Category: God

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual (catch up)

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

– Ray Bradbury

Most memorable moments are unusual.  Here are some recent snaps of moments truly unforgettable.  I haven’t written in a while but that doesn’t mean nothing much has been happening.  On the contrary …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Time is flying at light speed and sometimes, I feel like I can’ t keep up.

So, thanks G, for the gadgets that allow us to document, remember, share and tell our stories.

grateful slice: being back on the grid and nature’s gold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset

How to enjoy a sunset...

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I Send Two Sunsets

by Emily Dickinson

I send Two Sunsets —

Day and I — in competition ran —
I finished Two — and several Stars —
While He — was making One —
His own was ampler — but as I
Was saying to a friend —
Mine — is the more convenient
To Carry in the Hand —

Photos taken by a Nikon D90 (Boracay 2011) and a Canon Ixus (Boracay 2009).

grateful slice:  enjoying sunsets

Embracing your demons is knowing they don’t define you

Overanalysis Paralysis : It is hard to be me sometimes.

There were times, without knowing how she got there, she would find herself back in the damp and dangerous darkness, alone.  It was a familiar place, filled with dread and despair and the moment she took a whiff of the stench she used to know well, it hit her. No wonder nothing brought her joy, she thought. No wonder her smile felt heavy and fake. No wonder she felt like each step she took was like slogging through miles of thigh-high mud.  She realized that her heart was cloaked by the very same things that once made the tumors in her body grow malignant. How long has it been?  There was no more time to waste.  She knew she had to run back to where there was light.

The old script didn't work

She used to handle it differently, of course.  Before, when she understood less and was confronted with the inevitable and unbearable, she would deny, resist, fight what made her sad, scared and insecure, what made her hate herself, thinking it was the way to smother her demons. In the end, the dreaded beasts would multiply and torch what was left of her with their fiery breath.  It took years to painstakingly pick out from the embers, the little that was left of her flesh and bones; part of the slow process of putting back the pieces to arrive at a recognizable self.

This time though, the moment she was aware she was spiraling down the darker chambers of her heart, she knew better.  She understood that avoidance and escape would only bring searing pain.  And projection and denial would bring her sure death. So, she put her trust in what she now believed in and just embraced it. All.  She embraced the things that made her wrong.  The things that made her angry, scared, envious, selfish and greedy.  The things that made her what she used to be.  She also embraced forgiveness. All the forgiveness in the world.  And just like that, the demons retreated into their creepy caves, deep caverns and damp dungeons, whimpering with their jagged tails tucked between their legs. Some monsters melted into the earth. Others shrank, slithered into the fissures they emerged from and the weakest of them, disappeared into thin air.  Soon, the light peaked past every crack and crevice, then broke through with wild rays, which allowed her pale face to bask with relief in its recognition. She knew she was back home where she belonged. The scales on her heart were no longer there.

Sigh.

It made her feel good to know that even if she may never understand why she sometimes ends up in the dark, she was confident in the fact that she would always find her way back to the light.

No matter what.

The bearable lightness

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
— Mary Oliver

grateful slice: trusting and knowing better

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains

Whoever said beach people couldn’t fall in love with the mountains is a fool because that’s not true at all. Sure, feeling the wet and warm powdery sand between my toes under an unspeakably azure sky brings peace and contentment next to none but that does not diminish the awe I’ve experienced amidst grand glaciers, cool craters and the secret-filled fields of the Mountain Province; something I’ve learned to crave year in and year out. These peak moments are made so much more when shared with people we love. I miss you to bits, sis. And to all the batches we have been accompanying to Sagada since 2006, here’s to you. Thank you for giving me a reason to go back there over and over again.

Thanks G, for meeting me in either place all the time with no fail. Your overpowering presence has more than once knocked me down on my knees. Thank you for teaching me how to live big.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THE MOUNTAIN by Emily Dickinson

The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation omnifold,
His inquest everywhere.

The seasons prayed around his knees,
Like children round a sire:
Grandfather of the days is he,
Of dawn the ancestor.

Photos taken by a Canon Ixus and a Nikon D90 in various places – Mt. Pinatubo, Alaska, Sagada.

grateful slice: G, my sister, Alaska, Pinatubo and Sagada — the field trip that’s become a tradition.

India 2.0 Pray – A Photo Gallery (2/3)

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.” Mahatma Gandhi (internationally esteemed for his doctrine on non-violent protest, 1869 – 1948)

Worship is a loaded word and prayer, an extremely personal thing.

I guess you can say I grew up with a specific version of both. I also learned to reject a lot of this version as a young misguided adult and jaded academic/scholar.  At some point though, I started to search and once again yearn for that connection I had severed so callously as a twenty something. Someone was definitely listening, I guess, because to make a long spiritual story short, I re-met God just a few years back with a brand new heart and with a whole new set of eyes. Frankly, my life as a thirty something has not been the same since.

Anyway, my experience  is  really all I know up close and there’s no way I am an expert on either.  I mean, I do not know enough to comfortably write about religious diversity at length lest I let my ignorance about the many different ways to worship God fall through the cracks of my sentences.   That’s the last thing I want to happen.  What I did try to do while I was in Ahmedabad and Mumbai was capture what I saw behind the lens.  The varied and colorful offerings, the different places of worship, the diverse rituals and plethora of belief systems.  I also tried to snap the sincerity, the earnestness, the compassion and the intimacy between man and his/her G/god/s.    From Ganesh, the Hare Krishna, to Buddha, MumbaDevi, to the Jains, to the Haji Ali Shrine and the Christian service that S and I attended the only Sunday I was there, spirituality was definitely part of this maximum trip because it was everywhere I looked.  I hope the gallery is an apt glimpse.  Om. Amen.Namaste.

grateful slice: the freedom to know G, in the most intimate way real to us

Be Kind. Rewind.

Shift

And just like that, May has rolled in.

Today, am extremely grateful for three things; that I am  alive.  That I am saved.  And that I have access to forgiveness, power and hope ALL the time.  So today I say thank you over and over again; a thousand times over, thank you.

grateful slice:  remembering my why

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean

maggie and milly and molly and may

by E. E. Cummings

Inquiry

maggie and milly and molly and may

went down to the beach(to play one day)

Orange sky

and maggie discovered a shell that sang

so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

Periwinkle Mood

milly befriended a stranded star

whose rays five languid fingers were;

as the sun sets

and molly was chased by a horrible thing

which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

Noon

may came home with a smooth round stone

as small as a world and as large as alone.

Dusk

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)

it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

mid morning

Photos taken by a Nikon D90. Playing with light and a polarized lens (Dumaguete, Dec 2010). Poetry by ee cummings. Win.

grateful slice:  ee cummings and the sea

 

late afternoon