Good Friday

The Minimalist’s Christ v2.0

Somehow I am always intrigued by the crucifix and I have done quite a few artwork around it.

With Good Friday here and Easter fast approaching, I thought about how I would like a custom made crucifix.

I can understand not everyone appreciate the type of art I am drawn to but I thought about a crucifix that showcases the significant parts – the crown of thorns, the nails in His palms and feet, as well as the hole on His side.

I wanted one that is in between symbolic and contemporary.

So I started with a sketch and I sculpted using clay. With some simple woodwork, it was done.

I have deliberately made it so that it is not His entire body. Somehow I kept it this way because there should be something left for imagination and interpretation.

Like any faith that one professes, very often it is about how values are instilled and lived through life. Christianity to me should be lived and not be a rigid set of rules and practices. It is a religion of the living God.

In essence, the visible parts showcased in this artwork to me are the groundwork, foundation, and seed of faith that has been sowed. The rest of it (the missing parts of His body) to me represents how we live our lives and how we carve the path of righteousness. These are the parts and spaces we need to discover and fill. Good or bad, it is no concern of anyone except ourselves as we are responsible for our own destiny.

Have a good and blessed Triduum and Easter to all observing and celebrating.

Conceptual Sketch
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Disruptions

“It’s funny when you’re dead how people start listenin'”

That is how the song “If I die young” by The Band Perry ended.

Have you ever realize that certain incidents and problems in your life keeps repeating until you have addressed them head on?

Once addressed, we found that these issues are opportunities for us to learn something new. We become stronger and have new abilities to move forward to solve problems of greater difficulties.

Like a computer subroutine used to repeat processes, we insert break points for any anomalies that may arise between and during its execution.

The word “disruption” seemed to be the latest buzz word. I guess disruption can be defined as how a significant event is able to change the course and direction of our lives.

It’s another year and another Palm Sunday. And again, we have the story of the Passion of Christ reiterated. And as we enter holy week, the gruesome, violent, and gorish journey of Jesus heading towards His crucifixion will be on repeat until its finale on Friday.

In the long reading today, the congregation is required to participate and take the role of the manipulated public in Jesus’ time. “Crucify Him” was one of the statements we were required to recite.

I for some reason did not participate in the recital because I live in 2018 and refuse to be part of the mob that killed Jesus.

With the benefit of hindsight, instead of “crucify him”, I want to shout out so badly – “Release Him!” , “Leave Him Alone!”, and probably a little of “Go F*** Yourself!”.

Histories are meant for us to learn from and we are stuck where we are because we have not learned and unable to move forward.

History is what happened today, remembered tomorrow. In other words, today is tomorrow’s history.

There is no story that is a disruption in world history greater than the crucifixion of Christ.

How often do we hear people say “we will make history today”?

If we have made so much histories that mattered through time, we could have written so many modern day bibles. There will probably be a chapter for Steve Jobs, Muhammad Ali, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, and the list goes on.

But there isn’t a modern day Bible.

We have not learned from this great history with Jesus at the center of its story. We have not learned that we will never ever be able to reproduce the divine however we try to be God.

Today we are still required to recite “crucify Him”.

Not unless we have learned the lesson of extreme and divine altruism of Jesus sacrificing His life for humanity, we will continue being amongst the crowd screaming “Crucify Him”.

We will only cross over to His side when we have learned and have been crucified – surrendering and dying selflessly for others.

Many have done that and most recently those brave souls that stood between the shooter and students in the Florida school shooting incident. That brought about a huge disruption in the community and paved the way for the #NeverAgain movement.

Perhaps this is why I have chosen to BELIEVE so that I can learn, be crucified, and hopefully become a disruption worthy of making history.

Until then, it remains “His story”.

Worth

If I were to tell the world of my ideals, I would first ask the question “What’s our worth today?” and follow that up with “What’s our worth tomorrow?”

We contribute to the world at many levels – as an individual, as a family unit, as part of our community, our nation, and the world at large.

We first invest in ourselves in terms of intellect, knowledge, basic needs, specialized skillsets, virtues, and values that help us grow as a person, an individual.

Next, with all the knowledge and skills we have acquired and equipped ourselves with, we use them to contribute in raising a functional family, bringing value to our communities through our jobs, paying taxes like all law abiding citizens, and hope against all hope that our little contributions will be able to make a difference in our nation.

When there is a breakdown along the way, we ask ourselves what could possibly be the root cause of the problem and we start to trace back to at least examine our lives at the individual level.

For some of us living in democratic countries, the general election could be in the horizon. It is a time of reflection and action to bring about a positive change to the current situation.

What’s our worth today?

In all of our ideals and expectations, we can be unreasonable. We want the world if it is possible. But taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, we might realize that we really have a lot of work to do moving forward.

Collectively as a nation of talented people, I have reasons to believe that we have the ability to bring the nation forward financially.

Unfortunately, most of us feel that we have been shortchanged because of how regressed we are as a nation.

We should be worth much more than this!

Education being the backbone for a progressive nation to move forward has been stunted in recent years. As law abiding and tax-paying citizen, I personally expect a tangible ROI (Return Of Investment). If it does not directly benefit me, I would at least expect to see future developments that will benefit the next generation.

Not only am I feeling ripped off, I believe my children’s future is very uncertain.

What’s our worth tomorrow?

If we are worth nothing today, can we expect anything less or more for the future?

We can always trace back and the bulk of our stress can be attributed to the fact that we are all doing more as individuals. We no longer place our faith in those beyond us. No point depending on others in making our lives better. We learned to depend on ourselves and ultimately, we become very selfish and self-centered because it’s every man for himself.

It is very similar with the faith we profess and practice. When it no longer works for us, we rather depend on our own strength. We shun away from the community because there is no point in having others when we are able to take care of ourselves.

We emphasize on self worth more than anything else. We no longer care if we are worth anything as a nation. Patriotism no longer exists because there is nothing in the way the nation is administered that will bring about a sense of belonging and worth.

Somehow, that has got to change and every general election is the only chance for us as individuals to come forward and as a collective strength in bringing about this change that we all so yearn to see and experience. At least if it is not for ourselves, it will be for our future generations.

Not voting is NOT an option. We must make our vote count!

We need to reflect on the number of years and the same group of people who have lead us to our worth today – which coincidentally is NOTHING!

We need to vote for those who will make us worth much more tomorrow!

So what’s your worth today and what will your worth be tomorrow?

The Meaning Of Life

I am not sure where this post will lead to so please be warned that this will sort of be a major “core dump” and the mother of all randomness.

Much have happened between the last quarter of 2017 and up to this point. I finally have the time to be alone to “release my mind”.

It was World Compliment Day two days ago on 1st March. The need for such a day deserves to be reflected upon. It makes me feel that the world is in so much need of love. That is because we no longer give credit where credit is due. We are very stingy with our compliments for others.

I am not sure about you but I feel that we are living in times when we are very quick to discard, judge, and “kill” while it takes much longer to heal.

We live with a lot of insecurities and distrust.

The world has never been noisier. It feels like there is so much distortions and interferences in the matrix. There is some sort of disquiet.

We have so much and yet we yearn for more.

Comfort entices us to be greedy and live above our means.

Often times, we slip and fall in our pursuits for short lived happiness.

The taste of luxury get us hooked and so we keep chasing after the “first high”.

But at the end, we realize that what we yearn for is not of material in nature. We need the connection with others – the relationships and friendships.

Then, there are those relationships that breaks down due to all sorts of reasons. We often forget that it takes two hands to clap and it is usually not fully the fault of one party.

Whatever situation that life puts us in, it really is up to ourselves to chart the course of our destinies. At the core of it all, we are to face life alone because everyone have their own demons, vices, and struggles to conquer.

To make things better, we are encouraged to dream BIG.

To take charge!

And to BELIEVE that nothing is impossible…

Perhaps life is just an illusion that we condition our minds to believe.

I guess the key to life is to stop depending on the need for external affirmations. We need not yearn for the compliments to tell ourselves of our self worth. We need to stop putting tangible measurements on ourselves because not everything is measurable and in numbers.

Can you really put a value to a life?