Archive for May 29, 2009

Grumbling, where does it get you?

fish for saleI admit it, in yesterday’s blog I was “grumbling” a bit. But who can complain for long when you see a little kiosk that sells fish as in this photo? My nearly two years spent in Kazakhstan have had their happy moments with my students, great friends, beautiful scenery and light-hearted yet sincere fellowship. We all need each other to cope with the oddities of living in a different culture than our own. I need to embrace the good times with the bad; I enjoy the challenges of living in cultures entirely foreign from my own. Kazakhstan certainly qualifies but living in Almaty is hardly Kazakh, it has so much of the Soviet flavor to it that I am dealing with more than one culture and all its complexities. As foreigners, we are all trying to unravel the mystery of this great nation. So, I suppose grumbling never gets you anywhere. However, this blog is my form of venting and I feel better once I share some of my frustrations with you, dear readers. The following is what C.S. Lewis wrote about “Grumbling” in The Great Divorce:

‘The whole difficulty of understanding Hell is that the thing to be understood is so nearly Nothing. But ye’ll have the experiences…It begins with a grumbling mood, and yourself still distinct from it: perhaps criticizing it. And yourself, in a dark hour, may will that mood, embrace it. Ye can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood, not even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself going on forever like a machine.”sunset in AlmatyParliment former

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