God led me to Jaeson Ma and Caleb Lin tonight through Neue. To me, at this time, He is answering my prayers to revive and re-focus the asian-american church. This is an interesting article to read, not so we will convert all churches to house churches, but so that we won’t have such a myopic view about “church.” “It’s amazing what you guys can do without the Holy Spirit,” says the visiting brother from Asia, answering Jaeson’s question on what the biggest difference is between churches in China and the US.
Guilty as charged, as I am a part of the church as well. May we kill our agendas and political campaigns to pursue Christ’s love. May we not be drunk with wine and the pleasures of power and flesh, but be completely controlled, filled, saturated, and overflowing with the Holy Spirit. May God finish His good work in all of our hearts, drawing us closer to Himself and away from ourselves…
“Wiser far than human seer,
Seeing only what is fair,
Sipping only what is sweet,
Thou dost mock at fate and care,
Leave the chaff, and take the wheat.
When the fierce northwestern blast
Cools sea and land so far and fast,
Thou already slumberest deep;
Woe and want thou canst outsleep;
Want and owe, which torture us,
Thy sleep makes ridiculous.”—last stanza of “The Humble-bee” by R. W. Emerson
I’ve always wanted to compile “best of…” lists, so this year, I decided to give out Joycer awards just for fun, to express thanks to all of these people for helping me in living life, understanding love, and enjoyment. These are not things that were made or begun this year, just things that I encountered and experienced in the year 2010. I will probably be editing this list until the end of the year :)
Fusion: Noodles and Tofu Steak (Longbranch Coffee House, Carbondale, IL)
Entree: Braised Beef, Fiesta Mexicana (Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL), Samurai Steak (Samurai Blue, Ybor City, FL)
Sushi: Volcano Roll, Ichiban (Tampa, FL)
Fast Food: Crif Dogs, NYC
Tea: French Macarons (Fritz Pastry, Chicago, IL) & Almond Walnut (Kaleisia, Tampa, FL)
Dessert: Bacio Gelato (Paciugo, St. Petersburg, FL)
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, or a redeemed social condition; to know one life breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson (via unpredictabletimes)
When I look at the many social changes that need to be made, all the political, social, and internal wars that wage in the worlds of seen and unseen, I think about my life, and all of the people I know deeply: those whom I love, and those who love me…my conclusion is that life is not fair. How come I get to be so blessed when such genuine relationships are the very answer and restoration to the greatest of society’s downfalls?
I am overwhelmed at how uniquely they see life, how they weave stories of gold from realities of straw, how they make art of light in the darkest moments, and how they refuse to give up.
We push against the Resistance. May we never lose hope in times of struggle, exhaustion, and hurt, may we never cease to wonder at the beauty in everything and everyone, and may we never stop giving, sharing, and investing our all.
We sing songs rising out of the silence, in tongues only the heart can fathom. This music leads our steps as we continue to dance this journey of creation and re-creation. We are incredibly blessed.
One of the things about the train culture toward which I feel mixed feelings is saying goodbye at the end of every leg. Knowing that I will probably never again see any of the amazing people with which I’ve just spent over twelve hours is both detaching and mysteriously wonderful at the same time.
I wonder if that’s what Hayao Miyazaki was feeling when he envisioned the cat bus flying and quietly bouncing past the fields in the night, carrying the dreams of strange and random passengers. It’s like we are selected randomly to gather into a bubble for hours, and then we leave because that is the thing to do, and we leave forever changed.
Pennsylvania Station, NYC
Stepping off the car, I was greeted by the floating mush of recycled air, breath, and dreams. A few more steps and I was sucked into the flow of busy movement of the stream of consciousness and plurality of schedule, technology, and time.
I like to stand still in the middle of everything and everyone, close my eyes and take in the sounds, the feel, the smells, the soul. The sound of my name breaks my suspension as I had not noticed The Writer beside me. We were heading on the same subway uptown, so we waited for his friend and the red train.
Baby blue headphones and blue flowery purse aside, The Writer’s friend was an absolute pleasure to meet. I have often wondered, and still do, about how changers spontaneously come together. They say that birds of a feather flock together, and I think I like that picture this idiom paints because I just see the little monsters inside of us coming together because we are monsters, not necessarily because we are the same color or of the same social status, but because we want to see a difference in the world and share our scary, risky, hope-infused ideas. This picture is what She inspired in me, in the several minutes we had in the red train. 59th is where we part. I rumble onward.
Rush and Slow Down
After hastily dropping off my luggage at my friends’ place, I ran back to the trains, glad to be a lot lighter this time. Time goes faster when there are loved ones to see and meaningful things to do. I get off at Astor and saw him sitting there in the window, one of a row of people alive and engaged in thought and conversation. I embrace The Producer and off we go on the serious business of the nightwonder that is the food tour of St. Mark’s.
On the itinerary tonight is falafels from Mamoun, bacon-wrapped hotdogs with crazy toppings courtesy of CrifDogs, spicy, yummy hand-pulled noodles from Xi’an, and Tangomonium frozen yoghurt with mochi bites and almonds from Red Mango. Ohhhhhhhhhh. Nightwonder, indeed.
Beyond the food consumed, the conversation exchanged definitely contributed to the night well-spent. I got caught up on The Producer’s life and projects, and learned that learned the technical term that describes the numbness that my lips loathe when eating spicy food — 辣麻, literally translated, spicy numb. Exactly.
She & Him
Eating froyo on the subway was simply very enjoyable for me. Getting back, I was glad to catch She & Him before they went to bed, catching up on life and school, tea and tortoises. They were great hosts, very kind and very dedicated to living life. Thank you for your generosity.
Film & Color
The next morning, I quickly regretted indulging myself with the extra hour of sleep on a proper bed and after enjoying a hot shower. I got ready quickly and walked briskly through the beautiful city streets, basking in the glow of the sun and friendly breeze into the SoHo district. I found The Director on the second floor of the sun-streamed Apple store. He looks better than ever. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by genuine happiness and anticipation as we discussed recent developments and how he had grown, living in the city of his dreams. You’re doing so, so well, Director. The world cannot wait to see the world through you.
We are a few of many in the sea of faces, high on life and independent, interdependent, and intertwining like film and color - dynamic, rhythmic, cosmic.
I grab a snapple from the roadside stand and head down to the station to climb aboard another snake of a beast. Time to open my eyes to the northeasterly corridor.