated, robbed of air, and fester for the lack of it.

As this “love” is there, then what could be done with it? Why, celebrate it, of course. It is not “forbidden”, for goodness’ sake. Love is free, is encouraged, is induced, is given, is spread out, is scattered. The world has been constantly suffering because love has been twisted and restricted and deformed and castigated. But since, in the context I’m talking about here, it’s in an instance where care has to be exercised on its behalf, then I would suggest to take this “love” into another plane of existence. It cannot be insisted on the same plane where it will foster suffering, because that’s not its purpose. Love is something that affirms our humanity, it is a life-giving phenomenon, and hence it does not belong to the arena of suffering. Don’t ask me more about how I speak of it here because, my dear, words are not adequate to speak of this phenomenon in this angle.

So maybe I’d say I’d let this love dwell with the clouds, let it float on the calmest of ocean surfaces, let it flit with the wind among the many branches of as many trees that greet me on my way to wherever everyday, let the leaves’ rustle talk of it to me. Let my echoed footsteps be chants of meditation on it. Silent. Abiding. Subdued. Sometimes even forgotten for a while but certainly there, accompanying me, holding on to the tips of my hair as the breeze blows imperceptible strands here and there, sometimes.

So I won’t conjure physical manifestations of it. “Fantasies” and “possibilities” are words not even entertained. I will not “insist” it; will not “force” it into “fruition”; will not “fight” for it — these avenues does not belong to “love”. Read 1 Corinthians 13. This is the only way I can show respect to my emotions, by not straining it with emptiness, not feeding it with conjectures the probabilities of which approach zero. This, too, is the way I could love my self in this context, and so lift my self up from the plane of senselessness.

It was a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) that prompted me on this reflection. Here it is:

I cannot live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf

The sexton keeps the key to,
Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.

I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other’s gaze down,
You could not.

And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’,
That new grace

Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.

They’d judge us-how?
For you served Heaven, you know,
Or sought to;
I could not,

Because you saturated sight,
And I had no more eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise.

And were you lost, I would be,
Though my name
Rang loudest
On the heavenly fame.

And were you saved,
And I condemned to be
Where you were not,
That self were hell to me.

So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And prayer,
And that pale sustenance,
Despair!

—————————–
There’s an explanation of it here:
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/close-reading-i-cannot-live-you
—————————–

hope-robin-pavitrata-500

I also wanted to explore what I could say in resonance to it, from a different context.

So, I’d say, “I love you, and I must pick my self up from here and carry on, as well as I can possibly do. This is the only way I can show God, and you, how much I honor and value Him, and you.”

I hope that the way I spoke of it isn’t as sad-sounding as Dickinson’s expression here, of her love. Here’s another of her poems, an encouraging sounding one that I copied from http://www.shortpoems.org/emily_dickinson/


Have the best of days, everyone! 🙂



…may never pass this way again

After two attempts I realize anew how difficult it is to present a script against a non-even background. Maybe you can share a tip with me?

WE MAY NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAINThis is among my favorite songs. If it’s yours, too, then please you’re welcome to save the image to your files. If you have just gotten acquainted with its lyrics then for sure you’ll see that it’s very engaging. That is without the melody even. The melody is a happy one and it produces so many pictures in my head, but I have only two here to share with you.

Again, a favorite picture for it depends on which side of life’s experiences I’d choose to focus and hold on to. So I have a darker and a lighter picture here. However, I reflected that the darker picture that I have here shouldn’t necessarily represent gloominess or regret or any “down” expression. It has been said that the darkest part of the night is immediately followed by the break of light. So in my background-picture I tried to bring out the reds, and then made the font in pale yellow, a gentle sun. This picture does not let me dwell in sadness, therefore.

...may never pass this way againAs to this lighter picture, the original is a brilliant contrast of yellows against the overwhelming leaves. This picture reminds me a bit of how the Japanese would say that life is an illusion, and hence the high regard for the fleeting presence of the cherry blossoms. Similarly here, though there are leaves instead of the cherry blossoms (sakura), this riot of life seems to be aware that not for long everything has to be minimized. Soon exuberance has to ebb, activity has to hibernate.

🙂  (clicking on each image above enlarges it many times)

: the originals :

light and fleeting (1) light and fleeting (2)Both pictures belong to life, both pictures can represent the song, and many more, for each of us.

I think I’ve managed to say a bit about the song for now.

🙂

please have a nice weekend, and thanks for dropping by

“Just the Way You Are”

🙂
I didn’t know that “Just the Way You Are” is Billy Joel’s song, back in 1977. I have liked that song ever since I can remember. But I knew Billy Joel only from his 1983 “Uptown Girl”, a fast song, and hence I associated him with such. Well, better late (at finding out of his range of musical prowess) than never.

Among the song’s lines (these have) fascinated me the most:

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard, mmm
(I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are)

Billy Joel _singing Just the Way You AreI was prompted to write this post when I discovered, upon seeing a video of him singing the song, live and on the keys, that this stanza is the refrain in that it’s the one he repeats before he ends.

At first I could hardly believe that I was looking at Billy Joel in a formal suit. Then I noticed that he was sweating profusely. That, itself, was fascinating to me because it seemed he was not bothered by all this liquid on his face. Then I noticed, while the camera was focused on his right profile, that a trickle of liquid is highlighted on a path on his cheek that does not seem to be on the continuity from  his forehead. I would have loved to have turned to someone sitting beside me and ask, “Is he crying?”

I have always highly regarded this song. Since this is the first time I have seen somebody singing it live then I wanted to believe that Billy Joel was singing it straight from his heart. Maybe he was singing it to a specific somebody. I liked his “cool” performance because I thought he did not “try hard” at “acting out” at sincerity. He came out as simply sincere.

Recently this song’s “I don’t want clever conversation; I never want to work that hard” has become even more significant to me as I continue to circulate among people who “have lots to say” <– which exactly is what I, many a time, catch my own self doing 😀 😀 !!!

I can’t remember when was the first time I practiced putting my cerebral goods out into the open for those in conversation with me to see that I have managed to save lots on my tabula not-so-anymore rasa. If I did not know much about the subject then I would resort to expressing interest on it, using inquiries, by way of relating it to something else I would know more of.

So I was saying, that recently I realized what I was doing, and what the game everybody else seem to be playing. Clever conversations. Gak. It’s draining on the, um, I don’t know… nerves? … qi? … soul? 😀 whatever 😀

Did you know that for the Inuits they traditionally believe that too much thinking insults the spirit? And have you heard of the story about Africans who were hired as luggage carriers by some foreigners (or was it to guide in the hunting??) that one day, after hiking non-stop for days, they simply stopped and sat down and refused to move from the spot until, they said, their souls have caught up with them. I love both of these expressions against “thinking too much.” ❤

I guess I’m starting to really grow old now. Heheh. I feel like I have tried to participate at the parade of peacocks, have tried to compete, and then I only discovered that unless one comes out as “simply sincere” then all the sashaying is an insubstantial game. Hollow. A babel of sounds that fall on deaf ears. Poor overworked brain cells 🙂

Suddenly I am reminded of C. S. Lewis’ explanation on the thin line between pride (in association with being “good”) that is okay and pride that is foul. The parade of peacocks was how he illustrated one of those. With their feather-fans all out in proud display. (This is in his book Mere Christianity. This is among my favorites because it was one of those that started opening windows to me.)

Okay. Now my blah blah blah is complete for the moment ❤ Take care! And if ever one of these days you find yourself  sitting down on your haunches ruminating on this supposedly God’s-love-for-you thing, then I hope you’ll recall this song’s lovely line, “I love you just the way you are.”

 

A New Song

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yellow poster

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(The quote is a copy from somewhere. Thanks! I assembled the poster. Am I getting better at it, or what? 🙂 Thanks to the original photographer!)

(the intended script is still cooking in the dendrites; but the poster is yummy enough. peace!) ❤

You Will Always Be Loved

There are things that can never be fathomed; but ….

There is One who does this the best way possible. His love is unconditional.

If there’s someone in this world that you love like the freshness of mornings then let the person know of it, in your own way, in the way that God will show you from there, deep in you, where His river of life flows.

…also in memory of Mr. Robin Williams, one who has deeply moved me more so now in his passing away. May he find peace in God’s tender care at last.

Still, Like Deep Waters

Recently along my studies of honoring the parents I uncovered a Finnish paper that discusses falling in love among the elderly, a bracket the researcher sets as between 50 to 90 years old.

It was for me like taking a peek into a magical world, something I would not have known existed unless someone who has gone there told me of what it’s like. On the other hand I felt that such a world does perfectly make sense because the elderly, after all, are distinguished only from the rest of the population by the length of experience-years they have already logged in. I would even say that they, when all is said and done, are the ones who know better about most things, especially love, than the rest of us.love found me

That information led me to think of a friend who “fell in love” with a man many years older than her. The time has come to talk about it.

There is, however, a point of contention. By her life story I understood that “falling in love” for her was not a matter of fireworks and hoopla but a going down into the water table. It’s as if her psyche simultaneously absorbs the phenomenon through the pores of her subconscious and lets it dwell deep down among her base components, at the level where her foundational reservoir of soul-existence constantly shift shapes while remaining the same so as to keep her propped up, like the way her skeletal system does.

In that foundational reservoir is her love for God, for family, and her self. The many instances of infatuation in her life is not found in there. Then, again, she (let’s name her here as Firith) classifies her “infatuations”. So I would say that there’s one guy (that is, neither a boy nor a man, and let’s call him Pama) with whom she was infatuated but who became like a favorite cousin to her. Pama is someone whom Firith has a high respect for and she does not classify him now as among her “infatuations”. Infatuation, for Firith, is what she would feel for a face but with whom she doesn’t give a hoot of how they perceive her. She just, uh, finds them fascinating, and that’s where the buck stops. She won’t even care to come up to them to say hello, even for friendliness’ sake, of which Firith always takes with respect, too.

Firith and I have long ago agreed that “falling in love” is a very relative experience. Some speak of it, or even shrill, all the time. Others never speak of such a thing happening to them for their whole lives. Firith spoke only to me of her recent encounter of it and she will remain silent of it forever, so she said, and knowing her I think she could do it, too. However, she herself suggested that I talk about it some time here, as her way of celebrating it with the rest of creation (that’s my way of saying it, though 🙂 ) At least this is something our circle of friends agree on: that loving is life is free is living is freeing is celebrating.

fireworksWhile we were still kids I wouldn’t have known it of her but when we were about to leave college and go our separate ways, when we began to analyze our past in face of the apprehension for our future, Firith related (with great laughter and relief) how she would easily be infatuated with a boy starting when she was 5 years old. She recalled the names (dozens!) with whom she “fell in love at sight” and on average their names started with either J or D. Girls do tend to do this, finding patterns among whom they fall in love with and such, and though I found it a bit silly (really, what’s with J and D?) I now understand that these ruminations are part of a growing girl’s subconscious effort at trying to get to know her own self. And so J and D, and let’s leave it at that, for Firith, haha.

For Firith, however, falling in love does not make her “lose” her head. We’ve heard and read about these things, in novels and television drama series, and the recurring theme is that angst comes along in romantic situations. That is, falling in love almost always presents with it either problems or intrigues. In fairness, though, I can understand a bit how the menfolk in my family can simply exhale audibly and turn their backs on me for a hasty retreat when they see me absorbed in an emotional acting-session on screen. This may be one of the reasons why Firith didn’t elaborate on her many infatuations. She found them insubstantial topics for conversation, except for the few times when it could contribute to our lighter moods.

But one time I became fearful for Firith when I saw her almost losing it, and, unbelievably, to a youth many years her junior (let’s call him Tim). To others’ eyes they were either the very best of friends, or lovers. Firith still would not tell me much about it, for reasons I can only have an inkling on, but the way I know my friend she would never play at “love”. She’s like this: if boyfriends are for the purpose of marrying then why get one with whom one isn’t considering of marrying. Really, she’s as archaic as girls can get nowadays. However, since I haven’t heard of all stories of all girls in the world in the present context, then who knows, there could be lots and lots of girls like Firith out there, living against the mainstream tide that a girl MUST have a either a boyfriend or a husband.

If not for friends who think similar to Firith, and for the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by C. P. Estes, I, too, would have succumbed to this misguided collective conviction. I have nothing against having a mate but I do have something against senselessly hankering after about just any-one (eherm, but sometimes it has to be said like that…) !peace!

I asked Firith during one of the get-togethers that we would insert into our crazy schedules if the thing with Tim is now okay. She had to think for a while before responding, an indication that she was being cautious. We’ve been relating stuff to each other for ages but there are times when you have to let your friend, and even yourself, withhold some, and for legitimately trustworthy reasons but never out of mistrust. I could see then quite plainly that had there been a “man” in her life (aside from the “men” in her family — grandfather, father, brother, nephew) then it would have been Tim. I could see, too, that Firith wouldn’t allow him to be classified as that. She had refused Tim entry into her water table.

When Firith was finishing her grad degree she was already in a prolonged (though suppressed, and that’s how strong Firith is, really) quasi-depression. At that time Tim befriended her and it was as if for her a bud suddenly sprouted in the middle of winter. Though Firith had us around her she also kept within her self-imposed solitude. We never heard much about how it was with her and Tim. Both presented a normal-facade to us and there was no chance to look closer. Gak!! Did Firith fall in love with a winter bud of whom none of us her close buddies are privy to?

Thank goodness that episode of our lives are now over and we can now stop worrying about her heart, so to speak. At least I, for one, know about it and I can assure everyone that our dear girl is fine, heart and all, without getting into the details. There will be time for the telling of all that.

calm seaIt’s because, so she told me, of Keith. She didn’t “fall in love with him”, fireworks and hoopla and all. A long time ago Keith came up to her team and greeted them all, it being an inter-organizational meeting and representatives from all over have come to participate. Keith wouldn’t be someone familiar to us, to our worldview. He inhabits what we’d call a screen-world and a jargon-savvy universe. Belatedly we analyzed him as even an unusual six-footer, someone who does not belong to a single box, limited and categorized. That is, he has two feet firmly planted in three different contexts. Of course we have no way of knowing for sure, and you know how girls can talk together using multi-layered paradigms, haha! 😀 But Keith was, even in that first meeting, friendly to Firith without being needy, helpful without being pushy, generous with his knowledge without being showy. He came across to her as uncomplicated and sincere. However, she never sent him an email like she told him to, for reasons that are non-grave but are of a matter of consequence.

After many more months Keith came to another organizational meeting again. Things were like as before but this time Keith bemoaned why ever did she not write to him. Firith decided right there and then that Keith was a trusted friend. There were other girl-things (it will have to take an entire novel to tell, haha!) she told me about and I became convinced that Firith had kept her head all the while, in this thing with Keith. I mean, this is not a matter of heart-vs-head, but a matter of both working together, as they always ought to.

Surprisingly Firith is happier now. She’s related with Keith for only a few days (inclusive of the first and second meetings, that are far apart) and her understanding of love has already deepened. Much more than what we have read in respectable books and seen from respectable movies Firith has now, to my envy, the capability of loving without needing. Keith had to go away and they will never see each other again but for Firith what Keith gave her, like God’s eternity, is always an abiding present.

Firith’s story made me see that love can be something that is not held on to for fear of losing it. Love is, to say it simply, something that is never lost. When God hides His face from us, like the way it happened between Him and Job, God continues to love. What the Bible says of love banishing fear has become a reality to Firith and I think she’s even more surprised than I am of having seen it first-hand, considering the times she went through with Tim and her other so-called close friends.

Joo Jin-MoFirith had been praying for healing, I know of this, and now she’s proven to herself once again that God answers prayers, loves, supports, and takes care of His children.

I’ve wanted to fall in love, too (especially after reading about Joo Jin-Mo wishing to be infatuated, heheh) but reflecting now on Firith’s love story I therefore conclude that the best thing for me to be dreaming about nowadays is just to finish my school hoopla, and !ASAP 🙂

Hope you’ve been inspired by Firith’s story, too 🙂

Ciao for now!

girl-and-dove art edited from the original by albumsource.com. Thanks loads!

My Journey to Non-Nationality


When I first came to Fangorn I didn’t know what kind of folks Fangornians are. Though I could have consulted the web or the prints still there simply was no time to even think about doing so. At that time I had to function like a crazed morph, having to sprout extra limbs and cerebral lobes. I had to prepare for the take off yet my feet was at a work place that screamed for organization. I’ve been alone on the road plodding for decades already and I’ve built a facade so camouflaged that my family and so-called friends couldn’t see how my internal gauges have been showing erratic fluctuations.

I even told an elder that I just came from shingles and he thought I was telling him that I’m single. If it wasn’t for my semi-‘conservative’ friend Netz I could have gone vegetable over those viral remnants of childhood chicken pox. The presence of persons such as Netz in my life make me think twice about labelling either my own self or other people.

Whether a person is from my gene pool or not the laws of biology and psychology are the same.

When I first came to Fangorn I was not so wistful of my different gene pool nor was I apprehensive of faces that I used to see only on screen. I was actually busy trying to figure out how the heck could I stay standing on the pavement without my brains freezing out before the coziness of the bus comes. I was preoccupied trying to figure out if the room lighting’s luminousity is up to my system’s survival threshold. I was foraging for sources of nourishment, the ones that would make my stomach aware that I have already put some into it.

Later, after having seen for myself that I could survive here, my brain started to grow out calmer dendrites. I started reflecting outside the context of immediate survival. I explored new turf.

I looked at the Fangornians. I couldn’t see much. That was a culture shock that I had seen coming. Even until today I still couldn’t see of them as much as I wanted to although a few have already welcomed me into their homes. I looked at the Flip-Flops. I saw more than I expected. I looked at the Zirconians as well as my fellow Zaps. Then I looked at the entire pulsating planet.

Ipensive contemplative reflective meditative thoughtful arrived at the conclusion that it is greed that has to do with all our woes. But when I talked about this to my classmate Moira he said that he thinks greed isn’t inherent in us humans, but that it’s a function of the environment. We’ve been brought up, he told me, to be greedy.

I still have to take the time to reflect on that. I have to look at original-sin side by side with tabula-rasa, too. I honestly don’t know from which angle to approach the topic with new eyes. I may have to go back to Moira, to pick up where we left it off because we had ran out of walking space.

In this picture are my new friends JDG, RK, and TCD.

Since two years ago when JDG heard me call a colleague “manong” (older brother) he told me that he, too, was my manong. So I started to call him that using the equivalent word in his mother speech, orabeoni. We started to relate to each other more freely than before but calling him manong didn’t take our friendship into a quantum leap, to that manong level. So I think next time I see him it would be more appopriate to substitute “sunbaenim” (respected senior) for orabeoni. I sense old and newly erected fences, all invisible to me, around which I should maneuver and in which in the end I’d possibly be left with a bye-bye to a friendship that could have been really great.

Shikataganai. East Zapians are of a machismo worldview and even fellow Zapians can’t do anything about that, lowering the gaze and clipping the arms by their sides upon meeting the so-called strong ones. But it is the East Zapians who taught me to reflect on loyalty and steadfastness, on endurance and single-mindedness. On appreciating the fullness of silence. Just as Treebeard said I shoudn’t be hasty at my conclusions.

Again, on the picture are RK and TCD, who are Zirconians. When I first came to Fangorn and was just learning to walk on snow, mustering the fear of my feet being singed through the soles of my shoes, I had thought of how to get out of the thinking that Zirconians, collectively, are responsible for the many woes of the Flip-Flops and of the pulsating planet. The peaceable consequence that I reached at was that whoever was responsible for the mess should be the one to clean it up. Whoever tipped the balance must do something to restore it.

thoughtful CNI needed to see at least one Zirconian who was exactly doing this, innocently and with integrity, without even being aware that there are Flips who think the way I do. Honestly I am vaguely aware that there are many Flips out there who echo my sentiments but that they are faceless to me. I do not personally know of one, and thought trains like these are, well, what can I say, camouflaged among thick forest undergrowths.

Not long after I met CN, a huge Zirconian with clear shining eyes. He and his friends have an ongoing program for ending world hunger. It’s a blatantly naive and gigantic ambition. It’s hopelessly lovable. He has tried to describe how the church could be functioning in our present context.

Like RK he has tried to talk in terms that would welcome anyone who’s eager to participate. Many would call it a post-modern paradigm, similar to several, both named and yet obscure, that are groping in the unchartered multiple-contexts we now find ourselves bewildered in.clear brilliant eyes

Now I know that I shouldn’t take Zirconians as a “people”, a generalized collective, but as “persons”, one individual at a time. There are Zirconians who, like RK and CN, are neither threatened nor limited by labeling.

Back home there was a Fangornian with whom I’d started to befriend. Of the extremely short time I spent with her I was able to ask her of whom did she thought we women should be modelling ourselves after. Her answer was startling to me then: after no-one. It is only now that I’m starting to understand her. It is only now that I’m starting to she what she meant when she said that first and foremost it is my own individuality that I must be looking out for.

As per the conversation I had with Moira, about greed, I tried to put it into a logical diagram and see what I can come up with:

Venn 1 & 2_greedy, people

Without bothering with defining the Universal Set, these four Venn diagrams show the possible relationships between all people and all greedy entities. My musings led me nearer to the idea pictured by Figure 4. Moira’s counter-arguments tend towards Figure 1, although not as how things are but rather as a starting point, when conditioning is taken out of the picture. Moira seemed to be telling me that humans do not have greediness as a necessary attribute, although he did say that he’d be needing all the evidences that he can get his hands on before being sure of this.

Venn 3 & 4_greedy, peopleFor me I just based my conclusion (Moira did tease me, that I have “concluded” already) on the historical events. Empires rising and falling. Countries getting richer and poorer. Parents in a frenzy about giving the A-class education to their children. Young professionals eager to show off the brands of their possessions. I have wanted to look into the machinery that fuels the global dynamics and if I start at the grass roots, at the level of an individual’s needs and wants, then I would pinpoint to the human’s propensity to get hold onto and retain something, incorporate it into the personal space. Of course some can readily recognize when the level of this “acquisition process” is becoming toxic and so it is readily called off. Bastante. This situation may be pictured by either Figure 2 or 3, above. Not everyone is helpless against greediness.

Still there’s something about my Venn diagrams that bother me. I’d like to replace “people”, a faceless mass, with “persons” — attributing now the sense of responsibility to individuals. Yet either way something still doesn’t quite fit. I feel like I’m figuring things out by ossifying phenomena with labels. It’s the same dynamics as when I talk of Fangonians, Zirconians, Zaps, and Flips as groups. Not all Zirconians are alike and I have yet to find a Flip who resonates in my frequency. Perhaps I never will. TCDTCD, a Zirconian whose personaliy I would zig-zag away from back home (chatty, readily friendly, flashy smile) surprisingly has become the first Zirconian I can relate to with ease, without being conscious of the cerebral gap. Because of him, CN, and RK, I now have little use of the label “Zircon”.

I had a Rilkan penfriend for eight years. I’m looking for her whereabouts now and I’m sure she does think of me sometimes. But, alas, we both cannot be found among the social media websites. I had a Shtoi dormmate. Her brother became my student and so we three have become friends. I will search for her home address among my files so that when I go to their country I will be able to visit them, as she invited me to. Now I have Moira a Milesian, and Benga a Huzz. We call ourselves “the three idiots” after that hilarious but enlightening Indian movie. There’s Peth the Fangornian lady back home, happily married to a fellow Flip of whom I am more at awe than friendly.

These non-Flips became friends because we related with expressions that connected persons, not peoples. We did not pre-define each other. We didn’t bring labels into our relationships. We simply faced each other, talked openly, and became one human being to another human being.

I had thought that it is only the word “race” that we should be doing away with. Now there’s national-classification as well. A wo/man’s context does not ‘define’ her/him. Honesty, trust, and thankfulness speak in a language that have nothing to do with culture, nationality, or genes.

Benga & Moira

Benga & Moira

Many Zirconians will continue to be jerks. Many Flips will continue to be clueless. Many Zaps will continue to be mesmerized by anything Zirconian or Deltan. Many Fangornians will remain cold and rude. This, however, is not the only lens with which to view humanity. Any human can equally be a jerk, clueless, impressionable, cold, or rude.

For purposes of conversations Moira and I could still use the Venn diagrams but now it has become clearer to me how all persons are configured by the tracks that they had to run on. Each landmark we pass by morphs us. Had I not found myself abruptly shoved into Fangorn I wouldn’t have started to trust a Zirconian for a long time yet. I relate to TCD as TCD, as himself, and not as someone with a Zircon-labeling.

Now I’m happier.

Missing Bag

Here in Fangorn where I live you’d be fined with 10€ if you lost your house keys.

house keysLast Saturday I was, along with others, with three friends Veejay, Moira, and Targ. Veejay and Targ are my elders and are biennial visitors and so I treat them with special care. Moira is the new gal in the pack, one with whom I am comfortable and so sometimes runs the risk of being taken for granted if I’m not careful.

On the way home from our long-distance outing I was sitting with Targ on the bus, absorbed and mesmerized by tales only the likes of him have experienced: tales of alertness and readiness and endurance and solitude. I asked him to tell of what he can to me and so, dedicated on the subject as we were, I even got to take home for keeps some diagrams of paraphernalia that unless he did a rough sketch of I barely would have been able to imagine, and so be able to incorporate into the new-found world forming at the back of my head.

Targ was, for some reason, alert for Veejay’s movements and so it didn’t surprise me that bags were reshuffled as we alighted the bus, on our final stop now, so that Targ carries a bit of Veejay’s load. Targ was looking out for Veejay, I was waiting to walk with Targ, Moira was waiting to ride our non-visitors’ bus home with me — and so there we were four.

I know that Targ didn’t see it coming, none of us did, but Veejay suddenly broke out in cold sweat, couldn’t take one step more, and was generally running out of breath. Speaking for myself, I was scared for Veejay.

Targ got in charge of Veejay’s load, us three distributing it among ourselves, as I held Veejay’s arm to steady him. We had to stop at a bench for a while until Veejay got the courage to take baby steps, counting down the mileage (in meters, that is) until we got to their hotel. Veejay cleared with us that he was going to be fine and so we let him rest, while quietly going to Targ’s room after unanimously deciding that we had to call up our Big Dad to inform him of Veejay’s little incident.

All that done Moira and I exited Targ’s room and was breezily walking on the way home. I was chattering away like my usual chipmunk self, swinging my arms this way and that, virtually singing on the shadowy road because at last I was going to be on my peaceful abode in just a few minutes hence.

We had to wait for 10 minutes for our bus and so I gleefully showed Moira the treasure sketches I just acquired from Targ. On to the bus I kept on my chattering even though Moira was more ‘half dead’ (as our teacher would tease us) of fatigue than I was.

!!!!omo-momo-momo!!!! where’s my backpack!!!! <== my brain screamed as we were about to get off …

… I have my clothes there, my precious notes and book, my pink flip-flops, and most importantly my house keys!!!!

my pink flip-flops

Where oh where oh where is it???? I wanted to kick myself for leaving it at the bus stop, or so I thought. It’s Saturday night and the apartments’ warden is naturally relaxing with beer among his friends though at nearly 11 PM might even be asleep already.

With 10 minutes to spare me and Moira searched for the warden’s room (we never had a reason to search for it before), had him (who was unusually joky and smelling of beer, of course) open my room for me, and then rushed past him on to the approaching bus, while shouting to him that “!wir finden es” by which he cracked another inaudible joke at our retreating backs — something about discos blah blah…

Quickly on the bus back again, while hoping that nobody had picked it up from the bus stop bench, Moira and I had to rouse our brains and do some theoretical sleuthing on other possibilities. Oh, wow, now we had to grope for the logic that detectives are supposed to employ, with their magnifying lenses. We simply had to laugh at our crazy extended outing, forced to ‘rise’ from the almost ‘dead’ tiredness we had found ourselves in many hours past already.

I was not even slightly sure then but slowly it came back to me that I deposited that pretty backpack beneath Targ’s hotel room table that is beside the window, to make room as Moira and I were inputing Big Dad’s phone number into a mobile phone ready for Targ to call from when he comes back shortly after having to fetch downstairs his huge traveling case. I deduced then that if indeed I left my backpack at the bus stop I should have performed an about-turn motion with my body before leaving Targ’s room in order to pick it up from under the table. Since I am sure that I didn’t make such a motion then the conclusion is that it’s still there under the table.

A couple sitting at where Moira and I sat before while waiting for the bus home looked at me strangely as I stooped to take a very good look at a backpack deposited beside them. Nope, it wasn’t pink. On to Targ’s, then.

Like the way prehistoric man called out to each other across distances and the dark back when fire was the most precious commodity, I simply decided to shout out Targ’s name towards all and any of the hotel windows that COULD POSSIBLY include Targ’s. Speaking of taking crazy chances. (The reception desk is vacant; Targ does not use a mobile phone in Fangorn.) For 15 minutes still no Targ. I reasoned that if the bag was indeed there with him then it will remain to be there regardless of whether Targ saw us or not. If the bag wasn’t there then it still won’t be there even if Targ saw us. Conclusion: It’s either lost or not, and we should be going home.

(We had a second clue: had my backpack been with me I wouldn’t have been able to freely raise my hands in the air at a full stretch as we were walking away from the hotel earlier, to the bus stop. A third clue: Moira could not recall seeing a backpack beside me as we sat at the bench waiting for the bus.)

Naturally Moira was putting up a usual cheery face through my lunatic chattering, helplessly oblivious to any mental stimulus now. Had I not been so uptight we two could have slept the night off right there on the running bus.

Here in Fangorn where I live it could happen that some drunk after an entire night’s party would insist on turning your locked door’s knob repeatedly even when you have been doing your harshest !go-away shout, plus matching banging at your side of the door, for 10 minutes already. I was then about to call the police when I sensed that, after 40 minutes of standing at attention, no one’s at the other side anymore. The night following I tried to figure out how McGyver would secure together two adjacent doors with a shoestring, a shoe rack, and a cooking pan so that when the outer door is forcibly opened the door next to it will be simultaneously stuck firmly in place, effectively preventing a larger aperture of the former, unless the person trying to barge in was Incredible Hulk. Then I really will have to be able to call the police stat with just a single-push dial on my non-Smart handy.

This evening without my keys I was confident enough to sleep soundly with my door secured, my gray flip-flops put in place of the cooking pan, which makes it now a slightly more sophisticated system. Only Targ can do a nice sketch of it and since he’s away right now then I can’t show you the configuration, one which Targ jokes I should get patented.

my pretty backpackTarg brought my backpack to church the following day, walking with much bigger baby steps along the way with Veejay. Targ’s strong and he thought nothing of carrying what was a bit heavy for me, also casually waving off my implied apology.

I’ve been trained not to lose keys since I was 15. I’ve been trained not to lose bags since I was 7. I’ve changed residences 12 times. I generally am not prone to losing stuff along the way. I was 6 the last time something similar happened to me. (Indeed, I found my cute umbrella again, back then . . . ) I did not forget my backpack just because I’ve become a coffee drinker. I have no explanation whatsoever why I was as carefree as a kite for the 40 minutes between having turned my back on my backpack and realizing that I did so. Only cerebral deduction assured me that it was safe with Targ, and survival instinct dictated that I won’t be annihilated should I have lost it…

And when, indeed, I saw it with Targ the following day, I later felt like a new creation.