Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ideals

Who is my ideal man?

When I meet him, he will appear before me as someone who covers me with comfort and wisdom. I will be able to lie beside him, trusting my fate and my faith to him. He will match my stride, and even leap ahead of it. I will be in awe of him, and him of me. I will neither have to hide from him my sharp mind, nor my many-times-broken heart. He will judge me for neither. He will not be too strong to need or acknowledge my care, but we will not be dependent on each other. He will value himself as much as he values me.

Sometimes I think I will only find the right man in intellectual circles (something I had always rejected, because I thought if I limited myself to that, I’d be alone forever). But I have always thought of intellectuals as competitive people who have no time or sympathy for those who may seem weak in any way. I think that is particularly true of the men. I also fear that intellectuals are by and large atheistic, and as much as I have issues with my previous understanding of my religion, I will by no means deny my God, nor deny that I think, no, believe, His word is the truth.

For now, I will content myself with dreaming that one day, somewhere at an academic conference, perhaps, or maybe on some travel or other, I will meet the man who meets my criteria – for I find I cannot abandon any of them. Until then, I am content with my life, who I am, and what I am doing. I don’t need another half to complete me, just to make my life a little happier someday.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Geography Rocks! Pt. II

There are days when I really love what I'm studying. I came across this wonderful insight in a book I was reading today:

"Most of the writing that has dominated what the world calls knowledge has been produced by people living in western countries in the past three or more centuries, and thus it is this kind of knowledge that is elaborated within and sanctioned by the academy, the institutional knowledge corporation. The origins of much of this knowledge, particularly mathematic and scientific, came from the Arab world, which is why today even westerners write in Arabic whenever they write a number. Much emphasis in western schools is placed on the Latin and Greek inheritance of western civilization, but most westerners remain completely unaware of the fact that they read and write Arabic every day. Imagine the headline: "Al-gebra banned in US schools after Al-Qaeda link discovered."

Source: Young, R.J.C. (2003). Postcolonialism: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 18-20.

Vive la géographie culturelle!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Rose by Any Other Name...

As my cousin/brother selects a name for his new baby, I am led to think about how I got my own name. I have always thought it was one of the most precious gifts my father ever gave me. It was clearly the result of a lot of loving thought, and expresses just how he must have felt when I was born. Today he played for me the aria from which he got the name. He also explained why he gave me my first and middle names in the specific order in which they appear; the first means "rich," and the second means "blessing." This first qualifies the second. My father is certainly not the mushy type, but I can find no better thing to say than: "That's so sweet!"

Here are the words to my song :-):

Celeste Aida
Celeste Aida, forma divina,
mistico serto di luce fior,
del mio pensiero tu sei regina,
tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei ridarti,
le dolci brezze del patrio suol,
un regal serto sul crin posarti,
ergerti un trono vicino al sol.

Celeste Aida, forma divina,
mistico raggio di luce fior,
del mio pensiero tu sei regina,
tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei ridarti,
le dolci brezze del patrio suol,
un regal serto sul crin posarti,
ergerti un trono vicino al sol.

Heavenly Aïda
Heavenly Aïda, divine form,
mystic crown of light and flowers,
you are the queen of my thoughts,
you are the splendor of my life.
I would return to you the lovely skies,
the sweet breezes of your native land,
place a royal crown upon your brow,
build you a throne close to the sun!

Heavenly Aïda, divine form,
mystic ray of light and flowers,
you are the queen of my thoughts,
you are the splendor of my life.
I would return to you the lovely skies,
the sweet breezes of your native land,
place a royal crown upon your brow,
build you a throne close to the sun!

From the opera:
Aida
Libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, music: Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). translation: a.l.

My Father assures me that the choice of name turned out to be quite appropriate :-).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To be and not to be, that is the question

Have you ever felt that you were something, yet at the same time you weren’t? Have you ever known, objectively and verifiably, that something was true of you, that it was indeed a fact, yet somehow you still didn’t believe it? Well, let me tell you, I am on the verge of writing a letter to God asking him to recalculate my age, because I just cannot be on the verge of 26! That’s the wrong side of 25. No, God must have pressed a wrong button somewhere.

In talking to a couple of friends I’ve expressed this discomfort with turning 26, and they seemed to immediately assume that I wished I were younger. One even suggested ways I could make myself feel younger. But, there’s the rub: I don’t want to feel younger. I’d actually settle for feeling my age.

Sometimes I think this sense of not really being my age comes from feeling that I haven’t accomplished enough for my years. But if I look at it objectively, I have accomplished a lot. Okay, so I’m not married and don’t have my own home (not even my own car anymore :-( ), but I have a university degree, several years work experience and a lot of stamps in my passport. That should count for something.

So, it’s not my accomplishments that are lacking. Then what is it? I just don’t feel 26 years old in my head. What is 26 years old supposed to feel like anyway? Does this mean I need to grow up?

Honestly, I really think it would be easier if God would just redo His math :-).

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Girlfiends last as long as they last...
Ex-girlfriends are forever."