“the reaper will claim us all, yet to live is to pretend otherwise; to love is to imagine forever. Indeed, the objective of life may be to remain ignorant of death for as long as possible.”—A Widow’s Story: A Memoir. By Joyce Carol Oates.
I spend a good part of my day reading up on current events and different op-ed on topics that crosses from technology and science, to global economic and the world politics. I enjoy doing this because I believe it is an absolute privilege to have a free access to information at the mind numbing speed. So I try to soak up as much as I can. The devices around me are constantly spilling over with available information waiting for me to consume. And every time I get a moment I jump back on my phone and continue my assumption.
Doing this makes me very knowledgeable in a certain areas and I seem to be able to draw on things I have read into the conversation I share with people on daily basis. It is a feeling of exhilaration to be able to impress, out-argue, or to put in a shallowest sense, sound smart.
But I have to be honest. If that is where knowledge stops working for me, I have become the knowledge snob, or someone who learns things simply for the goal to being better than other. And that would be just sad.
It’s time to wonder about, “what larger impact do all these readings and information have on me and the world around me?” and “what can I let this intake of knowledge affect my moral, opinion and action to make a difference for others?”
Because through self-improvement the world doesn’t improve as a result. All of this is nothing more than a mere act of self-indulgence.
“Yet after the wave of secular uprisings, it is the cynics who seem out of touch, and the idealists have turned out to be the realists.”—on the recent strikes in the Arab World, “Blood and Oil”, Feb. Economist Issue (link)
I don’t know if you are like me, who is a bit caught off guard by Jay Chou’s recent rise of international stardom. It almost seems unfitting, that once a local ballad singer would now be on the blockbuster cast next to other A-list Hollywood celebrities and making shoulder-to-shoulder appearances with basketball icon like Kobe.
At first, I thought these super-stars from the western hemisphere are way out of his league for Jay Chou. I wondered who Jay Chou’s agent needed to bribe for him to achieve such pervasive, and yet high profile, exposure. Then I realize, I had this all wrong.
Even though Jay Chou’s english is subpar, his acting is lacklustre, and his basketball skill is laughable, even that, Jay Chou is out of these guy’s league. He singlehandedly hold the meal ticket to any westerner who wants a piece of China’s billion dollar market. If your face is placed next to Jay Chou, you will be in the mind of more than 1 billion ethnic-chinese. That is the publicity that no amount of money can buy.
So Jay Chou has not just transformed himself into an international star, but moreover, he has made himself into a distribution channel into the minds of the chinese consumer. That is a pretty powerful thing!
So when I have two cats. This is a silly small story about one of them.
When I first got them, I decided to name one of them, the cuter one, Google. The reason behind the naming has nothing to do with the Internet search mammoth, but it has more to do with the sound of the word - it rolled off the tongue nicely.
So Google is a curious cat. She likes to poke her head around every corner of the house, sniffing out everything that was not there before. Her sense of curiosity often meant a loss of sense of safety. The inevitable happened one day when she caught a window left open, she decided to embark a road trip to the land of the unknown.
Sure enough, she spent a week a half from home, suffering the battering of the world’s wildness and the treachery of roaming homeless beasts.
Meanwhile a team of search party was dispatched to find her, but the search bore no results. Flyers are up, and every door in my neighborhood were knocked. Still no sight of Google.
So it wasn’t until a quiet evening, after the search effort have quite subsided, that her fragile little body appeared near the balcony from which she first escaped. With her exhausted spirit and insufferable hunger, she managed to push through whimpering call to the inside of the old home. I was not home then.
Fortunately, after an unknown amount of time has passed, my car pulled into the parking lot in time before she reaches her last breath. Even then, she was cautious. I quickly got out of the her and saw her eyes stare back. I inches closer and she just as quickly took a couple of steps back. In this time, she has learned the only way to survive on the street is to spare trust for everything.
I knew the chase will be futile. Instead, a little dance between the curious one and its owner ensued. When I had her attention, I began to wander away and it was pleasing to see that she followed. And I abruptly stopped and found her reaction mirrored mine. In a slow but calculated fashion I brought her to the corner of the parking lot, still a many feet away from her, I sat down on the pavement. By remaining as still as I can, I assured her safety around me. It was then she walked around me. Again, as she relaxed, the curious demeanors jovially resumes in her spirit. I reach and lightly grab her into my arm, putting an end of her silly adventure.
So in the past month my dad got re-married, to a very nice lady who is kind hearted and caring. She will surely make a great partner of my dad and my family, including me, welcomes her with open arms. Lucky for her, I am way past the age where I need a mom. So she would not have to worry about filling the shoes of a step mom.
For me personally, mom is probably a pretty distant concept. Being raised in a single-parent family by my dad and my grandma, I never really felt that I need or want to a feminine presence in my upbringing. I guess my dad and also my grandma have done a good job to play both roles. So when it comes to the idea of a mother, rather than feeling the bitterness of not having a mother, I begin to be filled with the curiosity about my own birth mom.
I have met her a couple of time when I was a child. She showed up to take me to play and promised to get me anything I want, but she made no mention about who she really is. My memory of her, even without knowing that she was my mother, was that she was the most beautiful lady that I have ever met. Even up to this day, I still feel that way. And at the tender age of 10, I was able to feel that special connection when she hold my hand. The invisible bond was supernatural, and yet it’s almost the most natural thing since I was inside her for 9 months and that coexistence of two being will never vanish.
I guess, in the last month, I have gained a step mom, but what that really prompt to think about is my real birth mom. I used to tell people that I’ve never had a mom, but that is so far from the truth. Just having been born gave me the blood bond to another human being whom I will always call mother. Although I never got to know her, I hope one day I will.