Sunday, April 29, 2007

God delusions

Debbibuzz says:
How would you counter this: the existance of anything cannot be proven

Mark W says:
By saying that the statement confuses "philosophical proof" and "mathematical proof" and also by pointing out that we don't live in a way that applys that sort of thinking to our lives

Debbibuzz says:
So what sort of thinking do we apply? What sort of questions do we ask when trying to determine the existance of something?

Mark W says:
Is it there?

Debbibuzz says:
So say something we can't see like air... or memory?

Mark W says:
Well, how do we interact with it?

Debbibuzz says:
What about the existance of God?

Mark W says:
How do we interact with Him?

Debbibuzz says:
So if I'm an atheist and I say, "I don't interact with God"?

Mark W says:
Yeah, what would you say?

Debbibuzz says:
Just because you don't interact with Him doesn't mean He's not there.

Mark W says:
Seems fair

Debbibuzz says:
Then the atheist will say, "But if I can't see him and I don't interact with him, what proof is there that he's there?"

Mark W says:
Do they believe Vladimir Putin exists?

Debbibuzz says:
Let's say they say yes... they don't 'see' him and he doesn't interact with them but they see him in the news... they can see God in the Bible

Mark W says:
Indeed

Debbibuzz says:
...and God has revealed Himself through Jesus

Mark W says:
Also true

Debbibuzz says:
Anything else?

Mark W says:
That seems sufficient

Debbibuzz says:
Hmmm... ok

Marrrk W: Not typing so much says:
Well, you're on the right track, make him/her deal with the Bible


Also have a look at: The Dawkin's Delusion

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hands off, feet off

Picture from thesaddleryshop.co.uk

The stirrup is necessary for maintaining balance and posture and to a certain extent control whilst riding. In the last few lessons I've been taught to ride 'hands off' which means no hands on the rein or neckstrap or saddle. Next week, I will begin riding without stirrups to gain more control and perspective of how my body sits on the horse. I won't be allowed to hold on to anything either. My shins and calves will be doing all the work gripping on. It will be one bumpy ride, my horse is tall and I'm prepared to fall... although if don't, it will be fantastic and hopefully in 3 more lessons, I'll be allowed to trot onto the circuit.

This is what I hope to do one day...

Picture by Emile Wessels at www.ewessels.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Midnight ramblings

Although considerably past midnight, I am still awake, processing thoughts, some trivial, some serious, and trying to find solutions or at least an acceptance of them, to achieve for myself restful slumber. But the more I think that I want to sleep, the more I realise that there are many things more important than sleep and as much as I try not to be troubled by them (because I should cast all my anxieties on God who cares), my mind wanders and I start thinking about them again to the extent of dreaming and living them out in a parallel world that only I live in. I dream of things restored, of being in flight and free, of being completely surrendered to one who protects. I dream of sunsets and purple clouds against a pink sky. I dream of shifting clouds and ripples across the sand dunes. I dream of high cliffs and a sheer drop. In my dreams my toes curl and I always think I will fall but in my dreams I close my eyes and pretend that I am not miles off the ground and not in danger. I dream of winding stairs and people and places I have met or been to before yet they are not the same people or places I remembered them to be. I dream of being angrier than I want and happier than I dare. I try to see things through long term lenses as well as short term and try to reconcile the two without sacrificing what is truly important. I try to discern what is actually important from what I want to be important. Some things I want to hold on to, hoping that in time, things will fall into place but how long should I hold on? Am I really responsible for half the things I think I am responsible for? Other things I have finally let loose; did I give up too soon? And if I let go, do I never embrace again? New interests appear; do I neglect my past? How much of my past do I put in my future? How much of my future relies on my past? Is it worse being dishonest than being honest simply because I don't care for the reaction they might bring?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Authority and anger

Let it be said, I dislike authority, any authority, over me, so much so that to a certain degree, I might even be persuaded to say I hate it. I dislike being told what to do, I hate being told I'm wrong even when I know I'm wrong, I hate correction because I think my way is best, I hate anything that even suggests that I should follow a fixed set of rules or any person representing more than a benign, puppet figurehead because surely I decide where I go, what I do and whom I see. Is it impossible to be Christian and hate authority? Is to possible to submit yet demand autonomy?

There is one scene from my past that sticks in my head; I am 8 and have just written an essay for my mum to mark. I wrote the essay gladly and handed it in, confident that my mum would give me nothing but praise. My mum, being an English teacher, did not spare me from her red pen and in the end, the essay I prized so much was covered in red marks, circling amongst other things, my it's and its, that I mistook, one for the other. Initially I stood by and watched her but as the red circles increased and I realised that my mum was not going to let me go easily, I grew angry and tried to leave the room but she insisted I stay so she could show me my mistakes. Not being able to leave, I vented my frustration and anger by sitting in a corner brooding and tearing up my collection of pictures that I had carefully put together over months. Not satisfied just ripping them in half, I shredded them into tiny pices so it could not be salvaged. I even tore up the paper-plate wallet I kept them in. Because I was shown up to be less than I thought I was, I destroyed another thing in my life that gave me pleasure.

In many ways, not many things have changed. My anger stirs restlessly within all the time. It directs itself at people around me, even those that I deeply care for, situations I cannot control, at myself and ultimately God. Isn't it strange that I am angry at the Maker who created me, the Father who decided I woud be part of His family, the Author who knows all the details of my life and reads me better than I read myself, the Saviour who reconciled me to God, the Counsellor who calms my fears and dissipates my anger, the King who will welcome me with open arms to Heaven? It is at the end, destructive, a thorn and yet I feel proud of it. Sometimes I am assured my life is sanctified. Other times, I am not so sure. I know the Holy Spirit is working against the desires of the flesh within me. Not that I doubt the saving power of God's grace, but what if, at some point past, God decided I wasn't worth it. Can I ever get angry enough to turn away? Will I ever want to turn away? I see friends turn and my anger rages against them as if it is to me they have done harm. I know God gets angry when people sin but He has compassion to go with His wrath. Do I have compassion? More often than not, it is those whom my anger was directed to, who 'make amends' and so a stronger friendship is now forged. Although I only get angry when I feel wronged, my anger itself puts me, long after the incident has passed, in the wrong. Can a leader and anger go hand in hand? A fool gets angry without cause. Or maybe, regardless of cause, it is the fool who gets angry. If so, I am a fool because it takes very little, if anything to set my eyes blazing. I need a cold shower.

I know that we are never autonomous; we are either slaves to sin and rebellion against God or we are slaves to righteousness. I do wonder whether they two are interchangeable. Christians go from slaves of sin to slaves of righteousness when they are regenerated and repent. Yet there are Christians who fall away. Does that mean they go from being slaves of righteousness to slaves of sin or were they never slaves of righteousness in the first place?

In the Bible, Jesus spoke of sheep and goats and how He will separate the sheep from the goats on the last day when He comes back to judge the world. The sheep were His people and the goats were those who did not follow Him. For years I was burdened with, "What if I am a goat who is just living among sheep and think that I am a sheep? What if at the end of days, Jesus looks at me and says, "Sorry, you thought you were a sheep and yes, you lived like a sheep but you are a goat."?" I then asked myself whether I was prepared to go to Hell for God's glory since if I were a goat, it would give glory for me to go to Hell and I wanted to give God glory. It was heartbreaking to think that I might be a goat and that everything I knew and loved to be true abut my Salvation could just be something going on in my head. The thought of being possibly separated from my Saviour was horrible yet if I loved God so much, surely the right answer was to go to Hell because then He would get all the glory even if I would be separated from it forever. At times, I think I cannot be anything other than His sheep but it is up to Him who judges and who chooses.

Perhaps there is some truth in Yoda's words,

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

I suppose what I'm trying to say at the end of all that, is if you think a Christian is a happy-clappy, Easter-and-Christmas-churchgoer, hunky-dory person, you are dead wrong. Nor are all Christians are morbidly depressed on the other extreme. It is harder to be a Christian than being a regular 'moral' Joe. As a regular Joe, your principles are governed by you, for you to change at will, for you to determine, for you to rule. A Christian's life is governed by a standard humanity, with the exception of Christ the man, can never achieve. God, at work in us battles with the desires we still want to hold on to. Ultimately, we either surrender these desires to God or live in hate towards Him. By the end of this post, my anger has been somewhat abated and I know there are many things I need to let go off but the fight is constant and will continue til the day I die. Part of me will always hate authority because it is in our nature to do so. Yet the other part of me wants to put to death all things that could separate me from God. The sting of sin for everyone is death but the sting of death is no more for the one who trusts in the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Favourite musicals

This morning I realised that my two favourite musicals, Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast had more things in common than first glance suggested.

Picture from elecricartists.com
Picture from wolftrap.org


Both musicals are set in France, the leading hero is flawed physically yet the audience is attracted to him because of some innate beauty in his character, a rose is involved at some point and yes, there are horses. However, the differences lie in how they react to love; whilst the Beast personifies the strong and silent type who goes into his 'cave' to sort out his problems, the Phantom aggressively takes charge to bring an ending he wants. Ultimately however, it is up to lady love to love him back, the hero still looks 'in charge.' The difference is also seen in the other choices the lady has. Whilst Belle has the chauvanistic, macho Gaston, who wants nothing more than a housewife and baby machine, Christine Daae has the option of Raoul, who can sing, gives her a ring with a gem the size of Gibralta and is a Vicomte to boot.
Perhaps the things I call my favourites, are so well favoured because of something within myself. After all, favour is subjective. I have to say, that characters such as the Phantom and the Beast intrigue me and I find them more rich and multi-layered than the stereotypical 'Prince Charmings.' In today's world that strains for 'physical perfection', it is accepted, if not demanded, that flaws be hidden from view, that if any, they should only be known and burdened by the person bearing them. We are all meant to reach the impossible measurements for both men and women set by cartoons and fiction and everyone that falls below that standard could be at risk of being cruelly excluded by the rest of society. To me characters such as the Beast and the Phantom seek to defy that label; the hero is not someone held in high regard because of perfection but conversely, wins favour by exposing the vulnerability of his defects and weaknesses whilst still holding is own. The Beast rescued Belle from wolves, actually thought carefully about giving her she wanted (diamonds may be a girl's best friend but sometimes a girl wants more than just a best friend) and learned to dance with her. The Phantom's genius in architecture, illusions, design, theatre and singing casts a shadow over his rivals.

I suppose the stories are so strong because they have chosen the strongest of emotions in life as their theme. There is hope and faith and love, but of the three, love is the greatest.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Return of The Promise

MY HEART IS FILLED WITH THANKFULNESS

To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness,
And clothed me with His light,
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;

Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above;
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose every thought is love.
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King.
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow Him.

Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music


Whose every promise is enough for every step I take. Yeah, that's what I wanted to talk about the other day but sometimes the most important things can only truly be understood when not spoken. I said sometimes. There are other times when the most important thing must be said, else the other person who may never have heard of this very important thing, may never know it, having never heard it and so will never understand. I'm still trying to answer the "What about the guy who lives in the Amazon?" that some ask when 'demanding' who God chooses to save. I say demanding because if they were so concerned that God could have such an impact on anyone's lives, including theirs, they would repent and call Christ Lord. Yet they use that one question as an excuse not to accept Christ as their Lord, trying to find loopholes with God's judgment, as if it can be brandished before God as a 'right' not to be separated from Him forever.

I am on the verge of leaping with nothing but faith to cushion my fall, if I do fall. On the one hand, I have nothing to lose because everything I need and everything that is worth counting, I cannot lose. On the other hand, as I look back and see faces I will be 'leaving behind' the responsible, take-charge side of me wonders if they will be okay. It's not faith to go that I need; I'm raring to go. Let me out of the starter's block and I'll be off in a flash. What I need is faith to leave. Foolish girl, many might shout or mock or insult. To be frank, I don't care much for destructive criticism. Well, I might bear grudges but they won't stop me from doing what I want to do. It is when those criticisms fall on my family that I might snap. If someone should tell my dad that he didn't do a good job in bringing me up properly because I don't have a 4-figure salary or a car or (heaven forbid) a boyfriend or imply in any way that my parents are failures because their daughter is off in some remote country trying to proclaim the kingship of some 'moral dude' who lived 2000 years ago instead of climbing the corporate ladder, I really don't know how I would react. My parents will probably take it in their stride as they have all these years but I'll be boiling over like a volcano that's got a boulder stuck at the top and then who knows when I'll explode?

At times like this, I remember that God's promise is enough for every step I take and the best thing is that His promise will not return empty. The promised Messiah came. The promised King will come.

By the way, I did the test AGAIN and I'm back to being an ENTJ.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Promises

Is it foolishness to trust in a promise alone?

Is it foolishness to accept everything at face value just because the promisor said you could trust him?

Is it foolishness to not have back up plan or to assume that one is simply not needed because you trust in the original promise so much?

It would be foolish if it were anyone else but we can trust in God's promises?

Can we hinge our whole life on the life, death and resurrection of one man?

Should we really see all the world has to offer us; money, status, power, even friendships, respect and feel good feelings, as loss?

Is it all foolishness? I know it's not but don't know how to expand this post without giving away things I don't want others to know because I've not completely thought them through yet.

Anyway, a year ago I was branded an ENTJ but today I'm an ENFP. What happened??

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Design dreams

The only design I've managed to produce onto a T-shirt(above)


If you look closely, the 'N' and 'Z' from New Zealand have been incorporated into the kiwi symbol(above)

Birds of a feather... my moniker 'debibo' is part of each design I create

Would you wear this? I suppose everyone has a chance at something but is the chance worth taking, based on not knowing what if?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Peanut butter

There are some who live their lives outside cyberworld and there are others who only truly live in cyberworld. Then there are others who live in their heads. I used to spend hours and hours in the computer lab; I knew the security guards by name and freely gave them Mars and Lion chocolate bars. In return, they refrained from laughing too hard as I crossed the campus threshold once again dressed in bedroom slippers and a giant T-shirt with "OINK"and a very pink pig screaming fashion faux paux to anyone who bothered looking. My student accomodation was just across the wonderful FWB building that housed my loyal friend, the 24/7 PAWS room also known as the computer lab. Armed with chocolate bars to sustain me and sushi during those months I needed more brain boosting power, I think the only place I invested more time in was my bed. Yet, the few hours I am awake are spent zinging back and forth, doing everything needed in a quarter of the time, before collapsing into a giggly heap, wasted on adrenaline, whilst eating peanut butter out of a jar.

Now-a-days I spend less time blogging and more time thinking or sometimes I think whilst I blog. I ask questions that many of my friends consider as important as peanut butter, meaning not important at all, and yet at night, these are the questions that form the bulk of my dreams and the way I see the world. I go to bed wondering and I wake up puzzling but still Rubik's cube refuses to fall into place. If anything, the more I try twist and turn and apply logic to it, the more absurd it looks. Like jelly that refuses to solidify or jelly that would rather commit mass suicide by breaking out of the mould in clumps than present itself at an opportune time, so this world, ruled by Murphy and forever late taxis, shuns itself.

What on earth does all that have to do with peanut butter? I don't know. I know I like it and that my housemate has just bought me a bag of Reeses Peanut Buter cups to add to my peanut butter collection of Kit Kats and ice cream. I suppose that was the main thing I wanted to say but it seemed like such a waste of space to just say that. I just love talking abut Me. Me! Me! Me! Look at me! But I can laugh at myself too and in a world of political correctness and people who increasingly fail to laugh at themselves, it is endearing to be able to say, "Yes I am flawed," but in order to say that, I've got to talk about myself and round and round it goes.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Distractions

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4

I started studying yesterday for my law exam which rears its ugly head in mid July. To those who know me, that might seem a tad early; my study schedule usually starts a week before exams. However, my law lecturers are of the opinon that if half the syllabus is not already lodged permanently in my head by last January, I don't have a chance in hell of succeeding. I try to ignore their age old wisdom but having said that, to let nothing distract me from here on. 15 minutes into studying, my tummy grumbled so I had a little snack of sunflower seeds and a chocolate bar. Went back to studying... for all of 10 minutes before my housemate appeared at the dining table for dinner and started asking me questions about my course (questions she never asked before because she never saw me study). So I explained to her the complexities behind drafting a statement of claim, the numerous session and high courts I had to memorise and the reason behind why statement of claims were so long (it is because we want to milk the opposite party for all it's worth). After all that explanation, it was time for my dinner so steak and broccoli it was. Just as my dinner was ready to eat, Elena rang all the way from London to wish me a very happy birthday. After half and hour of shrieking, catching up and talking about astigmatism, I said goodbye and started on my dinner. By the time dinner was done I was very sleepy. Not only am I a slow eater, I decided to surf the net whilst eating to kll two birds with one stone. However, it only served to slow my chewing mechanism down to a stalk of broccoli or a square inch of cow every 15 minutes... Although I'm usually nocturnal, getting up at 7am yesterday instead of my usual 2pm, meant I was running on 7 hours less sleep.


Today, after about 12 hours sleep, I thought I'd pick up where where I left off. First things first though; I had brunch. Brunch was followed closely by dessert and Grey's Anatomy. after Grey's Anatomy came the promise of Top Gear, which I am watching now, whilst trying to explain why, almost 24 hours after I started studying, I am still only a few pages into Criminal Law. Tonight I'll be at church, which I will be hopefully just in time for, seeing as Top Gear ends at 4 and I still need a shower. Church will be followed by tea which will then be follwed by dinner and I'll be home about half ten in time for more internet.... or studying.


Memo to myself, if ever possible, I must at least sit as a passenger in a Bugatti Veyron 16.4, 1000 hbp.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday the 13th

Okay, so it's a day late but Friday the 13th has been far from unlucky. I rode the beautiful Starshine today at the polo club and didn't fall during lessons; first time ever and am riding again next Thursday! Went shopping and bought new jeans for the first time in over 5 years (many firsts today) and ate half a litre of chocolate ice cream. Am currently indulging in a rose facemask (yet another first), had an upside-down-pineapple-birthday-cake (yet another...)made for me by Anita and Kit Kat Peanut Butter chocolates from Mark and Helen. So far I'm liking being 23...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Expectations

Are expectations a good thing? Should anyone have expectations for themselves? Or for others? Or about others? What are expectations? Are they just dreams? Wishes? Or a felt right for such-and-such to be done? Why do we have expectations? Why is it when we build expectations on things we know are foundless, we still end up angry when those expectations aren't fulfilled? Why is it that having expectations inevitably mean having to face disappointment? Even when we expect to be disappointed, we end up disappointed that we were disappointed. Does this have anything to do with Disney cartoons? Are we expecting the unexpected? So then when the unexpected doesn't happen, we feel let down because only the expected happened. No Fairy Godmother in a blue bedsheet going, "Bibedi babedi boo." No secret spells of transformation or redemption. No star dust that allows us to fly out of the window without ending up a puddle of brains and guts.

Maybe the way forward is to put all expectations aside and just 'go for it'. Don't expect people to tell you things you hope they'll tell you. Just ask them. Don't expect it not to rain on your new suede shoes. Bring an umbrella. Don't expect life to unfold like a perfectly edited movie. Make it unfold the way you want it to. Don't wait for people to ask you to do this and that so that you feel appreciated. Just do it and be humble when you are appreciated. If you want pizza, don't expect your friends to know it telepathically. Tell them or better yet, get your own. Don't wait for the economy to come down before buying your favourite perfume. Go out and buy it and use it as often as you want. Don't expect a tooth cavity to disappear. Take steps to eradicate the problem. Perhaps expectations are only a let down when we expect expectations to reach the expectations we set out before, without needing to lift a finger to bring about those pre-set expectations.

Don't expect the worst unless the worst is not just what you expect, but what you want to expect.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Polar dreams

Whenever we think of polar bears, what comes to mind to the Average Joe is not an intelligent, stealth hunter, capable of killing with a single blow. To bring home how severe a bear attack can be, look up images online or in books. I can assure you the photos were horrific enough for me to decide not to post them here. Thanks to cuddly toys and the Coca-Cola Christmas advertisements (that I personally look foward to each year) the polar bear has a reputation more benign than a cold sore. I used to have dreams of picking one up from the Arctic to take home and keep as a pet in my swimming pool or taking it to school for show and tell. I still sometimes dream that if I live in an igloo in the middle of some region of snow and ice, that I can own one like a dog and bring it for rides round the 'countryside' as we look for fish and seals and eat blubber.

Image courtesy of scienceblogs.com

However, reality kicks in and I know that I'll probably never touch one let alone ride one. Polar bears are extremely efficient hunters, relying on their superb sense of sight and smell for survival; a polar bear can smell a dead seal over 100 kilometres away! They are the biggest land predators but are actually classified as marine mammals, ursus maritimus (marine bear in latin), together with killer whales and dolphins because of the vast amount of time spent in the water. They spend so much time in the water, their feet are webbed and their eyes and nose aligned high on their head (like hippos) so that they can breathe and see above water.

Image coutesy of images.wikia.com

I had a dream two nights ago about polar bears. Unfortunately, it was not one of those happy ending dreams where the polar bear turns into a prince with an ice castle. My polar bear was a psychotic killer out to get me. I dreamt I was working in a vet's clinic looking aftet three polars and they all seemed nice and satisfied until one of them escaped and tried to eat me! I ran and ran and he chased me and nearly caught up when in panic, I hid in the fridge! How the fridge appeared or how it was empty or had space enough for me to hide in it I don't know. All I know was that I was sitting in the fridge holding the door handle (door handle IN the fridge?) shut as tightly as I could. I could see the tip of the bear's claws trying to open the fridge (he was a very clever bear) and I was panicking thinking firstly, that there wasn't enough oxygen in the fridge for me to stay in there very long and secondly, that I wasn't fast enough to run away even if I did get out of the fridge. By some weird dream chance, my co-worker managed to distract the bear by throwing coloured cornflakes at it and I made my get-a-way. Although my friend and I were both running in the same direction, the bear decided to chase me. I ran until I got to a wire fence made from chicken mesh and climbed it. For some reason the chicken mesh was in the middle of nowhere and did not separate one part of anything from the other side so I couldn't leap over it to esape the bear. So there I was on top of the chicken mesh with the bear trying to grab me with his massive paws. When I felt I couldn't hold on anymore and was about to let go, I woke up. Darn! I wanted to know the ending.


Image courtesy of blog.reidreport.com

Perhaps it is so hard to read polar bears because of the way they look. Their deep, onyx eyes stare at us unflinching, showing no emotion, whether angry or happy. Their bodies are muscular and powerful yet streamlined and their white fur makes them one with the environment they live in. They have no eyebrows and few facial expressions to let us know what they're possibly thinking of. They hardly bare their teeth except when fighting or defending their young or eating or when it's too late for the person wondering. I think after horses, dogs, big cats and killer whales, the polar bear is slowly becoming one of my favourite animals.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The best to some, the worst to others

Picture taken from preisvergleich.org

I have been thinking about marriage a lot lately. I suppose, with so much time on my hands, the subject had to come up eventually. There was a time when to me marriage just meant being married, whatever that meant. To a 3-year old, it did not matter that they were not a match in any genetic way; the 'dad' was an orange dog and the 'mum' a brown bear with scary, blue eyeshadow, they had their respective roles and life was easy. After a while, Barbie came into the picture. The perfect blonde, however disproportionate her stats, had a barbeque set, scooter and cooking utensils, all in lilac or pink. Even then, she got married off to whichever toy sat on the shelf, no matter how hairy or unmarriageable he seemed. Or sometimes when the toy was too unmarriageable for very long, another toy would come 'save' her from her destructive relationship only to have her scorn him and run away with someone else or her new lover would get so incensed with her lavish lifestyle that he would drown her in the bathtub. All this happened in Barbie's wonderful world before I turned 12. I only had 'the talk' or whatever people are labelling sex education nowadays when I was 15, in school. By then I suppose the whole class, with the exception of a completely clueless few, had formed their own sexpectations and the white, picket fence that came with it. Whatever I learned, I learned from National Geographic. Then as I got even older, concepts such as divorce, amicable or otherwise, broken hearts, mistresses, infidelity and unrequited love entered the picture. It is really sad in many ways that marriage in the eyes of a 2-year old looks so different in the eyes of a 22-year old. When did it get so complicated? When did marriage require more than two people just loving one another?

In Roman Catholic Philippines, divorce is still banned. Isn't that fantastic, you might ask? In an ideal world, it would be. However, many women find themselves trapped in bad marriages where their husbands openly sleep with prositutes, gather mistresses as trophies or flutter from one woman to another, whilst flaunting the marriage in full view, mindless of who sees or judges because 'everyone else is doing it.' Even if wives wanted to stoop to the same level in a bid to hurt the other party, the consequences are hardly worth it. Whilst absolute fidelity is demanded of wives, the men are granted sexual licence to have affairs outside marriage. A wife walking out on a marriage, ultimately walks out on social status, security and possibly her children and bank account. These examples of religion marring marriage makes the secular world of equal rights so much more tempting; at least if the marriage fails, if pre-nuptials were not signed, you can walk out with your head held high. The world is not all lavender fields and rose beds as Cinderella, Snow White or Sleeping Beauty would have us make it out to be. Princesses don't marry street rats. Frogs don't turn into princes.

But as with all other problems in this world, it boils down to a problem of the heart. Sometimes we don't want to try anymore. Sometimes we let Disney dictate what love should look like.Sometimes we forget we're wearing rose-tinted glasses so when Bryan Adams sings, "Look into my eyes..." all we see is the rose-tinted world we want to see. Sometimes we just want attention and care so much that we forget that marriage is not simply a get-out clause for loneliness. Whatever people's reasons for wanting marriage, I'm still finding my own. I wonder if trust and a pre-nup can go hand-in-hand. I wonder how I'll react if someone cheated on me. I wonder if marriage is just a legal guise, a front for all sorts of scandalous conduct behind closed doors. Can all marriages be saved? I don't know. And if I can't find satisfactory answers or reasons behind reasons, maybe as much as the world says it is good for a woman to marry, it may well be the case that I will be better off not.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Deborah's choice

My current 'favourite' chocolate bar is Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter, emphasis peanut butter!! However, the only reason it became my favourite, was because for almost 5 years until today, my previous favourite, Cadbury Picnic was not on sale in the parts of the world I happened to be in; or at least, I could not find them. Until today, the only Picnic bars I saw, were the new, 'improved' type with raisins. I dislike raisins with a vengeance especially in all things chocolate. It was with a heavy heart, I gave up looking for my beloved original Picnic bar and my world seemed without chocolate purpose. I went from chocolate to chocolate, accepting anything on offer because it didn't matter anymore; I was still grieving over my lost Picnic bar and any chocolate that followed only satisfied me temporarily...


And then one day, I discovered Kit Kat Peanut Butter. Initially I was reluctant to open my heart up to another in case it too would one day disappear but as the days turned to months and I found myself reaching once more for the familiar yellow wrapping, I thought that I could hope to have a favourite again, and so I did. Until today. The accelerated beating of my heart, the shortness of breath, the quickening of steps towards the supermarket aisle... Picnic still hit me like a ton of bricks.
So now I have a dilemma. Which do I call my favourite? My 'first love' or my 'second'? Because as impossible as it sounds I love them both in diferent ways. They provide different and varied texture flavour and excitement. I have a different history with each of them, having attached to them sentimental value of equal worth. Although Cadbury Picnic went missing in action for several years, I never gave up looking for it and yet in the meantime I developed another relationship with Kit Kat. Do I have to choose and if or when I make the choice will I regret it? Will my choice affect my character? Going for Kit Kat would make me more pro-wafer and going for Picnic would make me more pro-nut. If I gave one more, the other would automatically get less. Should I give Picnic the respect and memories it deserves without holding on to it anymore, having moved on with Kit Kat? Or should I give up Kit Kat, having being reunited with my Picnic? So many questions and the chocolates are melting...
Will I lose them both if I don't make a choice soon?

Too much of a good thing

Anita and I went for our usual teh tarik at our Bangsar hang out today. For some reason, my stomach was not feeling too well yet the sight of gorgeous Indian pancakes - tose and roti telur - somehow rendered my brain incapable of registering that I was full. I only realised that I had eaten and drunk way, way too much after I arrived home and the food couldn't escape... I am not one of those people who enjoy having my head down a toilet so I try and I try to hold it back to the very, absolute, last minute. When I thought I was going to fail and let loose, my housemate, noticing that I looked rather clammy, suggested drinking Coke to ease my stomach. Coke? I was dubious but went along with the idea. Anything that can stop me from throwing up is almost always the better option. To my surprise, it worked! I drank about a tin of Coke and felt suprisingly better. Her logic was that I had eaten so much my stomach needed to let some air out; I needed burpping the way a baby is burpped after drinking milk so that it won't throw it all up again later. I have learned a valuable lesson today. Not only is Coke great for cleaning toilets, it prevents me from throwing up! I think everyone should have a tin of this wonderful, dark, carbonated beverage in their first aid kits as a medical necessity.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Middle of nowhere


See that orange blob in the picture above? That's Mongolia. I've never been there but love it already. Part of the reason I love it is the wilderness and barrenness it defies yet embraces at the same time. The ecosystem there is so delicate, any slight over-grazing would render grasslands deserts in very little time. The capital Ulaan Baator, has on average, the coldest temperature in the world and I like the cold. Besides it has very little polution, as there are not many tarmac roads and so fewer vehicles than one might imagine could fit into this vast country of less than 3 million inhabitants. Most people use horses to travel once out of the main city. Between one third to half the population, depending on which internet site one goes to, are still nomadic or semi-nomadic. I suppose part of my fascination about Mongolia is that the country seems to reflect me. Empty, yet rich. Barren, yet alive. Land-locked, yet free. Simple, yet extreme. Getting there however, is another matter. From KL, I have yet to plan a suitable and affordable route to my destination.