Archive for July, 2011

I keep coming back, looking at some quotes on her poems, but it is not enough, I want to get hold of one of her books.  This is my second blog on Mary Oliver since I discovered her in another site that I regularly visit. A writer friend commented when I posted some quotes on my wall at Facebook and she gladly provided me with some excerpts from the author’s poems.  I told her I could feel every word Mary O  has written.  There are poets and there are writers but when one is lucky enough to encounter their lovely thoughts, one is transported to another world. I’m quite envious that she could clearly string words that thrill and delight one’s senses.

Welcome to the silly, comforting poem.
It is not the sunrise,
which is a red rinse,
which is flaring all over the eastern sky;
it is not the rain falling out of the purse of God;
it is not the blue helmet of the sky afterward,
or the trees, or the beetle burrowing into the earth;
it is not the mockingbird who, in his own cadence,
will go on sizzling and clapping
from the branches of the catalpa that are thick with blossoms,
that are billowing and shining,
that are shaking in the wind.

You still recall, sometimes, the old barn on your
great-grandfather’s farm, a place you visited once, and
went into, all alone, while the grownups sat and
talked in the house.
It was empty, or almost. Wisps of hay covered the floor,
and some wasps sang at the windows, and maybe there was
a strange fluttering bird high above, disturbed, hoo-ing
a little and staring down from a messy ledge with wild,
binocular eyes.

Mostly, though, it smelled of milk, and the patience of
animals; the give-offs of the body were still in the air,
a vague ammonia, not unpleasant.

Mostly, though, it was restful and secret, the roof high
up and arched, the boards unpainted and plain.
You could have stayed there forever, a small child in a corner,
on the last raft of hay, dazzled by so much space that seemed
empty, but wasn’t.

Then–you still remember–you felt the rap of hunger–it was
noon–and you turned from that twilight dream and hurried back
to the house, where the table was set, where an uncle patted you
on the shoulder for welcome, and there was your place at the table.

Nothing lasts.
There is a graveyard where everything I am talking about is,
I stood there once, on the green grass, scattering flowers.
Nothing is so delicate or so finely hinged as the wings
of the green moth
against the lantern
against its heat
against the beak of the crow
in the early morning.

Yet the moth has trim, and feistiness, and not a drop
of self-pity.
Not in this world.

How I wish I could write my thoughts like she does. Wishful thinking of course, because it will never be, not even in this lifetime. Suffice to say, I enjoy reading every word she writes. I find pleasure in every thought she imparts.  Thank you Mary Oliver!

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A month ago, I promised myself that I would make my dream rosary. I’ve finally finished it two days ago and have it blessed by Fr. Luke yesterday after the mass. “It’s so beautiful”, exclaimed one of the staff at the parish office and she asked where I bought it so I told her, I made it. She was looking at me like saying, “Did you, really?” Then she asked if I have some rosaries for sale. We do sell some of them while the rest we give to friends as gifts.

This is one of those times that I miss uploading pictures from my camera, then I could have shown you how it looks. It’s made of 59 beads of rose quartz with the picture of Pope Benedict as the center medal. Rose quartz is known as the love stone and “it gives inner peace and helps in all matters pertaining to love in all its forms. Rose Quartz opens the heart to love. It also helps as a rejuvenator to the skin.”  It has lots of  healing properties too. I made a partner for it, a single decade chaplet rosary which is so convenient when one is on the road.

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I should have said, it was a busy weekend. We’re getting close to my daughter’s big day so every one of us is quite busy during weekends. We had our fittings yesterday together with the bride’s maids and part of the wedding entourage.  I feel happy to see Nissa’s friends whom I haven’t seen for a couple of years. We had a good reminiscing on the days when they used to spend the night here back in their college days. How time flies! Nissa is the second in their close-knit group to be getting married.

The days remind me of the song Sunrise, Sunset. One line goes this way, “is this the little girl I carried”?  I do get emotional at times thinking of the days when I’ll no longer see her everyday because she’ll have her own family soon. We’ve been close since she was a kid. Night rituals consist of sharing stories, sleeping together in one room when hubby is not around.  Didn’t I say that there will always be a special bond between a mother and her child? I think of the days when she was just a baby, then a toddler, then being a smart kid till she graduated in college. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for her that she finally found the right guy who’ll be by her side soon. It’s just that I could not shake off this empty-nest feeling but I am excited for the big event.

They will be having their pre-nuptial pictorial this coming Wednesday.  We kept laughing at the thought of how she would project herself on camera. I told her to think happy thoughts  and  act naturally. Easier said than done, I guess.  I assured her that nothing will change,  we’ll always be here for her.


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Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.  ~Ansel Adams

Can a camera truly capture a moment in time? I just could not resist WordPress’ topic for today because I love photography. I maybe an amateur in the field but one does not need to be that good behind a camera if you have a nice subject to freeze forever. You need a good eye though in capturing the essence of something as simple as a leaf or a bloom. In fact, I have another blog here which I called Cams and Photos, a collection of my previous shots in various places on different subjects. I love to dabble in macro photography. There is something so wonderful about capturing minute details of a flower (my favorite subject) and seeing it as one perfect bloom, unblemished by the elements of nature.
And didn’t I say that it is an ongoing love affair for me? A few clicks here and there, knowing that in a spur of the moment, some scenes may change and you wish you had captured those cotton candy clouds or if you are lucky, a bird in solo flight. And what you have caught on film becomes a memory to treasure. Have you ever had that feeling of oneness with the whole world while looking at some photographs you took a few years back? Do you remember how the moment was?  Sometimes, it makes you smile. Yes, a camera can capture a moment in time.

If you are reading this, you can also visit my Cam and Photos blog, just click the above link I posted here. Thanks.

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I am so overwhelmed that I could cry.

Celebrating life, another journey of faith and hope, another journey of thanksgiving for all the graces from above. I am celebrating my two years as a cancer survivor today. And I thank everyone who remembered. I thank everyone who prayed with me and offered masses for my health.

Thank you Lord for the gift of family, thank you too for the gift of friends, but most of all thank you for the gift of life. It is another journey I know, a journey I am willing to embrace once more.

Friendship is a lovely thing.

Do you agree?  I met with Fr. Louie today and we had a few hours of catching up with news from Rome and our online apostolate at Facebook. It feels good to be able to unburden one’s heart and hurts a little.  It feels good to have a willing and understanding ear. And I feel blessed for the gift of friendship. We’re planning a get-together for our members at Apostles Filipino Catholic Community (AFCC). I am sure this would be an exciting event for all of us, finally meeting some of them in person. The community has become one big family. The camaraderie is there, the care and concern for each other’s welfare are obviously present and sincere. What more can you ask of online friends? And I would like to tell you  that online friendship is really possible  with  God at the center in our lives.

Lovely gifts, lovely remembrances.

These are those moments when I wish that I could upload  the pictures I took today and the last week or two. I don’t know why, but I am getting frustrated that this laptop won’t even read the contents of my cam. Anyway, I received a lovely book on St. Francis entitled The Journal and the Dream from Fr. Tacky, OFM from Rome, two rosaries from Celina and lovely key chains from Welma. Fr. Louie and I had this standing joke that I visit them one of these days in Rome and they will show me the Vatican. What a nice and lovely dream!   If God wills it, why not? Two  friends offered masses for my healing.  Thanks Joi and Dean. Lovely gifts, lovely surprises.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’, it will be enough.”

I love this quote from Meister Eckhart, so I say  “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart.

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You feel you’ve triumphed

Seeing your opponent cry

But did you ever see

The hurt look in her eyes?

You feel you have scored

Making life like it was a game

But did you ever think

That in an argument,

Nobody wins?

She hurls hurting words at you

And you do the same

But did you ever see

That she was trying to let you know

“I take that all back

Because I don’t want to hurt you.”

And behind those shouts of anger and pain

You long to see her smile again.

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Today, two years ago, I embarked on a long journey not knowing where the road will end but hoping just the same that I won’t get lost along the way. I remember it was a Sunday, hubby and I were off to the Chinese General Hospital with three bags of belongings and a big pillow for comfort. I was admitted at around 3pm and scheduled for sigmoid surgery two days after. Knowing fully well that I was sick and being aware that surgery is the only way the doctors would know how far the cancer cells have invaded my body was just a drop in the bucket compared to the agony I had to go through for more than five months after my surgery.

An online friend Mary An together with her family took time to go to the hospital on the day I was admitted to deliver a lovely flower arrangement  prior to the time of our arrival.  It was a typical gesture from Mary An, she knew that I love flowers and love doing macro shots of them. Thea, my nun friend sent me text messages during the night informing me that they formed a prayer brigade in the convent.  Lovell, a seminarian friend whom I consider  a son and his group offered masses for my healing.  “How lovely”, I said to the hubby, “to have lots of friends praying for you.”  They were there not just to show support but to boost my morale. It was  the second major surgery I went through,  unlike the first one, this could  spell a big difference in my life, in our lives as a family.  I prayed for strength and courage to go on but God gave me more, He showed me  that I could bear the pain because He was there.

Last night, I had a long chat with Lovell over the phone and he asked  how I am. I told him I had bouts of urinary tract infection lately. I was struck by what he said that God must love me so much to entrust me with all these  pain and sufferings because He knows I can carry them and I have enough faith to go through life without being bitter about it. My answer was simply this, ” I lift everything to God and I am offering it all to Him.

There are times when tears flow when I think of  the days I went through the past two years. I am lucky and  I am blessed that God gave me a second chance at life.  Everything is grace.

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In life, one wishes for a smooth journey but most of the time, circumstances and events make it a little hard and rocky. There is that feeling of disappointment when one realizes that despite all the efforts and love he puts in the doing, he will never be satisfied in the end.  Life is a continuous process of discovery – today is never the same as yesterday and tomorrow might bring a big surprise or a feeling of frustration.
It is never easy to have a successful relationship with anyone, be it a friend, a spouse, or some family members. There are kinks that one needs to iron out, roadblocks that you need to cross, and problems that need solutions. These are the same things that make life what it is – a challenge or a hurdle to climb, a garden patch of happiness to celebrate, a precious something that needs to grow. There are times when nurturing and loving are not enough, one needs extra effort, lots of trust, an unquestionable faith, a gargantuan patience and  lots of prayers  to go through life.

Sometimes, when you are at your lowest ebb, you shout to the world, “What have I done?” And the echo gets back to  you, you pretend that everything is alright but still, there is that nagging feeling that it is never enough.

And when you are presented with life’s choices, just live each day as though it were your last.

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How she has grown! The last time I saw her was about seven months ago when my daughter, his boyfriend and I went home to our place in the province to visit them. They came over this morning, my younger brother, sis-in-law, my seven-year old niece and Mom. It was  just a lightning visit, they went back home a while ago but Mom was left behind with us.

Her name is Mae but we fondly call her Bobic. Back in December when we were at their place, she told her cousin (my daughter) that she’ll start saving for her Ate Nissa’s wedding. We had a good laugh at that  but she was serious when she  said, “It’s my gift to Ate Nissa.”  She’s quite matured for her age and when she speaks, she sounds like a twenty year old.  Since they came here to have her measurements taken for her gown, I asked her what happened to the coin bank  we gave her last December and she said that it’s almost full.  Her mom said,“She’s  filling it with assorted coins and small paper bills which she ask daily from her Papa.”  I jokingly asked her, “will you still give it to Ate Nissa?”. She just nodded and smiled at me.

Nissa wants her to be the little bride during the wedding. We were laughing out loud when she innocently asked, “Ano bang ginagawa ng little bride Ate?”  So we told her she’ll be the bride’s little assistant and she’ll be wearing a similar gown like that  of the bride. She is excited and gamely told us that she’ll be back before the wedding. There’s no dull moment when she is around.

I remember the first time she came into our lives, a mere one week old baby. Being the youngest in the family, our attention was focused on her. My brother and his wife officially adopted her and it took them a year to have all the legal papers in order.  You might ask if there is a difference between a blood relation and an adopted member of the family, there’s nothing really because she is family to all of us. When you love a person because she is worth-loving and when you take care of her because you want her to grow up lovable and loving  too, you won’t even think of whether  she is legally adopted or not. Everything is the same. Someday maybe, when she is old enough to understand, she’ll learn and will get to know all about it. All the love that we could give to a beautiful and talented niece is hers, no questions asked, no compromise about it, she is loved for what she is.

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Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Precious Moments.

And before you think what it’s all about, I just felt so happy to see the two Precious Moments figurines which my daughter and her fiance ordered for their wedding cake. The bride wore an  ecru off-shoulder gown with some applique and a veil, she was clutching a bouquet of  purple flowers, with a small ribbon tied to her long hair in the same color.  Purple (in three shades) is their color motif. The groom was dressed in barong complete with shoes and black pants. They had them custom-made at Precious Moments.  I was asking them how the cake decorator would place them on the cake without destroying or soiling the lovely wedding gown of the bride.  We had a good laugh imagining how this pair would look atop their three-layer fondant wedding cake.

The days are definitely getting hectic and there are schedules to meet every weekend.  I am happy for them both, they  are  counting the days till the big day.  And if you ask me, the mother of the bride is as excited as the bride. More on this in the coming days.

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