Dec 31, 2009

Hope Renewed

For you my friend,
this prayer of love
and grace I send
so goodness shall serve.

The year is past,
that time is gone,
what light have we cast,
what do we mourn?

A new year brings
fresh breadth and tomorrows. 
For new hopes we sing,
and goodbyes to shadows.

- HA

A joyous New Year to you.

Dec 29, 2009

Give a Hug , collect a Hug today

I have been making a deliberate effort to hug my kids more often but it does not come so naturally because I was not brought up on it. Simple for many.
My folks were a traditional sort, 'me parent you child.... don't talk till you are asked something '. In fact. talking was rare then...we were not encouraged to be expressive.

Hugging is something that is relatively new to me that started in church among friends. And since then the practise has spread some but among the rest of society here it is still a rare deed.
But I am of a different generation that 'should know better',  I realise and observe this in other families too, that it is very much a two way thing.  I shall have to try harder, so that the kids will follow suit more comfortably.
I have been advised that this will reduce their tensions and stress inspite of everything that is going on, ... it is the physical contact, a warmth that helps and so I must keep remembering to do so.
You give one and you get one back.

Dec 24, 2009

My first Blogging Christmas

This year I enjoy an ADDITIONAL wonderful and different experience for Christmas, because it is my FIRST blogging Christmas. It has been an interesting journey because for the first time I share it with many more beautiful individuals across the globe who are/ have shared their thoughts and expressions for the season.  

It has added to my awareness and made me appreciate more of what this time of the year means from different perspectives for different lives, how they celebrate it, their favourite recipes,  what they think of it, how it depresses some,  how simple and beautiful it can be and how it provokes giving and sharing for many.

This is a BLESSED medium too that enables interaction for lots of lonely people in this world and by reading between the lines you will discover them. Comments do more than you realize in many instances. There is a lot of love and prayers being passed on and that is a marvel and a joy to behold.

May the good Lord bless you for your sharing.
May God spread his peace and grant you all his special blessings this season and in the coming New Year.
May He continue to bless our blogs and guide our minds and hearts as we circulate, meet and reach out to others through our posts. May those who are lonely where ever they are,  find a blessed hand to reach out to touch them.

Love and hugs to all.
A Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year to you

Dec 20, 2009

Sun Rise

Did you see it today,
it rose somewhat hesitant.
Glorious rays seemed penitent,
generous hues slowly unfolding
a deep orange haze yielding.
The morning clouds seemed hungover,
in shadows they were.
Rudely roused from their bower,
they were slow to awaken
to make way for the one, so golden.

A little sparrow eyed me as I watched
waiting for the light and warmth; to be touched.
It moved not from its' bough, a soft tweet,
yet not impatient.
I was woken by a whisper you see
to watch creation,
to witness a sight,
the coming of light. 

(HA- 2009)

Dec 18, 2009

'Christmas feeling'

This colleague of mine was going on about the ‘Christmas feeling’ and that was why she had ‘no mood to work’. I asked her what she meant, she said it’s like the feeling of a holiday coming up, lots of associates away from the office (on vacation), add that to lots of special cakes and food, extra lunches which come with year-end and receiving presents.  I suppose that’s what it sums up to for non-Christians, a combination of these factors at this time of year which creates that ‘Christmas feeling’.

That ‘Christmas feeling’ for me has always been the anticipation of the Lord’s coming, the Christmas mass and the preparations that include lighting the advent candle,  looking forward to a pageant, singing carols, Christmas music, the decorations, helping mum make special biscuits, putting up the crib or tree or both and the family get- together on the Day. There is an excitement as it draws nearer. Add warm greetings and well-wishes, it is a 'special' time of the year.

Very little has changed during this time of year since my childhood really, except that I do appreciate it better and instead of receiving gifts, I now give more than I receive, and that’s the extra activity involved for the season.

The Nativity reminds me of these words from St Louis De Montfort  "the world was unworthy to receive the Son of God immediately from the hands of the Father, he gave that Son to Mary in order that the world should receive him through her "

Dec 17, 2009

Crowds - not my scene

Yesterday I went down to Orchard Road (THE Shopping Hub) to do some present shopping. I usually avoid the place, if I can help it.

The bright lights and horrific crowds are always never my scene.
When I got there,  I just couldn’t wait to get out fast enough. 
People everywhere, milling on the sidewalks, taking pictures next to Santa and the figurines along the well decorated sidewalk. 

I don't know why but I felt lonely, all of a sudden.
Have you ever felt that sometimes and in certain activities you want to be alone and there are other times or places where you would rather be with family and not alone.
Is it the place or is it the moment ?

Dec 16, 2009

A Midnight Walk

A dog is barking,
it goes on and on.
No one is listening.
All else is quiet,
but sounds are abundant.
Televisions strain
through the night air,
like conversations
at each other.
Eyes scan the drive,
my ears have
gone before me.
Soft guitar strums,
a whiff of barbecue
floats by.
Tiny Christmas lights
wink through fences,
and shyly out windows.
A gentle breeze
lifts branches,
black leaves do a jig,
the clouds start to part,
enter a lofty moon.
Shortly she departs.
In and out,
playful stars dart,
disappearing too soon.
Faraway, a faint wail sounds,
alas, another dog
begins his revelry,
the stillness is broken.
A taxi drives by,
to drop a neighbour,
a dog begins howling,
a cat screeches,
dashes for cover,
a trash bin lid falls.
Stillness returns,
the road glistens,
sleep beckons,
televisions chatting,
no one is listening.

(HA -2009)

Dec 14, 2009

O Holy Night

Got my tree up (it's 5ft), done with 25% of my to-do list..and still working on it...almost 10 days more...

Here's a little info about one of my favourite carols - 'O Holy Night'.

Did you know that 'O Holy Night' ('Cantique de Noël') was based on a French poem 'Minuit, chrétiens' (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877). The music was composed by Adolphe-Charles Adam(1803-1856) in 1847, and translated from French to English by John Sullivan Dwight (1813-1893).  Cappeau was  a wine merchant and a poet and  had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem.

It is a beautiful carol, hymn and prayer.
Below is the direct English translation of the poem which was composed in French, the English version of the carol 'O Holy Night' is not a direct translation. 

Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
The ardent light of our Faith,
Guides us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Conducted the Magi there from the orient.
The King of kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your grandeur,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It's for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

Dec 12, 2009

Be Happy

I have been hopping through the bible according to questions and incidents that occur and interestingly, I found a response (feels more like a retort)  to my brooding of late, actually it (Ecc 30:21) found me.. Many of us are reaching out for the same thing, I hope you find comfort too in these words of wisdom.

Do not abandon yourself to sorrow,
do not torment yourself with brooding.
Gladness of heart is life to anyone,
joy is what gives length of days.
Give your cares the slip, console your heart,
chase sorrow far away;
for sorrow has been the ruin of many,
and is no use to anybody.
Jealousy and anger shorten your days,
and worry brings premature old age.
A genial heart makes a good trencherman,
someone who enjoys a good meal."

...  . let's try to be a genial heart.

To-DO LIST ... working up the spirit ..

I haven’t had the flu in a while. This past week it caught up with me. I suppose the wet weather and ‘fickle’ weather as they say have helped the bug along.
My colleague said it’s God’s way of trying to get us to slow down. You think?
Well it got me thinking while I rested at home.
The Christmas spirit is somewhat slow on catching up with me this year, it's never been like this. I've always started preparing like 2 months ahead. It’s probably the weight in my head, like a clogged drain I can’t seem to go forward. Some 10 of my colleagues in the office have gotten together to do carols for a short session for the office, and the practises haven't quite put me in the spirit yet either.

But at least for the kids I need to kick up my feet, pull up my 'stockings' and get a move on it.
I’m really VERY LATE on my Christmas to-dos this year. 
I have decided that I am going to get a 4 ft tree as I can no longer put up the 7 ft one and it is sort of sad not to have a tree up even if you have decorations.

My daughter has done an excellent job of decorating the living room and the compound now I should just add some lights and that would be with The TREE.. I have a little crib, that will go with the TREE.

So the TREE is my project this weekend and hopefully the start of the to-do list.

Addendum: ok I added the clock to stress me out more ...:)'

Dec 10, 2009

Old Photo of Myself

Here’s another little fact about me, I hate being photographed, always have. In my Church’s recent 50th Anniversary Souvenir Magazine, I saw an old group photo which was taken 32 years ago. It was a picture taken at a church camp for all the teenagers involved in church groups – both boys and girls.
Firstly my hair was tied up(could see the frizz around my head), my face looked round and moody and I was sitting hunched. I was wearing some strange batik short sleeved blouse (ugghh!) .. and guess what of all the photos they had to sift through to put up here, they found THE ONE where my eyes were closed.

Back then I’d probably have looked at this picture and wished the ground would open up for me to disappear. But today I am getting a good laugh out of it and a good doze of nostalgia.
Good grief, I looked at the young faces of familiar kids and friends – everyone’s hairstyle was just AWFUL. And ok, I don’t feel too bad, not everyone had wonderful T-shirts. But then their eyes were open.

Fondly, I remember BUT I wouldn’t want to re- live those days, care-free though they were, I was so self-conscious then about mingling, (I would call it suppressed too), always sticking close to the clique (this is what comes out of schooling in a convent all the way til 16, plus little exposure otherwise) and didn’t know how to behave around the boys. But fondly I remember this bunch.
This was the bunch of kids including my brother, I hung around with mostly for church activities for several years –  we organized Christmas pageants together (created our own costumes), we played Rounders( version of baseball, and I could bat too to the boys' utter astonishment), Church campfires (put up skids),  we rode each others’ bicycles around the church compound, went to annual church camps.

It's so sad but campfires are almost extinct today. Unless you are in a uniformed group you would probably not have such things organised as outdoor camps.
All familiar faces in this old photo, some of whom I still see today in the same church. Mostly we have all gone our separate ways.

One photo, one moment yet so many moments of memories.

Dec 8, 2009

Ranting- moody, meloncholy, angry., frustrated..

WARNING: reading this post could seriously depress you.

Jealousy, envy lately ....  I have been thinking and comparing my life with others who just seem luckier, happier,  and much more comfortable with not a care in the world.
Generally feeling sorry for myself!.
Why me?
Trouble is just there hovering above, ahead, behind..

It's would be so easy to give it all up, run away. Have thought about dying. What if I had pretended that this was normal and let it be and just wait for the kids to grow up. What if I not rocked the boat.

But I could not - I have a responsibility to the children, they would suffer; don't I have a responsibility to my folks too?.  But they seem to be doing more of the looking out for me than the reverse.

I am tired of living with a sociopath.  I'm not being objective right now,  I know that, I'm looking at the jungle as a whole - a big mess.  I'll break it down once I've blown off steam.
There is a solution and yet not a solution, there are consequences and yet it will be better once I get over the next mountain. I believe that right now I am looking at the mountain.

Dear St Jude I'm still waiting for our peace of mind.

God does not give us more than we can handle, I hope that is seriously true......

Gentle reminder - HAVE NO FEAR

I had an earlier post in which I was ranting and feeling sorry for myself etc etc but decided I couldn't post it for young prying eyes.

I've been trying to ignore it by pretending it's not there hovering, so that I can regain my hold...but it just won't go away.
Fear seems to be my worst enemy. Life goes on and I think I am in control but it creeps up time and time again even when I think I have shoved it out the door. Courage where are you?
Have I ever revealed that by the Chinese zodiac calendar, I am a rabbit and my husband a tiger - I have always thought of myself as the sitting rabbit (like a 'sitting duck' if you guess my meaning), but on the other hand on the astro chart I am Leo the lion.. I hope the latter wins out.

I keep reminding myself, keep the faith, sometimes I do and sometimes it's difficult when anxiety comes along.   Then I think back to inner struggles, on all that has been accomplished and all that has passed and try to find my courage again so that I can face the new challenges that are about to come along. There are just some things I must do by myself .

Believe! .. let it go and leave it at HIS feet.. I will persevere.
My favourite prayer of late, still it's like I'm clinging to a vine so desperately tight before a thousand foot drop and only I know I am there :-
My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that
I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.
[The Road Ahead by Thomas Merton]

Dec 7, 2009

To Awards and Friendships

St Augustine reflected that 'Friendship constitutes a country for those in exile, a fortune for the poor, a remedy for the sick, and a life for the dead. It provides pleasure for those who are well, strength for the weak, and a reward for the strong.'

From two of my favourite blogs, thank you Andrea Arise to Write and  All God's Creatures for the Circle of Friends Award and Farila Chapters From My Life and Discovering Myself for the Lemonade Award..Thank you both very much for your presence in my blog, I truly appreciate it..
Both these lovely ladies have created their own rules,  so I'll modify some too ...just so we can share in the receiving and the giving to be enjoyed. ...So to all bloggie friends visiting please take them for yourselves and pass them on to your friends.

The rules -  remember to acknowledge the bloggers(do a link) where they came from, nominate 5 recipients (let them know about it) and tell us any 5 things about yourself.

There have been a few awards going round lately so I am not just going to select a few. There are many of you who pass through, it doesn't matter if you comment or not but I believe many read what I put down. For your participation alone, it's sufficient reason for me to pass these awards on and share them with any of you who would like to pick them up. There is a joy in receiving and there is a joy in giving or passing them on. I hope you experience that feeling too.

5 things about me .....
- I have to stop and smell a rose when I come across one;
- I love the smell of smashed raw garlic;
- I remember my 'glory days' fondly - I used to play badminton for school(my primary school days) and netball for school thereafter all the way to college..(that means I used to have sports in my blood..)
- I love cooking but not the washing up..
- I am afraid to get another pet dog, because I don't think I could go through loosing another one again.

Have fun sharing the awards..

Dec 6, 2009

A Good Cool Break Away.....

I took a break with the kids and my folks during the week. We drove to Cameron Highlands which is somewhere(Perak-Pahang) in the middle of Malaysia. It was a 7 hour drive all the way from home across the causeway to the top of the mountain 'Gunung Brinchang' 2000m(1666ft) above sea level.  Miles and miles of oil palms is what we drove past.
It was a packed car filled with bags, kids and adults. My dad and I took turns driving. We stayed at the top most town of Brinchang.
The last time I went there, was some 30+ years ago. What I remembered most about the place was the cold cold wind, the big roses and beautiful larger than usual flowers. Then, it was sparsely populated with shop house - 2 storey buildings,  rather sleepy atmosphere surrounded by hectares and hectares of tea plantations and vegetable farms. Along the winding road, you still find the 'orang asli' the original natives to the area, selling forest durians, wild honey and other exotic fruits.

This time round, WOW, the town was like 5 times the size, with lots more buildings, hotels and shops and lots more traffic. Commercialisation had to catch up I suppose.  The weather was the same - cold cold wind and beautiful (it was a little wet, but it didn't dampen our mood..) Thank goodness for hot water.. 
Tea plantations and vegetable farms all still there, but this time round there were strawberry farms additionally as well as apiaries (bee farms). We managed to do and see everything - tea plantations, honey making, tea leave processing, picked strawberries, half of which was eaten by my youngest at the hotel.
Well of course with car travel up and down and winding roads some of us got sick  (yours truly included).. but then no pain no gain !..
Colours just seem richer and more vibrant, courtesy of the climate up there, colourful flowers everywhere, we checked out the huge roses and hibiscus and the butterfly farm. There was a mini carnival at night, my son took his first ferris wheel ride and enjoyed it thoroughly as any kid would.
We managed to drive to the summit area on the second day... got lost in the process,.. luckily we didn't get stuck in the mud., managed a 3-point turn in extremely tight conditions(mud tracks)..didn't quite have to travel through forest terrain... but alas when we reached the TOP we were literally standing in the CLOUDS, wonderfully chilly BUT no scenery to take in since we were lost in FLUFF..

A different sort of 'tiring' for me, but it was a good break away from tensions, stress, phone calls, emails, the pc, work, worries and even the sun which we missed mostly while we were up there. The children were at ease eventhough they couldn't leave mischief at home (it had to come along!)
Thank you dear God for the safe safe journey to and fro, the beauty, the time, the cool weather, the food, the family.

Dec 3, 2009

Beneath the Waves

See the waves on the ocean, of constant movement,
of shifts, a rising, ebb and  flow.
It is each one of us, until finally
each crashes, breaks or fades on some shore.
Each gathers force to rise to greater heights, so busily,
to become stronger than the next, gathering more
to overcome and ride over the wave in front.
Time is of the essence.
The surface teems with agitation, chaos and impatience.

Yet look down, just beneath, the vast ocean,
a limitless expanse, where all is calm.
Step into Life that teems alongside a great emptiness.
None is harried, none is loud.
Simplicity is foremost, time takes a back seat.
Let go, surrender and be free
of turbulence, restriction or constraints.

There is much to explore, look to any direction,
feel every sense come to life.
Consciously aware,  let the mind breathe in a clarity
of experience, of beauty, colour, movements, a tranquility.
Light at our center glows bright once more.
Before long, the deepest journey of our self has begun.
An exploration of depth, splendour,
serenity and awareness will come to pass.
Live life not as a wave but as the ocean.

(HA 2009)

Nov 29, 2009

Sunday Solitude: Only Good will come if we Follow

We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him.   -Rom 8-28

I read many things into this line, it tells me each one of us is but a part of a greater whole.
We are all 'fitted' together for a purpose. Something that happens to one, has an impact direct and indirect on the rest. Something you read in someone's post will affect someone today.
So we should not be overly preocccupied with accidents and incidents, we should trust that they are part of God's big secret plan.
God is THE director, so then, we must be able to follow for it to come to pass.
And ultimately all will work out to our advantage and benefit, to enjoy at the end.
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. -Jn 14.6
St Catherine of Siena reflected  'Many want to go ahead of Christ not after him - by laying out a way to their own specifications. They seek to serve God and obtain virtue without effort.
But they deceive themselves for Christ is "the way"'

Nov 27, 2009

Taking the Ordinary for Granted

Over the years in meeting with different kinds of individuals you learn that nothing can be a norm even living within the same society,  in other words I should not take anything for granted..

- riding on 2 wheels - I learnt that when I was a kid with other kids, but I have friends who cannot. I couldn't imagine that (I was shocked) and then I thought about it. The reason is simple, they grew up without a bicycle, there was no opportunity for one among themselves or their neighbours, I had my neighbours bicycle to borrow and scratch my knees with. When I taught years ago, we brought in a couple of bicycles to teach those who did not have the opportunity. There's nothing like moving and balancing on your own steam and riding with the wind in your face.  To me, riding a 2-wheeler should be an elemental part of growing up years.

- swimming - I didn't learn it til I was in my late 30s. I had a colleague who laughed, and thought we were joking when we mentioned we wanted to arrange for an instructor. My colleague of the same age, couldn't believe that, why because she learnt it in school and everyone else she grew up with could. I think many of us couldn't afford such luxuries in those days. But I think I appreciate the fact more than she does.

- having a child that always takes one of the top 3 positions in the school every year for the past 13 years. My colleague takes her child for granted. She does not check on his school work.  She cannot understand why I take so much time out to spend with the kids over study and yet they are never near the top. Well she is lucky, and she complains he doesn't focus.  How does that happen? He just is smart.  Wow I can't imagine what life would be like, living with such a child.

- eating chocolates. Years ago when I taught, I had 1 student who had never had a chocolate. When he stood to tell his story about what foods they had never eaten before, the rest of the class laughed. I was shocked.  It was not that he could not afford it, but it was because his parents had forbidden it, they were against it for unknown health reasons.  Is it possible to go through life without ever tasting chocolates?

- watching TV.  I have a couple of friends married to each other and who are doctors; and when they had kids they decided they would not allow their kids to watch TV because of 'bad influence' and it 'distracts learning', something like that. I thought to myself 'poor kids'. I cannot imagine that for a kid. Anyway they had changed their minds by the time the oldest child was 11 or 12. The reason was because it had made no difference to the child's learning capability. If anything they weren't sure if it was the reason she was not as smart as mummy or daddy.  My kids cannot imagine that. Well it take all sorts doesn't it... 

- I have 3 kids, we tried and we had. Seemed simple  I know of at least six different women friends and colleagues who tried but could not and still do not have any kids. That is sad. I cannot imagine what that would be like. I am grateful.

- climbing a tree. My boys have never really climbed a tree, but I have. It is a memorable experience.  Have you?

I suppose there are many more things that we each take for granted.

Nov 23, 2009

Defending the Motherhood - plainly speaking...

In one of our studies for a project a while back we came across a lady who was a mother and wife and yet would not recommend marriage to the young or persuade them to have kids. I had talked about this in my earlier post on Family, it's a controversial subject today, arising out of a declining local population.  Most of the responses from men and women were mostly neutral and politically correct.

There was this one particular lady that stood out because she was probably the most pragmatic person in that group with her response. She did not talk about love and rewarding experiences. She used to teach until she had her first child.  She said that the young today have no patience. They have most awareness for themselves only. They have enjoyed life too much in their early age. How would they last in a partnership, how would they look after their child. I don't believe they can make that sacrifice. Especially young women.
For her own experience, she had found it a hard road but by sheer will, she made the sacrifice because it was expected and it was the right thing to do and they(husband and wife) had wanted kids. Her spouse, yes they were still married, she felt did not have to sacrifice and do as much, because they are not expected to or they did not feel the compulsion because they did not bear the child, eventhough they were his too. The responsibility was heavier on her. On hindsight, would she go through that again? No she would not. But don't mistake her " l love my children, I wouldn't turn back the clock" and her voice held a passion describing how they filled her life. She continued that many young people have had a taste of seeing the world, why would they stop themselves from more. Cost of living is high, as a couple even higher, add children in the mix and 'lifestyle is severely curtailed'. There was no bitterness in her tone that I could read.

No one argued or agreed with her. They were quite stunned by her response. She was not regretting the kids, she was regretting not having been able to live more. She also sounded like she was defending a cause. I suppose that was what it was about, young people should get married and have children for the right reasons, but by their own choosing and not because of  public campaigns and incentives.

Is it too harsh, are our youth really that materialistic. There was a lot of insight in her statements and hit home reality of thoughts of my own trials. After you take away the frills, it is in truth a vocation one must desire and be prepared to be responsible for at all costs - with sacrifice. You have to climb that mountain first, all the way to enjoy the reward at the peak.

We do lots for Love and therein lies the reward. As Mother Teresa said, that is what we will be judged on at the end - how much we love and not how many successes we scored or how much of the world we had seen.

Nov 22, 2009

A Prayer

I will bounce back again,
tomorrow is another day.
Today I am tired.
I am confused, what do I do next?
I am waiting on my children
to show me the way.
I will not force their way
until they are sure.
He is wearing me down.
Please show me the way, Lord,
if this is not the right one.
Help me to persevere.

Nov 20, 2009

Strength Wanes

The tide has turned
where love was once.
No more.
This, my response.
To the thunderstorm that bellows,
only breath flows.
Loud curses abound
to soft prayers resound.
Wicked eyes glare,
courage returns its’ stare.
Conspiracy, paranoia
rears its’ head,
but only innocence is abed.
Blind harassment,
meets silent resentment.
Vile verbal onslaught
is but empty, am not distraught.
Violent engagement to seek,
meets meekness yet not weak.
Evil is his game,
in God’s spirit I keep aim
Strength wanes.
Fear invades like a crease,
turmoil in the surround.
Still, follow the gentle breeze,
justice will soon crown.

(HA -Nov 2009)

Nov 18, 2009

Sharing the Flowers - from me to you.

I got a flower award from Farila  (sorry I'm late) who writes Chapters of My Life and now has another re-discovering her life,  very sweet of her. Thank you.

Time to share this  (it is a lovely feeling to receive but you have to work for it and anyhow it is a good excuse to touch base with other bloggers to whom I haven't passed on anything)

the rules are as follows:
1. Thank whoever gave this to you
2. Copy award
3. Post it in your blog
4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don’t know
5. Link 7 new bloggers
6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog
7. Keep being awesome!

And here are my seven choices:

please pass it on

1. I love chocolates
2. I like blue and lately pink too..
3. I would love to have straight hair.
4. I hate liver(not my liver, the kind you eat!)
5. I love a good romance novel when life just gets too serious.
6. I hate cockroaches (not all God's creatures are lovable; they make me screech and some FLY)!
7. I would love to wear 8 inch stilletos but I would blow a tendon in my calf.

... to keep on being awesome..

Nov 16, 2009

A Day in the Life ..... a crisis of age and dress code

Trying my patience
My middle child's mission in life is to test my patience. I took him to get a couple of pieces of clothing which he would need for his school farewell functions. It was the weekend,  I asked him to check if he had the relevant colour shirt or pants for his themed 'black and white' night. He said no, then he tells me, he also needed some khaki or beige bermudas for a morning skid too.. 'ok lets go look for them now', he didn't hesitate. Usually he is not able to decide on the spot and needs to ponder on the slightest things.  I suggested that he could also wear a black top with his black jeans but NO, to him 'black and white' means just that; no white and white or black and black. No point trying to explain,  he just couldn't accept it. He didn't want to 'be embarrassed'.  OK I let  it go, This is one of his characteristics, when something appears defined in no uncertain terms by the school, that's the way it is,  it's hard to go into a grey area. I hope this aspect will improve with maturity.

We went to one of the major shoppings malls which also had a major department store.  'Almost formal' white shirts are not that common, especially for boys. So we left the department store and went into 'Kiddie Palace' which sells almost anything for kids 0 - 15 yrs old. He was not happy, he didn't want to go in. I had to drag him into the store. I had to drag him to look at the colours and then drag him to the changing room to try out the size for the bermudas. He didn't want to carry the clothes. He refused to try on the shirt, I placed it against his back to be sure it was not oversized, and let him go on that. But I was adamant he try on the bermudas. He created such a fuss, like I was doing this for my own benefit. Through the changing room door. he kept sighing and grumbling, he didn't want it. At this point you can imagine, I had steam coming out of my ears as I maintained control of my temper. The colour was right, so what was wrong, he refused to say.  I had to drag answers out of him on the fit through the door. I must have sounded like a mad woman to some of the shoppers, harassing my son. In the end we left the shop with the desired items for his events.

As we left the mall, and he was calmer, I asked him what was wrong with him. I reminded him that he's now assured he won't have to fret on the eve (like many a school occasion), he needed those items for his own comfort - to fit in, to conform - fine I could understand that.

The problem APPARENTLY was the name 'kiddie'. He's 12, in his mind he is not a 'kiddie', so he associated the clothing likewise; he felt he would be embarrassed by being seen in 'childish' clothes. There was really nothing childish about them, OMG  I thought! I explained to him that those clothing labels (brands) could also be found in the bigger department stores or any other non-'kiddie' labelled shop. And also that the store name was just that - a name because they sold items for kids upto 15 yrs at least. Mercifully,  he understood and accepted (sigh).  The alternative would have been to spend double on a Levi's bermudas just to ensure his comfort. That would have been acceptable because Levi's is not perceived as 'kiddie'.

Intricacies of a 12 year old (male) mind:
A little later on the way home,  I said to him, 'you are 12, technically you ARE a kid'.  He said  he didn't want to be 12. How old did he want to be.. he said 18. Boy oh boy and WHY IS that, he wants 'to drive a car'!!  I left it at that, 'you'll get there sooner than you realise'  my daily quota for reason had reached a limit.

When he gets to 18, I think I'll remind him of this story. I'm sure by then, he'll wish he was 12.
Well I still have a another boy to go through this age crisis, I'm sure I'll be still AMAZED again and again.

Nov 14, 2009

Are you up to the challenge?

Have you heard this story of the chicken and the pig  ... interesting really of how we  look at  'giving'.  One day Chicken and Pig walked by a sign outside a store that was calling for aid in kind and service to cook food for the homeless and poor. The chicken got all excited and said, 'Oh we can do our part too, I'll bring the eggs and you bring the ham". The pig thought for a minute and said, 'well the eggs are no problem for you, but the ham, well that's a challenge".
If everyone does a little it adds up, it's a simple thought really that starts it rolling. It is always  hard to commit time and effort (kids, work kids, work etc), so in some unspoken way, this was directed at me, the challenge this season is just that.
It came knocking on our door.  A few of us in the office decided we would volunteer our time and cars with a group akin to the Salvation Army - to do collection of food, gifts  and other items from people who call up to give  (which peaks particularly at this time of year). From each of us it is a small effort, together it frees up a fair bit of their resources. You feel good, the next person hears about it, and he wants to do his part too.
Guess what the boss is doing his part too.  He's letting us drive his car and better still, it's infectious,  the group has grown!
(Go ahead, take a copy of the badge above and spread your challenge story).

Nov 12, 2009

If I Imagine

If I imagine a world
it will be a world undivided by oceans
and no boundaries.

If I imagine a garden
it will be wider than my eye could see,
laden with fruit trees,
flowers of every colour and bird sanctuaries.

If I imagine a leader
like Solomon, he would be all knowing,
born of wisdom to astound
so Peace will abound.

If I imagine a sound
it will be sweet melodies of vocals,
the gentle voices of angels.
in harmony with a tantalizing breeze,
that surfs the ocean to tease.

If I imagine death
it will be slumber of a mother’s peace
Slowly I will float from the earth
tenderly carried on waves with ease.
No weight, no shame, nor guilt of grief.

(HA - Oct 2009)

Nov 10, 2009

Love - Simple & Difficult

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."  Song Of Solomon 8:7.
But man can. Call me cynical,
I don't think that Love is instinctive; it's not some sentiment embedded deep in one's nature that it persists despite all else. It is a product of our upbringing and our social environment.  It is a choice made that gets buried so deep and therefore it implies it can be 'un-done',  (like water erodes the soil to expose the roots) dug away gradually until it appears near the surface and then our mind [and all it remembers] decides to love or not to love. We nurture it again or not  with reasons for that choice.
Love implies absolute acceptance - simple yet difficult, is it do-able ?

These statements from my earlier post The Choice to Make, ring true  - by M S Peck who said “The desire to love is not itself love….Love is an act of will …. Namely an intention and action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore not love despite our good intentions. On the other hand, whenever we do actually exert ourselves in the cause of spiritual growth, it is because we have chosen to do so. The choice to love has been made.”

If we choose it all the time and make it so, then there will be more is implied by Mother Theresa who said  "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."   On the other hand this seems simple. 

Nov 7, 2009

'Superior Scribbler' Award

Janice has kindly passed the Superior Scribbler Award to me and I appreciate it. Janice scribbles daily and she writes straight from the heart, her blog is at

Got to admit it's kind of a cool name for a blog award.! .. but let's not feel superior about this ...
Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
* Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post   and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I  have carried out all the steps except for the first one so far. I am the 1197th person to be added on to the list of recipients.
I don't have that many followers so it should be easy, but then I have more than 5 so that's hard.  I know some of you already have this particular award (among the nominated too)  so I can skip you -  if you're got it,  you're got it right ... you're not better if you get the same award twice r..u  :). (grin!).. ok ok I'm just looking for excuses to narrow my choices.. .everyone who scribbles in posts or comments deserves this but I can only pick five..

And here goes, the five blog frens I would like to pass this on to:

Just Be Real who shares her real personal journey : 

Always a Mom (who's a musician I've lately discovered) : 

Andrea who's got 2 blog sites (and has lovely dogs): 

Elizabeth who writes inspiringly on a few different sites :

Judi at Lines Composed with curious lines of thoughts:

Nov 5, 2009

On me, Mother and being Mom

JBR's post  My guitar- cries with me touched a chord in me. It reminded me of my mother and thoughts on my motherhood. I  pray that JBR's mother will stop being a destructive force in her life.
In my post (eons ago) I mentioned  My Mother. I won't go into specific details but there have been sore points through the first 25 years that negatively affected me.  
Mothers can be tactless, they can say the wrong things and not say the right things not because of any intention to hurt but because they didn't know better. For me, I believe she did not know better.

But I am reminded too that I am a mother.  We have more reasons today to be perfect,  we are/should be more aware of what to say,  what not to say (to compare),  when to say and how to do things with our kids;  the 'right way' , the 'better way' -  because we are more exposed, better informed and probably better educated, with way more motivations.  But alas we overlook, get tired,  are slow,  work too fast, try too hard,  can't be everywhere, can't cover all the bases, we expect more of ourselves - and then we chide ourselves for our imperfections. Yes I am.
Ah, but then the difference today, is that kids are more vocal, more open, more exposed (not that they are more aware than we were,)  they expect(demand) more of us and they are less likely to be silent about it and that is where it can hurt more.   So we are both empowered, can I say we're even now.

It's funny as a child, I feel/felt  it my responsibility not to hurt my parents in any way.  And now as a mother,  I suppose I expect the same.  But I'm not sure, does this generation of children even feel or think the same or do they feel we owe them. Sometimes it feels like it. Kids talk about being stressed today, I never used the word til I was 30.   

For all of life, I always believe there will come a balance at some point in time.  Life(God) is always fair.

I have forgiven (no grudges) and I acknowledge her sacrifices, but now and again I am reminded. I think it's a reminder for my motherhood.  I hope I will be forgiven for my imperfections, not because I did not know better but because it was my best.  We are mothers but we are unfortunately human. Let's hope for sensitivity and wisdom for ourselves and our kids.

Nov 3, 2009

Hear The Silence

My mind wonders this path
of late in thoughts
of life, God, and our lots.

I am drawn
to the unceasing wonder
of nature, man and yonder.

What of meaning and purpose
do we constantly seek,
yet inside lies the answer, be humble and meek.

To appreciate life,
depreciate life within,
create a void and invite life in.

We open a window, but cannot see.
We touch but cannot feel.
Hear the wind but do not listen.
We cling to the noise of our haven.

Leave the shadows, go a distance,
move, move from the edge.
Step out into the light, embrace the silence.
No fears, we are creation with privilege.

(HA - 2009)

Nov 2, 2009

No change please

Imagine an angel came into your dream and asked you,
'pick one moment of your life in the past that you would like to change'.

I remember the moment. I was away on holiday with my folks, sitting by the beach on a rock, I had been thinking about my 'courtship' which was a couple of years old then.  In that moment I had had second thoughts about his(my husband's) suitability, 'rightness' for me.  But I retreated from those thoughts and did not dwell deeper.  Is that what they mean by the callowness of youth?

IF nothing else will change,  I would choose to change how my thoughts proceeded at that moment in time. 
But that would be impossible unless I forget all else that I have to be thankful for now because of that moment.   So dear Angel, I do not wish to change.

Our instincts work perfectly, we only see it in hindsight,  ....  it's just that our hearts don't always sync with our brain.  Life's like that, we know what must be done in our heads but the heart, is it stronger or does it just lag behind?  Maya Angelou(poet) is right to have said  'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel'.
So why would the angel ask me this?  Perhaps that's a sign - to purge that moment,  a gentle reminder to STOP dwelling on the past because now I know I would not change it. 

Voltaire said 'Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.' and he is right too.


Co-incidence or a sign!
I had read Farila's(Chapters from my Life) short post on Friday last week that she had had a power failure and hence could not use the internet or blog and it felt like withdrawal. And I had commented that I understood what she meant.
So guess what, come Saturday, there is this wonderful lightning storm(which pulled down trees) and which for some strange reason disrupts just the internet line, (only and nothing else is wrong) and so then I had no internet connection for the entire weekend at home and none til Tuesday when they will send a technician.

What do you think? Was it a test for me, ok.. my hands aren't shaking...
Of course I had to jump on my blog first thing (at the office), this morning.
.. I think I'll survive .. til Wednesday ....mmmm ... maybe.

Oct 31, 2009

Emptiness for Fulfillment

I've been readng 'Encounters with Merton' by Henri J M Nouwen and I wanted to share a part that interests me and that is on 'emptying oneself' which was also discussed in M S Peck's book. Thomas Merton was into such deep contemplation of the meaning of life, the search for God, his self and so much more; his thoughts and journey is so complex I am not able to spell it out clearly.
Merton reflects that emptying our selves will  help us do away with fear.  This is done by detachment, to claim nothing and possess nothing not even his life. We will then be able to "stand without fear in a violent world"  Nouwen adds that "detachment does not mean shirking one's responsibilities. Rather it is a supremely active deed that makes it possible to move unprejudiced and unafraid into the center of the evil".
Merton wrote "If I remembered that I have nothing called my own that will not be lost anyway, that only what is not mine but God's will ever live, then I would not fear so many false fears."

Merton reflected that learning the secret of our nothingness will lead us to find our true selves, because what will be left, is us 'made in His image and likeness'.
Paradoxically it appears, emptying our true selves will give us our fill of answers to many questions and we will then know the way to go.

I have come some way(a tiny fraction) of letting go and giving it up to Him and that has truly made me feel less afraid of the unknown.  So I can only imagine what it must feel like (thousand times more liberating ?) IF I COULD go the whole way.

Oct 29, 2009

Grading Mummy

My youngest son and I were talking about how his teacher grades his essays.  I was trying to explain the term 'criteria'.  He went  'mmm I guess vocabulary and grammar',  yes an ideas too I added,  how interesting his composition is, makes a difference. 
Somehow we moved to grading his teacher. At first he said ten out of ten, I prodded him and asked him his 'criteria'.. 'his reasons'.  He thought about it out loud and decided she was not perfect, she did not know everything (cause she didn't know the plural for ox was oxen !! ). His teacher got downgraded to six out of ten (oops!).
Then we moved to 'sister' - she was happy to hear him give her a grade of  eight out of ten. I tried to get her 'marked down' ..with criteria (evil grin !!, she glared at me)  Obviously sister was not that 'bad' to him.  I think it's because she shares her IPod with him eventhough she does yell at him from time to time.
Brother did not fare that well, although I suspect at a different time or day his grading would have improved.

Finally we came to Mummy, here I was thinking perhaps I should have picked a better time, I had been 'nagging' him the whole morning about the ills of procrastination to get him to finish his homework. 
But,  he gave me a ten out of ten.  Of course to be fair,  I prodded him with reminders and a chance to re-think, I tried  (really did!) to get him to lower my grade, but (happily for me)  he remained firm, brushed aside anything else I attempted to bring up.
It's a wonderful feeling to be unconditionally loved inspite of our imperfections.

Meandering thoughts

Strange the planet is so small, there's beauty and quiet to be found in some parts and bloodshed and poverty in others, yet each does not touch the other.
The news lately has been bothering me, there's very little good news these days,
- a doctor drowns while diving, - a man is in a coma because he was struck by lightning while he was golfing,   - a suicide bomb kills 100s in Baghdad, bombings in Pakistan that kill women and children,   - a place called Rayong south-east of Bangkok that has seen so much industrialization that the cancer rates and suicide rates are so much higher than the average in the country, and drinking water is contaminated with metals and chemicals... .
- cyclones and floods, earthquake victims and destruction...
Mothers Always,Keep Cool
Life is so fragile, and unpredictable, this old cliche will never grow old, do we know what happens tomorrow,  whether you be rich or poor death can come unannounced.
Are natural disasters an act of God or the wrath of God. Is it meant to be a renewal or punishment,  we ask  these questions ironically.  Yet here man is also chipping away at that already fragile surface, adding to all that,  the wrath of man and callousness of man,  so eager to hasten death of life and death of the earth. Sometimes I think God is trying to wrestle back control.

Is there a balance, it all seems to be weighted in favour of disaster. Can we tip the scales then,  it's upto the rest of us then to plead for and save the earth.

Oct 27, 2009

It Must Be Wonderful

I wrote this post in August but I have decided to resurrect it because I keep reading so many blogs  that have been  talking about the onset of autumn in the US and some more recent .. marvelling at nature's beauty in change.

I live without seasons. It’s either the rainy season or the hot season, which these days are mixed up due to global warming.
I can only imagine how beautiful it is during the other times of the year when it’s not summer.
Four times a year, there’s beautiful change to look forward to.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be able to anticipate each season as it comes, to be able to see the changes in the sky, the trees, the slow transition of colours, to smell the changes in the air, the start of snow, when it melts, your home in a white landscape and feel the temperature change.

It must be wonderful.

Oct 26, 2009

Looking inwards to solve conflict with a working colleague

Conflict with another human being can eat away at a person and is truly a total waste of energy..if it can't be overcome outwardly , the solution lies with ourselves.
My problem 
I have been facing on-going frustration at work with a colleague.
I have this frequent urge to say to this person “I told you so", it just sticks in my craw, again and again and after more than 20 different projects, she still does not get it – that she’s not doing it correctly.
There’s a certain satisfaction in being right . We are vindicated, we can gloat. After all I did do my part to advise and yet she refused to listen.  And so I am glad it turned out the way I predicted it would  (..evil has been collecting his points).
It's not arrogance or opinion on my part,   it's about professional practices. Regardless the end-result speak for themselves - there have been no project wins.  More frustrating, she does not learn from previous experience.
My response of late (tired of sparring with her):  
I start to resist working with her, and I think there is no point putting my all into a project with her at the helm. But that would of course compound the end result.  I have stopped giving my points of view. What do I do? I’m just an employee.  It is wearing me down.
My conscience:  
You can't ignore conscience when it knocks.  At work it is easy to justify taking the opposite route. I don’t want to gloat or be superior, honestly don't want to 'b...'  about  it either,  it's not about recognition or being idealist.  On a personal level this person is alright, little pushy but bearable.  But because co-projects are frequent, I begin to distance myself from her personally.  How do I get past it ?  I don't see a solution, so I have to learn to accept it.  Something has to give, it's me.  Management does not do their part  (I'm not into back-stabbing).
Me now:  
It's been 2 years already, and I think I am beginning to  - not let it bother me;  do my part still and not expect more from this colleague, in other words tampered my expectations in order to avoid further inner conflict. 
(a lesson to store)

Oct 25, 2009

Sunday Solitude

A relatively peaceful day, today I don't want to ask for more, or think that life could be better or remind God of his to-do list for us, just gratitude and thanksgiving .........

1. Mom of Three described my blog as 'eclectic' and that means I write on diverse topics or experiences. I never really thought about it but it does succinctly describe the content. But on subject matter, it is mostly centred around  life and me. Does this then mean it is filled with variety? I am thankful that I have many interests to occupy me.

2. My parents are still around, and supportive without being judgemental of my current circumstances. They could have said 'I told you so'.  I thank God for them and their love.

3. I did not give up or go insane, I had strength to persevere. Thank you for my endurance.

4. I have a job, if not for that job, I would have been more hesitant and afraid to take the steps we needed. You have helped empower me.

5. I've been reminded by less fortunate parents, that God has blessed me with three beautiful children, I have 'nothing else to complain about but the normal mischief' that they would gladly have.  Thank you Lord for their well-being.

6. I have friends from my early school days, new friends from recent times, close friends who are even closer now and now I have blog friends to keep me company, at any time to stay in touch, to communicate with, thank you that I may never feel loneliness, they are my signposts.

7. I have two siblings with their own kids, who make time to to keep up family ties, I know they will stand by us should I ever need them more; thank you Lord that they do keep in touch, that they are there for me.

8. Thank you for technology that makes contact easy, and for enabling me the time, energy and health to participate positively in the life around me.

9. Thank you that there is light in my life.

Oct 24, 2009

A Journey from Fear to Strength.

I have some fears still but I have overcome much fear.  But as much as I would like to let them all out and 'release' them, I can't talk about it because my daughter reads my posts sometimes (yes u dear) maybe my son/s too.  I can't share more yet but you will get a gist of it.  Revealing anything more other than strength is not a good idea just now. They need to be strong for themselves, not for me.  I think I reveal more through my comments at others' sites. There are dark shadows in my life but there is light too.

When feelings overflow, it does come out in bits, now and then through some of my posts, [Volcano,  couragechild's anger, The bully ] when I'm upset, or angry, sad, or when there's a small triumph in  personal life. My role for my kids is to be strong for them, and seek out the best objective solution for them. My life for the last 20 years has been less than imperfect and I am working to getting it to just imperfect. The perfect life never lasts, I don't need it.

Joyce Meyer's Testimonial (Just Be Real) , The Narcissist and Janice's Diary ,  these blogs/ posts tell of realities that centre around  'abuse' and 'narcissists'.  In the last 20 years or so,  my kids and I have personally become acquainted with some of the painful experiences that these individuals mention. I have not slept a full night's rest for so long I don't really remember what it feels like anymore just a constant tired feeling.  The experiences of bloggers who have lived through so much more hardships, who are able to personally share (vent anger, realize peace, survive)  and comments from their supporters is heartening, it helps very much and keeps up my hope. 

I never talked about it, I hid my problem life so well. Why, because it was just unheard of in my circle. As I began to 'leak' a little of what  I faced with friends around me, I came to discover that we all hide something,  we seem to think everyone else has perfect lives and so we dare not reveal our unhappy lives. Everyone has different crosses to bear .  I was so uncertain, so afraid of the unknown outcome, blur of llines that were not quite black and white.  I was not a blogger nor a blog reader before I overcame the first major hurdle either, perhaps it would have moved me sooner.

About a year ago, I felt a 'bursting' feeling and there came a real shift within me, which came in the form of awareness and even a rude awakening through different close friends in my life. Finally being able to talk about it  had helped to push me forward, to be less afraid. 5 months ago I made that first move, for the past 4 months there has been some change for the better for my kids, we have come a long way, but we're not done.  5 months ago I couldn't talk about it without breaking up, but today I can.

What I have learned too about the social system of help, is that they can assure you some of the way but cannot commit all the way, it's only easy if it is definable in black and white, not for the grey.  Abuse is abuse isn't it, is there a question of how much or how little?  This is where naive me learnt a valuable lesson too and I will be more ready to face the next round if it comes to pass. 
It was just after the first milestone that I started this blog (healing). I had started an earlier blog  as a record of episodes in our lives; I believe that putting down the words also helped to precipitate action. But that remains private for now. Apart from the immediate problem, one precious element  that has been suppressed is self-expression and we are learning to let our minds fly free.

Where is my faith in all this, it's there deeper than it has ever been. I used to blame God but have come to realise all things happen as a consequence of our choices.  And so we need to deal with it the same way and not expect God to solve problems of our own making. When I thought (for years) I should be just praying and waiting for God to do something, he was actually pushing me to do something first, only I did not get that. As in Ted Loder's prayer (see sidebar) I desired to 'be bold'. I had to discover courage.   HE is there, and I know that.  At this stage, I still don't know what is God's will, we have come to a fork in the road, waiting either for God's move or man's. 

The bottom line is do what I have to do to improve the lives of the kids and yet make some difficult choices for myself . Mercy seems to be what God wants me to attempt so that I can say I gave (it) a chance for change. When the time is right to cross that line, I will know it,  and then I will know too that it is the right way to go.  As JBR aptly describes the emotions,  I too have not fully surrendered I have not learned how to yet. I am still climbing that mountain, (I forget sometimes) by myself.  His way has made me stronger. I pray that peace comes soon. For those who do not believe in God, call it what you want, but something greater has pulled me out of my hole.
For all those who have only darkness and no light, I pray that hope shines your way and that you will be able to step out of the shadows.

This quote holds a truth in the first part, we hope soon for the fullfillment of the second part.
If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be. -John Heywood

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