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Posted on August 1st, 2005

Alright. So I’m very temporarily breaking my oath of silence because of quite an awesome event. What follows is a segmented overanalysis of said event:


*Flash in the sky*

Did I just see lightning?
No, clearly not. The sky is pretty clear.

*Looks off into the distance and sees some clouds*

Maybe it will rain later on tonight…

*Flash in the sky*

Am I going crazy, or is that lightning?
Well, it is exam time, so you never know…

*Flash in the sky*

That one was red.

Then it hit me: Aurora Borealis.

I was surprised how easily mistaken I was, and so I pulled over to the side of the road (I was biking up Westmount after attempting to study at St. Paul’s) and soaked it in. While I watched in awe, thoughts started to drift into my head.

How often do I misperceive things? How often do I misperceive people? People have told me that I tend to be fairly perceptive, but I know that I have been wrong on many, many occasions. We all have. But have there been really important occasions that I have brushed off without really considering it? Hmm..

Worse yet, how often do I prejudge things and people? If I took the time to look at it (or them), then maybe I’ll see it (or them) for what it (or they) really is (or are). It’s pretty simple, sure, but how often do any of us really do this? Sometimes, seeing all of my shortcomings really makes me want to … swear or something. I don’t know. I guess the trick is to remain mindful of this so that, through awareness, I can not dismiss it and, one day, overcome it.

Once In A Lifetime

This was also the first time that I had witness Aurora Borealis. I had seen pictures of it and had heard of my friends’ accounts of it, but it took nearly twenty-one years to see it for myself. And I believed.

Heh.. bad Biblical reference.

Anyhow, I began to contemplate how many other extraordinary things I have yet to experience: a volcano eruption, skydiving, a U2 concert, true love. For some, I am fairly certain that it is just a matter of time; for example, I am going to be seeing U2 in September. For others, however, it is completely unknown to me. Especially that last one.

But then I thought of all of the extraordinary things that I have experienced (hey, I’m trying to stay on the positive side of things, remember?): Aurora Borealis, snowboarding, a Smashing Pumpkins concert, great friendships. And I realize how much I had taken these for granted. Some are alright to dismiss (as much as I do love snowboarding, I think my life would still have been in good order if I had never gone), whereas others are so precious. My heart really goes out to those who can’t even get their next meal, let alone have friends.

This tied in with one of my prayers at tonight’s prayer group; I prayed that there will be relief to the pain and suffering, but especially in third-world countries (while acknowledging that there is still a lot of hunger that afflicts places like Canada). I am committing myself to do something about it. I don’t know when this will happen, but I can’t just idly wish that things would work themselves out while isolating myself from the problems. People need to take ownership of this broken world.

There are so many opportunities that I pass up… either because I don’t recognize them, or because I don’t think that I’m ready to take them. But, undoubtably, some of these will not resurface and are lost forever. I need to start paying attention to these and really consider what they mean for me, before I really lose out. To quote Steve Jobs again:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ”


I forgot to mention that the Aurora Borealis was partially obscured by clouds. This is possibly why I had mistaken it for lightning at first. In fact, the “main” part of the phenomenon – the source of light – was obscured.

But it was still beautiful. It was like God was trying to speak to me, but I couldn’t see Him. And He was speaking silently. And that’s sort of what my faith is like: I can see little bits of absolutely incredible potential there but, as quickly as I see it, it fades away. It’s a giant cat and mouse game, except for the fact that I’m not a cat and God’s not a mouse.

But clouds disperse and move away. What was once hidden will be revealed in its fullness, so that this experience now will pale in comparison. I hope that the clouds that obscure my view of God will similarly disappear.

2 Responses to “Inspiration”

  1. ytsirk Says:

    i didn’t know it was possible to see Aurora Borealis this far south.. that is super cool.
    you really are very introspective.
    and i am glad that you wrote again… i enjoy reading your blog… i read yours way more often than jasmines.. lol…
    goodluck with exams… see you in less than a month!!

  2. Justin Says:

    Yeah it was pretty sweet. I remember thinking how awesome it is to not be in Toronto (where anything cool in the sky is obscured by thick, disgusting smog)! I was on the lookout for it tonight but, alas, the conditions were not fit for it.

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoy my mindless rants 🙂 I must say that I prefer ranting and raving about something rather than blabber about what I did today, but it’s pretty easy to be boring and do the latter. You’re pretty good at being non-boring on yours, though!

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