9071st

Someone once told me that the world is a scary place, that it is dark and gloomy, and that hope and trust and positivity is what makes humans so desperate and depressed in the first place. The absence of those things may seem to be a deliberate choice to fall into darkness, but at best it saves time, and protect your mind and heart from all the emotional costs that entail, when trust is misplaced, and hope is grown only to be lost.

That was nobody, that was just me.

I suppose the longer I live, I have only learned more bad things about humans. What is worse is that my natural tendency to distrust – has been strongly enhanced, not weakened, not one bit.

I know all the positive talks, things like you attract what you think, things like ‘be positive and good things happen’, etc. To be honest, I don’t think people lie to one another when they say that. Deep down I know it is a mental defense mechanism, for the other option is far too much for one person to bear. Without hope for a better outcome, life makes no much sense.

I would not think of myself as a pessimist, more like realist. Being positive is frustrating, for it takes way too much energy. I’m born with a low energy consumption capacity.

I used to secretly think of monks who hide up in the mountains as cowards. I mean no disrespect to monks or Buddhism. I just have a certain expectation of humans in general: “stand up and fight” is more of the type I’d prefer. The reasons they would hide from the world – I once thought to myself, was because they choose the preserve their souls too much, as in, at the costs of others, ‘let the world burn, but as far as I’m not concerned’ – was what I thought they’d think.

But of course, it’s quite arrogant of me to judge anyone as coward. I think I have just learned another step in this walk through life. This time, I’ve actually understood the monks’ decision to live far away from society and hide up high in isolated mountains. My actions, no matter how innocent it might be, can still have damaging impact to another. And that fact is what so scary about life. Not the ill intention, not the bad schemers, the fact that one ordinary me with absolutely no attempt nor intention to harm anyone, can still cause a chain of events beyond my control, to serve another’s scheme, and cause harm. That is what scaring me.

Why must it be so hard to be at peace? Why is this matrix so hard to play? Am I set up to fail? Can anyone win?

 

 

 

Day –

Chapter 0: The nasty woman

Waking up to the morning of blue, she finds the haunting emptiness from last night, now staring back at her from the mirror.

There is nothing left of her that makes the crawling out of bed and out in the open a worthy action. One can just lye on the bed and let it be.

Yet, there she is, staring at the resemblance of herself. The nasty woman.

After miles of traveling, delivering speeches, acting firm and determined, being calm and pretending to be calm, pouring out every inch in her body that yearn for the long-waited outcome, this is what America chose.

deplorables... that must be it, that was where it all went terribly wrong. The emails, Podesta, Weinner, that idiot, those are not it.

There is no point of pondering anymore. At least for the moment, sitting back watching the world burns is a choice.

Was it because she is too tough? Too aggressive? Too woman? Was it even because she is a woman? What if she were a man? This country must have known better… or it doesn’t. The bleak reality of the defeat sinks in, and she had only grasped the magnitude of her own failure.

The silent humming and buzzing distracts her from the chain of events dancing in the head. Despite not being in the mood for saying hello and trying to reassure another human that everything is ok, she picked up the phone. Huma.

“I’m fine, don’t worry. Let’s talk tomorrow, ok?”

“Hey… I just want to drop a message but thought that, you know…, I can drop by, if you want”

“Don’t worry. We have planned for this. And no you don’t need to come by, everything is alright.”

“Erm, ok, just… take care Hill. Whenever you need, just call, ok?”

“Sure sure. Bye now”

“Bye”

On the bright side, she can now just be left alone. No humans, no disturbance, no more trying out the best outfit that does not make her look to hawky, nor too girly, no more ornament option or budget discussions, no more reading through the news and listening to consults, no more sitting in a chair for 5 hours and body guards 5 inches away, no more smiling when not feeling like to, no more remembering key words to pound on at each public gathering, no more rehearsing and trying to reach out to people. Everything is stopped, except for this. The heartache has now transmitted to her left arm, like an electric shot. But at least she can finally find solitude in this dark room and forget about priorities or duties for a while.

They have had one idiot to handle those.

Chapter 1: K

“No, Donald, you can’t”

“I’m sick and tired of people telling me I can or cannot do something, K, kay? I know you are the boss but now I am the boss.”

“You simply cannot have the account back, it would be very inconvenient t…”

“Hush hush, I want to see the files”

“Er, what are we talking about?”

“The files, the stuff that I need to sign, on the first days!”

“It’s being prepared, not ready yet”

“You are telling me that it is being typed somewhere? by someone? What a joke! I want either my phone back, with full restore, or I will be extremely mad at you, I’m telling. And that guy better hurry or he will be fired”

“He is the third..”

“Do I look like I care?”

“FINE! Keep it together, take your damn phone back”

Tossing it back to the now uncontrollable child of hers, K secretly texted in her bag, telling the assistants to handle the rest, not forgetting to repeat for the hundredth time:

“Come here by tomorrow, we need to do the transition … stuff.”

The child has already left the room.

What? Just like every other time. Like she doesn’t have enough problems to live with. Now that she has come this far, the momentum must be maximized, and she cannot do that unless staying with the guy for at least few more public events. That is if she can handle that much more wine.

“Honey I’m coming…. 30 more minutes, kay?…No no no need for that… yeah, I think… but that might not be possible… Sure…”

Now, before any more shit storm in upcoming courts, she is prepared to go like another pro. The child is out of her concern.


wellie, little sketches for what I can only imagine going on after the election result. Not a Hillary fan, but at least I feel somewhat sorry for her. What is going on the other side is probably chaotic and fun at the same time, leading to this. The greatest reality show and social experiment on earth has not failed to entertain, but now – good luck, little blue world, you need it more than Americans and Canadians.

A bigly lightweight Panda.

 

Belly rub

My friend has this little cat. It was little, she now shows me and Chip that the cat just got bigger and longer, much longer, than she used to be.

Or is it a “he”? I remember somewhere along our kilometer long chat texts there was a mentioning of its puberty condition and that the vet failed to find ‘it’. So I guess it’s a he. Sorry.

Rewrite: he is much longer than he used to be.

Ever since this cat came to her life, our chat texts have been blessed with many a cat photos, in all kind of positions. Curved ball, Fake Cleopatra sexy pose, and then there is the Ridiculous expression pose. That plus many videos of pandas that I obsessively force my friends to suffer from, mean that our chat texts are ridiculously inappropriate for adults with real problems. We are basically peter pans, deep deep within, running from a world of problems nobody want to care about.

I don’t know what about this cat, but he refused to let my friend rub his fluffy belly. A cat whisperer (as I am), knows that the belly rub is the utmost level of trust an animal could ever grant us human with, especially cats with their sensitivity. I used to have few cats in my life, so belly rub was a known therapy to cure tantrum and occasional sadness. Belly rub therapy, and that is it, you are happy and bounce back on your feet again.

Same thing with baby panda, not that I actually have any but since I have to reinforce this image of belly rub therapy, they are zillion more adorable when belly exposed, ready to be rubbed.

Now, I’m going to psychoanalyze the freak out of this belly rub therapy so that once it’s over, you would not think about it in the same  light, ever again. I would destroy this image of happy human-animal relationship that so many hold dear to hearts, and replace it with a much darker version of reality. You have been warned.

Ok, what is the first thing about belly rubbing that is so therapeutic? The feeling of soft furs in your hand? The warmth underneath your pet tender spot? The slow change from trying to shield its body from the touch to opening up to you, and let you gently rub the belly?

No, it’s all of that but not enough. There is something else. We humans know it well. We do this with babies. Aw, little human babies with round belly with milk in it stomach. The softness and warmth and cuteness is just overwhelming to a mother’s senses, and also any average human. Deep down, we are conditioned to protect this little angle from all harms. Rubbing its belly is one of the benefit that we get from the baby. But also, we are reinforcing the hierarchy of order: we adults, grown and strong, probably scarred and partially broken, trying to play with this little beautiful perfectly well-rounded child and extract some happiness from it, belly rubbing just one of many touches we do to get that feeling of wholeness (again). I don’t mean it in any weird way, but really your brain knows this, and it loves it. Your heart rate is neutralized, you feel a sense of calmness, a mixture of being so huge and protective over this vulnerable and fresh being. Other than belly rubbing, there is couching, back rubbing, head massaging, talking to the baby. All of these interactions are essential to both the caregiver and the baby itself. There was this sad real life accidental experiment in WWII, where there were just too many babies (hundreds) under the care of a dozen of nurses in this hospital. Basically the nurses were just too overwhelmed with feeding and replacing pampers and washing the clothes of these babies 24 hours a day, they forgot to ‘touch’ them. Basically any sense of touch was deprived from these babies first few weeks of existence. In the end, only 20-ish survived, while all other babies died.

It’s a real thing, I’m not making this up.

Why? The doctors and scientists later learned that the sense of being touched is critical for normal development of babies. In a poetic way, it needs to feel ‘loved’, to be living. Does this sound awkwardly in sync with the Harry Potter story?

So yeah, when you belly rub your pet, it’s the same thing. You are trying to show love, but also, subconsciously trying to extract a sense of happiness out of it, the feeling that there is a vulnerable being with hear beats depend on you, and trust you.

Yet, despite her effort, the little long male cat just continues to reject being belly touched.

So I have this theory, either this cat is freakishly independent and trying to play “grown-ups”, or it’s having stomach problem that is weirdly activated under belly touches. Be, you have a cat with issues.

So, as I said, much darker version of reality, no? You don’t feel it all? Oh come on all this talking about love and belly had your brains stopped hadn’t it? I know, if I say, “let me psychoanalyze the freak out of this to show you how adorable and important this belly rubbing really is”, would you even care?

I’m just trying to prove 2 points:

  1. Belly rubbing is important, Be’s cat, and you are missing out in life.
  2. You are easily lured into reading dark stuff, the same way media is hooking your brain up with all the sensational shitty stuff happening out there. Admit it.
  3. If you stopped reading at the paragraph that says dark version of reality, congratulations, you are a pure-hearted rarity that happens once in a lifetime.
  4. I’m very good at math.

Excuse the language. And happy birthday to Be!

I have a confession: hôm trước mình vừa ăn món bê xào xả ớt  Bê ạ. Với cả mình đã định ngồi tô mèo vẽ cún gì đấy nhưn g xong rồi lại thấy, uầy, trời mưa, xong rồi mình nghĩ thôi mình vẽ xấu lắm, làm thế nhỡ con jerk mèo của bạn nó nghĩ mình vẽ nó rồi lần sau nó lại không chơi với mình như lần trước.

Và đây là ảnh con jerk mèo tên là Béo tạo dáng ngây thơ bên cây cổ thụ. Hẳn nó đang nghĩ, “hừm, tặng cô ấy con gì nhỉ, con gián?”, “hừm, mai làm gì cho cô ấy nhỉ? à cào vào mặt”

jerky-cat

 

Primavera

 

(turn on the song, as you read)

It’s been hectic lately, so much so that introverting becomes a luxury.

No longer listen to songs at 2 volume bars, or cares when something has a scratch on it. Yesterday by the time I reached home, eyes closed shut ready to throw myself on the bed, the single inanimate object that understands me. But then I had to join the birthday party of the 6 year old cousin, who has a Captain America themed party. Little kids were running around making all kind of noises, not bothering with a thing in the world. People were taking photos and selfies. And in the middle of it, I realize how much trapped and tired the soul is in its body.

“My birthday is coming”, said another cousin who is probably in the 5th grade. He was talking to his dad, a bit of yearning in the voice, signaling that thing that says “Hey, this kid has an awesome party, maybe I could have one too?”

Hum, I thought to myself, just say happy birthday to him first wouldn’t hurt, he seems sensitive about it. The little kid did not react much when I wished him happy birthday, he was waiting for his father’s response.

Earth keeps spinning, with or without me… The little kid is probably wondering why his father pays so little attention to him at that moment. I just thought, he will understand, one day, that the world is crazy, and too much has been going on in the adults’ minds, that it deprives them of simple joy, or paying attention to the ones they love, and that life is not easy, and that it beats people up, wears them down, until the wrinkles show, and until they do, it’s time for regrets, and that one day he will see the yearning in his old father’s voice, and then, it’s the son’s turn to forget to pay attention to the one he knows he loves.

I remember the end of “the book thief”, how Death angel comes to the town and dutifully perform his task, and how he sees humans, in their last moments. The mother, the father, Rudy. I love how he described them. The mother with the harsh words, but a gentle heart. The father with his soul lighter than that of a baby.

A few of his wise words:

“It’s always been the same. The excitement and rush to war. I met so many young men over the years who have thought they were running at their enemy, when the truth was, they were running to me.”

“I have seen a great many things. I have attended all the world’s worst disasters, and worked for the greatest of villains. And I’ve seen the greatest wonders. But it’s still like I said it was: no one lives forever”

“In my job, I’m always seeing humans at their best, and their worst. I see their ugliness, and their beauty. And I wonder how the same thing can be both.

When I finally came for Liesel, I took selfish pleasure in the knowledge that she had lived her ninety years so wisely. By then her stories had touched many souls, some of whom I came to know in passing. Max, whose friendship lasted almost as long as Liesel. Almost. In her final thoughts, she saw the long list of lives that merged with hers. Her three children, her grandchildren, her husband. Among them, lit like lanterns, were Hans and Rosa, her brother, and the boy whose hair remained the color of lemons forever.

I wanted to tell the book thief she was one of the few souls that made me wonder what it was to live. But in the end there were no words. Only peace. The only truth I truly know is that I am haunted by humans”

Spring comes, and winter ends. Life, and death. Night and day. Illusion of time. All of this captures the attention, momentarily. That’s the whole point. We are so busy living that we forget, most of the time, what is waiting ahead of us. The thought of it shouldn’t scare you, one bit.

 

A human song

as we grow up, we grow smaller
life goal retreats to a corner
i just wish not being crueler
thought we could make the world better
….
turns out it has gone bitter...
‘make it less horrible’
seems more feasible
if i could talk to this little me
i’d say your dreams would not be
you’d become the exact shade you hate
and in the process, you wouldn’t even see
how sore, how tired, how inflicted
how similar, familiar, connected
we all are
we all are
we all…
far, near, loud and clear
distance, noise, sights and fear
as we grow up, we grow smaller
life goal retreats to a corner
i just wish not being crueler
thought we could make the world better

Fear

There was this folder of image I keep in my laptop, well actually it is still in my laptop, neatly organized indeed, titled “movie quotes”.

Any nerd out there doing the same thing?

Anyway, I used to post most of meaningful movie scenes plus quotes to facebook, a habit now foregone. For some weird reason only my brain can possibly make up, that folder is personal (self conflicting statements detected). Also, sometimes looking back, I notice most of it involve crying people or villains. Weird. I by no means approve of (publicly) crying or being guilty of being villainous. Yet, they are there.

They are reminders, I guess. Bad excuse. Okay honestly how many of you remember anything that a guy like Superman ever says? Exactly. Point proved. Nobody is reading, hence, no one.

Anyways, sometimes, there are these kind of characters who, whatever they say, nails it in my forehead, and whenever I accidentally see them on internet, I have the urge to pin it down. Here is one:

Please excuse the embedded PR line that I have no control over.

First time watching A most violent year, I thought I was on guard for very violent scenes. I’m not a fan of violent actions (except for where Hulk & Loki are involved), but anyway the movie started with a guy simply running by the harbor so I was lured to watch the rest. And it just grew more interesting by the minute. This guy (above) says so many stuff that I just want to pin down. He is the definition of an interesting character with good quotes making a movie worth watching.

So, when it came to that scene, of course I was reminded of how much fear can be a positive motivator. On the edge of safety and the unknown, I guess humans are hard wired to choose the first. Crawl back to the known world where every variable is defined and fixed sounds much easier to handle than exposing yourself under the attack of several unidentified flying and invisible objects.

I questioned myself about choices I have made in life, and apparently so far only 3 fall into the category of ‘really scary unknown’ (disregarding all the times I choose to ‘let me trust this person’, which might be labelled ‘not-so-scary-but-can-be-uncomfortable unknown’). The first one turned out ok, thank God. The second and third I’m about to dive into, which will involve extra hard-work and probably a lot less sitting, and probably a good amount of embarrassment and periodic self-doubts.

 

I also reminded myself of the catalyst that drove me to actually jump. Again, fear if consuming is debilitating, and one of major fear that as human we just have to deal with is social isolation. Why? I don’t know. Few people enjoy being alone, fewer understands loneliness. We are just that conditioned to be socially approved, accepted, recognized.

So in my first choice, I actually reminded myself that ‘you know what, none of other opinions matter, at the end of the day, people will just walk by, spends 5 seconds of judgment, and move on with their own business’. Realizing how little other fellow humans care about you is liberating, not saddening. Because if you realize how much we are conditioned to act and behave a certain way just for the sake of ‘other people might think…’, you’d feel like a prisoner. The only worth-asking question is: Do you want to do things for people who spend 5 seconds on you, or do you want to do it for yourself?

(parents excluded, they matter, a lot.)

So, first chain removed. Still struggle with it at times, but becoming better.

Second choice, I’m unsure of myself, my ability to commit and to actually bring result. Does what I do matter? Or is it going to fail grandly?  Is going all the way to get this done actually worth anything? Should I?

Funnily, I ask this quite often. My thought process often goes like “Does this mean anything?”, and often discard it if I see no sense or value. So the whole idea of putting myself to do something that I’m still not certain of the result is the equivalent of inflicting self-doubt and great challenge to ego. But maybe that is better. Maybe we are meant to do that. Sticking with what you know you do well is not going to make you better.

Of course I might fail. But then I wouldn’t have to go through “what ifs” scenarios. I knew for certain that I tried, and failed, it was not meant to be, and move on.

Third choice, a whole different direction, a gazillion of unidentified flying and invisible objects. This is the combination of first and second fear package, with ability to depress and conquer. Sounds soothing.

But imagining all the things that can possibly go wrong in the future is not the right approach, focus on the moment and the single obstacle you have to face at a time is (the only feasible choice)

 

 

Casual days

Haha. It’s been 2 weeks, I’ve been typing nonsensical and no one notices. Wonderful.

Chip complained to me once, or twice, I did not count, how she hates facebook. Ok maybe that sounds a bit too much. She dislikes it. There, being politically correct and neutral.

I understand perfectly well. I don’t like facebook either. One day you disappear from facebook and you feel free, from all pending messages or notifications which, being absent, might trigger you to reflect upon your own existence and meaning. Two days, that is a great achievement, you don’t frantically open up every single link there is about cats or dogs or pandas, or seeing someone having a blast somewhere, or hearing about another person having another marriage, break-up, baby, or the likes, or the general dissatisfaction with whatever.

One week, people might think you have died. Your existence equates with the number of interaction you have on facebook. Zero – you are dead, you disappear from collective memories. You are left to ponder things alone, and occasionally reminded of how much you want to share this awesome piece of read to a friend, without using facebook.

Another thing that makes me dislike facebook is, unless I share this stuff I’m typing on wordpress via facebook, it’s never going to get a view. Haha. There. So, these two weeks, I have been enjoying the feeling of writing whatever stuff I like, without having to worry about how it’s going to be read, because apparently, if people don’t like it, they won’t actively search for it, clicking a link on facebook is a simple numb-minding thing to do, and that is what most did. Best feel ever. Another side note, since Chip is busy with her graduation and all other fun, I doubt she would discover these nonsensical ramblings soon. Haha.

Okay, so how is life, you ask? I have discovered a way to get to sleep. For some weird reason, if I turn a 45 degree, I can sleep. It means if my head-toe aligns with the North-South direction, I can sleep. Yes, sleep is gold. You can never sleep enough. Every morning waking up and doing things is a disruption to the brain.

Today is 6th day of Ramadan. Personally after the 2nd day I barely even notice anything different in life. Got the picture of the moon on the 2nd day, looks great. Now the moon has orbited to another angle which I cannot see from my own window anymore. See you later, moon.

I got to know some interesting humans at work, which is a big deal given how extraverted I am. Exactly, you get the point.

One is an American, every time he talks, it gives away a feeling that this guy is born and raised a hippy. I mean no judgement here. He likes nature, talked about being vegetarian, not judgmental, does not care about his looks. He has this one coat that I can see him in every day, regardless of the weather, even when it’s 38 degrees outside. Granted, we have air-conditioning, too cold at times. Yet he has another yellow rain-coat. Casual is not the right word. He does not give a care about how he looks. This type of people put me at ease.

Anyways, he’s been to all Arab Peninsula (worked there for years too), known all the ugly nasty truth about the place and people there (and also the kind people too, I should mention, trying to practice positivism), yet still not judgmental (that for me is a truly fascinating point). He’s been to Jerusalem as well, and knows pretty well the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which is, you know, rare, given how much religious extremists manage to scare people away from understanding a religion.

Another is (probably) British. Never asked for his nationality but his accent was the give-away. At first I thought he was any another European national but British. Does not matter. Anyway we never talked, for the 2 years I have been working, every morning there would be me, him, the American, another nice lady in IT, and another person in Accounting – the earliest creatures on the floor. Yet I was the weirdo that manage to say ‘morning’ everyday, and sit at my place, minding my own business, without giving too much thought about how humans are supposed to interact.

Anyways, one day, I could not ignore any longer the fact that he has a swollen leg, and seems in pain, with crutches. I started asking. It turned out, with the miracle of negligence, certain doctor (or nurse, I’m not sure), at a certain well-known hospital in Hanoi (I wish them a lawsuit), managed to turn his strain into a fully scary case. I would not go into details, but basically now the poor man has a certain type of flesh-eating virus to fight against, thanks to those certain negligent people.

Anger management aside, this guy is also extremely nice, also been to all those countries in Middle East and some in Africa, with his family, years ago. World is now different, he says. I agree. It’s been so different, the thought of going to those countries and come back in one piece is the equivalent of practicing positivism.

Anyway, the other day the American asked if I’d ever want to go to Arab Saudi. Given my certain belief, of course at some point I have to go there and visit Mecca. But I secretly wish Mecca was not on the Saudi’s soil. I do not see Islam in so many aspects that this country does, and it is continuing to represent – the corruption of Islam in modern days. Everything is just a shell, institutionalized, power-inducing forces with mask of religion. Emptiness is underneath those cloaks. In fact I’m more concerned about whether at one point I will become one creature similar to Azkaban guards, soul-less, rotten, but still existing, in an illusion that I’m doing everything right.

So much for self-reflection. Hail positivism.

Oh, rewatched Tomorrowland yesterday, again reminded to feed the right wolf.

 

 

 

 

Rust & Dust

It’s 2 a.m

4:30 a.m

5.

Couldn’t sleep. Wide awake, could hear her own brain buzzing out loud in numbing head-throbbing bits.

It’s been days. It’s the light, it’s the noise, it’s about everything in the room and nothing in the room. It’s the brain, the buzzing, the non-stop thinking chains, one thing tangled with another on a continuous stream. For the first time, this thinking habit starts to take its toll. It’s frustrating. The brain needs a sleep, it needs to be shut down, out from the external lights, no matter how little.

Out of temperament. Under the weather. Over-thinking. Mind chattering. Rewinding of a mental tape of what occurred today, the day before, the continuity of ‘me’ that started in the past and ends up God know where in the fictional future.

Anyway, this is normal, it’s just part of everything that a human has to experience, at some point. So let’s start looking at something bigger and non-egocentric.

Game of life. Begins.

First, it was a cry. If you don’t cry for the first few minutes of exposure to earth, you die. Oxygen is your lung’s best ally. Oxygen is the thing that keeps the flow going, and will one day determines you expiry date, perhaps.

Everyday, you wake up. Nobody actually volunteered to be ‘alive’ in the first place. It’s just decided beyond your own participation. It is not a matter of “Do you want to exist?”, you just do, out of love, out of accident, or out of mishap. Whatever the cause, you just do.

Your shady unreliable memories hardly tell anything concrete about anything of your past. It’s just a blur. You remember of sentiments, how everything ‘felt’ like. Rather interestingly, it largely affects your own shape, your personality, your drive.

Come to now. ‘Here’ is an ambiguous concept. Right at this moment, your cells are dying and renewing themselves, splitting, dividing, cloning over and over based on a programmed database condensed to tiny biological memory drive. The being that is you is hardly any of your cell, nor any on the hormone list, nor any of your organ, yet, if one cell, or whatever component of you, rebels against your own interest, you would be defined by rather interesting human-made descriptions: cancer, disorder, ‘troubled’, sick, illness, disability, and the likes. Every single dimension of ‘you’ is replaced by a single word.

Along the game, you experience the external fabrics of your surrounding. Every single interaction and imprint a person, a pet, an event makes will leave you more or less like you, but still you. Internally, continuous awareness of your own being is nicely shut down every night, brain refreshed, and awoken every morning, to find yourself still in your own package: arms – checked, legs – still mine, brain – not sure, but still on the neck. Externally, the skin and the muscles and this biological structure remains, neatly composed.

Rule of life. Enter.

(1) Whatever a human does, he or she feels perfectly justified for doing it, at that specific space-time.

(2) There is no delete or refresh button. No rewind, no fast forward.

(3) Circumstances change. Change is the order.

Because of (1), (2) and (3), a thinking being is most definitely destined to engage in behaviors that would definitely, at some point in another space-time, make that thinking being wish he or she did differently. And because of (2), the thinking being is forced with 2 options: either deny your past and pretend whatever it was did not happen, or accept it and move on.

Because of (3) and (1), paradox and internal conflict happens.

(4) Behaviors are more often dictated by immediate perception of circumstances rather than future expectation of events.

Hungry, grab a Snicker. Thirsty, Coke. No don’t drink that stuff,  at this moment the crazy typer is using it to clean the blade off rust. Sleepy, go to sleep, unless you can’t.

If the (4) rule is reversed, several implications follow:

  • People would not (insert whatever crazy community-harming behavior here)

The-end.

After cleaning the dust, she sat down and reflected. The dusts seem heavier than usual, the room, though cleaned for this specific moment, is only waiting for a new layer of dust to cover itself head to toe. Certainly.

 

 

 

Hello, world

1.

Xin chào.

Mình là một đứa dở hơi hay mắc phải một thói quen rất xấu là dành thời gian làm những thứ không quan trọng.

Ví dụ như việc sửa tên file trong folder. Một khi mình lên cơn hâm cũ, mình có thể thấy ngứa mắt từ cái tên file cứ liên-tục-cách-các-chữ-như-thế-này, và có thể dành 15 phút ngồi sửa từng tên file một cho nó thành_như_thế_này. Tuyệt vời hơn, mình có thể hăng hái google thêm 30 phút xem có cách nào làm cái việc 15 phút kia trong 1 phút.

Ví dụ như việc sau khi ngồi làm template để tính toán một cái chi đó, mình có thể làm mọi thứ rất gọn gàng, liệt kê mọi assumptions trước khi tính toán, sau đó mới bắt đầu tìm hiểu những khả năng khiến cho các assumptions đó bị thay đổi, rồi đột nhiên nhớ ra là à còn cái này phải cho vào, sau đó ngồi sửa hàng loạt cái link nối các sheet trong workbook để nó tính toán lại.

Đỉnh điểm, dấu hiệu cao nhất của việc cho thấy mình hâm nặng đến mức độ nào, là mình không thấy việc mình làm đó vô nghĩa, và rằng mỗi lần lên cơn hâm như vậy mình có thể vứt toạch một kết quả làm việc ngốn hơn 8 tiếng của mình đi, không chút thương xót.

Mình có hàng loạt cớ để biện minh cho hành động cực kì lãng phí thời gian đó của bản thân, ví dụ như: trông nó phải đồng bộ thì mới có hứng làm tiếp, nếu tên file cùng một kiểu thì thay vì ngồi dẫn link lại thay vì làm 10 lần chỉ cần replace cái tên 1 lần, mọi thứ phải được ghi chép lại liệt kê ra thì năm sau khi mình mở cái file đó mình mới nhớ được cái ‘thought process’ của mình cách đó 1 năm, hoặc: chẳng hạn như sau này không phải là mình tiếp tục làm công việc này thì cái cách làm này phải được lưu giữ cho ‘thế hệ mai sau’, v.v.

Chính với những cái cớ đó, mình có thể ngồi ê mông nhiều tiếng liên tục làm một thứ chẳng ai nghĩ là quan trọng (trên máy tính). Ví dụ như mở cái folder chung ra mình thấy ‘chời ơi trông nó thật hỗn loạn, không có quy tắc gì cả’, thế là một cái mental note xuất hiện đòi hỏi là mình phải quay lại dẹp loạn một ngày không xa…

Tại sao mình lại có cái tính này, mình không biết. Thực sự mình biết những cái đó có tác động thật nhỏ, tên file là gạch giữa hay gạch chân thì khác gì nhau đâu? Lúc search gõ 1 từ khóa đằng nào cũng ra cả. Nhưng như thể để đối chọi lại cái mớ boong boong khó định nghĩa & những cái hỗn loạn mình được dịp chứng kiến khá thường xuyên xung quanh, mình tự tạo ra một công việc dở hơi cho bản thân thực hiện: sắp xếp, trật tự, mọi thứ phải rõ ràng, vì càng rõ ràng bao nhiêu (bây giờ) – mọi thứ càng dễ dàng bấy nhiêu (về sau).

Ước gì các bạn nhìn thấy cái không gian phòng riêng của mình, nghe câu trên thì tưởng là ngăn nắp mẫu mực lắm – không hề. Hàng tuần bố mình luôn cảm thán về sự bừa bộn của phòng mình ít nhất một lần. Mẹ mình luôn nhìn tóc mình với cảm giác đang nuôi 1 đứa tên Mougli. Nhưng vì một lí do khó hiểu nào đấy, mình rất tự nhiên tin là ‘chaos & order’ là một. Hai cái chỉ là hai mặt của đồng tiền. Với cái cớ nghe rất khoa học (như kiểu singularity với các bác vật lý học, dù mình chẳng biết nó là cái chi), mình tự tin mặc kệ cái mớ hỗn độn trong phòng, và dành thời gian cho việc tạo ra một trật tự trong cái file máy tính, trong cách tính toán trong cái template mà mình hay phải làm, trong cách suy nghĩ, trong đầu.

Mọi thứ phải có quy tắc & trật tự. Và chỉ cần làm sai cái đó trong cái file đó thôi, hoặc cái folder đó thôi, all hell break loose.

Mình đang nói về MS Excel, các bạn ạ.

Từ lúc phải làm nhiều thứ trên excel, mình thấy nó là một công cụ thật tuyệt vời. Tính toán đã đành nhưng khả năng tạo liên kết và dựng một hệ thống cái này liên kết với cái kia và nếu A thay đổi B sẽ thay đổi theo, v.v. như kiểu một tiểu hệ thống bạn có thể gây dựng & gìn giữ, trật tự ngăn nắp. Thoạt nhìn người chưa quen sẽ nghĩ à nó đơn giản chỉ là mấy cái phép tính, biết dùng formula thôi chứ gì. Nhưng sau nhiều hồi nghiền ngẫm & làm việc với nó mình dám cá là bạn có thể lần ra cách suy nghĩ của người tạo 1 cái workbook phức tạp. Nó như một mê cung mà cũng như một cái biểu đồ lưu trữ rất rõ ràng & chi tiết cách suy nghĩ của người khác.

Từ một cái mớ tưởng là hỗn độn, thực ra bạn đang chiêm ngưỡng một thành quả trật tự, một hệ thống, một hình thái tồn tại thể hiện tư duy đằng sau đó.

2.

Mình chưa biết nhiều lắm về các ngôn ngữ lập trình. Thứ gần nhất mà mình mới tự mò thử thì mới có HTML, hay CSS, gần đây thử học Python… Học chưa đâu vào đâu, và vì chưa tự áp dụng nhiều nên quên hết =)) Nhưng cái ngôn ngữ chỉ là vỏ của tư duy. Mình thích cách nó dạy tư duy, syntax google là ra thôi, không phải mấu chốt lắm. Nghe thật ngược đời.

Lèm bèm một lúc mình cũng chẳng hiểu cái mớ mình vừa viết nó là cái gì… Ai hiểu không?

3.

Có lẽ, mình đã học được một điều, chắc là một quy tắc chung của cuộc sống. Kiểu như khi ta trẻ trâu ta cứ nghĩ những đường thẳng là con đường tốt nhất , già thêm tí nữa thì hiểu ra cái trật tự tuyệt vời của những thứ không thẳng. Ví dụ nhìn vào hệ thống tuần hoàn trong người bạn đi. À không nhìn được. Nhưng ai cũng biết nó là mấy đường zig zag ngoằn nghoèo không quy luật đúng không? Tưởng thế thôi, chính nhờ những khúc không thẳng đó mà bạn đang sống hàng ngày, hít thở không khí hàng ngày, tim đập chân chạy. Neurons trong não cũng thế, cái tuyệt vời của việc nó không thẳng là vì cấu trúc của nó là một đống ‘dây dợ’ giúp cho khoảng cách giữa 2 đầu synap luôn đủ gần (để truyền tín hiệu), và rằng một đám neuron này luôn ở bên cạnh một đống neuron khác giúp cho việc những tín hiệu không đi theo kiểu từ A đến 1 điểm B, mà luôn là từ A đến ít nhất n điểm khác trong não (n>1, rất nhiều). Bạn lỡ đập ngón chân vào thành giường, ít hơn 1 giây, cả cơ thể bạn nhận được tín hiệu đau đớn chạy khắp từ đầu ngón chân lên đỉnh não, và lan ra xung quanh. Nếu nó là 1 đường thẳng và chỉ chạy đến 1 điểm, có khi cảm giác đau đơn đó sẽ chỉ tập trung ở đúng 1 chỗ, và biết đâu chúng ta không có khả năng chịu đựng sự đau đớn mà chỉ tập trung ở 1 chỗ? Biết đâu nhờ có việc lan truyền tín hiệu thần kinh sang trăm chỗ khác mà chúng ta mới không lăn ra ngất mỗi lần va chân vào thành giường?

Em xin lỗi các cô giáo sinh học đã từng dạy em. Rõ ràng là mình luôn được dạy ‘thế giới là như thế này’, nhưng có khi để trân trọng nó thêm nhiều lần thì người ta nên đặt ra nhiều giả thiết hơn để thấy là mình may mắn đến như thế nào. Ví dụ cái tế bào hồng cầu của chúng mình khỏe mạnh và ‘mang’ được oxi là nhờ có việc hình dáng đặc thù của nó như 1 cái thuyền thúng. Khi cái hình dạng thuyền thúng đó chỉ cần méo đi một vài mili-mili-mili-mét, cuộc sống của mình sẽ không bình thường nữa. Người ta gọi nó là cái bệnh gì đấy, không nhớ tên, chỉ nhớ chắc chắn là từ thuyền thúng tròn sang thuyền dài là máu sẽ vón cục & chúng ta chết được ngay nếu không được cứu chữa phát hiện kịp thời.

Nhiễm sắc thể cũng vậy. Còn ai nhớ không? Việc chúng mình sinh ra lành lặn chân tay mũi mắt miệng hoạt động bình thường là cả một kì công nằm ngoài khả năng điều khiển của bố lẫn mẹ, lẫn ông bà cô dì chú bác. Thực tế là việc bộ gen của chúng ta như thế nào và thể hiện tính trạng ra ngoài ra sao hoàn-toàn-nằm-ngoài-khả-năng-điều-khiển của con người. Tất nhiên mình cũng được biết các nhà khoa học bây giờ đang tiến gần hơn đến genetic design – kiểu cho các cặp bố mẹ đến khám & kiểm tra xem thích gen A hay gen B hơn cho con. Với sự cảnh giác cao độ của một đứa cũng tạm gọi là người, từng được chứng kiến thành quả tồn tại của giống loài trên trái đất và cách chúng ta gây ảnh hưởng với những thứ to lồ lộ không phải nhìn dưới kính hiển vi thì, ờm, mình không tin tưởng vào khả năng damage control của giống loài lắm, nên cũng chỉ biết nghĩ ‘let’s hope we don’t mess with this one’.

Nhưng có lẽ cũng chẳng nên bi quan làm gì, chaos & order is one.

4. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Wonder

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“She bent down and whispered in my ear. “You really are a wonder, Auggie. You are a wonder.”

I closed the book. Something uplifting and heart-warming has entered me. The feeling that your heart is soft enough to absorb something beautiful and pure, again.

I love this feeling, I wish it will never leave. The book is simple, its story is touching, true, multi-dimensional, and all in all is about each of us, but none of us, I hope, because August is such a special little boy. His story may not be 100% relate-able to every single human out there, but nonetheless we may all, at one point or another, have been featured in his world, through Jack, or Summer, or perhaps Amos, or Julian.

Once again, I’m reminded of something dad said, after weeks of reading about the beauty of the universe. I remember he was being super-hyped over space-time and other complex physics theories that I could not just simply wrap my head around. After several days of in-depth ‘internet researches’, he told me and mom something nice and simple: “Truth is always beautiful, and simple”. He intrigued us, asking whether we know who said such a thing. “no”. “A mathematician, a scientist”.

Ok, I might not have the brain these days to do a further research into the name of such wise scientist. Recently I have lost my enthusiast to seek a singular ‘something’ in anything, especially when it does not matter.

But when he said that, I just instinctively nodded, not because it came out of dad’s mouth, but simply because it made sense, and therefore I don’t really care if it was a Einstein or a Hawking who said it – it does not matter. I agreed. Somewhere in my fuzzy brain, that statement, though not clearly shaped in any color or form, or words, has taken its roots, for a time.

Truth is always beautiful, and simple.

That is what I feel when reading Wonder. I don’t want to spoil anything because you might be a wanderer who happens to know about this book and as a result curious to find out. But just know that it is worth a read, for it has done something beautiful and simple to me. Only after reading it did I realize how much I missed my old simple self. Growing up is inevitable, I know. But somewhere, somehow, if I could revive a younger heart and feel its beatings for a few seconds, it makes me forget all the bitterness or pain or darkness that I have come to learn about the world, and just let it go. For a few precious seconds, I felt like nothing dark could come back and occupy my memory again, they have been locked up and weakened by this simple and beautiful story.

And I just want to remind myself several things in this book:

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

 

“Shall we make a new rule of life… always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?” – J.M. Barrie