God: inspired in solitude?

Created in God’s image, man is as alone as He is. And yet: man may and must hope; he must rise to the challenge, transcend himself until he loses – or finds himself. Only God is condemned to eternal loneliness. Only God is truly, irreducibly alone….

…And all of a sudden you think of God, in His heavenly and luminous loneliness, and you feel like weeping. For Him and over Him….He too begins to weep, until your tears and His come together and merge like two melancholy solitudes, thirsting for fulfillment.

These are Elie Wiesel’s words. Since I am not reading the whole work, I am oblivious as to where Wiesel found his inspiration or how he coped with Auschwitz. I am assuming it was not God, because he said earlier that something has “murdered my God.”

Sometimes, when you are lonely, it’s not at all because of a lack of company. Rather, it’s the dearth of inspiration that causes solitude. Where did God receive His inspiration? What inspired Wiesel? Earlier in the student Union, someone asked me, “Where do you find your energy?”

I am finally seeing why the concept of God seems so appealing. It’s because of the inevitable crisis of not having any role model to look up to. By sixteen, childhood heroes have shed their oh-so-pure auras. By twenty-one, they have all dissolved. It turns our universes upside down, but that’s what happens. What liberal arts education adds to is then precluding some people from worshiping any person or concept in its entirety, while equipping them with tools to maintain some faith in humanity. In certain cases, one becomes capable of devoting oneself only in a cause, which essentially means issues, or problems one sees with this world. Personally, this means, my seemingly positive and sunny energy that people often comment upon, is actually born out of a negative void.

Thus the reactionary inspirations continue deep into the night, stemming not out of persons or convictions, but out of issues. Someone said this to me two years ago, before the encroaching deadline for declaring majors. In retrospect, that was inspiring, wasn’t it?

Science is not going to change entrenched opinions. That’s a matter of effective public policy-making, not only involving an awareness of the science and issues, but also the ability to come up with plans to address the issues as well as the capacity to sell those plans to the public. I’d push you towards political science or economics at this point.

Bacon and Bob Marley

People can go on and on about dream psycho-analysis. But nothing is more telling of what occupies your mind than the very first thought in the morning, during the earliest moment that will hardly last more than a friction of a second.

Some days, I wake up screaming “Class!” Other times, it’s homework with a close deadline. Occasionally, it maybe a person, a cool idea, or some email I am waiting for.

Last Sunday, however, I woke up with bacon on my mind. Yes, bacon frittata. That morning, I was assigned to cook for the weekly Sunday brunch. The beautiful 70s weather enabled us to eat outside, on the picnic tables at the backyard. It made me sing Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds as I cooked.

The bacon is from the Bradford Store, a neighborhood store that tries to feature mostly local, organic items. The recipe is from Charlie, a student that teaches cooking classes as an extension of the Food Club. I recommend using cast iron pans. Enjoy!

6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
olive oil/butter/bacon grease
assorted veggies/other delicious stuff (cheese, bacon, etc.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
2. Beat eggs with milk
3. Cook assorted veggies/other delicious stuff
4. Cook eggs on medium heat in an ovenproof pan with oil/butter until set on the sides but still soft in the middle
5. Add cooked veggies/delicious stuff
6. Place pan in oven for 5-7 minutes until eggs are set and just beginning to brown

Happy International Women’s Day!

Women can help fight against violent extremism, hunger, poverty, child malnutrition, poor health services, and illiteracy. They shoulder a disproportionate burden of social ills but display a greater economic return to aid. Happy International Women’s Day!

A couple of inspiring stories:
The Girl Effect
Women farmers are a force in fighting global food shortages
The Women’s Crusade
– Last night, a 2009 Davidson grad came to speak about SAVE Global, Women without Borders. She is definitely one of the persons I look up to. She graduated with Greek titles, was the chair of Bonner Committee and she was also the coach when I was in the crew team. She is confidently pretty and fluent in German, French and English.

Who/What inspires you?

A Tribute to Orwell and Coffee

This coffee here is after a week up in the mountains without any internet, cell phone service, a coffee machine, or a ‘normal’ toilet (there was a composting one). I was at Long Branch Environmental Center, near Asheville.

The best part about this trip was being off the grid. There was no one to intrude you or any bad news to stain your thoughts. It gave me an ample amount of time to pause and think, while doing simple, productive manual chores such as picking sticks in an apple orchard or transplanting blueberry trees onto a new slope.

Being with nature makes you realize how all alone you are and therefore vulnerable you can be. I was not completely secluded, but there were no artificial stimuli that we normally use to drown out ourselves. It was almost like a controlled experiment; once these external, temporal influences are taken away, what is left on one’s mind?

I thought of the running water from the creek and the chirping of the birds. I thought of George Orwell. And his book I read a long time ago, The Burmese Days. More specifically, I thought of a scene in which Orwell’s main character, or maybe a literary alter-ego, Flory swims in a creek, listening to birds, and describing all the beauty in the world. Remembering these details surprised myself for I read it way before starting college and I had not been thinking about this book at all.

Flory is an individual stuck in a crack between two different worlds. He finds himself unable to return to his home, yet remains estranged in Burma. Flory’s egalitarianism with the native Burmese is too radical for the taste of the expat British Club.

While Flory returns from the peaceful stream to the unfriendly country club of his, I return to my cozy single room at the Eco-House, surrounded by loving friends and laughter. I finally return to a place with a viable internet connection, cell phone service, a coffee machine, and a regular toilet!

In fact, I am about to go make some coffee and start my homework.