2017 favorites: lost and found friends

2017 Favorites

I decide to use these three pictures to depict 2017 presentation of a phase in my traveling life. I would call it a year about friends. Old, kind and gentle friends. Old does not mean chronologically aged. It means something familiar and one has already accustomed to. I suppose I have been re-kindled in someway by an extended autumn-winter stay with a long separated family, being re-climatized and inspired to walk long walks and write lots of short haikus in their land. I have also visited my long abandoned birth place in another extreme land’s end and written a story about a love that could have been but had never really materialized. Then I was brought to a place high up a mountain range covered by snow and yet has this beautiful lake which has gently displayed its beauty and given many a perfect placement in friendship, for some it is a beginning, for some a progressing in the continuum, and for some a final maturing. I am thankful that we are friends, whatever stages we are at. These pictures are etched in only the momentary memory at the point of a contact. Will I ever forget when I grow chronologically old? Will anyone who really loves their friends?

Friends are to rejoice and celebrate together. Here are two stories about what friends are for. I recently had an interesting experience. During a house renovation I found that I had lost two items, an old laptop PC which I use to store old family photos and an old but hardly used vacuum cleaner’s accessories. They were not of any present day monetary value. However I was disturbed by the idea that an illegitimate loss might have happened in my territory, and I became restless and sleepless that night. After spending hours fine combing the house I sat down and prayed that the items reveal themselves and be returned if taken by persons without asking for my permission. I heard in my heart that I should bless and not feel upset. So I obeyed. After the renovation was finally completed I went to the same back store and saw the vacuum cleaner accessories nicely kept in one paper box on the shelf. When I went into a back room I saw the laptop miraculously appeared, clean and in tact complete with its docking system on a shelf. When I look back now I begin to understand how much it had meant to the shepherd and the woman in the following two stories to see their losses reversed. So, I too call my friends to rejoice with me!

The two parables below were told by Jesus about the true value of life. What it means to be lost and found, both to the owner and to the valued friend, both the lost and found one and also the one who rejoices together with the owner.
Luke 15: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

ranting and waiting for a writer

Waiting for a writer. waiting
I have been lying here for quite awhile. But the writer of bullet journal has yet to turn up. I have flown all the way from Europe, to be precise, Berlin, Germany. Here I am, bound and unopened. Sometimes it gets lonely with the empty pages inside. I have dreams of them filled with love, joy and peace. Even fun perhaps if the household child ventures near and draws some doodles. Or perhaps a meditative pale young man pauses while seeping his usual cup of morning coffee to insert a verse. I wouldn’t even mind if the unkempt boy from next door climbs over the fence and tries out his new coloring pencils… O anything but being neglected and left on this busy table on which I am just a bystander watching all the other gadgets fully engaged. Don’t get me wrong. I am not giving up. I am still waiting for my writer to turn up. That hassled housewife in the kitchen? Or the retiree ageless woman who seems so set to watch the stock market online? The white-haired man who potters in the herbal garden? Any of those students who whirl in and out of the study each occupied with his or her mobile phone? I know the digital competition is tough. But I stay cool. I just dream and wait for that appointed moment with my writer.

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For the uninitiated, here is a guide on what you may do with me: “The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.”

beautiful friends

friends copy
Friends together

I decide to give the topic Friend another go. It is too good a theme to miss. Here is a picture I took of human and their dogs. It is reassuring to watch how friendly interactions can take place between: human and human, dog and dog, human and dog, nature and creatures. All basking in the backdrop of a beautiful day, a beautiful lake and its beautiful mountain, beautiful sunset, sky and cool breeze that touches the beautiful water before it touches those who stand at the shore. Such a lot of beauty manifests when we are in unthreatening friendship with each other.

Friendship draws thankfulness. Thankful for life. Thankful that we are alive.

A beautiful verse for us to ponder today:

John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. (A love note from Jesus to His friends)

Return to the house of dreaming swiftlets: an announcement


I regret to announce that the above fictional series will be discontinued. The protagonists have expressed the wish for a non-fiction book to be written instead for different purposes. Thank you for viewing and clicking “like”. I really appreciate.
From this blogger.

a letter writer’s heritage

Heritage

I just received this WhatsApp message, “Would you please write another generic and/or personified donation letter for us on this new school project?” I cannot remember when I have stopped writing my own formal/informal letters. The last time I wrote was for someone else for charitable donation. As usual, when I receive a letter writing request I need all information of the project and meditate for a number of days, sometimes weeks. I could look at the numerous letters and newsletters I have received to find tips if any. But since they have not persuaded me to donate there is really no point looking at them.

In my recent month-long trip to clear a house of old stuff so that it can be put up for sale, I found and carried back some old books. They are mostly books printed in the 1950s. I asked for permission to keep some for myself. Here is one which I quite like: Ladies’ & Gentlemen’s Letter-Writer, printed in Great Britain, 1953. 

I cannot resist taking the liberty to quote the following sample letters. Enjoy.
All the names are fictitious of course.

November 20th
Dear Sylvia,
Here is a cheque for £5. I know just how difficult things are these days. In fact my own account is nearly overdrawn, so try and let me have the £5 promptly at the end of the month.
Love,
Pamela.

December 12th
Dear Sylvia,
What about my £5? Be a dear, and let me have it as soon as you can, since I’m getting rather short myself now.
Love,
Pamela.

December 20th
Dear Sylvia,
I wrote on the 12th, asking for repayment of my loan (which you promised to repay at the end of November), but I have heard nothing from you. I hope you haven’t spent all your last salary on Christmas presents, because I really need that £5 very badly. Could you send it by return?
Love,
Pamela.

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Hard times then and now. History does not change over mankind and circumstances. We now use digital ways to communicate instead of physical paper and ink. We gain speed. We can even delete our side of the record. But the mark is there on the other side unless he/she deletes too. In the house where I just cleaned up I found tons of paper records, old letters, magazines, books, exam papers, certificates, pictures, children’s school books, drawings, manuscripts, boxes and boxes of them. Some magazines are still in their original wrappers as though they have not yet been read. When I return to my own abode after a long absence, I too find many magazines (from some faithful mutual funds) in wrappers. I just do not have time to read them. The worst is that they come in two languages so I get two per month!

Many years ago I made a decision to get rid of my papers. So I gave away books. I burned my papers, pictures, certificates, thesis, whatever. Yet, many years later when I see some old pictures in my siblings’ collection I take a photo of those which depict me as a very young person. I find one such group photo lately. In those days people were expected to be respectfully serious and close their mouths when not talking. When all mouths were dutifully closed, me at five was captured in history with my mouth gapping, staring at the camera. Was it a premonition that one day I would do such verbose talking on screen?

“Every body allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“Every body at all addicted to letter writing, without having much to say, which will include a large proportion of the female world at least…”
― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“Andy: But they gave us an out in the Land of Oz. They made us write. They didn’t make us write particularly well. And they didn’t always give us important things to write about. But they did make us sit down, and organize our thoughts, and convey those thoughts on paper as clearly as we could to another person. Thank God for that. That saved us. Or at least it saved me. So I have to keep writing letters. If I can’t write them to you, I have to write them to someone else. I don’t think I could ever stop writing completely.”
― A.R. Gurney, Love Letters*

*Love Letters is a lovely play. Quoting from online sources:

A new Letter begins
In the age of instant communication, iPhones and Twitter, Love Letters is bringing memories of a simpler time to Broadway in 2014, helmed by Tony-winning director Gregory Mosher. The limited engagement includes appearances by Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg, Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen. The first celebrity pair in the new revival is Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy, who will reprise the role of Andrew. “[Love Letters] is an extraordinary piece,” Dennehy told Today. “You cannot stage a play more simply than this, and yet it’s about everything in life. First love, loss of opportunities, loss of life, loss of love…It’s a beautiful play, and all you do is speak it.” But there’s two things the play won’t include: “Tweets and twerks,” Dennehy joked. “There are no twerks in this play.”