Kaleidoscope/The Guest House

I’ve been a Coldplay fan since my undergrad days, and this evening I’ve been listening to their newest album and getting some UX design work done. [It’s interesting that I was struggling with a particularly knotty problem and getting frustrated, but as soon as I put in earphones and started listening, I solved the problem. Heh. Anyway.]

My first favourite song on the album was Adventure of a Lifetime when I listened in December, but now it’s Hymn for the Weekend, followed very closely by Fun. Those are all nice, upbeat songs, but Kaleidoscope caught my attention this evening. It’s pretty much a voice reading some words to a poem by Rumi (a 13th century Persian poet), and a sampling of Barack Obama singing ‘Amazing Grace’ at the end, but today’s listen made me go look for the original poem. Now I want to frame the words and hang on my wall, but which version?

Here’s Coldplay’s version:

Kaleidoscope

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all!
Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent as a guide

I like that it’s short and simple, and it appears to be a more eloquent version of “everything happens for a reason” [but does it? Does it really? I’ve never been one to be grateful for ALL my struggles, because I’m yet to see the point in any of the things I’ve suffered through. If I’m grateful for anything, it’s for the fact that my struggles so far have been relatively mild e.g. I haven’t lost a family member or limb].

And here’s Rumi’s version:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi’s original poem goes deeper in the exhortation to accept the good and bad with equal enthusiasm, but as a Nigerian who was brought up pentecostal and has been taught to reject and pray against the possibility of shame and sorrow, I don’t know. I mean, I see the point, and I hope that when I’m faced with unpalatable circumstances, I can carry on gracefully (while frantically praying for relief, because how can I not?) But, based on my upbringing, I somehow feel that if I resolve today to meet any future uninvited guests [of sorrow and shame] at the door with a smile, then I’m inviting them into my life sooner than I’d like.

I’m framing Coldplay’s version then. And countering the arrival of shame and sorrow by telling myself positive things everyday -_-

Today is Carnaval/Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday/Laiskiainen, and I miss Terneuzen and the friends I made there. I remember going to a tiny Belgian village one weekend around this period in 2014, for the end of Carnaval. It was SO colorful and fun, and everything. I miss Finland today too, for the sledging.

I made wonderful pancakes earlier this evening and scarfed them along with creamy custard, while watching Along Came A Spider. Pancakes partly to remember my friends and colleagues in Terneuzen [we used to make lots of crepes and sit around watching TV and chatting shit], and partly because Shrove Tuesday is pancake day. I stuffed my face so much, I couldn’t move for like 30 minutes after. Je ne regrette rien.

Still on the topic, what are you giving up for Lent? This year, I’m working on giving up anger, and perhaps this public declaration will serve as an invitation to annoying situations, but I’m hoping that by the end of Easter, I’d be used to dealing with things without getting angry all the time. Here’s to handling things with grace and a smile.

Doei 🙂

Pirates of the Baltic Sea 1

First of all, Happy Easter, my lovelies! Enjoy

At some point I thought it might be nice to visit Stockholm, and there was this dude who said he was gonna organize a trip to Stockholm and Uppsala, but he needed 52 students to sign up. I signed up, but then he cancelled it at the last minute. There was this better, bigger trip to Stockholm, organized by the ESN, called Pirates of the Baltic Sea. I didn’t sign up at 1st because I thought the other trip would give me more value for my money, but anyway, since it got cancelled, I joined this one. There were supposed to be about 1500 students from all over Finland, so it already sounded like a drunken blowout before the get-go. Another thing, none of my friends were going to be on this trip, so it was scary for me, because I like having a ‘safety net’ in form of friends when I’m travelling. I mean, I might not even speak to them or dance with them or anything during the trip, but I just like knowing that they’re there, you know?

The day before this trip, the bastard thing better known as a ‘cold’ decided to show up. Extremely annoying, because my colds almost never start without inflicting me with a sore throat for 24 hours. I mean, I haven’t had a cold since I came to Finland, this was not quite the perfect time for one to develop. Well, it was a Tuesday, and I had a Finnish class 12.00-14.00, was supposed to have a French class from 16.00-18.00, and I went home to rest a bit before said French class. When it was time to go for the class however, I can’t explain what happened or how, but something snapped in me, and I decided I won’t be attending this French class ever again. Before you think I’m unserious, let me just point out that I have completed all the credit units I need to graduate in Finland, I’m just taking a couple of extra classes because I’m jobless and things, not because I necessarily need them for anything. Now, let’s move on. So instead of going for this class, I went with my friend to get wings and fries and antihistamines for my cold, and then we saw a couple of movies. Better way to spend an evening if you ask me 😐

The next day, I woke up at my usual time and did a bit of laundry, cleaned my room, and packed my bags. I was previously contemplating whether or not to attend the class I was supposed to have from 10.00-12.00, but then my bus to Helsinki was supposed to leave at 11.00, so it might have been futile to only attend a class for 15-30 minutes. Anyway, so I went straight to the place all Turku students were supposed to assemble, the church. There are many churches in Turku, I’m sure, but whenever someone says ‘the church’, there’s only one thing that comes to people’s minds, it’s the oldest church in Turku (I think). I may include a picture later. Yeah so I got there early enough for them not to leave me behind, and I found an empty seat beside a German dude who turned out to be an interesting conversationalist, so my trip to Helsinki wasn’t boring at all. Since I didn’t know anyone, I had carried my e-reader, so I could read the 2nd book of the Hunger Games, but turns out I didn’t need it. This was going well so far.

(If I don’t get lazy,) To be continued…

PS: Game of Thrones Season 03 starts today! Whoop! I shall proceed to be giddy with excitement for the next 10 weeks, after which the season will end, but then it will already be summer, so there’ll be loads of nice things to keep me excited, yay! 😀