On recovering Anglicans, vegetarians and nomads

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.

Similarly … Continue reading On recovering Anglicans, vegetarians and nomads

Harmony vs conformity: thirsting for things that fit

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

Made to wonder: string theory and the resurrection

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

Australia: Not the place I thought you were

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

Misunderstood: artists, do-gooders and missionaries

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

Re-entry. Still from the movie Gravity.

367 days after re-entry

Ten years ago, a lady named Debbie asked me if I was studying Spanish because I wanted to be a missionary in South America. At the time it was a seriously long bow to draw – I in fact had no better reason for studying Spanish other than Age of Empires and the Spanish national football team.

Once I started learning the language, I discovered how beautiful it was to the ear, the mind, the tongue. But even then I didn’t have any particular interest in Latin American culture. I had even less interest in becoming a missionary.

Debbie and I are unlikely to cross paths again, but what she said turned out to be rather prophetic. Continue reading 367 days after re-entry

80% Australian

Approaching this Australia Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Australianness. Or lack thereof. It’s not that I’m experiencing epic reverse culture shock now that I’m back in Australia (just a little …), but certainly the relationship between my personal identity and my country has undergone significant transformation. As a child I felt more foreign than I should have. Probably because I went to a really … Continue reading 80% Australian

How South America messed me up good

People always ask me about my time in South America. Some are genuinely interested, while for others it’s the polite and logical thing to ask. In either case, the truth is that these conversations have started to get a bit repetitive and I’m often left wishing I could say more than: that Latinos are warmer; that Andean dishes contain too many carbs; that working with survivors of child sexual abuse was hard as you’d imagine but so rewarding; that I’m not sure how to answer your question about how good my Spanish is.

The worst thing is that I can’t seem to do Bolivia and Ecuador justice – not in a brief conversation that could turn to a different topic at any given moment.

So below are a few noteworthy things I don’t generally get to share about the impact that my time in South America has had on me as a person and who I am now. Continue reading How South America messed me up good