On top of the mountain plateau in Norway, close to Dyranut Turisthytta, is a place seems to be frozen in time even though it’s summer. The land is covered with snow and ice with a single shack in the middle … Continue reading →
“It’s the one place on earth heaven had kissed with melody, mirth, and meadow and mist. ~ Irish Proverb.” Never have I seen so many shades of green in this rolling hills of Dingle Peninsula. According to the song Johnny … Continue reading →
“Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage, there is an opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber … Continue reading →
Ireland is a country of Gaelic people and mystical land. I could not understand their thick accent unless I ask them to speak slowly. I don’t know which one has the best accent: Irish or Scottish? There is a Gaelic … Continue reading →
The year 2019 sounds so futuristic remembering a 1996 visit of Thailand. I feel nostalgic tonight. Photography then was archaic when we have to use a real camera, a film and the negatives processed. I could never tell whether the photos … Continue reading →
Twenty years ago, I made the first journey to Assisi on my own. I was young, healthy and carefree imitating the life of St. Francis, poor in spirit. Alone I was, I met a lot of strangers along the road. … Continue reading →
I love this shot of the children squatting in the garden. It reminds me of gardening. Different seeds sprouted and they grew into a beautiful living being with its own personality. These are the little buddhas I took care of … Continue reading →
“That is my thunder, by God; the villains will play my thunder, but not my play.” – Alexander Pope
Two black-haired girls spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Little do they know, I can tell what they are up to even though they speak in their own dialect. It’s easy to read minds, you know since I am the queen of Mischief.
Frame by frame, a series of shots put together to capture this story of stealing their thunder by taking over their acts at lightning speed.
I had the last laugh and the best hug from Thomas.
Making a choice in cutting off ties in any situation is difficult when it’s a no-win situation, an unbearable option that one is forced to choose. Even thinking that it is the lesser of two evils, it can still remain … Continue reading →
There are many kinds of prayer. There is a kind of prayer that’s like breathing. There is a kind of prayer that’s like talking to your best friend all day long. There is a kind of prayer in the face … Continue reading →
Who says we have no sense of humor? We are the first one that poke jokes on what we believe in to have fun and lighten up. When we were trying to open this door, no matter how much we … Continue reading →
Do you hear that? Do you hear your own heartbeat? No. What do you hear, then? Nothing. Do you hear the slug running that is at your feet? How is it that you hear these things? How is that you do not? … Continue reading →
It’s breathtaking to see from a distance the ice mass in the valley. Imagine 20,000 years ago this area is covered with a glacier. So beautiful that Norway attracts thousands of tourist visiting Briksdalbreen or Briksdal Glacier. The landscape is covered with … Continue reading →
From the distance, I could see the green hill with something erected on the mound. The site is open to the elements that nothing can shield me from the cold wind. The expansive cloudy sky is threatening that rain is … Continue reading →
In keeping informed, I subscribe to a daily online notification of “On This Day” by Encyclopedia Britannica. Saint Francis of Assisi St. Francis of Assisi, who died this day in 1226, founded the Franciscan order and stressed the need to imitate the … Continue reading →
A fool I was doing my very first pilgrimage on my own, wearing open toed sandals walking the plains of Assisi in a little town called Porziuncola all the way to top of the hill of Assisi where the Basilica … Continue reading →
These artifacts are priceless. …we live in a time of real urgency, when we have to mine the insights of the past.” The symmetry of first having your desire, your passion, your commitment tested as you cross into the “world … Continue reading →
Historically, Birgitta and Saint Birgitta are not really the same person. It is difficult at times to know what parts are historically accurate and which part is the image of the saint. As a person, Birgitta was born in 1303 … Continue reading →
It was a warm sunny June afternoon when we visited the old town of Kaunas, Lithuania. Most old town has a plaza and a town hall for everyone to enjoy. Even a place to have a wedding celebration. First, I … Continue reading →
The past is seeping into my thoughts. It happened long time ago. Drawn to the memories like a bee attracted to a flower. The bee couldn’t help it. Who is she? Only a monk can answer that. She lived with the monks … Continue reading →
There is place for me in this historical tapestry, in the upper right corner, just above the Beatles. And so I write words, words that I have heard, a jumble of notes, these words are not mine. And so it … Continue reading →
When we arrived In the country side of Sweden, we had a good feeling that we indeed arrived in place of peace. The first thing that welcomes us is a table with flowers, candle and a saying. Being on the … Continue reading →
There is something about looking at the vastness of water on earth. It has a mesmerizing effect between heaven and water. Hypnotic. Walking on the beach or sailing around, looking at the horizon as far as eyes could see, there … Continue reading →
The rain came when we visited the ruins of Cistercian Alvastra Abbey in Östergötland. We are the salt of the Earth. We are not made of sugar. We will not melt. With high winds and strong rain, we aborted the walk … Continue reading →
These feet will take us wherever they want to go. Passengers from the hydrofoil are rushing to plant their feet on the ground of Estonia after a two-hour sail from Finland, 2,000 of them more or less. As pilgrims, our feet … Continue reading →
We just have to make do with what we have in a given place at a given moment as we travel along as pilgrims celebrating mass. There are times that mass is performed out in an open space and we were … Continue reading →
We have been told to act in an orderly manner and with a certain kind of decorum as pilgrims representing a holy order. Since I am a law abiding citizen in a foreign country, Sweden, the guards do not like … Continue reading →
Somewhere in a Nordic nation, a billboard: Come party with us. A perfect place for 45 Canadian pilgrims shepherd by two priest. We searched for the nun but couldn’t find one in the land of the Vikings. Just as well, … Continue reading →
The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers ~ Matsuo Bashō We can tell when Catholic churches in Cuba are no longer use to celebrate mass, tower bells were taken down and displayed beside … Continue reading →
Two Canadian girls on a trip not knowing a single word of Gaelic. Reading these street names, we don’t even know whether it means North, South, East or West. We kept on walking on the island that is thick with … Continue reading →
The earth expanding right hand and left hand, The picture alive, every part in its best light, The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted, The cheerful voice of the public road, the … Continue reading →
First, I must have a Cuban water or Cuban Water! Water has so many uses from cooling off your feet to washing your car, from an empty huge swimming pool to small fountain, from catching fishes to growing rice. And … Continue reading →
It’s not even a day, I miss them already; my family, friends, neighbors, cats, and the comfort of home. Leaving them behind to travel for my annual pilgrimage creates a nostalgic moment. Far away from home, I want to make … Continue reading →
Just to get the child to go to school, sometimes the parents will condone their children to bring a pet. Not a teddy bear or barbie doll. One day a parent and student show up for school with their pet. … Continue reading →
“This Home for the Dying is dimly lit by small windows high up in the walls, and Ken was adamant that filming was quite impossible there. We had only one small light with us, and to get the place adequately lighted in the time at our disposal was quite impossible. It was decided that, nonetheless, Ken should have a go, but by way of insurance we took, as well, some film in an outside courtyard where some of the inmates were sitting in the sun. In the processed film, the part taken inside was bathed in a particularly beautiful soft light, whereas the part taken outside was rather dim and confused…Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying is overflowing with love, as one senses immediately on entering it. This love is luminous, like the halos artists have seen and made visible round the heads of the saints. I find it not at all surprising that the luminosity should register on a photographic film ”
Influenced by his experience with Mother Teresa, he received the Catholic faith at the age of 79 together with his wife.
Welcome. A roll of toilet paper and towel. A supply he received upon entering the frame. His arts live in a frame called “The Hole”. Three out of fifteen I managed to capture, between wiring. The exhibits are all inside … Continue reading →
CAUTION: Enter at your own risk, the sign says. Somewhere in the jungle of Cuba, to reach the other side of the mountain, we have to enter a narrow cave. This is not for the faint-hearted. Scared? We are the … Continue reading →
The land, a block away from the mainstream, inside street of Havana. Dare I walk alone? I did. By ocean side, the sign reads “terminal miritima, Club Los Marinos”. I wonder what it means? The sky, I wonder lonely as … Continue reading →
When joining a beauty pageant, one must have a perfect body with a curve. In Cuba, the street is lined up with beautiful curves preserved in time for hire. A show stopper. It comes in so many shapes, sizes, and colours. … Continue reading →
Who is counting? I for one, not. It is enough for me to see the numbers of thank you notes left here. One. One is the best number. It only takes one to be touched by many filled with gratitude. … Continue reading →
Somewhere in the forested area of Cuba, it was a delight to see a homestead. It was a simple dwelling. Inside, the interior is spare. My first thought, how quaint. It’s good to see someone who exists in very little … Continue reading →
No artist can ever draw this face for her maker created her perfectly and thus became incorruptible. This is the incorruptible Face of Bernadette of Lourdes. Song of Bernadette Songwriters: COHEN, LEONARD/ELLIOTT, BILL/WARNES, JENNIFER There was a child named Bernadette I heard the story … Continue reading →
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light. Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory. Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning. Earth teach me caring ~ … Continue reading →
When I was in Cuba, it seemed that I was always eating because the food is one constant when I travel. Needless to say, after dinner, I go for a walk. One night, we found a mother cat nursing it’s … Continue reading →
It is the land that glows and expands. There are so many possibilities what one can do here. It is one of the most beautiful lands I’ve ever seen. Cuba meaning “Land”. In its simplicity, this is a place that … Continue reading →
Yes, I am a smoker. When I tell people that I smoke, some of them are gracious enough to say that I don’t look and smell like a smoker. That is the kindest thing to say to a smoker. However, there … Continue reading →
In Cuba, Che Guevara is bigger than life. The Cuban artistically erected a monument for him even though he is not Cuban. Che revolutionized Cuba. No doubt, he is their hero. “Silence is argument carried out by other means.” The … Continue reading →
Joining a guided walking and sightseeing holiday in Cuba with Walker’s World is not actually a pilgrimage. However, I made sure that I consider it as one for I always consider myself a pilgrim on this earth. Visiting Churches is … Continue reading →
All I wanted is to take a photo of a blank wall. This is no ordinary wall. It’s a Cuban wall. It’s a Cuban blue wall. But in a place considered to be a tourist trap, it was next to impossible for … Continue reading →
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have … Continue reading →
A series of photographs taken during my pilgrimage to India in 2014. Our bus was at a standstill during rush hour and I saw this man crossing the road. A barefooted man wearing a sack for clothing. He bent down to … Continue reading →
In India, due to its caste system, there is a group of people called the “untouchables”. We are talking millions of them, not just a tiny group. These people received their ‘title’ by default, by birth. They are considered impure. … Continue reading →
Notice how much joy the nuns and the man having so much fun? I wonder what they were talking about? Aren’t the nuns too hot with their outfit? Or the rest of the people under dressed? I just love this … Continue reading →
At the end of a long corridor, there was a door. It was open, a sign of invitation. Welcome and come in. No one was around but me. I hesitated to go further that maybe I was trespassing but I … Continue reading →
As we enter the Holy Sepulcher, there lies a slab of stone where Jesus’ dead body was laid. The Orthodox priests anoint the stone with rose scented oil, walking around it as they say their prayers and holding an incense … Continue reading →
My thoughts are collections of other people’s ideas. There is no need for me to rewrite the story. They are good as they are. The following writings are thoughts from ordinary people who do extraordinary work that help shape my … Continue reading →
Walking down from Mount Olives is Palm Sunday road, a road that Jesus took riding a donkey. It’s downhill and I saw this man and his donkey. They must be exhausted doing business with pilgrims like me to experience where Jesus … Continue reading →
Here I stood at Mount Olive, I could see the structure behind the wall with an onion-shaped golden dome. It’s calling me, and I wanted to visit the place, but it’s not part of our itinerary. Long after I came … Continue reading →
This is more than a crack on the wall, it’s one of the gates of Jerusalem called St. Stephen’s Gate or Lion’s Gate. I spent more time on the walls of the gate, soaking up the atmosphere, listening to … Continue reading →
The walls of Jerusalem are originally built to protect the city from intrusion and a defense under the rule of the Ottoman empire. Inside these walls is the seat of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The wall has so many gates … Continue reading →
“I live in my dreams. Other people live in dreams too … just not their own.” — Hermann Hesse Dreams not fantasy. Start small. Series of small dreams. Put them all together. Together, the series of small dreams become big. Dreams are … Continue reading →
In India, we have to leave our footwear before entering a temple. I prefer to keep my beat-up shoes rather than moving it outside for fear of losing them and have to continue the pilgrimage barefooted. I never understand the … Continue reading →
All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
While I was drinking a cup of coffee, a couple of birds were reluctant to go closer to a pool of water because of my presence. I stood still and kept quite in order not to disturb them since I want their company. Slowly they took the courage to dip their feet on the water while peering at me. When they realized that I will remain motionless, they took the plunge.
This is my reward, a memory of my stay at Kochi, Kerala, India. In addition, I am learning how to use the power of computer photography. My very first GIF, perseverance has its own rewards.
Today is Ash Wednesday and nothing is more fitting than to share with you the poem of T.S. Eliot’s long poem “Ash Wednesday” written in 1927. The last three lines of this stanza struck me personally. Ash Wednesday by T. … Continue reading →
Riding a camel is not as easy as riding a horse. I remember having to ride on one and rely on this beast climbing Mount Sinai in pitch dark. I closed my eyes so that I don’t get scared and … Continue reading →
A simple invitation I sent out to different organizations offering my services as a volunteer. To my surprise, Aids Baby Centre (ABC) accepted my invitation. On May 8, I arrived at Chiangmai from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I received a warm … Continue reading →
Spectacular sunset unfolds in front of me at the golden beach of Goa, India. It evokes an emotion so deep that I cannot name it in the recesses of my being. I stood fixated by the lighting of the sun … Continue reading →
Cows roam freely in India and I was so excited to see them all over that I must have taken more photos of the bovines than humans. They are such lovely gentle giants. India considers them sacred, respected, honored, revered and … Continue reading →
It was interesting to see contraptions along the coastline of Kochi. These are called Chinese fishing nets that are permanent fixture that is unique and an unusual way to catch a fish. It’s a great tourist attraction.
Curiously, my two nephews and their sister wanted to know how it works and paid the fisherman for show and tell.
The net is lowered into the water, left for at least five minutes and raised back up by pulling the ropes. This is the hard part. The kids have to partake on this experience and pulled the ropes. They were so excited that they did catch something: a tiger fish, a wee one that has to go back to the sea to grow sharper fangs.
Did the kids dare to hold the fish? Nope, too scared to be bitten. Such scared cats.
Besides just a few steps away, one can find all kinds of fishes and have your pick.
There are contradicting history how the Chinese fishing nets arrived in Kochi, Kerala, India. Some says Chinese explorer introduced it, others by Portuguese that came from Macau. Who knows. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that this is the biggest bait for tourist.
Raj Ghat means Royal Steps and is a place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated on 1948.
In New Delhi, we visited Raj Ghat. To reach the memorial site, we walked a long corridor surrounded by beautiful green lawn, well-kept garden and a peaceful place. The vastness of this place is impressive.
Gandhi’s memorial site is made of black marble slab adorned with orange marigolds. The flowers are changed daily. A perpetual flame burns at one end. Inscribed on the stone is “He Ram” (Oh God).
It is mandatory that we must remove our shoes before entering the enclosure to keep the area free of dirt from our footwear.
The place was busy with visitors including school children on a field trip paying homage to him.
My life is my message ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The design of a simple memorial site reflects Gandhi’s modest life. Simplicity at its best.
He came, he saw, he conquer is the meaning of Veni, Vidi, Vici. This is the beginning of a love story about Taj Mahal.
It started when a prince, son of a Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar the Great went to a bazaar, saw a girl named Mumtaz Mahal and conquered her. It was love at first sight. She became his third wife and favorite. In return, she gave him fourteen children; however, she died giving birth. In her deathbed, he promised her that he will build the most impressive mausoleum over her grave and will never marry again.
Shah Jahan was heartbroken and devastated. The country was in mourning for two years. Subsequently, he undertook building a monument that took over 22 years, thousands of men and elephants to build this bigger than life structure to fulfill his promise to his beloved.
In every dynasty, there’s always a villain that is the Shah’s third son with Mahal named Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb killed some of his families, took over the throne and banished his father to a tower in Red Fort at Agra. From the fort, Shah Jahan can only view from the distance where the love of his life lays. He died at the tower in Agra and was buried next to Mumtaz in Taj Mahal.
I can only imagine how hard it was for the Shah to be separated from his beloved.
What I find beautiful about Taj Mahal is the love story between the Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
If you are looking for Starbucks in India, good luck! You can only find the coffee shop in the Airport, departure area.
And if you are looking for a freshly brewed coffee, there is no such thing! Everything is instant coffee in India. The famous one is Nescafe or Folgers. Kate Crimmins are you rolling your eyes yet?
It was a problem, a very big problem for me. But hey, I am a pilgrim, this is not Club Med.
So, what is Indian Coffee? Pretty basic:
Instant Coffee – two packets if you want it strong
Hot Water – very small amount to dissolve the coffee
Warm Milk –lots to combine it with the dissolved coffee
Sugar – if you want it sweet.
Oh, some make it frothy to give it an espresso look. There’s hardly any coffee in this cup but bubbles.
I was kicking myself to get a “caffeine kick” to it. There’s hardly any caffeine in an instant coffee. Drinking two or three cups of this first thing in the morning is my form of “flagellation” for seventeen days to wake me up. I survived.
The minute we arrived in Canada, we stopped over at my sister’s place and I asked for a real good brewed coffee, mug size.
Aaahhhh…. good to the last drop followed by a refill.
There is no escaping the traffic. One has to learn to be an aggressive and defensive driver. It seems to be the louder and longer you blow your horn, drivers will allow you to converge.
Traffic in New Delhi, India
As I look out from the comfort of the bus, I asked Padre what is this area? “Is this the flea market.” The short response was that this is the slum area.
Slum area in New Delhi, India
On the other side of the coin, this is what most people prefer to see, an illusion of history past. This area did not bring any emotional sensation from me in comparison to the traffic and the slum area.
Taj Mahal, India
At the end of the day, our group, all 20 of us from Canada, Philippines and Austria gather for a meal to give thanks to India for opening their doors and converge with them.
Meal time prepared at a Catholic diocese
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Converge.”
“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.” ― Coco Chanel
I’ve watched the life story of CoCo Chanel and I find her story remarkable. She swam against the current of adversity in a man’s world. When you have a chance, I highly recommend the film.
Thank you, Deo for the quote. Visit Deo’s site for more.
Prayer is largely just being silent: holding the tension instead of even talking it through, offering the moment instead of fixing it by words and ideas, loving reality as it is instead of understanding it fully. Prayer is commonly a … Continue reading →
The view from the hotel window, I could see the pyramids. It’s so close. I can’t wait to walk the desert sand for this great adventure to touch the stones of the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. But first we have … Continue reading →
Was I there? At the crack of dawn, when everybody is still asleep, before the narrow streets of Old Jerusalem turn into a market place and become crowded with people, we were there to do the Via Dolorosa and reflect what … Continue reading →
Olive trees are in abundance in Holy Land but what I wanted to see, touch, hug and take a leafy twig is the olive tree where Jesus prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane. I am pretty sure everyone that visits … Continue reading →
What’s inside our skull? Is it our brain or our mind? This is a real brain floating in liquid to keep it intact as a specimen, and undoubtedly it’s not mine. Our brain is divided into two hemispheres and it … Continue reading →
I was looking what to post yesterday that is more palatable to readers when it comes to spirituality for Sunday Snippet. I am very much aware when it comes to the topic of religion, it’s hardly entertained. Using Parabola is … Continue reading →
I know for a while again the health of self-forgetfulness, looking out at the sky through a notch in the valleyside, the black woods wintry on the hills, small clouds at sunset passing across. And I know that this is … Continue reading →
The night before we entered the Holy Site of Santiago De Compostela, we needed to be purified in order to be worthy and receive the joy of entering the Cathedral. Little did I know, our fearless driver, Pablo, is a … Continue reading →
Haya, Pete. Of course, I like you. You know very well I welcome your thoughts and I enjoy publishing your comments. I love hearing what you have to say about Science or Conscience on donating. Thank you. You are not going … Continue reading →
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (Song: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem)It is difficult to express the absolute bliss that I felt during this unique spiritual adventure. As I literally followed the footsteps of Jesus, the journey … Continue reading →
The Holy Land is not so holy when the Israelis occupy the land of the Palestine’s, the Muslims building mosque on top of the Christian church and the Christians are now a minority. There is always trouble yet I went … Continue reading →
Visiting the public market in a another country is one thing I include in my itinerary with or without the help of a guide. Here in Compostela de Santiago, before we enter the mainstream, the busyness of the daily specials … Continue reading →
Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep! A new day is dawning for all those who weep. The people in darkness have seen a great light. The Lord of our longing has conquered the night. Let us build the … Continue reading →