so last night i was at a Latin mass, whatever that means i do not know. i was there for one reason, okay maybe two. wait three, the last being not wanting to reject or offend the person who extended the invitation to me. and that in itself has a reason too- that being which was her birthday. so yes, a plethora of reasons to go to mass on a Wednesday night.
to date, in recent times for as long as i remember, i have been to three masses, this included. and the reason for every one of these three occasions(and many more to come) is of remembrance. i am guilty for doubting my intention to remember. perhaps it feels obligatory, or stem from some kind of guilt or regret, perhaps it's to atone for the self-centredness i displayed, or the carelessness with which i treated it. but whatever those reasons are, going beats not going i guess. and i want to talk about the experience of going and the sporadic thoughts that emerged as formlessly and nebulously as the smoke that was incensed and filled the place:
- do humans have finite capacities for learning and taking in knowledge? the trigger for this question was the fact that the friend who invited me is a devout catholic and she and her husband's weekends are basically spent going for religious courses, masses and whatnots. this made me think, how is this living? perhaps it's myopic to imagine one idea of life, and the constituents of 'living' being the very things i deem living to be. but i can't help but think so because she tells me she has no time for yoga, or any other activity for that matter because they are busy. with church of course. and when i hear this, i get a little unsettled. how is fixating and spending time on something that, yes perhaps makes up a huge chunk of who you are, but is not there, not tangible,(sure, you may say it lives and breathes in the person, but let's just be straight) at the expense of something that will potentially enrich your mind and body in ways that can effect some actual reverbs, be the chosen one time and time again? and if your mind is delving into the origins of the religion, the status of the religion, the spread and goodness of the religion and the many many stories surrounding it, how are you able to absorb everything else that falls out of that spectrum with as much zeal?
- i do not get how millions and millions and plenty more millions can place one entity/person/thing/being/one on a pedestal and have civilizations fall and rise, people live and die, wars fought and re-fought, home destroyed and destructed, without once quivering, clutching their faces with mouths gaping. how a singular person/entity/thing/being/one can inspire reverence that if placed elsewhere - anywhere - can possible cause the orbit of planets to hasten, or slow, or spiral out of control. the collective 'faith' is so staggering i am sure it can be used as fuel for something more urgent, pertinent and tangible. but it is not. is it?
- i do not get how the lines in the book/bible/whatever are quite literally reiterating the same thing over and over again. how many damn times does one need to praise the fucking lord? or bestow upon him light( i don't know, i am making this up), or asks him for mercy and grace? how many times?
- how does a wide, open, spacious hall with ceilings that rise so austerely and beautifully skyward not inspire reverence? how does an immaculately designed altar with its gilded golds and bone-white marbles, and saintly figurines of ancient humans with worn, mortal faces and shabby threads not stir within us the desire to attain holy communion? how do the stained glass windows, elegant cornices, painterly sculptures of mortals immortalised, light-filled halls not transport us into a scared space that can only elicit a feeling of lightness and spirituality? how does incense that smells at once medicinal, woody, and otherworldly not dizzy our senses and warp our minds and move us to believe and transcend and feel at one with?
- i don't get the tension between the different christian 'sects' really, and their claims to rights of whatever it is they want to claim rights for. it really is all that is wrong in the world. and also it can be magnified to what is happening within the religious worlds across the board.
- i do not get how one can use precious time doing many other things being confined within a space, elevating a single human to beyond the heavens, singing in repetitions, listening to the same platitudes and really, very commonsensical, fundamental human truths, over and over and over again. i cannot concur.
- i do not disbelieve. i just cannot fathom the collective and repetitive and singular nature of it.
clay is open to mistakes
it is forgiving
clay is revealing in its form
it is honest
clay yields to patience and stability of good hands
it does not show itself easily
clay is freedom within arms reach, within palm's grasp, within fingers' nudge
it is at your disposal
you, you remain in its sphere of magic- enamoured, raptured.
- Overheard an Indian lady speaking Japanese with two young lads at Changi Airport, just as I was waiting to depart
- To be an observer is bliss
- Solitary beings, dotted in a quaint noodle shop
- Happiness is a warm floor (I say this with so much conviction that I can remember exactly the joy i felt then)
- Humbled by ML's quarters
- Time as a barometer for truth
- Everyone loves a flourish
- Nowhere else in the world will you see so much pride in souvenirs
- Herd mentality, strong
- Pride and more pride
- Loyalty and hierarchy trump skill and ability
- Limited interaction with foreigners
- Conflict between lack of dialogue and disagreement and advanced progress boggled me throughout
- Sensitivity to life and enjoyment vs cog-like work ethic
- Difference as uniformity (fashion)
- How does one stand out? Is that even a possibility?
- Everything is 'made in Japan'
- Shades of communism(??)
- English as major barrier to outside world
- Superior branding in terms of an individual country as product
- Blessed is the unfortunate??
- Met ML, Seisun, Rio, Marcus, Josiah
- People know their time and place, minimal interference. Sticks to adage of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you
- Environmental consciousness is a facade? Rio says the common man is ignorant.
- I could cry, i could die. Onboard the Willer breezing past the rolling, dusty green mountains with 'ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space' in my ear.
- A bond is shared, yet not. A space opens, yet not quite.
- Japan vs the World
- 'There is no such thing as mine. You just inhabit it for 50 years.'
- The importance of pockets