Saturday, December 31, 2005

?? ? ??

That's all I see from you.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Uh, I have nothing to say.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Being Brave

Everyone, at some point in time, has experieced having loved and lost.
Or at least, losing some part of an illusion.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Lemme in!

To speak of anything in terms of two-dimension formulae and absolute certainty is puerile. If anything, it reveals the regression of the mind and the smallness of spirit. And that, is when doctrine becomes dogma.

So what.

In order to be the bigger man, you first have to be there.
Tom, this is all your fault.

So my bottle of vodka disappeared into the bowl of punch. And all that's left of last night is a finsihed jig-saw puzzle, a hang-over, 2 shots in the freezer and the devil's blood in a punch bowl. The night was beautiful, and the stars came from the sky to mingle in my living room. We joined our craniums and sang christmas carols.

Andre came home.
'Look at this, I don't know what I'm gonna do with a whole bottle of vodka'
'Ha, I can help'

So my bottle of vodka disappeared into the bowl of punch. And all that's left of last night are the fragmented memories of Kill Bill and my facial scrub, a hang-over, 2 layers of clothes on the coffee table and the devil's blood in a punch bowl. The night was beautiful and the stars came from the sky to mingle in front of my fireplace. We peaced them together and giggled at our success.

New year's revolution (pt. 2)

Love - deeply, truely, purely and correctly.

Monday, December 26, 2005

New Year Revolutions

Do not take -anything- for granted.

By His grace we will suffer, and by His grace we will recover

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sanguine Season.

What is it about us that makes it impossible to span the years? Like staring at an oddity from behind a "please refrain from tapping on the glass" sign.

Better left undisturbed.
Or better left to grow.

I hate disappointing my parents.
I hate disappointing perfection.

You Have a Sanguine Temperament

You are an optimistic person who is easily content.
You enjoy casual, light tasks - never wanting to delve too deep into anything.
A bit fickle, it's easy for you to change plans or paths when presented with something better.

You enjoy all of the great things life has to offer - food, friends, and fun.
A great talker, you can keep the conversation going for hours.
You are optimistic and sure of your success. If you fail, you don't worry about it too much.

At your worst, you are vain. You are obsessed with your own attractiveness.
A horrible flirt, you tend to jump into love affairs and relationship drama easily.
You're very jealous - which just magnifies the craziness around you.

The frightening thing is that, this is all true.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Friday, December 23, 2005

This is the semester of lousy grades. For the first time in my academic career, I am actually no longer an A student.

I am trying to find the redemption in this, and remember a time long ago when I used to preach on the evils of being defined by your grades.

Excuse me, tantrum's coming.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Unblessed and broken. Bleh.

Like the sour aftertaste of medicine.

Teach me how to love.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

There is something glamourously tragic about riding in the backseat of a car. Quietly. Converseless and careless. Or laden with cares and internal conversation. Whatever.

I just think that there is something novel about being in the backseat of a car.
Not something that happens very often.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You can't go on
Thinking nothing's wrong

Chesterton has a wicked sense of humor. And a lot to say about the state of humanity in our sin. It is a wonder though, that many of us (Christians included) have lost our notion of sin and fallenness. So much so that it is very easy to ignore and rationalize away the guilt that otherwise should riddle our spirits. Indeed as Chesterton purports, rational logic and not spirited art is the root of insanity and as it is impossible to communicate with the madman, it is even more impossible to communicate with the rational man. For this man, bred of the Enlightenment, hails solipsism and believes in himself, and hence is locked into the prison of individualism, with no sense of otherness. We are very small beings, and not built to be self-sufficient.

But then I wonder if my attempts to build community and relationships are actually worth anything. Or if they are but feeble representations of the circular, narrow, yet infinite arguments of the madman.

Who's gonna drive you home, tonight?

And through all this, I recall reading a thought off a page (off a hand-me-down chinese textbook no less), penned by Yishan:

"There is a joy in being a madman that only madmen will know."

And I think I know who's crazy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bonhoeffer said something about being real.

Forgive me.
I need to be careful with myself.

My entire being
Emotional pornography.

That's what it is.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Go ahead and erase the memory of me.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

We are existing.

There is nothing to talk about anymore.
There is nothing left to say that is worth saying,
that will not fall to the ground,
flacid and limp like the hungry flesh
that once thought that it was satisfied.
And now thinking that it should keep pushing for more.
So halfway hanging, down the hallways of hummed space,
The ticking clock measuring each mute second of our pacing.

Let's just go.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

RE: Dear Diary

ARGH ARGH ARGH! *#@%&#....


Okay okay okay. I come home from starbucks to find shu giggling at my post and more pertinently, the comments to my previous post. Now I am a failure when it comes to confrontation or hostility of ANY sort, especially when it comes from me shooting my mouth off on public domain at 2 am. So I go raving mad. Naturally, my previous post hardly has any grounds or claims to truth whatsoever and I dance dangerously close to offending half the human population and damning myself to a life-long state of being despised by the other gender.

Unfortunately, by principle, I never delete previous posts. Once posted an entry becomes part of the landscape of this corner of the blogsphere that I have to deal with in terms of communication. Once the cat's out of the bag, you're never going to get it back in again. So we'll just deal with what we have left, snip snap and scratch.

But anyway, what do we have here?

I'm going to engage this as if this were a dialectic of some sorts. So, I've said something, and some have said somethings about this something that i've said. And I will say somethings, two things to be exact, in response to the things that they have said.

1) The context of the post, and of the things spoken of in the post aren't well represented in the entry. I wrote this in the emotional conduit of having watched Bridget Jone's Diary 2. Ahhh Bridget Jones. who's beau Mark Darcy travels around the world (no less) to save her from a Thai Prison despite being under the impression that she no longer loves him. So that's where being 'Saved' comes from.

Uh. The context of the problem lying with 'men' and not with 'us' isn't a male-female issue. It sounds like it, but uh, it was a part of a conversation which I think was dealing with particulars (me and two other people) then with the genders in question. Yes the gendered discourse is still there, and probably stronger then I'd like to admit. But at the end of the day, what was being said was more slanted toward 'lets not blame, and try to change ourselves to find guys, but recognise that we're not the only factors in the equation.' I think 'where did I go wrong?' is a question asked by too many girls, in too many wrong relationships. And by the wrong girls.

But while the comments weren't an attack on the male gender as a whole, they were dipictions of disappointment toward the relationships that I have seen and been engaged with. So unabashedly, yes, the male gender is involved in this, but not in the orientation or to the extent as was taken by my previous post.

A great guy friend once cautioned me "don't ask for a king if you're not a queen". Contextualized, this was spoken to mellow my zeal for the kind of relationship that I wanted and expected having being drawn out, quite painfully, of two other less-then-ideal relationships in a span of 6 months. It worked. But thinking about excellence from a christian perspective, I have come to the conclusion that that wouldn't work either. Instead, I should look for someone who is willing to grow with me, into the people that we're meant to be. So while I shouldn't be avoiding every guy who is less-than-considerate, less-than-Godfearing, less-than-patient, less-than-strong, I should be seeking to be the person that my future husband would want to be with. And I should look for someone who, above all, is willing to grow, willing to watch me grow, and is willing to grow together with me.

I've only met a couple of guys who have their hearts oriented in this direction and unfortunately, chemistry doesn't work with the brain very well.

And while I can say that I have been disappointed with the general male populous, I definately think that, as Dusty points out, that most males would be disappointed with the general female populous and from where I see things, they should be. But for me, disappointment shouldn't be a value-judgement, but a sense of despair at the mismatch of life-goals and orientations. And hence, my problem of lacking relationships, doesn't lie in me (in the sense that I am seeking to be everything that I should be for Him [both 'him's]) but in that I can't find anyone who seems to be interested in walking with me in that direction. And it was for this reason that I broke up with whoever I broke up with. It hurt. I loved him. But we weren't facing the same direction.

2) The statements in my previous posts aren't so much absolute claims to truth then they are depictions of my emotional landscape. I apologise for being insensitive to the multitude of possible renderings toward my language and writing. I don't have much of an excuse for this except that it was 2 am, and I was careless. But while what I said sounded like I was purporting some form of universal truth, it was meant to be a reflection of my very female feelings. I hope number 1) serves to support this. It's me and my feelings. Not the universe and truth.

Blogging is a very selfish enterprise. I uh, hope that this serves to clarify what I was really trying to say. And right now, I'm feeling so highschoolish about having to talk about boys and girls and gender and stuff that I think I'm going to be sick. I think I should just adhere to the advice of my atheistic roomie:

What would Jesus say? Don't put it on your blog if Jesus wouldn't say it. Would Jesus say that it was all men's fault?
~ Andre.

Point taken, lesson learned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dear Diary

It's two in the 'sodding' AM and the girls of 4822 have recently ajourned to our respective living spaces, sombered by the shadowy reality that Mr Mark Darcy exists only in Bridget Jone's world. But apart from being impressioned by hopeless depression at the lack of men who would travel round the world to be with you, much less save you, I have also decided to draw up a little 'December 31' report, albeit, ahead of time.

December 14, 2005

Fallen in love: 483924 times (seriously)
Boy friends: 1.5
Weight loss: -1 pounds
Loved: 1
Exboyfriends: 2
Evicted from a 7 year relationship: 1
Marriage proposals: 0

No, there is NO progress this year.

But as noted by a friend of mine, the issue probably doesn't lie with us, but with men. The singleness of some individuals is enough to prove that. But here I am looking at the boys in my life whom I have been romantically involved with and, despite them being beautiful in their own way, find more joy in having lost then in having been loved before.

Commitment doesn't start with both parties in the boat. It starts with the chase.
and in the waiting.

You never mustered the strength to fight for me.
~ Bridget.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Dear God,

bless it or break it.

All of it.

I miss you so, feels like forever.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Like never before

And the Songbirds keep on singing like they know the score. It's amazing how music affects you, your reality, existence and understanding of the self. I have found a growing desire to drown myself in songs, more then before. I am developing a sensitivity toward the emotions portrayed in tunes, toward the artist's heart stippled across timbre and tone. It's been along time coming, and I'm about to come alive. I think a lot of it has to do with a disconcertion with my life. I am getting fed up with transitional existance and am craving belonging and love. My roots are thirsting, searching and not finding.

I wonder if a lot of it has to do with being shaken up and challenged, confronted with life, reality, a movie in the kitchen. I know it's right. And it's Good. You're all I've got left to believe in. How do I seperate my desire with what I want? Get back to a life unknown. Now. Maybe, I shouldn't seek to be not plastic, but instead, to be plasticine. And then burn with the effigy of truth. But right here and right now, and for the rest of earthly eternity, I will be confined to pottery and pieces.

Ups and down and then more downs, I think I've learnt that I will have to learn to engage people not on their terms, or on my terms, but on our terms. Hannah and truth. Both ways, not giving up.

Monday, December 05, 2005

What I fear in other people, is really myself.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's Christmas time at Regent...
...where nobody's quite at home

God does have funny ways of answering prayers. I can only trust in His souvereignty, goodness and faithfulness, and learn how to turn everything back in praise.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'm not sure how I feel about all this.

Not that it matters.
Going to a Giants game tonight.
rolls on the floor laughing

I know who I am, and in my little world, everyone ties at every game and goes home laughing to sit pretty in their 3-inches of self-reflection.

Pfffffffffffffffffft. That's why I like art and not competition. That's why I see more value in art and competition. But then I realise, like ying and yang, there will be no art without competition, even if your challenger is yourself, and likewise, there will be no point to competition without art. Two natural energies in Man and I want to screw it all.


Friday, December 02, 2005

I don't know if this is what depression feels like, but judging from 'shopgirl' (the less then spectacular Miramax movie) I seem to be fading into a similar state of being as Ms Protagonist. At any rate, I am not so much interested in whining about how I feel as opposed to expressing it. I wonder if there's even a difference.

Someone once lamented about the solipsism of blogging. "A selfish enterprise" she called it, but nonetheless she is still blogging today. If it's anything that this does to the individual is to perpatuate whatever self-absorbing spirial one finds himself engaged in.... blah. whatever. cyber-introspection already.

Anyway, today woke up to a strange Hannah. I'm not about to propose that I was normal and the rest of the world was strange, but really, I think on strange days, it's really me who's gone kooky. It was calm, the world outside the kitchen window was white and softly breathing. The diamonds that blacket are, actually (so sorry to burst your bubble santa) ice. Malice. The quiet demons that suppress reality in all its gore and brokeness with etheral light. Like the eye of the storm. And I wonder, as I shared with God on tuesday, and later with Andre on the way to school, where do all the homless people go? And this further begs the question of are we so selfish that we can only see warm fires and hot coca and fail to heed the dying bodies around and inside us?

God's holiness is his establishment in the world.

But anyway, the stangeness of my being today came primarily from standing on the brink of existance, and yet being prevented from diving into it. I desire action, move me, let me move. Lately, I confess my mind has been drifting of onto a black wooden stage where I simply dance my heart out with imaginary limbs. I am hardly interested in reality. Or at least, what I have conceived to be reality. Perhaps there is a greater reality out there, or in here that needs to be dealt with. And if I find that I am more interested in people here in this wooden reality, then maybe it won't be such a bad idea to engage in it more willfully.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's just some silly phase that I'm going through

The snow is softly falling, but nonetheless, I stand pretty much uncharmed. Life, in all its excitment perfection and glory, has taken a somewhat strange ramble through the dark wood of insolation. As I was telling Seth last night (in one of our -very- rare conversations) he collapses into himself too much. And I do too. I haven't see Seth in a long time and I do miss him. I wonder how he's doing and what he's up to. I also cannot help but grapple with the Mythos of who he is to me now. Still ex-boyfriend? Friend? wha...?

Let's not even talk about Dennis.

Alright, lets.

But not in the conventional sense. I was thinking about being in relationships today during Crawford's class and then later on the 99 back home. I realise that commiting yourself in anything, to anything requries a reorganization and retelling of the Story, of the myth that indicates your identity. I don't know how many people understand this but this is precisely the reason why so many relationships today are so short-lived and pointless. The mythos is forgotten and all that is left between two individuals is the hope and illusion that maybe, there'll be something of some worth here.


And here I think I am craving to identify myself with someone, in someone. With a community, in a community. An hour long phone conversation with a couple of frat boys seemed to prove the intrinsic need that we all have to be a part of something. Something bigger then yourself.

What is bigger then me?
~ Seth.

Look outside, and then, flip yourself inside out.

Most unfortunately, I am not in love.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Today in church, I felt very brought into the presense of God. A peace in his presence, and humility at the sight of my inadequacy. It was indeed an invitation in which I played no part but to receive. This is grace.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's saturday afternoon, the sun is high and we're in the backyard on a couch with coffee and songs tucked under blankets and giggles. What other life is there? But that of blood diamonds and sewer children who live under the curse of existance, their governments. And us.

But life is beautiful and full of love. Here and there, Then and now.

Robby boy, I'm excited for you. Too much, i'm exploding.

Broadway@Granville/41st and Main.

The heart of a woman is captivating. Chase me, need me and unveil me. Thank you Lord, for ministering to me and revealing your heart and the love and dreams that you have for me. Deep breath. Here I go.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

You don't deal with rejection very well
~ Shub.

Very very true. And I think this has something to do with my cry today, after bible study, that God may grant that I be submissive to the utter depths of His calling. I am stuck by the harshness of the calling to be a christian and how it grates against every satient concept of the sensible. A lot of things are good, but are they biblical and Godly? Tolerance (i.e. blindness, not loving understanding), Agency, Personal Lord and Saviour. Things that our modern christian faith is built on and that we do not question. Where in the bible did God ever sanction what we believe in.

Get down and get dirty.

So in my high-wired caffinated state, the butterflies in my intestinal tract lead me to sprawl out before God in prayer asking for it all. Whatever that means, it's not like I'm big enough to define the mystery anyway.

So today was highly disappointing, and faith wrenching. The professor that I am trying to negotiate with wrt to a personal project of mine seemed to underestimate me, or perhaps, I am in the wrong programme. Seeing that I do not sweep through the corridors of Buchanan with the decorum that demands you all relinquish your natural rights to me and hail me as the Souverign, I would probably fit better in the discipline of Interpersonal Relations. Maybe I should stop school, go to a village and have babies.

And I'm also not going back to Singapore for christmas. Nuff Said.

So disappointment abounds and I have to learn that indeed, life rarely goes the way you want it to. The will and the imagination are existential party-poopers, and while my rational mind tells me that I am up for disappointment no matter what, my fluffly lil' heart decides to sail of anyway, having decided, quite spontaniously, to file a divorce against reason.

But at the end of the day, life patters on. And until I stop trying to forge myself against the will of the cosmos, I will end up confused, betrayed and disillusioned, with no one but myself to blame.

Existential curve ball thrown at me. what if what if what if what if?


Nothingness and everythingness bumbled together in a great big balloon of HERE AND NOW.

In the eye of the storm WHERE IS THE FREAKING VOICE?

Shhhhhhhhshhhh shhh...

Chinese now.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

RE: Being Scottish

I didn't realise that I had three comments wrt to my post on being Scottish. I have a ton of other things to talk about but I really wanted to deal with some questions. The notion of being Singapore Presbytarian, Singaporean Baptist etc etc etc and not knowing what the vaious denominations stand for could mean one of two things.

1) That the congregation's relationship with God is based on the person of Christ as opposed to the doctrine.

2) That there is a general unawareness of what the congregation is built upon and that cultural Christianity has seeped in.

From my experience in Singapore, I am tempted to say the latter. Not that the former isn't in the equation at all, but that it is wraught out of unawareness. I just am a sucker for knowledge (in a warped focoultian way) and I believe that the decision to engage in a certain code of conduct would be all the richer if it were based in some sense of knowledge.

It is true that what defines us denominationally is more practise and periphery then anything else, but it is exactly that which is built on European culture and context. And we don't seem to know what that is. I haven't been to many chuches in singapore, but I do not see a great distinction between liturgy in and out of different denominational settings. It seems that that's becuase nobody today really knows why we worship the way we do.

At any rate, there is value to be wraught from understanding the history of the church, and from there, cultivating perhaps a denomination that engages the congregation in Singapore from its socio-cultural context, with its own litury and sacred symbols. Either that, or do the Packer thing and desert all symbolism.

And excuse me, I am culturally Singaporean hor. Prease don't look me no up and say I jia kan tang only okay? I know I sibeh angmoh pai one, but I still am very much atuned to my identity as a Straits born chinese.

And identity... yeah, i guess it's importance is deemed when one recognizes that it isn't important. Only in understanding who you are in the greater context of things does one have the ability to give that all up to christ.


The Hands that Built America... and the rest of the liberal world
For Poli 367

�if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse

~John Donne

In the Jacobean era, John Donne presents his theory on the interconnectedness of man-kind, a grating contrast to the spirit of the age that was to come: A spirit that would hail isolation over integration, individuality over community. Since the French Enlightenment, modern Liberal thought has developed and grown to be the dominant paradigm in the global framework of existence, with international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund bearing the ideological effigy of this framework in their policies and dealings with global actors. The Liberal paradigm is characteristically fraught with optimism and seeks to achieve an inter-dependent, inter-connected global society, or (God-willingly) a world community. However, one cannot ignore the possibility, or even desirability, of ideological alternatives to the positivistic, liberal notions of the society that we have now. This epistemological framework is the cradle of mainstream political philosophy and international relations theory, constructing notions of reality and truth that serve to perpetuate the existing ideology of the individual�s relationship with greater humanity. The principles of such liberal thought has profound implications on both society at large and the discipline of international relations. As noted by Kwame Anthony Appiah,

It may do us good to think about the principles, the values and ideals that underlie our agreement [on liberalism], not just to make the consensus more intellectually secure, but also to explore consequences we haven�t noticed (306).

Hence it is pressing to address the conceptual conundrum of the individual�s relationship with community.

Liberalism for purposes of this essay will include notions of �Liberal democracy� and �Liberal capitalism� (ala Adam Smith). It will not be restricted solely to their pure theoretical concepts, but will be dealt with as �Social Imaginary� or �the ways in which people imagine their social existence� (Taylor 106). This does not mean that it stands apart from the theoretical definition, rather, social imaginary is the result of the popularization of social theories that were originally held by the intellectual elite. Liberalism, in its socio-cultural definition, strives for individual liberty and autonomy, both economically and socially. Politically, this entails minimal state intervention with the government�s sole purpose being to enforce the rule of law and individual legal rights. This discussion will examine the assumptions and foundations upon which Liberal ideology is built, and the effects that this paradigm has on both society and International Relations as an academic discipline. This essay will then seek to uncover the dangers of this liberal conception of the individual�s relationship with community in the context of establishing a world community.

John Locke (1632-1704) has been touted to be the father of Liberal thought having laid the foundation for individualism with his �Natural Rights Theory�. This was accompanied by notions of Reason and Rationality, a faculty that was shared by all men and hence, the basis of their equality. Locke retained religion in his theory, but as with all other facets of humanity, Liberalism as a form of political thought would be shaped by events in the future particularly, the French Enlightenment. The Enlightenment revolutionized the world more in ways than one. On a social level, the Enlightenment was a seething attack on the fundamentals of Christianity and on religion as a whole, attacking �its clergy, its hierarchy, its institutions, and its dogmas� (Allen 67). It removed theological accounts of ontology and shifted authority away from the notion of �God the Creator�, to �Humanity�, hailing human reason and rationality as the sole authority of human life. This created a radical transformation in the intellectual language, and hence intellectual structuring, of the age. The shift brought with it the idea of endless progress, intellectually encapsulated in the category �Modernity� which �promised mass enlightenment while reconstituting values and ideas away from a God-centered universe to a human centered one� (Rappa 221). This social age was instituted via this notion of endless progress coupled with an eager confidence that positivistic, empirical undertakings will eventually solve all problems, or at least, allow us to avoid them.

The step toward humanism was instrumental in instituting the Lockean postulation of �life, liberty and property� into social theory. The Enlightenment and its banner of human rights were underlined by a sense of universal humanity that was defiled by inequality. Hence, �Social disparity became the most direct evidence of denial of rights, with rights now being interpreted as the power to acquire comfort in this world� (Allen 68). The quality of one�s existence was not only determined philosophically and metaphysically, but was increasingly being qualified materially, as exemplified by the argument made by Adam Smith that social order is most secure resting on tangible distinctions, rather then on the invisible qualities of morals and values (Taylor 101). Modernity, working in concert with the ideology of human reason and rationality, ushered in the dawn of capitalism, an imperative to the liberal paradigm. Capitalism is a function of the overriding positivistic attitude characteristic of the system and the prioritization of empiricism that rejects, whether systematically or unconsciously, normative values, concepts and ways of dealing with the world.

Perhaps the greatest repercussion of capitalism was the creation of the printing press and the institution of the �novel� as a literary genre for mass consumption. With the onset of print capitalism there came a new way of engaging the world and understanding existence, this in turn �deeply shape[d] modern man and guide[d] even his most strictly philosophical efforts�(Ryn 11). This new way of engaging the world is through imagination, a mode of thought that stands in stark opposition to Myth, or Mythos. While neither Myth nor Imagination have any reference to a concrete material reality, both induce the individual to conceive himself in radically different ways. Myth projects images of the past, bearing stories of origin. As demonstrated by Plato who, in book three of Republic, prescribes spinning a magnificent myth to ensure the loyalty of the citizens in the polis (Plato 116). Myth gives the individual a sense of collective identity, of heritage and belonging. This establishes, within the individual, the on-going process of �taking the disconnected elements of [his or her] life and pulling them together into a coherent story that means something� (Houerwas and Willimon 53). Imagination, however, projects images of the future, of desire, of what one could be. This usually stands apart from the collective and is ego-centric. This imaginative mode of thinking unveiled itself as �a mood of daydreaming [that] develop[ed] into a richly orchestrated theme in the cultural life of the west.� What started as a form of entertainment and relief �expands into elaborate and permanent visions of life transformed� (Ryn 14-15). Like a microcosm of the shift from a Theo-centric ontology to a human-centric worldview, imagination brings individual desire to the forefront of his identity, displacing pre-modern notions of moral order, be they based on the idea collective identity or of divine hierarchy (Taylor 94).

Private property, together with the conceived �rights� of a human being and print capitalism, solidified the notion of individualism as opposed to collective identity: The community no longer defines personal identity. This thread of thought finds its heritage in Kant, who conceived the notion of autonomy: �the idea of a person�s being self-governing, ruling him-or herself rather then being ruled from outside� (Appiah 331). This thread of thought has found its way into America�s Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution: �At the heart of liberty is the right to define one�s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life� (Little 27). This not only means self-expression, but also contains notions of rejecting external influences in one�s life, or else ignoring the role that one�s external social context plays in shaping his or her identity. This ideology has found its way into the modern education system, the effects of which are felt most acutely on �pre-modern� communities undergoing western development projects:

I think of [education] as a device whereby the enemy is out to make people forget what they already know. The device where by he destroys our age-old wisdom, by making it impossible to pass it down to the younger generation (Dahl and Megerssa 59).

Here in the throes of neo-liberal development programmes, the separation of the individual from his community, and its detrimental results, is markedly beheld in the eye of the bystander - He that is foreign to liberalism as a framework has identified the danger that comes with the spirit of individualism: The alienation between the self and the community. Appiah labels this �the problem of the unsociablility of individualism� (Appiah 319), and it is this from of unsociable individualism that is found in the liberal paradigm.

The inability, or refusal, of the individual to be sociable impacts the condition of his individuality and liberty. By rejecting and disassociating himself from external influences of identification, decontextualization commences, the most obvious example being that of the demise of religion: �when a man no longer believes in God, it is not that he believes in nothing but that he believes in everything� (Little 29). Liberalism in this sense is the harbinger of Postmodernism, or otherwise, it is the germinating seeds of Postmodernism sown in the fertile soils of Enlightenment thinking. Within the discipline of International Relations, the movement towards decontextualization has created what Holsti quite superciliously calls �Identityville�: the path of subjectivism and identity politics that is �dependent upon forgetting our ancestors who did have an overriding interest in substance� (Dividing Discipline 82). Although �Identityville� was originally descriptive of the internal state of the discipline, this �Crisis� within the school can be seen as one of the many manifestations of the postmodern spirit which drags the individual into sheer solipsism. This necessarily has implications to the formulation of a world community, and hinders its birth in two ways: Firstly, that the Liberal notion of individualism allows for no room for a world community, and secondly, the Liberal notion of individualism allows for no drive toward the creation of a world community.

The result of Postmodern/Liberal thought is that it amalgamates to �a desire, indeed even a demand, for�radical egalitarianism and radical individualism� (Little 26). The absolute actualization of this double-demand, in its most extreme form, would seem to come about in the founding of a Cosmopolitan world, with The World Community being the ultimate conception of an inter-dependent, integrated world system, where individuals by-pass the artificial and arbitrary boundaries of state borders, social classes, and cultural norms to engage directly with each other. This is the solution to the classical disciplinary problem of war: �Peace, then, was the predicted consequence of free transactions� (Holsti, Road 28). Here the superstructure of existence would be that of a common humanity, where �our equality [would be] grounded in our shared human capacity for reason� (Appiah 331). This would constitute the basis for which Chris Brown labels �a worldwide consciousness of common identity� (91). However, this in itself is not enough and Brown goes on to point out that this is insufficient for the establishment of a world community, warning that other unifying forces, both material and non-material must come into play (91-93). Herein lies the imprisoning paradox of liberalism, that the cry for radical egalitarianism, �requires that all differences among human beings be minimized� (Little 26). Liberalism here seems to hold its own seeds of destruction, with the Liberal individual heading in one direction toward complete self-creation and identification, and the Liberal society moving towards a world community based on equality, commonality and assimilation, with everyone sharing the same values, norms and worldview. Hence the liberal world community that it seeks to build stands in stark opposition to liberal, individualistic man.

The second obstacle to a world community would be that the liberal individual would have no reason to seek such an eschatological climax. This is the immediate result of individualism and decontextualization, that the removal of a community-based Mythos from the individual�s worldview plunges him into a state of moral chaos. Tocqueville, during the French Revolution, observed the effects individualistic liberalism had:

People� had been isolated from one another, so that the discourse of community was no longer clearly structured� there was no conscious and open discourse of community that defined their circumstances (Allen 76) (emphasis added).

The moral chaos seeps in with the new moral order that Liberalism smuggles in with individualism. An individualistic society stands in the way of a world community by simply being what it was intended to be, as Stanley Houerwas and William H. Willimon comment:

The primary entity of democracy is the individual, the individual for whom society exists mainly to assist assertions of individuality. Society is formed to supply our needs, no matter the content� rather than helping us judge our needs, to have the right needs which we exercise in right ways, our society becomes a vast supermarket of desire (32).

This leads to a form of moral order which perpetuates alienation and unsociable individualism under the tyranny of the individual�s desires, a kind of secular hell, as understood by Bernard Shaw: hell is where you must do what you want to do (Houerwas and Willimon 33).

Not only does this vanquish any possibility of a world community, the �supermarket of desire� deems that �we have no particular reason for choosing one thing over another except as our own [immediate] impulses dictate� (Little 32). Decontextualization and the stripping away of collective identities (as �responses to something outside the ego� [Appiah 326]), creates a self-imposed historical vacuum where one drifts aimlessly with no purpose outside his individualism to fulfill. This gives the individual no reason or desire to strive for a world community which might conflict with his interests of immediate gratification. The argument thus far, has removed human agency and cast the individual in a passive light, however, the inclusion of agency does not necessarily mean that the individual would choose otherwise, as Tocqueville argues that �a spirit of envy will undermine the supposed smooth operation of a system of entrepreneurial energy [Liberalism] based on individuality� (Allen 81). Here, due to alienating individualism, their agency would work against, rather then for, a world community.

It seems that the individual�s relationship with community (or the lack of it) as construed by Liberalism is the noose for the world community that it concomitantly purports. This is primarily due to the bi-polar value system that is independent of, but built into, Liberalism (and most modes of thought influenced by Grecian epistemology). Within this paradigm, there is a tendency to see the rise of the individual being at the expense of community, which Taylor construes as a distortion: �we fail to recognize that �the new understanding of the individual is a new understanding of sociality: The society of mutual benefit� (Taylor 99). Here we are introduced to a third way, or some sort of middle road on which the individual and �the society of mutual benefit� coexist in tension and mutual tolerance. Individuals work together in mutual self-interest (ala Adam Smith�s capitalism), diluting the extreme effects that liberal individualism has on the community. This is resonant of Mill�s stand that �self-cultivation and sociability are competing values, though each has its place.�(Appiah 319) (emphasis added).

Although this middle-of-road approach dampens the violence of individualism, it is a stop gap measure that treats the symptoms rather then dealing with the underlying problem. Reinhold Niebuhr, on the other hand takes the stand that

The highest reaches of individual consciousness and awareness� find their ultimate meaning in relation to the community� [The individual�s] decisions and achievement grow into, as well as out of, the community and find their final meaning in the community (50).

This understanding is a radical step away from the epistemology of Grecian dualism and is resonant with East Asian notions of balance.[1] Here Individualism cannot be found without the community, and neither can the community have any meaning without individuality. Without community, the individual has nothing to be individual against, and without the unique individual the community has nothing to be comprised of. Both the individual and community inform each other, and exist for each other, instead of simply with each other. Thus the community gives ground for a collective identity which has moral authority to aid in the fulfillment of the individual�s self-creation. The implications for a world community in this light would be contingent on whether or not our identities are �dialogically� construed (Appiah 325) toward its creation.

Following this epistemological shift, a world community is still not inevitable, but no longer is it impossible. Only with the reconstitution of a conscious historical context within the individual can the desire for a true world community be sparked, and worked with. But for now, the tragedy of France as observed by Marx will be reinterpreted and replayed on the global stage: �France, therefore, seems to have escaped the despotism of class only to fall back beneath the despotism of an individual� (Allen 82). But instead of a single Bonaparte rising up to eliminate liberty, the despotism is carried out by the wave of unsociable individualism that makes each person his own alienated tyrant (Houerwas and Willimon 53).

I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.' All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations-

~ Isaiah 65:1-2

[1] The idea of balance is reflected strongly in Asiatic languages and is prevalent in Eastern philosophy, which is based in Confucianism rather then Liberalism. Like Liberalism, Confucianism has also been adopted into an economic model (The South East Asian Model) as purported by Singapore�s Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew, who attributes the economic success of the Asian tigers to Confucianism and Asian values.


I went snowboarding over the weekend, and as i was lying in the snow dying of whiplash and amatuerism, I prayed for help. Then Ryan rounds the bend and takes 45 minutes off his skip trip to teach me how to board. Angels abound.

Yes, that's Shu and her family. Angels all around.
Oh and Andrea is a cutie.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Once again, as I gasp for air.

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow in love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.

For its in giving that we receive.
And its in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And its in dying that we are born into eternal life.


You can marry the wrong person, but you can never be married to the wrong person. You can choose to marry the person that isn't God's best for you, but once you HAVE married then, that's who God wants you to be with. This brings back memories of Seth and the lessons that I learnt, and more sharply, memories of recent times that seek not to be remembered at all. I need new lenses.

These were the ONLY frames that they had like that!
~ Andre on his new trendy glasses.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow in love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.

For its in giving that we receive.
And its in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And its in dying that we are born into eternal life.


The power of the prayer of Saint Francis convicts me to move more swiftly into love, that I might relinquish the desire to seek myself rather then others.

I must forgive, the hardest of hurts and the deepest of hates. I must be in the business of reconcilation. I have no rights otherwise.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I am Scottish

Ok not quite, but apparently (i'm not sure if i've been on this rant before) the Presbytarian church is a Scottish Reform church (Reform is a Dutch Prebytarian church). So Chrisitanesely, I am Scottish.

And this really bugs me. How much of my Identity as a Christian is inadvertantly wrapped up in some far removed European socio-historical context? I am not denying the value and worth that comes with the rituals and symbolism of the liturgical churches but I am cautioning against the lack of an understanding of WHY. I am Chinese. I am Singaporean. I have no connection, whatsoever with Scottland (except perhaps for exboyfriend Seth).

I wonder, how many churches here have room to identify with the underground church in China. And I wonder how many churches in Singapore can identify themselves, at all.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Choose, and at least try.

Then you absolve yourself from the sin of abdication.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Somethings never change

So today I brought up the problem of eurocentricism in postmodern thought in class, and perhaps didn't get my message across. But even if I didn't get my message across, maybe my opinion was read loud and clear.

Yes, I think we're still being colonized by language, and maybe it's about time we understood that european languages and Enlightenment philosophy don't contain the answer to everything. In fact, I believe that the answer to many problems we face with modernism would be properly dealt we were we to open our intellecutal economies to other modes of thoughts and paradigms. It is true that international relations is an extremely American discipline, in a very unAmerican world. What gives?

But it was weird having people come up to me after class to further debate my point on the ideology of Asianic languages. Perhaps it's because I am Asian, or maybe it's CHIN 300 & 310, or the fact that i'm a Thirdie, but I do believe that there is a sense of discontent that I am experiencing wrt to European ideology and paradigms. But I have to stress, I belong to no other.
Now before I start speaking Derridian, the point of this post was to bring up how uncomfortable I felt to have a perfect stranger (and evesdropper - which was cute) debate with me on something that I have been journeying with for sometime. I felt extremely self-concious and was struck by some sort of academic vanity. I felt that by being unable to express my thoughts concisely in class had made me to be some sort of intelleucal faux pas, I basically said that the west sucks and being AZN rocks. Or did I?

Whatever the case, I'm learning the art of difference. That agreement will not come easily, and perhaps it shouldn't. And I hold a valid view that is contingent (the clincher for pomo) on this particular point in my life journey. Screw image. if I've said something unPC in class and people hate me fore it, I shouldn't bow out and apologize, espcially if I am convicted.

If I do, how can I stand with the Word?


And let me go on, and on, and on.

Back from the gym I met someone who sought to rehabiliate Stalin. After doing a paradigmatic double-take, it all clicked in my mind.

Of course.

And so we go on to chat about the horrors of history and the worlds it spawns and denies. I wonder what the word for killing a universe is, veruscide? But that's what happens everyday. In class.

But anyway, I think there is a need to rehabilitate individuals such as Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam, (Christina Aguilara?) and the like. Not to rehabilitate their deeds or ideologies, but to understand them in the concext of their humanity. They are human. And if we forget, or deny, or reject them of that, we then decide to turn a blind eye to the image in the mirror, to the truth of who we are as a race. I understand that this is sensitive and there have been many who have been personally affected, hurt and even broken by these individuals, and what they have done is monstrous beyond expression. But to deny them of their humanity, is to dilute, and even ignore the weight of their experience.

For us to brand them monsters and less-then-human, shifts the blame away and deems their deeds as oddities, functions of freaks of nature. Hence victims of these people were but unfortunate souls who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let the blame fall on humanity as a whole. Let us rehabilitate these People, give them humanity, recognise that they have beauty, that they laugh, feel, love, cry, and that they, as with us, are made in the image of God.

And now what do we do with with horror on our hands? It's ours. Ours to own and to reconcile with. Sure we didn't personally engineer the murder of millions, but we come from the same stock. We owe humanity an apology, and ought to come to the hard recognition that we are not good for ourselves. Like some momento mori, the memory of these people ought to sit on our backs and humble us. They should be telling of the evil that resides in all of us, and of our responsibility to the marginalized and sufferers in this world. Dehumanizing them abdicates us from this responsibility.

Ohm tat sat.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


There has never been a day since september 13th, that I've regretted moving into the house on Chancellor Blvd. This place has brought out so much in me and is a place of rest as well as of growth. I have found, living with these people, the propensity in me to serve, to tolerate, to love, to rejoice and to give. They make me laugh, bring me joy and reason to praise God. They also coax me out into fearlessness. Tony and I jammed together today on our Taylors after our dinner party, as we've been jamming for the past two nights. I've never jammed with someone else before.

~ Tony

And of course, there's shu. Who puts it all into perspective, reminding me that a gift is meant to be given. And it has been on my heart to serve God with singing. I'm not the best in the world, but it's something I treasure anyway. And anything treasured, I believe, should be directed back to God.

But he's MINE!
~ Cherry

Cherry's here to visit too. She's a part of me that needs to be paid more attention too. I don't know where we will go relationally, but wherever the case, I love her. Her being here seems to integrate the chapters of my life together into something with more continuity. She reminds me that I cannot drop off a section of my life, like i seek to do and pick up another as if they were two completely different threads.

And then my mother calls.

~ Andre

Saturday, November 05, 2005

oh SO broken.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I've been unfaithful

If there's anything you cannot fake, it's who you are in the presence of God. You CANNOT, try as you might, be plastic before God. The fascinating thing is that when you're plastic before God, it probably means that you're plastic before yourself. So screwed. So yeah, I realise that I've completely lost it when I start wondering why I don't feel spirituall fuzzy any more. And then it hits me how wrong the whole stucture is, me using God to fill my God-shaped hole, as opposed to God using me to glorify him.

More one hundred other lovers.

The biggest one being myself.

"cept for a few people who really are perfect... but they dont realize that they're any different from us" ~ Seth

That will be my spiritual aspiration. To shift my vision from myself, to God.
And that's it.


And to Seth, with whom I share a familar, albeit unintimate, mutual understanding. What can I say? I still stand in awe of our journey together, then and now. I think engaging with you has led me to see how we really are all made in the image of God.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I feel the need to explain the longdrawn silence that has been inflicting this blog. It just might die, sadly, after 3 years of expression. I'm just not spending as much time at my computer as I have done so before, and life is just so much better experienced then explained. But whatever, chances are that this blog will merely experience is shift in function as opposed to ceasing altogether.


My big thing of late is the evils of individualism and democratization. In short, Liberalism has screwed us all by supplying us with this huge supermarket of ideas and identities that we are free to pick and choose as we please. As Elim puts is, we're constantly told "you can be anything that you want to be" when what we really need is a society that tells us "now THIS is who you are". So much so that this dilutes the concept of "being yourself". How can you 'be yourself' when you're constantly shopping for new identities and concepts of the self?

Here's the show-down between myth and imgination: neither have any reference to empirical facts as we know it. Oh what are facts anyway? Facts aren't reality at all. Whatever. Myth and Imagination have no reference to reality anyway. But while Myth gives you a sense of who you are, your heritage and origins, Imagination tells you who you can be, it creates fiction that projects longing or fear, as opposed to myth, that embodies understanding and conciousness.

Liberalism devotes a rediculous level of energy focusing on the individual as opposed to the whole. This, basically creates "the other" on a level previously unmatched, it's me against the music baby, it's ultimate alienation that can only come from the obsessive self-absorbed analysis of the tiny pathetic non-self-defining entity of the individual as apart from the greater whole of community/humanity/whatever.

The cry for absolute individualism leads to the need for absolute egalitarianism. This is a self-defeating, contradictory, existential polemic we have here and it basically leaves us all floudering for some sense of sense and direction. Basically, we all explode into a million pieces because we pour the universe into vessels that are too small to contain - ourselves. At once, Liberalism calls us to be apart and alieanted yet integrated and connected to humanity and community. Way to go, Woodrow.

Don't get me wrong (although I'm totally asking for it. It's 2 in the AM and I've spent the day cleaning a shelter for Sex-trade workers), I'm not saying that the ideals and the goals of Liberalism and a form of political philosophy is the pits. I'm saying that the institutionalization of imagination into policy formation and action is quite the diaster. The formation of the USSR might well be a strange and accurate reflection of Democratization around the world. "If only...", spawned my the imgaination, is a powerful thing, uttered by both The Soviet and The Democrat. Both Socialism and Liberialism have beautiful escatalogcial desires, but the abandonment of true, historically congugated myth for escapist, dreamy imagination is really only man swimming from one solipsistic cage to another. We're all the same.

So here we throw religion into the picture, and it's loud (albeit unacknowledged) presense in recent/modern political though.... And we get me trying to fomulate my thesis for my IR theory paper.


So talk to me about that, Anyone, anything. Be plato, be hobbes, be locke.... But i really need to talk to God about this.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Ok, so I spent my midnight blowing up watermelons and guac.

Look at that smile. I swear Andre is only complete with he's destroying something.

Something = Watermelon

Watermelon engulfing Andre

Watermelon, post Andre, in Tony's hands

I thought my childhood ended when I came to Canada.
Apparently it has just begun.

I love my roomies, esp the one behind the camera.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The daylight seems to be a long way off.

You are irreconcilable in my life. You are everything that makes it impossible for me to be whole and free. You made me human.

I guess this will be my freedom.

Walk on.

In other news, I want to sing like Shawna Beesley.
Chen Yi Ann Ian.

Ok. This baby boy MSNed me and demanded a blog post dedicated to him. And having been Iannized for 5 odd years, I think I can deal.

Straight off the back, I love him. I love him to bits and he lingers on my mind ever so often even though we are oceans apart. Whenever Tony and I talk of our youth ministries back 'home', Ian (and Shawn, and Adele and...) pops to mind.

I think above all, I worry for him. I know I shouldn't. I've grown with him and have seen him to be both strong and resilent and more capable of taking care of himself then most people. But I also know it's a painful contradiction to be so strong and stubborn and yet so vulnerable to a sense of belonging. So I worry, that Ian might do something stupid in his rashness only to regret later. But that's none of my business. I am only resolved to listen to him and council him and above all, to keep loving him despite anything.

I've known since he was 12. That is a pretty crucial age, I think. And I believe that it's taken it's effect. My fondest memory of Ian was experience here in Canada. We had fought in the Summer of 2004 which culmulated in me swearing on public transit and us ignoring each other for sometime. 6 months later, he pens a blog entry dealing with all that, and more. I cried. And these things don't make me cry easily. But he can.

I think he'll always be a brat to me. But I always stand amazed everytime I go back to singapore and see him acumulating hidden wisdom beyond his years. Usually shrouded by his pride and laxed nature. I hate being so far away from him, and every summer I go back to singapore with the fear and insecurity that I have been replaced in his life, or that I am somewhat irrelavent and unimportant. Oh I know life goes on and people fade in and out, but I am sentimental.

Anyway, whatever the case, I am glad to be a part of his life, espeically while he was growing. I am glad that he would call me with issues and questions. I am glad that we fought and that he's now asking if he can come here to study and play ice.

Two lives, here, there, in every sense of the word.

The Lord keep you and bless you, the Lord make his face shine upon you....

Nice try.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I want to be able to blog in Chinese.

I have positively fallen in love with the language. It's lyricism, grace, purity and strength. It contains an entire culture, rich with historical imprints, a proud heritage and and clear identity. Ok so Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon has been totally hollywoodized, and it's clear that the western view of love between two Chinese People entails battling it out in the middle of the Mongolian desert over one's jade comb and intrinsic chinese pride. Sure, whatever.

My journey with the Chinese Language has been an interesting one. I went though my secondary school and JC years being the failure of the class. My one and only break-down due to stress occured over the GCE O level Chinese exams. My parents even recall me railing in anguish: "I am CANADIAN! I am NOT Chinese!"

I am currently, however, embarking on a plan to watch one chinese movie every weekend to improve my language ability. This would ultimately improve my grades in the 4 chinese classes that I am taking this year.

You read me right.

4 Chinese (Zhong Wen) Classes.

And may I point out that they are not jock classes. I'm doing 300 level courses here at UBC. That's "Advanced Chinese" in the University of a Billion Chinese. No really, this is actually China, with a lot of white people.

So while I am totally prepared to lose my scholarship, and find 4 less then acceptable grades on my transcript, I am loving every moment of it. The people, the culture, the language. Enough to send me to the moon baby.

But all's not lost. I find that having grown and matured since I was 17 (when I took my last chinese test), I am able to approach the language with more grace and with the respect and awe that it friggin deserves. And beyond that, I can take challenges.

So it's looking good. Although my mid-term was a sheer disater, with the only tian2 xie3 han4 zhi4 that I have a chance at getting right is my name, I actually got 80% for my last essay. Guys do you have any idea what that means?? It either means that the TA has a crush on me, or that maybe this shi1 bai4 she3 isn't that much of a failure after all. hai ke yi ah.

And boy do I have fun doing my essays. Try writing about the effects of ethnocentric development schemes, the growth of capitalism in the west, post-modernism, post-struturalism and the 1994 Mexican economic crisis with the IMF. But it is on these issues tht I burn with passion.

My essays all come back with the same comments.

"Got good reasoning and logic. Language poor"

or something like that.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Holy Empire of Nanaism.

Find me.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


It is sad that in the days when life must be most beautiful, I am not alive to experience the full extent of it. Curtis says that the slump is the direct result of chugging down 6 weeks of academic absinthe. All that hard work and density is killing me.

As Sarah notes, for me to be unconcerned about the fact that I might get 4 'D's on my transcript (for chinese, of course) and to be nonchalent about the mis-reading of my I/R Theory midterm, would be symptomatic of my weariness of school. Dang it. Graduate already.

But what all this leads me to is just a general sense of boredom and superficiality in my life. I am becoming plastic (although I'm sure there are people out there who would say that I have always been). I talk but I don't communicate. I talk out of habit, these are the things I talk about, these are the things I say, these are the things I do, these are the things that constitute the reflection of my identity to the world.

So more then anything else, I think this is taking a hit on my identity and as a result, my social interaction. Go on, tell me something I haven't heard before, give me a new paradigm. Even if you succeed, I probably won't have the energy to really care or engage in it. I look around and wonder why people care about half the things they care about. I look at myself and wonder the same thing.

I also have issues with difference. I remember telling Sarah once last year about have I have trouble seeing why people see things the way they do. She, in her bountiful grace, reassures me that this is just a by-product of careful deliberation and actualization of morality on issues that I encounter. But that's besides the point. I simply don't understand why people function the way they do sometimes. Not that I don't see their point of view, or see where their coming from, or see how they came about with various conclusions, or sympathize, or empathize, or excuse them... yet looking at all this and all that, and none of it makes sense to my little mind. I feel like I'm standing in a relational black hole. I want everything and everything gravitates towards me andfinallyendsupcrashinginonmeandcollaspingundertheweightofeverything.


So... I don't understand, I can't seem to be real, and I am bothered by it so I can't say that I don't care. But... yeah.... huh.... Talk to me now about anything existential and I'd rather be a chimpanzee.

la fee verte.

Monday, October 17, 2005


So Greg's decided to move out with Vlad, that leaves the 4 of us bereft without the man and the bird. Initially I was sent into a state of panic. I remember my immaterial self pounding failing fists onto the hardwood floor bemoaning the loss of the very comfortable status quo. Of course, victorious powers never seek change. But over dishes, I felt the Holy Spirit chide me. Just like He did the time I fought with Seth.

Why do you not trust me? I'm just frigging scared. I gave you this house didn't I? Yeah but you're unpredictable. I provided for you according to my riches in glory...

Taking to heart (and soul) Elim's words of encouragement, that she finds that when a roommate moves out, that is only God ensuring that the right person moves in.

So while we gingerly await phone calls and email's, I now bask in the providence of God.

Where I live

She I live with


... and blues

Now here's an interesting chap.

So here's where I live. I never really got round to sharing this with people in singapore but well.. here we are.

Oh and for people in Canada, the room for rent is the one in which Andre is uh... advertising for.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"I wish I were Asian..."
~ Tony. After watching Hero.

So I have embarked on a little self-imposed immersion programme. I will watch Chinese movies, talk to chinese people and even take notes in Chinese.

After tonight's viewing, I realise how far away from reconcilation I am with the language and culture. Perhaps the fact that I am so enchanted by this romanticized imitation of "The Chinese" is telling of my breach with the Chinese Reality. Of anything real, that's chinese. Of anything Chinese, that's real.

"Yeah... I wish I were Asian too"
~ Me

Ten thousand years of Chinese history just died at me.

"Hannah... I think you're Asian"
~ Tony, an offer of encouragement.

Well, if God's in the process of restoration, I think I can emulate that.
Or at least die trying.
The Chinese way.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I finally feel like I'm at a place when I can start to give. The past 20 odds years have been a time of feeding, absorbing and learning. Not that that has, or should change, but I suddenly find myself in a position to feed to teach and to allow another to soak up what I have to offer. It isn't much but by the grace of God, it will be life-giving. I'm getting pretty stoked about this concept of spiritual multiplication.


In other news...

Shu and I had a hard-core wrestling match with Tony today. N'sync blasting like nobody's business, furniture pressed against the walls for fear of slipping into the line of fire, and cushions, bodies and breath flying around the room as shu and I fight(and succeed) to slam Tony to the ground.

He totally let us win.
I finally feel like I'm at a place when I can start to give. The past 20 odds years have been a time of feeding, absorbing and learning. Not that that has, or should change, but I suddenly find myself in a position to feed to teach and to allow another to soak up what I have to offer. It isn't much but by the grace of God, it will be life-giving. I'm getting pretty stoked about this concept of spiritual multiplication.


In other news...

Shu and I had a hard-core wrestling match with Tony today. N'sync blasting like nobody's business, furniture pressed against the walls for fear of slipping into the line of fire, and cushions, bodies and breath flying around the room as shu and I fight(and succeed) to slam Tony to the ground.

He totally let us win.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lower your wings

Stop the noises, stop the hurry, and just learn to drink from the presence of God. Engage in discipline, hardship and truth. Whoever said that life was meant to be easy?

I had a wonderful conversation with Kathleen Blacklock today, she never fails to inspire me. And today I find myself with a profound desire and willingness to submissive to community (NOT organized religion). So instead of intellectualizating and systametizing my way out of authoratative discipline, I seek to die to myself.

God can handle your failures.
~ Kath.

The day isn't over yet.


I think, I can be beautiful again.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I do not have enough faith to be the smallest, but I want to have enough faith to be the least. I am obsessed with getting things superficially right, to look good and to behave correctly. As opposed to being true.

I think God is dragging me into yet another phase in my life. So this summer I leave the whole existential liberal way-off-left-field in hopes of finding proper balance in my life. What does it mean to understand the nature of God and his fulfilment of the law instead of simply attempting to live a harsh legalistic life, bereft of the goodness of God?

I'm starting to return to the commandents of God and to the tradditions of the Chruch. Chrisitian culture must be understood for what it is: A Culture. Not the route to salvation, or of any consequence really, but rather the way in which the Gospel has made itself known to this WASPish generation.

But Truth. Now Truth transcends all culture, all time, all paradigm and is simply... Jesus. So we've got Truth and Tradition. And I think I can start to nestle back safely into life with both doing what they do, and being what they are.

And with me, being. But as it seems, the Holy Spirit is calling me to a deeper walk. But this time the question isn't just that of "be", but also "be with". Things are solidifying and truths are gradually being etched in.

To stand in the gap between the living and the dead, to take on the historical and figurative role of the 'High Priest', atoning for the sins of a shifting, unstable world, to an everlasting, unchanging God. Here, God never changed his nature for anyone.

The Calling of the church isn't to make God sensible to the World, but to transform the world to God.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Indeed as Curtis says, we all need to fall in love. And I have many wonderful people in my life who... are wonderful.

Now I just need to fall in love, and love.
No holds bars.

I've been eating off paper plates for too long.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh well

I am not the center of the universe and sheer will power will not, on it's own, accomplish anything or alter reality.

?? ? ?? ? ?.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"If asking that they be men after God's own heart is too much, we're in big trouble..."
~ Sue to me. On prospective partners.

Some, I feel sorry for their girlfriends.
Others, their beauty is their weakness.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

After coffee with Sarah, I have found that I neither have time nor resources to be angry, petty and distressed.

There is no place for fear... in anyone's life.
Just be.

Friday, October 07, 2005

This period has been a time of nostalgia. It feels like the interlude between the old and the new, the winter between two seasonal cycles. It feels like a dirge put in place to deal with the passing of the old and the ushering of a new form of existance.

One that I believed was solidified over coffee today in the Beanery. Connection and conversation, individuality and insecurity. Anyway, I ran into Seth, who currently works there. And I think I've lost him. I miss the soft humour, awkward slant, misty blue eyes.

Death comes to all.
So we dig the dirt, bury what we have to, and move on.

Anyway, the previous two entries were the result of coming back from a concert in Seattle. uh, I just thought I'd throw in some concrete information instead of just rattling away abstractly. It was Shane and Shane and David Crowder.

my soul is rested.
I miss you so.

Feels like forever.

Sometimes, in my moments of self-conciousness, I wish that you were here to watch me live my life, and have me close as your own. You'd be proud, you'd be pleased and amazed. Growth journeys are amazing to chart, and I do wish that you were here to witness this, what I've become and the direction that I'm headed.

I understand though, that our seperation was necessary for my growth. Riding in the back seat of Peter's van across the boarder into America, playing hotseat with people who resonate with difference as opposed to who I am, I started to feel a desire for home and familarity again. Being with you in a small confined space of a moving vehicle, without the fear and responsibility of decision making and choice. Of being that 16 year old again, tucked away in some oblivious concer of comfort.

I renouce that yearning and stick on to my present. This is my life, I am who I want to be, and that I have taken that journey predominantly without your tangible presence (albeit not without your influence), has altered the shape of my existance and being. I understand that I will never go back to where we once were, and to the relationship that sustained me all this years, but it's for the better.

And I'm sure, at the end of the day, that it has been all good. I will yearn and I will occasionally slip into despondency. But such moments will only serve to foil my present existance, will only serve to point me toward giving glory to the One who has made this all possible, beautiful. Growth is never painless, but the beauty of life resides in journey though.

it hurts to remember...


~ Pre-rock opera David Crowder warm up.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I yearn for you, I will wait on you, and I miss you.

"I just want to have dinner with my wife"
~ David Crowder talking of a friend.

I understand, I miss my God and my life.

What's your favourite verse?
Haggai 1:9
~ Tony, me.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Can't take my eyes off you.

I woke up feeling like a soggy piece of tissue
I believe it's illness setting in of some sort.

I went though the day very much alive.
I realise the effect I am having on people.

-if you want to impress people, tell them your sucesses
-if you want to impact people, tell them your failures.

When will this end? When will this start?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Run for the cure

Or stroll, hobble, shuffle, bleed and drink.

So today I drag my sorry little body out of bed at 7.15 am to meet Graydon at the busstop, along with 22 of his hung-over friends, to do a charity race.

"You'd probably know the streets of Richmond better hey?"
~ Jabez

To cut a long story short, I enjoyed being on the periphery of a very different world once again. It was kinda like being in 5555 Toronto road last year, when all the boys were over, drunk and high. I recognise difference and have found my very comfortable spot in the spectrum of diversity. I have found tools to combat my fears towards 'the other', thanks to Robbay, Cathy, The Navs, Graydon and many other wonderful people in my life.

And I was thinking about it once I hopped off the number 4, how my mode of interaction with difference has evolved. I think that the only way to deal with the clash of civilizations is awareness. Awareness of who you are, awareness of who the other is and awareness of the choices that we make in reference to all this.

Difference is never a problem. It's a beautiful state of being.

So today despite the social awkwardness on my part for being absolutely unable to identify with these people, much less talk to them, I had a smashing time. I am amazed by their acheivement and contribution towards this cause and have been challenged to be more proactive about my life.

"You're Passive"
~ Culver

I think life has much less to do with being socially acceptable as it is with recognizing the truth about your identity. Making active decisions to act, to live and to be. We have so much more control over our existance then society wants us to believe and part of that entails decisions over how we are to exist together.

I think I'm seeing how I can stand frim in the full knowledge of who I am while reaching over the gulf of difference and connecting with people.

Love becomes sharper and deeper when it is grounded in reality and truth.

"No, I'm a nerd, and you're a dork with a drinking problem... and lots of cool friends."
~ Me to my buddy.

Oh whatever.
Life is too awesome.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Autumn leaves start to fall.

It's fall.
Everything is regal gold and fiery red.
Yellow veils descend upon wanton families.

The living room cushions aired and breathing with late night conversations.
Taylors ringing and voices singing.
Coffeeshops coming into being.

I need more sleep.

But the point of this all, is to convey the fact that although Hannah left and never came home, the walk from my busstop back to 4822 was all. worth. it.

My life is brilliant.
My love, pure.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Thank you Dustin for grabbing the truth by the shoulders and shaking it in front of my face. We all need more people like this who are willing to call us on issues that we should be looking at.

And thank you Dennis, for listening to me rant over MSN today, and for administering practical solutions for my pain and illusions, and especially for caring enough to tell me that I am stubborn and strong-headed.

And Josh, for being that mentor that everyone needs in life.

If I go on, I'd go on. and on and on and on.
I have wonderful people in my life.
I think E.H. Carr articulates with great accuracy the application of the balance between God's will and Man's free will. I am a materialist in my belief that life and all that it is, is reflected in the physical laws of nature, that God has so graciously created in His love. So here in lies the possiblity of understanding history and politics through a theological/spritual lense (and vice-versa) and be none the worse for it.

The Utopian is necessarily voluntarist: He believes in the possibility of more or less radically rejecting reality and substituting his utopia for it by an act of will. The Realist analyses a predetermined course of development which he is powerless to change...

...All healthy human action, and therefore all healthy thought, must establish a balance between utopia and reality, between free will and determinism.
~ E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis, 1937, London.

[26The man said, "Let me go; it's daybreak."

Jacob said, "I'm not letting you go 'til you bless me."

27The man said, "What's your name?"

He answered, "Jacob."

28The man said, "But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it's Israel (God-Wrestler); you've wrestled with God and you've come through."

29Jacob asked, "And what's your name?"

The man said, "Why do you want to know my name?" And then, right then and there, he blessed him.]

~Genesis 32:26-29 The Message

God calls his choosen people to wrestle with him, and to come though. Not alone, but with Him. As if a parody of this society's sick "Name-'em -and-claim-'em!" theology. I'd like to stake a claim on God's promises of His presence if I wrestle well. My free will in His.

I'm off to do Chinese now.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Oh look at how she listens
She says nothing of what she thinks
She just goes stumbling through her memories
Staring out on to Grey Street

She thinks, �Hey,
How did I come to this?
I dream myself a thousand times around the world,
But I can�t get out of this place�

There�s an emptiness inside her
And she�d do anything to fill it in
But all the colors mix together - to grey
And it breaks her heart

How she wishes it was different
She prays to God most every night
And though she swears it doesn�t listen
There�s still a hope in her it might

She says, �I pray
But they fall on deaf ears,
Am I supposed to take it on myself?
To get out of this place�

There�s an emptiness inside me
And I�d do anything to fill it in
And though it�s red blood bleeding from me now
It�s more like cold blue ice in my heart
I feel like kicking out all the windows
And setting fire to this life
I could change everything about me using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together - to grey
And it breaks my heart
It breaks my heart

To grey

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I shouldn't be here...

People come and go all the friggin time.
Faces I fail to remember and names that escape my memory, all reduced to shadows. I show little sympathy to the dying relationships, always moving on faster to fresher hallways and coffee tables. Ebbing with the tide, reflecting that seasonal nature of Creation that permeates the very air we breathe.

It wasn't my writing...

I have used many people in my life.
Who hasn't?
This is not an excuse, but an acceptance of my part in human nature.

I'm sorry Nat, I was 17, and those were darker days.

So forgive me love...

And it's me.
Inextricably a part of and yet curiously independent from the blood of nature.
Spawn of the muddy earth merging with divine breath.
I choose and I am choosen.
I act and I react.

Here, I have reacted, by choosing
Or, I have choosen by reacting.
Either way, this is my fault.

And I will cry all afternoon.
How the billygoat did my life end up this way?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

So over the hills he�d climb
Just to see her there in time

From the outside looking in
You see there�s nothing sacred here

Hey little girl keep dancing

For the reasons out of our control You try to make it roll Like a dice away

you say that you�re all empowered here

Hey little girl keep dancing alone

This is obviously not clear enough To me

cause there�s not enough time in your day... To keep you here