September 18, 2011

On a slightly sad note…

Posted in Life at 12:44 am by changisme

Life is mostly great, but I’m slightly sad today, for several reasons.

For one, it’s midnight, and September 18th, 80 years ago is seen as the day the Sino-japanese war officially started. Many people died and fled, and many Chinese hated the Japanese for years to come. What is more tragic, is that over shadowing the loss of life and general human suffering of war, this day is often portrayed as the symbol of patriotic embarrassment. People seem to care little about the nameless populous who had to spend their life savings (if they had any) running around trying to obtain strips of cabbages, while care more about the fact that the great Chinese race has lost its face on the world stage.

Every year of this day, people talk about 国耻. What does that even mean? It’s like being offended when someone uses a dollar bill to wipe their ass. It’s not like George Washington will actually awake from the grave and get E. Coli. I know people adore a sense of spirituality and pride, and it gives them something to hold on to, but why do we need to entertain thoughts of embarrassment? Feel bad about the current sustained poverty of the people living in the provinces that supported the Communist war effort the most! Feel their abandonment. Feel bad about all the broken families because of the Japanese invasion, and further separated almost eternally because of the tension between Taiwan and the mainland.

It sometimes makes you wonder, what did it mean to have won the war? The war was just like a bloody street fight, where everyone came away with broken bottle stuck in their head. Except the Chinese would jam their broken glass even deeper into their skull and call it a trophy.

Enough of the big things, I also saw a play today, called Amy’s View. Not the ideal play for a dreary day such as this. The play is about the life story of Amy and her relationships. Her life is so dominated by what she thinks others think of her and it’s so tragic. The sad thing is, the whole story is just so real, and everyone else’s lives are also tragic because the fact that we all depend on each other so much. It reminds me of the slow and constant loss of control I perceive to have on my own life. There has been a time when I felt I can do anything, stop anything, and my life is all in my own hands, but really it’s not. What song was it that says life is like a rollercoaster. I feel it’s not so much the ups and downs that’s difficult, but rather, I can see more and more how little what I do really matters.

I think that’s why people are into positive thinking, because it’s so much easier to put on a pair of rose colored glasses and say your life is great than actually have a great life. I can’t complain about the actual quality of my life, because it’s really much better than many people’s. Nevertheless, I don’t feel like the driver, and it’s scary. Many years ago I asked God to let me live fully. I guess that’s what people mean by, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

On a lighter, though not so light note, the play also heavily discussed the notion of films and TV killing stage theatre. Whenever I ask someone, they always like to say that stage theatre is great because it’s more intimate or more interactive. I feel these are all from the point of views of the actors. Most of the plays I’ve been to are not that interactive or intimate. I see Edward Olmos’ wrinkles much more intimately than I do any stage actor however old they are.

You know what I think? I think the reason I like theatre is because it’s so limited. Creativity completely without restriction isn’t always great. For example, there is so much facial expressions in movies can’t be seen in stage performance, so the actors talk so much more. I can get much more brilliant dialogues in a play than in an average movie. It’s like drawing, I love black and white drawings, often more than those with full colours.  

The birth of any piece of work, arts or science is like an escape artist untying hir own handcuffs underwater, full of adrenaline. I guess this is what I’ve decided to view the tragic human existence, a six pack of adrenaline rush, head on with the future.

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July 21, 2011

Weird mom: boyfriends are less stinky than cats

Posted in Life, Uncategorized at 2:57 pm by changisme

I love cats and I love guys(or rather a guy). I decided to adopt a cat and (for some unknown stupid reason) felt I had to tell my mother, even though I knew she would totally flip out. We had the argument on the phone. She reminded me how the kittens my dad insisted on bringing home 20 years ago were so naughty, and how they stunk when they peed on the floor. She reminded me how the hair was everywhere at my grandparents house. I won’t list all her objections. She even half jokingly said, for each day she’s alive on this earth, I can’t get a cat. My aunt, her sister, got wind and had similar objections.

It’s so strange because they never objected that much whenever I date a guy. Even when I told them Zhangfei will move in with me, they didn’t object. Why is this?! Men are much more troublesome and stink much more than cats. They also have lots of hair although the shedding isn’t quite seasonal. They also die early. Worse, I can’t even neuter them. Why do my mom and aunt hate cats so much more than men?

March 3, 2011

long line up at the Paramont

Posted in Life at 3:41 pm by changisme

In the past 24 hours, I must have seen every single weather phenomenon, clouds rolling in and out, torn asunder into pieces of water and ice; beams of sunlight got an occasional breath of air but mostly drowning in the chaos of celestial warfare. There were rainbows, though I didn’t see a double rainbow from the window I was near. Maybe I wasn’t on enough cannabis. Then there was thunder gurgling on the 1-minute storms. Beneath all these heavenly childishness, I saw half a mile of people shivering stubbornly in front of the Paramont Theater. Yesterday and today, America’s got talent was shooting live there.

Many of my friends and relatives used to complain to me, all those American friends you have, born in milk and butter, know nothing of suffering and fighting for basic livelihood, and all they know is complain, just like their government, tons of discussions and no action, etc etc. Well, I guess they should really see these Joe and Janes, who certainly are willing to suffer and fight for their cause. It was still hours still they could get in the door and there was no good coffee in the vicinity. It all comes down to what you want. If you want something desperately enough, there are many things you can suffer through for it. Obviously, this is not to say you will necessarily succeed, but just the sparkle of possibility keeps the fire glowing.

January 28, 2011

回首虎年

Posted in Life at 10:40 am by changisme

腊月二十五了,三十转眼就要到。今年开春的时候大家都说虎虎升威,我这一年倒底都干了些什么呢?

首先,我这一年里没有正经上什么课,一直在写论文,几千行的数据分拆来分拆去。数据是我从别人手里接来的,当年研究计划的不足好像白日中的魔鬼,无处可躲。老板同样的话说了一年:”你细细地写,以后一定能为自己的成果而骄傲。“我却觉得不然,数据的质量这么差,我怎么分拆也没用,我越是认真,就越觉得它不可救药。这个过程还是现在进行时…

还干了什么呢?继续了解美国的风土人情。每个文化都像洋葱一样,一层一层的看不完。和朋友们吃吃饭,一时觉得学到了很多,转眼便发现只是皮毛而已。在我高兴的时候,这让我感觉世界很美好,充满了希望。在我不自信的时候,所谓学无止境会让我对自己的位置感到一细恐惧—我真的是不属于这里的人,像在汪洋大海中游泳。好在和我一起游泳的人很多,

我还开始做了愈加,做得不好,主要因为平衡能力很差。但我觉得左抻右拉的,像自我按摩一样,还是很舒服的。张飞喜欢把关节掰得咯咯响,我倒是觉得愈加这样拉拉我的老筋更好。正所谓萝卜青菜各有所爱。现在我的愈加老师很爱说,一个多小时不停地咕噜咕噜讲些愈加的哲学和他老师对他说过的这个那个,倒有点”子曰“的味道。

还有就是还在谈恋爱,也没什么太大的波折,只是有点儿怕。我是那种不轻易失控的人,但是在喜欢一个人的时候往往不会有什么原因。家人总在问些“为什么”一类的问题,我也就会给些半真半假的答复,但确切说来,是没什么原因的。这一年里,我一步又一步地体验到,生活往往是不为我而摆布的。我的性格和人生经验让我不得不尽力而为,但结果是不是会受我行为的影响,很难预料。

好像很多事都在发生,但都没有发生完,回首虎年,有种很忙很累但又没有什么成果的感觉。好在还是有希望的。

December 22, 2010

Walk on, walk on…

Posted in Life at 1:44 pm by changisme

Rattling Locks

— Josh Ritter

There was a time I had the right key,
Rolled the tumblers, threw the bolt
On every wandering eye I caught
But something has changed it’s all wrong
I’m out here in the cold with a wet face
A-rattling your locks
There ain’t nothin’ new about the world
That I ain’t learned from ‘a just standin’ here in this spot

Ain’t nothing new about the world
That I ain’t learned from just watching you go by
I tell myself people are cold and strangers pass
Separate themselves from love
By building walls a hundred thousand miles high
Frostbite and heartsickness
Ain’t neither one of them so bad
You can understand the reason why

Black hole, black hole
Are your eyes as empty as they look?
Black hole, black hole
How can your two eyes be as empty as they look?
All along I thought I was giving you my love
But you were just stealin’ it, now I want it back
Every single thing you took

Black hole, black hole

I had a dream where I was dyin’
But it wasn’t no nightmare
I was peaceful as I fell
And if I was fallin’ into heaven
Heaven must be hotter than the Bible tells
I woke up sorry I was living
Rather than rattling your locks
I’d rather spend the night in hell
In hell, in hell, in hell

Black hole, black hole

———————————–

Once again, I don’t get to graduate. Not only that, I’ll have to stay on as a full time student instead of part-time. For this minuscule master’s degree I have tried being all I can, I tried starting looking for thesis project early, I was denied; I tried taking charge of my project, I was denied; I tried just swallowing what I was offered, I choked on an advisor who I was later told the worst supervisor some have ever had; I tried doing whatever is asked of me, I kept on not being able to graduate.

People’s seemingly encouraging words like, you are working so hard, or you are producing so much have becoming so empty and useless.

I’ve never felt so useless academically in my life.

Mom keeps on wanting me to quit and put myself back in charge of my life. I feel I’ve given up too much for that already. We are always enslaved by our own history and choices. If I never came here, I probably would have just found a job in Ottawa. Otherwise, I probably could have gone on a worldwide adventure and fulfilled my dream to go to Cuba and France and the Philippines.

Then again, if I never came here, I probably would never have met some of the people I know now, so in away, I’m also nourished by my own choices.

Life is so confusing… I have to stop thinking about it, and just… walk on.

December 15, 2010

Faith

Posted in Life at 10:00 am by changisme

As Christmas draws near, the topics of faith and prayer creep back into daily conversations. I should probably be worried about my lack of progress or even regression, afterall 学如逆水行舟, 不进则退; 心似平原走马, 易放难收. If it’s really as C. S. Lewis says, faith could be based on logic and is a gift of God, then I retained little of either in my life’s pursuit.

Life is not logical itself, and love even less so. It could either that my basic assumption is faulty, or my logical process is faulty. The basic assumption is that life exists because of love, from God, from parents, from society, and love is exists because of life, that only living beings can appreciate nature, each other and mathematics.  The only basic assumption I can withhold in my limited intellect is that God entertained the concept of human existence merely because he wanted this interlocking relationship between love and life to propagate.

If my basic assumption is not wrong, then my logical process could be. A wise man once told me that I am of the modern world, and am incapable of teleological reasoning in my daily life. I, on the other hand, still can’t accept the fact that everything exists for a purpose, and I love the beauty and wonder if chance and randomness. it is perfectly reasonable that there is another way of logic that I can accept other than what I currently use, I just haven’t found it.

If I can neither correct my assumption nor change my logical thinking, then maybe it’s as Kierkegaard says, that faith betrays logic. We put God in a box of our own logic and in turn lock ourselves in that box with our little god. Logic and knowledge are such interlinked things. Knowledge of nature propagate and corrects assumptions which logic is based on. Further, logic hypothesize knowledge which in turn validate or invalidate accepted logic. If I abandon logic and knowledge in my pursuit of truth, how do I seek the face of God? How do I take the next step? Is that what a leap means? A leap so that I don’t have to go through the grilling process? It is then necessary, that I would leap towards a person or personss, who enpersonate God for me in some way, and that just sounds too much like any institution I have around me… where to leap? Maybe that’s why it is said that desolation is when growth sow its seed, because when I’m desperate, I’d probably just leap with my eyes closed.

September 21, 2010

R.I.P. Illa

Posted in Life at 6:13 pm by changisme

Illa passed away on the night of September 6th. I just got the news, I can’t believe the message was buried in my messenger which I haven’t signed on until now. Illa was my favourite dog, even though she wasn’t mine, but I loved her with all my heart. 

I met her when I went to Italy. She lived with two other big and eager dogs in the family. All the others would jump up to the owners with their powerful paws. Their eyes and tongues popping with glee. Illa would stand at the back wagging her tail, so small.  She didn’t trust me so easily at first, not like the others, but she also didn’t resist my petting her. It was towards the end of my trip, that she started to rub her nose on my arms, and wagged her tail more rapidly. It was subtle, but I knew she liked me as I liked her. 
For many years, I wanted to go back to Italy, to visit her once more, but I’ve lost my chance. So much emotion was attached to the sight of her because I met her when I first realized there were people and places in this world that was very different from what a middle school girl from Beijing could conceive. It was a door to the greater unknown and dazzling possibilities. Now, ten years later, Illa was no longer a little girl, and neither am I. Have I forgotten the innocent desire to know and love everything comes my way? 
I never claim that life as a child was easier or happier than that of an adult, but my heart was so hungry, that it absorbed so much poetry, music, emotions, albeit uncritically. Have I really forgotten that hunger, or am I afraid to let my guard down? I miss Illa, or should I say I miss being able to love a little creature without a strand of reservation, even knowing that I would leave her farm  in mere 10 days. Can I open my heart so much so easily again? I’m afraid to think about it.