December 31, 2012
Things are often late in coming to Cambodia, especially movies. So by the time I picked up Cloud Atlas at the Night Market, I’d already heard a fair amount of reviews– though I always stopped them short of plot-spoiling even a tiny bit. I can’t stand plot spoilers.
This was a movie about slavery. And simultaneously, freedom.
Through various times past and future, through the interconnected lives of many characters, the story plays upon the theme of standing up for what is right…even when we think we lack the courage.
the tower where the composer awaits his lover
the satellite at the top of the mountain
Overcoming great odds
Dark vs Light
Succumbing to fear
Resisting fear, even when we lack bravery
race; gender; sexual orientation; age; socioeconomic status;
fighting back against insurmountable odds
a drop in the ocean… “Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”
November 14, 2012
I've always been a pretty good student. Well, that may actually be a slight understatement. I am. such. a. nerd. I mean, I have a PhD in molecular biology for God's sake. I learned pretty early on that schoolwork was something I just got. Trigonometry? No worries. Advanced American History? Check. In high school, I was in Science Olympiad AND History Bowl.
March 10, 2012
Seasons come and seasons go.
The sweeping piles of dusty blue clouds backdrop the open airport fields. Scoldingly, lovingly, they remind me of my temporal nature, and I call back to them,My loves, my time here is drawing to an end, but for fear I cannot lift my head to look beyond. Wither will you carry me?
Playing coy, they hurry on without reply.
To the assumptive eye, Kampuchea has merely two seasons, or rodow; it’s a fact, however, that there are countless seasons here, their edges patching into one another in a way that those assumptive eyes will never see. My Younger Self belies me, even as I tell quote Descartes to her, Question Everything. She wants to believe that it’s her own original thought, and yells back at me: Don’t believe it just because the pundits, the professors, the presidents said it! Rumify your understanding of the Universe! Then she calls me an ignorant bastard and retires to her room to pout.
Rumify, indeed. Ways of Knowing have become blocked, clogged, for me. Phaedrus’ lateral thinking can move me out for a time, but the ultimate progress is when I recognize, even in a brief nanosecond, that i am a Way, and so are all the entities which fill the mattered Universe.
March 19, 2009
“Circles. He leads us in circles.” Circles (the bubble, the ring, etc.), as well as triangles (the pyramids, the constellation, etc.). Rings like tree rings, which determine length of life: “You pulled me through time.” Repeating patterns (the elevator, the stars behind the altar). Stars, candles, trees, lamps, snow. Snow: falling stardust.
The season of Winter.
The colour gold: in stars/nebulae (Shibulba), in eyes, in altars, in candles/lamps, in other forms of light. The colours black and white: the contrast between Izzy and Tommy.
Captain– he is called so in both the past and the present. Past, present, and future.
The Tree of Life, coincidentally, has sap that looks a lot like semen. Life-giving fluid.
Also, writing: the pen and ink, the book. Izzy as the Queen is often writing. Izzy is often shown with a notebook.
Mentions of roads (“The Road to Awe.”), quests (as to New Spain), the journey to Shibulba (“We’re getting closer”, “We almost made it) symbolic of the journey to enlightenment/realization. His clothes begin as very black, gradually becoming lighter, until at the very end when they are very white.
Shadows versus light: “Every shadow no matter how deep is threatened by morning light.”
“I almost made it.” “You know how it ends.” Inevitability of death. “I am going to die.” Acceptance.
Kneeling before the tree, as before the altar. Symmetry (as in the lotus position, the bathtub, the temple).
He accepts that he is going to die; he finishes the book, and realizes that death is the end, and also the beginning. A circle, again.
January 16, 2009
The year 2008 came and went, without a word from me here…
I spent many words elsewhere; not to worry.
Many things happened, too. The first black president was elected to the office in my home country. R.E.M, Coldplay, and Radiohead all released fantastic albums. Planets were imaged around stars other than our own. Ice was discovered on Mars. And China hosted the Summer Olympics in Beijing with much extravagance.
Things changed a lot for me, too.
I graduated from college.
I worked at camp again after two years of being gone, this time as their Program coordinator, a job I’d never done before.
I started volunteering for a community organizing non-profit.
I became a barista.
I completed Sexual Assault Counseling/Advocacy training for the Listening Ear.
I lost a friend.
I gained some friends.
I stayed with Kashif.
What will two-thousand-and-nine hold? Only time will tell, but I have my hopes.
I hope I get accepted into the Peace Corps.
I hope I accomplish some measurable good on behalf of the non-profits for which I volunteer.
I hope I read dozens and dozens of books.
I hope I make new friends.
I hope I keep old ones.
I hope I stay with Kashif.
And as Aristotle says, “Hope is a waking dream…”
December 2, 2007
Her real name is Hsiao-wei, which means “sunset rose”.
She started ballroom dancing when she was in college. I don’t know much about her adventures in regards to this, but I know that she really likes to dance. Doesn’t she look happy in this picture? I have always thought she was very beautiful. Tonight, Kashif said I looked very pretty. Lately I have been thinking about how self-conscious I often feel. Not always, but a lot. In fact, it’s ironic, because I feel most self-conscious when I am alone and know that I will be with other people soon– when I am on my way to class, for instance. But once I am in class, I am audacious and outspoken, and I am not thinking about how I look. What could this mean? Well, in any case, while some people make me feel in adequate, there are other people who make me feel beautiful. Whether or not I deserve their compliments, they make me grateful and, as Kashif says, they make me ‘glow’. Kashif, of course, is one of these people. Mattfood has been one of these people. Stephanie is another of these people. Jacob was one of these people. My cousin Bryce is definitely one of these people (he’s so cute!).
My dreamland is calling. I suppose I should go to it… But I will see you again soon.
October 12, 2007
July 10, 2007
Kashif recently bought a book of the poetry of Rumi. He showed it to me; the illustrations were beautiful. Rumi’s thoughts make my heart swell, from something familiar that almost feels like anticipation, but I can’t be sure what.
But just yesterday Kashif lost his backpack at work. Now we don’t know where it is, and Rumi is lost, too, because the book was in the backpack. Inshallah, it will resurface with all of its contents…
I’ve been looking forward to our family camping trip for some time. At the same time, though, I am afraid that my brother and I will not get along. I have been wanting Kashif to come up and see how beautiful and peaceful it is there, but I don’t want it to be affected by any tension my family might produce. At the same time, Kashif is a tangible reminder to me of God– my physical conscience. Inshallah, he will agree to come, and we will all have a good time… But a lot of this is going to depend on my attitude, so I had better start preparing now!
March 9, 2007
You will reveal to me the boundaries of Your mastery, but it is I who must choose to enter.
September 14, 2006
I’ve taken to saying “these days” a lot… So let me say what has been happening, or existing, these days:
I haven’t been very responsible, these days.
“Liz, you’ve been so busy these days! You’re such a busy girl.”
These days, my best friend and I don’t get along too well.
I’ve seen much of Jacob these days.
These days, I walk a lot.
These days, I haven’t had time to read.
These days, the only thing that’s saving me is Oolong tea.
“[My brother and I] don’t get along that well, these days.”
I listen to a lot of Longwave, these days.
These days, I am doing better with God.
These days have been very rainy.
A word about Jacob… A shared with him the names of some of my journals, and he let me read some things he wouldn’t have let me read otherwise. We trade a lot of things. I like to just give him things, though, too, because that’s what I do with people I love. I don’t want anything back when I give them things, a lot of times. Sometimes I like to trade with Jacob because it reminds me of trading things when I was little. Like swapping cookies and fruit snacks and pop-tarts at the lunch table in my elementary school cafeteria. Or trading toys with my brother. “I’ll give you Little Bear and Wheels for that monster.” “Okay.” But what I like best is to trade ideas, and Jacob does that most ardently. It really is an “exchange of ideas”.
Last night, we gave each other tests to take, about ourselves. Even though lately I feel like I never have any epic thoughts, Jacob always makes me feel otherwise. He says things to me that nobody else has ever said. It’s quite amazing, although sometimes I’m afraid I’ll begin to think too highly of myself– I fear he already does…
Things are in development. Things are rainy, slippery, and wet; but things are good. Just as God is good.