Lasith (lasith) wrote,
Lasith
lasith

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It has been a while since I entered an essay contest...

But winning them is still as sweet...A little richer in pocket too for my efforts! That is
always sweet! Anyways...I am still coughing and hacking like a old man who smoked all his life...
The illlness does not respond to the prescription, tylenol cough or the Robutussen....Rory scored
me some Tussen! I hate the shit...LOL...I will use the cut today...Hehe...

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein




The World At My Doorstep

Lasith Witharana


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

Albert Einstein


I can only look back in awe and wonder of how some of the greatest international experiences I have had occurred without even leaving Edmonton. Not often you can say that you live with the world within your grasp. But living at International House at the University of Alberta has given me the opportunity to say that, both with pride and delight. Truly our motto, “The World Under One Roof” is apt. Every hello, every smile, every conversation is a journey to a new place, a different culture. I would never have imagined, back when I applied, that I-House would mean so much to me. I could have never anticipated that this new building, place of my first experience living in residence, would change the way I live, the person I am and, on top of it, give me a place I would lovingly call home.


It was September of 2004 when I first set eyes on International House. It was the 6th floor where I made a family of loyal, caring and, enlightening friends. From that moment on, there was nothing in me that burned as brightly as my curiosity. The things I learnt that September from my floor mates opened up my mind, my soul and my heart. I knew that Canada is a land of immigrants in essence, but I realized that there is nothing that shows our nation’s diversity and acceptance of others than the way we challenge the unknown. I learned the importance of tolerance in the most personal way. Now I know that it is this greatness what lets us take the beauty from our differences and make our young country evolve into a great one.


The experiences at I-House have been not only memorable, but fun. They have helped unify our community over time. From spokescouncil, where we discuss I-House issues and plan for the future, to our potlucks where we share meals from many lands together, to our parties and celebrations where smiles and laughter are the mainstay. When your home is a place of smiles and amusement, there is always a desire to come home. To hear about your friends’ travels, their studies, their experiences, their minds, their hearts, and souls, it has all been a awakening experience. And it only takes a joke, a smile to communicate with any person, from anywhere. It is a universal gesture of kindness, of joy in the company of others, which is the basis of any friendship from Singapore, to Saudi Arabia, to Sydney (British Columbia). In I-House I soon learned that a universal language of cooperation helps us cope with the challenges of living away from family. Family that is, for some, miles away but continents away for most.


We as Humans fear loneliness above many things because we are social creatures. Luckily the I-House community makes it difficult to be lonely. That is why when people leave us to return home, they leave with new friends, new ideas and fond memories. They leave more open, more loved, and wiser. Many days I have been at the airport seeing a friend off to some far away place with tears in our eyes and a hope of sharing time with them once again. Luckily for us, the world is getting smaller and our hopes are easily made reality through technology. This is part of the true magic of I-House: the friendships you make survive the test of time and distance. And for the luckiest ones, the love survives as well.


Would I have gone to a Catholic mass on Christmas in Calgary with a friend from New Brunswick, Singapore and Iran without I-House? The answer is obvious yet beautiful. That a Catholic, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist can all share an significant experience together in unity is just one more example of how nourishing to the spirit living in I-House can be. Unfortunately very few places in the world do such occurrences happen. Where else could such understanding and enlightening friendships be created but in this unique environment?


My Iranian friend, always waxing philosophical, asked us: “What is Beauty?” From what I’ve experienced in I-House, I have to say that to me, friendship is the epitome of beauty. It grows like a lotus flower: from the mud beneath the waters depth it reaches upwards towards the warmth of the Sun and shares its bloom and fragrance with anyone near it. I-House has allowed me to bloom as an individual and inspires me to spread the beauty of friendship. I really believe that by helping others we help ourselves and our world. In this sense, I-House contributes by fostering a microcosm, a “World Under One Roof”. Everyday you step on your doorstep is a day of happiness, a beautiful day, mysterious, and yet never ceasing to awe and wonder.




I hope you enjoyed it...Diana (Mariposa) and Hugh helped edit it and I owe them dinner...but I'm Rich Biaaaches!

Image hosting by Photobucket
Not that sleeping at your own conference is a total bad idea...but it is still a bad idea...I wonder
if I was snoring...


Artist: Shaye
Song: Beauty
Album:
[" " CD]

So you've come to this bridge
In an unfamiliar land
You know it's a bridge you are going to walk on
And the only thing you know is
Everything you know
Will do you no good from here on

And the day that you spin
From your little cocoon
Well, you can't be prepared
For the beauty you'll find there
And you will find beauty
In the toughest of places
And I will be thinking of you out there

So pick up your bags
Look around at your friends
And you know none of them
Would ever have enough strength
To cross the bridge and lose control
I never felt this bold
Never felt this good

And the day that you spin
From your little cocoon
Well, you can't be prepared
For the beauty you'll find there
And you will find beauty
In the toughest of places
And I will be thinking of you

Stay true to your nomad skies
Keep your eyes out for coyote
A thousand secrets are lost
In the archival dust
So lay your ears upon the tracks

One day you will come back
With wrinkled hands and grey hair
And there you will stand on the spot
And you'll marvel how the place is still the same
Though you are somebody else now
Fly on butterfly

And the day that you spin
From your little cocoon
Well, you can't be prepared
For the beauty you'll find there
And you will find beauty
In the toughest of places
And I will be thinking of you out there
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