Australian New Year’s Eve traditions mostly involve drinking hard, watching fireworks and calling it a party. This is followed by spending 1 January sleeping it off. Where Christmas Day is family time, NYE Down Under means time with friends. In Ecuador, I was introduced to the tradition of making and breaking monigotes (mon-ee-GO-tez): life-sized replicas of yourself and people you know. These effigies are also known as muñecos … Continue reading NYE lessons from Ecuador
It was only 18 months ago that I publicly wrote that one of my deepest dreams was to present a TED talk. I’ve changed my mind and here’s why. TED and our appetite for ideas The other night, scrolling through TED episodes for some pre-bedtime listening, I was suddenly reminded of a verse in parentheses from the book of Acts: (It should be explained that … Continue reading Turning on TED
I like to say my boyfriend is a recovering Anglican. He’s actually not even Anglican, he just happens to go to an Anglican church and I just happen to enjoy having a go at Sydney Anglicans. What I really mean when I say he’s recovering is that he is no longer doctrinal about his faith and how he practises it – in fact, he’s ardently against legalism.
I truly believe an element of the divine can be experienced in a stationery shop. Kikki K, surely, must be a shadow of heaven. This is me with the old manila folders that I ordered by colour, just because, when we were clearing out our archives at work: I know many of you understand. There is something hugely satisfying about order, about making things fit … Continue reading Harmony vs conformity: thirsting for things that fit
What does string theory have to do with the Resurrection? What’s the difference between wanderlust and “wonderlust” (is that even a thing?)? Why do adverb particles matter?
This Easter I really went down the rabbit hole …
String theory and the Resurrection
I was listening to a podcast the other day, an interview with a physicist who was explaining the holographic principle. Based on string theory, one of the concepts is that our lived reality is two-dimensional data expressed in three dimensions. In other words, reality is a hologram.
It made me think about dimensions in general. If two dimensions can express three, and it’s generally accepted that we inhabit four dimensions (the fourth being time), what would 5D* projection mean? Because I’m convinced the material world isn’t all there is to existence.
As a person of faith, I believe we exist in more than four dimensions. But for most people – Christians, followers of other faiths and those of no faith alike – our active engagement in the fifth is limited.
This Easter I was reminded that the Resurrection invites us to walk beyond the four dimensions and live a bigger, richer reality. Continue reading Made to wonder: string theory and the resurrection
I was never much of a dreamer as a kid. Forget being a princess, pilot, pop star or police officer. All I ever aspired to was to be an accountant – a short degree with strong job prospects.*
I’m not even kidding. To tell you the truth, I was an unambitious and cynical child.
The funny thing is that somewhere along the way into adulthood, I did start dreaming.
I dreamed of changing the world. Perhaps it was born of a desire to prove that my unambitious and cynical younger self was so, so wrong.
Changing the world hardly seemed a dream to me, though. In my early-to-mid-twenties, I started to appreciate that changing the world is within reach of each of us, that the smallest gesture can be a part of a bigger picture. That it doesn’t have to be dramatic or headline-worthy to be, well, worthy. To count as real change.
And since it was something I was already in the process of doing, it never seemed a far off reality. It never seemed far away enough to be called a dream.
So whaddya know – it seems I’ve been living the dream.
But there are also dreams I’m yet to live. These are not things I hope I manage to do before I die, nor will I feel unfulfilled if they don’t happen. Far from being a bucket list, this is a set of six longings that speak to the core of who I am.
I’m sharing them with you here, to encourage you to discover (if you haven’t already) and reflect on your own dreams. Continue reading The deepest dreams
The other day my dad kindly informed me that if I ever stood for politics I’d need to renounce my Malaysian citizenship. This, of course, occurred in the context of the dual citizenship debacle that has kept Australia entertained for the last few months. Now I’m not sure how to feel about the fact that my father thinks a political career is a real possibility … Continue reading Going for glocal
Sometimes I think I might have made a great bureaucrat. But alas, I don’t like ticking boxes. And so it is that since graduating, I’ve given up ticking the boxes and being boxed in. Instead, I’m beating the box and I’m boxing the ticks. Continue reading Notes from a champion tickboxer
The other day after work, I was flowing with the peak hour crowd down Anzac Parade, when I witnessed something awful.
An Aboriginal man was heckling and shoving an East Asian man. The Indigenous guy was yelling obscenities and things like “Go back to where you came from!” to the suited up Asian guy, who was trying, literally, to shake him off. That was Awkward thing Number 1.
People just watched. And did nothing. That was Awkward thing Number 2.
By people, I mean mainly Asian people. The University of New South Wales appears to be predominantly Asian, even the law faculty – a contrast with the College of Law at my own alma mater. That was Awkward thing Number 3.
And I did nothing because, frankly, I’m both Asian and female. I actually thought I might get hit. That was Awkward thing Number 4.
It made me think about how Australia is not the place I thought it was when I was little. Continue reading Australia: Not the place I thought you were
The wrong question? As soon as the question escaped my lips I knew that I had become That Annoying Person Who Asks The Stupid Question That Misses The Point. My poorly articulated question spread across the auditorium like a bad taste on the palate. I was at the Justice Conference in Melbourne, and it was an “In conversation with…” session on the intersection of art and justice which ended up … Continue reading Misunderstood: artists, do-gooders and missionaries