"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Friday, December 30, 2011

soooo....i'm back....

I'm back to good ol' Perthy after a month of galumphing around Asia and yeah, it's good to be back - back to my own bed, my own computer, internet that actually works...

More later when I'm less pooped.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

monsoon dreaming.

Inspired by Kuala Lumpur, my home for the last few days. Tomorrow I embark on the final leg of my journey - Singapore, my mother's childhood home. Missing belephant and smelly belly. 

the sky cried on the streets today.
smoke and steam.

muddy puddles.
pay-by-the-hour hotels.

heaven stinks.

men stare.
sweat like diamonds
on brow, back and breasts.
i'm pretty sure you-know-whos aren't Sharia.
and then



The definition of atheism.

The dictionary definition of atheism is the rejection of the belief of the existence of deities. Clear as mud, huh? Well, I'm an atheist, and this is my take on what atheism is.

This isn't the ONE AND ONLY definition of atheism, and is certainly not the one and only CORRECT definition of atheism. This is just one atheist telling it how she ses it. So no hate mail, please.

As an atheist I reject the existance of a God or gods plural. I do not reject the possibility of the existence of deities, nor do I affirm the impossibility the existence of deities. So, to put it simply, I do not know or believe that the existence of deities is either possible or impossible. I simply believe that, in this world and in this life, there is no God.

There are other kinds of atheists out there. Some believe that deities can exist, they just don't, whilst others preach the impossibility of God. Others believe there might be something out there but it is not sentient, or at least uncaring of human activity.

The primary thing that atheists reject, however, is not God or gods plural, but religion. Religion is restrictive, confining and, to an atheist perspective, a futile sacrifice and, at times, at odds with human rights and human nature. I believe that we have evolved into intelligent, powerful, dangerous, sexual beings and religion suppresses what we are and what we are meant to be. Religion makes me ashamed to be a woman, to be a person, when I am on this earth as a person wholly in charge of my destiny, a bringer of life, put on this earth for a purpose and taken away when my existence becomes obsolete. Religion is a label, and to me, a prison. I cannot find peace in an institution which may have good intentions but is so vulnerable to corruption, violence and suppression. To me, atheism is freedom - freedom to be who I want to be, do what I want to do. I feel that I am a better person as an atheist, because I am free of guilt. I was not born a sinner, and I will not die a sinner. Death feels a little like a dead end, but there is nothing wrong with that. If there's no heaven and no hell, then the only thing death will bring me is a legacy, and if I am remembered as I want to be remembered then that isn't all that bad.

Monday, December 05, 2011

sharing food with the dead.

Broadcasting from Korea!

This is my last day in my father's hometown, Suncheon - tonight we take the bus back to Seoul for a few days before flying to Malaysia. Sorry I haven't updated in a little bit, but we are, ironically, suffering from prehistoric technology here.

One of the first things we do whenever we come is visit the graves to pay our respects. The most important grave we visit is that of my great-grandfather, who died when my father was four years old, and my great-grandmother, who died the year my sister was born. I don't know whether you've seen a traditional Korean gravesite, but it's actually very beautiful. An area is cleared out on the mountain, which is covered in dense forest, so that the dead can have a nice view. They are buried a few metres into the ground in simple wooden coffins and then it is covered in a mound of earth aout a metre high and two metres wide. Thatchy grass grows on the mounds as the years turn, and there is always a marble table in front of the grave with the deceased details etched onto it in Chinese. Some people, like my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, are buried side by side - spouses bound for eternity as they become one with the earth together. When we go we set up the small table with all sorts of food, and the thing I've always found funny is that it's all of my uncle's favourite foods - rice wine, rice punch, rice cakes, choco pies, chips, fruit and other miscellaneous junk food - because after bowing several times to the graves, the food becomes afternoon tea. Waste not, I suppose.

In other cultures nobody would dare eat the food offered to the dead, but to me it's almost spiritual. The Koreans love their food, and food is a big family thing. Food is shared, passed from parent's chopsticks to the rice bowls of their beloved children and nieces and nephews, heaped into huge portions and offered to the elderly. I've never met my great-grandparents, but somehow, there's something very nice about sharing a choco pie with them. It's how things should be.