Monday, May 26, 2008

oh country, how i love thee.

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores...and

I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow
Has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide...yes

I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

There's bound to be rough waters
And I know I'll take some falls
But with the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all...yes

I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

Yes, I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
'Til the river runs dry

"The River" -Garth Brooks

Thursday, May 22, 2008


so today marks one year since i have started this blog.
my, how things have changed!

we're supposed to be writing papers...

instead elizabeth and i are watching funny videos like this one:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008



=my finals.
haha, actually not, i just felt like using the word.

so 5 down, 2 to go.
i've been surprisingly calm during the whole finals process.
one more final.
one more paper.
so much missing sleep it's horrendous.
i'm in love with the night time though.
and i've gotten to see the sunrise on multiple occasions.
it's definitely a nice sight after a night-long in the library.

thus far, i've done okay.
not wonderfully.
not terrible.
just okay.
settling for mediocrity is better than freaking out over failing.
and actually i can already say that i feel successful.
i've learned significantly more this semester than i ever have.
i may not have the grades to show for it.
but i've loved all that i learned.
i'm sooo grateful to have to opportunity to study what i do.

i've learned to accept that i'm not perfect.
studying is not my forte.
but laughter is.
and i've done a lot of that.
maybe i'll regret that in the future....
but i'm pretty sure i won't.

actually i'm fairly convinced that my life is darn well fantastic.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Outloud- dispatch

i can't get this song out of my head!

If you'd call my name out loud
If you'd call my name out loud
Do you suppose that I would come running
Do you suppose I'd come at all
I suppose I would


i can just picture my parents reading what i just wrote and being like:
"we're not paying thousands of dollars for your SPIRIT to be revived! get to work."
and now i shall continue writing, before mr. and mrs. hughes disown me.


I just woke up to keep working on my paper. I realized that I have a lot of studying to do before tuesday at 8 am because that is when my final is. ha, and my final is worth just as much as my paper....
i understand that most people didn't really approve of my choice of activities this weekend and how i could have so much studying to do and still choose to be at a lawn party or at the newman barbecue for example. but in my eyes: everything that i did and all the people that i spent time with, sat by, laughed with, dined with were all infinitely more important than having my head buried in my computer screen. many people may call this irresponsible, especially here in berkeley. but i call it my priorities. i will always give precedent to those who i love and care about over academics anyways. berkeley may not be the right place to hold those attitudes. and this weekend especially, may not have been the best one to adhere to my beliefs. but really, if i fail...well then i fail. or if my paper isn't as long as it's supposed to be...well okay then. i'll do better next time. but nothing, NOTHING, will ever replace all the feelings of immense joy that i had this weekend. of seeing lisa walk across the stage and being like "yeah i know her!!!!" or of having my spirit revived by just being in the mere presence of the COMPLETE square. becoming aware of just how many people i feel connected to at newman. at the barbecue: "you're like the me of PAA, at Newman,"- Lisa. of staying up for endless hours at the library, knowing that i'm not getting much work done, but it will be the last time to not get much work done ever with jo or lisa while they are undergrads. so there i was. therefore, regardless of whether everyone else thinks that i didn't spend my time wisely, i think otherwise. my spirit was refreshed. that is a blessing. and one of the greatest gifts i could ever ask for.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rabi'a the Mystic

an excerpt from the main book i'm using to write my paper:

Abu Talib states that there are indeed myriad ways to God and quotes a gnostic who said, "The ways to God are as many as the believers," and another who held that "the ways to God are as many as created things, that is that to the contemplative there is a way to be found through every creature," and this is in accordance with the later Sufi view that the whole world is the book of God Most High and that beneath the veil of each atom is hidden the soul-ravishing beauty of the Face of the Beloved.
-Margaret Smith

what exactly is a "ness" composed of?

i just heard a song that said
"you put the happy in my ness"



happens at the library at 3 am.

seriously, jo just pulled a blanket out of NOWHERE!
lisa apparently doesn't think i'm funny....hehehe, but she's wrong.
i have a pretty fan.
where is that crazy flamingo?!
we can talk to people without actually saying anything!...all we have to do is push lots of buttons in certain sequence and they know our thoughts! AMAZING!

Friday, May 16, 2008


so apparently i look like a gypsy?

today marked the return of me to my bicycle. Oh my, was it GLORIOUS.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

silent film...except at the very end.

coffee is a drug. that's all i have to say about that.

stills in a life that's meant for motion

if i could sit in here everyday i would.

PCN. :D thanks for being so inspiring lisa ang!


make a wish

a WHOLE fish.

joe and i are now the same age. 2 decades old.

crystalynne came to visit and we went on the slide!

all night at the library.

Is it weird
that i have an intense desire to sit under the desk, rather than at it?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Road to Fez

When the family is tucked safely in their bedrooms, on this night that is different from all other nights, I climb the narrow spiral of stairs to my grandfather's roof terrace. I need help--from above. The moment I open the red and blue stained-glass door, I enter a world that obeys laws of another universe, where time doesn't pass: it remembers, and moves back, forward, and sideways--all at the same time. Six-year-old Brit waits for me there, and I know Papa Naphtali is playing his oud, smoking and thinking. As far as I know, he never sleeps.
Sure enough, he's seated cross-legged on his little tasseled carpet. He plucks strings on the oud, immediately transporting me to the Sahara, a hot sirocco blowing sand over us. He acknowledges my presence with a few mournful chords, then returns to his music. Hypnotic and haunting, his music has no recognizable beginning or end: variations on a theme, examined from every possible angle, until I want to scream, and instead find myself tapping my foot, swaying my head back and forth-waiting for the note to pierce the inner heart.

The globe whirled, and he laughed. "Pick a place," he said. "Any place. Pick a name. A religion. A nationality. You can be anyone. Born anywhere."
Breathless, I watched the spinning globe. Reached out with my finger. To stop the globe. To stop the world. So I could be born. The whirling globe slowed.

-Ruth Knafo Setton

the morning air

shines with a different light.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Came in from the Mountain

My dreams would change over centuries
if i had a thousand lives to choose from
but we don't change
what we don't see
because we affect each other endlessly

and i see between your eyes
lines of language to be taken along
i came from the mountain

my fears would change over centuries
if i could choose a thousand lives to live from
but we can't change
what we can't see
because we affect each other endlessly

and i see between your eyes
lines of language, to be taken along
i came from the the mountain

and i see between your eyes
lines of language, to be taken along
i came from the the mountain
oh i came from the mountain

-song by Roddy Woomble

marriage update

i just got off the phone with my wife. here's a little bit of our conversation:
xio: do you think love is forever?
me: yes. i believe love is eternal.
xio: what about people who get divorced?
me: i think that the love that you have for the person when you marry them never changes. you will always love the person you married, but you might not love the person they become. that's why marriage is so hard. because you both have to change and you have to love the person that each other is changing into. i think people get divorced after 20 years because they realize that the person they are with now is not the one they fell in love with and too much has changed to fix that. once you love someone, you will always love who they were at that moment, even if they become someone who you can't love at all in the future. eternal love is formed in mere moments.

a time later:
xio: did you love your wife when you married her? and do you love her now?

me: yes, both. i loved her when i married her because she helped me during a time when i was still really confused and didn't know what i believed or where my life was going. she provided a lot of emotional support when i needed it. now i'm more independent. i have a much clearer understanding of who i am and what i want in life. i can deal with more on my own now. so her purpose in my life has changed, but i still love her.
xio: i don't know if i've ever told you this, but i'm sorry for being a burden to you. i requested a lot from you and you didn't deserve it. i put you through a lot on purpose. thank you. i loved you when i married you and every moment since then...well some moments less than others, but i still loved you.

so i realize that this type of dialog may be unfamiliar to most people. the type of friendship that my wife and i have has always been different than all of my other friendships. for a long time it was burdensome for me. haha, a lot of times it was more dramatic than any of my relationships with guys. jeez. not so much anymore though. i love my wife just like i love all my close friends. eternally.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

more and more

i miss

the me

i used to be

14 hours

that's how long i just slept
after being awake for 34 hours straight
(hmm, it doesn't seem like that long....oh but it was SO long)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


blackberries have become my favorite fruit as of late.

(and fantastic has been my word of choice recently!)

i love 'em. i love 'em! i love 'em!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

i honestly believe that i have the mere emotional capacity of a child.
and that people who get close to me fail to realize this until it's too late.
how is it that i continue to unintentionally, unknowingly hurt people?
all i've ever done is be myself

and it seems that at first people are weirded out

then they love it
then they get sad because i'm not there for them enough
then they move on to someone who "gets" them

maybe i'm just more selfish than i realize
my heart just got much heavier to carry

Thursday, May 1, 2008

the nature of inequality

"white supremacy and their defining the norm"....i just heard a girl say this at the table next to me.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
i know that we cannot help the way we are born or the society into which we were born.
we can't change what the majority of the world thinks when we arrive into it.
sometime modes of thinking are in place that are discriminatory.
if you are not in a minority, you are fundamentally privileged, regardless of whether you think so or not. you are living and acting in a society where you just can't see how you benefit. you may never understand how this is the case. sometimes it's impossible to see your privilege until it's either pointed out to you by someone else or until it's taken away. when everyone believes what you believe, it's easy (unquestionable) to keep thinking that way.
this is so problematic and disheartening to me.
yet, i believe there is a reason why each person is born the way they are.
maybe some people are born with more courage or desire to fight against prejudice.
maybe God has given some people more drive, more of the gifts of helping others understand.
maybe the strongest spirits are those who are in minorities.
and privilege, is just that, a privilege.
it's not fair.
try not to disregard that it exists.
recognize it and don't try to paint the world as ideal and everyone as equal.
it's not.
yes, society is pluralistic, but not everyone is equal.
yes, things are getting slowly, progressively better, but we're not to a place of equality for all people.
i don't know exactly what i'm trying to say.
all i know is that if i fail to recognize that i live in a culture that is dominated and dictated by a white, Christian, male framework, then I will be doing myself a disfavor.
i cannot truly and fully be of service to others without recognizing the framework in which i've been socialized. i read today that 82% of Americans identify with being Christian. This means that an underlying Christian ideology is at work. there will always be some kind of prejudice against those who aren't Christian merely because of that aspect of their identity. The sad part is, that i will not recognize the inequality they feel, unless it is blatantly obvious. I will not notice it because I'm in the majority and i think that that's just the way things are. And i don't know how to fix this. I don't know how to make things better. When you yourself are part of a majority's ideology, how do you NOT reproduce it? It's just who you are, shouldn't you accept it and celebrate it? We need to find a way of doing this, celebrating ourselves, WITHOUT putting anyone else down. We need to find a way of accepting ourselves and who we are, without saying that others are wrong or that they need to be like us.

i'm writing a paper right now (actually i'm writing this blog right now) about how there is a misconception in America about the level of violence in Islam as opposed to Christianity. Some of the statistics about what people think just make me SO upset. Why do people believe things without having any basis? How can people say things without having any sort of realization that their words are prejudice, domineering, WRONG. (one of my qualms with using the word wrong is that it is only my conception of wrong...there's unfortunately no universal or objective "wrong") But regardless of how they have arrived at a certain conclusion, I honestly do believe some people are just wrong in their thought processes. There seems to be a misconception of what justice is and how to attain peacefulness.

i hope for the sake of humanity and for my own peace of mind that certain ways of thinking, acting, perceiving, treating, living, responding are fixable. not just in what i understand as fixable either, in a way that works for those who understand what actually needs to be fixed.

more listening needs to start occurring. real listening.