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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

My quest for the eternal lightness

Category Archives: Friends

There’s a season for everything. And the time has come for us to bid farewell. There were dreams. There are memories. Still, there are new hopes in these new paths. You have been wonderful friends, and faithful brothers. My life has been blessed by your genuine love.Thank you, Shyan, Siang and Hin.

I was told this year that I should consider performing my ummrah. My eyes bulged. But I was delighted nevertheless. My friend’s mother probably meant to tease, but I’ve always enjoyed our conversations together. I was never made to feel a stranger in their home. ‘Tuan Haji Iskandar’ had just performed his ummrah with his mother this year and last week I was not only enjoying lemang and ketupat but a full treat of their stories from Mecca. I told them I would if a kafir dhimmi is allowed to make his pilgrimage to Mecca likewise.

But here’s a mother-son family who’s impressed me with their quiet but moderate and loving expressions of their faith. A helpful friendship; amidst alarming interpretations and caricatures of Islam today. 

Met up with Justy who just got back from Korea. Instead of kimchi, he brought me a novel – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. We both agreed that only depressed people like ourselves would spend so much time reading. Sigh!

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This week’s furore is over a remark which claimed Malaysia to be an ‘Islamic State’ (again, of course). While I recognize the value of the responding statements released by the various religious representatives, I find it very ‘disturbing’ not able to see the same passion and solidarity expressed by these same voices when we are threatened by injustice, corruption, marginalization, oppression – when we are intimidated into fear by ‘the principalities and powers’ of our time.

What then if Malaysia is indeed a secular state. It is meaningless for our children to inherit a secular state of no integrity, a nation without passion for justice, mercy and humilty.

True friendship is a window to seeing the the divine. It points me to faith, hope and love. It is to me an invitation to trust again. It teaches me to listen, to smile, to cry, and to pray.

   

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We sat and ate, we talked, we laughed and we cried. Somewhere along our own journeys, this sacred communion has changed us. 

…having sent the crowd away, the teacher got down from the boat and sat down and begin to rub his forehead. Winding down, he look across the horizon, feeling the slight breeze hitting against his face. As he stared down on the sand, watching crabs scurrying to take cover behind the rocks, one of his followers ask him, ‘teacher, how can we experience life to the full?’

‘What does your scripture tell you?’

A disciple shot: ‘believe and confess’.

Added another, ‘be strong and put on the armor of truth’

The teacher look at them feel compassionate for them and said to them, ‘If you can understand this, that even these crustaceans, strong and full in their armors – joints, angles, and spikes, a strong lightweight shield that would make the Roman army proud, thriving amid decaying fish, rotting pilings, and the refuse of a careless human populace, will have these old skeletons shucked off for the new body to emerge, larger and fresh, not once but a times a few.’ 

I’m just thinking about my friends who have this unstopable cravings for crabs and would do anything for them, and at anytime….happy crabbing!

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Taiping? Is that it?

Well, I guess it’s the furthest one can go when exploring impulsive ‘lets-go-now’ kind of trips with first-timers. We’ll do better next round, I hope.

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And so it was a short drive northwards, with no proper direction as to where we were suppose to be going. Lunch was very modest since a ‘seafood-intolerant’ bug had caught up with us along the way. Of course, fun is never confined to good food alone.

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The wheels landed up at the zoo entrance as baboons welcomed us with great hospitality. As far as I could remember, that’s my first visit to a zoo. The walk amidst chatters and laugthers, was indeed good.

I am thankful for good friends; for simple conversations and fun. 

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