The tale that collected dust

Disclaimer: This is a true story! I wrote it quite a while back, and it was miraculously rediscovered in one of the forums that I frequently participate. I decided that it belongs here, to be revisited by my future self so she can laugh at my amateurish writing skills.

****

I used to live with my grandparents back in China. My uncle brought a pair of parrots, then gradually the family of parrots increased and our house was always lively with the chatters of birds (even at 4am!) As time passed, we discovered that the lifespan of the parrots living here rarely lasts longer than a year, and we didn't know if it was premature or that birds have a short lifespan. I observed these birds finding companionship in each other, quarreled, had petty fights, and found comfort in each other within the confines of their cage. I also observed some of them lucky ones finding mating partners - lucky, because my parrots seemed to be somewhat selective about their mates. One male and female parrots that one randomly pairs up together doesn't automatically become mates, I've seen.

There was a particular pair of parrots: one was green feathered, and one was blue. There was a long history of mischief and trouble behind the blue feathered parrot - she was the fiercest biter, the most defiant, and the most troublesome when released about the house.

In daytime, I'd release them from their cages so they can fly around the house and experience greater freedom (making sure that all windows are closed, of course.) At night time, I would take a broom in my hand, and the cage in my other, pointed the broom to the birds then to the cage. Some of the smarter birds understood immediately and flew in to the cage, where the other aged, more easily worn out birds is already napping inside the cage. The *other* birds, however, are either dimmer in intelligence or plain defiant. Blue was always one of them. When I try to get other birds in the cage, I'd coax them into my hands (took quite a while to convince them all that it's time to go "home"), then gently guide them down from the windowpanes or where other high place that birds likes to settle themselves on. With blue, however, not only do I have to directly catch her with my hands, but I also have to wear a *glove* lest she bites me and reward me with rabies (she bites damn hard!).

After that, I'd clean the crap that they shitted all over the place. Then go to bed myself. If the birds chattered with themselves among the cages - which they usually do when the moon is full and illuminate their cage, giving them the notion that it's not quite bedtime yet - I'd cover the entire cage with a black blanket and VOILA - all is silent. (!)

One fine day (I was living 3rd floor of a 6th floored apartment), I took the cage of parrots out to the balcony for some sunshine. And on that particular day, my ears picked up something unusual from the bird's usual conversaion (not that I understood any of it). All parrots were singing in unisons at times, or one of these parrots would seem to be yelling out of the cage at some distance, then waited silently. Then my ears would pick up a single parrot call - not from the cage, but from a distance. And soon enough, and sure enough, my eyes spotted the summoned lone parrot flew in the sky, swooping down to the balcony and grasping the side of the cage with his talons. With one look at the freed parrot, I guessed he might have escaped from some other family of pet parrots and didn't know the rules of the jungle. He was dangerously thin, like he hasn't eaten since. He didn't try to escape as my hands wrapped around him and put him inside the cage; if his escape had to do with being caged, then I guess he must have thought he had less to lose back in the cage (than starving to death.)

Gradually this new green parrot's feathers are no longer dull and few from the lack of nutrition. He began to gain weight rapidly (it's AMAZING how fast these birds grow), got acquainted with his new friends, and seemed to be quite content of my once-per-day flight policy around the entire house. The most amazing part, is me seeing my troublesome blue bird-friend got cozy with the new green new-bird-comer, coming each other's fur on the head (the more lonely birds do that by rubbing his/her head against the cage. It's always good to have a partner to wash your back now and then :D), and sleeping with one's head (half-way hiding) under the other's chin. To me, their affection towards each other is quite an enigma - especially on the part of that blue bird, because for one, the newcomer was a skinny weak dude who was recovering from starvation, and my bluebird was a peerless beauty with blue feathers that would make a clear blue sky looks grey and morose (I'm exaggerating, of course. But I'm trying to emphasize on the total inequality of their appearances and their physical attributes.) But then again, what do I know about bird love? I'm not a birdie.

Unfortunately, the green newcomer's heath has deteriorated greatly in his life on the outside. He didn't last more than a few weeks. What happened afterwards was *the* most heartbreaking experience I've ever had. I saw a dramatic change in my usually feisty, aggressive blue bird. She no longer pushed the other birds out of the way arrogantly (because she's kind of big for a parrot. No parrot ever dared to pick on her.) as she made her way out of the cage. She no longer WAS out of the cage at all. She didn't eat AT ALL, and I've no idea how much she slept. She didn't talk, didn't even squeak a single sound days after days. (There really should be a bird therapy/counselling clinic somewhere. I'm serious.) In fact, she's never out of the cage when I set the other birds out of the cage to fly around. I sighed, and dragged her by the tail (I was only 7 years old at that time.) She was a total deadweight as I dragged her out of the cage. I cautiously wrapped my good hand around her thinning body, somehow intuitiously knowing that she wouldn't bite me like she usually did now, and put her on the windowsill among her friends. I then proceeds to go off to elementary school (which takes about 20 steps from my apartment. So usually my grandparents didn't accompany me.) to skip ropes in those fancy ways with the other kids on the playground, trying to outdo each other. But when I finally came home, the bluebird wasn't there. And I was told that she "fell off" the windowsill and died...

It was a memorable moment. Later I find myself comparing human relationships with each other with that of the blue and green and white parrots of the world, and realize it's not the passion or the loyalty or the deepness that we lacked to have a successful relationship...it's simplicity. At 7, I learned to keep some tears to myself. I've cried many tears in front of adults and my peers alike - authentic and fake-tautdrum tears alike, but crying over a bird? Shame on me, thought I, as I laid still under my blanket pretending a deep sleep, and waited until the adults are sound asleep in their own dreamworlds. Then I sneaked out of bed and walked onto the balcony, where I knew my grandmother has thrown the body of the new green bird 3 floors down below, without a proper burial. There I finally released myself there, wondering if grandma has done the same thing to the bluebird...


***

PS. On the other hand, the blue parrot will no longer be able to shit on my head...

Philosophy 101

- All spell casters abuses their power.
- I AM a caster of spells.
- Therefore I'm an bad, bad witch :P

...Because I'm collecting the number of Mamun's "missed calls" on my cellphone like a trophy...what a sadistic thing to do.

It's much like the way those un-looked-at spam mails are doubling in the spam folder of my Gmail account daily. (Geez...now if only my bank account would miraculously do that. Or my IQ. Both will eventually lead to world domination.)

Update: Have you ever wondered where the term "business" came from? The luxury of spare time are seldomly granted for those who leads a busy lifestyle. WHO leads a busy lifestyle? People with businesses to concern themselves with. WHAT is the characteristics of a busy lifestyle? Simple! Busi-ness.

Get it?

[Inane post will be deleted on the next update]

(no subject)

"Let me say this about people who believe in just being honest and straightforward with criticism: their motives are generally not pure and honest at all. There is often an undercurrent of hostility directed at the target; they themselves feel insecure, or in need of asserting their power. A person who truly cares about expressing a criticism in a way that is constructive looks at the individual he or she is facing and decides, strategically, what will work, what will improve the target's performance in the long run. "

The concise translation: Honest people are not necessarily considerate of others.

My shameful confessions

Dear Diary,

Allow me to make a confession, one which I've refrained from making for weeks. My reticence tormented me, my guilt teared away at my conscience. Having no one to talk to, and being confused about what really happened, I put away my problems to face the new challanges that life brings me, for I can run away from my past...at least for a little while, but never can I turn away from facing the future. It was too important.

It did not take long for me to figure out that there is no future for me if I do not confront my past troubles - something that I always knew, but it was never a lesson for me to learn until now. Running away is never the solution. Although talking about it didn't solve the problem, I find solace in knowing that there is somebody out there who heard my words and understood my pains.

And now for my confession: I failed a friend. I failed someone who was there for me in my worst troubles. I failed someone who understood me the best, listened to my innermost private thoughts. Someone who empowered me to do my best and believed I can make it in life. How? He became dishonest with me, I confronted him, and he refused to communicate openly like he always did before, so effortlessly. I blamed myself for it. It must have been something I've done or said that hurt, or betrayed him in ways that I do not know. But he denied that was so, and told me I was paranoid. He denied so much, "me thinks he protests too much."

I've come to realized that he's not the person he wanted everybody to believe he was. I've ignored the signs, finding it hard to believe at first. He placed such emphasis on the importance of self discovery, he was obsessed with the conceptualization of self identity, that what's left for one to conclude but that the man knows himself? But it wasn't knowledge of himself he sought.

From his past, he talked about how inferior he felt next to his brother. He was dead jealous of his brother, wanted to have his grace, his charm, his ability to get attention from everyone. As he grew up, he was set on distinguishing himself from his brother. He had something to prove, or so it seems to me - that his brother isn't the only kind to deserve admiration, perhaps. He scorned upon superficialities, euphemisms, and so called social etiquette that people put up for the sake of maintaining the social order known as civilization. When you peel the skin away, he said, the rest is shadows. Nothingness.

It was a perfect fit to my philosophy on the essence of humanity. But I guess nobody told him that he is already worthy of love, simply by staying true to himself. If at least one person tell him that, as he has told me with such sincerity that I began to believe in myself, then maybe those shadows of insecurity will be gone from the radiance of his own beauty - which he has perhaps missed the opportunity to find. Or maybe he already have build his character and stayed true to himself in some ways, but there's no denying that he's suppressing much of the qualities inherent within him. He especially looks down upon feminine traits, which he have in abundance. That was only one example. The worst of all is: he isn't the carefree person he'd like to have everybody believe. In fact, he takes himself very, very seriously. I didn't believe it at first, but it all made sense - his dogmatism, oftentimes sticking to his own intepretations and refusing to think outside himself (which can be done by trying to think in other people's point of view). In one music forum, I've mentioned that there are two types of thinkers - one who make his own intepretations, and one who listens and understand the way others think. The former leads to greater introspection and self discovery, while the latter leads to enlightenment. Neither is wrong or bad, when given a balanced dose of each. But the excess of the former contributes to dogmatism, with the other contribution factors being: insecurity of one's own standpoint, which I believe is the consequence of self deceit, which by the way leads to one taking oneself too seriously.

The excess of the latter leads to self neglect. The opportunities for personal growth and the development of potentials lies with those who knows themselves. (That's what I believe, at least.) But I digress. Truth had its way, eventually. To witness the betrayal of self is a tragic thing. As secure and sure of himself as he seems, that's the only weakness in his character. It's a HUGE weakness; when you build your castles of self deceit on thin layers of ice, one day it will all come crashing down on you. You drown, nobody hears your screams outside the four walls you surrounded yourself with. My pleading voice cannot penetrate those walls, as much and as often as I've tried to let him know...that I'm here. That I'll always be here, and I won't go away.

What's there to do? Huh? What IS there to do?! My head must have been bald from scratching as I asked myself. But as time passed, my life...instead of falling to pieces, it went on without him. I gave him up. True friends never gives up on one another. That means only one thing: I'm a lousy friend.

I let him go. Even my heart moved on, though it didn't heal without scars. My mind concentrated on school and music. At night, I wander off to dreamland to do all the things that isn't mortally, physically, and realistically possible. He have no part in my life anymore, and I feel less and less bad about it, gradually. That means only one thing: I'm the worst friend alive. I'm too selfish to learn how to be a friend. I don't deserve to have friends. It makes me feel like the worst human being alive, like I'm unworthy of love, of friendship, and of the admiration that I so constantly receives from even total strangers.

After telling Neena everything, now I've told you. The guilt still bore holes in my conscience. My worst critic. My merciless Judge. It isn't over. I have a feeling that my retrial is not far in the future, and I vow to not fail another friend. My black wells of despair, my fears of the uncertain...there's really nothing that can stop me from trying at the very least.

Edit: I realized that I've written this entry elaborately and, as always, dramatically. Usually it was for my writing pleasures; this isn't "usually". I want to point out that I mean every word I say here, and as seriously as if they were written in blood.

Philosophy and theology

outstretchedarm
Flipside's Authority on Hip Hop, Philosophy, & Bible

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Philosophy and Theology: Questions for Reflection and Discussion [flammable]
« on: Yesterday at 11:54:06 AM »
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[these are some questions I posed/posted in a google group for a class I'm taking, but thought I'd share on flipside as well]

The first couple of chapters of Erickson's theology deal with the relationship between philosophy and theology. Its worth thinking about. Don't feel your answers must be constrained to discussing within Erickson's framework, however.

1) To what extent is God limited by the laws of logic (such as the law of non-contradiction), the laws of mathematics (such as the commutative principle, a * b = b * a) and the laws of physics (such as the conservation of energy)?

2) How useful are syllogisms (a type of logical argument) in the construction of theological positions? For instance, if the Bible asserted:

all christians are going to heaven (for example)

everybody going to heaven is holy

would we then be justified in asserting that :

all christians are holy

? Again, the debate is not about the subject matter of the above argument, but rather its form. How much truth value (if we can discuss such as thing as having degrees) does the logical conclusion have in relation to its truly biblical premisses?

3) Can/should secular philosophies be "baptized," that is, christianized? Is it worthwhile to adapt platonism, aristotelianism, etc to the christian worldview?

4) Is experience "admissable evidence" in an intellectually rigorous debate about God, especially a debate/discussion between theists and non-theists?

Your thoughts?



(This entry is cross-posted on the Theology I: Google Group)


My response (recorded to be reviewed in some distant future so my future self can laugh in amusement at me):

1. Since no one have pure knowledge of God (other than what word they receive from the Bible, of which the authenticity is doubtful.) to determine the limits of said omnipotent God within the confines of logic, by putting our hopelessly ignorant minds to work, is an impossibility.

2. Given the premises, and assuming that the premises are true (which ZeHoS doesn't think so Hehe), the conclusion makes sense. Since there are debates among the aethists over the authenticity of the Bible, over faith, and the nature of religion in general, I don't even see a point to make my own point here. The Christians already have faith in the words of the Bible, so naturally they will accept your premises as truthful as the words of their God. The aethists, on the other hand, will simply agree that the conclusion is logical given the premise, but they may find the premises...well, for the lack of a better word...ridiculous.

On the given premises, whether all christians are going to heaven or not depends on how you define a "christian", by what criteria does one qualify as a christian? Do you define a christian based in his faith alone? Or by his love and compassion for his fellow human beings? Do you judge him on his opinions, or on his actions? Is a christian still one when he has molested a child?

If everybody who IS good and holy, and all that good stuff, is going to heaven...heaven must be a lonesome place to be, I guess Undecided

But if you mean "holy", by committing your life to doing good, by (for example) refraining from acting upon a desire that may bring harm to another fellow human being, then there could be a few people up there. Who knows Roll Eyes

One's beliefs are one's own concerns, as it usually should be.

3. Uh...that depends on the motivations behind why a christian would like to baptize secular philosophy. To confirm christianity? The art of philosophy lies in the in-depth interpretation on varied issues. One may bend the words of a philosophy authority to serve one's own purposes, whatever that is. As far as whether one SHOULD do it, maybe an important question to ask is: Will you learn more by trying to understand philosophy through the eyes of Aristotles, or by making your own intepretations and thinking inside your own little box? I think both are important - one leads to enlightenment, and another to greater introspection and learning of one's true identity. But going by the latter without the former will bring one no intellectual progress. (Not to mention that it's also an indication that vanity is at work.)



4) Experience is not "sufficient" substantiation in an intelligent, philosophical debate on the existence of God. Just as data without some form of organization cannot produce meaningful and useful information, to draw conclusions based on experience and observations alone, without undergoing critical thinkings and trial/error experimentations to produce scientific data is likely to be biased. Back when we did not have the knowledge of astronomy, wasn't it common sense that the sun revolved around us? (I believe that idea originated from Christianity.) Wasn't it common sense that based on women's physical inferiority, all feminine character traits are looked upon as inferior. Even now, it was degrading for a man to show his feminine side in public, while for the woman to show her masculine side was...an indication of progress, perhaps? Nutter

In conclusion, to draw truthful conclusions based on experience alone is foolish.

(no subject)

I can't separate my acquaintances from my enemies anymore, though thankfully my friends remained true, and I can always trust and count on them.

People argue/fight over the pettiest things, while their insecurities lurks underneath, eating holes in their self confidence like an ugly worm that pulls the strings with its host, saying and doing malicious things to people who have something they covets, and perhaps most of all ARE themselves something they can never be. I'm sorry for her, and I sincerely hope she work out her own problems rather than not, but I cannot afford to become a victim of her own insecurities, so I will fight to the death to what I hold on dear, with a tenacity that rivals eight thousand leeches.

...except that it doesn't feel like the right approach to me.

That's the problem with problems. One needs time to figure it all out, which is time that I don't have right now.

More inspired thoughts and reflections

I had a conversation with Pascal for four hours straight today.
[deleted]

[deleted]

[deleted]...This then leads to Pascal pointing out that the I/E mentality ultimately leads to intolerance, that there has been a time when women weren't recognized as persons until that was revealed to be true, and then jaws began to drop to the shocking new relevation. There has been debates as to whether Jews are human beings, are people. And so he made his point as to where this I/E mentality leads - intolerance of differences, the feeling of superiority that one derives from being in a certain group.

This leads me to think that the feeling of superiority from being a part of something that you believe in...[deleted]...gives you a false sense of belonging when you have yet to find your place -
[deleted]

But, that is not to say that we, as human beings, are not similar to each other, or else it will be impossible to categorize us in order to simplify the complex and to make sense of this complicated world. It's not to say that similarity we share takes away from our uniqueness, as it does not. It is our similarity that connects us, in ways that we are able to share our joys, and relieve us of our pains to a sympathetic ear. It is our similarity that helps build great bonds from one to another. It's our similarity that makes it possible to unites us towards a common goal in times of crisis.

[deleted]

[deleted]

[this is still pertaining the topic of I/E mentality, and we've already debated on whether art and entertainment is distinguishable - like we've debated many times before - or that it is the pompous, infantile mentality of I/E that is at work, when in fact the essense lies in the actual state of its being - the what IS.]

However, when Pascal asked whether I believe to be making art or entertainment when I'm making music, I gave him an answer that he said impressed him deeply - which was to be expected, as we share very self centered attitudes...[deleted]. I told him that the music I make is of personal value and meaning to me. It may entertain other people to hear my work, or it may gave them appreciation in a meaningful sense. But be it art nor music, and regardless of to whom it is art, entertainment, or both as the same thing - my best work is personally relevant to me. [deleted]

Nothing else matters.

[deleted]

[deleted]

[deleted]

[deleted]

It's wonderful to be with him, not only because he inspires me think in new ways, and not only because he always appreciates sharing what new thoughts I expressed to him. As he told me tonight, we have somehow (I think this "somehow" can be explained by reading my previous entries) developed a prescious bond that allow us to be completely comfortable and at ease with each other's precense - [deleted] - [deleted]. Words cannot describe how much I value the friendship I shares with him, or how deeply and tenderly I love him. Feelings only grew with time, and that's a very good thing, as I have someone, and I am someone to a very special person, which is a treasure that I will keep close to my heart, always.

Melodic Euphoria refuses to apologize for BRUTALLY truncating this blog entry.

My rebirth

Somebody in the forums mentioned her relationship with her mother. It brought back proud memories of how I conquered my own dysfunctional relationship with mine.

You should have lived independently of your mother's opinions long ago.

We may not be able to pick our family, but depending on our family, friends can be much closer and much more reliable. Remember, terms like "family", "friends" are merely social conventions meant to simplify life in order to make some sense out of it. There is no actual meaning in those words themselves, but the extent of your relationship with someone speaks for itself, blood ties or no.

I've thrown my own parents out of my life almost exactly three months ago. I was no more than their posession, to be invested for their own selfish purposes. There was no excuse for the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that I went through. My father was manipulative, controlling, and violently psychopathic. My own mother was jealous of my womanhood and my youth to the point that her motherly instincts to protect was in constant conflict with her envious, malicious tendencies. When parents have gone bad in the sense that they suppresses your good qualities, controls all aspect of your life and prevents you from being who you are, do not make excuses for them, but fight for your freedom to choose by all means.


- Melodic Euphoria. M.E. Me.

"Liberty is not earned, but taken. If necessary, by sheer force."

- best friend Pascal

Incest?

I watched the japanese Anime Koi Kaze yesterday. It's was about two siblings with un-sibling love for each other, and it got me thinking about how incest is viewed nowaday. It's taboo, but I can't think of a single reason why it would be morally wrong (other than that it have a higher chance of producing mentally retarded babies), much to my surprise. We seem to simply accept it as taboo and wrong as a fact.

And even more to my surprise, I was holding my stomach in the climax of the story in Koi Kaze - not because it has gotten tragically wrong, but because of the fact that the feelings that I experience with the characters has been realized was so poignantly beautiful. Can something so beautiful be sinful? Can feelings be wrong? And why is it wrong to act upon such feelings?

I want to know why we shake our heads in disgust when we hear of incest, and I want to be sure that we're not simply being narrowminded. This issue has been on my mind ever since I read Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews, where incestuous love is also one of the few major themes covered by the book.

So, feel free to discuss the anime or the book, and your opinions on both.