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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

My quest for the eternal lightness

Category Archives: ramblings

Where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns.

Welcome indeed to my Cabaret. Don’t you love farce? The wigs, feather bows and scarfs. The showers of applause while I make my entry. But there’ll come a time when no one is there to watch.

And I can picture it..for one last time, once again – all attention shall be turned to me. And the stone would read: Here lies an artist, no less. And one would say, “how fucked up. What a pity!”.

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The self-proclaimed decendant of god went to the desert and fasted for 40 days, and claimed (or rather it was claimed) that he conversed with the devil himself. I mean, afterall Woland in The Master and Margarita did say he was there through it all, just before Berlioz’s head was severed from his body, didn’t he? So maybe that was it. It was the fasting that sent the man into hallucination and perhaps even insanity which then later caused such an uproar in the city. So massive was the outcry that it sent a shudder down Caesar’s spine. Arrest him by no means. Arrested him they did.

Let’s admit it. No lesser men had fasted and insisted that they were one with the divine. Prophets we called them. So perhaps the minister have had a dream lately. And in that dream he too met Woland. And perhaps we believe the minister is about to go insane. And the whole city is going insane, or is it the case that the whole essence of the ‘soviet council’ of the state is such abomination that has invited the visit of the devil, and that the comrades in uniform are going berserk arresting everyone and putting them in the mental institution?

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While attempting hangman tournament on facebook, my winning streak was cut short due to my lack of knowledge for ‘type of phobia’. I do know acrophobia and autophobia. That’s about all I know. Resolved to deal with my fear of having to fall again in my next ‘phobia challenge’ on hangman tournament, I googled ‘list of phobia’. I was thrilled.

I understand now that Captain Hook had chronomentrophobia, and traditionally vampires are often portrayed as staurophobic. Fear of beautiful women is known as venustraphobia. There are in fact people who are afraid of everything – pantophobic, incurable I suppose. But the list was flabbergasting. I regretted that I did not consider psychology for my undergraduate studies.

I tried to make a list of some interesting excessive fears I have encountered. I had a fair bit of unpleasant experience with heresyphobic leaders. At the moment I’m quite certain of my mild ecclesiophobic and homilophobic conditions. Here are the rest of them which cannot be found using google search – I am also:

  • inerranciophobic
  •  

  • infallibliophobic
  •  

  • autodikaiophobic
  •  

  • dogmatikophobic
  •  

A couple of friends told me that my ‘black’ wordpress does not look welcoming. Perhaps so.Yet, I think days ahead are no less blacker. We are ushered towards them nevertheless, kicking and crying for some. Still, they can be defining times. We ask, we examine….perhaps we ignore. There are choices. Darkness can speak to us in ways which light cannot.

This darkness is becoming clearer…darker. I told my friends that I like black. I admire its elegance. It brings out yet another part of ourselves. Perhaps, the truer part of ourselves. Yes, darkness can speak to us in ways which light cannot.

People are pretty forgiving when it comes to other people’s family. The only family that ever horrifies you is your own.

-Douglas Coupland, All Families Are Psychotic 

At least for Douglas Coupland, ‘dysfunctional’ is an understatement. Talking about dysfunctional families, I am intrigued by what my friend said over our conversation at the wine table. ‘Who does not come from a dysfunctional family?’?! she protested. Of course, one protests likewise when every defect and defunct is conveniently traced to  the dysfunction-ness of one’s ‘family’.

Why not? Afterall, once you clearly identify the root to one’s behavior you can quickly diagnose and prescribe and offer a post-mortem analyses to any crisis. Neat way to tug away intolerable behaviors, at least explain them away  🙂

I am in the mood to read up more. Counseling professionals identified four kinds of dysfunctional family systems; alcholic and chemically dependent, emotionally or psychologically disturbed, physically or sexually abusive and fundamentalistic or rigidly dogmatic. (My eyebrows are mischievously raised at the fourth). When families (to me, not necessarily just referring to biological families that we become part of) become dysfunctional, people become perfectionists, rigid, less able to express themselves, unable to play, have fun and be spontaneous, need approval, give double messages, are inconsistent, need to control, fear failure, loses identity and are self-destructive. Now that’s a pretty good checklist for us, isn’t it?

Perhaps we need to be more apologetic? Unashamedly asserting to model an accepting, kindered community, could we be reeling down the  slope of becoming psychotic ourselves? Dysfunctional what, again? Who?

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Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The latest ultimatum before the execution of 21 remaining South Korean hostages held by the Talibans expired at 7.30 GMT this morning. Tribal leaders who are trying to mediate have called for an additional 48 hours to avoid further bloodshed after the killing of two hostages. The terrorists have not yet responded.

I asked Justy and Lindy over frosty beer last night – how do you pray for this situation?  I painfully find it hard to only pass this over by handing it back to God. Sure, we all feel bad about this. I’ve been receiving text messages rallying Christians to pray for the captured Korean aid workers. I’m reading about the vigils held in Seoul. I am certainly troubled by it. I hope this bloodshed can be stopped immediately by some kind of miraculous intervention. (Perhaps, one can consider this a prayer). Then again, we could sign the petition for the release of these hostages (http://www.avaaz.org/en/honour_the_afghan_code/tf.php). Perhaps also, maybe a petition for the U.S. to release the Taliban prisoners, as demanded by these terrorists? That of course could be seen as a weak position and I could be condemned from many angles. Justy asked, if I would go to Afgan if he’s one of these hostages? We both agreed that that would not help either.

While we should continue to keep our hearts on this (fervently), I am also troubled by the bitter fact that our Christian solidarity has mostly been very tribal. Christian communities are mobilized when troubles hit their churches or when missionaries and christian leaders are under threats. Our mobile phones and e-mails are flooded with endless calls to pray and to stand together againts these evils. Sadly, I do not receive text messages to pray when christians are contributing to some of the evils in the world, or when it does not concern christians at large.

Why is it that our churches in Malaysia are not called so fervently and urgently to pray (and to hold vigils) when thousands perished in Iraq and thousands more innocent lives were at risk under the hands of the invading forces of U.S. and Britain? Aren’t these lives just as valuable to God? Yet, I personally hear renowned Christian leaders giving thanks to God for bringing down Saddam Hussein and his regime so that believers could openly worship in Iraq. Of course, the current ordeal in Afgan is a form of retaliation to this injustice – one which we could never fully settle the score on who the original culprit is, as the list would be endless – and every side have their version of the story.

Nearer home, where is this same voice that would cry out to God when injustice prevails? Where are the Christian e-mails and text messages when one is taken into custody without proper procedure? Perhaps they are not our children? Probably the situation is not as pressing, but our indifference now will allow problems to escalate. Why only throw the problem to God when situation runs out of control?

How can we start bridging this inconsistency? What are we telling our children in church? How are we connecting with these problems? What would be the content of our sunday school syllabus? Where are we taking our christian conversation with our youths? How can we listen to the voices from the other side? Until then, I find it hard to pray for this problem to just go away. I sincerely hope it would, though. But how sincere is sincere?

Spent my whole weekend following news on Nat Tan. Constantly reading Cheryl‘s wordpress (Nat’s sis) and Polytikus for updates. Browsing through most of other blogs that carried the news. Another sad day for Malaysia.

I do not know Nat personally, but my heart reaches out to him and his family. I agree that this is not just about Nat. It’s about all of us, of who we are and it is about our children. It’s about vox populi – and it says, Please Free Nat now! 

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The only soothing comfort for me as I wrapped up the weekend: A cup of Old Town Kopitiam white coffee at 11:30pm.

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