Memorable Day. Imagine That!

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

A day in my life exercising my Freedom on January 22, 2022 amongst ten thousands marching a peaceful rally at Vancouver Downtown Core from 12 to 4 pm. This is yours truly at the end of a very long line ensuring that the peace keeper behind me is doing his job. Someone has to keep him honest.

FREEDOM RALLY

Bike Tags and Murals

It’s so pleasant to walk around how the city is transformed into an outdoor gallery of painted walls in epic proportions in public spaces. It turned out to be a yearly mural festival since 2016.

Another event took place last year to encourage others to have fun in taking a shot of the street art and posting it in their Instagram hashtags #biketags.

“Why am I so damn cheerful? Because ain’t nobody got time to be moping about. The present is only a gift if you’re actually PRESENT for it. Open your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Absorb all the goodness around you until it overflows into the world around you.”

When you enter Mt. Pleasant, the larger than life murals of Past, Present and Future, welcome you. I see these in my daily commute to work.

Notice the bike? This is Tyrone Siglos’ bike. He started biking all over town maybe 10 years ago. At the start of Pandemic, he was layed-off. He made use of his bike to earn a living during this hard times by delivering food with Uber Eats.

While biking around, he found more things in life and still keep finding something new everyday.

I’ve always wanted to go to Hogan’s Alley where Jimi Hendrix stayed when he came to Vancouver. This is one area of the Black community in Vancouver. Most of the murals tell a story.

Nora Hendrix, the grandmother of Jim Hendrix, established a low income housing for black and indigenous community. Nora Hendrix Way is a new street named after her.

The big tag went into full swing.

“It’s an awesome way to bike around during the pandemic,” Siglos says in Vancouver is Awesome

Some Bike Tag locations are cool street murals or creative public art, others are beautiful spots for a ride — like this trail on Burnaby Mountain in Vancouver’s Bike Tag wrote West Coast Travellers.

The whole Vancouver is exploding with murals and there are gems off the beaten path.

This is my favourite. It symbolizes how an Angel has guided Tyrone, my nephew, to rise above it. He branched out to promoting local eats, raised fund and performed the challenge of Everesting.

The concept of Everesting is simple: Pick any hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeats of it in a single activity until you climb 8,848m – the equivalent height of Mt Everest.

Tyrone biked the mountains of Grouse, Seymour and Cypress. His name is now recorded in the Hall of Fame in Everesting.

What I am so proud of him is how he managed his mental wealth through these activities.

Siglos struggled with depression, but noticed when he started riding his bicycle to work, he felt better. After being laid off from a job in the warehouse sector last spring, he decided to take a job delivering food on his bike with Uber Eats.

“I haven’t felt this good ever, just mentally, so that’s a big part of it,” he said. “I love … exploring the city, the freedom that it allows me.” – CBC

When I see a murals in town, I sometimes wonder if I beat Tyrone in finding this one first. Definitely, he hasn’t seen the FNATIC since this one was taken in London.

Photographs and memories

For the past 800 years, if the tree could talk, it would be able to tell us what it has witnessed on better days. For the tree to still stand and withstood the foibles of humanity, nothing is better than getting a good hug from it.

Dante Alighieri is another example who has seen better days. When he was exiled from his hometown, Florence, he was heartbroken. His heartache drove him to write the famous Divine Comedy.

In Canto 5, Dante met Francesca de Polenta. She said to Dante:

There is no greater pain
than to remember happy days
in days of misery.

Francesca committed adultery and was put in the circle of lust. She discovered that her happiness having a forbidden love is now her misery.

This year, we are celebrating the 700th year of Dante. What a better year to delve in his work as a poet and a pilgrim while we ride the wave of pandemic. So I joined reading 100 Days of Dante. It would go on until Easter 2022, by then we are hoping the malaise of the society has very little negative effective in our mental health.

When I think of better days, I think of a plum and prune.

What did the prune say to a plum?

I’ve seen better days.

Indian Summer

Blue sky, not a cloud in the horizon and the air crisp. The leaves of the Cherry Tree is blossoming with fiery orange. In spring time, it flowers first before the leaves come out.

At Forest Lawn, this place is so beautiful. No matter what time of the year, it’s stunning all around. I often wonder how the residents feel in close proximity at the cemetery.

A bursting crimson colour shrub in my garden is what we have been waiting for. The name of this plant is Euonymus but I cannot remember it, so I called it burning bush.

My sister came to visit bringing a small pumpkin wishing me happy fall. Already? I can’t believe it’s here and have forgotten the season of the year. It still feels summery. I suppose I have to start putting the rest of the plants to bed and winterized them. In the meantime, we are off for a walk to check out autumn colours and fall plants at UBC. This purple berries are so beautiful that I am planning to grow it in my garden. Sister looked great posing with Callicarpa.

“When the leaves fall,
the whole earth is a cemetery
pleasant to walk in.
I love to wander and muse over
them in their graves. Here
are no lying nor vain epitaphs.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Light Up

Each evening from dawn till dusk, Science World lights up using 198 LED lights. This became an iconic Vancouver Lights.

When Vancouver was lightless, In 1942 Earle Birney wrote Vancouver Lights.

Through the feckless years we have come to the time
when to look on this quilt of lamps is a troubling delight

In daytime, Science World still is a delight to see.

of nothing pulsing down from beyond and between
the fragile planets We are a spark beleaguered
by darkness this twinkle we make in a corner of emptiness

The stage red lighting in this production has the intensity of passion and love. If I remember this Filipino folk dance correctly, it’s called Maria Clara. The dress is an elegant formal outfit for women with clean lines that symbolize the virtues and nobility of a Filipino woman while the men wear Barong Tagalog, a traditional Filipino embroidered long-sleeve shirt made of pineapple fibre. He’s holding a castanets known as clackers.

Don’t they look fabulous with the lights on?

On a personal level, I use up a lot of artificial lights. This is my Day Light lamp 10,000 Lux therapy lamp for the living room. The lights mimic natural light to help me get through my seasonal affective disorder. The only months that they are unused are the months of August and September. I have another lamp in the bedroom.

These lamps are used first thing in the morning to wake up my brain. They are my lifeline.

Stripes over Checks

“London Bridge is falling down, falling down. London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.”  I was humming this in my head on my way to see the bridge before it gets darker.  I don’t know how far it was.  In my furious bambling to reach the destination, this wall stopped me on my track. 

The optical illusion was so mesmerizing that I need to get a shot of it.  Suddenly, I heard a commotion behind me.

Stop! Wait!

Turning around, three young men running towards me, giggling.

“Hey, mate, you just can’t take a picture of a blank wall,” said one lad with a twinkling in his eyes.

“Oh yeah? Why don’t you boys go ahead and pose for me to make the wall look pretty?”  I said.

You just got to love the Brits.

Goodreads

As much as I enjoy writing, I prefer to read the fine prints.

A good chair, books and beverage are ways of promoting literacy in this area of Gastown. These are permanent fixtures for art lovers. Most folks bring their own reading materials and use the char.

This one is my favourite step in Lonsdale Quay. It reminds me of the book I give to my nephews or nieces once they graduated from high school. I bought one for myself.

Sidewalks are perfect for finding Goodreads. I am not sure if this is my photo I found on my iPhone.

Forget Me Not

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom at Metrotown

My reason for going
Err in the side of caution
Sakura spring blooms

It’s so beautiful to see the Cherry trees in full bloom in spring. Japan Sakura Festival is one of the significant events in welcoming the arrival of a new season, a new beginning, a new life. Here I stand, in an empty parking lot at Metrotown, celebrating spring. The fragrance of the flowers permeates the entire lot—no exhaust fumes to contend with.

Bonsor Pipeline

Bonsor Pipeline skate rink.

You are limitless
Grown-up man springing along
Lone never lonely

It was exciting to watch him rolling away all by himself in the skating rink. Usually, this place is pack with people. The weather is mild and overcast, a typical spring day. There are so many ways to continue your daily activities on your own as long as we practice self-distancing.

Shangri La

Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite exhibition in 2010 located at the Wild Bird Trust sanctuary

Shangri La to Shangri La
Community of squatters
Springtimes and sweaters

Forest bathing at Wild Bird Trust Sanctuary is a perfect spot to go thoreau-ing. “I love to see clear crystalline water flowing out of a swamp over white sand and decayed wood, spring-like.—Journal, 18 July 1852.” A breath of fresh air, birds friendly enough to eat on my hand, red and green buds emerging from the branches and twigs, plenty of room for a quiet reflection and contemplation amidst the turmoil what this new virus brings about. The meditative journey gave our inner self to expand and make room to focus on what is essential in life.

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not garden

Forget Me Not fleurs
A gift that keeps on giving
Spring twenty twenty

Out of the blue, this plant suddenly appeared in my garden. I let it stayed. Two years later, I am delighted to see how beautiful it is to have a mass growing in the garden this spring.

Legend said that God named all the flowers except for this one tiny plant. As God was about to leave, the plant cried out: “Forget me not, O Lord!” The Lord decided, “That shall be your name.”

“I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget….first, forget not to be patient with yourself…second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice…third, forget not to be happy now…fourth, forget not the why of the gospel…fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Forget Me Not

 

Plant your own garden, Decorate your own soul

Plant your own garden

Layla Pie and Miss Pretty planting the hydrangea

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises. 

Summer rain

Weather forecast for the first day of summer. Rain.

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

Lavenders

Lavender Harvest. A good day. Rain the following day.

After a while, you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

Bouquet of flowers

Flower girl.

And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn and learn.
With every goodbye, you learn.

 

Note:
I originally posted this title on June 13, 2013, here. According to Dear Abby, it was a poem AFTER A WHILE by Veronica Shoffstall. Much to my surprise, this is my top post and most visited. As a curious person, I wonder who Veronica Shoffstall is?

In my searches, I cannot find a reliable source to indicate that Veronica is the real author. In the Urban 75 forum, this question Who is Veronica Shoffstall came up. Apparently, it was a Spanish poem written by Jorge Luis Borges. With the help of google translating it to English, much to my surprise (again} so it was his poetry.

I really don’t know whether it was plagiarism. That is not for me to judge. I just want to throw some more light into the validity of who I am quoting.

At any rate, it’s still beautiful poetry.

 

Saturated

I am using the word saturated instead after finding out that “All Wet” is a slang word during the 1920s, meaning “full of crap!” Please note that I am not implying that your post in this week’s Lens-Artist is cr*p but quite the contrary. You are all brilliant!

rain and ladybug

Phew… to save my skin, English is my second language, and I enjoy looking for meaning and definition of words and phrases.

Are you thinking of visiting the beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada? If you are, it’s essential and fashionable that you bring an umbrella. Out of 365 days in a year, we get at least 180 days of rain. It’s only water, and nothing stops us from staying outdoors.

Vancouver Rain

Another thing that is useful here is to bring your rubber boots with your rubber ducks to add fun to your adventure in the rain.

It’s raining, the children are splashing in the puddle, and I just have to join in.

depth puddle

Vancouver made a great impression on the world during the 2010 Olympics. To commemorate what an artist thinks of us is this “all wet” blue raindrop.

raindrop

The Drop at Vancouver Convention Centre

Now, that’s what I call “full of crap!>

The Power of One

Gallery

“The amazing thing is that chaotic systems don’t always stay chaotic,” Ben said, leaning on the gate. Sometimes, they spontaneously reorganize themselves into an orderly structure.” ― Connie Willis, Bellwether All it takes is one to start a commotion or chaos on … Continue reading

Dare to be something different

Gallery

I’ve kept these shots for the longest time and just don’t know when to share it. Now I dared myself to show and tell about my cousin, Jesse, taken when we were younger. The photos reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger … Continue reading

Meanwhile in Vancouver

Gallery

Some people left their heart in San Francisco as the song goes; in Vancouver, the city is the heart. To see the beauty, from a distance, a lazy chair is available to sit, relax and admire the beauty of Science … Continue reading

What Buddha Never Taught Me

Gallery

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

Times: Person of the Year Journalists killed or jailed

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

When a journalist becomes the story, it’s not good news. That’s what happened to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the best investigative journalist in Malta, killed by a car bomb. Her name is not mentioned in Times: Person of the year. I … Continue reading

Cracked Earth With A Boy

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

  Leafing through the magazines at a clinic’s waiting room, this photo haunted me. Finally, I found it here at the gallery of Allard Prize for International Integrity. The lines on the cracked earth reminded me of drought season in the Philippines when … Continue reading

One of these, does not belong to the other

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Structure is very important to have a good presentation especially if you are vendor in Denmark’s seafood market. It’s important to group the items accordingly: Fishes together. Shellfish together. Lobsters together. Doctors separately. Lobsters will definitely change the structure of … Continue reading

Overdose of Satisfaction

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Just can’t get away from these two gals following me like kitty cats. If they were really cats and died in the process of following me, only satisfaction will bring them back. They are very proud of making street photography … Continue reading

Motherhood is motherhood. No difference between bears and humans.

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

The picture shows a mother polar bear cradling her two cubs while resting her head upside down. The mother was on her way to hunt for seals on the Hudson Bay, and Gilardini was there to witness the three polar bears playing … Continue reading

A Breath of Fresh Air

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Having too much of a good time of office party, I left the gathering and went out for a breath of fresh air. Walking late night in the city especially on dark streets is not really a good idea for … Continue reading

Three – a crowd or company?

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Ideally, it is normal for a couple to have a child as a symbol of their love for each other. Now they become three and complete. Can I apply the same principle with my cats, Maurice and Lucy? They supposedly … Continue reading

I want to go where nobody knows my name.

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Living off the grid means to live simply so others may simply live. Living off the grid is hard especially in the modern-day world. Living off the grid is to unplug. For more than 48 hours, we were literally unplugged … Continue reading

Mending Lives

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Stitching keeps broken parts together. A simple stitch can literally mend lives. All it takes is a sewing needle, thread, pair of hands and a heart determined to restore in order to stay connected. To prove the point, these are series … Continue reading

I could hear the grass laugh.

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

When the sky closes up, it stops raining. Grass grows where it’s planted and dies silently with hardly any rain for the past three months. The care given to this grass is better than a Persian carpet. Who needs a carpet when I … Continue reading

Up Close and Personal

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

What makes this photo great? Composition? Lighting? Creativity? Story? My take is ALL of the above. For one, the photographer is from Vancouver, Canada and this photo made the National Geographic YourShot Daily Dozen on June 26, 2015. To top … Continue reading

Think Happy Thoughts

Today, someone sent me this note: “Think happy thoughts and good things will happen.”

It came at a time when the world around me is crumbling down. I am fine but not the people who I care about. I wish I can share the value of thinking positively that nothing is over until the fat lady sings.

It does take a lot of imagination to think happy thoughts. In order for me to see it vividly in my mind, there are several wallpaper on my computer to ignite and to tickle my funny brain.

cat-tounge1

Source: SoundingSoul Photography – Maria Vanesa Acuto

I can still remember the lady who took this photo. She has a very warm heart in doing volunteer work for SPCA.

hummingbird1

The color of the hummingbird is effervescent and glitters as I hurriedly took a shot of it before it flew away.

laugh

And I am throwing this in to make everyone smile.

“Vivid is limited only by your imagination.”

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Vivid.”

Serene and ephemeral as a little smiling sunshine

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

As quietly as the hummingbird came to visit for a drink, the fog slowly rolled in and transformed the view into mysterious scenery. Soon the fog enveloped the whole city and only the reflection of the sun is glistening from … Continue reading

The Fresh Promise of Spring

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Spring brings fresh promises. The first day of spring marks the arrival of greenhouse vegetables and last year Vancouver celebrated it with a party at the heart of the city that I did not miss. The fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and more greens … Continue reading

Symmetrical Tail Feathers

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

The symmetry of the peacock’s tail has been studied, researched and calculated by mathematicians, photographers, doctors, artist and many find it fascinating with its perfect beauty. I am unsure what’s the point of measuring the tail and feathers of the peacock. They are missing out … Continue reading

Weather forecast

The Drop at Vancouver Convention Centre

The Drop at Vancouver Convention Centre

Rain. Never ending rain.

The Drop pays homage to the element of water and the untamable forces of nature which are omnipresent in Vancouver.

Omnipresent? More like “ever-present”.

I’m longing for winter. You know, the snow flakes.

Oh, I get by with a little help from a friend.

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Bees are wonderful and helpful creatures. Photographing bees with little knowledge on how to make them presentable does give injustice how beautiful they are. It’s difficult to express myself when I am totally in awe with these insects let alone … Continue reading