This story has a picture

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Tell me a story is what I say instead of “Hi, how are you?” My friend finally understood what I mean and how important story telling is when he attended the Toastmaster International 2017 held in Vancouver last week. Toastmaster is … Continue reading

Fill in with your imagination

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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

As far as eyes could see, yet always drawn nearer.

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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

Ecstasy at our feet.

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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

Last Impression

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The Empty Chair spoken by Tyrone Siglos for Josh Siglos So strange to hear this spoken at the church service tonight. Beside my bed is an empty chair. Lucy my cat and I were in bed, suddenly something fell from the … Continue reading

A Certain Smile

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Joshua Edward Siglos

Joshua Edward Spackman Siglos

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there

Last night, my family and I were looking at Josh’s photo and I said, he has that certain smile. A Mona Lisa’s smile.

Is his smile happy or sad? I would like to think that his smile is unequivocally happy. It’s not rocket science. Being surrounded by his family loving him to bits and unconditionally, of course, he is happy.

Even his eyes, the eyes will follow us no matter where we are in the room. A gaze that will make you wonder, what is he thinking? Again, happy or crappy thoughts? His thought is brilliant, a gifted mind.

We wish he is here with us to ask him: Hey Josh, what do you think of your photo? What is the meaning of your smile?

The answer will remain a mystery, more mysterious than Mona Lisa.

Josh Siglos died at a young age of 31 on April 28, 2017.

To Earth, with gratitude

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Earth We belong to Earth, Take care of it. We must! Meanwhile, somewhere in Canada, in Burnaby to be precise, we are celebrating. I contributed some of the photos I shared in WP taken in my backyard. The small space … Continue reading

Life is full of surprises

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Who would know where life would take you. We make plans, we check it twice, we cross our t’s and dot our i’s, we invest all our energy and yet, we could never be sure. My mother said many times … Continue reading

Words

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church-in-cuba

What is prayer?

You take words,
everyday words,
and all of a sudden they become holy.

Why?

Because there is something
that separates one word from
another and then you try to fill
the vacuum.

With what?
With whom?
With what memory?
With what aspiration?

So when words bring you closer
to the prisoner in his cell,
to the patient who is dying on his bed alone,
to the starving child,

then it’s a prayer.

words by Elie Wiesel

In Praise of Men

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There are certain movements men do that I can see how graceful they are. More graceful than females do. It’s their feminine side that they do not want to admit.

men-on-the-beach-of-cuba

They are beautiful. Beautiful in the sense that they don’t have to prove their masculinity. The beauty that oozes with sublime humility where fellow-men can watch with quiet admiration.

men-watching-a-man-in-cuba

Where is the beauty in them?

The beauty exists in my mind how rounded they are. Not just how nice they are to stop, pause and be photographed. It is how gracious they are in accepting a stranger in their environment.

men-working-with-a-beast-in-cuba

Emerging elegantly from the depth of an ancient tree enriches how life mysteriously unfolds my memory of Cuba ever so gracefully.

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What a good life!

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Do we travel in order to be moved or is it that we travel in order to move around?
focus-on-orchids

We check around the surroundings in search for a perfect ambience, our eyes darting from one object to another, our whole body tasting, breathing, feeling, smelling, touching, hearing, listening all in one instance taking it all in.
orchids-in-cuba

But…. there is no but. We can only focus on one that will transport us from a lot of movement into our inner world with conscious measure of calmness and clarity.
cuban-orchid
And then, I could feel the air pulsing and be one with the hummingbird, heart beating as fast its wings yet hovering still to the sweet aroma of the nectar beckoning it, kissing and drinking the elixir of life.
cuban-hummingbird

The Question

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no-man-no-problem

I am not the only single person in the world. There are a lot of us. People are always curious about our love life and they ask:

when are you going to get married?
who are you seeing?
how come you are not married?
are you gay?
it goes on….

Now, how do we stop our friends and families from asking?

Source : Urban Etiquette by Ellen Vanstone at Metro News

Think, Listen, Wait, Try, Earn, Forgive

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There is always a reason whatever that may be. But thoughts are funny for some reasons just do not make sense.

I will use myself as an example. And this is the bubble of my thoughts.
Before

I post. I trash. I post. I trash. Repeat.

Can I anticipate the maddening process of my brain? Yes, most of the time.

I wonder if Hemingway’s bubbling thoughts is similar to me. Did he learn to forgive?

Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone, instead…

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“My mind echoes a chant: Don’t look at your phone. Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone. I sit alone on the bench, outside of a café as I wait for a friend. The lines on each passing face, … Continue reading

Faithful to Our History

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Home of the locals in Havana, Cuba, is rife with history. It’s written on the walls, it’s written on their faces, it’s written on the wind. Fieles a nuestra HISTORIA: Faithful to our history. Let it be written, let it … 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

Location Counts.

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Location, location, location. This is the motto of most businesses. Where I live, in Metrotown, there are at least five Starbucks in one big area of Metropolis. A great location. Starbucks seems to have a strong sense where the money is. … Continue reading

Connection

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The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation. Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and … Continue reading

Word of the day

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The word for the day is ideate in Miriam-Webster dictionary. Looking at the word, breaking it down to syllables and think about it to form what it means in my head first is the game I play without jumping into the meaning. I … 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

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

Way of Praying

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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

Sense of Wonder

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Do you know that we are just like cats that get scared easily, fearful? So be careful. All we need is love. Yesterday, I attended a conference in renewing my sense of wonder by bringing together theological, psychological and spiritual awareness … 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.”

 

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

Be Careful

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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

Going Home – Thoughts of In between

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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

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

The sweet refrain, “Oh take me to church”

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Take me to church sang by Sinead O’Connor has a very catchy tune especially the first three lines of the refrain.

 […]
Oh, take me to church
I’ve done so many bad things it hurts
Yeah, take me to church
[…]

It’s not so much that I have done so many bad things; it’s the bad things that people did to the world that hurts. It has nothing to do with the church either just life in general. You know, the existential angst that is part of living.

When I am hurting mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually, I take refuge in a church. Even if it’s not a catholic church, it does not matter to me. Even if it’s a temple, I will still go in, sit in the quiet, calm myself down and talk to my invisible God.

In a church, temple, mosque, forest; they are more than an oasis. It’s a place for me to connect and replenish my spiritual needs.

Here’s the song. It’s just a song with a catchy beat. But if you want something deeper, I found the song at Friar Musings and there he wrote more about Sinead.

Enjoy.

when we are hurting it’s difficult (and) to understand where God is. I know that God is using her to educate not just the Catholic but as well as the whole world.

And finally, because we ask this in every interview: why write? 

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  Write because you want to communicate with yourself. Write because you want to communicate with someone else. Write because life is weird and tragic and amazing. Write because talking is difficult. Write because it polishes the heart. Write because … Continue reading

When Did We Get So Old?

BOOMER-

… my generation, born between 1946 and 1964, has physical concerns: Friends are dying, joints are aching, and memories are failing. There are financial issues, with forced retirement and unemployment, children needing money and possibly a bed, and dependent parents. But for many of us, it is a psychological quandary that is causing the most unpleasantness: looking around and suddenly being the oldest.

Every generation gets old, but for those who were told we’d be forever young, it just seems more painful. “It’s a huge issue,” says Dr. Anna Fels, a psychiatrist in New York. “I see so many who are trying to adjust their lives to this new phase, which for some reason none of us really pictured ourselves going through.”

Why didn’t we? We knew that eventually more people around us would be younger rather than older. But it still rankles. The image of a room filled with younger people is the perfect symbol.

Michele Willens is a journalist who writes for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post and The Atlantic. A version of this news analysis appears in print on August 31, 2014, on page SR9 of the New York edition with the headline:  “When did we get so old?

 

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

Blessed be the Winter

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It’s winter. I used to dread this season of long days of darkness. Very little light affects my health and mental well-being. I never had this problem when I lived in the tropics where the sun shines. Learning to come … Continue reading

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.”

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

I chopped my hair before I left for India. Short, very short. From long to short. Quite an extreme.

Nope, this is not me. But someone just addressed me Audrey Hepburn.  Flattery will take you nowhere.

Note to self: must dye hair, maybe.

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

Series of thoughts on living and death. We don’t have forever.

 
Basil
Give them a packet of seeds to plant and nurture.
New growth means never too late to start living.
Encourage those around who simply exist.
Show them the endless possibility of life.
Every moment is a new beginning.
You can do it.
Step by step.
Adjust along the way.
Look into people’s faces and eyes.
Simple pleasures and beauty abounds.
Hold, hug, touch, smile, visit, call… Do it NOW.
You are given this life with no plot.
Like in the movies, it has a script.
Your life has no preview.
Be active in writing your life story.
Use your imagination.
Write or rewrite.
Be surprised with unexpected scenarios.
Not knowing the exact ending.
Make it exciting.
Let it unfold.
Death is just around the corner.
You realized you have never actually lived.
Squeeze every ounce of living while you can.
Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze.
We only have one life.
Moments don’t last forever.
Disappearing too quickly.
Never to return.
“He is not here, for he has risen.”

The Great Escape

Off line for now.

I could be flying a kite, riding the wind.
Maybe in the garden, winterizing the plants.
Or cleaning the mess my cats did, blame it on them.

Or just playing turkey.

Leave your footprints of words of wisdom in the comment section.
Take care, y’all.

Dreaming my Dreams

I am a dreamer of dreams
Wandering around from the periphery
Quiet to remain unnoticed.

Dream Trout lake

Here I feel safe
Safe in the hands of a lifeguard
Guarding  precious lives.
Dream Lifeguard

Along the winding path
Willows weep as I pass by
Or maybe bowing to pay respect.
Dream Weeping Willow

The boardwalk will take me away
Into secluded area where tall grasses grow
Fairies and dragonflies will stop out of curiosity.
Dream Dragonfly

A bench is waiting at the end
As I can see it’s already taken
By someone dreaming my dreams.
Dream Dog

Signs and Wonders

Spirit GardenGod uses loneliness
to teach us about
living together.

Sometimes he uses anger
so that we can understand
the infinite value of peace.

At other times he uses tedium,
when he wants to show us
the importance of adventure
and leaving things behind.

God uses silence
to teach us about the
responsibility of what we say.

At times he uses fatigue
so that we can understand
the value of waking up.

At other times he uses sickness
to show us
the importance of health.

God uses fire
to teach us
about water.

Sometimes he uses earth
so that we can understand
the value of air.

And at times he uses death
when he wants to show us
the importance of life.

Read the signs.

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