Friday, July 30, 2010

A Paper Boat


When I was small, I was taught how to make a paper boat. Then I put it in the drain and watched it sail. Then I followed, and smiled, feeling very satisfied.

When I had grown, sometimes I imagined that I was a seaman; I wanted to sail, far far away; away from boredom and loneliness, away from misery and unpleasant surroundings.

I was made to realize that everyone has problems, and we are to deal and live with problems. And that is how life becomes more realistic and cruel.

The time comes when problems abound and there is no clear solution in sight. We become agitated and irritated. We struggle and fight along the way, sometimes we crumble from within, and we are left uncertain and unsure as to what to do next.

Sometimes, the ability and the willingness to lay aside our problems, and the readiness to do other things first, can be a great help.

But sometimes, no matter what we do and what amount of work we put into, we continue to feel the pinch, bear the blame and just can’t settle down.

Some suggest taking a walk in a garden or a park. It is refreshing and exciting to behold how nature works in peace and harmony; how everything everywhere is so unselfish and try to work as one for the benefits of all. No petty arguments, ugly disputes, and unnecessary conflicts. If only we can live and work together…..

Some suggest taking a stroll along the seaside, watching the wide sea of rolling wave; studying how strong and incessant are their impacts against the cliffs and rocks. Then we will be made to realize just how weak and tiny we are compare to the universe, and how insignificant and petty our problems compare to the work of nature.

Some prefer taking time reasoning, dreaming and imagining. Be positive and go for the best; be calm and peaceful in the face of troubles; be proactive and responsive to everything that comes along; be careful to scrutinize, analyze and solve everything one at a time; be ready to leave some difficult problems until later in time; and learn to submit to God Almighty whenever problems become impossible to solve. Be single minded and single hearted; all will be fine.

Problems abound; it is our daily round of toil; no one can avoid problem for long. How we deal and live with them will determine our outlook and our attitude to life.

The paper boat continues to sail until the wide blue sea, following its own course whenever possible, and continues its dreams.......

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Long Time Friend


It was Saturday mid morning. I was having breakfast with my wife and younger daughter in one of our favorite shops. It has been our weekend routine to eat out, for a change and to rest and relax from our hectic weekdays.

As usual I had my bowl of kueh tiaw, and my wife and daughter their usual kueh tiaw soup. We ordered big bowl, as we had decided to skip lunch.

The place was quiet and inviting. We greeted friends by nodding our head or a soft pat on the back. Not many wanted to break the silence of the place.

Then came my long time friend. We had not seen each other for so long. He sat beside our table after patting me on the shoulder. His thick hair had become thin and he looked old with sunken eyes and cheeks, and long lower jaw.

We are long time friends and we always have a lot to talk when we meet; and now he is in his early 60s while I am in my late 40s.

He told me about his visit to China and his latest visit to a far away city to see his grandchildren. And I related to him my latest happenings.

I felt encouraged by his enthusiasm, his positive outlook, and his frank, blunt and downright speech.

Good friends are really hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.

We had a good and meaningful time together, and a heart to heart talk.

And I treasure the time spent, and his loving care and friendship.

Hopefully our friendship will last for a very long time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

She Lived And Lives It Up


Driving along a weathered road with many potholes and rough surface, entering a cemented parking lot with cracks and debris, I slow drove my vehicle under a spacious canvas shade.

It was still drizzling lightly. It had been raining heavily since very early in the morning.

A cold breeze blew through me as I beheld an old tree with bare twigs and branches in front of me. I noticed the very few clusters of green leaves at its very top.

I recalled an old lady I encountered a day earlier. She was a widow with 2 daughters; her husband had passed away 18 years ago. She was a retired government school teacher but she had not retired from teaching; she continues to give English tuitions for a reasonable fee and sometimes free of charge.

Somehow we need to occupy our time with useful activities and relaxing quiet moment. Retirement does not mean we become a couch potato and become more senile each day.

Passed memories are great but overly distracted and affected by them would only bring along more grief and sorrow. Dwelling in the past sometimes isn’t a great idea.

The old lady related to me her life and happy moments. The ability to enjoy life and live it to the fullest is all that matter, the opportunity to help others is a bonus, and the peace and tranquility to worship God every rest day a blessing from God.

After those hard times and many grief-stricken moments, the children have now grown and she is more able to deal with adverse situations.

The weathered road, the cracked cemented path, the old and barren tree, and the sweet old lady brought along wonderful feelings that warmed my heart and brightened my day.

Life is not bad after all... if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Appreciate Life


Sometimes life can be terribly bored and tired.

It’s time to think up ways to decorate our lives.

Putting on new clothing, wearing bead, silver or gold ornaments or some rare and expensive jewelry will be perfect; it adds the flair of feminine beauty to our life and style.

Changing our ways, habits and mindsets may also help; it boosts our confidence and morale, our self-esteem and self-worth.

Some prefer to alter and transform their environments; a new workplace and a new life will be nice.

But there are times when we just can’t afford all these luxuries.

But we need not be despaired if we learn to appreciate life.

Take a careful look outside the window and enjoy the beautiful scene will be nice; it helps to calm down emotion and feeling, clear the mind and help us think straight, strike a balance in our life and help us learn to be positive.

The world around us is filled with wonderful examples.

An old tree trunk with big and deep roots tells us how it has withstood the weathers.

The little flowers over the wilderness tell us how they have lived life to the fullest even in such short lifespan and in so difficult a condition.

The laborers working under the scorching hot sun remind us how they have sweated and toiled so much to help meet their ends; just look at their broad and satisfying smiles.

We need not be self-pity, always feeling sorry for ourselves.

We may not have a comfortable and conducive environment, but we can still appreciate and enjoy what we have; we may not have beautiful clothing, ornaments, and jewelry, but we can still appreciate and enjoy on what we put on.

Life is not so much what we have, but how we appreciate what we have; it is not so much what we possess; but what we do with what we have.

Naked we come and naked we go, and we just can’t take the world away with us.

The world always remains, though increasingly wicked and is heading towards destruction.

But we disappear into thin air and have to give an account of our lives to the Almighty God.

The fact remains, what sort of impact have we made in our life?

Appreciate life while we still live is all that matters.

We may not have all that we have wanted, but we can still appreciate our lives, and other people’s lives, and the beautiful world we live.

Live life and live it to the fullest!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Smoke Over The Town


It was about six in the evening when we finished our jogging exercises.

My wife and I took a short rest, gasping for breath and sweating profusely.

Then we began our return journey, passing through our town.

We were surprised to see thick and dense smoke all over the town.

The two petrol stations in front of the shop lots were covered with white smoke.

The back of a new shop building that has been once burnt down was in thick smoke too.

As I drove along, we were startled by an ambulance moving rapidly towards the building.

We looked around, wondering why no one was alarmed; everyone was busy with their activities.

Then I saw a man carrying and controlling a fogging machine….

Oh, fogging time; there must be dengue cases around the area.

Initially I thought the whole town was on fire; may be because of too much action movie lately.

Anyway, I believed this was the first time fogging was carried out in the town area.

Yet we were scared that the whole town was on fire; we looked at one another and had a nice laugh.

But the fact that dengue cases are getting more widespread these days do give us much worry.

The silent and deadly killer is finally attacking the town.

Hopefully it is not for long.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Potluck Lunch


We are going to have a potluck lunch for all the staff in the school.

This is to celebrate the Gawai festival at the school level.

A potluck lunch is a good idea since every staff can contribute different dishes to be shared together.

Some have planned to bring along the most popular traditional dishes.

Some desire to bring some cakes and drinks.

Of course, there will be those who don’t know what to bring; they collect money and buy some tasty food from the town.

Thinking of delicious and yummy dishes makes my mouth water; it is going to ruin my diet and workout routine.

Just once, I promised myself.

And try to control what I eat, I told myself.

Pondering further, and lamenting over past failures, I decided to say no.

I have skipped regular lunch for almost 2 months now; I have heavy breakfast and light dinner, and some healthy snacks when really hungry.

But the potluck lunch.... And so near to my office.... Ohhhhh...

Just take a bit of this and a bit of that....no harm.

I don’t know.

Oh! Potluck lunch.