“I’ve never stood at a bus stop for so many hours before.”
“It’s like, why the bus never come?”…
We were along Commonwealth Avenue West yesterday, from 9.30 in the morning. There wasn’t anyone at the bus stop when we first started waiting; there was also no rain but lots of sun. We were early enough that a few people from Chinese media came up, and wanted to interview us and take photos. We declined; we’re hardly eloquent in English, much less in Mandarin, and even more tongue-tied to make sense of grief and thoughts in such a public way.
“Why they bother to keep interviewing people? People give the same reasons after a while what…”
“They need fresh footage. Cannot expect them to keep showing clips from Thursday when it’s already Sunday, right? People see already also sian.”
I apologised to the reporter, who looked miffed as she hurried away with the cameraman. But better that, than making the news for the wrong reasons. In any case, we were not there to be placed in the limelight, but to catch a final glimpse of great light that a once-in-a-lifetime-and-never-again man – Mr. Lee – carried in him.
It was also Palm Sunday – the day that so many years ago, the crowds lined the streets (not unlike us), and cheered Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. They didn’t realise what was going to happen next, or that it would be so different from the victory they expected. In the same way, as we all stood in the heavy rain, we don’t really know what is going to happen next – or the kind of victories that will come.
One coming. One going. Many witnessing.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Today, am walking through links and videos that I’ve read and seen over the past week. Collecting my thoughts and questions in a place in my journal, so that in the times ahead, they will be relief or reprimand, as the moments call upon them to come.
I think about, ask again, how I am designed.
What it means if it’s not celebrated heroics, but contented hiddenness.
I wonder again, about the inevitability of the winter season to come.
How to honour well, and go on gracefully?
I pray over again, unresolved issues in some relationships – and great consolation in others.
When all love and rivalry cease to have life, will there be more tears of regret, or streams of gratitude?
I ponder again, how Mr. Lee chose poverty in key areas of his life, and was the richer for it.
How he stayed in the Main. Gave his life for it. How he said Yes-s to what truly matters, and therefore wise No-s elsewhere to other things and people.
“He’s just dust now. Different, but same. If you put his dust next to the dust of others, we won’t be able to tell the difference.”
The greatest of us still has to go off, just like the least of us. The humbling we all need, and cannot get too much of. In our coming and going, let’s watch our step.