a hermit-traveler’s snowy November 2019

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Two years had passed since one November up a mountain lavishly painted with snow. It was a new experience for a hermit and yet a traveler in life for decades. The snow came just as notified through the weather forecast on the internet. Nothing really changed when it came and the locals above the city of the clouds lived as usual. The traveler was somewhat caught in surprise but the priceless Canadian “chauffeur”, a fellow traveler like the hermit-traveler was not shocked. To her it was really nothing because she came from the snowy and colder part of Canada. She was well prepared with all the normal preparations for her sturdy land rover, and her trailer home, hardware and software. They went to school as if nothing happened. Some students were deterred by closures of roads, and the school had to suspend the penalty for no-show of the students. But not this brave woman from Canada all equipped with her amazing driving skill. So the hermit traveler went to school as usual snow or no snow. What a memorable day riding/gliding on snow and seeing many cars in ditches as well, while praying real hard not to slide into the ditches as it seemed the norm to join the rank then.

Looking at the old photos, priceless memories returned and said, well done my friend! Yes, well done, my dear friend across the distance in the colder and more extreme-weathered land. It is comforting to know that you and your loved ones are together, staying healthy and well, holding onto your dreams and visions.

2021-11-02

the accidental art of being and not doing (a sequel) or Without freedom there is no clarity anymore

17th mile pacific coast

Today I visited this post originally written on June 30, 2021 because someone clicked the like icon and I received a notification. So I came over to read and find out why. What did I write? What was the purpose I meant for others reading it? For those who know me (not merely virtually), they have known me as a person who writes and likes writing but not exactly the writer in the writer sense.

It sounds complicated. I too, marvel at my writing and yet am not a writer.

What do I really write about and why? What is the point in my writing?

In many ways writing is living life. First you have to be living to be able to write. Living means having some hope and interest in life, and doing something to make it easier and more meaningful than the usual mundane way of being an existence.

Of course some may choose to be just being and not doing. That is their choice. As for me? I choose to be a doing being even when I hibernate.

The art of being and doing is simple. Daily I find something to do. That something has to have a meaning for me personally. It can be an act of kindness helping someone out. It can be a regular thing like doing a cover design for a friend to add some colors to her videos on YouTube. It can be reading or listening to teachings that help me to become a better person. It can be just cleaning up my abode, moving stuff around to let the sunshine come in and I can sit at the window to receive my daily supply of vitamin D. It can be receiving a lift to a health food grocer to get the stuff that consist of my main diet. It can be doing exercise like walking a mile indoor following the pace of a program onscreen. It can be a brisk walk under the sun to a fish monger and get some fresh supplies.

You would have observed that I have deliberately left out writing and chatting with social network. Why? first I have nothing worthwhile to mention here of both of these activities. Does this mean I don’t chat? No, I do with some usual few chatters, one on business, and others out of duties as family.

What about writing? You would have observed that I haven’t been writing anything of note lately. In a way, there is a shortage of materials to write about. It has been that short since the March 2020 locked down and shut down and sudden vanishing of the world we used to know. I can see how Paul, (the protagonist of a classic book) felt when he though he lost every desire in his familiar world since birth. He was so accustomed to it that he just could not make himself to break away from that past.

Freedom has been my utmost value for a long time since young. I like being free to find out new things, being mobile in spaces and entirely uncluttered. The invisible clutter had crept into many lives. I can see it in their eyes, which are windows to their souls. The worst thing is that many do not know it.

Without freedom there is no clarity anymore. And a person who writes cannot write without clarity in view. We see veils and ambiguous layers of covers which are often well packaged products that happen to be fakes/counterfeits. That is why I find nothing to write about, unlike before when the sky was clear and blue and visibility was unclouded.

what is the point then of writing this post? I am glad you ask.

Well, I just happened to come out of a writing inertia, and saw the notification of a click on the like icon on this blog which led me to read the liked post written by me on June 30, 2021, with the same title as above. Is this a good enough reason for you my friends? No?

Well, I could have done better if motivated. Here is an example of the definition of the word inertia: the thermal inertia of the oceans will delay the full rise in temperature for a few decades. I wonder why this example was used in my laptop dictionary. Whoever who wrote the dictionary must have had some environmental issues on their mind. Someone may look up the term thermal inertia further. Someone may look up the phrase full rise in temperature. Me? I look at the term for a few decades. I am only interested in time.

A few decades. What does it mean when you have lived quite a number of decades. Do you ever wish to live those decades again in a new way?

I do.

Praise, 2021-09-18

a varied view of ocean in our heart

My heart’s Variations on a Theme, my ocean. variation of ocean Given an option I would choose the ocean if I were a gull with wings. There are two views of the same section of the Pacific ocean being superimposed in this picture. I took them at the end of 2015 on a clear sunny day in California. I have inverted the bottom half of the second picture. The inverted waves are symbols of what are moving inside a heart that cannot be stilled. The top half of the original first picture has the bird facing the opposite direction, flying away from the shore. But during my editing she has somehow turned around towards the shore and nearer to the audience. I have seen many gulls onshore in the city. I am told that they come in to scavange for food often near the dump-site or where passers-by have left unwanted stuff behind. Has the ocean become less habitable for gulls? Or perhaps the shore is a more convenient however brief respite? Sometimes I wonder whether we have unwittingly domesticated gulls because I just read a poem about tame gull.

What a sad thought it is. Given an option I would choose the ocean if I were a gull with wings.

A conversation (excerpted*) between the fishermen:
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”

They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”

They answered Him, “No.”

And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish…Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

(*John 21:3-11)

a peek at the octopus’s garden

Peek at an underwater space.
peek octopuspeek octopus ringo
I took these pictures quite sometime ago when I visited Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have forgotten all about the bright red octopus which disappointed many by persisting to hide in its underwater garden/cave. There is nothing much to see except a tentacle with suckers. The aquarium describes it to be “an amazing creature—brainy and beautiful…In our exhibit, you may have to look closely to find the octopus, as these animals can change their skin color to blend in with the rocks around them, and even this species, the largest octopus in the world, can squeeze itself into tiny, out-of-the-way spaces.” So here is just a peek of the amazing creature.

In a way this octopus is like human. Don’t we all choose to allow a mere peek in many aspects of our life? I am not talking about the virtual world. Even in real life we keep to our personal space. Why is it that the more civilized we are the more exclusive and distant we strive to become? I read that the Giant Pacific octopus spends most of its life alone. While it chooses to be a hermit, it can learn to open jars, play with toys, and interact with its handlers. It can mimic other octopuses. It is a master of disguise. Near the end of her three years’ life the female will find a once in her lifetime mate and reproduces. Here is a touching description of the heroic sacrificial mother.

“The mother octopus lives in the cave for up to seven months as the curtain of eggs develops, fanning the eggs with her arms or contracting her body to shoot streams of oxygen- and nutrient-rich water over them. She doesn’t eat during this time and usually dies shortly after the young hatch.” (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Given a last line I would add that she is probably more capable of true love than many.

a ranting: Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t

Pedestrians
pedesterian crabpedesterian fishpedesterian sandpedesterian sea
I decide to dig out these least noticeable creatures who walk close to the bottom of their water domain and give them prominence on this post. They are the typical pedestrians whom nobody bother to look at twice. Seemingly seen by many as they go about their normal daily living and yet they are on most occasions unseen, the ordinary life of the small people, that is their lot in life. Do their lives matter? If not, why bother? Someone overtly concerned with utilitarian meaning may ask. But I, I prefer to look at each life as uniquely designed and planned for a purpose and value to which we may never know. I was startled by the darting away of a very tiny lizard last night as I went into the kitchen to clear away some dry plates and pots. The poor little creature was startled too by this looming ‘giant creature’. Then I thought to myself, why do lizards persist to visit my kitchen regardless how impeccably clean and insect-less it is? I have no answer. The writer’s mind of mine likes to imagine that they have come to leave a mark (like their way of saying, ‘hello’). Perhaps they too must go through their pedestrian path which happens to include my kitchen sink. The result is that I have something additional to do (cleaning up their occasional trail) while walking through my own pedestrian way too. We cross paths. Sometimes we leave marks. Sometimes we don’t.