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August 2001 Archives

Though Living, Are Dead

I love literature because it embodies the human spirit. It tells of the joys and pains, and I am able to experience the whole gamut of emotions over a million lifetimes in a thousand cultures. I stand in awe of it because it is amazing how alike we all are. We all feel the same, love the same, cry the same. The full colour of humanity is present in every one of us, so I’d like to believe.

Yet it seems that there are times I question these beliefs I seem to have deduced from my forays into these faraway lands. On more than one occasion I have seen people who have shown such a lack of depth in thought that I cannot help but wonder if I were wrong all this time. Maybe not all of us feel. Especially so in a country like Singapore, where education is a process of numbing the senses rather than honing them, we find these living dead. They live life without discovery or purpose, and there is no joy in them. Life is a process best carried out with minimal disturbance from external forces. The most startling thing is, these are not old people jaded by life’s drearier experiences, but young people who live life passively, allowing indifference to fall upon their lives like a fog.

Emily Bronte once wrote “Shall Earth no longer inspire thee, O lonely dreamer now?” I hold that line so close to my heart, for I fear the day I lose sight of the beauty God has placed around me.

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Hiho Hiho...

Work is starting to pile in and things are starting to heat up. The modules I have this semester all revolve around business. Having done most of it before, I fear that my enthusiasm for learning will not be doused by the familiarity of the material. The horn has sounded, and I have my game face on.

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In The Beginning

These first few days of school are but a taste of what’s to come for the next few months. It’s a familiar taste, especially when I stepped into my Management Information Systems class. It’s the taste of blood-laced sweat. The taste one gets when standing at the foot of a humongous mountain before the climb. It’s the familiar taste of BMT (Basic Military Training).

At the last page of the class syllabus it reads in bold: “Past experience has shown that this class will take up a significant amount of your time, possible equal or greater than all your other classes COMBINED”. Talk about motivation. Yet in some strange way, I am. Though the road ahead looks intimidating, I look upon it with furrowed brow and a steely will. I remember the regret I felt when I tore my wrist in BMT and was unable to savour every muscle-aching moment with my friends. Though I know that God had His plan in it all, I often wonder what would have been had I know got injured. The loneliness of being excluded from suffering is greater than the suffering itself. At least that’s how I feel. At least right now. Since then I’ve always decided not to shun away from a fight, and never to give up whatever the cost. I want to know that I’m made of sterner stuff. And deep inside, I pray that the material this “sterner stuff” is made of is not stubborness and pride.

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A Vow

The biblical story of Samson has always been a favourite amongst children everywhere. It was literally the story of Superman, one who had the strength and the power to overcome the enemy as he pleased. He was a hero who was overtly heroic, unlike most other biblical characters who kept a low profile. It is not until this summer that I learnt more about the life of Samson, and today’s bible reading the lesson is reiterated and very pertinent to the state I feel right this moment.

Samson wasn’t a spiritual hero, merely a physical one. He was a Nazarite by birth, meaning his parents had taken a vow that he would not eat of any product of the vine (too bad they didn’t have beer back then), and the secret of his superhuman strength lay in his hair, which by the same vows were not to be cut. Yet we find him strolling in vineyards, visiting harlots and sleeping with the enemy’s women. He was not godly by any standards, yet God chose him of all people to be His representation to His people. One could say that Samson was self-indulgent to the end, that even in his dying days he was not repentent unto God, but begged God to grant him strength that he might take vengence on the Phillistines.

Dana Congdon said back in his message during church camp that Samson’s life was a wasted life. He was entrusted with the mysteries of God and chose to use them to gain material wealth from the Phillistines. In many ways I feel like a Samson. Like him I am under a vow as a Christian to serve God. Like him I often stroll amongst the grapes. Like him, I am not wary of the adversary, sometimes even choosing to fraternise with the enemy. Yet I do not want to live a wasted life. I want the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ to change my life completely into a life of service and submission. There is so much to be learnt, and this morning I submit myself unto God, and pray that He be patient with me for I have proven myself a slow learner much like Samson. But indeed, God’s grace is sufficient for me, and I am thankful.

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American Pie

Caught American Pie 2 yesterday. It’s one of those movies that seem to tranverse genres and redefine boundaries. It’s undoubtly crass and flippant with sexual content. It presents situations one associates only with slapstick comedy of the Stephen Chow era. Yet the writers have managed to add a Mr. Hollandish “feel-good” touch to it all. I can only stand back and admire this work of art. The combination of noble values such as friendship amidst the bumbling forays into sexuality typical of teenagers is tightly woven, almost amalgamated. The characters are portrayed with an innocence that we can all relate to, as well as the universal desire for our youths to last forever. So we have here a movie about friends, old friends, and their discovery of the new world adulthood presents to them.

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New Technology

I bought the Handspring Visor (my PDA whom I have yet to name) in order to keep track of addresses, expenses and the like, but one of the main reasons was the ability to blog anywhere I was at. The two blogs I have put below were written in graffiti (rather painstakingly I must add) unto the Visor. I hope the moments I bring to you may be more authentic and less tainted by time and a lack of memory.

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Grounded

Rivers of gold and silver streak the dark rock below. Divine cloud above us man-made by our side, we fall.

Pearls of gold and silver dot the blackened land. Someone plows through his daily grind of homework by the illuminisence of a silver pearl. In the corner another falls in love. A heart breaks somewhere under the golden beams of a man-made moon.

The dots grow brighter and more defined and I see the work of the hand that created the light. We fall.

A turbulent struggle then a slight rumble and I hear the voices of their hearts no more. I stand under the light of the man-made moon. I am one of the million. My friends, for so brief a time, are no more.

A poem which I wrote during my short transit in Taiwan. The landing at CKS Airport sort of evoked these feelings. Landing at L.A. had a different feel - a more urban, suffocating effect.

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Thanks For The Memories

It has been almost ten weeks since I’ve been back, and four days before I head back to Arizona. It gets increasingly hard knowing that I won’t be able to hold Faith’s hand or have breakfast with her after next week. Thank you for the wonderful time, and the beautiful memories. I want so much to marry you. If only weddings didn’t cost that much…

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To Dream The Impossible Dream

Watched “Hey Mr. Producer” last night. Though the first hour or so was cluttered with songs from the lesser known musicals, it was absolutely fabulous to hear the familiar tunes in the second half of the show. As usual, Lea stole my heart many times over (yet again), and Michael Ball just blew me away. As I look at them sing, I can’t help but wonder if they felt their lives wasted because they have not obtained the (almost) worldwide domination given to artists like Britney and Christina. Yet I’m glad they chose their craft the way they did. It is so much more noble and constructive to utilise talents and touching hearts, as opposed to singing songs with little or no meaning at all. And when we do figure out what the lyrics were about, we’d think twice about singing them in the shower.

A human life is not an extremely long time, and the only way we can live it to the fullest is by seeing through others’ eyes. In the short span of those three hours, I felt the pain of Eponine’s unrequited love, reveled in the flamboyance of “The American Dream” (Miss Saigon), awed at the nobility of Enjolras, reminiscenced the past with Grizzabella, felt the stark loneliness as Judi Dench sang “Send in the Clowns”.

It’s funny how I rate highly as extrovert and introvert when I take personality tests. I’ll admit that the thrill of standing before thousands is a high I’m not likely to forget, at the same time I choose to fade in a crowd when standing in the midst of one. I doubt I’ll ever live my dreams of singing on Broadway, or touching the hearts of people through song as I do not have the musical equipment or talent. But I do want so much to share the full range of human emotions with people, and maybe after we’ve felt the magnitude of them all, better understand the people around us and in some naive way create a better world.

Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me, somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?

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Organised Pain

For those of you still not in the know, I bought the Handspring Visor after a lot of consideration. The Paw Pilot is still in use, as I have many thoughts immediately after basketball games, a bad place for the less rugged Visor to be. I hope that my decision does not cause any of you to stumble in any way.

I recently went to the Polyclinic to take a look at a certain skin condition I developed over the last few months. The medication I obtained was a salicylic and lactic acid formula. The first few days of application was fine, but it’s hurting tremendously now. It feels as if I’m burning myself with concentrated acid. I think I’ll head back to the clinic and find out if it’s meant to be this way. The medication did tout itself as “painless”. Right now, it’s as painless as sticking a sharp object in my eye.

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