I was walking home two days ago and I noticed the Masjid on Kemang Jalan Barat. I snapped a photo. Here it is.
I must be really tired.
This is a Catholic church that is in Jakarta, directly across the street from the Masjid Istiqlal (the mosque from my photo a few days ago). Before moving here, I was given the impression that there was tension between Islam and Christianity in Jakarta, but I’ve not found that yet. There seems, from the people with whom I’ve spoken, to be a mutual respect.
Also, is it just me, or is the ceiling a little tribute to Darth Vader? I am a huge fan of all things Star Wars, and sometimes I think I see Star Wars everywhere, but the ceiling really does look a little Vader-ish, right?
Electricity is power. Without it, we’d have no lights, televisions, movies, lcd projectors, cameras, computers, internet, cell phones, iPods, cars…um…the list goes on in a long, long mile.
(Please feel free to send me comments about how things like these can run in some manual, un-powered way. I know. My Pentax K1000 is completely manual, but still relies on a battery for the light meter and a whole crap-load of power to convert the film into photos, as an example.)
Religion, however, has started wars and brought peace. It has ended lives by transporting the dying into another realm, while started lives through dedications and christenings. It has started and ended civilizations. It has inspired creation and destruction.
I know which one I think is more powerful. What about you?
…and I’ll show you some cool old buildings.
Actually, I’ve never found a cool way to shoot the insides of these kind of buildings, but the outsides are always so nice.
What I particularly liked about this one was the sign hanging over the Community Center door. You can only see the tail end of the banner, but here’s what it said: “God invented Chocolate – and other potential myths.” I thought that was particularly funny.
To be truthful, I liked the juxtaposition between the old church building and the new condominium building to its right. That’s why I shot this.
…makes you a believer as much as standing in your garage makes you a car.
This analogy works for a lot of buildings – going to school makes you a students as much as…going in to work makes you a worker as much as…working in a school makes you a teacher as much as…
But the appeal in this analogy to me is that who you are is a choice, not a geographical position. I think a great number of people I know believe that being in a place makes you something related to the place. This is not true. Not that being in a certain place is not inspirational, but there is a long way from inspiration to change.
I might as well get it over with. Here, above, is my new tattoo. I was inked this afternoon. Let me tell you how fun it was.
1. I have a fairly large tattoo on my right shoulder. It is of a “voided” cross and celtic trinity. It was irritating, but not painful. My forearm, on the other hand (pun intended) was wince-inducing. Actually, I was distracted to silence and tattoo bed squeezing by the pain at least a couple of times. I’ll remember that for another day.
2. I had a fully religious conversation with Miranda, the tattoo artist. She grew up in a fully atheist house, whereas I grew up in a Christian home. She had questions, so we chatted. When I wasn’t gobsmacked by the twinges in my forearm, that is.
3. The text is from a poem by Emily Dickinson. The first line is: “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.” It is one of my favorite lines by my favorite poet. It also sums up how I feel about my existence. If I can make a difference in one person’s life for the better, I shall not live in vain. It is also a good reminder for me, approval oriented as I am, that doing things for others is its own reward and that vanity projects are useless and often don’t accomplish the stroke to the ego that they’re intended to accomplish.
4. There is some twinging of nerve endings in my arm right now as I right this. Ouch. It feels like I was burned. This was non sequitur.
5. I love it. All of the minor and temporary pain is nothing in comparison to the happiness I currently feel about this little project on my left forearm. In fact, I think I liked the pain. Pain is good. It reminds me that I’m still alive.
There you go.
P.S. Mom and Dad – I hope you like it. If not, I can’t wash it off anyway.