Finding Advent at the Inn

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Yesterday’s destination at the Quay is to attend a conference at the Inn. It’s a conference that most people would shy away from attending since the main focus is people with (dis)abilities. People with vision impairment and hard of hearing, with walking … Continue reading

In Search of Advent at the Quay

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The parade just started when I got off the SkyTrain station at the Quay. Motorcades with signs ‘Season’s Greetings’, ‘Dream, Live, Celebrate’, ‘Merry Xmas’, ‘Only Santa delivers more’ drove carrying Gingerbread Man, Frosty the Snow Man, Rudolph the Red Nose … Continue reading

Bringing back fond memories

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Today marks the first day of advent. A day of excitement filed with hope and grief. But hope trumps! It’s Not This Time of Year Without… a message of hope, everlasting hope. The message is to step out of our head … Continue reading

Theology of Dylan’s Songs

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I was only seven years old when Mr. Tambourine man played a song for me. Didn’t really pay too much attention to his music until yesterday. All day, I listened intently to the lyrics of his music, realized he is drawn … Continue reading

Far away from home, make it memorable.

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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

Going beyond the grain and flow

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Most of the time in life, we get caught up in a situation where everything is all about me. We relay our stories to others who are willing to listen, then others will say, what about me? Woe is me. … Continue reading

Yes, Jake, memories of you do last even if you are a cat

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To lose a pet always comes with anguish. You wake up everyday and there they are. It becomes so much like breathing you can’t imagine them not ever being there. They ask so little of us food, water, love and … Continue reading

Arts living in a frame

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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

One Step Behind – This is my story

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How nice the view from up there must have been. It’s difficult to imagine when you’re always looking down. Don’t regret it when you finally see the upside of REALITY because there’s this crazy notion that regrets pile up to … Continue reading

Claims

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Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be Jehovah. Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. Yet Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God. Buddha simply said, “I am a teacher in search of the … Continue reading

It is rare.

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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

The Giver and The Receiver

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For two years, I’ve waited when the birds will return. Lo and behold, I heard chirping and saw this little guy checking our the bird house. Who is more jubilant? Needless to say, me! Trying so many ways to give nature … Continue reading

Mother and Earth: What do they have in common?

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The Earth is always pregnant, giving birth to new life. This is the reason we call it Mother Earth. Think about this. It is the very source of life itself. It’s alive.  One doesn’t have to be Neil Armstrong, go … Continue reading

Participatory Democracy

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Participation is admirable. They came prepared. Armed with nachos, cheeses, chips and juices to fuel their hunger for a long night of participation of asking questions, voice their concerns and listen to other speak about the future of their education. … Continue reading

The land that glows

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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

What brings you here?

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One human being, one heart, one love? Our heart is bigger than having one love. But it is Love. For love is boundless.   He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts Rest assured this … Continue reading

Unmasking the illusion

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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

Seasons in the sun

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I love the sun. I want to catch it, if I could, keep it for myself. As I was about to reach out for it, a boy races towards the sun, beckoning to come along to play with him. Soon … Continue reading

The Problem of Belonging: Being a Catholic in a Big Family

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We are a family of 13 and we are Catholic. I happen to be the tenth in line and drop in the bucket in Catholic community. As a younger sister, the rule is to listen to your elders. be respectful and … Continue reading

Pick One

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“Knowing that my emotions are only partially in my control, I reflect on what emotions I want to have If I could choose only one, what would it be: joy? peace? loving-kindness? courage? gratitude? I pick one of these imagine … Continue reading

I want to go where nobody knows my name.

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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

Self-Portrait: Mended

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  Self-Portrait, Mended by Eleanor Hannan This piece is based on drawings done the day after 7-hour surgery to remove skin cancer from my nose. I chose to have only local anesthetic so as to be awake during the surgery. … Continue reading

Mending Lives

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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

Love is a complicated matter

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Recently I saw a photo that made me recall bits and pieces of my childhood years. From this memory, I remember a poem I kept about love that a child does not understand. The Memory: I couldn’t help it but … Continue reading

Learning to be at home

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And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at … Continue reading

Forgiveness has no limitation

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“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. Forgiveness is not so easy. It’s easier said than done. But once it’s done, forgiveness is transforming. Citing the forgiveness statement of the victims … Continue reading

On any given day, give thanks.

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When it comes to gardening, I prefer to start from seeds. It reminds me of conception to birth. The seeds are the eggs and the sperms are a mixture of good potting soil mixed with mushroom manure saturated further with … Continue reading

Who has seen the Wind?

Earth, Wind, Fire and Water are the quintessential natural forces of nature.
We can see the earth, fire and water but not the Wind.

Who has seen the wind, neither your nor I

Who has seen the wind, neither your nor I

Do we have to see it to believe it?

Who Has Seen the Wind?
BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.”

 

Do you understand? Do you see?

Red Kite RunnerA good book gives me something to ponder, something to learn, something to move my senses. Reading The Kite Runner just did that to me. To sum it up:

Thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie, thou shall not cheat.

“Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that?” […]
“When you kill a man, you steal a life,” Baba said. “You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?” […]
“There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir,” Baba said. “A man who takes what’s not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of naan…I spit on such a man. And if I ever cross paths with him, God help him. Do you understand?” (3.29-34)
Credits:  Red Kite Runner ~ oil canvass by Allan Chow
The Kite Runner: Khaled Hosseini 

Is Today The Day We Die At Work?

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“How long, O Christ, shall we wait for thy law to be understood?” ~ W. Frank Hatheway, “The Cry of Labor” (1906) We all work for a living, we spend the majority of our life employed and we don’t know … Continue reading

In Praise of Mother: A Legacy of a Selfless Person

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I really do not know much about Mother. My siblings have asked her numerous times to write her story. If she can’t write maybe, she can record her memoir. They gave her a recorder. Thinking that she might do it, … Continue reading

If I were to remove myself from Facebook, would anyone notice that I was gone?

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I used to get phone calls all the time and talk forever I would pride myself as a conversationalist I still am. Phone conversations are now limited to volunteer work Without them there would be none Calling the older generation … Continue reading

I’m Singing in the Rain

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Vancouver aka We(s)tcoast And we live true to this name Wet and cold. I own plenty of umbrellas Orange, Blue, Green Printed, Floral, Strips Even a Canadian Maple Leaf brolly. They are no ordinary canopy Each one represents my personality And … Continue reading

I live in my dreams.

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“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

Teach Us To Sit Still.

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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

Take Care, Be Careful, Heal, Look after and Watch out

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“Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.” “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most … Continue reading

I want, I want, I want

blake-I want

We are put here for a little space
that we may learn
how to bear the beams of love.
…..William Blake

Think about this:

“What is it you seek?” asked the Master of a scholar who came to him for guidance.

“Life,” was the reply.

“If you are to live, words must die.” Said the Master.

When asked later what he meant, he said, “You are lost and forlorn because you dwell in a world of words. You feed on words, you are satisfied with words when what you need is substance. A menu will not satisfy your hunger. A formula will not slake your thirst.”   ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ

Credits on William Blake from:
Image from Todo El Oro Del Mundo
Qoute from Make Believe Boutique

Transformation: Way of Life

hands

Tri-angle hands of women

May I see what I do.
May I do it differently.
May I make this a way of life.

 

The story behind the prayer Let the discomfort begin with me.
Contributor: Courtney E. Martin
Via: On Being with Krista Tippett

Remembering our Common Ground

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Remember Jimi Hendrix? He is a legend in Vancouver even though he is an African-American. The main connection to this legend is his grandmother who lived in an African-American community in Strathcona area of Vancouver. She owned Vie’s Chicken and … Continue reading

Quote and UnQuote

wind

The human soul is hungry for beauty;
we seek it everywhere,
in landscape, music, art, clothes,
furniture, gardening, companionship,
love, religion, and in ourselves.
No one would desire not to be beautiful.
When we experience the beautiful,
there is a sense of homecoming.

~John O’Donohue

via beauty & the quantum leap.

This quote came from Make Believe Boutique, a site that will make you feel good and beautiful especially the part “when the angels come.” Visit and enjoy.

Courage to come back: Joie de vivre rather than c’est la vie.

April 1

The birthday of my nephew who turned 25 years old this month of October and the demise of his friend took me back 23 years ago on Easter. This is a photo of my nephews and nieces I keep close to my heart as a reminder how far I have gone along in my journey of “mental” illness. We had more children added to this group since then.

Being released from the hospital on Easter, it was a great celebration but short-lived, I relapsed quickly. My family admitted me back to the hospital and stayed for a long time to make sure I get better. It was April fools and the joke was on me.

Some people are cruel that they are hasty calling me crazy. My response to this is “you have no idea” followed by a sinister laugh and facial expression similar to “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest” that I mastered to scare the living bejesus out of them for labelling me.

When they are too quick to judge, I fire back with a retort “take a hard look at yourself!” A statement that gives them something to think about.

Stigma? That is not in my vocabulary and I refuse to feel victimized.

Crazy as I may sound, I think being afflicted with this “mental illness” is a “blessing”.

I am blessed because I learned humility, compassion, love, kindness, tolerance, respect, perseverance, understanding, recovery, patience, hopeful, peace, joy, live at the moment and enjoying the in-between.

I learned to become thick skin and have broad shoulder. I used this “illness” to my advantage. I am aware that I will have this for the rest of my life, a part of me but it does not define me.

I am lucky that the medical professions that treated me are more knowledgeable about this illness. Even the school industry is educating the children and employers are actively promoting wellness in the work environment.

I simplified my life, focus on the ordinary, and make them extraordinary.

I can educate and advocate for young ones in my family and people in the community that no one has to live alone with a disease that is hereditary or caused by adversity in life.

With care, love and prayers of family, friends and community. I have the courage to come back and live a normal life.

Should I have succeeded on dying, I will not experience the joy of watching these children grow up, get married and have their own children. To hear Baby James call me Miss Pretty is music to my ears and the best medicine to provide relief to sadness.

Do I sound arrogant? That is not my intention. It’s pointless to wallow on self-pity and negativity. There’s plenty of that going around and it’s more contagious than a common cold.

There is a positive point of view in every situation. One can maintain a joie de vivre rather than resign to c’est la vie.

Sticking Together

monkeys (1)Sometimes, we need a hug.

“For me, personally, it’s not about creating something that looks like a photograph, which is often a moment in time, rather, I want to create work that connects with people and provokes an emotion whilst also being pleasing to look at.”

“I was struck by the closeness of these Barbary macaques to each other and spent a long time watching this couple, pondering the relationships they have and how similar they can be to our own. I want people who view the work to reflect back upon themselves and remember a time when they had the same intimacy and closeness with someone, be it a parent and child, siblings or partners. For me, it’s especially about that intimacy between two individuals where no one and nothing else exists in that moment. The softness of fur embodies the tenderness between them but also protection from the jagged rocks and the outside world. I want to show how feelings for someone special can often help see us through difficult times.”

Artist Colin Prestage created this incredibly tender portrait of two monkeys hugging in a piece called Sticking Together.

Family Reflection

”No one is ever born into Life alone. Everyone has shared the bond of family, at least at birth, and for many people, it is a bond that will follow them throughout life. For many people, it is the most important bond of all.”

I was lucky enough to have in my life a family filled with love, compassion, acceptance, and tolerance. I am what I am as a direct result of a family life where belonging is imperative.  It is gratifying to my health and one of the reasons why I am still alive.  Without my family’s caring nature, I cannot conceive living alone.

Reflection 25 years ago

Reflection 25 years ago

When I was younger, I tagged along with my sister, her husband, and two boys.  Have a van, and we traveled anywhere. I was more than welcome to join since I can chop woods and carry water on top of being a babysitter. Stopping on a pristine crystal clear rocky river bed to cool off on the way to the campground is always part of the fun.

Reflection of my 17 year old nephew

Reflection of my 17-year-old nephew

I used to drive the children around and take them on a field trip.  Sometimes, I am the one that takes them for the weekend of cub scouts or brings the boys along on a camping trip without the parents.  Yes, they trusted me with their children.  Trust is essential.

Years flew by, and I am the one being driven around by their fifth child. Making a short conversation so that I don’t distract him while driving, I asked: “Aren’t you much too young to drive as a sixteen-year-old?”  He quickly exclaimed: “I’m seventeen years old!”  “Oh, pardon me, young man,” I responded.  His father beside him was chuckling while he teaches his son to drive. No, I wasn’t scared of a young person driving me home.  I trust him.

Reflection of a one and half child

Reflection of a one and half-year-old child

Life is all about playing when I am with my sister’s grandson. At his age, everything is magical even playing hide and seek behind a jug of water. ROAR he screamed as he was trying to scare me with his dinosaur sound.

Through thick and thin our family will pass the bonding to the younger generation. I am hopeful that we have shown them the importance of forming an intimate family unit as a cornerstone of our existence.

Category: Adult Fiction (36)

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All DVDs of the Song of Bernadette were on loan at the library.  That’s interesting, most of the time they are sitting on the shelf.  It must be due to the season of Lent.  That’s good then that people are … Continue reading

Fasting or Feasting (40)

For Catholics, today is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent.  It is a period of reflection living Lent.  It is a time of prayer.  It’s about dying to our self, all that negative attitude and thoughts. 
In one of my retreats, Lent was defined as:
L – Lets
E – Eliminate
N – Negative
T – Thoughts 
Having said that, I learned to use soft words, less on exclamation point to make a point, bite my tongue.  For those who are familiar with cognitive behaviour, this is what they teaches in the course.  It all makes sense to me. 
This period is not all about me; it’s all about God whoever you conceive him to be, from Abba to Zen.  They said God lives in us.  Can you see the reflection of God in another person?  Or let’s not even mention God.  Can you see the goodness of a person? 
You see, I believe that we are all inherently good. 
Since you told me in my post Tell me and I will tell you mine, I will tell you the title of this list: Fasting and Feasting.  I choose Feasting.  Instead of giving up, I will give in and listen to the prompting of God. 
I will leave you with something to think about, a poem: 
“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. “   Etienne de Grellet  (1773-1855); Quaker missionary
 
 Something to read:
We can make a difference right now
A Genie in a bottle or 12 steps program
Kindness of a stranger
 

DP: That Stings! – Flight of a Bumble Bee

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

When was the last time I borrowed a book from the library?  It was such a long time ago.  There is a period in my life that I devour all the books at the library and suddenly BOOM, I stop reading. 

Bite me, I dare you.  Vampire books are enjoyable to read because they bite.  What stings them is that they still have their humanity, the love to be amongst the living.  Ah, love, it makes my heart grow fonder.  It’s lovely to feel the love of the Vampires.  I feel so much love.  Just wait a minute, that doesn’t sting.

There are a couple of books beside me that I pick up to read between TV commercials.  I tell you, I can read a chapter by the time the ads are over, too many commercials on TV.  “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum and “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard P. Feynman.  These books are filled with humor and they both sting, a little.

The book that I keep on coming back that I never seem to finish reading is titled “Awareness … the perils and … opportunities for reality” written by Anthony de Mello.  This is not an easy read or a romantic novel.  This book cuts through the core, and I bleed just by reading it.

When I picked up the book, it opened on this chapter, and I quote in part:
At a loss for Words:  “God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity.  But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the ready radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason. We don’t have to quarrel about a word, because “God” is only a word, a concept.  One never quarrels about reality; we only quarrel about opinions, about concepts, about judgments.”

 And this is the part the stings, hurts and takes a lot of reflection.
“Drop your concepts, drop your opinions, drop your prejudices drop your judgments; and you will see that.” 
 I fight and struggle with this regularly as I write my post and read others.