When there’s no other thing in sight…

3 08 2011

This may be a blanket statement, but the writing process is so often affected by so many factors: inspiration, motivation, energy, audience, perseverance… the list could go on for days. Sitting here at my desk now, having spent several minutes doing a sum total of nothing important, but at the same time cognisant of the fact that I am failing terribly at keeping the pledge of one post a week this year as a means of keeping a record.

Having started back at work in earnest yesterday, there are already many items on my ‘to-do’ list, and one of the considerations I need to make, and which is feeling like a bit of a dilemma, is whether to put up a poster that I bought from The Oatmeal about 10 commonly misspelled words that uses the word “a-hole” in the context of suggesting that one refrains from spelling ‘definitely’ as ‘definately’, the premise being that if one spells the word as the latter, then one is an “a-hole”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the current [ethical] dilemma I have at work. Should I put up the poster?

On another note completely, it drives me foaming at the mouth with frustration and irritation when someone says something, which they may not have meant anything by, that just successfully hits you in the “you’re not a part of this at all” spot. As in, “We have someone who does that in our _________.”

Makes you feel alive.


With all this being unsaid

23 07 2011

Saying goodbye this afternoon was too easy, and the refuge that is a home as well waited patiently. Stepping through the doorway, I felt transported to a peaceful place, and the dull roar of the air-conditioner says that it is time to sit back and read the novel that has been waiting.

Summer days are too good. Too soon, it will be time for the onslaught again, and these days will be appreciated all the more.

The toughest decision for the rest of today is whether to step back into the throng of people at the shopping centre to buy an eye mask to sleep in. I’m leaning towards no, and feeling the massive strain of having to make this heavy, heavy decision.

Oh, summer, how I love you.

Not saying no

22 07 2011

Although a great deal of progress has been made so far in counselling, one thing I still find quite challenging is saying no to certain individuals in my life who demand things of me. In many ways, this move has been good, but returning to old places is made all the more tiresome because of the distance, physically or emotionally.

What is it about this person that makes my teeth clench in anger? Could it be the injustice of the situation, where a perceived debt is reason for any number of manipulations? Could it be the inability to distinguish vital from unimportant? Could it be the self-righteous attitude that says everyone else in the world is taking advantage of positives and acquired wealth? Could it be the blatant and flagrant ignorance of appreciation? Perhaps it is all of these things, because my mother asking for my help on someone else’s behalf is something that at once annoys and frustrates me.

Because when you are in the process of moving house, you should not be ‘out of town’; you should be the one who oversees, arranges, schedules, structures, decides, and takes action. What a cop-out.

At some point, I will move past this and realise the value of forgiveness, and the joy that can be received through helping someone whose responsibilities require them to be elsewhere, and so have no choice but to depend on others to fulfil their duties for them. I will eventually be able to write about what I have learned from this situation, and how it has made me a better person. I will understand the difficulties of being stuck between two places, and wanting to please the people I love.

But not yet.

Can’t move on

23 06 2011

The burdensome choice that I made a few weeks ago after having made the real decision six months ago was a result of the even bigger change that began the whole cycle of what is going on now, and I still can’t move on.

In a paraphrase, Lewis B. Smeades may have said that forgiveness is setting a prisoner free and finding that the prisoner was yourself all along, but perhaps my heart is not ready for that yet. I will be one day, I pray.

If moving on is what needs to happen, and it can’t happen until I’ve let go, then I may be stuck with this particular heartbreak for a while more. Lord, give me strength.

After a delay… Twelfth Night… musings

22 06 2011

Having never lived in a house with fewer than six people, having a place just on the outskirts of the chaos and noise that is New Town Plaza in Shatin is a blessed relief but also a somewhat surprising chore. Being required to think up meals for myself, do all my own chores, buy groceries, and clean up after myself is somewhat burdensome, but it’s all still within the first flush of excitement so there’s that going for it at the moment, although none of it is entirely new to me.

As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for the dryer to finish doing its work. My flatmate and I got this dryer cheap from a family from work who are leaving to go back to the US, and baby cockroaches crawl out of it at night. This is how living independently has given me balls: I kill them with my bare hands.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about since the last time I blogged (postaweek2011 fail again…) is what things I would do if I had infinite time. I expect that the reason I’ve been so chilled about things is that it’s the summer holidays right now, and the most pressing things on my mind are where to go for a break in July, and how to go about teaching Twelfth Night (1996). I watched the movie version again last night, and enjoyed it just as much as the last time I watched it, back in 1999…! The play itself is a joy to read, but then again I wonder whether that’s because I naturally love drama and Shakespeare in particular meets needs that no other ‘literary great’ can.

What I need to work on next is how to divide the play into manageable sections for the freshmen to bite off, and which parts of the movie to show when. I also want to do a little research on other movie versions to use as comparisons, as doing this with Romeo and Juliet worked relatively well for the past 3 years. I used Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version of the play with Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet (1996), which would result in some pretty good discussions about ‘modern’ adaptations and ‘older’ ones, and I’d find that approximately 50% of my students would respond to a more traditional presentation whilst the other half of the classes would go for the all-guns-blazing, MTV-style offering.

There are several allegedly rather-good adaptations of Twelfth Night (something else that I love about the universality of Shakespeare is how many theatrical and cinematographical versions there are of each play) but I have to say I have some hesitations in showing She’s the Man (2006), a movie that supposedly is based on the play, but which detracts very significantly from the plot in areas other than the names of the characters and the original premise. I remember enjoying it, but definitely feeling cheated when I had been under the impression that it was an adaptation of the play.

Still, the task for the rest of the vacation is going to revolve heavily around planning this unit, and making Shakespeare come alive for teenagers 🙂

This is one of the things I find to be somewhat of a struggle though, making my passion and love for Shakespeare come across in my teaching so that my students catch that love too. As always, I welcome suggestions and thoughts.

Something to believe in

3 05 2011

When I read the prompt for today, to write about something I used to believe in, the thing that came to mind was the no doubt scores of people who would post about the loss of their faith in God, Jesus, or, more likely, the institution of the church. A lump formed in my chest when this thought came to mind, that when the faith is not rooted in truth, it can be washed away with so much tribulation.

News over the past day or so has revolved around events in Pakistan, and I have felt very convoluted about what I’ve been reading, hearing, and seeing. I don’t understand how a people, who have taken it upon themselves to be deemed the world’s police, and the poster child for freedom, could so openly and jubilantly celebrate another death to add to the scores of lives already lost in this current fight.

The question from this comforting blog post by Brian McLaren articulates it for me:

Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?

Premonition Of The Night“The Night” by Max Beckmann 1918-19, Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf, Germany

And thus, although these days are hard, and things happening in and around me are confusing at the best of times, there is light, and understanding.

Tomorrow, tomorrow

25 04 2011

No, this is not yet another post on procrastination, although so much of my life is about precisely that. Tomorrow I’m going to put the deposit down on the house I’ll be living in for the next 2 years, and I’m impossibly excited.

I was so pumped about it that I had to go to the gym to burn some of it off, and ended up doing the pilates class. And then I went for a swim. Followed by time spent in the jacuzzi. It’s a hard life on the holiday days.

So tomorrow is going to be a full day of work, and then I’m off to put down too much money. And then I’m getting my key! Very exciting.