Friday, January 28, 2005

Recently, I was reminded of what it means to be a child again. Well, of course, I am now a young adult. It's not good to be childish. However, life would feel a little more different, a little more soothing and interesting, if we were to allow the childlikeness within us to emerge. If we would only remember, that we were once a child. We were very happy with simple things. We knew easily what contentment was all about. It was through a couple of random images and observations recently that stirred within me this desire. First, it was my friend Shermaine's pictures of her eight month old baby in Singapore. I visit her blogs pretty often and often see cool images of her baby. What really makes it poignant is the smile of absolute contentment on her baby's face. He does not need to think about happiness, or how to be happy, but he just feels awesome. I supposed that's very natural of babies. As a person already in adulthood, I would yearn for that feeling of pure contentment. I don't know whether you would call it boring. I think in pure contentment, there is no feeling of boredom to disturb or distract us. I assume that there is a feeling of fascination instead?
Two weeks ago, I went to watch Polar Express in the IMax Theatre. It was about a boy who clung on to his belief in Santa Claus and eventually get to meet the latter. Though it's a predictable movie catered more for kids, it certainly encourages us to be childlike in our perceptions. Sometimes cynicism can prevent us from enjoying the things that can produce joy and beauty. In the movie, Santa Claus gave the boy a bell as a present. When the boy returned home, he showed it to his parents who didn't believe in Santa Claus. The bell didn't ring when his mother shook it. He said that as he grew older, many of his friends also could not hear the ring again. However, because he still believed, the bell continue to jingle for him. Well, i don't suppose i am telling myself or anyone to believe in Santa Claus. I am just saying that how much more we could see and feel, when we take away the cynicism that taints our perception of reality; the cynicism that hinders us from feeling the sense of wonder, joy, freedom and colors in this fleeting existence. Even though I am a young adult, it is really humbling to know how much i could really learn from children. Sometimes, they make me feel how much I have missed out in aspects of my life because of certain unnecessary cynicism that I refuse to let go of. I think that there is also a difference between naivety and childlikeness. I suppose life will gradually teach us the difference?
one hour ago, i finished watching the Japanese animation, "Spirited Away". it had been most inspiring. i always like to read stories about interesting and poignant character transformation of people. this story is about the journey a girl has to go through in order to save her parents, who have turned into pigs because of something they have done. it's very much like magical realism, especially the visual details the film has to offer. everything about it has been almost dreamlike and surreal. not only is it an emotionally touching experience for me, "Spirited Away" has been a most exciting visual adventure.
Watch it if you haven't!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

have i told you, Jesus, that i am now more in love with You than before? i have known You for five years now. i was such a different person when i first met You few years back. i was steeped in skepticism and cynicism. my life wasn't at all abundant. I didn't know what it meant to be childlike in my faith. i was bitter about negative experiences in my life. i didn't know how to be thankful . even when i first knew You, i didn't believe everything about what You said or what Your children were telling me. but, i still stuck with You, because You had shown yourself to be a best friend. i have been through pain, and also such tremendous joy in these years with you, especially here in the USA, and You were always there. the greatest thing, is that I experienced and felt Your love, in times of despair. I also saw Your amazing grace working through the lives of the other people,especially in their times of weaknesses. for in our pride, human confidence and self righteousness, we can't see You. it's very easy for me to be tempted, to value other things more highly than i do You.You would always challenge us, many times through difficulties, to enjoy YOU more than the things of this world. i want to continue to enjoy this romance with You. through laughters, through tears, loneliness, and great companionships with other people, i want to get to know and love You better. Please let me in.....further into Your beautiful embrace.thank You for Your love, for each and everyone of us. Let's continue dancing together!

Psalm 23- 4-6
" Even though i walk through the
darkest valley, i fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long."

Friday, January 21, 2005

looking for part time employment is really tough for an international student because i can't work off campus. but i will keep searching for ways.can't wait to play soccer tonight. right now, there are only two girls playing among many many guys.
i hope more girls show up. soccer

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Person A: Hey friend, let's go somewhere new.
Person B :Sure ! Where to?
Person A: Just hop on the train, and we will find out.

i imagine this goodbye. i imagine this flight......into somewhere magical, where the music could speak again. let's not wait, let's go.
magnun (a random picture found online)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

i knew i had to do certain things, but i didn't. i hate lame excuses. but sometimes, i fall prey to them. let's hope that i could fight them next time.

Friday, January 14, 2005

everytime i looked at the card, i kept telling myself, " you have to post this !" i had been doing that for 7 days now. today, i finally posted the greeting card with the picture of a little bunny on it to my friend, M, in New Jersey.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I didn't have classes today, but I had to go to school for two appointments. When I came back to the coop, it was snowing heavily. It didn't feel too cold, and so I decided to head out for a jog. It's really nice to have the snow falling happily on you, especially when the temperature isn't freezing. I was just staring for a few seconds vertically up at a streetlamp that illuminated the snow, and seeing and feeling the latter descending right on my face, against the dark evening sky.

yesterday, i had a class in existentialism. i am in love with the energetic atmosphere, the teacher and the interesting students in it. i wish i dont' have to drop the class because of some other requirements. i am continuosly drawn to existentialist stories and ideas. of course, i don't know this philosophy entirely well, but it is appealing on an intuitive level. I took an intro to philosophy class back in college, and existentialism was something i could respond to, emotionally and intuitively. i have read a couple of novels by existentialist writers, like The Stranger and the Myth of Sisyphus by Camus, and Nausea and the Age of Reason by Satre. Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse is one of my favourites, but i wonder if he is one of them? Both Camus and Satre believe in the idea that God does not exist. I, on the other hand, have the faith that God exists. Nevertheless, in spite of this fundamental difference, i feel that there are elements in existentialism that really strike a chord with me. After reading the stories by Camus, and Satre, i certainly feel that I have some things i could learn from them and incorporate into my interpretation of life, without compromising my faith and journey with Christ. You see, existentialists strongly desire freedom . They honestly and diligently search for it. To me, Christ is also about freedom. Maybe they have different ways of looking for or attaining freedom, but the desire or even obsession remains. Or if i am mistaken about any aspect of existentialism, please let me know.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Feel and touch it

The freedom you feel, on the wings of the eagle,
is real.Touch it, and it will be yours.
Believe in it, and you will keep it for eternity.
Just don't run away from it, as if it never exists.
Keep on searching and discover its new friends,
because the journey never fails you.
And when the" Final Destination" awaits you,
you will find youself
the happiest soul alive.

jie jie, 10th January'05

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Happy faces

Happy faces
Originally uploaded by Bleusky.
These are the two girls with me in the New York trip. This was photographed by a Korean guy, Hyon Cheol, in our group. I think it's a really cool image.
Pablo, a good friend of mine from Ecuador, has just left Ann Arbor for Texas to start his new job. Yesterday, some of us gathered together for some sort of a farewell party.
Pablo and me This is Pablo and me.
There was a bonfire going on at the coop, and it was one of the best ones i have ever had. It was just so soothing and peaceful, staring at the fire, and sometimes eating melted marshmellows in the snow. Pablo made a few of us Tequila Sunrise. I drank quite a bit since it tasted so good, like orange juice. The result was that I got pretty buzzed again and started making everyone laugh. A friend thought that I was really drunk but I sort of denied it.
Erin Me dancing
We also had a crazy snowfight, the second major one since I made a trip to Detroit two years ago. It got pretty violent but I am glad nobody was hurt. Such beautiful and fleeting madness. Certainly a memorable way to end my winter break. Classes begin this coming Monday. after the snowfight This is Erin after the snowfight!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

hey, i know this is going to sound corny....but i feel that i am kinda in love......
with life.
Just came back from a road trip to New York City few days ago. I went with seven people. I didn't know them very well at first, but the whole trip had allowed us to bond in a sweet and happy way. after we came back into the coops, we hung out almost every day, eating lunches, dinners and watching movies. now that school has started ( which is today) everyone is slowly getting back to his individual life and getting ready for the new semester ahead. The memories we created will certainly refresh us for the semester of work ahead.
Freezing, in Times Square
Yesterday, i received an email from a very good friend from Singapore telling me that she had now an eight month old baby!
If anyone of you is interested in how beautiful and adorable her baby is, just go to Hello Shimian, I wish i could be now in Singapore, talking to you and playing with your baby ! My friend Shimian used to be a journalist, and has now quit her job to become a full time mother. Certainly an act of nobility and selflessness!!

Today, i was just walking in the snow. I was just happy, looking at the snow falling and feeling the wind blowing across my face. I usually loathe winter. I loathe the cold and every bit of it. A friend recently suggests that i "embrace it". I am willing to try adopt a different attitude towards the weather now and see how long my capacity to appreciate it will last?