Monday, June 9, 2008

Of Death, Love and Starvation

I found him in a cradboard box
down in the barrio
The stinch of death
the feel of subordination
the look of a scarecrow

we fell in love
made love under the bridge
had fried rat for dinner
fell asleep in the arms of destiney
in the sewage
under the stars

we shared our daily bread
and morning dose of cocaine
who cares about the living or the dead
in this city of eternal pain

hold my hand
cut my vein
let me bleed on the sidewalk
where we slept under the rain

lose hope in this life
for we have another
we slit out wrists
doze off into reincarnation
we are creatures of the night
without a law or a name
we don't apologize
we have no shame

we are the rats we fry
the bats that on our blood feed
the rabid dogs howling our cry
we are the ghosts and the evil seed

If we were only dead
we would live endless nights
making love on rooftops and graveyards
smoking our dope
dying with every sunset
without a care or hope
or a peice of bread

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Underwear Act

Once upon a time there lived a community of fishermen in the coastal city of Mosquito. The simple people did not have much contact with the rest of the country, and went about their daily business of living without a worry about change and technology.

After the governor fleed the country to live in a remote paradise island with his swiss-bank money, a new governer was appointed, who later appointed new municipals in all the cities of the governorate, including Mosquito.

The munucipal came from the northern mountains, and was not familiar with the lifestyle of the simple fishermen, but he was pleased with their dedication and love for peace.

One day, a fisherman walked into the municipality office to report a stolen boat. As the municipal recieved him in his office, the man walked in and before talking, wanted to tighten his loosening sarung. Before the fisherman wrapped his sarung tightly, he opened it revealing his manhood to the municipal and his assistant.

The municipal was outraged; how can anyone not have any shame and not wear any underpants??

His assitant explained to him that no one in Mosquito wore undergarments due to the extremely hot and humid weather. The municipal was even more upset and disgusted by the backwardness and indecency of the fishermen. That very night, he drafted a bill making underwear a citizenship requirement.

The next morning, the bill was introduced to the local council, whose members took offense at the inexplicable act of not wearing underpants. In a week, a law was instituted which required every citizen of Mosquito and the whole governorate to wear undergarments regardless of the weather, and put in place a 50-day imprisonment as a punishment for the inobedient of this law.

This is how Mosquito came to be the largest producer of undergarments in the country, after the fishermen stopped making fishing nets and worked to supply the great demand for underwear.

A Man's World

It makes me pretty sad and pissed off about the results of the primaries .
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Obama, he seems to be a decent guy, although i don't really believe he is all the change people assume he is. But anyway, since the beginning, as everyone was so worried that Obama will not be regarded as the democratic candidate because of his lack of experience, I was 100% sure that Hillary was not going anywhere with her campaign. You wanna guess why? well, if you know how the US is, you would definately figure out that it is still a man's world there as much as it is in other countries that have never had a female president. There are many people who believe a woman would do an even better job in the oval office, but they are a minority. The "American Idiot" was not made up by Green Day, these people exist. And even if some people are racist, trust me, their sexism and machismo is bigger, and they would rather vota for a man of any race, even if he is of Afghani/Saudi origin with a last name that starts with "Bin" instead of voting for a woman.
The world truely sucks. And even though I am not a huge fan of Clinton herself, because I see the US government as a big company in which the CEO does nto make the calls, but the board of directors, and policies do not change that much anyway, but I wanted to see a woman doing what she was told she can't do.
People did not vote based on experience or quality of the candidate's character. they did not evaluate these two candidates based on their political vigor and leadership skills. They thought about whether it would be better to have a black president, or a female president. And between people's racism and sexism, one was more intense than the other. In reality, people did not care Obama is black, nor that he had Muslim origins, all they cared about was that he has a dick...simple as that.
This election year is a shame on human kind, and really, a shame on the US, for failing to be like the states that accepted females as leaders. Third world countries like Indonesia, Phillipines, India, Pakistan, and the list goes on.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

For Your Own Good

I shall sit on this chair
and tell you what to do
for your own good
force a gag into your mouth
wrap you in a plastic bag

throw you in the dunjeon
feed you to the wolves
maim your children
rape you once and again
to keep you safe

I am forced to
enslave you
sell your kidney
auction your soul
hang your mother
to protect your property

for world peace
i have to skin u alive
i have to shut you up
brainwash you
drug you
invade your home
terminate your kind

For your own good
I will submiss you
send your newborn to war
torture your wife
burn your harvest
take away your rain

To better your life
I pollute your river
to encourage competition
I tax your air
step on your lung
drink your blood

To free you
i kill you
i kill you
i kill all of you

you don't have to thank me
I do this
because I care
it's for your own good
and mine

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Thousand Times

A thousand times she had risen
with the sun
Baking the bread of the day
Making lunch for a thousand guests
Washing clothes of a thousand children
she had once borne
Vacuuming a thousand steps
Falling down the stairs
under a thousand stars
A thousand times she had cried
in front of the mirror
Looking at her face
of a thousand wrinkles
Broken soul
Injured heart
Bruised body
Under a thousand layers
of blackness
Lost years
Twenty that felt like a thousand
A thousand times she had prayed for her husband
to never come back
to marry a thousand wives
And for herself
to never have another child
Another bruise
Another chore
Another world to carryon her weary shoulders
Another thousand worries and oven burns
A thousand times they’d say
She died young
That woman of twenty years
and a thousand smiles
and a thousand tears
and a thousand children
and a thousand bruises
and cooking pots
and wrinkles
Twenty years
they say she had lived
but they don’t know
that she was
a thousand years

*a poem I once published.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Artist Dilemma

Art has always been an important form of self-expression for me. I am mostly talented when I am deeply depressed or outrageously angry. I feel very inspired to make the best art when I am in a dark place, and my best works are those I made under the influence of hallucination and inner turmoil. I do believe that you gotta be twisted to make real art.
These beliefs are the main reason why I only experimented with traditional art only for a very short time, to soon abandon it for abstract and surreal forms, which enabled me to truly "become free."
For the long time i was a closet artist, I kept giving birth to work with twisted ideas and a strong pessimist influence. I felt my heart truly came out onto the paper/canvas, and I really did not care for anything else but the story my work told. I would start with no idea whatsoever about what the drawing will turn out to be, and I just let shapes form and lead me to complete the work; it was their story, not mine, and I was only the means to tell it.
After I opened up, learned more forms of art, and was encouraged to not only feel like an artist, but express that in public, with all the wonderful inner glow and booste of confidence that provided, I felt pressured to make art that attracted people instead of art that pleased my soul.
Displaying my work to enter exhibitions forced me to selected "themes" for drawings to fit the popular demand. The even bigger pressure was financial; needing to make money out of art. I feel as though I am betraying my art identity, and denying those shapes and ideas the chance to tell their story through me.
This has caused a lack of inspiration and I fell into a non-productive spell and ill humor. It seems as though art is angry at me and wouldn't tell me any stories to put onto my paper. I have no talent without my deformed faces, twisted ideas, and anger towards the world.
This got me thinking, would I ever be able to make a living out of art?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Trapped in Vagina

I am currently in a part of the world in which women cover. You see these unrecognizable blobs of black and wonder how anyone can tell who they are or what they are. How the hell do their kids know which one is their mom?
In this culture, women supposedly cover like that to prevent being seen as sex objects, and out of decency. Nevertheless, you see these women constantly harassed on ths streets by men of all ages and often groped and sexually attacked. And something I noticed is that the more covered up a woman is, the more harrassed she is. So how is this cover NOT making her a sexual object?
My theory is that in any patriarchal society, a woman , no matter how much she covers and tries to hide her womanhood, is automatically seen not as a whole being, but as her reproductive organ. Women are not seen as people with brains that create and hands that make, but as vaginas that exist for sex and reproduction.
Therefore, anything that makes a woman recognizable as a woman will therefore make her seen as a sexual object. Can a woman really hide being a woman? If she covers her face to hide the delicate features, baggy clothes to hide the buldge of her breasts, black wardrbe to hide her curves, or a scarf to hide her hair, can she really hide what makes her a woman? Doesn't the black really define who these women are and make them recognizable as women?
There has been a fundamentalist movement in this region to force women into covering more and more based on the above-mentioned argument that the current clothes do not hide enough. And the more these women cover, the more they are asked to cover more, and the more they are harrassed on the streets and seen as walking vaginas.
These women, no matter how they act, what the accomplish, how they carry themselves, and no matter what they wear, are always seen as sexual objects; they are trapped in a prison that is their vaginas. They can become government officials, soldiers, intellectuals, artists, or anything else, but they are not seen as who they are or what they do, and they are stll defined as a hole made for the pleasure of men and for bearing children.
If these women cannot satisfy their societies with being respectful members of the community, covering up, and also fullfil their duties in the bedroom all at the same time, then what the hell can they do? I have a simple solution.
The only way these women would not be seen as sexual objects in these communities is to figure out a magical/scientific way to remove their vaginas and leave them at home for the time they are to be used. Maybe even for those who do not wish to use them, get a "vaginectomy" and get rid of it once and for all.
Let's assume this is possible. Do you really think these women will stop being treated like peices of meat, like sexual objects that exist for sin, or will allow them to be fully functional and respected members of society?
The reality is, the vagina is not the prison for these women; their backward, sexist, authoritarian and patriarchal societies are. Hiding who they are and what makes them women will not free them, but will add shackles to those already pulling them to the ground.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Against the State

My ex-professor and advisor of political science (he's not teaching me anymore, but i am still learning alot from him) published a new book titled "Against the State" with the argument that all the arguments made throughout history to legitimize the state/government are basically full of crap and insane!
To alot of people of course, government is all they know, and they cannot imagine the world without government, only because they think that without it their liberties and rights will be violated. What they do not think of though, is how governments all around the world have proven that they are the reason rights and liberties are violated. Governments are the ones starting wars, supresing the media, manipulating minds, torturing people in prisons, starving populations, practicing ethnic cleansing and genocide, and causing many more problems that deprive many of their liberty and right to live.
I do not agree with everything Crispy believes in, but I am an anarcho-socialist for a reason, and i think government is useless!
I would like to see people accept his challenge and reply to the post below:

A Philosophical Challenge

My irritating yet astounding new book Against the State (SUNY Press) argues that all the arguments of the great philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Hegel, Rawls, Nozick, and Habermas, among others), are, putting it kindly, unsound.

The state rests on violence: not the consent of the governed, not utility, not rational decision-making, not justice.

Not only are the existing arguments for the legitimacy of state power unsound; they are shockingly fallacious, a scandal, an embarrassment to the Western intellectual tradition.
So I issue a challenge: Give a decent argument for the moral legitimacy of state power, or reconstruct one of the traditional arguments in the face of the refutations in Against the State.
If you can't, you are rationally obliged to accept anarchism.

I'd offer a huge cash prize, but I'm broke.Henceforward, if you continue to support or observe the authority of government, you are an evil, irrational cultist.

You're an anarchist now, baby, until further notice.

e-mail responses to

Yours in anarchy,
Crispin Sartwell

Flashbacks from Other Lives

Simultaneous Spitting

Seven-year old Linda held her mom's hand as they walked to visit some relatives. A car pulls over and the man asks the mother to get into the dirty looks and saying filthy words that Linda did not understand at that age. At the exact same moment, Linda and her mom spat on the guy and walked away. They looked at each other and smiled; they were two peas in a pod.

Midnight Surprises

Sam woke up one night to see toys and gifts on his bed. His dad had just come back from a trip. He finally had the stuffed crocodile he always wanted. He got used to the many nice gifts from dad's trips.

Sam woke up another night three years later and saw his dad lying on the floor. His father had a swollen face with casts on his arm and leg. He'd written what was not approved of by the people upstairs.

Sam knew that from then on, he should not expect stuffed animals and nice gifts, only blood and broken bones.

Never Again

Mona was walking to her friend's place two blocks away from home. A pick-up truck drove by really close to her, and she felt a hand squeez her buttocks. The car drove away. Mona stood still until she realized it was raining. She changed direction and went home drenched. She did not talk or eat for two days. She could only cry. She hated herself. She was scared.
Mona went out again only two months later. A man walked close to her and murmered dirty words. In a fast move she slashed his cheek with her swiss army knife. He bled. She smiled and went to her friend's place. She wasn't scared anymore.

Forbidden Sport

Adam and his friends wanted to play football on the street after school but had no ball to play with. The team agreed each would bring a sum of money to buy a collectively-owned football. They played everyday until sunset, and each day one of the kids would keep the ball in their house. The girls on the team refused to take a turn in keeping the ball in their houses, and Adam did not understand. Until Sarah kept the ball at her house. The next day, Sarah had a black eye. She never played football with the team anymore, and their new ball was cut in half and thrown onto the street. No one wanted to play anymore.


Ekrem did not like the boys and girls at school. they were stupid and immature. He hated his imaginary friends; they were stupid too. He decided to look for smart friends.
On his way back from school he saw a small kitten stuck on a tree. He did not wish to help it down and watched it meow away. The kitten then gathered its strength and jumped down. It broke its leg and limped. Ekrem admired the risk-taker and decided it was his new friend.
On the same week, he waited for his dad in the car. He saw a man with ragged clothes and big hair and beard. The man talked to himself while he picked up any scrap of paper he found and wrote on it with such vigor that he could only be a great philosopher. The shaggy man only spoke in English. Ekrem decided he was worthy or becoming his second friend.
A couple of years passed while Ekrem watched the kitten grow strong and recover from its limp, and as the shaggy man wrote books and books of his thoughts in English. He was happy; he had smart friends.
One day he found some children dragging something by a rope. His cat friend had been hung. On the next day and as his shaggy friend was reading a poster on the wall, a black car pulled over and two military men dragged the shaggy man into it.
Ekrem's dad found him the next day in the kitchen with his wrists slit. He had no reason to live; all the smart friends were gone.

Democracy by Force

"No university student will be allowed into the final exams if they do not vote in the parliamentary elections."
All the students rushed to the polls, voting for Mr. Theif, Mr. Moneymonger, Mr. Fundamentalist, or Mr. Murderer, going home with a purple thumb that would guarentee an entry to the final exams.
Lina walked down the hall in college, blocking out the comments from other students calling her a seperatist, a communist, a punk, and an unpatriotic whore.
She stood in line to enter the exam room. The professor pointed at her clean thumb.
"I do not vote."
"Then you can't enter the exam room, and you will fail this year."
Lina smiled, pushed the professor aside and went into the exam room.
At the end of the year, she was first on her class.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chauvinist Childhood

Today as I was running some errands and waiting for a cab in front of a gate to someone's house, the door opened and a little girl no older than 5 popped her head out then took a step onto the sidewalk. All of a sudden another kid came out, this time a boy who looks a year older than his -i persume- sister, and started shouting. He then pulled the little girl's poney tail and said "come back in, whore!"

This is a small incident that tells about the idiotic gender inequality in this country that is so deeply rooted and taught like holy scripture. Once you are born with an extra peice of equipment between your legs, you automatically are braught up and taught that you are superior than any female in your family or anywhere in the vast universe even if she is older, smarter, more talented, stronger, or even if she is your mother. This is why this country will not advance in any way no matter how many efforts are made economically and politically if this disgusting chauvinist, sexist and patriarchal mentality is not eliminated. This is the twenty first century for God's sake!

In all honesty, and even though I am 100% against violence, the most prevailant feeling I had at the moment the little girl was humiliated and pulled back into the house was extreme fury; i just wanted to go slap the boy and put him back in his lpace, just like I would have if I had been a little girl ever insulted by a boy. I am goign to risk sounding like some nazi dictator, but I wish I could get the whole population a brain translpant!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Pornography of Meat

I saw this book and flipped through it at a crazy/awesome leftist bookstore two summers ago. I was only a summer intern and didn't have enough money on my debit card to buy it, but I have been dying to read it ever since.

This book is about true feminism and journalism, and somehow vegeterianism. About women being treated like a peice of meat and about meat products portrayed as women and all that this indicates. The book reveals so many ways in which women until this day are being used and their images distorted and abused. This book is for every woman who cares for her rights and for every man who wants to learn why there is an international Women's Day and no "day" for men, and of course for men who support our movement.

the Pornography of Meat is a revealing, empowering, and informative book that everyone who can find it should read. I am getting it in August!

Marriage and Government

These days everyone is talking about gay marriage, and whether it should or should not be legalized. This "controversial" issue made me think about what it means to make a marriage legal and what indications that brings. Why does the government have to tell me who I can/ cannot marry?
Marriage since day one has been more of a social/religious aspect; a couple are bound together before God or before their tribe/society, to get validation and accountability (maybe also approval). But since the establishment of nation states marriage became just another of the governmental institutions: it is no longer for God or for your family, you are marry for the political machine.
on one hand, I believe that it's none of the government's business to tell em who i can or can't marry, and as long as the marriage is a political institutioon, the government will always have a say in this very intimate aspect of our lives. Governments all over the world are imposing their marriage laws on people and tell you that you can't marry this person from bla bla sect or bla bla religion, or bla bla political party. If we are to see the family (which is established by marriage, in most cases) as the cell that forms societies and nations, and the government controles this cell, then hell, government controles everything, and will controle even more aspects of our lives as time progresses. Think about it: in the middle east the government law prohibits a mulsim to marry a non-muslim, in China you can only have one kid, etc. Soon, people will have to get medical tests and background checks by government agencies before they are allowed to be married. if the government has nothing to do with marriage, gay people, people of different relgions, etc will not have to be humiliated to get the fucking government's approval to be with the person they love.
On the other hand, I am reminded that marriage laws help protect children from being left on the curb by their parents, set rules for division of property after divorce, prohibit 50-year-old men from marrying their 12 teenage cousins, etc. of course these are good things, although some of these rules are only on paper in some cases. but can't we somehow have these regulatory rules in place without making marriage a legal matter in itself and having the government tell us who we can sleep with? I am not sure how this can happen or if it is at all possible. But well, after the seperation of church and state can't we seperate marriage and state?
Heck I dunno, i'm just ranting!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ranting Rants

I am sick of being sick of things. Seriously, it is so frustrating when you rant and rant but you can't change the thing you are ranting about or affect some change on someone/something with that very rant. Feeling helpless is worse than feeling oppressed or suppressed. I am nto sure what this blog entry really means, but I wish someone hears out my rants so at least they trigger thinking and questioning instead of being a way for me to vent.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mourning a Bird

Today I, for the second day ina row, took my baby bird to work so I can feed it on time and keep an eye on it. After the ifed it the first time, it was for some reason agitated and aggressive. I thought it was just upset from the noise and the cab ride. After an hour and as i opened its box to give it the second meal, it was dead..

I am not sure what happened to it. I know that its mom threw it from the nest, but i really believed it had a good chance of survival with me; i fed it, kept it in a punch-holed, padded box that i cleaned twice a day, let it walk around and flip its wings all afternoon, and did not disturb its sleep. What did i do wrong? did i feed it the wrong stuff? did i hurt it? was i not supposed to keep it in the box? I don't know why it had to die like this.

I can't help but feel guilty, and wish I had tried to out it back in the nest with hopes that its mom would take it back. It is very sad because I had just gotten the phone number of a bird specialist from my boss, and I was going to pass by the store after work to get it a nice big cage to stay in until it can be released. I feel so horrible.

I guess i did have paternal/maternal instincts, the problem was only with my ability to be a parent; i failed miserably.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bird is the Word!

Right after I came home from the dentist's with half of my face totally numb, my gramma asked me to go and fix the gas tube, which had finished in only one week because no one ever checks for leaks (i live on the first floor, and should it one day blow up, the reason half my face would be numb is because it would not exist!) Anyway, as i went to check the tube i found a little bird helplessly trying to fly but kept on falling back onto the ground grabbing the attention of all the neighborhood's stray cats. At that moment i thought that God must have made my gramma ask me to help her out for a reason; I was meant to save the poor little guy.

So I took the crazy thing into the house and consulted the best vet in town- the world wide web!
I could not figure out the bird species, but I got some instructions on how to take care of the baby bird until it can fly on its own. I was really happy at first since i was helping one of God's creatures and following the teachings of Buddha and all the sacred ones. But then i got really tired of having to feed the little thing every other hour and having to clean its poop. I am really disappointed in my paternal/maternal instincts!

I am at work now, and yes, the bird is in its box right on my desk helping me out with filing! I am glad my boss is understanding, but I really hope this bird can grow and fly fast! Afterall, i do not have the patience of the Buddha!

Grieving Myanmar

A tribute to the victims of the Cyclone in Myanmar.

More than 20,000 dead, 40,000 disappeared, and a million homeless. We can only imagine the level of distruction and devestation. Please click on the picture to help, but remember that donations and blog entries are not enough; there isa reason why natural disasters are increasing, and action is needed.

May those who passed during this disaster rest in peace, and may those living through the tragedy have patience and support.

Revolution: A Definition

I believe in Revolution- yes, with a capital R. Most people who know me know that about me. But i think that revolution has been standardized and is believed to mean one thing and one thing only: a war that results in the installment of a totalitarian government. Dude, this is NOT the cold war era anymore!

It is rather naive to think of a big word like revolution in such a sim plified and stereotypical way. Revolution may mean something to one person, that is totally irrelavant to another's understanding. This is why I wanted to discuss my own definition of revolution here.

To me, revolution means significant change to the better. It is a revolution that women in Kuwait can finally vote, that hy-brid cars are proliferated, that homosexual couples can get married, that internet allows people to express opinions that are censored by governments in other forms of media, and that many businesses are going "green".

So, even though i first learned of revolution against tyranny through more socialist texts (mostly Guevara), I do not neccessarily agree with all the ideas of socialists regarding revolution. I do consider Guevara to be an icon and an inspiration, but I am meant to disagree with some of his beliefs, especially when it comes to armed struggle. I do not agree with everything that Ghandi believed in, or Malcom X, or anyone for that matter. It is impossible for two people to agree on everything, especially when it comes to something as vast and controvercial as revolution.

Yes, I may idolize some characters in human history more than others, but that does not mean i will not question, explore, and delve into the understanding of certain concepts to form my own definition and meaning.

I proudly believe in revolution.

It's about the Trees, you idiot!

The attitude that most employees have towards their employers, regardless of the type of workplace and whether the boss was nice or not, is that employees are always avenging from any boss actions by wasting office resources.

I definately see this where I work. My co-workers really think that since they are underpaid, their revenge can be presented in over-printing and photocopying, as well as wasting water. One of the interns asked me why I use recycled paper, and insisted I should use new paper and cost the organization more. He literally said "why are you saving them paper?" Unfortunately, my boss and I are the only people in the office who believe in sustainability and saving resources. Everyone thinks it is meant to save the organization money, and that we are cheap and they will punish us by using more paper than they need.

I have explained to most of my co-workers that we are accountable to mother nature and its creator before our boss, and that recycling paper is a way to save trees, our source of O2 that is decreasing rapidly. If you do not want to save the trees for the sake of the tree itself, or even for the sake of God, who would hold us accountable for destroying the earth we populate, do it for your own sake! Be selfish and think about wanting to allow your grandchildren and great grandchildren to live longer by providing them with more oxygen. So far, only one has been recycling his paper. It's better than nothing, i guess.

It is not about your boss, stupid, it is about the trees that keep us alive. If you want to "stick it to the man" try to go on a rally or write an opinion peice or start a freakin revolution; figure out who "the man" really is, coz it sure ain't the trees, and evidently, without the trees there will be no "man" and no "you" anyway.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One God, Many Ways

We all think that whatever way we follow is the way to the truth and salvation, and we think that everyone else is heading to doom. Growing up only knowing one kind of people and one religion does not prepare you for an exposure to the different religious practices around the world, especially in our "flat" globalized world of today.

Most people of a specific relgious background are raised to condemn the practices of others that are different and sometimes to even hate them. We believe that God listens to us only and that we are saved and heaven is in our pocket.
I once believed in all that- pardon my french- crap. I was expected to hate jews and believe that they are cheap and dirty, that hindus worshipped cows and sikhs worshipped fire. I was not taught about the Holocaust in school and we were told only we are going to heaven, and everyone else were sinners and condemned to hellfire for eternity. So, i followed, like everyone else i knew, all of these beliefs or assumptions if you may. I didn't need to know anything else; afterall, i was going to heaven.
Luckily, my sudden exposure to other practices came in the most positive of ways. Going to a country that has a mix of all sorts of people gave me the opportunity to question myself, and what i was taught. I studied other relgions and their practices, i learnt about what they really believe and practice, not what i was taught by prejudiced teachers in school. I then started to attend services of several different relgions. I expected that they will reject me because i knew my people will reject them in our places or worship, but i got warm welcomes and so much understanding and love.
I was always distracted from the prayers during the services by the people. I watched them as they prayed, their heads either bowed or lifted up high calling out to God. Congregations holding hands and sharing the love of God. I thought to myself: is it possible that God will see these people, praying with so much sincerity, intense faith and humble hearts, and will reject them just because they are not of a certain relgion, just because they follow a certain discipline? If heaven is so great and wonderful, is it possible it was only made for a small group of people who worshipped in a certain way?
If we really believe that God is benevolent and kind and merciful, can we believe that God is a bigot? do we ever consider that it really does not make any sense? Afetrall, God gave us brains so we could use them.
Through other religions I saw things i never saw through my own alone.. I felt that these disciples complete each other, like the world would have no meaning if they did not all exist simultaneously for us to learn from. I questioned all my beliefs, i read more and tried to understand more; i felt like a better follower of my religion because of all the other religions. I was finally a believer, when i was merely a follower all my life.
Now to me the differences mean nothing, and I am sure in my heart that God loves us all the same if we love God, regarless of the way we do it or where we worship. Now i know that if i go to a temple, church, mosque, synagogue, or any house of worship, i will find God there, and God will listen to me. Because i know that we all believe in the same God but we express that in different ways, each one unique and has its own beauty. Afterall, if God wanted us all to be the same and worship God the same way, wouldn't God have created us all similar?
p.s. I use "God" too many times in a sentence because I refuse to use "he", for if God is fair and impartial, God cannot be a man or a woman.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rainy Season

For the past couple of days, it has been raining in the capital after a long dry winter. The cabie I usually take home from work drove very slowly in the midst of brown rainwater rivers out of fear his car will die in the middle of the street. I put down my Garcia Marquez memoires which I usually read while in the car to avoid watching the streets and whatever is in them, and I just watched what the first day of rain did to everyone. Kids were peeing into the water, playing with floating garbage, and splashing around the water we rarely see. All the men had their clothes wrapped up all the way to their waists, exposing horros no one really wants to see. People were simply joyous because we never really have alot of rain and most people do not have enough water at home for kids to splash around in or for them to put their feet in and feel all fuzzy inside!

As children, my cousins and i would make small boats and have races in my gramma's yard where a huge lake would form after rains. One of my other rain memories is walking the streets in heavy rain with my two best college friends-one of them diseased now- soaked to the bones without a care in the world because all the nast men who would usually harrass us are hiding from the rain.

I guess witnessing all this made me nostalgic and stuff, but the cynic i am, I always think of what is wrong with this seemingly happy time. In reality, people so happy with the rain that will water our plants are not thinking right, because we do not have a proper rainwater system, which means all of this water will only serve as an alternative to taking the trash to the dump. Secondly, if we want to water the plants and all the amazing crops we have, we should first have crops or plants to water. The other sad thing about rainy days is that once we have a rain spell, the low-quality asphalt of the roads (mainly bad because the cost of important materials was pocketed by some big or small government official) is exposed, and after a week of rain, the roads are full of holes and cracks and traffic is even worse than before.

The rain also contributes greatly to the distruction of the old houses of working-class families that are barely standing. I remember reading this in one holy book or another, that rain may sometimes seem like a blessing when it is actually a curse. I am not sure whether to base my decision on the smiles of children swimming in the garbage-filled water, or on the tears of our neighbor looking for more pots for the rain drops pouring from her roof.

I will just read my book next time.