Posted in Daily, poetry, Reflections

Raking the Thoughts

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honey-sweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” Rainer Maria Rilke

With the leaves of autumn and its winds brushing by, it brings to mind of the years that have passed by. While looking down the memory lane, one often recalls the dreams and hopes of childhood and what we had dreamt of the big world out there. Many of us had our own visions and dreams of what we would want to be as we grow up. Yet life has its’ own funny twists and turns. Some of us have stuck to the plans of high school, others have modified it while few have shoved them under the carpet of what they then believed was something better. While some of us have carved our own niche in the today’s world, the rest of us are still journeying enjoying life’s moments as they come. The final crux of living is to be happy.

Yet among all this, there are few of us who have had cherished desires and hopes of doing what we love. Some of us have taken those aspirations as hobby or hobbies, while the rest haven’t yet found the time to do so. Even worse, there are other who are stuck in the rut or chaos, too hassled to find time of their own. Amidst all this, what we have to realize that no one is going to give us a push or shove all the time. Sometimes we have to buck up ourselves and secure our dreams by moving in their direction, not by standing still. For time will go on its’ merry way and there is only one life. If we don’t try to find our dream, no one will ever do it for us. Instead of storing up the regrets, spend that time doing a little of your own everyday no matter how small it may be. For no matter how busy the harbour is, there is always activity in the waters but we never find it by rooting ourselves at the shore.

Follow Your Dreams

If while pursuing distant dreams
Your brightest hopes turn to gray.
Don’t wait for reassuring words
Or hands to lead the way.

For seldom will you find a soul
With dreams the same as yours.
Not often will another help you
Pass through untried doors.

If inner forces urge you
To take a course unknown,
Be ready to go all the way,
Yes, all the way alone.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t
Draw lessons from the best;
Just don’t depend on lauding words
To spur you on your quest.

Find confidence within your heart
And let it be your guide.
Strive ever harder toward your dreams
And they won’t be denied.

-Bruce B. Wilmer

Posted in Daily, Food, poetry, Quotes

Art of Tisane

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” -Lin Yutang

One of the concoctions of the millennial which is slowly catching up is the herbal tea, otherwise known as tisanes. Quite popular in certain places especially the Orient, herbal teas have been often been intertwined with the local tradition of indigenous medicines which is not only for enhancing the overall health, but also addresses specific health related issues. As a matter of fact, herbal tea can be made from a long list of ingredients which start with every letter of the alphabet except the letters “I” and “X”. There is little wonder why then, this trend is slowly catching as the soothing sips of nature’s remedies answers many aliments of man brought on as a consequence to his existence in this modern world.

“The outsider may indeed wonder at this seeming much ado about nothing. What a tempest in a tea-cup! he will say. But when we consider how small after all the cup of human enjoyment is, how soon overflowed with tears, how easily drained to the dregs in our quenchless thirst for infinity, we shall not blame ourselves for making so much of the tea-cup.” ~Okakura Kakuzo

As the tantalizing aroma of the brew hits, the memories of the past, present and the future swirl as the leaves seeped in the china cup. Although along with the health benefits, the very act of making and pouring the tisane is calming, like an art true to its’ form. A cup of herbal tea makes a pretty picture with colours borrowed from the autumn leaves interlaced with summer skies and spring air chasing away not only the winter chills but also the coldness and stress within. The warm cup floods the senses comforting the nerves; unsettles, raw and tender by chaos of the day.

While each one of us have our own blend to break in the day, it makes no difference as all finally help to start a new page with optimism in this cynical world that we find ourselves in.

“Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.” -Kakuzo, Okakura

With Every Sip We Take

There is a little ray of sunshine
in every single steeping cup
bringing the sweetest smile with each sip we take.
These leaves do warm us deep inside
it’s such pleasure on a freezing night
the wistful scent of joy to ease your tired eyes.
Your mind now wrapped around the china
only one thing in those thoughts
a delicious trip to savory distant lands.
Choices staring at you in numbers
which destination shall you choose
it doesn’t matter as each one will tell its tale.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Photography Art, poetry

Who You Are

As I was watching the preschoolers laugh and joyously enter the gates of their daycare, what passed through my mind was how much will change for them through the years. On a retrospective view, we had started off the years of toddler-hood with all innocence and a joyous outlook. As the years go by, we learn of names, colours, sizes and preferences. When the teenage years come, it becomes to more of a personal struggle to find ourselves. Sometimes we get lucky and find our settings and tuning by youth. Yet there are days when we still lose our bearings and need a little soul searching to get back on track. Whereas, some of us will need more years to wander to get the right track. When we heed to too many directions, we get confused and discover that we have lost ourselves on the way. Instead of running in circles and loops, to break free is the only way out. The truth is deep inside we know who we are, we only need to listen to it more to find and define ourselves back. Else the eternal doubt of “Who are you…” will always linger in mind, heart and soul.

Not by Erin Hanson

You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.

Posted in Christian, Life, Musique, Photography Art

For the Light Awakens

After a late night shift, one longs for a morning of peace and quiet to sleep in. Though it is quite difficult to sleep during the mornings either because of the chaos and our circadian rhythm which goes haywire, so we end up doing chores and other miscellaneous work till we drop off from exhaustion; or because of the sunlight streaming through the windows which prevents the hours of the day turning into night.

Even though our working hours have stretched the normal boundaries of our sleep patterns, the rays of sunshine brightens the day and fosters a sense of calmness, to renew and recharge with a fresh start at another chance in life. Albeit in due course we do succumb to the tiredness and have to catch up on our sleep in order to stay refreshed, still the brightness of the day offers to make the gloomiest scene pretty and live-able. As John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Nevertheless there are some days where even the light can’t dispel the gloomy blackness. In such cases, what we fail to realize that the inner light in us, through the tiny cracks in the shields of darkness will offer a slit for the rays so that there would be a guiding light to find a way out. Should our inner light fail, the rays of light from other true sources will be able to guide us as long as we cast one’s mind to look for them. Remember the stars, even the Pole Star even in the cloudy skies occasionally they show their light. As the lines from the “Sine nomine” go,
“And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.”

Inner or overhead lights, either way unless we use them we will be standing still in the dark. The drawback is if we stay in perpetual darkness we will lose out on the wonders, songs and the joy of living.

Posted in Daily, Life, poetry, Random Thoughts

Cloak of Maturity

During my initial days of college life, there used be to a particular poster always put next to the notice board outside the dean’s office. Over the years, variations of the same poster found its’ way outside our campus library as well as in the campus cafeteria. Along the years, towards the last few months of college, it was seen on the walls of a few of our local cafe’s and delis. The posters varied from being a wordle to the full fledged poem of “If”. Written by the Rudyard Kipling, it exemplifies the multitude characteristics essential to become the ideal man. In other words, this poem brings to light the stoicism and reserve seen in the classic British “stiff upper lip.”

Although I suspected that “If” found its’ predominance in my college campus so as to bring the class of students into line with the intent of bringing order and discipline into the campus. To this day, I still believe that “If” did play a prominent though subtle role during the intense situations in college life.

The core of “If” that helped us during our college days was to set parameters to reach the level of maturity in the modern world. It taught us not only to be responsible for the decisions we make in life, but to also stand up for our beliefs with due consideration to the social strictures and seek clarifications when in doubt. Although caution has to be used to see through the lies and know whom or when to give our trust. Even though education opens the doors, the skill lies in understanding which desires or ambitions to achieve and when to modulate our dreams to the current tide so as not to lose our grasp on reality. Above all not to forget our roots and neither to indulge in pompous display of knowledge or skill.

“If” made us realize that neither success stays nor does failure, but preparedness to start again if need be instead of dwelling on the losses or gains of the past. Instead we learn to deal with the disappointment and the grief. For the resilience of the human nature is like the phoenix, to rise from the ashes even if a kernel of hope exists. Above all, learn to make every hour count and then we will to find the world at our fingertips.

My Alma-mater was determined to teach us to not only ride the rough waters waves but also to secure a safe location and drop the Anchor within ourselves during the storm. For us immature youth, they taught us to wear the cloak of dignity with humility and fortitude to reach the maturity of adulthood.


Posted in Family and Society, Photography Art, poetry, Reflections

Trap of the Spider

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to show when you are there.”

For those of us who haven’t heard of or read these lines before, these are the opening lines of “The Spider and the Fly” is a poem by Mary Howitt. The poem weaves the tale of the cunning Spider who ensnares the naïve Fly through the use of seduction and flattery. Primarily this poem serves a cautionary tale against those disguise their true purpose and their evil intentions with a heavy dose of flattery and charm.

Why did these lines suddenly surface to memory? Because beyond flattery and charm, these words stipulate of a false offer of help or friendship that is in fact a trap. We meet many kinds of people in our daily walks of life especially at work, at college or university, in schools, soccer practices, local neighbourhood and even at our regular diners, parlours, gym and the market. Some of these passing acquaintances become good friends while others are like ships at the harbour, they dock, load and unload, then leave. Yet in all these interactions, there will be some offers of help which we accept based either on recommendations, favours or past dealings. On the other hand, a great deal of charm and flattery which acts as false balm to the soul wins. Eventually these end up as a trap causing a great deal of harm.

It is in these situations that I am reminded of the scene between the spider and the fly. In real life, to avoid the trap these situations have to be dealt with a great deal of tact and flair. But first, to avoid the trap, trust your gut. The inner voice inside our head, the warning bells in our mind or the queasy uneasy feeling all remind us to watch our back. From then on, it’s a matter of tact and careful untangling of ourselves from the sticky web. Although it looks difficult, there will always be a way out as long as we follow the direction of the light.

Posted in poetry, Random Thoughts

Nurture the Bonds

With the hectic start of the week especially over the past two days, a walk was in the horizon. There is something about a walk which brings peace and calm to the mind and soul. It is in the silent escapade with nature that writers revel, poets and philosophers think and artists find their muse. Autumn brings forth the palette of colours which calms turbulent thoughts, answers problems and stores away beautiful memories for the eyes. Above all, autumn highlights the fleeing nature of time. With summer gone, autumn calls forth the harvesting of berries, football in the courts, smell of rain and fresh earth with flashes of thunder and lightning highlighting the skies. That’s when I realized the passage of time. Along my walk today, I was reminded of the lines from Robert Frost’s words.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Although these words were part of the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” which describes hauntingly a scene of the barren woods on a snowy evening, the theme expresses that one must concentrate on fulfilling his promises and accomplishing his duties without being distracted by the pleasures of life.

Yet what ran through my mind as these lines echoed was the fickle nature of time and the promises we have yet to fulfill. In our course of time, we have promised a lot of things to many people even to ourselves. One of the most frequent words that I used to make especially to old high school friends, college and university friends when we met at reunions or accidental meets was to “promise to keep in touch“. Even more glaring was a unanswered call or messages  especially from our parents, siblings, relatives and close friends. Is it that we really don’t have the time ? How many times have we broken the promise to call back ? When was the last time we had simply called to enquire about their lives ?

Come to think of it, I answer my work calls and family calls with urgency with feelings of dread or urgency. Yet we never seem to find the time to keep the promise to just call to talk, to really listen and above all, to understand the conversation.

The hard truth is that in maintaining relationships, it’s not really distance which makes people grow apart. It’s the fact that taking people for granted, makes the relationship drift apart. True at times, amidst the hectic schedule of our lives it’s very difficult to find time for casual talk with near and dear ones. Yet the beauty of the true bonds is that they won’t mind us being busy. However, that doesn’t give us leeway to make empty promises or take these ties for granted. For time is more of a tyrant than friend, it can’t be predicted nor does it stick around. Time tends to run with the tide, waxing and waning but never still .
So one thing I determined on my walk, before the year ends and autumn fades away, it’s time to pick up the ties and strengthen the bonds. We will be always able to make time for others if we really want to. After all, there is nothing better to watch the mosaic of colours this fall with wine, reconnect with conversation to relax and break the stress.