coming thus far all ways lead back to you

belovedI know I should not be writing about my Beloved because it is like baring my soul to the world, the old poet said. So I find this poem by random browsing from a gift collection given by my own beloved younger relatives who know that I love poetry.

CIRCULAR

coming thus far
all ways
lead back to you:
no matter the dead
roads dreams went
you pull
the cord you sent
me yearslong
to my pastimes
only to reach
you, and to find
you at the end
of it all.

(Poem taken from “Soul’s Festival -collected poems 1980-1997″ by Anne Lee Tzu Pheng)

Reading this poem pulls my heartstring too. I have my own beloved, at certain time in life. Sometimes I travel far for a prolonged period of time. But when my heart is still I can find an invisible cord inside pulling to the dear ones I have left behind. This week’s photo challenge word “beloved” makes me sit down and ponder, “Whom can I call my beloved?” My first thought today is my mother.

The sad thing is that during the last part of her life I was not able to stay geographically closer to her. In those days we did not have easy digital communication through internet or mobile phone. Line phone was expensively ticking by minutes and limited in audible performance as she just could not hear what I said. Separated by oceans and other matters too. I know I have no excuse whatever the road/sea/sky blockages might have been. Why did not I fly home more often? I ask today. My honest answer is that my heart was divided and distracted by too many unimportant matters which can sum up in just one phrase, “I was busily living my own life.” On the other hand she never forgot any of her beloved. After the funeral, we found our names and the daily prayers she prayed for each of her children faithfully written down in her handwritten journal. We also found some letters she had written to us but not posted because no one did it for her and she was not mobile by then…

Bible verses to meditate upon:
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Proverbs 23:25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.

a beautiful tasteful ascent

An Ascending to the throne. Sometimes we read or watch official news of a deeply venerated longstanding monarch depart from this world at old age, having reigned over his faithful subjects for many decades. The news is often of a standard pattern: solemn, reverent, tastefully laced with a tinge of sadness which comes with saying goodbye and yet realistically portraying the inevitable passing of a perhaps antiquated and soon to be forgotten historical era. The male commentator has a well-trained, constrained and unhurried voice with medium pitch, and tends to present the appearance of a stiff-upper-lip somewhat dispassionate English gentleman.
The narration, the tone and texture, the colors, the costumes, the deliberate movements, the choice of musical backing, the props, the participants: their ranks and titles, clothing and decoration, brand names of what they wear, spouses and children, vehicles, entourage, facial expressions, mannerisms and many more minute but supposedly pertinent significant and interesting details on such historical occasions.
More importantly is the brief but positive biographical narration about the monarch’s life and his achievements, which should include all the good he had done to others. Humans in general like to read good positive factual reports of what a person, monarch or beggar has done for others, which is the gist of a purposeful life; an ascending to another throne.

Verses for thoughts:Psalms Chapter 24:1-4
(A Psalm of David) The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

the path of water

path-of-water

The Path of water is there. I read this with surprise one day. There is a path everywhere seen and unseen. One day a little boy told me he wanted to become a pilot when he grew up. Then he explained to me seriously, “Of course I need to learn the path of the sky first.” he knows there is a path in the sky.

I took this picture one morning as I looked out of the hotel window. I went there to attend a wedding, thousands of miles away from where I stay. The dawn was not yet ready for my simple cell phone camera. I took the picture anyway. And the photo turns up as I look closely seeing if I can find a path in the water. The water is still and calm and the houses near and far are sleeping. It is a beautiful day and the sky is clothed in the colors of love and romance.

Bible verses on “path”:
Psalm 77:19
Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known.
Psalm 65:11
You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.
Psalm 8:8
The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.
Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

a happy song for the tiny

edge-flowers
Tiny flowers by the wayside. We often walk pass them. Sometimes we step on them. Not because we are callous and uncaring. We are conditioned to see big things. Big and loud colorful stuff. In my recent travel I visited two entirely different countries and in both places I found some tiny flowers which looked so insignificant that they could have been easily excluded from my camera. When I returned and looked at the photos I found the exceptionalism in me stopping and looking at something small and quiet.

I ask myself why I have taken photos of some tiny flowers by the wayside. When I walk in the park across my patio why I do bother to look at the grass and the tiny leaves that are sprouting out from the crevices between the rocks and record their existence for a moment?

I did not come with perfect eyesight since young. The class teacher discovered this when I went to school. Artificial lenses helped me to function to some extent but it finally reached a point when I had to do a RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange). Taking photos of tiny things was not an easy task previously. After the RLE the tiny world becomes bright and clear and attractive. I see butterflies and bees and other tinier creatures too. Such a tiny world may be considered by others as tiny and ordinary and part of mundane living, they are fascinating to me. I can spend a whole morning walking and watching little things and feel my spirit rejoicing inside. A happy song will birth and lift me to another level into another realm of reality.

Bible verses from Psalm 104 (excerpts from NKJV):

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
13
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
16
The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
18
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

24
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.

30
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

31
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.

edge of light and season

Edge
edge-of-colorsThe edge that demarcates light from darkness fascinates me. The contrast is so clear in this picture taken in last September. The dark side is a wall of hedges. I was new to this place and was walking along the side of the road. The trees on the other side were turning into autumn’s yellow but the willow tree was quite adamant to stand out in its lush greenery.  I cannot figure out now what the white spots on the ground are. But they too contribute to the contrast in colors between the black and the white. The path too, clearly marked by a white side and a dark part shadowed by the tree. There seems a marking of a boundary between two sets of realms, one in the bright sunshine and the other one in the dark. Again it makes me think of our lives. Some are in the bright sunny realm where the light is and some in the dark and shady realm. One thing is certain, all living things need sunshine to grow and thrive, even the trees and the grass. With the seasonal changes one may enter a bleak and bare grey and colorless period. But the good news is the sun and the light with all the glorious and rich colors always come back with another season. Being an optimist I believe that this too applies to life.

Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;