Let us keep on being hopeful this new year, and all days thereon.
Let us hope for each other.
Let us pray for each other, wherever we are in the world.
I wish all your dreams fulfilled.
Let us keep on being hopeful this new year, and all days thereon.
Let us hope for each other.
Let us pray for each other, wherever we are in the world.
I wish all your dreams fulfilled.
Once a long time ago I meditated on the instances of happy and painful relationships, either between lovers or between spouses. In my country divorce is not possible. The main reason is that it’s predominantly Roman Catholic, about 98% of the population. The other reason is the way we look at marriage as a permanent thing. Of course separation of spouses happen, as well as infidelity. But since the norm is marriage then even co-habitation is frowned upon. For many families it can incur ostracization of the young lovers. Parents who have cohabited for a long time do not generally make the set-up known, knowing that it will earn some stigma and will affect the children. If they have caring friends these will encourage them to officiate their union even if it’s only a civil rite. Also, civil rites are not as respectable as a church or a sacerdotal sanctioned ritual.
As part of our public education we would discuss marriage and domestic issues in school. One question that came up was if we are in favor of divorce being legalized. That question was taken by us seriously, us not having been raised in an environment where divorce is an open option. The sound of the word “divorce” is equivalent to that of “disaster”, “failure”, “destruction”, “insecurity”, “shame”, “secret”, “lies”, and even “outcast”. The challenge of even saying anything for it, for just the tiniest bit, was daunting.
I did not care much about the question until one lazy summer afternoon as I was spending my usual dreamy lounging time in my parents’ bedroom, where there’s always wonderful lighting streaming inside from two adjacent walls, I came to suddenly put my thinking into considering under what circumstances would I be found to agree on legalizing divorce. I zeroed in on my only answer: violence. I concluded then that a person cannot be made to stay in a set-up where he or she (in our context it’s she predominantly) is constantly in fear of being hurt. But I also thought about what if one of the spouses falls in love with somebody else. Ah, this was difficult stuff to answer as I haven’t been there myself. I had to consider this angle because it seems to be a popular reason why partners split.
Is it possible for a committed person to fall in love with another not her/his partner? If I were married and it happened to me what would I do? This part I had also answered for myself, which in turn made me conclude that choosing the mate isn’t a joke nor a thing to be taken lightly. It definitely cannot be based on hormones alone, although at that time I, too, knew little about this side of things. But, hey, rhetorics is free for everyone, even for budding snotty-nosed university graduates.
Of course it’s possible to fall in love with anyone anytime. What kind of question is this in the first place? Is it even a valid question at all? Are emotions and attraction things that can be channeled the way arguments can be tiered one after the other? Is there even a fool-proof theory about loving? I mean, if God is Love, then how does one deal with this phenomenon? All peoples have their own ways of talking about this phenomenon, and does one group of people or language or worldview define the entire humanity, then and now?
For a “love” between two persons who can’t take it to the socially accepted commitment status, like for instance in my country having it labeled as bigamy, which is illegal, then how could this “love” be handled? “If I were married and it happened to me what would I do?” I guess I have to decide and move on. But since I haven’t been married and so have not been initiated into this level of existence, I will not presume that I know anything about it. Therefore, I can’t openly say here anything by way of response to it. Theoretical musings is fine but I would rather show respect to the real circumstance experienced by real people who can’t even start to find words to deal with it, not even in their own private thoughts.
But what if a married man makes me feel loved and I found it honest and genuine and non-restricting, what do I do?
Certainly not go out on a date with him. Certainly not encourage the flirtation. Cetainly not fan my vanity into a blazing ember. Am I nuts? The guy is married. He has committed himself to something that excludes anything else at par with it. As one of my favorite shows would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”
But what if I, too, have started to love him? Ah, then that’s another story. To smell the coffee I think I would first and foremost honor his honesty and courage in making me aware of his care for me. I mean, who am I to reject such a wonderful gift? It’s “love” after all, it’s something unfathomable. It’s from God. It’s God’s language.
Then I would refrain from asking too many questions. I won’t even ask questions at all. I would nip all questions in the bud. Here Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle applies: defining an electron’s state alters its state. I will refrain from putting my finger on anything in order to pin it down, they be descriptions, qualifications, quantifications of this “love”. Any attempt to pin it down, in this context, will result into a failure. Defining it will destroy it. Getting hold of it will cause its demise. I would leave things as they are, without defining them — be they concepts, words, situations. They will not be turned this way and that for closer examination. They will be left as a blur and will not be designated into compartments or categories. Their rawness will be respected. That way they will not be suffocated, robbed of air, and fester for the lack of it.
As this “love” is there, then what could be done with it? Why, celebrate it, of course. It is not “forbidden”, for goodness’ sake. Love is free, is encouraged, is induced, is given, is spread out, is scattered. The world has been constantly suffering because love has been twisted and restricted and deformed and castigated. But since, in the context I’m talking about here, it’s in an instance where care has to be exercised on its behalf, then I would suggest to take this “love” into another plane of existence. It cannot be insisted on the same plane where it will foster suffering, because that’s not its purpose. Love is something that affirms our humanity, it is a life-giving phenomenon, and hence it does not belong to the arena of suffering. Don’t ask me more about how I speak of it here because, my dear, words are not adequate to speak of this phenomenon in this angle.
So maybe I’d say I’d let this love dwell with the clouds, let it float on the calmest of ocean surfaces, let it flit with the wind among the many branches of as many trees that greet me on my way to wherever everyday, let the leaves’ rustle talk of it to me. Let my echoed footsteps be chants of meditation on it. Silent. Abiding. Subdued. Sometimes even forgotten for a while but certainly there, accompanying me, holding on to the tips of my hair as the breeze blows imperceptible strands here and there, sometimes.
So I won’t conjure physical manifestations of it. “Fantasies” and “possibilities” are words not even entertained. I will not “insist” it; will not “force” it into “fruition”; will not “fight” for it — these avenues does not belong to “love”. Read 1 Corinthians 13. This is the only way I can show respect to my emotions, by not straining it with emptiness, not feeding it with conjectures the probabilities of which approach zero. This, too, is the way I could love my self in this context, and so lift my self up from the plane of senselessness.
It was a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) that prompted me on this reflection. Here it is:
I cannot live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf
The sexton keeps the key to,
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup
Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.
I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other’s gaze down,
You could not.
And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’,
That new grace
Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.
They’d judge us-how?
For you served Heaven, you know,
Or sought to;
I could not,
Because you saturated sight,
And I had no more eyes
For sordid excellence
And were you lost, I would be,
Though my name
On the heavenly fame.
And were you saved,
And I condemned to be
Where you were not,
That self were hell to me.
So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And that pale sustenance,
There’s an explanation of it here:
I also wanted to explore what I could say in resonance to it, from a different context.
So, I’d say, “I love you, and I must pick my self up from here and carry on, as well as I can possibly do. This is the only way I can show God, and you, how much I honor and value Him, and you.”
I hope that the way I spoke of it isn’t as sad-sounding as Dickinson’s expression here, of her love. Here’s another of her poems, an encouraging sounding one that I copied from http://www.shortpoems.org/emily_dickinson/
Have the best of days, everyone! 🙂
I didn’t know that “Just the Way You Are” is Billy Joel’s song, back in 1977. I have liked that song ever since I can remember. But I knew Billy Joel only from his 1983 “Uptown Girl”, a fast song, and hence I associated him with such. Well, better late (at finding out of his range of musical prowess) than never.
Among the song’s lines (these have) fascinated me the most:
I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard, mmm
(I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are)
I was prompted to write this post when I discovered, upon seeing a video of him singing the song, live and on the keys, that this stanza is the refrain in that it’s the one he repeats before he ends.
At first I could hardly believe that I was looking at Billy Joel in a formal suit. Then I noticed that he was sweating profusely. That, itself, was fascinating to me because it seemed he was not bothered by all this liquid on his face. Then I noticed, while the camera was focused on his right profile, that a trickle of liquid is highlighted on a path on his cheek that does not seem to be on the continuity from his forehead. I would have loved to have turned to someone sitting beside me and ask, “Is he crying?”
I have always highly regarded this song. Since this is the first time I have seen somebody singing it live then I wanted to believe that Billy Joel was singing it straight from his heart. Maybe he was singing it to a specific somebody. I liked his “cool” performance because I thought he did not “try hard” at “acting out” at sincerity. He came out as simply sincere.
Recently this song’s “I don’t want clever conversation; I never want to work that hard” has become even more significant to me as I continue to circulate among people who “have lots to say” <– which exactly is what I, many a time, catch my own self doing 😀 😀 !!!
I can’t remember when was the first time I practiced putting my cerebral goods out into the open for those in conversation with me to see that I have managed to save lots on my tabula not-so-anymore rasa. If I did not know much about the subject then I would resort to expressing interest on it, using inquiries, by way of relating it to something else I would know more of.
So I was saying, that recently I realized what I was doing, and what the game everybody else seem to be playing. Clever conversations. Gak. It’s draining on the, um, I don’t know… nerves? … qi? … soul? 😀 whatever 😀
Did you know that for the Inuits they traditionally believe that too much thinking insults the spirit? And have you heard of the story about Africans who were hired as luggage carriers by some foreigners (or was it to guide in the hunting??) that one day, after hiking non-stop for days, they simply stopped and sat down and refused to move from the spot until, they said, their souls have caught up with them. I love both of these expressions against “thinking too much.” ❤
I guess I’m starting to really grow old now. Heheh. I feel like I have tried to participate at the parade of peacocks, have tried to compete, and then I only discovered that unless one comes out as “simply sincere” then all the sashaying is an insubstantial game. Hollow. A babel of sounds that fall on deaf ears. Poor overworked brain cells 🙂
Suddenly I am reminded of C. S. Lewis’ explanation on the thin line between pride (in association with being “good”) that is okay and pride that is foul. The parade of peacocks was how he illustrated one of those. With their feather-fans all out in proud display. (This is in his book Mere Christianity. This is among my favorites because it was one of those that started opening windows to me.)
Okay. Now my blah blah blah is complete for the moment ❤ Take care! And if ever one of these days you find yourself sitting down on your haunches ruminating on this supposedly God’s-love-for-you thing, then I hope you’ll recall this song’s lovely line, “I love you just the way you are.”
(The quote is a copy from somewhere. Thanks! I assembled the poster. Am I getting better at it, or what? 🙂 Thanks to the original photographer!)
(the intended script is still cooking in the dendrites; but the poster is yummy enough. peace!) ❤
There are things that can never be fathomed; but ….
There is One who does this the best way possible. His love is unconditional.
If there’s someone in this world that you love like the freshness of mornings then let the person know of it, in your own way, in the way that God will show you from there, deep in you, where His river of life flows.
…also in memory of Mr. Robin Williams, one who has deeply moved me more so now in his passing away. May he find peace in God’s tender care at last.
Recently along my studies of honoring the parents I uncovered a Finnish paper that discusses falling in love among the elderly, a bracket the researcher sets as between 50 to 90 years old.
It was for me like taking a peek into a magical world, something I would not have known existed unless someone who has gone there told me of what it’s like. On the other hand I felt that such a world does perfectly make sense because the elderly, after all, are distinguished only from the rest of the population by the length of experience-years they have already logged in. I would even say that they, when all is said and done, are the ones who know better about most things, especially love, than the rest of us.
That information led me to think of a friend who “fell in love” with a man many years older than her. The time has come to talk about it.
There is, however, a point of contention. By her life story I understood that “falling in love” for her was not a matter of fireworks and hoopla but a going down into the water table. It’s as if her psyche simultaneously absorbs the phenomenon through the pores of her subconscious and lets it dwell deep down among her base components, at the level where her foundational reservoir of soul-existence constantly shift shapes while remaining the same so as to keep her propped up, like the way her skeletal system does.
In that foundational reservoir is her love for God, for family, and her self. The many instances of infatuation in her life is not found in there. Then, again, she (let’s name her here as Firith) classifies her “infatuations”. So I would say that there’s one guy (that is, neither a boy nor a man, and let’s call him Pama) with whom she was infatuated but who became like a favorite cousin to her. Pama is someone whom Firith has a high respect for and she does not classify him now as among her “infatuations”. Infatuation, for Firith, is what she would feel for a face but with whom she doesn’t give a hoot of how they perceive her. She just, uh, finds them fascinating, and that’s where the buck stops. She won’t even care to come up to them to say hello, even for friendliness’ sake, of which Firith always takes with respect, too.
Firith and I have long ago agreed that “falling in love” is a very relative experience. Some speak of it, or even shrill, all the time. Others never speak of such a thing happening to them for their whole lives. Firith spoke only to me of her recent encounter of it and she will remain silent of it forever, so she said, and knowing her I think she could do it, too. However, she herself suggested that I talk about it some time here, as her way of celebrating it with the rest of creation (that’s my way of saying it, though 🙂 ) At least this is something our circle of friends agree on: that loving is life is free is living is freeing is celebrating.
While we were still kids I wouldn’t have known it of her but when we were about to leave college and go our separate ways, when we began to analyze our past in face of the apprehension for our future, Firith related (with great laughter and relief) how she would easily be infatuated with a boy starting when she was 5 years old. She recalled the names (dozens!) with whom she “fell in love at sight” and on average their names started with either J or D. Girls do tend to do this, finding patterns among whom they fall in love with and such, and though I found it a bit silly (really, what’s with J and D?) I now understand that these ruminations are part of a growing girl’s subconscious effort at trying to get to know her own self. And so J and D, and let’s leave it at that, for Firith, haha.
For Firith, however, falling in love does not make her “lose” her head. We’ve heard and read about these things, in novels and television drama series, and the recurring theme is that angst comes along in romantic situations. That is, falling in love almost always presents with it either problems or intrigues. In fairness, though, I can understand a bit how the menfolk in my family can simply exhale audibly and turn their backs on me for a hasty retreat when they see me absorbed in an emotional acting-session on screen. This may be one of the reasons why Firith didn’t elaborate on her many infatuations. She found them insubstantial topics for conversation, except for the few times when it could contribute to our lighter moods.
But one time I became fearful for Firith when I saw her almost losing it, and, unbelievably, to a youth many years her junior (let’s call him Tim). To others’ eyes they were either the very best of friends, or lovers. Firith still would not tell me much about it, for reasons I can only have an inkling on, but the way I know my friend she would never play at “love”. She’s like this: if boyfriends are for the purpose of marrying then why get one with whom one isn’t considering of marrying. Really, she’s as archaic as girls can get nowadays. However, since I haven’t heard of all stories of all girls in the world in the present context, then who knows, there could be lots and lots of girls like Firith out there, living against the mainstream tide that a girl MUST have a either a boyfriend or a husband.
If not for friends who think similar to Firith, and for the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by C. P. Estes, I, too, would have succumbed to this misguided collective conviction. I have nothing against having a mate but I do have something against senselessly hankering after about just any-one (eherm, but sometimes it has to be said like that…) !peace!
I asked Firith during one of the get-togethers that we would insert into our crazy schedules if the thing with Tim is now okay. She had to think for a while before responding, an indication that she was being cautious. We’ve been relating stuff to each other for ages but there are times when you have to let your friend, and even yourself, withhold some, and for legitimately trustworthy reasons but never out of mistrust. I could see then quite plainly that had there been a “man” in her life (aside from the “men” in her family — grandfather, father, brother, nephew) then it would have been Tim. I could see, too, that Firith wouldn’t allow him to be classified as that. She had refused Tim entry into her water table.
When Firith was finishing her grad degree she was already in a prolonged (though suppressed, and that’s how strong Firith is, really) quasi-depression. At that time Tim befriended her and it was as if for her a bud suddenly sprouted in the middle of winter. Though Firith had us around her she also kept within her self-imposed solitude. We never heard much about how it was with her and Tim. Both presented a normal-facade to us and there was no chance to look closer. Gak!! Did Firith fall in love with a winter bud of whom none of us her close buddies are privy to?
Thank goodness that episode of our lives are now over and we can now stop worrying about her heart, so to speak. At least I, for one, know about it and I can assure everyone that our dear girl is fine, heart and all, without getting into the details. There will be time for the telling of all that.
It’s because, so she told me, of Keith. She didn’t “fall in love with him”, fireworks and hoopla and all. A long time ago Keith came up to her team and greeted them all, it being an inter-organizational meeting and representatives from all over have come to participate. Keith wouldn’t be someone familiar to us, to our worldview. He inhabits what we’d call a screen-world and a jargon-savvy universe. Belatedly we analyzed him as even an unusual six-footer, someone who does not belong to a single box, limited and categorized. That is, he has two feet firmly planted in three different contexts. Of course we have no way of knowing for sure, and you know how girls can talk together using multi-layered paradigms, haha! 😀 But Keith was, even in that first meeting, friendly to Firith without being needy, helpful without being pushy, generous with his knowledge without being showy. He came across to her as uncomplicated and sincere. However, she never sent him an email like she told him to, for reasons that are non-grave but are of a matter of consequence.
After many more months Keith came to another organizational meeting again. Things were like as before but this time Keith bemoaned why ever did she not write to him. Firith decided right there and then that Keith was a trusted friend. There were other girl-things (it will have to take an entire novel to tell, haha!) she told me about and I became convinced that Firith had kept her head all the while, in this thing with Keith. I mean, this is not a matter of heart-vs-head, but a matter of both working together, as they always ought to.
Surprisingly Firith is happier now. She’s related with Keith for only a few days (inclusive of the first and second meetings, that are far apart) and her understanding of love has already deepened. Much more than what we have read in respectable books and seen from respectable movies Firith has now, to my envy, the capability of loving without needing. Keith had to go away and they will never see each other again but for Firith what Keith gave her, like God’s eternity, is always an abiding present.
Firith’s story made me see that love can be something that is not held on to for fear of losing it. Love is, to say it simply, something that is never lost. When God hides His face from us, like the way it happened between Him and Job, God continues to love. What the Bible says of love banishing fear has become a reality to Firith and I think she’s even more surprised than I am of having seen it first-hand, considering the times she went through with Tim and her other so-called close friends.
Firith had been praying for healing, I know of this, and now she’s proven to herself once again that God answers prayers, loves, supports, and takes care of His children.
I’ve wanted to fall in love, too (especially after reading about Joo Jin-Mo wishing to be infatuated, heheh) but reflecting now on Firith’s love story I therefore conclude that the best thing for me to be dreaming about nowadays is just to finish my school hoopla, and !ASAP 🙂
Hope you’ve been inspired by Firith’s story, too 🙂
Ciao for now!
girl-and-dove art edited from the original by albumsource.com. Thanks loads!
Jesus came to banish fear.
Though I haven’t gone through the entire book yet, the few parts that I have read so far are making good sense to me. For one, I can see that it’s obviously made out of love, that it’s a true labor of love, and it deserves much respect and consideration. Thank you, Francis Garfitt, for writing this fascinating and refreshing book about a living man and a living story that was calcified within just a few pages two thousand years ago.
I have always gone by the thought that if truth is in God, that if ‘truth’ is an embodiment of God, then there’s no way of disproving Him nor that our insistence on “defending” Him will add to that truthfulness. In pursuing my personal studies on that distant world of two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth shook his world, I would like to listen to this particular voice that projects Jesus’ story’s context through a personal conviction using the platform of the contemporary world. ‘Evangelism’, after all, is not limited to the mainstream’s definition of it, if the reader sees it as that. A storyteller is by all means entitled to any artful way of delivering an old story with full relevance. We, those of us who want to keep on telling a story that has been stamped ‘unchangeable’, may just have to take the courage to step out of the silenced crowd and speak in a way that will make the story enabling again even to those who have been rendered numb by the challenges of everyday survival — the way that Jesus of Nazareth did. That’s love.
What I especially find refreshing among the narratives is the inclusion of the scientific perspective in order to bring about a multi-perspective handling of whatever scene is featured. In this book science is integrated as a tool for looking at what is. The outcome resonates with the Hebrew worldview where things are dealt with integrally, like for example that a human being is not allocated into body-&-soul parts. So far I can see it doesn’t pretend to know everything yet it’s a humbling book. It will make one look at things differently, make one recall the time when one realized that things are not what they are as seen on the surface. It will encourage you to love. It will confirm your simplest reasons for wishing for happiness.
(Note: Today is May 19, 2016. This was written 2 years ago. I need to update it soon. I just got to find the time. Get the book if you can. Jesus of Wigan by Francis Garfitt. You will like it even if you’re not interested in the religious side of it. ❤
Update: May 20, 2016. I edited the original script and added a few words. Still, that is not the ‘update’ that I meant. It will then look like a review of the book.)
Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂
Then what am I supposed to do with your story, Michael Berg?
You don’t blame Hanna for loving you. You do not blame yourself for loving Hanna. What, then, am I to make of your sad love story? Okay, so it wasn’t wrong for her to love you, 21 years her junior. But of course only a very few will agree with you. Look at that survivor who described her as having been brutal to you. But you said so yourself that the only love we are not responsible for is the one we have for our parents. I’m glad that it came from your own mouth.
I hurt for you as I listen to you talk to me in your telling of your story. A fifty-year-old professional coming to grips with an emotion he first experienced for a woman 35 years ago sure speaks something for the love a man has for a woman. Dreaming of her, associating her with the feeling of coming home, describes an attachment stronger than a mere adolescent crush, or even passion.
Michael, for all your words, I really would have loved to hear something from Hanna Schmitz. I wish you were older when you met her then perhaps you would have seen more, have understood more. I feel like if only you didn’t keep your age a secret from her then she would have driven you off, out of her life for good, even if you’ve already been lovers for a week. But even then many people would still want to say that a full grown woman seducing a seventeen-year-old is just as immoral.
Again, what do I really know of Hanna to even suggest that she was immoral in her relationship with you? In what way did she benefit if indeed it’s true that she used you? For all you know the fact that you have become happy lovers has brought her an equal amount of sadness, too.
However, what does her relationship with you have to do with her being on that court trial, and you meddling with her life afterwards? You were not supposed to know anything about her in the first place. Michael, she would have continued on with her silent life had she not heard from you again. Why the hell did you have to send her those tapes? And then not even telling her of how happy you were to receive a note from her when it was obvious that you, of all people, were the one whom she wanted most to be happy with and for her? Would you be excused when it would be said that you had no idea anymore whatsoever if she still loved you in the way you knew she did? But my goodness, Michael Berg, you were microscopic in deciphering the amount of effort she put into that note she sent to you. Didn’t that give an indication of her reaching out to you?
Numbness. Numbness. You always give numbness as the excuse. If a Corrie ten Boom is possible then why couldn’t it work out with you for the sake of the great love you had for her?
Ach, but it’s all over now. I’m ranting needlessly. Like the prison governor I can only feel anger towards the both of you — to you for being a hypocrite about your love for her, to her for not having the strength to deny you, not then, not while she was in prison, and not even when she was about to have a new life. That woman who spoke so callously about Hanna did not realize that you, Michael Berg, have also been brutal to Hanna.
You say that the generation before you failed in confronting evil. You are the same as them. You just kept on protecting yourself. Even when you discovered what made Hanna the way she is, still you didn’t clear it up with her. Compare your level of literacy with hers. Compare her access to “enlightened” discussions with yours. Why couldn’t you have found the way to come up to her and inform her of her accountability for leaving you brokenhearted? I’m sure you’ve heard of something like with-greater-knowledge-comes-greater-responsibility from somewhere.
Just like the way she asked the judge, what else could she have done when she already knew that the boy she fell in love with was growing up without her, and fast? She knew she didn’t belong to your world. Why would she hamper your growth? That, then, would have been brutal. She actually did you a great service, by disappearing from your life.
Haven’t you heard from somewhere, too, that once you start something you have to take responsibility for it? You led Hanna on by giving her false hope. You made it seem like you have forgiven her for leaving you. You made it seem like you understood her for having ended up in that court. In your having reached adulthood didn’t it occur to you that it was your innocence that attracted her to you? That with you she found a picture of what she would have liked to be had fate been different for her? We do not even have an idea why she became like that in the first place, or why she didn’t take the effort to remedy it for all the earth time she was in existence before she met you.
If you said that coming to visit her was like coming home, then couldn’t you visit her again? Cutting your ties with her is denying your existence, too. If you don’t blame anyone for all that’s happened then perhaps a celebration of your love for each other could awaken from your frozen heart.
Viktor Frankl, too, came from Auschwitz. He saw among his companions the same phenomenon that happened to Hanna, i.e., that the feeling that nobody out there is eager for one’s well-being hastens one’s non-existence.
I do not know what to say of your story, Michael Berg. Since Hanna did not talk to you, since she didn’t compose narratives, and since she doesn’t even have a collection of songs you’d have an idea she likes then how can we speak of a person’s choices to whom a world of letters cannot speak to? Did you even wonder what made it an imperative for her to guard over her dignity? Can you even begin to imagine the depravities she had to survive and rise from just so that one day she’d be able to make little dance steps in front of the man she loves? You know what, Michael, with your renewed readings to her you pried open her armor and then you left her exposed to the elements.
Maybe we can just say that it’s the price she had to pay for not knowing what to do then. But what can one do when one doesn’t even know that one is supposed to know? How can one guard oneself from the ignorance of ignorance? When you pried open her armor she was beginning to forgive herself. She was learning to face the condemnations. She was having her spring.
What saddens me, Michael, is that it’s possible for X to stand in judgment over Y whom X knows loves X, while all the while denying that a judgment had been passed.
I rest my case, or whatever it’s called.
This narrative is a reaction to Bernhard Schlink’s 1997 novel The Reader.
30 tins of pineapple. Why pineapples? I don’t know. I did not try to understand. I just watched. The lighting is too dim for my liking. Too much movement. Blurs. Too crowded for my liking. Smell of people. Smell of street garbage. Filthy walls. At least it doesn’t snow in Hong Kong. Tattered washrag hung on window grills is a familiar sight to me. When clear water has been wrung from it then I can trust on its cleanliness, its readiness for the next use.
What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be doing your homework.
Sorry, I can’t stop watching just yet. Kaneshiro Takeshi looks really really neat. And he’s ready to fall in love again. I can’t imagine him and the blonde together. Ah. Maybe that’s why she asks for his age. Arrrgh, Cop # 223 is just 24? 25? I heard from somewhere that Hong Kong cops are very capable. They have to be, with trouble always threatening to happen all over the place. (Sorry, but this is the impression I got from James Clavell.) I’m not sure if it still is the case (i.e., excellent police force commensurating for constant threats) because I don’t hear of them nowadays as much as I do of the other countries’. What do I know about Hong Kong, anyway? I haven’t looked it up since the time that I paid attention to Dirk Struan and his rival Brock, and then to Ian Dunross immediately right after that, he who was given the face of Remington Steele. But at least by then I came to know that Hong Kong’s waterways are not fit for swimming in. Or is it just that one where they had to jump to save themselves from burning on board? That was a romantic moment for, uh, I forgot who… But boy was it dirty. One gulp of the water would, uh, dirty their, uh, stomach? intestines? What about the eyes and the ears?
… I’m supposed to be doing my homework so I have to do this fast…
I thought of comparing Chungking Express with Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis but somehow I don’t think I can, or should. They’re both unforgettable films, yes, of dreamlike quality. But the first is of upbeat daylight while the latter is of fading twilight. Both do not cover up the filth of the city, yes, telling things as they are. Both employ shadows much, yes. I wouldn’t really choose to watch a film with lots of shadows and which reminds me of the real smell of a really crowded city but I like both films. Although Serbis left me wistful, ashamed that I live in comfort and still fret while many have to work hard at keeping their world from falling apart, it told me to be careful that I don’t talk about things just for the sake of saying something. There are reasons behind reasons behind reasons behind reasons of things. Chungking Express, on the other hand, left me giddy. Like the way The Longest Night in Shanghai did. I need to first become a student of filmmaking before I could get over my dislike of the use of so much shadow and dark lighting. If it has lots of shadows then I don’t want to be dragged into the kind of deep thoughts that will never get to see the light of the sun. But whereas The Longest Night in Shanghai was obviously a romantic comedy right from the start, with Chungking Express I didn’t know what to make of it until Cop # 223 insisted that the storekeeper consider the pineapple cans’ feelings.
Chungking Express is just another face of (a) love story. As the story unfolds, as you continue to stare at the screen despite the (for me) depressive backdrop, as you continue to stick with Cop # 223 first and then Cop # 663 next, you will feel your heart finally taking a rest, then you will remember how happy you were when you were just falling in love but couldn’t talk about it with anyone just yet.
30 tins of pineapple. How could he eat all that in one go? Did I misunderstand the scene? What a kid he still is, 25 and already a cop. Calling up elementary school girl friends, his uncle, aunt, cousin. A cry baby, complaining to his dog that he doesn’t eat the pineapples with him, not the usual cool hero image. But so handsome, and so neat, so a non-cop, so un-bismirched, so not belonging to the filth of his city and of his job. And Tony Leung, so boy-next-door. So kawaii, even. And Faye Wong, an elfin who has to deafen her mind against her own thoughts.
Cop 223, Kaneshiro Takeshi, is dumped by his girlfriend May on April 1. He waits out for her until his birthday on May 1, buying a tin of pineapple marked May 1 as the expiration date every day. The blonde hires people to smuggle drugs but is duped, jeopardizing her safety. She had to act first before running for her life. They meet and become each other’s savior. He eats lots of Cesar’s Salad and other foodstuff as he waits for dawn. They part. He was already out by 6 AM running away his sadness, the exact time he turns 25. Cop 663, Tony Leung, is dumped by his flight attendant girlfriend. He hopes she comes back. The elfin, Faye Wong, works for her cousin’s street side food store. They first talk to each other when he buys Cesar’s Salad. She grows a crush on him. He’s a regular customer, a friend of her cousin, and the latter suggests to him that he tries fish and chips also. His girlfriend comes back and looks for him at his usual street corner but it was his day off. She leaves a letter. Everyone reads it: flight cancelled, it says. There’re house keys in the envelope. When he stops going to the food store the elfin finds funny ways to stay in contact with him. Then Tony Leung smiles and you’ll conclude that he’s a very handsome guy. That’s the story. I had to say it to dampen the hype. Why the film earns a full post from me requires researching before I can say something on it. So I have to forget the why part for now. There are scenes that support Hong Kong’s reputation, that anything is possible there. There are scenes that say something on immigrants, or aliens, or contract workers. There are scenes that brought me back to my home city’s open air meal spots and produce markets. Pork with rice is also a favorite among us, and vegetables in a big basket carried over the shoulders is also a normal sight.
I don’t know exactly what “Chungking Express” is. Is it a train? Is Chungking a place? Does it have a cultural significance? Does the film’s name even mean anything at all? Is it saying anything about the constant rush in an Asian metropolis? The store is called “Midnight Express”. It opens until late at night. There was a train at the first half of the story, but the blonde who escaped by it has no scene by the Midnight Express. Is the film somehow a statement of how people stay disconnected though packed together within just 0.01 cm of reaching-out distance from one another? Is it a statement similar to the message of the lotus flower, that it blooms triumphant and pristine over the muck beneath it?
Hong Kong, 香港, Xiānggǎng, Hsiangkang, means “fragrant harbor”, after all.
added 28March2014. Other Kaneshiro Takeshi films that have inspired me similarly: Lost and Found, Sweet Rain, Turn Left Turn Right, K-20 Legend of the Mask, and the ‘drama’ series Golden Bowl. Each one deserves its own post. I have yet to discover the others similar to these. His historical/war movies are fine but preferably for me the less blood spilt the better; though I do appreciate them all the same as venues for his range of artistry 😉 ciao for now . . .
Hello everyone 🙂 happy Sunday. I’d like to share with you a very powerful but not-so-nice story. It’s an updated version of The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Okay, if that name puts you off then consider that I didn’t mention it at all and just take the story by its given name as posted. It doesn’t change the potency of what it has to say. The title, whatever it’s called, won’t even matter after you’ve read it all. Because after you’ve done so what will remain with you are the pictures that the story bring out and cause to be echoed and re-echoed in your memory bank.
Its setting is the present England. That means everything is different from the original Jesus of Nazareth the Teacher’s setting. Unless you indeed believe that the Jewish worldview two thousand years ago, if such a thing can be called so, is a bit similar to the present-day rich-Western-nation worldview, if such a thing can also be called so. Let me emphasize at least one basic thing here: that Jesus of Nazareth the Teacher did not speak English and so that follows that he did not think in the same manner that so-called native English speakers do. For the non-native English speakers I have nothing to say. You might want to study the language the original parable was written in, in order to find out for yourself.
One way of checking if you’ve indeed understood the essence of that good parable, the one that’s in Luke 10:29-37 only, is to compare if the feelings you got after reading that is similar to the feelings you get after reading this post that I’m pointing you to. If not then that means you haven’t understood The Parable of the Good Samaritan all this time that you have been calling yourself a Christian.
At this juncture I wash my hands of the matter. Read it at your own risk, most especially if you worship the Bible or that version of the Bible that your exalted circle has legitimized.
If you have no idea at all what The Parable of the Good Samaritan is, I apologize for my long-windedness. Please, I highly recommend the story that I’ve been trying to introduce here, the one that you can access by clicking on the link “View original” below. If after you’ve read that you’ve become curious enough as to ask for the remote origins of the core idea of the story then you will find lots of information on it on the web. Searching for “the parable of the good samaritan” will suffice for a start. But please don’t be confused by the diversity of opinions on it. If you’re really interested in knowing more about it then you’ll find along the way that somehow you are able to discern which explanation makes sense. If you have gone that far then I suspect that, somehow, the story has taken root in you and that, somehow, you have become more courageous than you were before. What’s more, you’ll discover that the story will keep on increasing in value for you… Peace… I wish you the best.
Many many thanks, Mr. Francis Garfitt (Fran) for your work, and for sharing.
Dear everyone, I wish you a happy reading, through that link in pink, way down below, beneath the first parts of the original post that you can see here. Ciao 🙂