Saturday, October 24, 2009

One monthish anniversary

It's now been over a month since I've been in London! Which made me wonder, what exactly does "anniversary" mean? Doesn't the word have the root for "year"? Which is strange then, because why do we have "month anniversaries" and so on? Shouldn't it be like... mensisary... or something like that. I don't know Latin. :/ But I am learning Hebrew! Now the one word most on my mind is dagesh. Really, for some reason I just keep saying it in my head - like its a dageshary.

Mmm... waking up in London every morning - I don't see the Monument outside my window, or hear the Big Ben chiming every hour, but wow the feeling is quite amazing. This is actually the view from outside my window ~

That big building on the left is an office - every night there are people working on computers there... kind of bothersome because I like leaving the window curtains open usually :/

Yesterday I went to the Royal Ballet showing of Sleeping Beauty ~ ahhh it was so fantastic! Even though we had a terrible view (i.e. no view) from our standing seats and I had a huge coughing fit towards the end :P The security guard man (like police officer man) was nice enough to let us take over some other seats (well, he tried but then the real seat holders arrived) and we ended up standing a bit higher and got a great panoramic view ~ God provides! :D

Anyway, seeing it reminded me of how much I love dance... I can't say I remember much of dancing itself - who will after 10 years - but returning to it 2 years ago at Wellesley, I was reminded again of its finesse, its difficulty, and once again appreciated a dancer's extreme discipline, grace, and strength that flourish into the ethereal beauty that you see on stage. True performance is when one forgets oneself in the act - when one pours out everything, all energy and fervor, to recreate and share with those watching the beauty that one feels in one's heart. Maybe those of you who've also performed can feel a slight murmur of agreement on this, whether it was dance, or music, or sport, or whatever else. But performance isn't the only word... performance is just another extension of Expression - expression of self, of story, of means of expression, and so on.

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Beauty... I was wondering to myself some other day - do we deem something beautiful because it brings us joy, or is it because it is beautiful that it brings us joy? Do we define beauty, or does Beauty define us? Maybe in this world, we do hold the labeler, but is it not the Author of beauty who "labels" us first and allows us to see that there is more? Because where does our sense of beauty come from anyway?

I read the most beautiful chapter in If yesterday... I wish I could write it all out here for you all to read too, but I don't want to break any copyright issues (not even Google Books has any previews on it, and even Amazon has only the first introduction page available) and because of that, EVERYONE SHOULD GO BUY IT! :D And read it for yourself :) Highly highly recommended. For those who have it, it was chapter 2 ~ every word jabbed at me, and by no coincidence, I had been thinking of those exact things, to the phrase, just moments earlier. And no, I don't think it's because I somehow remembered reading it months before...

More importantly, I highly highly x infinity recommend reading this ~ it's got much better stuff. :) In all my foolishness and impatience and distrust, how I despised wisdom and sought after the temperamental and chased after other lovers - there is a Lover who takes me back with such love and grace... there is a Faithful Father, who runs after me who knows how many times, and embraces this too-often astray daughter of His... That is Beauty.

Ok, I am off to make chicken now. Chicken is so wonderful - so versatile! Maybe because it's so bland. But that's what makes it so great! There's probably much to be learned from that. Hahah ~ ahhh I love cooking... And little by little, I'm sure (hoping) it does get better and it's not just me getting more used to it.

Autumn <3

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lulu in London

It's officially been 3 weeks and 3 days since I've been in London - sorry, I really meant to post something earlier, but soon got overswept with stuff, stuff, and more stuff ~

What have I been up to in these 3+ weeks? Well, I've gotten settled in, met new and old friends, explored perhaps the entirety of London on foot, had classes (which I love!) and quite a few homeworks (which I don't love...), visited various museums and took a day trip to Cambridge as well, learned a few new recipes and tried my hand at improvisatory cooking, and have just contracted something uncomfortably similar to H1N1 - yea! :| To see a pictoral summary of my happenings, look on my Picasa, because Facebook doesn't allow me to upload pictures. To my faint surprise, I haven't experienced too much culture shock, at least how I expected. In some ways, London is kind of like a really huge Boston that's been steeped with culture for so many more centuries. It's new (and very old) and exciting, yet strangely nostalgic.

Now that it has been 3+ weeks, perhaps it's a good time to reflect on all that's happened, all my lessons learned and then some. I've definitely learned more about my nasty insides and all the yuck that goes along with it, but have also learned more about His overwhelming grace and all that comes with that... It's quite amazing how He speaks, and how such gentle words can bring me to my knees... There's been a lot of learning about my own thoughts and habits, the endless ways I am lacking and the infinitely more ways that He is my all in all.

At OCF last week, the speaker asked us write out our expectations for this fall in London - honestly, I came here not knowing whether I should even be here or not, but now, though I can't say with certainty exactly why I'm here, I can say with certainty that I've been placed here for a reason.

I do plan to post more! And more regularly too ~ hopefully :) I leave you with these pictures ~