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Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

Solitude


I  had a  more-than-an-hour-lovely chat  with a an online friend last night.  She is based in Bacolod City in the southern part of the Philippines and we both belong to the group chat of Sambuhay Interaktib.  We touched on so many subjects like our online Kris Kringle at Sambuhay Interaktib that  includes twelve priest friends and seminarians who are active at the site.  I wonder what mechanics they will do to make it successful.

We touched on  religious books we have read before. Her sister is a Trappistine contemplative  nun so the latter suggests books for her to read. She loves Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and Mary Oliver too. I told her to look for the works of John O’Donohue, a former priest, poet and writer who died last January 4, 2008. A great loss to the people who love his works like I do.

Solitude.

It’s a favorite word for this newly-met friend. She told me that she would have entered the convent too but it didn’t materialize.  Solitude may have different meaning to some but that kind that we crave being in the company of our thoughts, those times that we need to contemplate about life and find meaning in the everyday things happening around, those times that we need to be alone and just enjoy life as it is.

Solitude.

Being alone but not necessarily lonely. Being alone and feeling lonely are two different things.  We can grow more comfortable with just being ourselves. It gives us an opportunity to plan our lives. I always experience that lovely communication with God and nature when I am in the garden, uprooting weeds, pruning and planting some seeds or deadheading flowers.

You can sit quietly in a corner, listen to some music of old and before you know it, you are uplifted. Sometimes it even comes to a point where you sing too and you remember lovely memories in your life.

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I saw this lovely article about getting old.Some realizations of what you can do for yourselves once you reach that certain age of being a senior.

1 – After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, I have now started loving myself.
2 – I have realized that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.
3 – I have stopped bargaining with vegetable & fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.
4 – I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.
5 – I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already narrated that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane & relive their past.
6 – I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.
7 – I give compliments freely & generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say “Thank You.”
8 – I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.
9 – I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.
10 – I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat & neither am I in any race.
11 – I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.
12 – I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.
13 – I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.
14 – I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!
 
I don’t know who to credit it to but THANK YOU. Love this list.  

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I am always touched watching the flickering candles at the Padre Pio Chapel in Libis. The symbolism of having pure light, penetrating darkness and illuminating one’s path is so uplifting.
St. Padre Pio is one of my favorite saints. I believe he was instrumental in healing me when I was sick eleven years ago. I have always experienced kneeling down with that blank paper in my hands and didn’t know what to write in my petitions but once my pen glides on the paper, it is a spontaneous flow of thanksgiving and asking for special intentions. I am always in awe every time I read those testimonials of people he has touched through their prayers.
HAPPY FEAST DAY PADRE PIO. I am sad I could not visit you today.

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Here are some more excerpts from my  older posts that I’ve shared with Interktib. They air now twice a week because some of those who take charge of the program are seminarians who have started their classes.

I have already shared those with check marks. Some go back as early as 2011.  I always look forward to sharing these words, touching a soul or two in cyberspace.

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I am still randomly copying some excerpts from my earlier posts for my journal and which I’m gonna share later at Interaktib. Then I found this, it’s something I wrote  from six years ago.  Reposting it.

WHEN WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH

Sometimes,

I hide myself behind the flow of words

If you are clever enough

You’ll catch me  peeking

from a curtained window

admiring the view

but never brave enough

to open the door.

Sometimes,

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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I’m sure we’ll meet again someday

One of these days I guess.

And we would smile and laugh

About those long-ago days

of our youth.

We’ll share more cups of coffee

Just the way you like it.

Friendship is such a lovely thing.

The stories get more interesting.

Along the way, we’ll meet again

That’s a promise.

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Reposting this without the photo. I noticed that those posts I did during the early years have more meaning and  more reflective of how life is. Maybe it’s because this is a life of second chances.

I sat there waiting

for the morning sunlight.

Then she came and perched atop

our bare avocado tree.

I listened to her sweet rendition –

a tweet, a song probably.

As if sensing that I was watching,

she quickly flew away.

And I was left

With a tepid cup of coffee.

Thinking –

I wish life could be this simple.

No extra baggage to carry.

Just this –

a sweet melodious song

a bird in flight

unmindful of what she left behind

but just enjoying what the morning brings

and what she can find

and discover beyond.

And I sit here

still….

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I don’t want to be

the bright and glaring

sunlight on your face.

I’d rather be the moon

that illuminates

your path at the darkest hour

to show you the way.

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Once in a while, I post some excerpts of my previous blog entries at my Memories on Facebook. They are not the whole posts themselves but just a few lines that catch my fancy at the moment. These are some of them which I wrote at different dates….more like different months and years.

The way you look at things probably depends on how you view life itself. As they always say, you could see a glass half-full or half-empty. It does not matter whether you’re 30 or 50, maturity comes not in the number you add to your age but in the richness of experience you encounter making you grow and learn a little more.

I’ve never been good at following “how to’s” unless it’s a complicated recipe that I need to experiment on. Sure, sometimes they make life easier but it is different from following rules that you have set yourself to do. The step-by-step-numbered rules bore me. I wonder if I am alone in this because sometimes I do encounter blog posts like how to learn to be happy or how to be a good writer or how to make your blog more popular(taken from the point of view of the author of course) but in real life we each have certain criteria and values that we wish to meet that we think assure us of happiness and success. It is like reading a highly recommended book but you find it boring. Short of saying “to each his own” we have our way of coping and facing what is in front of us. 

Boring or not, a book never fails to teach me a lesson.

It’s so quiet here, no tv, no radio, not even the noise of passing vehicles can be heard. It’s a deafening quiet and my mind is filled with riotous thoughts – the kind that have no beginning and have no end. Have you ever experienced those moments when you really want to write about them but you don’t know how and they just keep floating in your head? There is something you want to voice out and put down on paper (or shall we say, write in a draft in your PC whichever is more convenient) but it eludes you once you are staring at the blank screen. Whoa! What happened to the rich and jumbled thoughts I had earlier? Life, sometimes, is funny. No, life is funny. Make that three dots at the end.

Peace, serenity, warm welcome, quiet moments, bonding with friends, soul searching – I found them all at Caleruega. God is so visible in that place and to coin the words that describe it, it’s CLOSE TO NATURE, CLOSER TO GOD.

There is that one moment that stands out, so lovely, which makes you say, “I need another moment like this”.

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I posted this reflection back in February 6, 2011. Those were the times when “like” was not yet a feature of the WordPress app. Now you can convert it to emoticons and you can also use other emojis provided by the  WordPress editor. There are no limits 🙂

These are the same gospel  readings today.  And here’s a short reflection that I made back then.

Salt and light are the metaphors used by Jesus in today’s Gospel.   I love how the two words are intertwined – the earth is dark because of our sins and our lives  seem bland because there is no salt in it.  We are included in the mission that Jesus gives us, to proclaim and to announce His Kingship everywhere and to invite people to enter into His Kingdom.  Being a Christian is not just through words, we must make good use of ourselves, our talents, we give taste to whatever we do in life. Christian life is how you relate to people.  Only when we follow Christ’s teaching and examples that we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Going back to this morning’s mass, I sat in a pew different from the one I usually sit on. And during the homily, I noticed these carvings  like: “CALL ME at this number_______ and something  like : I need a GF with another cell phone number _____. I smiled and thought, maybe, those who have written these words badly need friends. But why would they destroy  the pristine  varnish/coat of the pew to get noticed? I  remember those days when I was still in college, students would leave chain letters near the church fonts or at those seats in the library where I used to work.  I never believed in chain mails/letters even if they contain some religious one that you have to pray for to obtain favors. Faith and worship are not conditional. Either you believe or you don’t.

I bought a few groceries at SaveMore on my way home from church. There is a glaring absence of morning shoppers unlike when  the 2019nCoV was still unheard of.  Maybe like me, they are wary too. Everyday,  we get  updated of deaths and  individuals showing signs of the virus.  You’ve got to have these at home – alcohol (bought a few bottles), rolls of tissue paper and  hand sanitizer. Good thing there is no panic buying here except for finding unavailable face masks for the people’s daily use.  As I have said before in my previous blogs, I often wear face masks (either washable cloths or the disposable ones) when I go out. That started when I got sick more than ten yeas ago. Chemotherapy affects the immune system. It weakens it. And I am afraid of the pollution brought about  by vehicles and motorcycles on the road.

Have a blessed Sunday all.

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