December 31, 2005

Gripes and Whines. Well, almost.

It would be easy for me to sit down and grumble about how the festive season's gone. Quite simply put, it's been an emotional rollercoaster which I've been hard pressed to stomach. Then again, the Christmas season has never been one which I've cherished at any point in my life. When I was young, frequent visits to Tan Tock Seng Hospital would be the order of the day around this time due to my father's seemingly never-ending series of health problems. I remember watching television and feeling envious of all the advertisements with families soaking in the Christmas cheer, whilst I'd be scouring the corridors of the hospital looking for Dad's room. This year then, it's been no different. Not Dad of course, he's already gone. Rather, it's the deep feelings of sadness I've experienced which threaten to derail my entire 2006.

I was tempted to dedicate this post to whining about my problems when I realised my own short-sightedness. I guess as human beings, we're all so focused on our own problems and issues and we fail to sometimes realise how lucky we already are. How then, can I complain about the little issues I'm facing when people all over South-East Asia are mourning the anniversary of the Dec 26th tsunami? How can I bear to say I've lost something when the victims of Katrina lost everything? I've met people who don't even have enough to go by and wander the HDB blocks of Singapore during the festive season doing surveys on others for a mere $5/piece. I've had a friend who's going to lose his father to cancer and can't even go home for his last days because he can't afford it. If I, as a person, can still look these events around me in the eye and claim I am troubled, then I must be a selfish bastard.

But really, perhaps it's been my own selfishness which has led me into this hole I've dug for myself. And even in everything that's happened, I believe there are lessons to be drawn. After all, life is one big learning journey and if we fail to learn from past mistakes, we run the risk of entering a vicious circle of repetition. I was devastated initially, but I'll be strong about everything. Life goes on and we can't afford to fall and lie still. Whatever it is, I'm praying this is for the best. May 2006 be a productive and enjoyable year for me. Happy New Year all. If it's happy at all.

"It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true."

Traveller fell apart at 8:50 AM

December 12, 2005

Chronicles of Epiphany

The hooded figure gingerly stepped across the light marble floor, careful not to cause commotion or to attract attention. And yet, his footsteps were sure and fleet. Moving towards the centre of the Great Hall in great haste and yet, cautiousness, he caught sight of the lone figure sitting on the podium, elevated in the middle of that vast expanse; as if to accentuate his greatness. Little did the hooded figure, Rafael, realise that the conversation they were about to have was an epiphany in itself.

Master: So, you've decided to return, Rafael.

Rafael: You must have alot to say now, taking into account the fact that you were the one who warned me about leaving.

Master: I have nothing to say. The truth always speaks for itself. What I tried to tell you was only the truth, Rafael, understand that. And do not regard me as a haughty, high-handed judge. Instead, see me as the caring Master who took you in as a six-year-old orphan.

Rafael: Nothing? I've ventured into what I'd imagined would be paradise only to have my dreams and heart shattered into pieces. And it is in my hour of personal grief, of pain and shame and regret that I return to your house. Surely, you must have something to admonish me about.

Master: Rafael, when I warned you about the world and its dangers, I sought not to hold you back from what you saw as greatness. I have borne witness to far greater evils, turmoil and sorrow that you will ever behold in your lifetime. I feared you would be destroyed if you went out there without being adequately prepared. It was in love that I tried to hold you back.

Rafael: Love? That is an entirely foreign concept to me now. I'd thought it was simple, altruistic passion between a man and a woman. But is it really that simple? The view the world takes of love is vastly different from what I've read about in fairytales.

Master: Love, even though it may be the saving grace of humankind before its tumble into the precipices of barbarity, remains a largely unpredictable concept. Love, to some is altruistic. And yet, to others it is an entirely uglier thing. The uncanny characteristic about love, though, is that it seeks you and not the other way round. Those who seek love only end up getting their hearts broken.

Rafael: Perhaps then, it would be wise of me not to seek love. But in today's society where men are expected to seek love and women are only expected to receive, it is difficult. Furthermore, loneliness is something I feel ill-equipped to deal with. Master, how have you remained alone all through this time?

Master: Loneliness is merely a state of mind. We tell ourselves that warmth and support is paramount and that is why we crave love. Love has become an addiction to the human race. Look around! An entire myriad of images and actions all done in the celebration of love! Mankind has fallen prey to the curse of over-indulgence and has become obsessive with falling in love. Why can't a man be an island if he knows how to grow his own crops, entertain himself and to feel content? Every morning I awake to great feelings of depression because of my loneliness. But eventually, I remind myself that it is not loneliness I face, but solitude. And it is a solitude which imposes great focus and strength on my inner soul, something I cannot fault.

Rafael: Then what of injustice? The world witnesses injustice everyday in the streets and in the forums. The politicians lie to the populace and the populace in turn fight amongst themselves. Where is the justice and civility which the human race prides itself upon? Has it been lost amongst the sands of time? Innocent people are hanged and the guilty murderers walk scot-free with gleams in their eyes. I am grieved to think about such occurences.

Master: Injustice is a result of man's sinful nature. It is something which cannot be avoided as hard as we try. The wheel of fate turns and dishes out disasters and blessings almost randomly. Disasters which therefore fall on people we deem not deserving are termed injustices. But perhaps there is no such thing as a wheel of fate? Perhaps there is a Higher Order pulling the strings, planning what goes where. Would an injustice still be called one then? Knowing that the Higher Order sees across generations and makes plans according to a timescale far longer than a man can view. Not many things in our world cannot be explained, Rafael. All it takes is some quiet meditation and silent reflection.

Rafael: I know not what I will do now. I have turned against your word and walked out these gates. And yet, in my hour of need, I still turn to your wisdom. I....I have failed you.

Master: Come, sit awhile with me Rafael. In this house, Time stops for us. The injustices and grief you have suffered can be healed. With time and caution in future, you will venture forth once more. For now, though, rest and reflect.

"I'm finding my way back to sanity again, but I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there."

Traveller fell apart at 11:56 PM

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