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Monthly Archives: January 2008

universe

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He laughed.

He giggled.

He chortled.

He guffawed.

He grinned.

He sniggered.

He laughed.

It doesn’t sound right does it.

God doesn’t laugh.

Whatever else he does, he doesn’t laugh.

I’ve never read religious texts where the Creator bursts out laughing. It’s never worked its way into any of the publications of our monotheistic divinity.

Three mass circulation, high publicity volumes on the market, one of them the best seller of all time. The short comedic story that has God laughing at our little species is conspicuously absent.

He’s not emotionless, we know that much. He gets angry, he plans, he plots. He can be happy. He’s got a full emotional range.

Somehow laughter never made the cut. He never even managed a giggle. Maybe it was left out in the editing because our feeble ego wouldn’t be able to withstand the weight of divine humour.

He’s got to be able to laugh though. If we, the created, can do it, then surely God can manage it. We can’t be one up on him.

I guess that leaves the outstanding conclusion that he doesn’t laugh. He can, but he’s a serious type. The type that doesn’t find anything funny.

Which doesn’t make sense, because He’s exhibited a preference for happy people. I remember a story in which two prophets, one exuberantly happy, and one glum, asked God to decide which was the better state to be in. He sent down Gabriel who made it clear that God preferred the happier of the two.

You may be wondering why this is a concern. How dependent can anything be on his sense of humour? Surely salvation hinges on his Mercy, his  Justice or his Eminence and Grace.

Let me assure you that it is a pressing concern. Given the tenor of many a recent conversation, an appeal to his Mercy, Justice or Eminence, is not likely to get me very far if he doesn’t appreciate a good joke.

Mo says: ….and it’s learning from the mistakes that will get things better

Zed says:ur over confidence in urself has led to ur fall

Mo says: of course it has; you say that like I should be ashamed of it;

Mo says:i’ll bounce back and do better

Zed says: of course u should be ashamed

Zed says: lol

Zed says: u’re too confident

Mo says: i’m never ashamed of my mistakes

Mo says: i’m human and i make mistakes

Mo says: what is shameful is if i keep making them

Zed says: so true

shoes_at_the_beach

There is something primitive about sitting at the sea shore, staring over your shoes, out at the sea and onwards into eternity.

It’s deeply soothing to feel so solidly in the moment.

Entranced by the grittiness of the sand between your toes. Wiggle them and feel the changing texture of the sand shifting beneath your feet. The heat of a summer sun streaming in from a low angle, as the sun prepares its decent into darkness. The cool breeze blowing in crisply of the sea.

There’s no distraction, no tumult and no chaos.

Just a sense that everything is perfectly as it should be.

Everything just fades away. All the worries seem petty, all the burdens seem light. Nothing exists between you, the earth and the never ending sky.

There is the invitation, silent but compelling, in the rhythms of the sea to think deep thoughts and drift casually through the mind to find some peace; missed so easily every day.

I wish I could tell you what the deep thoughts were. I don’t recall many of them.  The few I do recall; well those aren’t for sharing. I enjoyed the sense of calm and deep relaxation, especially after such stressful days.

It is this feeling; of utter calm and contentment, that has stayed with me. Not the actual feeling, sadly not; but its memory.

I want to spend more days at the beach.

We’re now about three weeks into the PCLL, with time rapidly flying as the second semester goes into full speed. In those three weeks, I’ve attended four classes.

Two lectures, on the very first day, way back on 7th of Jan which was the compulsory lecture on Company Law, widely condemned as a waste of time and the the Civil Advocacy Exam briefing, delivered in a similarly unhelpful manner by our delightful Mr. Hui.

As for Small Groups, I’ve got a more credible, though still incredible 50% batting average. Out of the four so far I’ve attended only two of them. They’re quite decent, and I’ve made sure that I’ve gotten any assignments in on time and been a contributor in the classes that I have attended.

Why am I telling you all this? So you can hear about my utter cluelessness today. I don’t even know what day it is. I woke up this morning, looked at the calendar, and didn’t even realise that today was Tuesday. Which means that I didn’t know I had a class, and which means I ended up missing it.

Additionally, between exams, Jessup deadline, Ashara and having Janab at my house, I’ve never felt so stretched in my life. Its been enjoyable and exhilarating at the same time that I’ve found it utterly exhausting. I need the down time, these few days to help me regain my motivation and to physically recharge.

What’s odd is that I don’t really care that I’m skipping all these classes.

I don’t feel that the Small Groups add any value given how they’re taught. They’ve never been remotely difficult, and I’ve prepared more than adequately for the ones that I did attend in 35 minutes roughly.

I’ve heard nothing from anyone that would suggest a single lecture was worth attending. People seem to be playing games, sending text messages, doing the crossword and generally goofing around.

They’re not giving any value from classes at all, and I’m responding by staying away.

Finish Each Day by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.

Sage advice; and a point of view that is beginning to approximate my own. I’m okay with the fact that every day I’m making mistakes. For the first time ever I’m okay with it.

They’re the cost of living. Of living a life that’s not meticulously planned and regimented and controlled. Of opening myself up to the risks that must be taken to find rewards worth having.

That involves saying stupid things, feeling stupid, and asking questions. It involves not saying stupid things and not feeling stupid but exploring doors that have always been closed before. Its discovering that the boundaries aren’t where I thought they were. That most of these boundaries don’t matter, and the ones that do matter aren’t in the place I thought they were.

That kind of living involves an infinite number of mistakes.

What I’m doing is making the effort to learn from my mistakes. The one’s that I recognise I’ve made. They have to be taken on board to the best of my ability. They shouldn’t happen again.

It reminds me of a cynical quotation by James Mayo (“Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice”) that said much the same thing. I wasn’t too impressed with it then, it seemed glib and arrogant.

Now it appears smart. One of the the many things you learn to appreciate in hindsight. A portion of the art of living that you learn through living.

There is a part of me that is fascinated by effortless perfection. The smooth performance that is so complete in every aspect, that the person seems larger than life, an impresario resurrected to show a failing world a true superstar.

I’ve made my peace with that part. Its there for certain things. I intend to give reign to that part in mooting, in presentations, in anything where polish is as important as substance. But I don’t need it for the rest of the day. For the rest of my life.

After the most intensive four days of my life, with about 8000 words  in writes and rewrites, almost all of it meticulously detailed and footnoted with (I hope) the appearance of due diligent research; its euphoric to wake up today morning and realise that there is nothing that I need to do. A few days off sounds a brilliant proposition now, and PCLL be damned, I plan to take them.

And then the oral round preparation begins.


My Current Wallpaper

 

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has admitted he was wrong to brand the scandal of lost CDs containing the personal data of millions of Britons a “storm in a teacup” after falling victim to an internet scam.

The outspoken star printed his bank details in a newspaper to try and make the point that his money would be safe and that the spectre of identity theft was a sham.

He also gave instructions on how to find his address on the electoral roll and details about the car he drives.

However, in a rare moment of humility Clarkson has now revealed the stunt backfired and his details were used to set up a £500 direct debit payable from his account to the British Diabetic Association.

Jeremy Clarkson stung for £500 as fraud stunt gets punished | Money | Guardian Unlimited

He does present an absolutely enjoyable TV show but in every other respect, even on the show itself, he comes across as being an idiot with a rather obvious disconnect from the modern world, when that world is not about fast cars.

At least he has the decency to come clean about it and admit he was wrong, and to accept that its far too easy for people to do unsavoury things with even basic data about people, let alone the hugely invasive personal data that the British Government has lost through the cumulative missing discs debacles.

I’ll bet you though, that he got his problem sorted out in a few minutes and with a few sharp phone calls. If this were to have happened to the average Joe, there would have been weeks of difficulty and the phone merry go round that the banks operate to get anything done. And Joe probably wouldn’t have gotten the money back in the end either.

Ferrari 
Link to some fantastic high res shots on Autoblog

Now this is a thing of beauty. There are changes to the line and shape from the old Ferrari 2007 design, and I have to say it really is a thing of raw aesthetic beauty.

I’m sad to read they’re going to radically overhaul the design and aerodynamics over the next 70 days in the run up to the Australian Grand Prix which might mar these amazing lines.

I hope they manage to keep the beauty alive.