Monday, November 30, 2015

№ 234. Om

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."---R.M. Rilke


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

№ 232. Evil is Ordinary

Every Angel is terror. And yet,
ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly
birds of the soul.
Where are the days of Tobias,
when one of the most radiant of you stood at the simple threshold,
disguised somewhat for the journey and already no longer awesome
(Like a youth, to the youth looking out curiously).
Let the Archangel now, the dangerous one, from behind the stars,
take a single step down and toward us: our own heart,
beating on high would beat us down. What are you?
(from The Second Elegy, The Duino Elegies, Rainer Maria Rilke)

Bento Box:

That image of a concert venue turned slaughterhouse on Friday, Nov. 13, in the storied capital of France, captures the random carnage that was the primary objective of the terrorists. It could only have been terrorism—the concept of asymmetrical warfare is only analytical, the framework of an anti-Western backlash mostly rhetorical. Above all, the declaration of an Islamic holy struggle is a perversion of religion.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

№ 231. Il y a

We thought that it was going to be an uneventful Friday the 13th. Then evil crept in on us. Again.

There is evil. Like our Christian concept of God it is both immanent and transcendent.

Evil knows no sleep. Knows no compunction. No restrain. It is slow, patient and deliberate.

Jean Jullien

Evil slows time. 

When time lapses into memories
that sting in slivers of papercuts

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

№ 228. Jiro is a Borg

"While watching it, I found myself drawn into the mystery of this man. Are there any unrealized wishes in his life? Secret diversions? Regrets? If you find an occupation you love and spend your entire life working at it, is that enough? Standing behind his counter, Jiro notices things. Some customers are left-handed, some right-handed. That helps determine where they are seated at his counter. As he serves a perfect piece of sushi, he observes it being eaten. He knows the history of that piece of seafood. He knows his staff has recently started massaging an octopus for 45 minutes and not half an hour, for example. Does he search a customer's eyes for a signal that this change has been an improvement? Half an hour of massage was good enough to win three Michelin stars. You realize the tragedy of Jiro Ono's life is that there are not, and will never be, four stars."

Ooma in Megamall has one of the best Gyozas in town.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

№ 227. Gedankenexperimente in Ateneo

First Station of the Cross: Last Supper Sculpture
College Chapel, Ateneo de Manila University

Back in college, when the Rizal Library was still housed in two adjoining buildings and when Ateneo was still a single college, the library was a favorite "third place". It offered an airconditioned haven where students could quietly hang out, sleep, study and cool off between classes, oral exams, presentations and org meetings.

Last week, when I visited the place in the middle of a busy semester, I was glad I saw that new additions were built in the campus. The new college grounds now house new buildings, halls, pocket gardens and spaces although much of the old layout and roads have been preserved.

The chapel, although renovated, retained its quiet, reassuring charm.

From the unified College of Arts and Sciences, the Ateneo  was reorganized into seven autonomous schools: Law (Rockwell, Makati City), Medicine (Ortigas, Pasig City), Government (Rockwell, Makati City), Management (Loyola, Quezon City), Humanities (Loyola, Quezon City), Sciences and Engineering (Loyola, Quezon City),  and Social Sciences (Loyola, Quezon City).