Monday, January 28, 2008

Man flu, bird flu

What men think is the end of the world, women call 'man flu' and what women think of as dangerous and frowned upon, men consider exciting, tempting and inviting. Women thrive on nurturing. Men thrive on challenges. We are different, yet essentially we are the same and we should stop stepping on one another's toes in one another's ball park(s). It is not to say that men should not cook or that women should not work, rather, that we realise the principle behind it; men are wired to play certain roles and women for others and although these roles may seem to be identical within an area of work, lifestyle or social norm, at the very core, men and women approach their given tasks in light of this innate quality, regardless of whether they are mindful or aware of such roles or not.

A man in the kitchen might seem less masculine than a man in the battlefield (to which I disagree), but a woman on the battlefield with a rifle in her hands, no matter how butch or strong or competent as a soldier, will never be more masculine that a man in the kitchen wearing an apron, swishing pancakes into the air. She may appear to have mannish behaviourisms or appear to 'need' less help (in whatever form) from her male counterparts but deep inside, no matter how much she doesn not feel it, no matter how unrefined the packaging, she is ultimately, a woman.

In the same way society calls these women eternal tomboys or ladettes, they call men who care for their appearance, metrosexuals. Isn't it strange that whilst society moves on to become more and more image obssessed - the way ties are knotted, the way cufflinks should be aligned - the primal image of a man is one more caveman than corporate yuppie?

There is something endearing to see a man in the kitchen, after all, which girl wouldn't like to boast that her guy-friend/ boyfriend can whip up the best hazelnut meringue pie on this side of the Atlantic? But I doubt we should take for granted that every guy should be able to cook like Gordon Ramsey or else he fails the 'list.' Not all guys can dance. Not all guys can sing. Not all guys have an acceptable level of EQ. But not all girls are kind. Not all girls are supportive. Not all girls allow their men to be heroes in their lives. And not all girls can cook. So where does this leave us?

Being male and female is intricate, not instrumental. Gender is ingrained, not imposed. No matter how many sick and psychotic experiments are done to prove otherwise, even if men are castrated and women de-wombed, they still remain men and women. They do not lose their gender identity even if the very physical element that distinguishes them as male and female is removed because being who we are was ordained before chromosomes were created or DNA discovered or the ridiculous Nature vs. Nurture theory concocted.

"Chilvary is dead!" women around the world cry. But it is not that the knights have disappeared but that the damsels have ignored their call of,

"Rapunzel, let down your hair!" and have built for themselves escalators to go down the tower on their own. And then, reaching the bottom, they scowl at their knights (in shining armour) and ask,

"Why didn't you rescue me?"

Monday, January 21, 2008

Grown Up Pooh Bear and Mini Pooh Bear

One day, Pooh Bear (PB) grows up and married Pooh-Bearina (PBI) and they have a Mini Pooh Bear (MPB). One day, MPB encounters something that frustrates his little sawdust mind and so seeks out the greater saw dust mind that they may contemplate together although not to the extent that pins and needles stick out of their heads like they did to the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (but that was because the Scarecrow had a brain which is different to the mind, you see).

MPB: Hoo.

PB: Oh bother.

MPB: Oh bother is right, dad.

PB: Oh. Whenever I'm tired I follow my tummy.

MPB: You mean whenever you're hungry, dad.

PB: Oh. Right.

MPB: Something is bovering me mind, dad.

PB: You should not let things bover you, MPB. The bees are not boverred. They just make hunny. For us.

MPB: There was this creature I saw today. I think it's a very sad creature.

PB: Why MPB? Did it not have friends?

MPB: Oh no, dad, it has friends and sometimes I see it smile a lot and laugh, dad. It laughs!

PB: Was it a hungry creature?

MPB: Maybe, but I don't think it was thinking of food. Maybe soul food...

PB: Like chicken? Hunny glazed and roasted on a spit with that touch of hunnycomb and...

MPB: No, dad not chicken. Soul food. Like it was looking for something.

PB: What did it lose? Was it loooking for its glasses? Sometimes I lose my glasses and then I get very cross when Wol comes and tells me there're in my hunny pot when they're not because they're on my head.

MPB: No, it wasn't looking for glasses, dad. I think it was looking for something it lost a long time ago. There was a wistful look in its eyes. Like it knew something but refused to acknowledge it. Or supressed it...

PB: Supress? Super press? When you supress a hunnycomb, hunny comes out. It's only natural. Even the bees know that.

MPB: Like ignoring it, dad.

PB: When you ignore a bee, lots more bees will come and sting you. Unless you pretend you're a balloon or a cloud.

MPB: I see it in a lot of creatures eyes, dad.

PB: Everyone is hungry. But not everyone wants hunny. They would rather go hungry than have hunny in their tummy. They try eat berries. They try eat corn. But what they really want is hunny but they don't want to admit they want hunny. It's all about the hunny.

MPB: They don't want what's good for them?

PB: Maybe, deep down they do MPB. But they don't want to say they want to taste hunny when they said they didn't want any before.

MPB: But that's silly, dad. There's lots of hunny to go round.

PB: Yes, there is. But we're all selfish. If you had only a little hunny, would you share it with Mini Tiggertoo (MT)?

MPB: But MT doesn't like hunny dad.

PB: Hmmm... if MT didn't bounce that would be wrong right MPB?

MPB: Yes it would be. Because Tiggertoos are meant to bounce. How did Uncle Tigger find Tiggeraphogus? I thought there was only one Tigger in the world.

PB: There is only one Tigger, MPB. And there is only one Tiggeraphogus.

MPB: Tiggers and Tiggeraphoguses and Tiggertoos are all meant to bounce.

PB: And if they don't?

MPB: Then they'd be quiet Tiggers. Sad Tiggers. Not Tiggers.

PB: So like those creatures you saw. We were all made to eat the great hunny from the giant hunny pot. But some creatures decided they didn't want to eat the hunny. And they become the Uncreatures.

MPB: What are the Uncreatures?

PB: They look like the creature you saw today. They may smile or they may not. They may love or they may hate. They may share or they may hoard. But they have lost a great thing and they keep little for themselves. They think themselves greater for keeping less but only the great hunny is sweet to the taste and everything else bitter in comparison. At the back of these creatures' minds, they know this but they have what's the word... supressed it... so that they no longer remember the great hunny or the giant hunny pot. This is the lost you see in their eyes and the hole you see in their souls which is forever empty.

MPB: That's really sad, dad. What can I do to make things better?

PB: We can remind them of the pot they lost and maybe they'll want to look for the hunny again.

MPB: Ok. Thanks dad. Let's go get some hunny. I'm hungry.

PB: Oh dear. I hope Piglet remembered not to use the hunnycomb to stick the furniture together. Eeyore Junior sat on Rabbita's best armchair and broke it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pieces

I am a self-confessed dreamer. I dream whilst walking to the station. I dream on the train. I dream when I work, when I'm on the bus, when I'm watching TV, when I'm walking. I even dream in my dreams. Some might call this unfocused, unreliable, incompetent. Others might call it idealistic, creative, intuitive. Yet others will call it being lazy, disinterested, cowardice. I am all those things yet none of those things. I am ironically unwilling to be part of a rat race I am trying to finish and wish to hound other rats in my wake even as I want to run off the treadmill and return to 'real' life. Will I dare take the risk and be still? Do I dare take the chance and know God in what could be seen by others as naivety, foolishness, ignorance, hope, disdain, impractical, arrogant, stupidity... cowardice?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rock and roll

There have been some rocky moments the last week or so and there have been some moments that seemed to have rolled by too fast that now they exist only in memory.

Without divulging too much information, listening to Guns and Roses incessantly is doing me no favours in curbing my rebellious streak. More and more I find myself wanting to be more in control by 'losing control.' There are a hoard of things I could willingly binge on; chocolates, coffee, late nights, you-tubing and of late, nail coffins. I have always hated the smell of cigarette smoke so this latest phase is a puzzle to me as I try resist the underlying attraction of something that was once a stench. It is as though the dare I say it, sweet smell of nicotine promises to bring me to a world where a disinterested self can stick two fingers up at the world and say, "F*** off."

It is not that I have hit a spiritual 'dry' or that the devil has overtaken my soul. These sentiments have been brewing for years and if I think about it carefully, the anger is universal and affects not just me in my little world but the rest of humanity and our relationships to one another. Part of me feels angry at myself for all sorts of reasons, some justified, others self-righteous and yet others, self-pity. But part of me feels angry at God and I wonder if it is because I have made God too small in my eyes or if I have forgotten what it should mean to be in a relationship with Him, for how can I be angry at or with my Creator? There is absolutely no reason or right that I have which allows me such liberty. It does not add up.

I know that I die to self everyday. Every morning I offer my life afresh, trusting that God's mercies are everlasting and sufficient, yet at night, I cannot even number my sins through thought, speech and action. This is not some legalistic yardstick I am pulling out to show God but on the other hand, perhaps I disregard the Law too much that when I claim to live recklessly for Christ, I, whether subconsciously or not, bring my own sinful recklessness into the equation. I hate it when people think they can 'do' their way up to God and yet it seems like I am finding myself going in the opposite direction, like a stubborn youth testing to see how far she can go before igniting her Father's wrath.

Even in moments like these, though they may seem a waste of blog space, I know that though I may be a foolish sheep, thinking that post-modernism is the answer to everything (if sheep think about literary philosophy) I am nevertheless, a sheep and I know my Father's voice because He IS my Father, whether I act foolishly or not. That I may one day be punished and rebuked with His rod is a blessing, just as now, even in doubt, I am kept in the fold by His staff.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Stress points

There are times when I really, really, really, like Law. There are times when coming into work is a joy and knowing what case I need to sort out for the day, a welcome task. There are times when lunch break is a comfort and over-time enjoyed. There are times when I think I have the motivation to actually make a career out of this and that I might actually enjoy 'office work.'

Then...

There are times when I toss and turn in bed having nightmares of unfinished files to attend to. There are times when Sisyphus seems more etched in me than Christ and His glory. There are times when I feel not just completely powerless, but useless. As much use as a gelding is in a stud farm or a eunuch in a sperm bank. There are times when the weight of paper sitting on my desk feels as though it would rise up and attack me as the pack of cards did Alice in Wonderland. There are times when the simplest problem of one extra pie threatens to overturn a neatly planned day.

Emotions are extremely fickle and perhaps even more so when the person himself or herself is one who swing in extreme tendencies. Do I stay the path or do I venture into unknown territory hoping to seek what is yet to be sought? Unlike Christ and the certainty He offers, I do not know my end in this journey through Law. I do not know if I will get fired tomorrow for being sloppy in my work or if I'll pass future exams I may wish to take to further my career and understanding of Law. I do not know if I will wake up to find that I love reading Law or if history repeats itself, to wake up wondering if Christ will sustain me another day on this road I never imagined I would take.

Many ask me what my future plans are. To be honest, I do not know. Partly because I am at the cusp of change and can see neither forward nor backwards, although I remember what it was like from whence I came. However, it is also partly because, unlike some who boldly choose to take certain paths with a fixed destination ahead in time, I have stumbled upon this path be it by chance, accident or providence. Yes, many have often told me I would take this road and I myself have wondered what it would be to traverse this far but I never thought that I would actually turn my head and direct my footsteps this way. Even as I am seemingly walking down this road, I am in a haze. It is as if some unknown force has beckoned me here and the same force (or should I just say Holy Spirit?) is pushing me along as I slowly take in my surroundings with curious puzzlement, my head tilted to one side, trying to make sense of it all.

There are some moments throughout my day when I think to myself that Law is the most natural thing for me to do. Yet, there are many moments when I wonder if I am fooling myself and trying too hard to mould myself into an impression to fit the footsteps required to walk this road; an impression which perhaps, I am not best fitted for.

There are days when the grace of Christ surpasses everything and other days when my inadequacy betrays me. Whatever happens, I am glad I was given this path to take if only for a brief moment in time. I now appreciate overtime, one-hour lunch breaks, deadlines which are actually real and meeting expectations outside my own standard. I can empathize with having to wear buttons and rotating workwear on a weekly basis. I appreciate creativity more whatever chance it has to glimmer through. I also appreciate the fact that teaching, with its half days and school holidays, seems all too tantilizing at the moment.