A message from a first-time voter

Originally published on Groundviews.



Two choices, by schelly

In 2005, I didn’t vote. Being 21, I was eligible to vote, but I didn’t – and if you asked me why, I would ashamedly admit I simply didn’t care. I was in University abroad, my mind preoccupied with the Arts, my arms wrapped around my glossy new textbooks, my life an adventure waiting to happen. Voting, politics and presidents didn’t register on my radar: the picture they represented was too big for me to fathom and it all seemed so removed from the microcosm of my life. In 2005, my parents were the presidents of my world and I the rebellious citizen, rioting for my right to certain freedoms.

After my university career, I moved back home and joined a media institution – just in time to get a front row seat to some of the most significant events in Sri Lanka’s history. 2 years and the end of a war later, I find both myself and my country in turmoil. Strange, considering we are supposed to be at peace now. But then again, we are supposed to be many things. We are supposed to be a democracy. We are supposed to be opposed to violence because violence is the way of terrorists – and we are supposed to have defeated terrorism. We are supposed to be a liberated people, with freedom of movement, expression and choice.

But it is election time now and what, of all those things, do we have? Continue reading “A message from a first-time voter”

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Peace.

Written some time this year…

Mr. Moon, by Purtsi


I stand out on a pier which stretches out from the garden of a house I will probably never return to and look out onto a lake.

The rains have begun – it poured in fits and starts the entire trip here, like a sputtering shower. Above me, the clouds keep their tears at bay for now but they are flushed and angry and I know there will be a downpour soon. Not the best weather for the beach, but for some reason, I prefer it this way.

The lake laps up between the concrete slats of the pier, licking my sandy toes and inviting me in. It is hot, humid and I long to slip into the inky water and wash off the sweat of the day, but I don’t. The lake has always made me nervous. I feel as if it is hiding secrets from me that it will never tell. Still, it flirts and I flirt back, bending down to graze its surface with my fingers. The water heaves underneath my touch, responding. Continue reading “Peace.”

Churches

Praying_to_the_light_by_SilvieTepes

Praying to the light, by Silvie Tepes

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Church today, after a long, long time. After the past tumultuous few months, I honestly didn’t know how I would feel to walk in there again but sitting on the well-worn pews, flanked by my mother and grandmother, I suddenly felt calm and happy. There we were, 3 generations of mother and daughter, sitting together but alone with our own thoughts and it all suddenly just made me feel at home.

Religion was never something I spent a lot of time thinking about – not because I didn’t think it mattered, but because it was something that was simple to me: I believed. That was it, that was enough. I didn’t have a philosophy about it, I certainly didn’t pray endlessly but I didn’t feel bad for it either.

I think of religion as a quiet, private thing, which is why I find the more charismatic kind of church-going experience very disconcerting, although I daresay it works for some, and that’s ok. It just doesn’t feel right to me personally. I think that’s why I related to TMS’s post about TV evangelists. I don’t enjoy being preached at, but I like the idea of being guided. Continue reading “Churches”