Friday, April 18, 2014

A SMALL BIRD WITH A BIG VOICE





It wasn't the usual perky chirping of birds outside my window this time of the morning. This particular chirp seemed big that it would make you think it could only come from a bigger bird. So I peeked out the window to see and lo!! -- there it was atop the telephone cable just close to my solitary mast tree outside the patio. Brown, yellow breast, a long tail and small .... and it sang one more chirpy strain before it flitted away farther to the top of the trees. It made such a delightful sound I wished that it had stayed longer with his song.

Great things can come from small packages.

If we would only pay close attention we will see just how much grand the day can be as it's filled with plenty of wonderful things from tiny unexpected sources. And these create so much joy and beauty far more than your mind or heart can hold.

Have you noticed that we are bit by bit losing that special ability to appreciate the small, inexpensive, taken for granted stuff of our mundane existence?  We are pushed by media (mostly) to look for the greater and grander expressions of happiness, wealth, experience, novelty, excitement, thrill.... etc. Nothing wrong with that (it has its uses too) but those are not the only things which life is made of. In fact, life is made of.......

-- the sunrise flowing from a tiny glow at early dawn
-- a bud which opens to a lovely flower in full bloom
-- the kindness of a man looking to be in his eighties who stepped-in and halted traffic to allow us to cross the busy street with such a pleasant smile on his wrinkled face! This happened yesterday during our Visita Iglesia.
-- the happiness shown on the face of a little boy when his mother bought him a stick of kamote-Q (fried sweet potatoes on a stick)
-- the blessing of being able to find a parking slot every time in all the seven crowded churches we visited. Daniel called it Carlo's 'agimat'.
-- the fun of coasting down a very steep driveway of a building park with Christine having her hands up in the air -- wheeeee! -- like it was a roller-coaster ride! Yeah, this was a bunch of nutty NUTS alright!

--  and there can be so much more! Even so much more!

Small stuff -- BIG JOY! Just like that tiny bird with a big chirpy voice. This perhaps is the message God wants us to learn and understand..... we are just specks in the whole universe.... small tiny minute dots .... but we are not insignificant to and in His eyes. We matter.

May the blessings, both big and small, of the Lenten season bring so much joy in your hearts and lives. God bless you all.




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS REMEMBER



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A friend rang me up on the phone this morning. Now why is it that when you don't need it.... it comes! I meant a call coming in when you needed to be somewhere else. To make a long story short, she just wanted to pour out her heart over such a boring day -- hers not mine, of course. I looked over at the wall clock and saw that time was running quickly out. So I hurriedly rummaged through the blog for something (luckily I was online but was about to log out when she called) which I wanted to say to her. So, I told her to stay put and wait for a post. An old one yet one which I think would fit the moment to a T!

Here goes.... I hope you're reading this. :-) Big hugs to you!

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 ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS REMEMBER

How easy to think that life is drained dry of joy when feeling down in the dump. I’ve had those days. It never really goes no matter how you will it to. It keeps coming back to you like a bad dream or an irritating glitz on the face. Bad days are here to stay. I guess it’s there to put some balance in our life like telling us that life can’t be all nice and sunny every time. We can’t have it all as a familiar song goes.

So then what‘s to do? Walk around with gloom on our faces? Sulk and mope in our room? Drag people down to join us in our misery? Blame everyone and everything for how you feel or for what’s happening to you? Be angry? Isn’t that just how people behave when confronted with a bad day? I do.

I had a bad day today. Nothing worked today. Nothing I ever did got me the results I wanted or expected. So I was flustered and upset by it all. I got irked and disillusioned on how the day was turning out to be. It could be better but it just wasn’t. This day is hopelessly gone as far as I‘m concerned.

BUT is it really gone? I tell myself although it’s so easy to give up and let the bad day have its way, but must I simply give up and just label everything today as ‘Spoiled’ ? Maybe -- just maybe there is a way to tip the scale over to my side and perhaps save the day. So then what??

At that point, there was a knock on my office door and Glenda walked in wearing a huge smile. “It’s Timmy Boy’s first birthday and I’m giving him a party this Saturday. Glad if you could come”, she said. Fascinated by her smile so without a second thought I agreed.

What a remarkable smile!!! ------ a smile one sees at birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, debuts, weddings, graduations ---- such joyous moments of joy, fun, and laughter. I remember those occasions very well and how it filled the hearts with warmth and love all around. I remember enjoying the little one blowing out her first birthday candle on the Snoopy-designed cake;   the shy smile of a blushing debutante on her first dance with her father;   the radiant lovely face of the gushing bride;   I remember being so thrilled on my daughter's graduation day as I watched her walk onstage diploma in hand ------- the wonderful delightful times of my life. I remember them all now.

That’s how my day finally ended -- with lovely precious memories. Already long gone yes but its sparkle undimmed and undiminished even through the years. Remembering brings back to life those precious lovely moments --- feel-good-moments. Golden memories --- golden joys to last a life time. Truth is they never were gone; they were always there in the heart. All that was needed was to remember.

All you need to do is remember. Gosh, thank God for beautiful memories.

posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2005
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Hugs, everybody! And blessings!

Monday, April 14, 2014

WHAT'S ON MY MIND TODAY



 'So what's on your mind'?

Today it is this.....................

"Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up."  --- Pearl Buck (1892 - 1973)

It’s not every time that I want company, or listen to the noise of endless banter, or watch the chaotic human parade of other people’s lives. Sometimes that can be kind of vexing to the mind, wearying to the heart, and tiring to the soul. At times create some confusion and troubling vibrations turning my tiny world upside down. It’s startling how all these can touch my tiny corner of the world and leave it so drained.

Sometimes I simply want to be alone. To be there in that moment of just being ..... feel the soft breeze on my face – feel the warmth of the sun on my skin –  hear birds chirping on tree tops – feel the waters under my feet on the shore – touch the rough jagged bark of a tree – watch the sun go down on the horizon – let rain touch my skin – write my dreams on clouds of flight – To be still ....

Sometimes I simply want to be that little child again sat on God’s divine knees –  and tell him about a lot of things...... how Peter and Jane have hurt me – to ask him to make Billy the Bully a good boy so that he won’t bother me again when I walk by his house – to tell my mom and dad to please know why I cry when they leave for the office – to tell him how bad I feel because Santa Claus didn’t give me a Barbie Doll for Christmas – to ask him to make grandpa well again so that we could play – to thank him for letting Mom cook my favorite spaghetti with huge meatballs every Saturday YUMMY!  It felt good telling.

Sometimes I simply want to be with my thoughts – thinking of the past and the things it has left me with – thinking of the present and how it’s forming my tomorrows – wondering what my tomorrows will be like or when I will be finally gone.

Sometimes I simply want to be  – seeing my flaws, mistakes, imperfections – seeing how fragile and vulnerable I truly am – looking at my limitations, my borders, my walls – and yet understanding that I too have my own strengths, potential, and the power to dream. That everything there, good or bad, has shaped who I am. That all that was, is, and will be is the story of my life.

Then I know where I stand. Connected with self, connected with the world, connected with my God.

“Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.” -Pearl Buck  (1892 – 1973)

Alone Time is a sacred place; make yours matter every time.
Have a lovely day, friends!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

EVEN IN DIVERSITY BEAUTY CAN RESIDE


A good friend of many years was ranting on the phone apparently pissed off by another friend’s behavior.  She sounded hurt and angry.  But to know what to say to her I had to get to the bottom of it first, I had to ask why. Well, if she called me then she would be willing to tell that much, right? And so I asked.

The gist of the problem was that the other friend didn’t respond positively to my friend’s dilemma as the latter expected her to. To cut a long story short, the matter wasn’t thoroughly resolved as I had found out later as emotions were still running high on the emotional chart but at least she left our chat with a few things which perhaps and I hope would help shed some enlightenment.

That can be quite a problem to many of us. We each deal with the world and with life through our own eyes, understanding, and perception. We heap on a lot of expectations on a lot of things. That’s the human way as we’re often told. We see the world and people as we are and not through somebody else’s eyes. Now that means there are millions of 'as we are' out there colliding in this same world we all share. But diversity in our world is an interesting and wonderful thing as it lends color to our existence. Imagine without it how boring life can be.

Yet that can also create a problem or two when it runs against individuals who are typically diverse in character and personality to each other and unexpectedly find themselves in a situation one day. Like my friend had just experienced.

All around us every day we see a continuing exchange or interplay of everything that is human interaction..... such as diverse situations, personalities, experiences, events, dealings, connections, relations, associations and even so much more. We get so involved in it. It can be quite overwhelming sometimes and can drain the senses down to low... very low. Thus our coping engine will and would sputter or gasp maybe even breakdown. But as human flaw would dictate it we would lash out in the only way we know how.... our emotions. I know because I do. And experience shows that in most cases it’s an easy formula to fail.

And so I have learned that life is not always about me. Nope, it’s not about you either. It’s about us - everybody...  trying to live this life the best way we can individually and collectively by truly learning to understand each other....you have your own mind, beliefs, preferences, and conditioning as I have mine, too. All is valid. Peace as we embrace our differences. Even in diversity beauty can reside, by God's design.

Here's something I saw online..... to quote


"If you feel hurt, angry or upset at the actions of others,
realize that every individual is acting 
according to his own mind,
with its prejudices, beliefs and conditioning. Each person
would have acted that way even if it were someone else
instead of you.  Thus, do not take their actions personally."

Unquote.

Have a pleasant and blessed weekend, everyone. God bless you all.




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EVERYBODY IS A STORY






Friends say that I don’t talk much in a group the opposite of what I do with my pen. They are correct... I don’t. Because I would rather listen... observe... understand... learn. After all if you would listen to them talking they might as well be saying your same thoughts on a chosen subject. The diversity of the group assures me that at least one would mirror my own perceptions or insight. So I need not eat up space which they would gladly take over anyway.

You’ll always find a match, your match, with someone out there... someone who would share your thoughts though maybe not exactly but differently in a most interesting way. I like that because it affords me to look at the same old things in a new way which I may not have explored on my own.

Interestingly everybody is a story. The questions of who-what-when-where-why-how unfold and are played with exact preciseness as in a stage or screen play. One paying attention would know how it begins, continues, and finally ends. If things go wrong somewhere in the story you simply go back to the WWWWWH questions and pluck out the right question that could possibly lead to the right answer. 

And I have learned that paying attention to a person is acknowledging that person’s right to life and everything which life creates tailored to his uniqueness. Ignoring a person is something like pushing that person back to nothingness, like pushing him back to a void which has this unnerving knack of making him want to blend with it and finally he convinced disappears into it.

Nobody is boring, maybe bland, straight, worn and weary, unhappy, sad, lonely, frustrated, disappointed, broken-hearted, fearful, confused, quietly miserable; too the opposite positive side of that spectrum and perhaps even so much more unpleasant things one may not even want to know. But that is just the stuff stories are made of. And listening to their stories tells you one great thing ....... People, we are all the same basically where it matters most --- Being human.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

WHAT JOY IS MADE OF





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I heard a bird chirping outside my window. In fact, I heard many as if joined in concert at this early time of day. But this one sang beautifully a melody all its own. I sat still in my chair trying not to miss a single note. It blew my heart away I didn’t dare to breathe nor move, then images began to form of ------ flowing streams, rivers, seas, and waterfalls, of glistening water gurgling merrily down its way....... of gentle breeze swirling down hills and meadows of green and gold....... of infinite blue skies heedless of walls and borders....... of placid clouds softly gliding through the wide blue space...... of a smiling sun hugging all of life with its warmth....... of cool gentle waves hugging the sandy shores....... of tall graceful trees swaying in the wind...... of hills, valleys, ridges, cliffs, and mountain tops........ and of a girl quietly sitting by the window enthralled by a bird’s morning song and the pleasant magnificent memories nudged to life by it.

What joy is made of!

And oh by the way, have a pleasant weekend, friends! Blessings to you all.



(Thanks to the internet for these beautiful images.)


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

EVERYBODY HAS HIS OR HER STORY

(To better read the text in this poster,  click your mouse on the picture. It should take you to a better view.)



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Was talking with a good friend on the phone. It's a fine mid-morning to enjoy a nice chat with friends. Although hot I thought to stay awhile before heading back to my room where it's much cooler. Our conversation covered a wide range of random subjects which always amazes me about my friend. It's like driving down the highway with high speed and changing lanes or shifting gears without warning. (You can see many of those plying the Antipolo route.) That, as we know, is a disaster in waiting. But in a conversation there's not much damage done to it except that more often than not some subjects are left hanging in mid-air. But she manages to make me smile lots. Smiles make my day, as you all already know.

And always she makes me think........

This time she tells of several experiences which dotted her week. A good mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly as I gathered from her story. We all know that it's the normal run of things in our lives. We come face to face with the good and in another moment with the bad and then sometimes everything in one big heap. That's how it works... shifting, interchanging, colliding .... all with the intent to perk up what would perhaps be a boring uneventful existence. We must teach ourselves to see it that way or we'd go crazy. Well, maybe or maybe not ... that would all depend on the attitude we bring into it.

Not surprisingly I have been through those same experiences, too. Connecting or reacting to the same events, things, or people. But this I will say, her take-away from her set of experiences were so much different from my own take-away off similar experiences.

A person which I thought was utterly charming, she thought rude. An event which I thought a good learning opportunity, she thought mediocre. An object which I saw as a good piece of craftsmanship, she thought quite useless.

Did those times make me angry or disappointed with her? Not really. I remember now these lines from a book I had read that.... to quote

'Nobody experiences something or someone or someplace the same way. Everybody has his or her story.'  

Thus it's not just the story .....because all life stories are basically the same -- joy, sadness, fear, conflict, struggle, disappointment, betrayal, victory, anguish, anger (and so much more)  ....but what you (or we) put into it is what makes it yours... uniquely different, interesting though maybe unpopular or controversial but still makes for a worthy telling and listening to. Because it is YOUR story.

So the chat went well, to make a long story short. And as predicted she gave me my ration of smiles for the morning. Now back I'm going to my room as the heat is getting intense by the hour here.

Good morning, everyone, and enjoy the blessings of your day. Blessings too comprise the stories that we tell and share. Let's count blessings!