After years of absence I remember former zeal in taking part in a photography enthusiasts’ group like this. Here is my impromptu sky shot last February after a sumptuous meal celebrating a birthday. As a lifestyle, I hardly attend such occasion. There was zero attendance in the last three years. This was a special time and I enjoyed the fun and noise with everyone speaking at the same time, and no one listening. For a change someone called from the balcony, “behold the sky!” And here is my shot of that moment (unedited).
What do you do with zero visibility? A man who posted this in the chat exclaimed that visibility was zero at that point but he was determined to get home in time to cook the family reunion dinner. Yes, a man rushing home from work so that he could give his family of grown up live-at-home working children a real treat.
He loves cooking and has owned food and beverage businesses in the past. His family persuaded him to retire and he has since gone into minor home expansion construction line. But he has not stopped cooking. He treats his own home like a cafe, rises extra early just to cook for the day before he goes out. The wife and children can eat them cold or heat them up after work. The soup and rice are always kept warm.
Daily I read a different menu across the ocean in the group chat. His heart has remained a chef. On special days (reunion, birthdays, Christmas, New Year Eve) he goes home early and cooks for his loved ones and old faithful clients really special dishes.
In writing too, at times, I ask if I should move on to a more leisurely field. Because writing an original story, like a chef cooking, is not a delegable job, and can become taxing as years go by. But then, I know because that is where I have laid my heart, one day, I too, may have to resort to making a menu for writing bite-size stuff for the sake of a few very old loved ones, a handful of friends, and even some faithful stranger-readers I have never met.
I was fooled by the same sound twice. To date I am still trying to photograph the culprit, in vain. Which is more helpful to a photographer, albeit an amateur, the sight or the sound? More raw/unedited pictures from an old Samsung. 2020 May.
Today my random thought wandered to the sound of things rather the sight of things. Which is more important to a traveler? The sound or the sight? A photographer will choose sight anytime. A video recorder will want both.
For a writing person, we imagine lots of things, from a picture that tells a thousand stories. But sounds may be simpler to work with, like the happy noises made by the local’s children right now in the park!
Nevertheless, I have been fooled too, by sounds. After house (with a park) and dog sitting for a friend for several occasions I spoke as a passing remark on the long distance phone, “you know, one of the houses nearby seems to have a faulty alarm that went off all the time.” I finally solved that mystery much later. After settling in another house (with another park), one day I woke to listen to sounds and found the same alarm go off for hours. So I told the friend when she called to check how thing were in a new place. When I was ready to host a high tea, I invited her. While eating English muffin, I casually remarked, “There it is, another alarm going off and nobody cares!”
The outburst of laughter that followed was remarkable as it was indeed out of character. With tears rolling down her cheek, she finally uttered, “O you poor… bumpkin! Have you never heard of the marvel of a real life cicada’s song?”
I have been trying to photograph a cicada ever since, to no avail. And I no longer pride myself for recognizing sounds of various species/things.
p/s: What’s black and red and heard all over? A cicada, of course. The chirping and clicking noises of the male cicada are actually a species-specific mating call that can be heard by females up to a mile (1.6 kilometers) away. (Googled)
A photographer never knows what they can capture when looking up. This morning I took a few pictures at random. The sky outside. While working on screenshots I took a cup of coffee and noted the sunshine, which was quite a pleasant change after a number of seemingly endless rainy days (and nights)! But I was delayed and the sky had changed by the time I went out. The first picture was the gloomy sky that greeted the mobile phone. I went back to the work desk and continued my task. After about 30 minutes I looked up and noted the brilliant sunshine all over the yard and park. It was like the sky suddenly decide to brighten up for another coffee break. The subsequent two pictures were taken with the same old Samsung at my second cup of coffee.
There was a season when I was rather keen on taking photos of the sky especially from an elevated higher floor/ground, sitting in the sun and enjoying the view. The pictures show another perspective which we do not normally see when we are in the valley (or at the lower floor level) and tend to be occupied with the clutters down there.
The sky and its vast space can be fascinating. One never knows what one can capture on a fine day.
Looking at the sky and the vast blue beyond it represents can bring a person to thinking of another realm, whether imaginary or real. We can never claim that we know all. We can only see a tiny bit of our own world, and mostly through what others present to our sight. Either facts r fictions. What more worlds and worlds beyond this?
A young person and I like to look for pictures within the sky pictures we take. And we challenge each other to spot faces of angels, animals, and all sorts of stuff, like a treasure hunt. I remember the appearance of a huge heart from a picture I took while walking up a hill. It was a beautiful and well-painted white and fluffy heart in the sky, against the backdrop of a blue sky. it was so clear that no one can miss seeing it. A love letter in the sky. The amazing thing was that it stayed and lingered there as I climbed up and remained there until I started home. I saw it dissolving gradually as I walked down and walked pass that stretch of the hill.
It was a time when nearly all joggers or strollers wore face masks. Some were walking their dogs. The dogs were mask-less. We would normally greet each other with a slight nod or a raised hand from a distance due to social distancing. Some dogs were friendly and had to be restrained from running to anyone other than its owner. When the snow came, often I walked alone as most people avoided walking up due to the snow. Yes, those were days when we had to keep looking down to not slip and fall. And the sky remained unchanged with a grey veil.
It is coming to three years since I left this 8000ft high mountain. The beauty of the snow. When it first arrived in October 2019 out of the sunny clear blue sky I was stunned beyond words. The weatherman forecasted it. The school made announcement and told us to subscribe to a the radio broadcast alert for closure if needed. But I was in doubt, being an entirely new kid on the block. But it came. Right on the dot. When I woke up one morning there was no more color out there. Where did all that snow come and how did such marvel happen? I remember the awe I felt then of the reality of creation. Here are some of the pictures found at random in my old phone, taken on 20191028. Unplugged.
P/s: the poem is based on a true story of a football team of 12 boys and their young coach. They went to explore a cave on 23rd June 2018, intending to spend an hour there but were soon trapped inside by rising water due to heavy rainfall. They were trapped underground for two weeks instead. They were later found to be 1km below surface on a ledge surrounded by water. To reach the boys, divers were used. Total distance to reach the boys: 2950m (1500 on foot, 1450m diving). It was a major coordinated operation involving the locals and multinationals (naval seals, divers, medical, and supplies). Against many odds, the boys survived the ordeal.
How can I forget you, dear Enigma? He begins, a letter he will not post, not that it matters anyway, to her, who does not even have a traceable address like most other women do, unsurprisingly in her case, free, confident, incredibly ingenious, elusive like the path of the summer wind, commanding the temerity to call the shots anytime anywhere with anyone. Love, stay well. He ends his letter.
Why do some see and some cannot? For example, when we come to the word everlasting, can I believe without seeing it with my physical eyes? How do I know it will take place if I cannot see it manifesting and besides no one has been through everlasting, so how can anyone know it is true? These were the questions I have asked before I became convinced that there is an everlasting in terms of time.
There is a character in Lewis’ Narnia book named Lucy who can see and hear what others cannot. And she knows what she sees is true. It took her siblings sometime to see and hear the audible voice of the supernatural being Aslan, the Lion. This is Aslan’s explanation to another two children Digory and friend Polly who can see him and receive comfort from him, the miserable uncle Andrew cannot:
“But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. If I spoke to him, he would hear only growling and roarings. Oh, Adam’s son, how cleverly you defend yourself against all that might do you good!”― C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters chapter 6: continuing indefinitely -from everlasting to everlasting
God’s everlasting love
Everlasting means continuing indefinitely.
These words have been used with the adjective Everlasting in the Bible: love, life, covenant, possession, joy, God, Father, King, light, rule, righteousness.
All verses are quoted from New King James Version
2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
Romans 8:30-32 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
John 3:15-17 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.
Isaiah 61:7-9 7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
And their offspring among the people.
All who see them shall acknowledge them,
That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed.”
I am convinced of the existence of everlasting. All to do with God. Who He is and what He gives. That is why I must include this word in the selection of Bible words starting with E. In my previous post I studied the word END, which is not the end. Today’s everlasting word tells us that there is an existence for us to go on indefinitely. Be comforted. “Courage, dear heart!”
Everyone fears the word. After the end what happens? Even with a story. When I came to the alphabet E with the word “end” I could not continue. Then I realize that the end is not really the end. Lewis wrote: “All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
CS Lewis was careful and thoughtful when he penned the end story. He opened another door for the reader who wants to know what next and whether there will ever be a sequel. That was why I stopped for five years after writing the second last chapter of a series of four out of five children’s books. It sounds somewhat incredible for any serious writer. What happened? Someone asked. Nothing. The truth is nothing happened after the second last chapter of each book. But surely not many will take such a long pause? You asked. Then you heard silence. A long pause. That was what I heard too in the spirit. Some books can become prophetic. If we are not serious of the accuracy of what end they are created and meant to be in their final choices, we better not write the end.
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 5: E is for the END word
I read up the meaning of the word “end” by some scholars. Strong’s concordance shows two words, ‘telos’ 5056, and ‘sunteleia’ 4930. I have pondered on both and will quote a few verses to illustrate each of these two words.
telos 5056 end, i. e. a.termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be, the end of all things (i. e. of the present order of things), as in
1 Peter 4:7 NKJV But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
Some scholars have pointed out that Peter could have repeated what the Lord Jesus had warned, and referred to the impending destruction of Jerusalem or Peter’s own and other Christians’ trials and likely death. On the other hand it should be noted that Jesus was referring to the greater events about His own return and the scale of impact that would be be global and far greater than limited locational Jerusalem and the Jews.
The same word ‘end’ is also used in 1 Corinthians 1:8 NLT “He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” This is very clear that there will be an end of all things when the Lord Jesus returns. This is a fact that the apostles believed and had taught all believers. About the return of the Son of man, everywhere in the Scriptures it is represented that it will come at an unexpected hour, as a thief in the night, and when the mass of people shall be slumbering in false security, Matthew 24:37-39 as sudden as the time of Noah, Matthew 24:42-43 no one knows the hour; 1 Thessalonians 5:2 the Thessalonians believers knew the suddenness of that day when it comes; Luke 21:34 lest that day comes on you unexpectedly.
‘sunteleia’ 4930, entire completion, i.e. Consummation (of a dispensation) — end. The word is used in Daniel 12:4, denoting a time at the end when people seek knowledge fervently and vastly, and 12:13 which denotes the end of Daniel’s earth time, and another end which will come when he will arise to receive his inheritance.
“The word sunteleia signifies a bringing to completion together, marking the consummation or completion of the various parts of a scheme. The word does not denote a termination but the heading up of events to the appointed climax. ” (VIne’s Complete Expository Dictionary)
Jesus spoke of the end of age when He will send His angels to separate the wicked from among the just, remove from His kingdom all things that offend and those who practice lawlessness. (Matthew 13:39, 40, 49,50) In Matthew chapter 13 He used parables to illustrate what will happen at the end of the age, that there would be a separation between the wicked and the righteous. (Read the parables of the wheat and the weeds, and the parable of the fishing net).
The word ‘end’ is also used to denote the consummation of the ages in Hebrews 9:26. “but now, once at the end of the ages, He (Christ) has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” 1 Peter 1:20 “God chose Him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days He has been revealed for your sake.” The history of all preceding ages was a preparation for the manifestation of the Christ. All subsequent history develops the results of that manifestation.
We can see that the word ‘end’ does not necessarily mean THE END. Indeed there is a demarcation line drawn, which shall end the age before that line. After that line there is another beginning of another age. This is the Christian hope and assurance of our belief.
There are many unknowns that are real and existing after crossing the demarcation line for each of us. Reading the Bible we know enough to give us the hope and the faith to walk by the Spirit towards finish line on this side of the line. The line has two sides. On the other side it is a beginning line.
Aptly declared by Lewis, all our life and adventures in this world had only been a cover and title page.
“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.”― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. Racing against time is the crux of my Christian life. Writing several subjects at the same time, I find myself like drawing a brand new map and adding new discoveries of the locations of cities, boundaries, roads, mountains, rivers, and coastlines and many other things we deem interesting and important and relevant as we walk the terrain in the mind and the spirit.
One of my current assignments is to read the Chronicles of Narnia again. In an ironical way I am pleased that I am old enough now to read fairy tales again. I listen to the audio book and read the printed text at the same time so I would not miss anything. I have finished four out of seven books in the series.
Reading Narnia, in all its brilliant splendor with magnificent richness in depth, breadth, width and height, of both contents and language, I felt like giving up my intention to re-write my five children’s books. It was quite hopeless to carry on with mine in the language (the main ingredients) that I find lacking. How to compare with the world class Chef de Cuisine in my humid backwater damp wood burning kitchen shed with a chipped earthen pot and smoke in the eyes? Yes, you are right, a man’s faculty to dream is subject to the constrains/availabilities of the supplies of words in the formation of his thoughts. And thoughts are the ingredients for books. Language feeds the thoughts. Thoughts feed the writing.
Well, just plod on. My spirit says. So I decide to plod on. Here is a conversation from the Dawn Treader encountering pitch darkness spoken by the Lord Reepicheep in reply to Captain Drinian,
“But what manner of use would it be ploughing through that darkness?’ asked Drinian.
Use?’ replied Reepicheep. ‘Use, Captain?’ If you mean by filling our bellies or our purses, I confess it will be no use at all. So far as I know we did not set sail to look for things useful but to seek honour and adventures. And here is as great an adventure as I have ever heard of, and here, if we turn back, no little impeachment of all our honours.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”
A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 4: D for day
Day: A specific time or period. This is the word for today. The word is neutral. But in most cases it comes with other words which bring a sense of foreboding, for example, the terrible day of His, your day of reckoning, in the last day, they will, how terrible that day will be, the great and terrible day of the Lord, watch for the day of the Lord, great and dreadful day of the Lord, that great judgment day of the Lord. However, there are happy and positive ones too:
2 Corinthians 4:16b Our spirits are being renewed everyday.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 My brothers and sisters, it will be different for you. You do not dwell in the darkness, so that day will not surprise you like a thief
16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. 19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. 21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]
One thing about being a human is that we all have the faculty to choose. making choices in life is an inalienable inborn nature and right, starting from the first man and woman on earth. A man’s choice will impact his life, or a process in space and time of life. Similarly, the choice he makes will determine whether the phrase “the Lords’ day” will mean good or bad when that day finally comes to him. Every one has a day of the Lord. Moses said this in his final speech,
Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
All that I am sharing are words I have used and they have worked. To get rid of whatever lies and doubts when sensing the “depressive-oppressive” spirit sneaking anywhere near, I turn and increase the intensity of my focus on who I am in today’s words. Lest we ever forget, this is the triumphant positioning to which we must hold fast.
Alive: animate, having life, active, aware. It is used to describe a physical body or the word of God. A dead body or lifeless word is of no use to anyone. But God’s words are alive. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Jesus says that hIs words are life and spirit. And His Spirit gives life to our mortal body. (John 6:63; Romans 8:11).
Body: one’s physical essence “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (1Corinthians 9:27); or a group of people. 1 Corinthians 12:12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.
Being alive and disciplining the body are inter-related. Without the alive and fit physical body, there will be no body of Christ (a group of believers). This is essential in advancing the Kingdom of God. Why does God call Himself as “I Am the Healer”? Why did He send Jesus as Savior and Healer? The salvation package actually consists of two gifts: redemption from the consequence of sins, and the healing of all our diseases. (Isaiah 53:4-5) A great psalm by king David confirms this fact clearly: read Psalm 103:1-5. In addition to redemption, David had received the physiological benefits of having all his diseases healed and his youth being renewed like the eagle’s!
Christian: One who professes belief and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. A believer. The name was first given to the worshippers of Jesus by the Gentiles, (Acts 11:26) but from the second century onward accepted by them as a title of honor. 1 Peter 4:16 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!
Looking back, I have never thought of myself as having any other identity but a Christian even when I did not attend church or read the Bible or pray. Later I came to know God’s grace (undeserved favor) and His love for me, and was baptized in the Holy Spirit. The term “being a Christian” became really meaningful and purposeful. I read the Bible with a passion, and the words come alive. My life has been totally transformed and renewed, seeing and experiencing supernatural signs, miracles, divine healings. Indeed, to me, Christianity is a call to live supernaturally, walking by the Spirit. Thank God I am a supernatural Christian. So can you be.
Church: Ekklesia (or ecclesia) is the Greek word translated in the New Testament as “church.” It comes from ek, meaning “out from and to” and kaleo, meaning “to call,” and has to do with a group of people called out from one place and to another. It is an assembly or a congregation. The ekklesia in the New Testament is a group of people who have been called out of the world and to God; it is the church. It is not a building or a place. The church universal is made up of all believers in Jesus. Local churches are smaller gatherings of the worldwide church.
(Acts 11:26, 12:5, 13:1-2, 16:5 church in the house) The early Christians gathered together to worship God, pray, partake Holy Communion, and listen to the teachings about Jesus (through the Scripture written and circulated by the apostles and disciples). Regardless of their circumstances. There was really no physical buildings to which they could call “church”. They became the church just as Jesus has commanded. An invincible spiritual body of Christ. They followed exactly what Jesus has taught. He knew best. They believed. They became what He promised them to be, having a position in the spiritual that cannot be shaken.
Historically, all the Christians who listened carefully to Jesus’ warnings and watched the signs, were able to flee to safety before the AD70 total invasion and destruction of Judea and Jerusalem by the Romans. In this case, history presents a type of what will happen again. (In a vision nearly a decade ago, I was led to see empty halls of former churches richly decorated and furnished like a theatre which became dead, deserted and dusty and forlorn. Then I was led to another place thriving with lives, where believers continue to worship God, pray and gather together in small groups.)
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
I do not have the intention to write a conventional Bible words dictionary. This is just a personal journey recording what I receive daily for the last 20 days of this last month of this year 2021. As some readers may have noted, I have not followed any fixed pattern of writing in this blog. When you browse through the archives you will find a variety of writings. I started writing at 13 year old, for a local newspaper, daily serialized fiction stories. when I went to high school I joined a poetry club and started writing poems. In my twenties-thirties when I was a corporate executive, a newspaper editor offered me a daily column in their editorial page. Later, someone introduced me to an editor for Christian publications and she invited me to write as their regular writers for weekly Christian publications in secular papers. Those were different training grounds for me to pursue my writing hobby.
This Sound Mind blog was started in December 2012 and I started a series named “A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” in March 2013. I have written 45 episodes and stopped in September 2017. In the same year I started this blog, I posted an article by Andrew Wommack on spiritual authority and the links to his audio series mp3 (https://freemindconfession.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/know-your-real-spiritual-authority-and-power-use-them/). Three days after, on 2013/08/31 around 8am in the morning, I had a spiritual encounter myself, and witnessed and video recorded the sound and visual of a shower of golden rays inside my sunken kitchen surrounded by high brick walls with no access to direct sunlight!
I believe the spiritual realm is real. I have had many spiritual encounters which I have documented and posted in another blog (https://kzlam36.wordpress.com/). I continue to use the Sound Mind blog as a practice ground for a variety of writings. Lately I have been prompted to do a new series to “commemorate” this year, lest I shall forget the more important matters. Writing and thinking and speaking out what we write can shape our brain and in turn change the reality around us.
What can be better than to use the remains of this year to do this brain and reality refreshing exercise by going through the process of selecting the key words (through hearing in the spirit), pondering on their meanings and purposes, writing them down and even reading out loud? I asked myself. A higher simultaneous goal, if possible, is to heighten the awareness of the spiritual reality of our existence. When we acknowledge the reality of being a being with a spirit, operating a soul (mind and emotion), housed inside a body, we shall find life not that meaningless, hopeless and even desperate.
That is why I have decided to do this last series for 2021 on this rather unusual subject with the spiritual in view right now. In a way I am led in the spirit to return to what I started at the beginning.
God loves all and has made provision for all to be saved. Today’s words: Believe, birth, blood. Serious interrelated key words from the Bible. At the end of this post I will post two haiku written on the words received yesterday and today.
Believe. This is the first word for today. It is an entry word for a Christian. It is possible to join something without believing in it in the physical realm, but not so in the spiritual realm. Christianity is a spiritual realm.
Believing in Jesus is the entrance ticket or a switch to God’s realm. It leads you to the next automatic step, which is the word “birth”, being “born again” by the Spirit of God. Only by being born of the Holy Spirit, we can see and enter the realm of God (John 3:3, 5). New birth is the result of believing in what God says about Jesus through the Bible. Believing in Who Jesus is and what He has done for you on the cross, gives you a supernatural ability to see and enter the Kingdom of God.
The two most quoted Bible verses that lay out this condition are John 3:16, 18. Everyone who believes will not perish but have eternal life. The one who does not believe has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son, Jesus whom God has given the world.
The third word is “blood”. Here is a summary of what the blood of Jesus as done for us.
Romans 5:8-10 New King James Version 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
God has paid a priceless price to show us His love, and the priceless value He considers each of us.
1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
As promised, the two haiku from God’s heart.
A. “God’s love for all”
I have loved you all
Created in My image
B. “Believe, new birth, of His blood”
Believe in My love
Prepaid all with My Son’s blood
Saved by grace, rebirth!
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
postscript: Why a year of ridicule? In pondering over a name to sum up this year, the phrase “a year of ridicule” came into immediate vision. Has anyone seen anyone they have become before this year? No. Looking at any photos of human person/group taken this year, you will acknowledge the appropriateness of the term. All men have been ridiculed. No exception.
All have been through together, the year of ridicule. What are the words for the remains of the days in 2021? For those who have sailed above the uncharted water, or are still sailing through it, let us plunge into the Bible treasure chest and pick up some word gems to shape and guide as our spiritual compass, and continue to brave the journey ahead. Let us be led by the Holy Spirit, in identifying His words in alphabetical order, during the last 20 days of this year 2021. (This is an entirely new series continuing what I left off in September 2017)
The A word is ALL. When pondering on how to start with the alphabet A, I realize we do have a lot of words to choose from. But when I started typing this journal note, the phrase “the word is ALL” comes into my mind without hesitation. How appropriate! All have been through together the year of ridicule. No exception.
Admittedly this is a crucial word today for possibly the last generation (encompassing ALL existing living generations) will witness together the return of the Lord we are all hoping for.
The word ALL appears 4716 times in the whole 66 books of the Bible according to NLT search (OT 3737 times. NT979 times). First mention is in Genesis 1:12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. (God began this world with creating something that will generate and multiply faithfully to provide ample and rich sustenance for the living world He created.)
Last mention is in Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.! (Last reminder: without exception, the deeds of all men are being recorded in the spiritual realm and will require account. Good news: there will be reward.)
First mention of the word ALL in the last book of the Bible gives a specific blessing with a condition: Revelation 1:3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and He blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.
Last mention in the first book of the Bible also speaks of God’s good intention for His people. Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
A random verse from the last book of the OT: Malachi 1:11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Another random verse and again it tells of God’s blessing and a condition: Psalm 1:3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Who is this blessed man? Read 1-2 for the context.)
A random set of verses declaring where the true security rests: Psalm 146:3-5 3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there; 4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. 5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
Random verses from a major prophet: Daniel 12:7 The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raised both his hands toward heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to an end, all these things will have happened.” (Note: to know what “all these things” are, please read chapter 11 as well as 12)
A verse from a minor prophet: Zephaniah 3:9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. (Note: this speaks of our communication, our media of communication, the contents and the intention, the oath we make, the true as against the false, the genuine versus the counterfeit.)
A verse from the first book of the NT: Matthew 1:22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
The perfect witness, John speaks this in the last verse of his Gospel John 21:25: Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.
How the first church began, as initiated and recorded by the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:1-3 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. (Note: meeting together in persons!)
Romans 1:18 God’s Anger at Sin But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (No exception. That is why Jesus had to come and die for ALL).
This is the God provided way out of God’s anger: 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
God provided His Son as the once for all sacrifice for us in order to save us: 1 John 2:2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
Some warning verses about spiritual war/persecution: Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.
The weapon used by the adversary: 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
The apostle’s charge to all believers: 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul’s Final Instructions: But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
Here is the assurance that we will not lose out by resisting the devil and submitting to God: Philemon 1:6 6 (KJV) That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every (all) good thingwhich is in you in Christ Jesus. (Acknowledging all good things are already in us because we are in Christ and receive by faith by pronouncing this!)
Looking through the old photos and archives of my blog posts, here is a find of a poem named “cheeky rain” (12-11-2017). It tells of how the old and the new intermingling in a person’s mind, made of memories neatly categorized by the brain, often mixing up the occasions and meanings. Enjoy and have a mindful year end reunion with your loved ones.
He wants to share the beautiful newly painted white Pearl-Glo wall all ready for Christmas and the New Year toll instead his phone chooses to display a mind dropping rain drops on his file why it’s not what I want to send to my love he cries no it isn’t but this is far better, the phone replies what, even rain drops on my window pane cliché? long ago i saw a drama performed on stage called rain drops keep falling on my head i didn’t understand why my ma sang in swimsuit with pa dressed in sailor uniform pouring buckets of cold water on her head. no, it’s mixed up with i’m singing in the rain with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. not that, you nit, she says, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair. (South Pacific) Whatever you say. he says. She says, rain rain go away. Since I miss the moment of capturing the beautiful white glistening in the rain I just have to send this picture from a mysterious phone and say I love you rain don’t go today. Last word he says. Rain rain go away last word she says.
Note: (2021-12-11) Here is a haiku from the heart to go with the mind.
A third way to dispel an unwanted feeling is to write a letter. No, not the digital one. Write on a piece of paper and then put it into an unaddressed envelope, seal it and put it into an empty shoe box in the filing cabinet where you keep your IRS returns and other similar kind. You may want to transcribe it into a digital/audio file, just in case you want to use it for the text of a poem or haiku in my case. But this is not my subject today, which is, what happens when two poets meet?
“When our lives meet
I can remember to be strong;” (** I took this at random from a poem of another favorite poet in not so many bygone years. )
The original poem is about a quiet place (like virtual) for two poets (my interpretation), a woman and a man, each with each own separate life/family. Each poet’s voice through their poems unintentionally resonates with that of the other.
Here is a visual: a woman poet in her above quote makes a stance to stand strong for the man on the common ground they share in their poetic ideals. In a way, it makes the poem alive. An elderly (born 1946) woman standing tall and firm waving her poetry work in her hand, to a man (born 1965) standing tall and firm waving his poetry book to her in turn across the vast ocean.
Some of the younger readers may wonder how that can be plausible, or even imaginable, seeing the vast difference in chronological gap? Possible and plausible. In a strange sublime and transcendental behavior, a poem, or rather a creative and unique arrangement of words with the intention to communicate a thought, a feeling, a picture, a sound, a story, or just the mere shape of the poetic formation of characters in visual, it somehow communicates to someone somewhere, especially to another poet.
You may want to call it a seamless connection.
Coming back to the beginning of this post, letters were mentioned as a third way out of the feeling of (fill in your adjectives). I happened to come across 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) movie clips and later listened to the audio book on a sleepless night, questioning the point of writing anything at all in this age. of uncertainty, including the question whether anyone reads anything at all for more than one minute or watch a video clip or listen to an audio recording for more than two minutes. I have not yet read any review of this book about an old book shop at the location where I used to roam, and hunt, to physically browse around, shoveling through the dust, and hopefully make a find of a rare gem of a book.
One of the thoughts that came to mind was what was the intention of the author? The content of the letters had to be restricted to books*, to find, to buy and to sell and deliver. The relationship between the two who penned the letters had to be confined to that between a customer of the bookshop and the employee of the bookshop. How can an author expect to sell her book on such contents? Amazing.
The two correspondents never met in persons. Across the oceans their letters shared their lives around books (papers). An outsider of the circle of book lovers would have imagined the relationship as thin as a sheet of paper, or a line of a poem in the case of the above two poets.
You too, may think so, because you prefer other kinds of books or the modern digital way feelings and thoughts are now communicated. But I know you are not here anyway to read this even if I send you a link.
Meanwhile, I salute fellow readers and enthusiasts for books and poetry and writing letters across oceans. I mean the real books (in paper) of course.
Note: Helene Hanff (April 15, 1916 – April 9, 1997) was an American writer born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is best known as the author of the book 84, Charing Cross Road, which became the basis for a stage play, television play, and film of the same name.The epistolary work 84, Charing Cross Road was first published in 1970. It chronicles Hanff’s 20 years of correspondence with Frank Doel, the chief buyer for Marks & Co, a London bookshop. She depended on the bookshop—and on Doel—for the obscure classics and British literature titles that fueled her passion for self-education. (Wikipedia)
When we put our feelings in the boxes of perspective we feel safe. I just read some poems by a favorite poet in past gone years, and this is one stanza that I picked at random,
Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because — because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. (by Pablo Neruda [1914-1973] )
Feelings are really one of the least safe things in life. How to stop a feeling that disturbs and even hurts? There are two ways. One way is to write a poem, or in my case, write a haiku, short and terse. Then I put away my unwanted feeling into the 17 sounds/syllables. For example, here is my haiku based on the above stanza from the famous poet.
go not a day long
vacant stare waiting forlorn
train not arriving
Another way of stopping an unwanted feeling is to pack it into a box. Label the boxes into perspectives. A dictionary’s definition (not exhaustive) of perspective includes: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. A picture drawn in perspective, especially one appearing to enlarge or extend the actual space, or to give the effect of distance. A true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion. You can name it whatever (just fill in the blank). And then put it aside.
Actually the key is “put it aside”. Can you do it?
Can I? Well, I have the haiku as a backup plan B. So one day if I find it real hard not to hear from you for a long long time, I may choose one of the two ways like a DIY dispenser of feeling numbing/removing fail-proof actions.
Today, like any other fine weather day, he hikes up and beyond this 8000 feet high mountain. He responds to a call (from his Source) to go down the other side to investigate an unearthly signal for urgent help emanating from an area there. The hike is comfortable as the sun smiles at him and the winds gently brushes his rather school-boyish short hair, as he whistles an earth tune he happens to recall lately, “Maybe I’m bound to wander from one place to the next Heaven knows why but in the wild blue yonder your star is fixed in my sky…” (2015 Knopfler – Wherever I Go)
The small people are not the main issue for this alien man, whom we name K in this series, from another realm and space on earth as he only concerns himself with his assignment from the Light Source, guarding the four winds as a joint-outer-terrestrial defense for earth against a hostile alien alliance, the agent for the dark force in this universe. But he has a second encounter with the small people today after he watched them enter the opening of the rock up the mountain (read my earlier post on April 13, 2021 conspiracy part one).
As he approaches the site, he realizes it is near the other side of the cluster of rocks the locals named the city of gods. “We are expecting you,” a voice speaks from a wall of rocks, and an opening appears for him to enter into the world of the small people. He does not hesitate this time because he knows he is on an official assignment (from his Source). He is shown into an empty chamber of bright light even though he cannot see any light source. The small people appear to have advanced technology. “We need urgent help!” Said the voice, which is instantly echoed by hundreds of small voices in unison.
Seeing that K is not surprised and in fact has noticed that the chamber wall is lined with the faces of small people who camouflage as part of the wall, all wearing a veil of light on their faces.
The voice tells him that one of the small people went into an outer world to carry out a mission, was captured by the enemy, and was subject to an experiment, which could cause fatal mutation of cells, taking over the host eventually. When the mutant life spreads, it could put a whole earthling community to extinction. The small person survived and miraculously escaped and returned to tell his former plight.
“He lives. Because we are not fully earthlings. We have our own unique in-built life defense mechanism. But we have counseled and recognized that this is a premonition for earthlings. That is why we sent out our signal to the Light Source to send help urgently. We have been watching you work. You are the authentic messenger.” (True. K has been aware of them watching since he came to the SnowLand. He could not see them in the dark but he sensed their presence at night when he worked on the four winds protector. And he knows they are not hostile, always staying a safe distance and do not interfere with his work. in fact they have kept the wild predators away.)
This is not the time for K to ask further questions. His role is to solve the problem. But “How?” He asks himself. How is he to counter the impending invasion?
“We have the solution. And it has to be carried out by a full earthling with advanced intelligence, specialized training, and super-power beyond the natural earthling. We know that there are four of you on earth right now, each guarding one of the four winds. We requested you because you are the nearest to what we are looking for. “
K knows he cannot say no to this request, because of two reasons: his primary job is to keep the earthlings safe and he will be out of job if the earthlings are destroyed. More importantly, his superior has already agreed and issued the command fo him to connect with the small people.
The voice announces their condition. “We have to make you go through three tests. They are all related to the earthlings, how much do you care for them? Do you care for them more than you care for your own convenience or even safety on earth? They are crucial for our assessment of your candidacy for this assignment that could mean life and death depending on success or failure.”
K nods in agreement. The voice continues, “I see that you have brought your magic briefcase with you. You will need it.”
What are the three tests? Why does K feel uneasy? He was born into an earthling family with earthling parents. He has lived with the earthlings all his earth life. He has studied them and learned to become like them. Yet he starts feeling a tinge of unpreparedness and uncertainty about the tests ahead. He can see in his heart the visions of what he will be going through. Scenes that he has been avoiding all his earth life. (To be continued)
I first took part in Becky’s timesquare with this post, where our lives meet, there is always time posted on 12-27-2018. Looking at the pictures and the poem I realize how time has passed almost without notice. The story and poem (about an old love between a farmer and his old wife) faded like the deliberate fading effect of the pictures which were originally taken in 2015 in a homestay in a third world country.
It started with a limp. More specifically it started on the day (a long time ago) when I fell down and sprained my ankle while hiking and met the mermaid in a tank. Here is the ensuing conversation:
Me (The solitary truant playing young person on hilltops): Good day, miss. (Not wanting to be impolite, while wondering which cringeworthy miscreant put her in that misfortune).
Mermaid: Good day, young sir. Can you help me please? I am freezing cold!
Me: (In a display of bravado , covered the tank with my plaid, a huge thick Scottish one) Ok, miss, I hope you feel better.
Mermaid: Thank you sir. I see you are limping. Is it painful?
Me: (Wondering what to do next, with my right ankle swollen and my body temperature dropping without the plaid) Yes, miss. Do you need further help?
Mermaid: Yes, I was kidnapped and placed up here. This is the rendezvous place for the crooks. They are returning soon.
Me: Where are you from, miss? I might be able to take you home.
Mermaid told me she lived nearby in a hidden lake and her father was the king of the lake which was full of ancient treasures. The kidnappers stumbled upon that secret, intruded their privacy, and found the magic lake on the particular day of the particular month it appeared to the human world and kidnapped her and asked her father for a chest of gold as ransom. She could show me the way if I could carry her tank on my back and limp down the valley on the other side of the hill. The breath taking beautiful lake would manifest to her when in sight.
Being the gallant youth I was then, we made our great escape. Miraculously I limped and somewhat swiveled down that hill and delivered that mermaid safely to her father and received a reward of a chest of gold. They changed the schedule of annual appearance after that. I never met them again. Yes, I did feel a tinge of sorrow when I thought that I would never get to write their story, so here it is, at last!
That explained why I did not have to continue my study or did a day of work ever since then. And that’s why I am writing such “juvenile” story.
What happened to my foot? Healed just as miraculously the moment we reached the magic water of the lake. The name of the Lake? Living Water.
Please don’t get me wrong, Miss, I um I just don’t seem to remember right now. But it will come to me shortly. Ah, I clearly remember it starts with A… or B or C ? Never mind.
Why am I here alone? Why can’t I be here? Surely I can be alone at times, or most times. Unseemly of me? No way, ma’am, no way. A chap can be alone anytime he or she or they want. It’s a sunny day and all that snow. I like being here just minding my own business…
O, you mean it’s a working day and I shouldn’t be out here in the wild, and instead, i should be in my important office signing important stuff? I beg your pardon? I have already done all the signing the minute I took over my office. I have like, signed like never before!!!
What did I sign? Do I remember? Why should I? Why should I care? Sir, I have done my part, and earned my keep. That is what matters. Please don’t bother me again. Let me be, can’t you hear?
(Time ran out because there was a lot of hesitations and ng. From a distance the director cried cut)
this is another random episode I took from my classic spiritual adventure series, a fun story that has not yet ended. it was a story based on visions, dreams, and spiritual encounters/inspirations that I received.
I decided to repost a further episode from this 2014 series of my story and took this one out at random. Enjoy.
Traveler Ying and 25 teens and children discovered that they were walking downward into the depth of the earth. The gentle slope soon became steep and slippery with the sound of dripping water. They could feel the dampness. Some children slipped and fell and scratched themselves. Some fell into mud puddles. The older children had to carry the little ones and their pace became slow. There were twelve boys and thirteen girls. Each regiment had a balanced mix of older and younger children so each was able to take care of its own.
The underground tunnel seemed to lead to a river as they could hear the sound of flowing water, which became louder and louder as they approached it. At last they stood next to a dark…
this is a story that came out of a spiritual encounter. It was fun writing the whole series which is yet to end. I took the whole lot away from the public shelf as I need to publish them as a book. Today I am prompted to post an episode so I took this one at random. I hope you will enjoy.
I decided to repost a random episode from my 2014 story, as a treat to my readers.
Traveler Ying’s notes: I have been recording my own perspectives, on how an individual asks for divine direction in end days. However, I am reminded today that each individual must ask for himself or herself. Henceforth, the notes will speak for each individual as the Spirit leads.
Yu (the boy who spoke the language of the water creatures) wrote his account here:
I knew I could speak the water creatures’ tongue when I was about seven. Some bad people came and took my parents and they never returned. My aunt took care of me until she died when I was fourteen. She washed clothes for rich people and we went to the river everyday. My closest friend was a fish. One day I talked to it and it talked back. My aunt asked me…
“This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.”― David Nicholls, quote from One Day. He never knew how he could ever forget the day they first met and began a strange, out-of-this-world relationship. Looking back now, he realizes how true these words have been to them, “You can live your whole life not realizing that what you’re looking for is right in front of you. Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I’ll always remember it.”― David Nicholls, quote from One Day
He is back now in his own realm (which the earthlings call, planet) and has settled to his light years of taking a break after his earth assignment, an assignment which he will always remember, not only because of its colossal responsibility of a century as a guardian for the four winds, a shield for earth against external invasion, but also for the last task to complete a book/report on “the essence of love” involving emotion and feelings, the energy that drive the earthlings to make irrational decisions and actions.
He has kept a copy of the report, mainly in excerpts as the full set of research paper is too lengthy and detailed with sadness involving him, a part which stuns even a being like him, who has been programed not to feel or be emotive in the earth’s way. Yes, he has been deeply hurt and nearly ruined. And it is all because of just one earthling woman who remains a stranger to him as even now he realizes he has never known her.
While back to his realm, he continues a very disciplined life and switches back to patrolling the earth as a circling light when it is his turn, which is an annual event. He remembers his last farewell words to the strange enigmatic woman, when she was still alive and young, “when you look up the midnight sky on every February 14, no matter which time zone you are, you will see a brilliant white light that lights u the whole sky for an instant, and you will know that it is me.”
After leaving the place he names Snowland, they no longer contact each other. He carried on his assignment for several more decades, until he was allowed to leave earth. He did not know or find out (if he wanted to, he could) where she was and whether she was still alive. Sometimes it is better not to know. As he listens to the earthling’s book “One Day” today, he is stirred to remember her. And his eyes are moist and he feels liquids running down his cheeks. Yes, he has tears. They had some good days together, during the months of locked down up that 8000 ft high mountain.
He never questioned her past. And that was his mistake. She tried to tell him, disguised as narrating the story of a friend, or a project she was writing, but he preferred to stay out of her personal life. He learned too late. He discovered too late that she was not what he thought she was. When she unleashed the force of human emotion based on misguided feelings, he was totally unprepared and did not know how to respond as a human would do. He had never learned how to. It was like a powerful tidal wave with the force equal to 8000 locomotives or 25 million horses pounding against an unwavering cold stone wall. At her uncontrollable raging he continued to think and analyze, “Why does she hate so much? Why do human hurt themselves with hatred?” He could see her pain, but he could not feel. He was merely a bystander in her world.
In short, he does not know human kind of love, or any emotion called love and hate at all. He really cannot fathom how a human can love and hate at the same time, to the point that they want to destroy in the name of love.
The silence of the sea. Random music musing. War=Wall between two humans.*
“How lucky you are to live by the sea. What I like most about the sea is its silence. I’m talking about what is hidden. What can be perceived underneath. One must learn to listen to it.”
I want to say something but I just cannot vocalize because it is too sensitive to talk about. Silence is a great wall. Sometimes some music can break through the wall. If only more have ears to hear. Pure music is always without words, without singing. It is a form of silence. The sound of silence. Yet it tells stories that touch the heart. If only more will write the kind of music of yesteryears. Music that can break through walls and wars, time and space. But we each hear a different beat. So there is no condemnation for any differences if need be. We are designed to be different.
Here are just my rambling phrases being strung together in the name of a poem:
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)
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.
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)
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)
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
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.
“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”).
“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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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“)