random photo shots of sky reflection of earth

2022-01-05 can you distinguish whether it is the earth being viewed from above or it is merely the ordinary cloud reflecting the earth on a random day? A mingling of the real and the unreal, or an intersection between two parallel existence.

further random pictures of things in sky

flare orbs captured 2022-01-06

Quote: “Flare orbs are nothing more than a secondary image of the sun, filtered by the lens coating and reflected from internal lens surfaces before forming part of the captured image. Other flare effects can be seen here but they’re over a broader area and are less defined. There is nothing paranormal about these orbs – they are purely optical effects.” (https://strangeoccurrencesparanormal.weebly.com/ectoplasmic-residue-blog/green-flare-orbs-common-in-cellphone-photos)

a poet’s two ways to dispel an unwanted feeling

on an Amtrak train

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.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku Challenge 337 OPEN and Solace: holiday colors

holiday colors 20191212

open to solace

undaunted by snow and ice

colorful flawless

#KindaSquare: three (stags) of a kind at my front yard (haiku)

viewing from our side

man you’re really intruding

guys I’m by-standing

(Note: Conversation between them and me. Guess who said what?)

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

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

Narrow? What narrow?

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

Narrow

narrow face
narrow seat
Tuk Tuk
narrow food

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

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

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

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

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

alas the waiting is too long for all that jazz…

Alas, the waiting is too long…for all that jazz.

https://freemindconfession.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/alas-the-waiting-was-too-long-for-all-that-jazz/

Sound Mind Economics #1: “equal right”

gold bars: economics principle

Sound Mind Economics and Application Issues #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From: a sound-mind-economic being.

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

What is Wealth?

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

Proverbs 13:11

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

One man’s paradise

The Mosquito Coast – random thoughts

dangers of utopianism
As his new Eden crumbles around him, Fox descends from eccentricity into madness, turning on everyone who dares to challenge his vision. The story ends in tragedy. At its core, The Mosquito Coast is a powerful commentary on original sin and the dangers of utopianism.

I have been thinking about the prevailing issue of self-contradiction and confusion of many individuals who are supposed to be thinkers and visionaries. I decided to post this random online data on a book (which was made into a movie) by Paul Theroux. I was very young when I first read the book and I was increasingly disillusioned as I stepped into the hero’s son’s shoes. What is one man’s utopia is another man’s hell. Today I find the same issue of utopia emerges and is making such loud and discorded noises in the Western world. Ironically it is the reversed that is being clambered now as masses from the third world are straining to gate crash into the Western world, which to them means paradise.

Allie Fox is a genius, a fool, a loving father, a madman, a dreamer, and a selfish… (by a reviewer) 

In a breathtaking adventure story, the paranoid and brilliant inventor Allie Fox takes his family to live in the Honduran jungle, determined to build a civilization better than the one they’ve left. Fleeing from an America he sees as mired in materialism and conformity, he hopes to rediscover a purer life. But his utopian experiment takes a dark turn when his obsessions lead the family toward unimaginable danger. (Goodreads)

Once he has arrived in the jungle, Fox, a Harvard dropout, father of four, and an amateur inventor with an intense disgust for the state of his original nation,  his vision are slowly corrupted and he becomes a cult leader, like the preacher he despises. The black migrant workers who follow him to Mosquitia even address Fox as “father.”

Book Description

Spellbinding adventure story of a family that rejects its homeland and tries to find a happier and simpler life in the jungles of Central America. The motivation comes from the father, Allie Fox, who is a character in the classic American mold. A cantankerous inventor, he is articulate, shrewd, scornful, funny, very angry, and slightly cracked. An individualist, Fox sees modern American culture as a despicable combination of the wasteful, the immoral, and the messy. Uprooting his family from their Massachusetts farm home, he takes them off to a primitive world in order to escape what he considers the imminent breakdown of civilization.

The Mosquito Coast has the fascination of an ironic version of Robinson Crusoe or a sardonic Swiss Family Robinson, along with the deeper levels akin to those of The Lord of the Flies. As a sheer teller of tales Theroux is at the top of his form, but he also succeeds as a moralist with a subtle fable in mind.

The story is told with fresh innocence by the fourteen year old Charlie, who observes his father with a mixture of love, horror, and astonishment. He describes the voyage, the trip into the interior, his father’s invention of a giant ice-making machine (which is supposed to bring a new era to the jungle), and all of the adventures that ensue. Charlie watches as his father becomes ever more obsessive, evermore lost to reality.

The Mosquito Coast Quotes

Fox says to his son: “Look around you, Charlie. This place is a toilet.”

“I’m the last man,” Fox tells Charlie.

“One of the sicknesses of the twentieth century? I’ll tell you the worst one. People can’t stand to be alone. Can’t tolerate it! So they go to the movies, get drive-in hamburgers, put their home telephone numbers in the crapsheets and say ‘Please call me up!’ It’s sick. People hate their own company — they cry when they see themselves in mirrors. It scares them, the way their faces look. Maybe that’s a clue to the whole thing…”

“I guessed it was a migratory bird, too innocent to be wary of the spiders in the jungle grass. It worried be to think that we were a little like that bird”

“Why do things get weaker and worse? Why don’t they get better? Because we accept that they fall apart! But they don’t have to — they could last forever. Why do things get more expensive? Any fool can see that they should get cheaper as technology gets more efficient. It’s despair to accept the senility of obsolescence…”

“And father said “I never wanted this. I’m sick of everyone pretending to be old Dan Beavers in his L. L. Bean moccasins, and his Dubbelwares, and his Japanese bucksaw — all these fake frontiersmen with their chuck wagons full of Twinkies and Wonderbread and aerosol cheese spread. Get out the Duraflame log and the plastic cracker barrel, Dan, and let’s talk self-sufficiency!”

“Nature is crooked. I wanted right angles and straight lines. Ice! Oh, why do they all drip? You cut yourself opening a can of tuna fish and you die. One puncture in your foot and your life leaks out through your toe. What are they for, moose antlers? Get down on all fours and live. You’re protected on your hands and knees. It’s either that or wings.”

“The world is plain rotten. People are mean, they’re cruel, they’re fake, they always pretend to be something their not. They’re weak. They take advantage. A cruddy little man who sees God in a snake, or the devil in thunder, will take you prisoner if he gets the drop on you. Give anyone half a chance and he’ll make you a slave; he’ll tell you the most awful lies. I’ve seen them, running around bollocky, playing God. And our friends… they’ll be lonely out there. They’ll be scared. Because the world stinks.”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

“He used the word savages with affection, as if he liked them a little for it. In his nature was a respect for wildness. He saw it as a personal challenge, something that could be put right with an idea or a machine. He felt he had the answer to most problems, if anyone cared to listen.”

Teacher’s notes (online source)

Summary
The Mosquito Coast begins in contemporary suburban
America. Allie Fox is brilliantly clever with his hands and
his head is full of ideas. But he hates the modern world.
His children have no television or toys, they wear old
clothes and they don’t go to school. He hates his boss,
Mr Polski, who, Allie thinks, is only interested in making
money and doesn’t care about the future.
One day Allie decides to get out. He puts his wife and
children in his van and drives them away from their old
life. They travel by ship to Honduras. At La Ceiba, on the
Honduran coast, his bewildered family watches as he buys
a place called Jeronimo, a small town on a river in the
jungle…

Background and themes
Travelling: Paul Theroux is a traveller. The nature of
travelling means that you move on. Moving on, leaving
things behind and looking for new experiences, is an
important theme in The Mosquito Coast. Allie Fox doesn’t
like what he sees in America. His solution is not to stay
and try to change it, but to walk away. When things don’t
work out at various places in Honduras, he makes his
family move on and start again.
Obsession: The Mosquito Coast is a character study of a
man who develops a paranoid obsession – of a man who
thinks the whole world is against him and only he can save
the world. He lives in a state of high tension, never resting
in his attacks on America and western civilization. He
fights against the current of modern life. He thinks he is
the last real man in the world.
Control: In Allie’s attempts to create a new world in the
jungle, he tries to control everyone and everything around
him. He makes everyone see things his way. When he
feels threatened, he reacts aggressively and violently.

Father/son relationship: The novel also examines the
relationship between father and son. Theroux elicits
warm feeling towards Allie by telling the story through
the eyes of his loyal son, Charlie Fox. We feel sorry for
Charlie as he comes to understand his father’s failings and
to lose his belief in him.
The natural world versus the modern world: Theroux
sets up an interesting paradox as the basis of the novel.
All the time that Allie is searching for a simple paradise,
he is planning how to change it and tame it. In fact it is
the children who learn better to live with nature – eating
wild plants, protecting themselves against insects with
leaf juices, building a simple shelter from materials in the
jungle. Allie, meanwhile, plants western crops in neat
rows, puts up elaborate mosquito nets and builds an
ice-making machine.

Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin. Although perhaps best known as a travelogue writer, Theroux has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast.

The Mosquito Coast, also known as the Miskito Coast and the Miskito Kingdom, historically included the kingdom’s fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras.

another attempt: the windows are open

from where we stand, on this street, the windows are open

windows are open
blue screen: windows open

windows of opportunity
open daily
to hearts that tally
and not give up

patiently
perseveringly
waiting for the break

dawns always break
at the first ray of light

come alive
a call
so still and quiet
yet you hear it
high and wide

many years ago
he heard
and passed it by

now the call
again so faint yet vivid
come alive
at this first ray of light

the windows are open
from where you stand

where our lives meet: a poetic attempt in blue

there is a quiet space where our lives meet

window of quiet space

where we meet though not often
there is always space

where you rest your soul
and I rest mine
behind a pale blue glaze

quiet
does not mean tired
often it’s a triad
you and me and space

why blue?
you ask

a task?
a mask?

neither
hither and thither
though our souls may flutter
as two young turtledoves
prematurely caught
and set
on each side of an ancient blue vase

posing in a quiet space
one looks in while the other looks out

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

if the words won’t come to this river of waiting poems

river of waiting poem
a river of waiting poems

If I sit by this river of waiting
and you won’t come
while this whirlpool keeps churning
my heart turning buttery white
a catbird would whine
like last summer’s sigh
on a lonesome winsome night

“The shape of your heart” you murmured
one day looking at our sky
“fluffy white with tender blue stripes”
seeping your compliment I smiled

It is your poem I miss
and words won’t come
three moons adrift
with no mail in sight

So my sorrow would pine
for our lost midsummer’s ride

“Because I only write”*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* this last line is quoted from Anne Lee Tzu Pheng’s ‘Because I only write’)

afar and near in perspectives: two pictures

afar lake tahoeafar junction
I chose these two pictures because of the rather interesting perspectives. USA is full of interesting scenes even though I took these pictures at random. The people too. They are apart and dynamic and yet blend into the static presentation as parts of an integral whole. I can imagine individual stories in each small segment and yet I acknowledge that the sum total makes it a unique striking picture! The advantage of bigness of space —— near and afar.

CB&W CHALLENGE POST: sitting next to a lover of books

track1 2track2track3track4track6
Sierra Scenic Train & tracks -taken when I traveled in 2016 January using Amtrak. The scenery was spectacular. The company too. I sat with a very nice lady (in her sixties) who loved reading books and was on-route to take care of her mom (in her nineties) who had a fall.
Quoted from online source: https://www.sierranevadageotourism.org/content/railroad-snowsheds-of-donner-summit/sieD35C8025FC46F75CB
“The building of the Transcontinental Railroad changed commerce and the ethnic diversity of California, and the country, forever.
In the 1860s, hundreds of Chinese laborers braved freezing temperatures, blizzards and unbelievably hazardous conditions to drill the 1,659-foot-long Summit Tunnel near Donner Pass, enabling the Central Pacific Railroad to move trains over the summit even in the worst of Sierra winter conditions. The train route follows major wagon routes of early emigrants that preceded the booming railroad era. And, hidden in the rock near the tunnels are ancient Native American petroglyphs, a testament to the importance of Donner Pass as a route for the first people of the Sierra Nevada and those explorers and pioneers who surmounted it to find a new life in California.”

This is my first attempt to participate in the following:
CB&W CHALLENGE POST
Here is a list of the instructions:
“Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
To make it easy for others to check out your photos and post, title your blog post “Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge” or (CB&W) tag.
Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly reminders.”
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks
CB&W BADGE
black-white-banner

awakening old sweet love

awakening poemAwakening old man’s heart
old wife fills his cart
with sweet warm tart

a long day ahead
make sure my hat is on your head
she bids goodbye
peering through the steamy dye

he grins as he chats
how can he forget her hat
last April’s gift
of old wife’s art?

Surely Spring has come
but why has this snow made its home
and won’t let go?

old man steadies his hand
firms the rein
never mind
a long day must end
and soon I’ll leave this cold
and be home with sweet warm wife.

various perspectives on flowers: a poem

various perspectives flowers Variations on a Theme -marriage.
the wife loves flowers
higher or lower
she will climb or stoop
just to do a loop
not the hyperloop
deco her proper coop
do not touch my chicken coop you nincompoop
wife screams with her scoop

the wife just loves flowers
same as I love mower
my shinny new machine
can do any syn
grass or flower on auto power
sunrise or sunset
programmed to get set
everytime we chat

the wife loves flowers
sorry I need shower
no time to chitchat
got to do my bet

Notes:
I experimented with a picture taken of September flowers by simple and rather primitive copy and paste four times of  one selected section in oval through varying its sizes to show different perspectives. So the outcome is like the unplugged poem of a simple generic rural couple living their ordinary life each enjoying his /her hobby with different perspectives.
Note that even in rural life the guy has access to internet and chat etc.

What is the only true reality when it comes to the value of every person? (1)

rainny morning in parkevery investor knows that the value of anything is not the value we pay for at the moment we transact. it is another value we see in the unseen, a future value of the investment and this involves the crucial word “Growth“. without seeing a potential for growth we will not bother to invest. every human is born as an infant and the potential for growth is intrinsic in the person. it is an assumption that the person will grow in physical and other realms which will determine the worth of the person. when the investment/infant does not grow the potential worth is not materialized. what is the true reality when it comes to the value of every person? the value is always at the level where the individual has grown into. can a person not grow? of course anyone can choose to not grow to the potential each person is designed to become. stagnation or stuntedness are personal choices. i am not talking about physical aspect. there are many realms in our lives. we can find positive potentials in many realms. the key word is “GROW”. Just move on and you will not stagnate. i look forward to seeing many bountiful harvests for those who believe so that you may be a joyous blessing to others too.  (to be continued)

some words of wisdom to ponder on:
Genesis 2:9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit.
Genesis 26:13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow.
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalm 92:12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.

cheeky rain cheeky poem

rain drops 2017 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 cliche?
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.
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.
cheeky Cheeky rain

a reluctant winter transformation song

a reluctant Transformation song.
snowy
mirror mirror on the wall
fifty years have passed and i don’t even know
with wife always kneading sour dough
i go slow better lie low gentle as a doe
shoveling home this elusive summer snow

see how she could throw the dough
like a magical boomerang discus raw
swinging back and fro blow by blow
at some imaginary crow
precisely striking each moon-lit foe

mirror mirror on the wall
why i never know
that ages for some only stall and not grow
like normal tidal ebb and flow
winter spring with summer fall

autumn story: an old love hat song

Just a Peek at autumn’s end.
mining townnever will I leave you, he said, not again
faded eyes blurring with moist drops
like rare autumn squinting sudden plops

(not even when fall comes to stay and/or if our hair should fall?)

no I will never leave you old, not again for gold,
see, all tidal waves are churning into buttery yuletide

putting down his battered hat
the prospector comes home.

(frantically digging cob-web caked in false gold teeth with man-made ivory-handled pick,
the wife wakes
and hears long-forgotten song
“Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By the look in your eye
I can tell you’re gonna cry
Is it over me?

If it is, save your tears
For I’m not worth it
You see

For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam
Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
I’m telling you that’s my home

You had romance
Did you break it by chance
Over me?

Young Paul – Wherever I Lay My Hat Thats My Home
(UK No. 1 single for three weeks in July 1983.)

autumn story: land’s end, lonesome cafe, something orange.

poem for autumnShe says, No one passes here anymore;
You know, less is more.

Continuing chattering,
her eyes not engaging, hands fluttering
like butterfly trapped
on fake glass map.

You shouldn’t be here, Peter.
Her fingers deftly whittle
away a wooden kettle.

Too late now
we are closing down,
Peter. (She throws a bone across the table)
No one passes by anymore;
Less is more.
(Something orange Peeks, stirs and darts away from behind the door label, “Do not disturb”)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture on a beautiful autumn day in November 2015. You may ask me, is there a real story behind the above attempt of a “poem”? My answer is, you are free to find your own story. I am OK with any interpretation.

Incidentally, I just watched a touching, hour-long interview with an award winning old poet who started writing poetry in her teen, I realize how far away from poetry I have strayed since teen. I prefer Haiku because it is short. But it is not as satisfying as writing a poem.

As the poet urges, there is something one just needs to express. She enjoys painting and music but she cannot be good enough to be a painter or a musician. So she writes poetry to present her painting and music. To her, every poem is a precious creation and needs to be birthed with the best she has inside, to become a positive encouragement to others who read it. If I were to use one word to describe her, I would use the word, “Genuine”. She is genuine about her limitation and her giftedness.

I only came across her poetry yesterday while doing a research on a writers’ festival in another city for someone. After reading some of her work, I mentioned that I would like to buy one of her volumes. Today I received the good news that someone who attended the festival today has bought an autographed print for me as a gift! (I am looking forward to read it when it arrives).

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters 46: how to define love? (2017 Revised)

1 Corinthians 13:5The spirit-mind man realizes he does not know many things about love and God. Love ties with pain. Here is a word that God uses to describe Himself. Love. What is love? Let us read about love again.
This is what he attempted in this blog before: (with 2017 up to date mind man’s deliberations in human terms and thoughts in brackets)

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters: chapter ten -how to define love? 07/22/2013 (Quoted below in excerpts)
“the most difficult word: love”
Today we read the most difficult word in the whole Bible, ‘Love’. (Most difficult outside the Bible too)

Love: This is not a shallow, superficial common word as the mind man had thought in his reckless days. There is richness, depth, breadth, width, height here. …
If he attempts to define this word with his human mind, emotion and senses, he knows he would be insulting the word.

The only way to give love justice is to define this word in the Spirit (spirit).

The next question is who is qualified (in terms of supreme authority) to define love?

Not this mind man, however spiritual he (thinks he) has turned into. The only thing he can do is to find his definition in the word of God, and let each reader find his own.

__________Here the definition goes:

The plumb-line of love: sacrificial. For example: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God should be receiving man’s sacrifices, but He gave His own Son as a sacrifice! John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. This is how God views love and has demonstrated (unconditional) love to us. God has freely given so we need not try to earn it.
(God’s kind of love warrants one-sided sacrificial giving without the other party favorably responding or wanting to receive your love. A person in love may think he or she can give that kind of love without regret. But believe me, when human love fades, regret becomes a glaring color in your black and white life.)

Here is one verse that has persuaded the mind man (and impacted his personal decision) about love:

“Love does not demand its own way.” This is what the mind man received from the Lord (1 Corinthians 13:5) when he was on the verge of making a real big decision…
What more can he do but to let go? …Indeed, the heart has its reason that reason cannot comprehend. But, God’s way (of love) can convince and convict one’s heart…

Can one become whole again when one chooses to love in God’s way? The answer is definitely ‘yes’! …Abraham…David…Jesus’ giving Himself was the supreme example.

What motivated them? The mind man could not think of better reason than ‘love’. Love of God…O yes, love of your loved ones too!

‘Love’ indeed is the most difficult word in this spiritual dictionary, and it is also the best word anyone can lay hold of.

—-
October 28, 2017 spirit-mind-man’s update: This was written four years and three months ago. The human pain felt then can still be felt though much less in intensity and frequency today. Giving up/letting go is the hardest thing to do for anyone. Yet the supreme power of the supernatural love of God gives all the strength one needs to overcome a feeling called pain which ties closely to love. Does anyone lose out because of the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:5? No. Nobody loses out when God’s love becomes the uttermost plumb line in your life. No loss but gain. I pray all who want to encounter God’s kind of love find the peace and security only His love can give. Love means you do no harm to others or to yourself.  Love others in the way God loves you. This is the best ever commandment to keep.

alas, the waiting was too long: for all that jazz

Waiting at a period eating place which features songs from a past era. The light jazz music brings back the old time for those of a certain age. Interestingly the young millennial (a third generation of my extended family) who introduced me to this place is only in late twenties and happened to like the food and wine. We waited for at least half an hour for the six-nine pm crowd to leave to get to our reserved seats. It was certainly a popular place for private chill. There were not less than five rounds of “happy birthday” songs to five separate groups of diners during our rather hurried brief stay. I gobbled up my salad as I was in a hurry due to other engagements. The poor millennial had to gulp down the wine and pack home the pork rips. Well, I may return for the music if I happen to pass that place again. But the waiting was too long for this traveler. (Sigh)

sometimes we cross a bridge and do not look back

crossing an old wooden bridgeSF Bay bridge2I always find Bridges fascinating. Each one encompasses three main phases of life: beginning, ending and in-between. Some bridges we cross for a temporary purpose and we cross back after we have fulfilled that purpose. Some bridges we cross but never intend to return. Some we cross at predictable regular intervals like the crossing is an extended part of one’s being. Some we just never cross. Perhaps we do not have the opportunity to do so in this life. Is there a bridge I must cross but with great reluctance and a sense of immense loss? Yes. I believe the bridge is called “Goodbye, my love.” (Somehow I suspect everyone who loves has a bridge by this name)

a transient Christmas eve in 2007

It was a Transient  moment in time in 2007 and we were in a tourist bus.a transcient mountain moment We were on a tour bus. The mountain seemed so near all of a sudden. So were you. I thought for a moment that time had stood still and we would never age, or that we would slowly grow old together taking our own time. We went to the usual tourist attractions. Good food, drinks, hot springs, gardens, night life in the cities etc. Why do I dig out this ten year old picture and try to recall the mountain today? After parting for so long? I have been pondering on a word lately . It is called, “lingering”, and it means “lasting for a long time and slow to end.” But sadly it does end in the end. Time sets a limit for phases of life, no matter our perception and determination to hold fast, and in reality its name is called, “transient”, which means lasting only for a short time, fleeting, passing, impermanent. Someone may say that a mountain is unlike a man. It will remain after the human travelers are gone. Yes, for a time. Yet, if you consider the real age of the creation you will agree that a mountain too has a limit in time. I still keep the pictures of you smiling and posing with the beautiful snowy mountain in the background. It was such a clear day. You looked so young and happy. Ten years. So soon. So transient. Today you told me in tears that you could not bear to have me vanishing from your life, living alone somewhere…Yes, we both need a miracle. We both believe in miracles. Memories are miracles. Like the lilac bedroom paint you liked so much, with the name “Forget-me-not”.

I admit that sometimes I cannot help but recall the lingering lyrics from a song by Garfunkel,

When the singer’s gone
Let the song go on…

But the ending always comes at last
Endings always come too fast
They come too fast, but they pass to slow
I love you, and that’s all I know

how fleeting is evanescence?

How short or fleeting is the time span of Evanescence ? Can anyone give a definition in exact measurement?

I encountered this question when visiting an old abandoned/transformed mining town. How short is short? We just cannot tell. For the miners who used to live there during boom time, some might have thought the precious ores would last a long time in their own life span. Others might have joined much later and perhaps sensed time ticking away and soon they would have to move on. They were not alone. History does not change much. Any man would know soon that we are not getting younger. Man’s glory fades with time as the source we consider precious (in this case, valuable ores) depletes.

I quote excerpts from Wikipedia: “Virginia City was the prototype for future frontier mining boom towns, with its industrialization and urbanization. It owed its success to the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode. After a year in existence, the boomtown had 42 saloons, 42 stores, 6 restaurants, 3 hotels, and 868 dwellings to house a town residency of 2,345. At its height in 1863, the town had 15,000 residents. The mines’ output declined after 1878, and the city itself declined as a result. As of the 2010 Census the population of Virginia City was about 855. Today, Virginia City is but a shadow of its former glory…”

For those interested in knowing more about the historical and mining background of the above photos, here are some links to wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_City_Historic_District_(Virginia_City,_Nevada)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comstock_Lode
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_City,_Nevada

more words to reflect on: identity

i found this at random from the internet. i marvel at the use of words like identity, name, seed and step. The definition is coined for programmer and it reflects a meaning deeper than its intention!

Quote:”Definition (Identity Columns in TSQL*)
An identity column has a name, initial seed and step. When a row is inserted into a table the column will take the value of the current seed incremented by the step.” Unquote.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

When I plant a word (seed) in my heart (mind), I can see an image of me. That image of me will produce an identify of the “me” I see in my own thought image.

what word seed am i planting in my heart today? this moment?

what current seed incremented by my thought step?

Jesus said in Matthew 15:18 “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.”

a man’s identity can be defiled by what he thinks he is.

Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Romans 5:9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.

Romans 5:11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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

*Note:Transact-SQL is Microsoft’s and Sybase’s proprietary extension to the SQL used to interact with relational databases.

A love called graceful and not let go (two poems)

star1jpg-6311515c13a99e7c(I translated, re-written and re-named this love song. I call it Gracefully love)

Even if I should come once to
this planet
in one dash
one kairos moment
in one billion years
joining you so brief
for all its sweet tears
and all its grief

Well, let all that must happen
happen in a flash
let me bow
humbly down
thanking all the stars
holding you  I won’t let go

penning this poem now
with an unseen hand
slowly growing old
holding you  I won’t let go
=======================

(1983 Taiwan Campus Folk Song) The original love poem was written by the Mongolian painter/poet/writer MuRong Xi , music by Su Lai  作詞:席幕容,作曲:蘇來

假如我來世上一遭,只為與你相聚一次;
只為了億萬年的那一剎那,一剎那裡所有的甜蜜與悲淒。

那麼就讓一切該發生的,都在瞬間出現;
讓我俯首感謝所有星球的相助,讓我與你相遇,與你別離。

完成了上帝所作的一首詩,然後再緩緩地老去;讓我與你相遇,與你別離。

(Poem II) “Since we parted –2” (I translated this second poem, rewritten, but tried to follow the original pattern of her thought)

And now I realize
what we have slowly squandered off
is one life we both have loved
our whole life, my beloved!
Parted
now
I
then
know

别後——之二 ◎‪‎席慕蓉 (MuRong Xi wrote this poem during her grief for the demise of her husband)
原來
用整整的一生來慢慢錯過的
竟是我們這唯一僅有的
整整的一生啊!

別後

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Blogger’s notes: photo credit goes to La Center’s Greg Marshall who photographs a universe most never imagine. By training, Marshall is an electronics engineer and computer-imaging expert, but the stars have led him into art. He catches images many light years away. I got it at random while browsing.

The poems are about love and loss. Instead of choosing sentimental pictures I decided to use the stars of the universe. The first poem took on a new meaning…I then decided to alter the poem to a hopeful end. A happy and prosperous Lunar New Year for my Asian friends!

Travel review 2014-2016 (15 random points)

The sound mind man’s rather personal three years’ travel in review in fifteen random realms as follows:blue-snow-gold

1. weather experienced: extreme heat (over 40 degrees C to extreme cold (thick snow on the way) but blessed with moderate weather mostly.
2. ocean: Pacific from end to end.
3. work: two medium size books completed.
4. natural hair color: turned mysteriously from dark to medium and now light brown with specks of gold(?) (LOL).
5. eye sight: complete change of lens inside. now 20/20.
6. belief: Christian.
7. computers: one Dell crashed (physically) on arrival in backwater place; now e and q and caps lock on the left side of keyboard refuse to behave. purchased one Samsung as backup for USD100. Finally I received a gift of a 2016 MacBook Pro!
7. cell phone: received a gift of a good-as-new Samsung Note III (?).
8. geography: from drought and flood-prone land-locked flat land at sea level or below (?) to mountains of an altitude of 8000ft.
9. blogs: tried new ways and perspectives in different blogs. not enough time to do better. LOL. Just maintaining from time to time hopefully for various reader-interest groups.
10. photography: second to writing. some monotony sets in. Alas.
11. relationship: nothing to declare.
12. 2017 assignment: continues to be stuck to the computer(s) and various related technological tools now for at least another year doing translation.
13. hobbies: basically i like writing fictions and non-fictions (memoirs) and thinking about life (in different realms). interest in both art and science. a generalist. Multitasks practitioner.
14. travel class: only as appropriate. economy. But not as courageous as backpackers.
15. love: faithfulness and compassion. 

2017 resolution: Be the one who finds the gold. Be Resilient .

find-the-gold

photo credits:
the blue snow picture was taken by the other dear lone traveler using her cell phone.
the other picture was also sent to me by her (uncredited)

a resilient love letter after 8000 days and nights and is still counting

8000-daysMy Resilient love for you. I find it hard not to say I love you, and harder not to love you even in silence, with my heart saying I love you over 8000 days and nights. A thousand days seems a long time for some love. But my love for you, not even eight thousands days can be too long.

How did I first start to love you? Can I really remember? A young man asked today. Of course, I answered. I remember very well. I never forget. How can I ever forget that fateful evening when I stepped into a packed hall and saw you standing on stage and speaking, with your velvety black eyes so dark and yet so full of light? How can I ever forget the passionate love you spoke to my heart through your heart? I remember so well the jet black long hair blown under the ceiling fan, the lightly stirred white dress with tiny blue flowers you wore that day. I remember the voice. Your voice. I was a stranger, standing at the back, watching like a bystander. But your words of true passion and love touched my soul. Your words of kindness and compassion reached my core. I fell in love from that moment on and remain in love for eight thousands days.

No, I never forget.

The young man of 22 is facing a crisis. His loved one has gone faraway to study. His frequent short social media chat messages are becoming stale to her eyes. What is he going to do? He asks. He says that it’s futile to ask anyway because I probably have forgotten how to love when young at his age. LOL, how can I ever forget? We don’t forget. Not in a mere eight thousand days. Not even in eight thousand years.

How do I maintain and sustain my love for you? He asks. Well, I do one thing which few did then and even fewer do today. I write a letter a day to my love. Sometimes you received a weeks’ letters at one go when the postman went on leave. I became a resilient love letter writer. In those days we used typewriter and posted our letters through snail mail. Yes we managed, across oceans we wrote to each other. We did not have smart cell phone or email or any of the social media message channels then. We merely wrote in long hand or type with a manual Olivetti typewriter. The simplicity of our tools did not hinder us one bit.

How do I know you read my letters and not ignore them? He asks. Well, I persisted. I wrote by faith and not by sight. I wrote like you enjoyed reading them and indeed looked forward to receiving them. Somehow one day it all came true. What did I write about? I wrote about the you in my heart, the dreams and hopes for a future together, and my thankfulness for your life crossing mine as two stars meeting at the appointed time and space, even if only momentarily painting the dark night sky with brilliance of eight thousand sparks.

I tell him our 8000 days’ love story. He is the first person I tell. After listening he seems subdued and finally breaks his long silence and says he will start writing a letter to his faraway loved one.

That is why I am writing to you now, this letter of resilient love. 8000 days and still counting. Does old love not fade or perhaps die? This last question the young man thinks but does not ask. Well, I might as well answer his unuttered question. No, eight thousand days is but eight days young. Like the stars, our love is a young love.

8000-nights

a young girl’s anticipation of good

anne-frank-quotean Anticipation of good from a young idealist. This is the sound minder’s wish too. For a new year of new beginning for many. Be transformed by the renewal of our mind.

Bible verses on hope:
Romans 5:4
and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Hebrews 6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

Hebrews 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 11:1 [ By Faith We Understand ] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

another shore beyond

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

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

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

another-shore-beyond

Flowers are not in chaos

not-in-chaos
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

The flowers are Not in Chaos !

Thank God!

view from a train on three stations

Shine on Davis, Sacramento, Colfax
shine-davies-20160118shine-sacramentoshine-colfaxAs I look at these pictures I took last January from a train, I realize how attractive the color yellow is when the sun shines on it. The buildings with the yellow plastered on them are basked under the sunshine and become beautiful. They are of three distinctly different architecture. The third one is not the station itself. But I use this photo because of the art someone put on it to make it friendly despite its being a mere humble godown or something like that (my apology as I cannot figure out what it is looking at its back). Notwithstanding its lacking in impressive historically or culturally relevant architecture, I like the fact that when the sun shines on it the color stands out just as well as the others. In fact, all three buildings bring out the shine well in each own unique way.

Here are some facts about the three stations quoted from Wikipedia.
The original Sacramento station was the terminal of the Central Pacific Railroad. The present building, designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss and Faville for the Southern Pacific Railroad, was built in 1926 in the Renaissance Revival style. Decorative features include a red tile roof and terracotta trim, as well as large arches on the main facade. It was rebuilt in 2012. Architectural style: Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other.

Davis, formerly known as Davisville, is a train station in Davis, California. It was built by the California Pacific Railroad between August 24 and November 15, 1868, In 1871 the Cal-P (as it later was called) was taken over by the Central Pacific Railroad; a fire later burned down the 19th century-style station. In 1914 the Central Pacific built a second depot, which was remodeled in 1986. The depot was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Architectural style: Mission/Spanish Revival.

Colfax station is an Amtrak train station in Colfax, California. It serves the California Zephyr line. It is unstaffed. The station was built in 1905 by Southern Pacific Railroad and was restored in the early 21st Century; in addition to a waiting room, the building also houses the Colfax Heritage Museum.

free admission, a glimpse, inspiration

Local museum opens today.
local-museum-open-todayThis is a very small museum recording the life of one man in the local community of this little suburb town. Admission is free. Very few travelers come to this town. I happen to be around as a wedding guest. This is the first time I visit a museum that looks like a family home, depicting the story of just one man -he started this little beautiful town. What can I see in perhaps half an hour? I see photos, furniture, utensils, equipment/instrument, weapons, coat of arms, old clothes of that period, brief summary of his life history, old faded documents like his letters, some official and some personal. The man with his people. The man with his family. The man had communicated in his time to his people. The young pupils are brought here to learn something about their past. But what does a traveler want to see? What do I want to see? I see multiple yet uncluttered gentle pastel colors of the past, like a misty romantic scene in an old movie of strangers in another time, another life, speaking in silence, yet loudly and audibly, like a picture framed in time, with its own theme and style, relevant in timeless concept and value of perhaps, characteristics that we admire: courage, integrity, selflessness, charity, wisdom and knowledge etc.

What makes a man important and memorable? This is the question I often ask myself. A local. An otherwise unknown person in the vast ocean of a nation. On the other hand, aren’t national heroes merely small individuals who come from each little local neighborhood?

Bible verse
Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in the smallest matters is also faithful in much, and the one unjust in the smallest matters will likewise be unjust in much.

meeting the local in two perspectives

Local

These pictures depict two cafes in US both serving Italian pizzas and sandwiches. I stumbled upon the quiet empty Italian cafe in a country/suburb while traveling solo. It was a pleasant morning after a walk and I was early for lunch, thereby having the advantage of being the only customer. After I ordered from a very courteous waiter, two other ladies came in. After the meal I was too full to walk home so I called my transport. I never went back to this cafe but it was Italian with a local US flavor. I enjoyed the food and the ambience.

The other more standard kind of family pizza place was located in a busy town. We went there in a group. I can’t remember what I ate that day. I enjoyed the group company. The local host was very hospitable to me, a traveling guest.

Which one would I prefer to visit again? If I have the company of someone close, I would of course choose the quiet one in the country.

Why? In my teen days I liked company of crowd: the noise, the fun of numbers, and the gaiety therein. As I gain in chronological years, I have learned to appreciate and treasure the quiet focus of a close one’s silence. This change in taste has grown into me without my noticing. It is like a platitude declared in silent rendition flowing with the gentle movement of the unseen waves of time and space as I travel through this life.

NO, they are not mine

Nostalgia for vintage cars of another era.
vintage16vintage15It is hard to describe how one feels about old cars. These are from the 1950s. A 1953 CHEVROLET Model: Corvette, made popular by John Wayne, and a 1954 Kaiser-Darrin. One thing that is striking about these two is the cream colored exaggerated bonnet. These were taken from the car museum and I was merely a traveler visitor using a Samsung mobile phone camera. I like the cream color. Somehow it reminds me of another much smaller car I used to own. Alas, I do not have a photo of it. Nostalgic memories often associate with a good time. Yes, I did enjoy driving the tiny machine. In fact I liked that car so much that I owned two of the same model at two different times. I finally grew out of it and set my heart on bigger vehicles. But over the years, having changed my favor many times I now park myself in the middle-range driving a medium foreign made with supposedly best performance, best re-sale value and reportedly most economical in terms of gas consumption and maintenance. How my taste and priority have changed.

Don’t look back, she says, I am not there

a Nostalgia look.
nostalgia-family-car-1953He likes to look at some old things, things of another era. Of course neither she nor he belongs to those ages. They are far too young to have any idea of what life was like in those times. But he has heard stories from parents and grandparents of the time they were. It is hard to imagine that these loved ones had been through another time and space of which he has no part. Like this old car, sitting calmly in a museum as an serene early retiree who has maintained herself well. Yes, 1953 is not really a long way away. Nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Somehow when he walks into this old car museum he seems to have met these cars before. He can feel a sentiment of something, like a long gone association which has come back. He has never owned an old car. Was it in a movie when he imagined him driving one with her beside him? Somewhere in time? No, she always says, don’t look back, I am not there.

a merry heart’s journey edge

Edge
edge-of-mountain-river2is a comparative advantage. It is also the outside limit of an object, area, or surface; a place or part farthest away from the center of something. I took this photo on a train climbing a mountain. The river looks as if it is at the edge of the track. I probably slanted my mobile phone camera quite steeply or perhaps the climb was rather steep. We went up to 7000 ft and then descended to around 4000 ft to stay in a very scenic town and ski resort. When I first discovered that we were to climb 7000 ft in a train I was a bit concerned. I wondered how it would be like cutting through the mountain with a steep edge on the side of the track. As we settled ourselves in very comfortable coaches and started taking photos we hardly noticed the climb. It was very pleasant and the edge was not noticeable at that time.  Only when I now look at the photos and recall the scenes I marvel at how we can always look at the positive side of things and enjoy lives despite the environment. A merry heart does have its edge over  a miserable heart in challenging circumstances.

a restaurant haiku

framed 3family outing
couples in love just dating
frame framed and framing
One day we went to this place for a brief break. It was a normal day with families and couples around taking their normal meals. I found the framed ceiling structure interesting for no particular reason and took some random photos. I remember we went at night but the photos now seem to show otherwise. Puzzling. Like life.
Frame

framing the cameraman: a haiku

framed cameramanminding our business
looping comes from flying tram
motion froze in frame
I took this shot at a train station. The two “photographers” appeared suddenly while we were waiting for the train to continue to the next stop. While they were setting up their gears on ground I took this photo. I never knew what they were preparing to shoot. But it is a reflection of life. Whilst we are busy making art (or substitute any word you want) we become the art (do likewise) itself.
Frame

am i not rare? a sidewalk flower asks

Rare
rare purpleYes, you are rare. In my eyes. Today, I walk pass this way without expecting to see you. I am just walking and not looking. I am busy because I am going somewhere. This pathway and roadside are just things I happen to walk by from one spot to another spot. My destination is somewhere else. My interest is not here. I am just traveling by. But I see you. You look at me and smile. You reach out your invisible hand and offer a friendly greeting. Here, this neighborhood? Yes, you stand out despite the environment. The background. The class in which you find yourself. You display your purple. We exchange greeting for a while and I halt my steps for you for awhile. When I move on I know I have encountered a unique rarity. A simple greeting one morning between a traveler and a sidewalk on which I have imprinted my steps one morning which will not be repeated again. The next time I visit this place again it will be another time. A moment in time is rare and unique with its own existence.

Perhaps this is the most beautiful car I ever photographed

Luxury

luxuaryPerhaps this is the most beautiful car I photographed when visiting the car museum, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster. Price when new: $10,780. Price today? Your guess.

Luxury can refer to possession of things like this fabulous car. I quote a passage written about the status marker of Gatsby (in the book The Great Gatsby, a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

*”He numbers among his possessions a hydroplane, two cars, two motorboats, a mansion with a pool and its own beach and his ‘toilet set’ made of gold. His clothes are similarly opulent and he has an excessive number of shirts. Furthermore, Gatsby has servants (a chauffeur, a butler, a gardener) and hires people to work for him at his parties.” Even his shirts are luxurious symbols of wealth: Gatsby’s flamboyant attire, perhaps like his mansion, is an advertisement of wealth as part of his claim to be worthy of Daisy. She is very impressed, and cries ‘stormily’ when she is presented with this evidence:‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.’ But Daisy chose to remain with Tom (her husband).*

The wealth of Gatsby could not get him what he had craved for many years, Daisy, his dream love. Gatsby achieved his dream of wealth. But he never achieved his dream of love. He died a very disillusioned, sad and lonely man.

Dictionary Definition of ‘luxury’: 1 we’ll live in luxury: opulence, luxuriousness, sumptuousness, grandeur, magnificence, splendor, lavishness, the lap of luxury, a bed of roses, (the land of) milk and honey; informal the life of Riley. 2 indulgence, extravagance, self-indulgence, nonessential, treat, extra, frill.

(*The passage commenting on the book is quoted/excerpted from http://crossref-it.info/textguide/the-great-gatsby/34/2444)

thankful to be alive and well

Morninganother morning in NovemberThis is a photo taken on one November morning when I decided to go for a walk. I arrived in August in this country at a time when things did not look rosy for one of my close ones. After a brave battle of many months on his part and on the part of his very committed children who took turn to care for him, he recovered miraculously! So this morning I walk with thanksgiving and gratitude for the mercy and grace we have enjoyed as a family. It is such a glorious day to be alive and having our loved ones around, knowing that they are well again! What a beautiful morning it is! 

Narrow? What narrow?

Narrow


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

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

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

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

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

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