Simply 6 Minutes—04/13/2021: a random birthday simply musing

not many enjoy birthday and I am one

yet it has to come and it is always done

a friend who is kind to bake a cake sends it by drone

landing so centered right on my newly laundered lawn

she rings and instructs me to remember the pond

making sure the weeds are pulled and the stagnant water drained

a party she says I must have and she is sending a crane

sure enough she means business to any horror known

worst of all come all the anonymous cons

birthday sir we all must come

seeing your great sign down the street says big welcome

what? a sign? who? when? how? It finally dawns

a friend kindheartedly put up so I won’t deny

another year another growing up another party mournful morn. (aftermath)

(134 words)

Ka, 2021-04-13 (my actual birthday)

https://christinebialczak.com/2021/04/13/simply-6-minutes-welcome-to-the-challenge-04-13-2021/

Simply 6 Minutes

Day Twelve: from Dareia to Ecotopia —a poem on time

kai’s photo at Monterey Museum

From Dareia or Dorothea

to Ecotopia or Dyson Sphere

story upon story the legend carves

on shimmering decorated glass windows of old

we view dimly through muse’s telescopic lens

not knowing how it began and will ever end

magic briefcase adventure: a conspiracy cover up

No one really knows what happened up that 8000 ft. high mountain of snow or the fact that the small people live up there deep inside the wood. When he was given the assignment as a guardian of the four wind for earth and transferred to this Snowland as the last part of his term of service, he though it would be another quiet and solitary assignment. How wrong he was as it turned out. It is not the land that is the matter. It is the people. Or rather, it is one individual earthling, a mystical woman whom he never got to know or understand. The small people in the wood are not the issue. They actually became good neighbor. But this one earthling woman suddenly appeared in the serenity and he was unable to solve her puzzle. It is not fair to blame her for the failure of his last assignment. It is just that human are too complex to fathom.

He first met the small people after he escaped from the lodge and walked deep into the wood. he did not expect to meet any creature because it was mid day and the sun was shinning bright onto the trees. It was a long and pleasant walk. Then he heard the sound of people rushing pass him. But he could not see them at first. The sound of running feet was real and clear. He stood and listened. The wood was still. Soft breeze was whispering through the branches. But the sound of running feet was on the ground and not up there. He squatted and looked at the ground intensely. At first he could not see them.

But soon he noticed the moving of dry twigs and leaves. When he looked closely he saw that they were not twigs and leaves. They were people camouflaged as dry twigs and leaves. it was like a migration because these small people were carrying lots of bundles/boxes that resembled luggages on their backs. They did not seem to notice his existence. They were bent intent to rush to their destination, marching like a troop of military ants.

He decided to walk with them and tried not to step on them. But soon he discovered that no matter how he walked they were able to detect his movement by instinct or an inbuilt secret radar detector. They knew how to avoid being stepped on while rushing forward without breaking ranks. He decided to run and noted that they moved at the speed of his running speed, incredibly effortlessly fast. While he followed them and ran forward towards an unknown destination, he marveled at their accuracy and discipline and wondered whether these people were robots.

After an hour of upward climbing they reached the “city of gods”, walls of bare red rocks standing precariously overlooking the steep valley on the other side of the wood, beyond which he could see golden mountains rising above the clouds in mid-sky, rolls and rolls of them, lining the blue beyond like a belt of shinny shimmering decorations inserted by a giant painter.

The small people halted and arranged themselves into rows on the flat plateau beneath the wall of rocks. Suddenly the rock opened and revealed an entrance of about his height. The rows of small people started moving into the entrance like flood water downhill, and soon he could not see them anymore. And he heard a voice coming from inside the entrance

“Are you coming in or not? We haven’t got all days! You, I mean you, the man from outer space!”

Yes, it meant him. There was no one there except him and he was the man from outer space. So he had reached a point with a choice between curiosity and duty. Should he continue this strange journey to another unknown world? Or should he decline and return to his four wind mission on earth at the Snowland?

He was trained to obey the One who sent him. “No, sir, I am not going inside. Thank you for your invitation, sir.”

He watched the entrance closed up. Then he turned and returned to the Snowland lodge where he continued his earth life, guarding the four wind, and putting up with a woman fellow lodger whom he could not understand, not to mention having to write a book about her!

He actually got to meet the small people again. But that is in another episode. (to continue)

Ka, 2021-04-13

Magic briefcase adventure: Does he celebrate birthday? Does it matter to her? Or anyone?

Does he celebrate earth birthday? The question suddenly appeared as he glanced at his social network message board. He has never really thought of such matter about himself. In fact he hardly think of himself. In a day’s time it will be another chronological birthday for him on earth. After seven decades, he can hardly recall how he first remembered a special day called birthday that his earth parents celebrated for him, just like any other kids. On that day they normally made him eat one whole boiled egg by himself. In those post-war years it was considered a luxury when the kid was only one out of a brood of seven. The question is from her, the earth acquaintance for a year in Snowland.

It is a surprise to him to read her sudden message, after nearly a year of silence. Does birthday really matter? Of course most parents like to recall that day when their kid came to earth, mostly crash landing with a loud cry of disappointment at the harshness of the external zone (tearing away from their hitherto comfort zone). That is the way he observes things, somewhat different from the earthlings.

She uses a strange new name. But he knows it is her. His social network message board is restricted to a few friends only and they normally do not message or comment anything. It is a silent and dusty board. It is kept there for a purpose which the outsiders do not know. He decides not to reply her strange question. What is the point in the question? They have not established any relation, not even an acquaintance contact. His mission in Snowland has failed.

He remembers last year. She made something for him and ate her portion separately in the living room. He ate his alone at the dining table. He cannot remember what it is now. What a strange birthday party of two eating something in silence in two separate rooms. It reminds him of war.

His earth parents went through a big war. They got married because of the war. The war destroyed his mom’s love, hope, and dream, that is, enrolling into the medical school like her fiancé did, but he was killed by a bomb while traveling north to the university. She had to flee the invaded country instead and ended up in a foreign land marrying another man, and had seven kids during and after the big war.

Why is he thinking of big war now? He is a guardian of the four wind on earth —an invisible shield against invasion by warlords from other planets and zones from other universes. He has failed to finish his report on earthling’s emotion, and is now serving his extended term in a different site (away from Snowland).

Perhaps he will eat a boiled egg tomorrow, to remember his own earth parents who have really shown him the essence of sacrificial love, by rationing their own food and making sure the children were fed well, particularly making each individual kid feel special on his birthday.

Ka, 2021-04-12

simply six minutes—magic briefcase adventure: first day in Snowland

Looking back he can still see her face. It is not a face that can conceal or even bother to conceal the heart. She is of indeterminable chronological age. She is not young. No, there is no wrinkle and she has done a lot on up-keeping her looks and her fitness too, tall, slim, and a strict keto disciple in terms of diet.

But it is the facial expression that reveals her heart. She tried to be civil. So she started with small talk like the weather, the flight, the lodging house sharing and so on. They were in the kitchen and had to decide who used which side. Seeing she was standing near to the dining and living area, he chose the far side which was near to the garage and tool house.

She suddenly said something about her (chronological age related condition) being a dry prune and it no longer mattered how she looked. It was a shocking statement to him. They were merely fellow lodgers. They were each assigned there on Snowland for separate missions which they did not disclose to each other. They merely shared the facilities of the accommodation.

When she blurted out that statement he watched her face. It was a mirror of her heart. A once beautiful face, now twisted into a shape which only revealed a deep, heavy, and even hostile, disguised sadness that was heart wrenching. It was far more than reading any sad mysteries of earthlings. How was he going to learn about the love and hate emotion of earthlings for his report? He dreaded from the first day of their encounter.

But this is his last work station and last chance to complete the remaining half of his century long assignment on earth so that he will receive his due award, a retirement back to his home planet/realm. While spending long hours in pondering on her expression, he wondered what has made a beautiful woman grow into such sadness. He has researched this subject in many fields of study. There are many possible factors and variables. Earth has acquired the technology that prevents a person growing old physically, through constant practices of up-keeping their body and mind. But there is something that they cannot up-keep, that is, their deteriorating emotion. And it shows on their faces, and affects their behavior. Often it can cause harm to themselves and others.

That is why he has been assigned this task of studying their emotion, particularly the kind of emotion called love that can drive all other aspects in life.

The first day of encounter signified that his challenge would be tough. He tried to stay neutral and adopt the stance of a researcher. He posited that with time he would adapt to her pattern and be able to complete his report. He neglected one pertinent aspect, how did she see him that first encounter? What was her perspective and impression of him? What does he mirror?

Much later, towards the end of their separate assignments, she suddenly blurted out, “I have never liked you, even from the first day.” He did not know then whether she was telling the truth or she was just trying to convince herself that she has never invested her feeling for him. But he knows now. (to continue)

Ka, 2021-04-03

simply six minutes—the magic briefcase adventure: Does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?

Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. How little does he know this will be the lesson he has to learn on his last mission. Guarding of the Four Wind on earth is only 50% of his mission. The other 50% is to study the most influential power source on earth and submit a full investigation report on completion of his four wind assignment. Because he is beyond earth time he is not subject to the chronological aging process on earth. His term on earth is a century and he has already served 70 earth years. He has been assigned to the other stations of the four wind. This snowland station is his last assignment. He is an elite “engineer” in earth term and the hardware (technical) part of his assignment is no issue to him. On the other hand, the “software” part is a real puzzle which he has little remaining time to crack.

What is exactly the most powerful power source on earth? Based on his last seven decades of interactions with earthlings, he knows, and has completed the bulk of the report, mostly in theory and concept. But now he is stuck. He has to do the practical empirical evidential based part of the report, and he has to find a live object to study and actually interact with first hand.

When he was transferred to this Snowland station he knew this would be his last chance. He has failed three times previously. This time he cannot afford to fail. Failure is just too costly to bear. Briefly, he will be compelled to extend his assignment contract for another century in another planet or realm. And he is looking for a retirement back to his home planet/realm.

Outwardly there is everything good about him for the last assignment: tall, slim, fit, smart, a chiseled facial look, deep-set eyes of a color that is most pleasant and acceptable to most earthlings, a default expression of a highly intelligent and elegant being. He has been trained to know many languages and cultures. People are naturally drawn to him because he is genuinely kind and selfless with the backdrop of the apparent show of good tase and a cut above others. He has been programmed to look thirties. No, he is not an AI robot or a clone. He was born to a normal earthling couple and had a normal childhood. His only difference from earthling is that his entire nurturing, education, and training were all done by a more advanced source beyond earth from his original realm. And he is in constant communication with them.

His remaining task is to find an earth woman and study what love is. Yes, ironically, love and hate are the most powerful influence on earth. This is the main obstacle for completing his report. He is not required to fall in love but he must find out what true love means and why it turns to hate with unimaginable destructive power. His report is aptly named: “The essence of love”. Why focus on love and not hate? Because, alas, the two words are interchangeable on earth.

This is what he finds out on the Snowland, his final station. (to continue)

Ka, 2021-03-31

simply six minutes—the magic briefcase adventure: “I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.”

As he now remembers Snowland and the mystical woman he met up there at 8000ft altitude, he remembers how the trees have impacted him, as he tries to associate her with something they both can relate to without feeling bound. Both of them value independence and privacy above all else, even their strange unique relationship. The have found a few common interests, or rather, safe and indifferent topics to talk about casually. And trees is a safe topic, aside from coffee, deer, and snow.

When he first arrives the trees are green. Within a month the snow comes suddenly. He is shocked. All his past assignments were in the tropics. Snow is a novelty. In his homeland in outer-space, there is no snow or season. They live beyond earth time. While on earth he has always been the guardian of the South Wind which control station is located in an evergreen island in the tropics. This new assignment up the 8000 ft of a mountain in the West (or near West) is entirely different from what he has accustomed himself.

When the snow comes it is sudden and all encompassing. When he returns from an outside assignment he is caught in camera by her standing on the top of the stairs of the sundeck. The deck is steeped in at least 12 inches of snow. The trees are his background. He still has that photo. Green trees with snow all over their branches and trunks. He looks stunned. What a sight!

But it is not so much the sight of the green trees covered with brilliantly white snow that puzzles him. It is the meaning of those trees. Sometimes he compares himself with a tree to the earthling. A living and thriving being with its branches all pointing towards the sky, the location of the light source and life sustenance. Like the earth writer Orhan Pamuk once wrote, “I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.” He wants to be a meaning of things. Being a meaning is different from being a physical existence.

He wants to be a meaning for existence. How to communicate this to her, an earthling? They are there together and yet not together, each existing each own meaning. He has had many acquaintances in his many decades of living on earth. But none is like this acquaintance on the high mountain. She is not a local. She comes from the oceanic continent. Is she on a secret assignment like his, guarding the earth? She never talks about it and he is not expected to ask. She does not ask him his too.

So he puts his mind on the trees. They are his great and faithful companions. They tell him a lot of things through the sound of the wind as he takes long walks on the paths meandering through the snowy woodland. But they never talk about their meaning on earth, not the kind he hopes they will reveal. He knows the textbook stuff of course. He imagines there is more —the unwritten ones, the often chuckling and sometimes sighing thoughts deeply embedded in the ancient tree trunks. He has never found out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a hauntingly beautiful song for memory sake

I will remember you, will you remember me? I’m so tired but I can’t sleep Standin’ on the edge of something much to deep It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard I’m so afraid to love you But more afraid to lose Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose Once there was a darkness Deep and endless night You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me life

[https://youtu.be/nSz16ngdsG0]

simply six minutes—the magic briefcase adventure: colors, details, irony

When he first arrives on this magic mountain he doesn’t think about love. His goal is to guard the four winds at this height of 8000 ft. He is one of the four guardians assigned to earth from another realm, which earthlings call planet. How little do the earthlings know the difference between a physical planet and a spiritual realm. He comes from a realm and not a planet. But it’s ok if they insist of describing a zone where they cannot figure out in their physical mind and have to use what they can explain away another existence with their limited language.

Today is another snow day on this mountain which he calls Snowland. It has become so common yet unpredictable that he is contented with the snow coming and going outside his abode which he now shares with an earth woman of indeterminable chronological age. Earthlings are particular about their ages, not that it matters to him. He always knows their true age when he meets them. True age means a spiritual age originally programmed in each seed that is planted the moment a baby is conceived. There is a clock that ticks silently inside the formation, a beginning and an end. it is designed to last much longer than an average earthling thinks they have. It is recorded in an old book, at least 120 years an average man can live. The earth is designed that way to be loved and cared for and in turned nurtures and sustains each man for that length of time.

Yes, the man from another realm knows this because he has been through a course on the affection, attention, interest and compassion he must have on the earthlings before he is finally considered ready to be assigned here. He knows and sees and appreciates the beauty and yet mystery of this land, including the snow and all, even the earthling woman who happens to be here in the same mountain house on a totally unrelated assignment. They never talk about their assignments or whether they are in the same camp, or not.

After an initial struggle with sharing all the common amenities except each separate room cum workplace, he has settled to getting used to this kind of life. Why this arrangement on earth? He cannot see any relevance at all. Nor will his superior back in his own realm give him any clue. So he just has to adapt and adjust with the existence of another living being.

He agrees with his favorite earth writer, Orhan Pamuk that he just has to open his eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony. The two strangers appear to share common interests in a number of things, such as, hot coffee, reading, genre of music, one painting in the common dinning place, and creatures that come out in the snow. The irony is that they do not talk to each other about such personal stuff.

There seems a commonly self-imposed code: do not get personal because that will be too close.

2021-03-20

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~a quote

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.”― Orhan Pamuk (from his book “My Name Is Red”).

simply six minutes —the magic briefcase adventure: silent painting

“Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight.”― Orhan Pamuk, My name is Red. To the man from a distant planet, a higher realm than earth, snow falling is like painting. A gigantic hand is brushing over the land and everything else in the Snowland with white paint. Not surprising. Because the invisible hand is so huge, earthlings think that the snow just comes by itself without any deliberate action of anyone. But he knows it differently.

Where he lives they are more advanced and know a lot more stuff compared to the earthlings. For example, the thing called love. He is looking at the snow falling and the building up of the thick white blanket out there below his window sill. Why does he think of love suddenly?

Because he suddenly thinks of the music of sight. They both like music. She and he. Jazz and classical. She does not talk about her likes and dislikes at all. They are mere acquaintances stuck up there on this snowy mountain of 8000 ft. above sea level. Talking about music or painting means getting close. And they want to avoid it.

One day she listens to him singing in the bathroom at random. When he emerges she says, “you seem in a good mood, singing.”

Another day she reminds him of manner. He has taken a painting from the common dinning place and hang it in his room. He has put back another picture on the empty space. But it happens that she only likes the one he has taken.

So he apologizes and puts the original picture back to its original place behind where she sits when she does her zoom meetings. She wants that picture to be in her background. So does he. He moves it to his room for the same purpose!

Amazing how much common interests they do share without talking about them. In a way it is like watching the snow being painted outside accompanied by inaudible yet beautiful music performed up there in the great beyond. The silence of thought and the music of sight beautifully being presented to the two of them, alone in a big house.

The sharing of the color of the snowland, the serene silence in the house except for the occasional jazz played softly in separate rooms, and the unspoken understanding that each has his or her own space, and a common picture in a common room, and many other small things, all create a feeling of calm affiliation. He somehow thinks it is related to an unselfish thing called love.

2021-03-19

simply six minutes: magic briefcase story-snowland’s goodbye song

It has been a short year for him after that parting. When he hears this goodbye song today he feels an ache in his heart. Why? 

As he looks through the blog trying to sort out some old posts, he sees a goodbye song. He listens to it. And he feels sadness, just a tinge. It has been nearly a year since the parting in the snow land 8000 ft above sea level. He has no idea where she is or how she is now. Sometimes he notices that there are viewers on his many blogs from her country. But he doesn’t know for sure whether she is in their midst. Sometimes he likes to imagine it is her. But why the sadness? They have nothing between them at all, aside from the brief history of being lodged together up that mountain during the isolated months, in total, around eight months. What have they in common otherwise?

The snow. Just the whiteness of the color out there. Snow everywhere. For a person so used to many vibrant colors all his life the monotonous color scheme is a change, a shock at first, then a pleasant conditioning for a long winter season. It is like having no distinction between seasons, except the choice of nature to have snow and not have snow. So he calls the place snowland in his fiction stories. Yes, he writes a story of an alien in the form of a human man from the power of light being assigned to snowland to man one of the four winds corner on earth to guard and protect earth form other outer space’s dark power. He dedicates the story to her, an earth acquaintance who “happens” to be there with him, or for a mysterious purpose? She never knows who he really is or his true mission. Neither does he know hers. They are civil to each other despite their apparent differences. However, the snow conveniently covers up the differences on the faces of the earth like a thick veil.

The snow is a common topic of conversation. Very bland and safe. No one can get dangerously close to each other talking about the weather. They are weather acquaintances.

When the time arrives, she returns to her home country. He stays behind for another round of eight phases of the moon and then flies away. The snow comes three days before his departure in early summer. Yes, s summer snow just for his goodbye to snowland.

It has been a short year for him after that parting. When he hears this goodbye song today he feels an ache in his heart. Why? he knows it is a strange kind of “affinity” which he has never experienced before. Somehow, he remembers some moments of kindness from her. Some goodness from her. He remembers one afternoon he went walking and darkness suddenly came to the wilderness. He was venturing into a new territory alone. It took him many hours to get through. Then he heard his phone ring. “Hi. Where are you? I can come over with my car to give you a lift. It is no trouble at all.” The temperature had suddenly dropped and the wind was hollering. And he was not in his winter gear. But he thanked her and declined her offer.

As agreed, they have never exchanged any updated phone or address. They have mutually put a full-stop to their once-upon-a-time mutual hospitality path.

Why does today’s goodbye song give a strange feeling of sadness? The song is just a common harmless Auld Lang Syne sung by Dougie MacLean, a Scottish, songwriter, composer and extraordinary performer, in his unhurried, calm, gentle voice, telling his acquaintance that they can each buy a cup of draught, for kindness sake, if they meet again.

He supposes that’s what they can do, drinking a bottle of red wine (her preferred drink) or cups of freshly brew coffee (another common denominator they once shared in snowland) perchance they shall meet again somewhere on earth.

Kainotes, 2021-03-05

[https://youtu.be/wPnhaGWBnys] Auld Lang Syne by Dougie MacLean

[https://youtu.be/kmWCAvCRJ1o] Mark Knopfler ft. Ruth Moody – Wherever I Go (Official Video)

Simply 6 Minutes—magic briefcase story: a visitor

Going out into the snow storm is not his choice, but he has no option. No sane man will go out at this hour, right in the middle of the night, into the blizzard, without any sensible and really convincing reason. Yet he has no option and must go out. He has been woken by a sound at the back of his yard and he knows it does not sound like any creature he has ever met. He is a man of creatures.

The cold is not helping and it’s like he is walking into a strange sheet of blank wall. There is nothing to show he is going towards the right direction. He can hear the creature crying and he knows it is an SOS. Yes, whatever it is , it is signaling an SOS message!

Following the sound, he approaches the western corner of his garden where the sound gets louder and clearer. What can it be? He cannot help but wonder.

He shines his weather proof lantern on the source of the sound, and finds a pair of large eyes staring at him!

Sorry, my six minutes are up (as I have been distracted by phone messages).

2021-02-24

https://christinebialczak.com/2021/02/23/simply-6-minutes-welcome-to-the-challenge-02-23-2021/

Six Sentence Story ~ Rodeo (a dream of another dream)

It started with a phone call at midnight in the middle of a restless dream in which he was wrestling with the monster called Rodeo.

He had to struggle up to find his mobile phone, from his makeshift sofa-bed, tripping over bundles of bared wires everywhere in his one bomb-shelled room apartment currently under DIY makeover, together with clutters of other stuff, under a power outage.

“O, where are you? show yourself,” he had lately got to a point of talking to things, breaking the silence of the monotony of moving into a solitary confined space to make a sanctuary for himself.

The ringing sound stopped at the prompting of his voice, and instead, there appeared a celestial glow at the far corner of the room, like a gigantic spray being switched on from the floor, emitting burst of lights in various colors, and shapes, casting pictures on his blank wall.

No words can describe what he saw, nor any sane man would agree that he was not seeing from his over imaginative mind.

“It cannot be real! I don’t believe it,” he uttered by default, as always a doubter, and immediately, darkness resumed, followed by a silence at the streets below his window, which usual lively and loud activities being suddenly halted, like the world had left him and gone somewhere else, but then, he heard the horses -Rodeo, the pictures on his wall just a minute ago now went alive down there, water flooded everywhere, teeming with a rodeo of monstrous sea creatures in brilliant multi-colors, beginning his dream in another dream.

2021-02-24

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Challenge 346 SLIP and Time. (acquaintance answers back)

re your wintry slip*

makes me laugh and makes me weep

tis time for goodbye

*slip=note

Note: this is the second part of my previous haiku (slip for an acquaintance)

a haiku and a prose for 2021-02-14

A Haiku

Because love hangs on

patiently adorns each hope

undaunted beyond

A Prose

He has no idea how she has felt after all these decades, 29 years in all. He once thought they would have a long long time together and be happy ever after. In real life their time does not work that way. Time is not exactly a master but it influences. Like the fashion influencer today in the digital virtual realm. It would take herculean efforts to conquer the insurmountable hurdles set in the race of time across oceans and mountains.

Unlike today’s generation, communication was costly then. They could hardly meet or even talk on the phone. He wrote a letter daily after a long day’s work and posted it the following morning through his office boy. She later told him that her postman only delivered a stack of outdated mail once in a while. He spent his daily travel allowance calling her long distance and burnt away cold cash just for a few minutes of hearing her voice. He can still recall the time after each call. He would walk to the bay beach outside his hotel, sat on a rock and watched the sunset. He would hope, as he scanned the distant horizon, to sight a seabird or two, often in vain. The city was one of the most developed in the world, and there was hardly any space or free sky left. The bay was beautiful but it was not a home for any wild creatures.

What was on his mind? He cannot remember now. Perhaps he was imagining that somehow a strong courageous sea bird had flown to her window, perched there in the warm sunshine, at the other end of the ocean, and now came to him with a touch of her fresh air, carrying a slice of her vibrant life for him in that cold, misty, gloomy city of the lonely. Yet, today he suddenly remembers a quote about a higher kind of love. “There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?”― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

All in all, he has no regret. Whatever they have spent together and held on in time for each other. Today is an ordinary Sunday. He stands in his garden and thinks of the time that he still has. The garden is fresh and sparkling in life after a Spring rain. Yes, Spring is here. And the day is February 14. So he decided to write this missive and like old time, post it by snail mail. She likes to hear the ring of the postman. He remembers.

Kainotes, 2021-02-14

an old poem on “The Power of the Dog”, a fresh haiku on “a lost friend”, and a news on a found golden retriever on a freezing Irish mountain

Many of us have a soft spot in our hearts for our pets, e.g. a dog. My family and I have kept dogs as companions for generations. Today I found this old poem about the power of a dog. I also sighted a random news about a golden retriever stranded on a freezing mountain for two weeks being rescued by two doctors finally. The two were were hiking  Lugnaquilla, a mountain in the Wicklow range, on Saturday, far away from their jobs on the front lines. Near the summit, they found the dog, 8-year-old Neesha, who’d fled from a family walk nearby two weeks prior. The retriever was so cold and weak that she could barely bark. The doctors put some clothes on her to stave off any remaining cold and then ended up carrying her back down the mountain—some 10 kilometers. 

“The Power of the Dog” a poem by Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But… you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

A haiku by Kainotes, 2021-02-11 (on “a lost friend“)

in sorrow and grief

memories of time too brief

beyond retrieval

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/video-dog-lost-two-weeks-23462662]

a confession: secret keys to overcome a universal “pandemic” of ignorance

a future looking man

This is a real life conversation (interview) between the mindman (M.) and a “clever” man we name AJ (not his real name). I would posit a solution to overcome the universal pandemic veil of ignorance —which if allowed to continue, could soon spiral into a state of total entropy of human lives on earth. My motive is obvious. I believe in the goodness of the power and effectiveness of orderliness, self-control, discipline, and advancement in all the positive and worthy aspects of civilization through learning. The following conversation will amplify what I mean and the hope for many of us who share similar value in the meaning in life.

M: Good day, sir. Thank you for your kind participation in this program. As you know, the objective of this conversation is to find out how to become clever. What are the prerequisites? How did you first realize your exceptional ability?

AJ: I never knew that people can be stupid until my first day at school. To me, the texts (in both my first and second languages) are so easy to learn and master. The maths are so simple and logical. There is no stress at all to learn any new thing. I absolve knowledge like a sponge absorbing water. I discovered that the boy sitting next to me was not learning. He could not even stay still and concentrate. I soon discovered to my puzzle that the oldest boy in class failed to pass every exam and kept repeating grade one. In our days the school practiced corporal punishment and that boy was caned regularly for failing in almost every subject and assignment.

M: Was it because you are a naturally bookish person? If not, why are you different from others? What is your secret in learning?

AJ: I like reading but I am not bookish in its strict sense. I play a lot and enjoy outdoor life. I was always the first to volunteer for all sorts of outdoor games and sports, running, playing catch etc. I am an avid reader but I spend very little time learning the text books. In our days we hardly had any story books and I read whatever I found, such as wrappers from recycled old newspapers, magazines, a lot of non-fiction materials, in torn bits. I volunteered to be a librarian in school and read all the books and periodicals. This becomes my lifelong habit, learning new things through reading all the books (arts and science) in the libraries and bookshops, except books on subjects that were really beyond my comprehension, e.g. mechanics.

M: Why not mechanics? I understand that you have done well in maths, languages, and even fine arts. You are balanced in all three fields: visual, auditory, and kinesthetics.

AJ: It has something to do with my reasoning. I reason things out so that I can memorize them. In my school and college days we were taught rote learning which I refused to comply. Somehow I just couldn’t figure out mechanics. Actually my dad, eldest brother, and a brother-in-law are in mechanical engineering.

M: Do you mean that you figure out math and languages? Have you ever taught others how to figure things out? What is your success rate in that attempt?

AJ: Yes. That is my secret in learning and remembering. I figure things out. I did try to teach this way of learning in my first days at school. I tried with the boy who sat next to me and the oldest boy who was caned for failing to do his homework because he couldn’t do them. I attempted to help my fellow classmates to learn the way I did through out my school and university days. I never found out what my success rate was. However, I once met one woman (a coffee shop entrepreneur) while visiting my hometown after fifty years and she told me she was my classmate in grade 12 and I helped her to pass her Senior Cambridge exam! It was a pleasant surprise and a bonus —helping others to learn effectively and seeing their success.

M: How do you figure things out? Can you briefly summarize the key points? The keys to success in learning?

AJ: I did not realize it in the early school days, but I figured out how to beat the exam system. First: I always prepared ahead of everyone, including the teachers. For example, the night before the next day’s lessons, I read up the text books and did all the workbooks ahead of the lessons. I did researches through reading the dictionary and the encyclopedia. I found books on math puzzles and problems solving from my seniors and practice all the quizzes. I learned logic, rational thinking, deduction and induction and social science research methodology and the science of learning as a kid through practicing the principles until they become my default-auto-pilot, without even studying them until I was in college. I figured out how best to remember a word or a term, often using association method, or method that best suits me. There were cases where I had to use rote learning, because English was my second language at birth. I overcame that hurdle through reading English books and writing journals. I started writing serialized stories and got them published in the national newspapers at thirteen. It eventually becomes my first language, the language I now work and live in (inside and outside my thoughts).

M: Wow, that sound really difficult and requires special talent!

AJ: I disagree. I agree that some individuals may be better endowed with born intelligence. However, in my experience I have found that intelligence can be acquired and developed, like a physical skill. The more essential prerequisites are: willingness and determination. It is a matter of attitude and practice. At thirteen I cycled pass the most prestigious British international bank and saw an English man manager inside. I told my sister, “You know, one day I will sit on that chair.” I did. And went way up beyond that position in fact.

M: Tell us about your running and sports experience. You seem to have developed and focused on academic and commercial advancement instead of physical pursuits.

AJ: I love running. I discovered that I could be a good sprinter if I had more practices and training. I also found that I was a left-handed sharp shooter in basketball, and had good potential in squash and tennis. I still run or jog or brisk walk as I gain in age. I chose not to pursue all the other possibilities professionally once I set all my life goals on a priority scale. I still run daily for fun, fitness, and youthfulness. I enjoy life in all its aspects.

M: Back to the subject of study. What made you do a master of science degree in healthcare (physiological and mental health) after being very well established in the corporate business world? Having left school for decades? I understand that you did very well in the postgraduate study.

AJ: I believe I can always work on things ahead of time and trend. For example, I went into digital communication line way ahead of the market. The same with healthcare. How did I know before the market knows? No magic. As I said before, it is a matter of learning and seeing things before they materialize. The prerequisites are: reading, observing, thinking, and organizing. The truth about the big picture often unfolds itself. It requires putting into practice what I have learned all my life.

When I decided to go into a new field because I knew there would be a big demand there for the future of mankind, I prepared myself to learn new knowledge. I learned all that I could get hold of at various stages of technological advancement and grow and update as the tech and internet industry grows. For example, in terms of computers, I started with prior-computer (NCR class 32) stage, then progressed to IBM Main Frame, then desk top PC and Window, internet and intranet, terminal PCs, then laptop, MacBook Pro, and so on. I have always believed that I would succeed. And that was many decades ago. History has proven that the decisions were right.

M: Are you more an art person or a scientific person? Left or right brained? Does your personality type influence or give you an advantage over others in terms of learning? I understand that you have high IQ as well. Is that not a prerequisite for learning?

AJ: Studies show that the IQ of half of the population is between 90 and 110, while 25% have higher IQ’s, and 25% have lower IQ’s. Education and literacy rate has improved in history in line with civilization advancement. Most school exams are pitched at the majority level of an average IQ individual. I had my first IQ test when I joined an international corporate group after I graduated from the university. I did not know my test result until a decade later when the HR manager told me in a private lunch. She said I scored around 80%, way above and beyond the normal average passing score of 40% among the executives, and it was a stunning record. They never had anyone with that score. The test was conducted by credible reputable independent examiners. I did not tell her my secret of success. I did something which others (my colleagues from all over the world) probably did not do. I prepared. I bought books on IQ quizzes and practiced them. I even practiced doing Mensa quizzes. Solving problems has been my lifelong hobby. Surprised? My personality type as an INTJ has a lot to do with the way I prepared myself for everything that matters. It is a definite advantage in terms of learning. I am ambidextrous and use both my left and right brain together. I must reiterate that it can be learned through constant practice and preparedness. Even personality type. Another corporate test revealed that I was an introvert-introvert, a rare minority on earth. I was a young manger then. And I knew that if I wanted to progress up the branch banking corporate ladder I had to switch to a centric position. So I learned and acquired the centric skills and switched. At certain stages, I managed over two thousands staff and layers of managers and supervisors. Was it a nightmare for an introvert-introvert? Not at all. It was one of the most challenging and yet rewarding phases in my corporate life. How did I train the use of both sides of the brain? I pursue activities and hobbies that exercise both sides of the brain. I actually enjoy them. Make it a lifelong habit. A lifestyle. Remember: Preparedness is a very important key to success.

M: Amazing! I understand that you are a Christian and have completed various classes in Bible colleges. Did you also figure out how to learn the Bible?

AJ: Good question. I did. Surprised? I learned three essential keys in studying the Bible. First, reading it. Second, meditating it. Third, practicing it. I practiced everything I practice in learning other knowledge. No double standard and short change in terms of learning the Bible. Above all that, I have one additional key, that is, the empowering of the Holy Spirit. So there is little need for me to “figure” out. The supernatural understanding just appears. Every believer can experience it. (Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.)

M: What are your favorite subjects in high school? And universities?

AJ: High school: English language and literature, Algebra, European history, and drawing (sketching). Universities: social research methodology, public finance, political science, organizational dynamics, health psychology, management theories and practices, strategic management, and many healthcare subjects. In fact I like them all.

M: Which book(s) of the Bible are your favorites? Your favorite Bible character(s) apart from Jesus?

AJ: Genesis, The Acts of the Apostles, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John, all writings of Paul, and the book of Revelation. Characters: Paul, Luke, Samuel, and Daniel.

M: Please use one word to summarize what you have said about learning to be clever.

AJ: “Preparedness” (for everything that matters to you and to others in life.)

Kainotes, 2021-1-2

Same as last year: farewell, goodbye, and a haiku, my friend,

Dougie MacLean

Same as last year. Goodbye and farewell, my friend. One day, if perchance, we shall meet, let’s pay for each other’s cup of kindness…and we will take a right goodwill draught, for old times sake. Just this once.

for Auld Lang Syne dear

I sing this cup of kindness

blue sea yonder clear

Dougie MacLean was awarded the 2009 Tartan Clef Award for his song Caledonia. In 2011, he was invested as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth, and in 2013 he was awarded the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Lifetime Achievement for Contribution to Songwriting.

Simply 6 Minutes 12/29/2020: there was another life that I might have had…

“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.”― Kazuo Ishiguro

He is really thankful whenever he thinks of what he has that brief season. He sometimes wishes that he has another life, a normal human life, instead of being a “man” from another world, stuck on earth in an assignment to protect earth. Of course he has never thought that he would have been involved in any relationship with any earthling.

It was really a very brief year. She appears suddenly, not for any reason. She just happens to be a fellow lodger in that mountain lodge. The locked down order comes just as suddenly without notice and they have to live with each other. Just the two strangers on a mountain of 8000 ft above sea level.

From the start, they seem to know each other. Not in names or physically close. They seem to have a supernatural encounter that morning when he arrives. She is in the kitchen. She is making a cup of coffee for herself and makes one for him.

“don’t drink that instant stuff.” She says.

He doesn’t ask why. He enjoys that freshly brew cup.

The snow comes just as suddenly as the locked down notice. To him it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t get to meet or talk to anyone in person outside except the delivery men for food and other necessities. He can still walk and hike up the mountain as his daily routine. He talks to the trees and the wind. Oh, he talks to the small people up there too. People whom she doesn’t know. He works at night and walks in the day. No, he is not restricted by any human system. He doesn’t tell her this but she somehow watches him and knows.

What does he have that he can give her? He is one of the guardians of the four winds. He operates a security system that is beyond her human knowledge. He doesn’t talk about it. One day she sits across the dining table and tells him, I know who you are. You are a kind man. Too kind.

He looks at her in his usual calm and quiet way. Yes, she is right. He is programmed not to harm. He is very kind. Too kind.

Indeed, it has been a year of grace. A year of mercy. It is worth his life on earth. He has no regrets.

Kainotes, 2020-12-29

(The challenge prompts: Even though we can’t have all we want, we ought to be thankful we don’t get what we deserve.)

Simply Six Minutes: Magic Briefcase Adventure six (about silent love and pain)

20191024 Blessed

“How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart?” (Orhan Pamuk) He gave her a poem on her birthday, Rudyard Kipling’s “the power of a dog”. And she burst into tears while reading it and seeing a portrait of her dog that passed on prior to their strange meeting, the first time, on the snow mountain. He merely sat quietly and waited for her to compose herself. She never asks him why he decided to give her such a gift. After all they hardly know each other.

After that she drinks up her coffee and returns to her room. They never talk about that fateful morning when they sat down across the coffee table and she read the poem in tears.

The snow does not give notice. It just comes and goes on that mountain. The sound of the wind and the arrival of the lone young buck one day breaks the monotony of the lodge. The buck is limping. He is very young and has one single tiny budding antler. Has he encountered an accident? Why is he limping? She asks, not expecting any answer and he remains silent.

The wind sometimes howls at night, when he stays up all night to complete his earth assignment. He hears how they wind talk to the trees and the trees answer back through their branches and their leaves. They only talk after midnight when the wind visits his window trees. Sometimes they talk all night as he operates the four wind shield to protect earth.

One day she decides to name the buck Blessed. And they never saw him again after that.

She remains silent when they note that Blessed doesn’t turn up anymore. He sees sadness in her eyes. He knows she must have loved and felt pain in her heart. But they do not talk about heart issues. After all, they hardly know each other. He is merely writing a six minutes story about a strange kind of love.

Letter to my Gen. Z friends: ‘conform or transform’?!

Ephesians 6:10-20 wear the whole armor of God

This is very relevant today, especially for our Generation Z, the emerging thinker…be transformed by the renewal of our mind. (Romans 12:1-2)

Ephesians 6:10-20 The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [c]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

sound mind journey

  1. Conform takes human effort. The paradox of ‘conform’: Over recent history, the word ‘conform’ has been associated with ‘prohibitive’ words like, ‘bondage’, ‘oppressive’, ‘totalitarian’, ‘subservient’, and has become a unwelcomed negative behavioral word among the proclaimed ‘individualistic’ young people. Yet unknowingly, while rebelling against their parents’ or grandparents’ moral values, they practice conformation among their global peers in copying the patterns set by popular trends and icons at the period. The adults are just as paradoxical. Whilst claiming under grace (and thereby not under law) and rejecting the solid foundation of the eternally unchangeable moral value of the holy God in the Bible, they practice conformation to the worldly values that point to only one way, the way of eventual destruction (physical, mental and spiritual).
  2. Transform is a supernatural process. The refreshing empowerment of ‘transform’: God has actually given this key word to believers living a successful and wonderful abundant…

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Challenge 331 FIRST, Heal: gender perspectives (one story three haikus)

heal, first, one haiku challenge

(Haiku one: Reconciled position)

distant rumble “heal”

who goes “first” he smiles she laughs

and they dance as “one”

(Haiku two: competitive position)

distant rumble “heal”

who gets “first” he asks she laughs

alas none no “one”

(Haiku three: neutral position)

distant rumble “heal”

who cares “first” not me (blank stare)

and thus not a “one”

#Simply6Minutes: poolside drama

poolside drama

she: can you see the pool?

he: pool?

she: yes can you see it?

he: ya

she: you need to do something

he: thing?

she: ya, thing, like cleaning

he: cleaning? why?

she: what can you see?

he: ya, I see water

she: the dirt! the leaves!

he: ya, so?

she: so!!! do something!!!

he: ok, wait till i finish this (busily watching the screen of his mobile)

she: (silent. leaves.)

she: (returns. Hand full of stuff. Throws at him.)

he: (loudly yep) what…is this for?

she: (more loudly) do something or i’ll do something to you!!!

nothing happens after a long pause, followed by a loud splash. Someone falls into the pool.

(end)

“sometimes we just have to dig deeper” (a treasure hunter)

Digging into my treasure chest I found this today. Alas, my perspective remains unchanged though somewhat challenged. The following is an unabridged version. My task at hand is how may I write a sequel? No, I don’t mean a sequel in mere words which is easy and may be churned out like a budget standard B&B. I mean how can the lives of real people be put into a sequel complete with their realities?

Narrow? What narrow?

Crosslife Spaces, business as missionendtimes solutionInnovative Management Strategyman of faith and intellectperspectivephotographypoliticsthoughtstransformed mindtravel  08/03/2016 2 Minutes

Narrow

narrow face
narrow seat
Tuk Tuk
narrow food

“Sometimes all you can do is go on. One foot in front of the other, wherever the narrow path might lead.” I quoted this from somewhere about a spy’s narrow/precarious life. In some parts of the world, the ordinary life is comparatively narrow as a routine: narrow food as depicted by the thin corns (for men and for beasts), narrow transport (coach driven by a motor bike!), narrow space (with driver seat shared with a passenger with driver maneuvering the steering wheel with one hand!))and, sadly, narrow faces of many rural young ones who are generally undernourished and petite in sizes below their age.

Is there a choice? I ask as a mere traveler bystander. Can people choose? What kind of people will be able to breakout from their squalid environment and poverty? I know of many who really believe that education can get them somewhere. The parents sell off all they have and even incur huge debts so that their children can go to private college and university. But employment opportunity in foreign corporations remains limited and often has little choice in terms of salaries and benefits. I know of well-brought up, goal-focused youth who charge ahead bravely, studying two tertiary degrees and doing two jobs at the same time, hoping to get a better future! They are going to be the future for their currently small nations.

Are they narrow? No. They have a hope and a future. they are internally open and broad, even when on an external narrow path.

The food, the means of transport, and the physical stature do not make a man what he is. People read about the possible impact on many aspects of lives on earth due to the geographical polar shift. I personally believe that the internal ideology that shapes and drives a man can do more impact to the world than the external environment. I can see examples of more and more intelligent hard working and positive principled goals driven men who have emerged to shape the future of the globe which has become increasingly border-less. The contrary is also true. Those driven by personal greed and heartlessness do great harm to the world as well. The invisible polar shift.

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters (1): anger, bravery, consider and excellence (Revised August 8, 2020)

I wrote this first of a series based on notes from study of God’s words on 03/16/2013. I took words from the Bible in the sequence of words starting with A, B, C and so on.

“A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” background explained (3/17/2013): Why does the spiritual mindman start this new journey to read God’s words? Because he has navigated the uncharted waters previously and known how tough it is to sail without a pilot or a navigation guide. So in this dictionary he records everything he perceives in his spirit to share with his spiritual novice friends and brethren. This is not a conventional Bible words dictionary. It is a compilation of his spiritual notes while reading the Bible.

Here are the Bible verses as his solid foundation and plumb line for his notes and for all readers who have purposed in their hearts (spirit) to read the Bible afresh and be led by the Holy Spirit. (Please read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 2).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Original posted on 03/16/2013

There is a new dictionary which is not exactly new. It has been hidden to many who do not venture into the spiritual realm. The mindman has discovered this new way of reading words, really important words, the words of God. So he begins his real journey on the rough uncharted waters.

Here are some of the new meanings of words or phrases he has found on the way. Enjoy your own navigation through the spiritual mind journey!

________________________________

Anger: it means murder when you think anger in your mind concerning your fellow Christians. Matthew 5:21-23 (NKJV) Murder Begins in the Heart 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

Bravery: If you think of men and fear them and do what they like you to do, you are  a coward. Only when you mind the matters of God and do the will of God regardless what men may say or do to you, you are considered brave, Jesus is the best example of bravery. Peter is a typical example of the opposite.

(Matthew 16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:22-24 (in Context)  Matthew 16 (Whole Chapter)  Other Translations )

Consider: means accounting action. Many think this is just a matter of thinking in your mind. But in the new dictionary it means real action. For example, it is same as the word count or account. When you consider something in your mind your account in heaven starts updating with debits and credits being input into it!Romans 6:11 (EXB) | In Context | Whole Chapter11 In the same way, you should ·see [count; consider] yourselves as being dead to ·the power of sin [L sin] and alive ·with [to; with reference to] God ·through [or in; in union with] Christ Jesus.

Defile: it means even your thoughts are action words. Mark 7:20-23 (ESV) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Excellence: comes in two forms: 1. the power of God (the Holy Spirit); 2. your spiritual knowledge of God.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 Cast Down but Unconquered ]  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
  • Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

the perfect apathy

You remember and dwell on all the things you’ve lost and ignore all the things you haven’t. Because your scars are like stars. Yet the night stays perfectly black. —the perfect apathy (pleasefindthis Friday, August 7, 2009)

We could sing good songs about each other.

你仍记得,记忆留连在你失去的所有一切,却忽略了你仍然拥有的一切,因为你的伤痕就如同星辰,但夜晚却仍是如此完美的黑。(完美的冷漠)

我们其实可以为彼此唱出多么美好的歌呢

pleasefindthis (the pen name of Iain S. Thomas) is best known for the I Wrote This For You project, which he began in 2007 as a blog with photographer, Jon Ellis. The project was published as a book in December of 2011 and appears on bestseller lists weekly.
He lives in Cape Town, South Africa and shares his home with his wife, daughter and various animals.

while the sea remains as calm as the vast night veil

San Francisco

“The Winter comes too early to my heart”
Amidst falling leaves the geese fly south
over water chilled by a cold wind north
my distant home is up this river bend
in the Chu mountain’s cloud it hides
as my journey ends some tears are shed
Folks at home are yearning for this lone horizon sail
for I seem to have lost my way, my quest
while the sea remains as calm as the vast night veil

sound mind journey

new-horizonNew Horizon Of course this horizon is familiar to many. It is at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I took this picture outside looking at the blue beyond. There were few visitors outside that day at that time. One friendly oriental couple with a young child were around taking photos like me. It was a sunny day. I was alone. The others had gone somewhere else as they had visited this place before. I saw some gulls. A sailing boat at the distant horizon. I decided to present this blue horizon with hope. At the same time I also add a sunset horizon at the coast of San Francisco.

Meng Haoran 孟浩然, a Chinese poet who lived from AD689 or 691 to AD740, wrote a poem about the horizon. I quote below the poem and my attempted translation.
早寒有懷
木落雁南渡,
北風江上寒.
我家襄水曲,
遙隔楚雲端.
鄉淚客中盡,
孤帆天際看.
迷津欲有問,
平海夕漫漫.

My translation below~~~~
“The Winter…

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a nursing home blue and a poem

a nursing home blue

the call came

at uncalled-for time

waking in sweat

nightmare? you bet

no, a distant loved one’s quest

to rise from the stone-cold tiles

after a fall

no one recall

how and when and why

no one manages care

from thousands of ocean miles beyond

we come we dare

dear one you are not forlorn

loved one since recovered

what a scare!

Linked to Becky’s Polished blue

blue square and a poem: recalibrate and celebrate

See this window blue-shuttered silence

see the things that can be seen through a lens

but you cannot see the unseen

things like my lonesome way

sheltered in the coolness of the day

why look at the unseen you ask

the seen are temporary task

we tend to forget

and soon to regret

yet framed no longer behold

for i’m well and made whole

today i’ll break out and set sail

biding blue square farewell

o let’s recalibrate and celebrate

to great beyond ’tis well

@my best friend: the time for an old poet

leaf and life thought

The poet gazes afar as the two slowly walk,

Through a strait gate palm in palm they talk.

Now I am ninety-nine and you not younger dear,

Friend to friend, goodbye without fear.

Time to leave them all: sanctuary abode round the corner,

Old dreams of love and whimsy bliss that can not be

Reconciled with the ultimate Initiator and Sustainer of life

Artful tiled floors, Christmas tree, green attic, Jacuzzi in style, red waving palm, sunken secret garden, tinted glass canopies, white-washed walls, yellow brick steps and all.

Yes, we seem to have lived here all our lives,

Season to season, rain and draught, tears and laughter, colors and paleness, words and silence adrift as each decade drives.

I always liked to stay up all hours of the night,

Sitting alone by the green attic window star-gazing into the dim gentle light,

Crafting, designing, evaluating, fantasizing what mattered then,

A future of retreating retiring reviving resurrecting right.

Hearing perhaps a faint sobbing in your sleep,

Urging we must leave and sail across the vast blue deep.

Looking for a blue hope bird in springtime great beyond,

Never again shall we be contented with mere earthling’s song.

Hence in this poem I now give all to time,

To our new home the young country soon we come.

Sound Mind Economics #1: “equal right”

gold bars: economics principle

Sound Mind Economics and Application Issues #1

Dear Millennials and others: Because I was once your age I know how you currently struggle with many pertinent issues. Why economics? It is the main issue that divides many in this world of “inequality”. I believe when we go deeper in economics we shall find some solutions together.

Today we touch on the issue of “equal right” in the practice of economics.

Economics is neutral. It is a set of principles and concepts that describe the way human “trade” with one another in order to satisfy needs and wants. The ability to make wealth and the integrity to keep and use wealth are inseparable. There is a price to be paid and a value system to be measured. In the final analysis, there is always an account to give, rich and poor. 

The first thing I learned in my school economics is the law of supply and demand. Supply is based on demand. but every supplier has the right to supply to the target customers who are willing to buy his goods according to the supplier-seller’s condition of sales. Similarly, a customer can choose to buy or not to buy based on the same set of condition of sales.

A civil democratic (majority-rule) society normally has sales and purchase agreements with checks and balances based on recognized and legalized laws and practices by the majority of the legitimate legal citizens/residents who have legitimate voting rights of that society. Ideally such a system will ensure that the majority of needs and wants of the majority in the society will be met according to the original social “contract” of gathering together as a legal entity called nation/state.

The issues you may face today come from one predominant source: some individuals want to claim more right than others by demanding exemptions from the set social contract.  

In an economic system without exemption, everyone shall abide with the same terms and conditions of production and sales. You cannot force someone to produce and give/sell their products to you even if you have the required money to buy. The terms of exchange have to be met in full. Your ability to provide the monetary value is only one of the terms of the total sales and purchase agreement.

In a neutral civil economic society, the legitimate owner and seller of the resources, produces, goods and services has a legal upper hand than the person who wants that goods and services. It is therefore a crime to forcibly take what the owner does not want to give or sell to you. You cannot covet another man’s property. For example, I cannot ask you to remove your branded watch or shoes or bag from your possession and hand them to me just because I like to have or need to use them. It will be a robbery subject to punishment.

Similarly, no man can trespass another man’s property. That is what legal boundaries and demarcations are for.

The civil democratic constitution and law of “unadulterated” interpretation and implementation normally protect the right of the majority of the legitimate components of the society.  People in a society can create and/or encounter many social issues because they are ignorant or choose to ignore, misrepresent, misinterpret, misjudge, miss-apply and miss-execute the law.

Does a neutral economic system result in inequality? My question is: “inequality” in what? Don’t you honor patent right for the fruit of the inventor? In the same principle, remember and honor the one who produces a good and service. He has the right to decide to sell or not to sell. To give or not to give. A very simple guide is: do not rob or steal from others when you do not want others to do that to you or your loved ones. What honor and esteem you gain by taking what is not yours?

How then shall individuals who deem themselves as “under-privileged” function in a civil economic society? The group of individuals who form the civil society can come together and agree on some rules and regulations governing the common good in any ethical social system.

Who decides what is common good and what are considered ethical? In a democratic system there are established and tested ways to do this effectively. I believe the common moral and ethical values of a society influence that society’s decision making processes and choices. Normally this is influenced by the worldview of individuals, derived from family culture, education and their religious system. Can experiences and knowledge change our worldview? Yes. Definitely. My advice for the younger individuals is to remain open to views and really go in depth and study and understand economics and ethics. For those who are chronologically young, it is wise to know that the older individuals are learning knowledge and developing wisdom too and many are advancing in an accelerated speed and better focus because of the wider and deeper scope they have already gone through in life.

History has shown that taking without paying the due rewards for any goods and services from one man’s possession to another man has resulted in regression instead of progression of mankind. Such a system results in oppression and depression in which mankind do not feel motivated and challenged to do better for himself and/or the community. Social ills such as corruption, poverty and a general economic depression set in together with crime, abuses, violence, destruction, and brokenness in many aspects of the society. When an economy breaks down, the shortage of funds generated from taxation which otherwise would have maintained, up-kept and even improved the common amenities, facilities and security often results in loss of the general wellbeing of individuals and society.

I would therefore urge you to read economic history in the context of the history of mankind. I would define the history of mankind as a history of economics. The depth and breadth of its knowledge, effective application and faithful unbiased implementation is really the key to maintain, sustain and further advance a civil society.

None of us will be around forever on this earth. We need to know and live with each other through genuine knowledge and cooperation with one another. Many great men and great women had lived before us and left behind tested economic principles, ethics and values which have ensured the effective and well functioning of human community. Their positive contributions have laid a foundation for human to work together peaceably and effectively. The evidence is the sustained and improved general human livelihood despite the exponential increase of the population of the world. Food for thought, don’t you think?

I hope this letter will clarify some thoughts and challenge you to widen your thinking scope. During my writing of this, I too have been challenged and decided to know more and think wider on this subject.

From: a sound-mind-economic being.

Postscript: I will attempt the subject of “ownership” of resources, “wealth” and related “equal right” in my next blog.

What is Wealth?

Wealth measures the value of all the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company or country. Wealth is determined by taking the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, then subtracting all debts. Essentially, wealth is the accumulation of resources. Specific people, organizations and nations are said to be wealthy when they are able to accumulate many valuable resources or goods. (Investopedia)

Proverbs 13:11

Proverbs 13:11Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.