In English, as a child, I was taught that the two words above meant “awe” and “awesome” respectively (I am aware that DBP says otherwise, but bear with me here). These days, I feel the word awesome is kinda overused, at least among the net generation like myself. We use the word awesome to admire things that are really respectable and admirable, but they don’t often inspire awe. I don’t feel the word “awesome” has as much punch as the word “awe” does these days, and that is rather sad when “awesome” means so much more than just regular “awe.”

Kagum, and mengagumkan, on the other hand to me, still signifies that awe. It’s that moment of wonderment, that moment of discovery, that moment when you can feel, within your entire being, that the world stops and you simply bask in that awesomeness of the moment. It is that moment that takes your breath away, that moment when you learnt the joy of learning, the moment when you see the sun set and you think, “That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life” and that moment when you feel you have been swept off your feet and the world has simply stopped.

This is in a joyous kind of way, might I add. Kagym inspires a kind of joyful wonder that grows lesser the older we grow.

Kagum can be used in so many different ways too. As the root word, it can also carry the meaning “amazed” if used in the first person perspective.

“Saya kagum,” can mean “I’m amazed/impressed.” Mengagumkan, on the other hand, has just the meanings “Awesome” or “admired.”

“Dia mengagumkan” is “He/she is amazing.” There’s also “Saya mengagumkan dia,” which translates to “I admire him/her.”

Such a simple word that rolls off the tongue. Kagum is pronounced as “KA” as in car with a silent r, and “gun” with a more rolled off M? Not too sure how to describe it, but I’ve always loved the word “kagum” instead of “awesome.” It just… describes things better.

So the next time you see something that’s struck you with awe, try saying “mengagumkan” instead to them, especially if they know Malay. Tell me how it goes.

*poke poke*

Well, alive for now.

Today is kinda the first time in a long time I’ve been home earlier than 9 and thus I have enough time to actually write, but I’ve been procrastinating by playing games, watching Chinese serials on TV and trying to edit my novel that I don’t think I’ve gotten much done.

I have, however, reached a part in the novel I’m editing to look at it and say, “This does not feel right. Nothing in it does.”

I know what the scene is supposed to do. I know what it leads to. However, it feels very unnatural at this point in time. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I understand how the setting works. I understand why they meet in that particular kind of setting. However, it doesn’t paint the world richly enough.

Hmm… instead of clarifying the details, I should add more dialogue. There’s not enough observation in that scene. Or rather, I forgot how to look out of that character’s eyes. If I’m going to write that scene through her eyes, the first line needs to change.

I think it’s time to make the reader aware of that character from that character’s point of view, not from a third person limited point of view. Nope, not going into first person (I hate that kind of writing, it’s really difficult to get right for me), but I think I’ll need to modify her consciousness a bit.

BBL, playing with brain.

A general reading of myself

By’s Peace and Harmony reading.

Self Card: Six of Cards
Although a fond look at the past is pleasing and refreshing, your fulfilment lies in the future.

The card in the Self position touches on an aspect of how you perceive yourself right now, including how at peace you are with and within yourself.

The Six of Cups symbolizes nostalgia and its power, illustrating two sides of your nature. When you look back at the past, your emotions soften; you feel tender, open and sentimental. When you look to the future, you know your will must harden; you need to be more powerful, directing the flow rather than following.

In the past, you were younger and lighter. Issues were also less complex and confusing. You were not empowered in the way you are now, however. The present is full of fresh potential while the past is two-dimensional, a snapshot of times gone by. It’s fine to enjoy nostalgia and sentimentality, but when you have finished refreshing yourself in the waters of memory, come back to the present with energy for the future, where your scope is so much broader.

Verdict: Too true. And painful.

Situation Card: Four of Cups

The situation contains potential. You will need a strong, clear sense of direction in order to fulfill it.

The Situation position refers to the general set of influences that surround you and affect your personal experience of peace. We all have to deal with conflict and are affected by the process.

When the Four of Cups is in this position, your situation is filled with possibilities not yet activated. Vast potential is languishing, taking a nap in the sun as it were. Something exciting, focusing or catalytic is required to get things moving in the direction of fulfillment.

The situation is begging for direction or a new statement of purpose. This is both good and bad. On the upside, anything is possible; all the raw ingredients for success are in place. On the other side, without leadership and a clear goal, the results are likely to be unfocused and chaotic.

Look inside yourself to get a sense of whether you are the hand bringing in the fiery cup or whether you are the one witnessing an opportunity that is waiting to happen.

Verdict? Hmmm…

Challenges Card: The Lovers

Opposites can be brought into harmony.

The card in the Challenges/Opportunities position reflects how you can use creativity and skill to turn conflicts into harmonious understanding.

The Lovers challenge you to distill the best from seeming opposites and create a new mixture. Rather than thinking of them as opposing each other, consider these two elements as right and left hands.

Harmonize these opposites and you will heal a rift that will greatly expand your awareness. If you pit one side against the other, however, you will slide back into unconsciousness. Share whatever you learn from this experience.

Verdict? There is much potential here…

Be kind

The past few months have been quite a turmoil for me. I’ve been moving through moodswings like no one’s business, and I’ve not been feeling too well as a result. There’s been a lot of drama in my life than I’m used to, and quite a fair bit of politicking as well. I’ve done things I’m not proud of, and I’ve said nothing with my silence on other things.

So overall, I have a sad view of myself, and even more so, perhaps, I have a sad view of the human race. The amount of poisoning, backstabbing, sheer idiocy and simple maliciousness has gotten to the point that I really wonder if there is any hope for us in the future.

Then I read this. Go ahead. Click on the link. She does amazing work, for someone who’s just a girl on the Internet, but I think it says that a lot that she does take her own advice.

Because that Boggle strip is unbelievably kind. And it reinforces my faith in humanity. There are often so many of us, caught in our own business and priorities, that we forget what it’s like to be human. To treat each other with love and compassion. To respect ourselves and accord that same respect to others. To acknowledge another human being’s existence and presence.

To simply be kind.

Why I write

The reason writers must bare their souls on the page is because someone out there in the world desperately needs to hear our story.
- Cherrie Moraga, as quoted by Ollin Morales

Several years ago, I read this particular quote on Facebook, before it got big. And it struck a chord in me. It reminded me of the many times I have read other authors, other writers, and come away far richer than I had been before I read them.

Yet I could not often reply to these authors to thank them. Some I could, because they were still alive and had an email address I could write to. Others were long dead or intimidated me because they had achieved a greatness I could only dream of.

Yet for a very long time, I thought long and hard about the words I wrote. Not about the actual words I wrote, but the reasons for writing. Why spend hours writing when I could be busy gaming, listening to music, checking out Facebook, Twitter and Google+, or even just reading other author’s words?

The answer came back to me as I was looking back on one of my older entries with a reference from another friend.

The words I needed to hear were my own. They are my immortalised dreams, a point of reference to look back on. They remind me of the spirit I had, of the promises I made to myself, of the grandiose statements I made.

Statements which I see, for now, are ashes.

Ashes, however, often hide ember. And ember can be stirred to create new fires. The trick is to get some flammable stuff to catch the fire first, then build it into a long-burning passion.

That starts now. *blows dust from journal*

Hi everyone.

Random Quote

A peculiar witch dashes into the outlook.

Now that brings up some interesting story ideas.

[Geekiness] A tech boutique

I was reading a tech article today about Apple and the writer commented that Steve Jobs had taken Apple from a tech boutique to what is essentially the biggest gadget company today.

It took me several hours later to realise that on the surface, Apple is basically the Louis Vuitton of the tech industry. They’re expensive, a status symbol and horrendously, to all perceptions, exclusive. Yet they are also very well-made and have the distinction of being different enough to be a household brand name.

After all, you can always tell a LV bag from a distance, and until the Samsung Galaxy series, an iPhone too. A luxury brand indeed.

Burning books

One of the things you learn in NLP or Neuro-Semantics now is how to take control of your mental frames and thoughts. Frames are what enable us to move throughout the world and to make sense of what’s happening, aka your state of mind.

You know how some people seem to be able to accept everything that happens to them with an open heart and mind? It comes with having a frame of mind that’s open and respectful of whatever’s happening around that person. A beautiful frame, right?

One of the newsletters I get in my email is the Neurons reflections by Michael Hall. I usually give them a skip because I don’t have the time to read them (it almost always seems to come in when I’m too tired to think or at work), but today’s one made me stop and think.

Today’s newsletter was about the burning of the Quran in Afghanistan. Based on what I read, basically the soldiers there were stupid enough had burnt some Quran, and there were now riots in Afghanistan because of that.

Michael Hall’s conclusion was that the issue laid in the intolerance frame people had. Basically it is the frame that believes your own understanding of reality is absolute, and anything that contradicts or threatens that is something to be destroyed. His exact words were:

The cause is the kind of thinking and mental framing that sees something one does not like, approve, and believe in as something that gives me the right to violently hurt and punish another person.

Note: Me in this case refers to the hypothetical belief of the person and not Michael Hall himself.

What is missing from such a frame is usually the element of respect. It is the problem of forcing others to conform to our beliefs instead of respecting them. In that respect, it sounds a lot like a laissez-faire view; let others believe what they want to believe until it steps on others.

Which I think, is the right way to view things. And perhaps the best way to handle religion. Let a person do what they want to do unless it harms themselves or others. For me, the easiest and biggest indicator of harm is physical harm done to a person. That’s the point you step in to offer help and if necessary, intervene.

There are a few other points that are just as contentious, but I’ll stop for now cause the battery on Rydeen is running just *that* bit low.:P

[Project 366] Riding the Dragon

Image of an altar hanging outside a second floor window somewhere in KL

There is something to be said for the spiritual. I’ve always been fascinated by it. I cannot see, nor touch, the spiritual world, but they exist. I find it appealing to think that there is a world beyond me that lives side by side what I do. It is that belief that there are some things that cannot be explained and understood.

Something magical, I suppose.

Magic has always fascinated me. It is, I suppose, the main reason why I find myself enamoured of watching magic shows and listening to stories of magic. However, I draw the line at actually demystifying it. There’s a certain part that’s lost when the magic is explained, the curtain is pulled back, and you see how it happens.

I suppose it is one of the reasons why I make such a good companion for my mother when it comes to Feng Shui stuff. There is the magical, of learning about energy and controlling the flow of it. There is the mundane, of learning how to harness it for your own purposes, and there is the fascination with what Fate has spoken about you when you decipher the meaning of the time you were born.

The last though, is the most wonderful of all. I am of the view that Fate, or whoever arranged the time and date of our birth possibly did it to give the individual the best possible start to their life, but you can never know what a person is thinking about. Yet reading a person’s birth chart gives you only the barest information about them; enough, perhaps, to encourage the reader to learn more about the person. So you’d have to actually talk to the person in question to learn more about them.

That’s perhaps the most important magic of all.

PS: Yes, I spent this Sunday at a Feng Shui talk. This time it was Joey Yap’s.