A work of art

Another day of snow. A good time to write, I guess.

I would start with this:

If someone watch a day of your life on mute, what message would it speak? Would it look like a work of art?

My answer is yes and no. I cannot actually imagine my life on mute or imagine myself watching it, so I cannot actually tell.

I said yes because a big part of my life doesn’t have any sound, so it doesn’t matter if it’s on mute or not, because it would just be the same. Those are times when I read and write. When I walk and run. When I stop in the middle of the street to take photos of things. My thoughts are processed inside my head, and more than half of them is hidden. So I guess there would be no changes at all if it’s on mute. I wonder if it’s a work of art, though. I said yes because those moments when I do things alone, I direct my thinking towards God, and that’s how we define the work of art here. I pray while walking. I talk to God while doing daily things. I read the Words of God and write to praise Him. I proudly say yes, I create art for Him.

But still, there is a “no” part of it. My friend said all sins are the same in the eyes of God. It doesn’t matter if you lie or you hurt someone, because they’re all the same. They are all bad. That’s all we need to know. And as humans, we are sinful. We never learn to love our enemies. We don’t always choose God over our wants. We are given free will by God, and we thank Him by using it for ourselves, pushing us away from Him.

When my life’s on mute, I would say there will be just so many moments when I destroy my own work of art. My facial expression when I’m angry. My steps when I did not want to go to church. My ‘hunger’ (I believe that’s the right word to say this) for money when I work more than I need to. Those little things. They pile up, and eventually when I don’t notice, they destroy my piece of art.

I realize that there are just always more and more things for me to improve on in my life, or to be more artistic. I can become a better version of myself yesterday, I can just keep wanting to be better, because there would be no day that I’ll perfect. Walking step by step with Jesus is hard, but I guess the reward is worthy. Every community needs artists who are willing to live their lives towards God.

I don’t fully understand what the work of at actually is about. I would say that it’s when I love not only the person who loves me, but also my enemies. I would say that it’s when I try my best for the kingdom, not for myself. I don’t actually know.

Or maybe we don’t ever need to actually understand. The goal is to be more like God, not to be God.

.

.

.

I would end with, “I don’t know”.

Inferno

Extremely Intense. 

She is a nice girl – a nice co-worker. She was the very first person who would say “Hi” to me when I showed up at work every day. And she asked me how would it be like when living away from home. She is from Venezuela. 

“There is no food there. If you go to the groceries store, there would be nothing. People had to buy food at black market like they were doing something wrong. My family left as refugee, and this way we could find a better life.” 

When reading essays of people who are from Mexican or those that are immigrants, it was hard to understand, as well as hard to not feeling empathy for them. Many people have always thought that except in the US, most other places on Earth are poor and wars going on there every day. But when I think about my own home country, I realized that I have never suffered. The gap between poor and me is the time gap, which also means I would never reach it. My parents were born in poor family. They work on the farm in the evening after going to schools. They tried their best to go to universities, because back then this was the only way to escape poverty. I and many other people in Vietnam was born in wealth. We didn’t have to think much about tomorrow, for there is nothing to worry about. I know there are still places where people are suffering, but it was just impossible for me to understand. 

The point is, at the place where people think was buried in war and poverty in Vietnam, I didn’t feel any hardness. It is just hard for me to imagine other parts of the world are truly in need. 

Here, I want to affirm her because how great she is when she embraces other people into her life and how she encourages her classmates and co-workers. 

I want to pray for Venezuela and many other places, including my own country, that we would find a better way to face these adversities, and that we wouldn’t have to leave our own countries and cultures to find better lives in a strange place. A place where many people look down on us… A place where our beauties are disrespected and devalued. 

I pray that people would sit down and listen to our stories, just like how I sat down to listen to hers. That way, we learn. We learn great things. 

Puzzle Piano and Books

My own guide to complete a puzzle: 

  • Step 1: sort out pieces that build up the frame of the picture, especially the four corners. 
  • Step 2: sort out different colors: bright and dark, or other special details that can be easily recognized. 
  • Step 3: don’t be intimidated, and be patient

And by being patient with a little piece of puzzle every day, I learn how to apply those steps in bigger or more complicated situations in my academic and social life. 

How many of us are often so discouraged by our surrounding environment? We all know that factors like the weather, transportation, stress, or even friends, mentors might sometimes stop us from wanting to do our best. And it takes time for us to know that those are small challenges that test our ability to be persistent and stick to the plan. 

Puzzle is a way for me to feel better. As well as books. When I stop doing these things, there’s a voice in me saying, “You are not doing things as good as you used to!” And I believe that that is totally true. Without books, my words would become fragmented. Without puzzle, my nerve would dwell up and it stops myself from many more important things in life than just worrying. 

People say, “Oh these things are just not for me. I am not talented enough to learn it.” 

That’s nonsense. When I learned about Piaget, I partly agree with him because in my life I have been in touch with many kids from a wide range of ages, especially I have witnessed my sister’s life since she was a newborn. I know how their thinking develops after each stage of life, and they all seem to be consistent with what Piaget described in his theory. However, there is one thing I don’t really agree with him: human development continues even after the last stage – formal operations. 

We all learn and continuously learn and improve even when we stop going to school. And that is how we grow in personality and ability. 

Talent is not something that you are born with in your blood. You perceive it after a long while of trying and failing. I have to admit that failures suck, but without those moments of discouraging, I would never know what it means to have real happiness, or to have the real stories to tell others. 

When I recall my journals that I have been written for years, I realized the days when I could write good stories were the days I cried because someone hurt me, or because I made something wrong. It the days when sins were confessed, and that also meant I withdrew lessons from mistakes. 

I am not talented at playing piano. Even though I can play sonatas or many other long classic pieces, I still have to admit I am not talented.

Because the work I have done so far is the result of hard work. Really hard-work. 

I know how many hours a week I have to devote to piano in order to be better and better at it. I know how hard it will be for me to play a piece after a while without actually practicing. There is no such thing at being talented at playing instrument in me. But there is the one thing called patient. 

And that is exactly everything I would ever need.