I hide myself behind the flow of words
If you are clever enough
You’ll catch me peeking
from a curtained widow
admiring the view
but never brave enough
to open the door.
life seems so difficult
and one’s smile catches the tears
one look that lingers
that one goodbye
erases hundreds of hello.
How could you not see
that life is sometimes
hard to journey through?
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Posted in books, more books, guilty pleasures, entertainment, reading, Letters From Skye, book review, tagged books, thoughts and ramblings, book review, literature and Fiction, guilty pleasures, Letters From Skye on February 28, 2014 |
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Yay, I didn’t take an afternoon shuteye just to finish Letters from Skye. It took me more than two days (on and off reading) to finish the book. Since it was my first book of Jessica Brockmole, I really didn’t know what to expect, there is nothing to compare it with previous books she has written . What a nice surprise because I enjoyed it. Pen pals, making friends through letters, finding love in an exchange of words and thoughts – you would think it is an old-fashioned way to communicate, right? Compared to the modern way of communicating nowadays, you would even say it is boring but it’s 1912 and 1940 fused together and the historical aspect makes it more poignant because letters are the only means one could get through.
I could not remember reading a book without a dialogue except letters. It is an epistolary novel. It must be hard to write something like it without losing the plot of the story and getting the message across to the reader. Thoughts of Mary Oliver’s writings entered my mind while reading it and I was hoping the author would give examples of what Elspeth Dunn wrote about, she was a poet and poets are dear to my heart. Come to think of it, I was tempted to jot down some quotes as I usually do with other books that I read but I didn’t want to lose the momentum, excited enough on what the answer would be to the last mailed letter. Imagine the thrill and joy of receiving one, the anticipation of knowing that there is something to look forward to. The story is common enough but the way it was told made it a fascinating read. I would not attempt to make a real book review here with the story summarized in chronological order. Find it for yourself if you are also fond of writing and receiving letters. Yes, there are quotes that comes to mind.
“You’re my breath, my light, the one my heart flies towards.”
“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
“… that a letter isn’t always just a letter. Words on page can drench the soul.”
It was worth the two cups of coffee I consumed just so I could finish the book. There is that feeling that reading a love story once in a while is an afternoon delight.
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Posted in blogging, Faith, journeys, life, ramblings, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, dreams, Faith, journeys, life, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on February 21, 2014 |
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I woke up this morning remembering a well-loved quote in my head. Many, many years ago, I was on my way to school when I saw this guy who wore a shirt with a lovely quote written in front and it made a big impact on me. Oh yes, short of staring boldly at the words, I committed them to memory and that’s what I remember now. It was written by Langston Hughes, an American poet , playwright and novelist.
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Dreams keep us going don’t you think? And I believe, really believe that dreams do come true. Maybe, in my subconscious thought, I remembered these simple lines when I wrote Dreams and Escapes as my blog title. There are simple things in life that give extra meaning to our existence. There are simple things in life that make us smile and inspire us to go on. There are simple things in life that always add color to our everyday existence. When I was in college, I used to fill up whole notebooks of quotes, poems and inspiring words culled from the books I have read. It makes me happy to read them now and then, always with some remembered thoughts of long ago, the years in between, the tears and laughter and teenage angst and frustrations. I was lucky to have worked for three years at my university’s library when I was in college and still luckier to have read so many inspiring books and to have known so many inspiring authors.
I dreamed of one day writing something that would inspire. I dreamed of one day reaching out to people by sharing my thoughts. I am slowly getting there I guess. Dreams inspire us to go on and see life in all its beauty, not blinded by the ugly realities that somehow we have to face.
One day, I’ll write a poem and will share it with you.
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Posted in 2014, blogging, city gardening, Close to Nature, Closer to God, guilty pleasures, journeys, photography, tagged blog stats, blogging, Close to Nature, Closer to God, flowers and blooms, gardening, photography, thoughts and ramblings on February 17, 2014 |
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My blog stats say I have 250,038 views right this moment. I can’t believe it. I’ve been blogging for a little more than four years now, on and off, when I feel like it and have something to share. The only time I blogged religiously every day was when I took up the 2011 WordPress Post A Day challenge. That was when my stats started to climb. For the last three years, I always get a surprise when one particular blog registers an average of 2,600 views in one day and that is during Mama Mary’s birthday every September 08. I don’t know how it happens but the search engine seems to be busy during Mama Mary’s birthday.
I wonder though which is better, having so many views in any particular day or having a lot of followers. A bit of both probably, I don’t know. I only have 678 followers at the moment (not that I mind so much if they follow me or not). There must be something they like about my blog so they read it. I am glad that some readers come back and read my older posts. Sharing my plight as a cancer patient/survivor has definitely evolved to some sort of an online diary – some experiments in the kitchen, some shots that I love to share, my garden blooms that get the largest share in my SD card, local places I’ve been to the past few years, books I’ve read and reviewed, thoughts and prayers. Imagine having a hodgepodge of topics encapsulated in 1,393 posts.
You ask, “Is it worth it?” My answer is a big “YES, definitely”. Here are some shots I took a few hours ago, they are my February blooms.
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Posted in 2014, gardens, journeys, life, nature, photography, tagged life, nature, photography, silence speaks, thoughts and ramblings, Weekly Photo Challenge - Object, Weekly Photo Challenge 2014 on February 5, 2014 |
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Once, life was a robust tree that gave us shade in the garden and sacks of avocado fruits when they were in season. As with all things, life comes to an end, it cannot endure forever.
One remembers what it was once and it brings back pleasant memories – the times when I used to just sit in the garden under its shade, the times it felt so tranquil and quiet watching the early morning unfolds, the times I wrote a few lines while seeping a tepid cup of coffee, the times I used to listen to the tree sparrows sing as they hopped from branch to branch, the days in between when dreams seemed within reach.
Life will always be the way you see it through the lens.
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These, I think, are lazy blogging days for me. For the past two days, our “normal” weather is back and take that to mean that the cold days and colder nights are gone but PAGASA says, we will still experience the cold weather in a few days but not as temperate and balmy as the days we experienced back in January. In the next two weeks, we’ll be experiencing a high 31 °C and a low 22 °C.
I was again lucky to find another book by Catherine Cookson , my 7th read this year. I was impressed with her writing style in A Dinner Of Herbs that I finished the whole book, all 725 pages of it in four days. I love a bit of history and the 18th century England setting was just perfect. It was quite a surprise that I enjoyed the book immensely and when I looked at Goodreads, most readers marked it five stars. I didn’t even know it was made into a series until I read some reviews so I got to watch a few episodes on YouTube. I know, some would say the book is always better than the movie adaptation but it is nice to recall the story while seeing the characters’ faces onscreen. I wonder when the movie adaptation of The Book Thief will be shown here. Some reviews say it’s emotionally flat and does not show justice to the beautiful book by Marcus Zusak. I believe that every film adaptation on any well-loved book deserves some merits because it is completely different from the pages of the book. I’ve read it twice, by the way and got to appreciate it better the second time around.
Our street is showing a new look. I woke up one morning several days ago and saw every light post decorated with red ribbons and rectangular red cloth crazily dancing in the wind. Oh, they dressed them for the V-day. Who celebrates Valentine’s day now? Florist shops would make a killing again with the costs of a few blooms thrice as much on a regular day. I always smile every time I see someone wear a red shirt on Valentine’s Day. Why do you have to wait for Valentine’s day to show and reinforce that love?
Yes Virginia, there’s a St. Valentine and he is a patron of love, young people and happy marriages.
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Posted in family life, journeys, life, ramblings, silence speaks, tagged family life, journeys, life, silence speaks, thoughts and ramblings on January 29, 2014 |
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Here I am, still thinking of the gentle days of January. It seems as if the month is in a hurry to shed its leaves and bid goodbye. The quiet days of January - the cold winds on my face each morning I stay in the garden, the balmy weather that hopefully will stay until the end of February, the surprise visits from friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time, Nate’s newly learned words that sometimes I still can’t understand but pleasant to my ears just the same, the delight in discovering new blooms in my garden, what bliss!
Today is my son-in-law’s birthday and Nissa treated him with a nice family lunch at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay City. They brought Nate with them of course and Nissa said the food was good. Gosh, it’s been three years since I last visited Tagaytay and my favorite place, aside from Breakfast at Antonio’s is the Mushroomburger house. I always have a takeout every time we pass by the place. They sell the yummiest mushroom burger this side of town. Tagaytay is a very nice place to visit. Aside from the lovely weather, it’s closer to home and the view of Taal Lake from the top of the ridge is just so beautiful.
My priest son, Fr. Lovell is going on a mission two months from now. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard of Babuyan Islands except in old history books during my younger years. It is even more remote and isolated than the beautiful Batanes. My initial questions were, “Do they have cell sites there, do they have internet connection? How long will you be staying?” He briefed me on how life is there. You can only reach the place from Cagayan province via an 8-hour boat ride with sometimes big waves (the size of a house) along the way. The islands are actually closer to Taiwan than the nearest island in Northern Luzon. Visiting the place when he was still a seminarian made him finally decide to persevere to become a Dominican priest. I found this lovely blog with lots of pictures of Babuyan Islands. Looking at the pristine landscapes and reading the blogger’s description of the place, this island paradise truly mesmerize.
Except for the party my close friends (at AFCC) and I had last January 11 and the family visit from my daughter Nissa, January was a quiet month but I love it just the same. My only regret is that, I haven’t finished my sixth book that I originally planned to read this month.
It is growing cold and I am here wondering what February will bring.
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It does not feel the warmth of -
a loving embrace
a gentle touch
a tight hug
a furtive glance
a sweet whisper
The heart does not really grow old
But when love dies,
It just grows cold.
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Two weeks ago I’ve blogged about Adam, a boy Josef and I met at the church and I was impressed by his manners. What a nice surprise because meeting him again this morning made my day. He saw me near the door of the church office and said, “hello po, nagkita po ulit tayo”, at the same time he took my hand and said “mano po”. The words “mano po”, a gesture made by taking the hand of the elder and putting it on one’s forehead is a sign of respect and literally means “bless me”. That moment, I felt like we’ve known each other for quite a long time although it was only the second time we met him. What a well-mannered boy. He waited for us after the mass and pointed his grandparents to Josef and me.
What a blessing to meet kids like Adam.
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There goes my dream of blogging every day to challenge myself again. For the past three days, I was not feeling so well due to bad colds and occasional cough which tax my strength until now. For two straight nights, I sometimes sleep sitting down with lots of pillows behind me for support. I hear these wheezing sounds that seem like mice chasing each other inside my throat and the best way that I could sleep is by lying flat on my back or sitting down with my feet straight. Oh, the misery of having colds on a cold January. We may not be getting the extreme cold weather just like in other areas/countries but I think cold nights and hot days are not good combinations. Lately though, the sun peeps through now and then and the weather is mostly cloudy during the day. I feel my achy bones taking it all in, it sometimes zaps one’s strength and I still have to prepare for the lunch party my friends and I have planned for Saturday. Good luck to me. I am praying though that I will be well enough to join the fun and entertain them here.
If my garden could speak, it’s probably complaining of neglect. I haven’t watered it for the past two days but my son promised that he will tend to it when he comes home tonight. I miss blogging and reading blogs too and my eyes get easily tired when I check messages on my cellphone. I am not used to small prints and it’s even harder to navigate.
Bad colds, please go away. January, please be gentle to me.
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