The warrior is…

…in Bangkok!! Shopping shopping shopping, the last spree before she leaves asia and goes to cosmo city Bratislava…
(to be continued)

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Weekly Words of Warrior Wisdom (W20)

Balancing Act

In this fast paced demanding world where people have more than one role to fulfill, they often have to seek a delicate balance between career and family, their own needs and needs of others, public life and private life, inner- versus outer- world values and so on. There are many other concerns we have to deal with and people and situations that demand a piece of our time. This is the malady of the modern era, and it is addressed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, when he says in his book, ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are’, “A commitment to simplicity in the midst of this world is a delicate balancing act” (p.70)

How to deal with all of this? Renee suggests that you take on responsibilities in order to deal with the situation at hand. You need to be ready to make additional commitments, even when you have doubts. Stay calm and balanced. Try to give adequate attention to each of your duties demanding attention, but deal with them one at a time, the best you can. Meet the multiple challenges by drawing from all the resources available to you (you’ll discover some you didn’t know you had). Prepare to do more for your loved ones, and others too, even if this may result in initial setbacks to your palns and goals. Wherever possible, try to symplify your lifestyle by prioritizing first, and then get better organized so you can reduce the already reduced ‘to do’ list and hence your multi-tasking anxiety.

We tend to think that life is what happens after we get all of our work and other obligations out of the way. Unfortunately that never happens. We have to see the act of balancing all our obligations and demands as part of the process of life, and learn to take a certain amount of pleasure in handling them competently and meeting these challenges one after another.

Adapted from: Janina Renee ‘Practical problem solving and advice, Tarot, your everyday guide’ (2000), p.94

Saying goodbye to Singapore: Cafe del Medway Party, the best party of the year!!

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The pictures speak for themselves…but ok, these were some of the highlights:

– The paparazzi in the garden that morning (Miss van Dixyhorn in leopard skin!!);
– The Farewell songs created by Bela Anna, and very well sung we might add by the Dutch community in north-pole wear (in a temperature of 30 degrees celcius!);
– The slightly changed theme: From Mojito to Bokito, escaped Gorilla’s rule!!;
– Die Fledermaus opera in Vienna!!! Thx M&M, F&W!!;
– Only the fly people in the pool ;-);
– The super blasting sound system, the whole of Jurong could Karaoke along with Andre Hazes. (thx DJ Gary);
– Fab music by DJ Griffin;
– (Were the police sleeping?? ;-));
– Valentino risking his life and back by balancing the 3 meter high super-blast speakers on his shoulders and carrying these inside the house…thx!!.

It was fabulous!!! Thx all for being there for us…

What are we not supposed to think about?

http://paulitics.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/reality-check-what-youre-not-supposed-to-think-about/

“655,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Who are the terrorists?”
-Rosie O’Donnell from The View comparing U.S. activities with Islamic terrorism

Since Rosie O’Donnell has recently “got quit” from her job on The View (or rather, had her pre-existing plans for departure greatly accelerated) because of uttering this sentence, it is worth taking a second to explore the voracity of Rosie’s statement.

If we take the total confirmed attacks by Al Queda against the West (broadly understood) we have 5 acts of terrorism in total. The 1993 WTC Bombing which killed 6. The 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole which killed 17. The September 11th attacks which killed 2974. The 2004 Madrid bombings which killed 191. And, lastly, the 2005 bombings in London, England which killed 52.

So, Al Qaeda has claimed a total of 3240 fatalities in the West.

Now America’s activities abroad are far too numerous to either delineate or to quantify, so, for simplicity’s sake, let’s limit it only to US involvement in the country of Iraq since the enactment of UN resolution 667 in 1990 up to the present.

The Gulf War and the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq throughout the 90s up until 2003 killed a total of approximately 1,000,000 (source). And, from 2003 up until the present, according to the best and most thorough statistical project undertaken the U.S. has killed approximately 651,000 in the Iraq War. […]

Heared on BBC world radio: Islamic scholar sees Breast Feeding as symbolic act which makes it right for men and women to work together

Source: BBC world radio/arabwomanprogressivevoice.blogspot.com

17 May 2007 […] So the latest Azhar fatwa, ingeniously thought of by the head of the Hadith section at the university who argues it’s based on a Prophet’s strong Hadith (saying), is trying to solve the problem that in this darn age men and women are spending time alone together at work when that is forbidden. The solution? Easy! The problem can be easily solved by having the woman nurse her colleague. Yep. Nurse him as in put her breast in his mouth. This way they become related through nursing and as such can be alone together without breaking any moral or religious codes. But they need to keep accurate records of who nursed whom so things don’t get mixed up. Once a man is nursed by a woman, she can take off her veil in front of him because now he’s “forbidden” to her.”

In the mean time the Egyptian scholar made his apology for what he calls a one time incident and an attempt to creative thinking.

The full blog comments:
http://arabwomanprogressivevoice.blogspot.com/2007/05/modest-proposal-to.html
http://arabwomanprogressivevoice.blogspot.com/2007/05/apology-for-breast-feeding-fatwa.html

For those of you who can read arabic, the original Fatwa:
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2007/05/16/34518.html

A heart condition (I)

The warrior was tired. She had just got back from an intensive visit to Phnom Penh (tbc). All the muscles in her body hurt. So she went to the gym. Pilates first, the yoga with her favourite teacher the happy boxer. As she was just a bit late and the locker would not cooperate, she missed out on the pilates and started running on the treadmill.

CNN. The following images might be a bit disturbing. Yeah right, is what she tought, just having visited the Genocide museum and seen the torturing rooms and the pictures. The many pictures…Then CNN showed the footage. Shot on a mobile phone. Some fourty guys. Police watching. All around this girl who lay in the sandy ground. Her arms up protecting her head? I cannot remember. Feet kicking her. Stones thrown at her. Blood. The CNN header said: News: 17-year old girl stoned to death. Iraq. The story was that she allegedly had a relation with a non-muslim. Later, accprding to CNN, the people found out she never had that alleged relation. The warrior with difficulty withheld her tears.

Yoga class starts. Her first friday class in three weeks again. Mountain pose. Only now she feels how tired she is. She cannot keep her balance standing like that with her eyes closed. Sun salutations. …Bleep-bleep-bleep…. There is this guy next to her. …Bleep-bleep…Obviously not a regular, as she has never seen him before in her class …bleep…and as he does a sort of table pose whenever they do the downward facing dog. …bleep-bleep…Looks like a standard posh Chinese business man. He has no clue.
He does have a heart rate monitor. The warrior can hardly believe it. A heart rate monitor. In yoga. She just saw the guy do the kick-box class. Yeah, then a monitor might come in handy. But during yoga?? The bleeping starts to get annoying. Does the guy really not understand he disrupts the class. The class that is oddly empty, whereas normally it is jam-packed. The teacher should have intervened already. Let’s wait five minutes.

After five minutes, nothing happens. Ok, the warrior takes no shit and thus takes action. Softly she whispers, can he please turn of the sound? It is a heart rate monitor, he says. So I see, she says. Silence. He is not going to turn it off!! Anger boils up. She keeps her voice soft but determined. She will have her quiet yoga class. In the seven years she has done yoga never ever has she experienced anything like this. You can choose to continue using the bleeping device, only do know you are irritating me and that I cannot relax in this fashion.

He starts to turn off the sound of his device. The bleeping of this action is ear deafening. BLIP, BLIP, BLEEEEEEEEEEEEP. Silence.

Child’s pose. The stress releases. And so do the tears. She tries not to think of anything. Not of the tiredness, not of the busy program after the class, not of the things she saw in Cambodia, not of the girl who she saw being stoned to death at television while keeping up her fitness level (feeling like a complete fool). Still, the feelings boil up and come out into a silent but strong river. Anxiety and sadness about what happened, the unbelief and amazement about how the people dealt with and still deal with such sorrow and harshness. The life we are leading and how we still manage to be unsatisfied with what we have and with the potential in our own lives. It helps. The class continues with warrior poses and ironically the warrior remains locked in her childs pose which veils her tears. Five minutes she feels better already. Tears are dried up, and she thinks nobody noticed the thing. She looks at her teacher, who smiles his always happy smile, and she smiles back.

(to be continued)

Short tale: The Photos

[Music of Mozart’s Requiem starts]

Rows of photos. Pictures of people.

Sometimes I focus on a person. Just because he has a patch on his face. Or because the look on her face is unusually intent. Every picture is moving. Behind every picture there was a life. Behind every picture there was the same ending.

I am in a prison museum. This place once kept around 1,500 people at a time. Some 20,000 people were here. Only 7 survived.

After they were transported here, their picture was taken. Sitting on a special device, to keep their head up. A sort of pin sticking in the back of their head.
They carried a number round their neck. Sometimes you can see they had been interrogated already.

After the picture was taken, they were stripped to their shorts. And got to sleep with a 100 people in a cell , spoonwise. No permission to turn your head unless asked. For every whisper or movement there was a flogging. Then there were the interrogations. 24 hours a day. The interrogators took four hour shifts. The ones interrogated took longer shifts.

Many many pictures. Also of young children. A mother with her baby. One white guy.

None of them seemed to look scared. Didn’t they know what lay ahead of them? Or did they accept the inevitable? None of them looked angry or defiant. Were they apathic, could they not think anymore? Most of them looked relaxed, a bit sad at most.
I felt a lump inside my stomach.

What were they thinking?

That is what I think when I am sitting here. It was so long ago, and still these faces and these rooms haunt me. The torture rooms where they kept a steel bed without a mattress. In some an unfocused greyish picture of how they found the last ones, when they ‘liberated’ the place. The tiles were a warm yellow. As were the walls. The rooms were spacious. The windows looked out over packed balconies and busy alleys, you can hear people chat and children laugh. Tree branches wave in the wind. Why then this chill up your spine. Because it is clear what happened. No need for the music. No need for special effects. True teeth clenching mind blowing horror in your face. Knowing this was then, but probably happening as you are standing there somewhere in some remote or less remote part of the world.

Every 10 seconds a baby is born, every 9 seconds a person dies. How many seconds before another person takes some torturing?

The leg of the chair cuts inside my calf. I squint. I try to move my butt but my arms are too tightly wrapped around the back of the chair.

They said they would take my picture first. I wish I could get some water. And a smoke, although I do not smoke.

Sometimes a dry wind brushes my face. I feel drops of sweat run down the the back of my calves. At least they let the window, barred, open. At least I get to sit in a chair.

Oh, there they are.

I do not understand what they are saying. Their faces are not that unfriendly. A bit detached maybe. One carries a camera and points it at me.

I look straight into the lens and try to keep my chin up.

[Music fades away]