And thus marks the completion of half of my undergraduate degree.
I opened my wee inbox this morning and discovered to my disbelief that I HAVE AN INTERNSHIP WITH SCMP THIS SUMMER!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! This just excites me to the CORE! It sounds like it’s gonna be such an amazing experience that is absolutely 100% what I want to do and learn about. Words cannot express how thankful I am to God for this opportunity… Come on. Come along. YES.
LOOOOOG AT HEEEEM. JUST LOOK!
Reading about how the Piaroa people of Amazonia laugh at penis jokes and defecation myths as part of the anthropology of humour is either amusingly ridiculous or utterly taking the humour out of it all. Even I can’t figure out which it is at this point…
In the past week, we have received emails informing us of the tragic deaths of 4 individuals in our university, two students, one lecturer, and the university’s old principal.
Strewn throughout the news this same week are the horrific Boston bombings, the earthquakes in Sichuan, and the insurgency bombings in Pakistan, amongst many other tragedies.
Some feel the need to quantify these deaths, suggesting that the tragedies in the Middle East are being overlooked by a Westernized media that has given too much attention to the deaths of 4 victims in Boston. Others insist that each individual, each tragedy, each death matters in their own right, and call for a more individualized compassion.
In light of these tragedies and the countless more that happen every day, I can’t help but be overcome with a sense of helplessness – no, it is more than that… the best I can describe this feeling is probably something of a mere emotional ‘somethingness’… a neither here nor there empathy; a desensitized sorrow that captures something of sympathy yet falls so irreparably short of mourning; a desperate want for action bitterly sullied and paralysed by physical distance; a muffled anger that screams of something against injustice yet is muted by the millions of voices and opinions that shape these tragedies, turning them into ‘issues’ and ‘controversies’… If you will allow this crudely trite turn of phrase, I can only react to these circumstances that are ‘so near, yet so far’ with as little as a pained ambivalence.
Reading the papers and opinion pages, it becomes evident that this war against the banality of suffering is felt everywhere. In this globalized age, there is a strong rhetoric of us being one humanity, one global village. The suffering in one part of the world will somehow be felt, if not needs to be felt, in another. There is a sense of obligation wrapped up around it all that renders the global individual so helpless, bombarded by grandiose rhetoric and a glorification of phenomena yet left with nothing in hand save a few scruples of ‘food for thought’ to chew on. Limited and trapped by daily responsibilities and the inescapability of circumstance, the individual is forced to fester in the humdrum frustration of normality. We feel a collective guilt that is beyond us, beyond our control and beyond our empathy or understanding.
So how do we begin to confront death and suffering? How does one reconcile such situational disparities? How can we interact with the global in the local? How do we bridge the gap between the Dalit kid feeding off trash in an Indian slum in Uttar Pradesh and the eremitic academic hidden away behind scholarly books and journals in North America? Do we submit in helplessness, as if to an acceptance of fate, or do we take action, whatever it may be and however small the effect?
I don’t have the answers. But my only response is prayer. To appeal to the God who knows, way more than I ever will, of what restoration looks like, of what compassion and sorrow and suffering is, of what faith embodies, of how to stand in hope in the face of persecution, of how to love His children despite it all. Father, please be the light to Your children. Be healer, be comforter, be redeemer. Breathe life over death. Be Lord over us all.
It doesn’t sound like much, but today is my first day since coming to uni that I’ve gone about a whole day without wearing make up.
This is the ongoing battle with the lie that I’m not beautiful. It’s not easy, but baby steps take me further everyday. Today I take one step.
The hope is not even just that I can one day look in the mirror and not cringe at the sight of myself looking so seemingly different without make up, but that I will look in the mirror and think, I look good. And I look good, because I was made beautiful by my Maker. He did well with me.
Talk about truth that’s hard to see… But here’s to the long journey ahead. Here’s my insecurity, here’s my vanity, here’s my pride. Once again, Jesus, take it all.
As the end of semester draws ever nearer, weekend activities also get gradually stranger…
Friday night was spent having a penguin waddle race down my living room hallway.
Saturday night was spent playing indoor games, singing classic tunes at the top of our lungs and having whipped cream wars.
A dubious but nevertheless interesting article, which I couldn’t resist sharing if only by merit of this wonderful line:
“Hong Kong Airlines has even taught its cabin crew kung fu to deal with drunken passengers flying to and from the mainland in light of what it says are continuous issues.”
There is something so raw, so real, so stripped down, so needed, so frustrating and so refreshing about uncertainty. In the grappling and the doubting and the weakness and the pain, amidst the batterings of life, when I have no more strength, on my knees, crying out for something, anything… clutching with trembling hands the morsel of faith that is still left in me, hoping that maybe, truly, it has to be, that my God is real. And accusations assault at all sides, criticism tightens its noose, the more I turn to myself the more I bring to ruin… Yet all the while, even when tears have been my only fruit and all that I can give are broken cisterns, I take a feeble step, and trust. Not in the answers, for I still have not any, and I never fully will. But that he will be my strength. My lifeline. My hope. My guide. My comforter. My God.
As I am now God, I let you be. You. Please, be you. In my life. Amen.