and i still feel i dont do enough

October 26th, 2019

a rare, relatively quiet, saturday night in hong kong: listening to the newly released cigarettes after sex album “cry” and reading, savoring a moody, evocative fantasy book, “under the pendulum sun”.

i was talking with a friend from out of town, who mentioned that “between fighting for democracy, standing up against authoritarianism, and movies, being occupied with movies seems really silly”.

i wish i had answered: “no, it’s not. it’s exactly what we are fighting for.”

i love movies. i love books. i love music. they are my safe spaces. they are what make life worth living for me. but right now, every one of these feel tainted, compromised and corrupted. to be free, to live a free life means (in part) a life free of having to worry about politics. so we can do the things we love and care about. pursue our dreams. create, express and share, leaving the world hopefully, just a tiny bit, a more beautiful, better place.

talking to a student the other day, i pointed to her mask and asked if she was feeling sick. she: “im wearing this mask because i feel i need to keep up the resistance, everyday. we cannot even let up a little. but im so exhausted. and i still feel i dont do enough.”

i told my student: “there is always something to feel guilty about. if im not in hong kong, i feel guilty for not being in hk. if i am in hk, i feel guilty for not being at every single protest. if im at the protest, i feel guilty for not being at the frontline. it’s never ending.”

i was hoping to tell her self-care is important. that we can only help if we are not burned out. as im trying to tell her that, i realize i need to practice what i preach. so here i am. and if you’ll excuse me, im going back to my book.

give someone you love a hug, please, if you have read all the way to this. good night.

Posted in freedom, life, politics

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book and sword : gratitude and revenge

is the first novel written by Jin Yong. The protagonist is Chan Ka Lok, who is the leader of the Red Flower Society. The book title refers to Ka Lok being famous for being well-versed in culture and martial arts, but also for having to make a difficult ethical decision. My father named me and my brother after him.

The subtitle is from a poem Desiderata