Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Hollydays

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a laptop was on, they even unplugged the mouse.
Their wish lists was posted in the blogosphere
Knowing that Santa would read it with care.

The rugrats were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of iPods danced in their heads.
With mom in her flannel and dad in his shorts
While the house filled with snoring reports.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
Dad sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Someone was tangled over the Christmas display
A fat man in red with eight reindeer and a sleigh!

The fat man moved fast for someone his size
Untangled himself and disappeared with surprise
Santa had arrived, landing on the roof
Bringing incontrovertible proof.

He was chubby and plump, with a big round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
So dad took the cookies & milk and hid them away
Obesity is pandemic and wasn’t okay.

He had all sorts of presents and left them with glee
iPhones, iPads, and Blu-Ray DVDs
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, out the window he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
And away they all flew like a heat seeking missile
But I heard his exclaim, ‘ ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Silent Realization

I found this old photo and I looked at the child I used to be and I remembered. I have a hole in my heart, an intangible something missing inside me. As a child, I knew it instinctively. I looked at the world through big, dark, melancholy eyes. 

I listened to the world around me, a perfect child; I spoke only when spoken too, seen but not heard. But my mind roiled in poignant observations. The silent accusatory look to the nurse who promised me the shot wouldn’t hurt. The sheer indignation when my nanny slipped me a lump of coal when I was a child, because I didn’t deserve a lump of coal. I was a good girl! But I held my tongue, nanny always knew me better than anyone else, ever. Perhaps she saw into my quiet silences and saw the potential mischief in my eyes.

Then I grew older, left my nanny and my childhood behind. The painful battle with puberty that seemed to turn that missing piece into a large gaping black hole of deep, inconsolable grief left me weak with doubt. Then adulthood, when I learned that perhaps I could fill the hole with fair weather friends, loose morals, cheap liquor and fast cars.  I threw bits and pieces of hearts and lives that I touched and left. Mad moments of sheer abandon, poor judgment and bad mistakes.

Now, I find that I have silently, subconsciously, filled the hole with a hardened cement of sour grief and ashes of regrets.

If I could, I would break the cement and drain the grief, to find room for the love I have missed.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Snow

First snow arrived
With its chill of winter frost
While Summer's last rose
Bends her head and weeps

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just The Way She Is

I’ve started listening to this song by Bruno Mars called “Just The Way You Are” and I’ve noticed that my friends don’t like it because 1)it’s horribly sappy 2)It’s patronizing to women.

I can’t disagree with the sappy description, it is sappy. But isn’t ‘sappy’ a requirement for a love song? I like the silly song; it doesn’t make me think too hard. When I hear the song, its upbeat tune shakes up the grey doldrums of my day. The chorus is:

 “When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change, cuz you’re amazing, just the way you are. And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while, cuz girl you’re amazing just the way you are!”

Now the patronizing accusation is based on someone saying, that he’s singing about a very insecure woman and by extension, all women. I can’t assume to know what the songwriter was thinking when he wrote the song. I really don’t care; this is a cute little ditty that by next year this time I will have forgotten.

I like the chorus, because I know of one particular woman who fits the description of being beautiful with a smile that can stop the world turning on its axis (that’s a whole other story). But the more I thought about it, I can’t really agree that it’s a patronizing song, I over analyzed and came up with this hypothesis.

We live in a culture where young teen girls are considering plastic surgery to enhance their features, but to what end? Is every teenage girl going to be a movie star? Do they all need to look like one? Why? Are th
ey doing it with the hopes that boys will like them more or because they need to like themselves more?

When considered under that premise, can’t we just enjoy a boy telling a girl that he thinks she perfect just the way she is?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Into this world we are born, a wailing ball of detritus. We scream our fury; instinctively we know the fight before us. Do we challenge the fates then, with our wrinkly balled little fists? Or do we scream in frustration, only knowing hope as we learn the ropes of despair? Do we instinctively know that we are born alone, live alone, die alone and bemoan our destiny? Or is the scream one of anger and challenge, denying the darkness?

When we open our eyes, did we greet it with wondering awe or cold, angry disdain? Or are our eyes fresh sponges, waiting to absorb everything it sees? When does the spark of innocence in our eyes turn to blazing flames of passion? When does the passion slow to embers before it fades away?

I've been told I was born with an 'old soul', do my eyes look as if they have already seen too much after a day of life? 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


The reason we sleep at night is to allow our brains to rest, our minds to stop and our hearts to lie still. So when we stay past the stroke of midnight, the darkness starts to seep into the crevices of your heart and the madness begins.

The things you hide in the light of day return to consume you. The doubts, the fears grow with every waking moment that slowly gives way to the fatigue. But you struggle against that inevitable sleep. Your mind refuses to yield, your heart grows weary and the brain stops being logical. 

There’s no one to tell you it will be all right, there’s no one you believe can make things right and you rue the day of your birth because every moment has been nothing but a lingering agony. Life is not a gift, it’s a curse and you drown in your self-pity.

You give in to those dark moments when everything seems bleak and hopeless. As if tomorrow the sun will never shine, the future is just another looming abyss and you wonder if to jump means not because you want to fly, but because you want to die.

Your mind wanders across great stretches of emptiness, as you heart sheds its final tear and you become just another shadow, waiting to disappear.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fighting the Doubts

Tear streaked windows, lashed by the early autumn storms; the road is slick beneath me. Twisting lonely roads slip by as ribbons of grey in a canvas of black night. I hazard to rush, the night slips from me, a slicked down flash of lightening. I flee into the night, searching for my destination. A turn, a curve, each mile an adventure of shadows and unknowns; it is deception and darkness.

Suddenly a turn opens into an expanse of wide, roaring surf and I’m buffeted by winds that snap angrily. I am rocked in my perspective and I must stop and pay homage to the majesty that is nature and all her surprises.

I stop in that moment, pondering the night, wondering where to proceed next. Each stop is simply a destination, a temporary respite. But where is my goal? Where am I supposed to be  tonight, tomorrow, next week or for the rest of my life?

Last night, I dismiss the doubts; in my numbed state of fatigue hoping the morning will find my sorrow alleviated and my hopes restored. Yet the bright sun of the morning glistens and bounces off dappled diamond sparkles amidst the leaves on the trees. The sun’s brilliance reflected on the surface of the lake. The beauty takes my breath away but just as quickly, the dark clouds of doubt rush back and beat upon my battered soul.

Life is fleeting, traces erase easily, but make your mark upon the shifting sands of time and know, every moment, how ever brief is worthy of song and celebration.

I will fight fiercely to find joy even if the fight never ends. Even if the moments are just fragments, sparse and small. I will piece together a mosaic of joy and happiness, imperfect, unfinished, but mine!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of the Rainbow

Sometimes when in the depths of some of the worse times that you think you can bear, it’s hopeful to remember that sometimes someone else can see something that you can’t, while you are living in your nightmare. Sometimes they can see the rainbow that follows you.

Do they know they are at the end of the rainbow? That they are the pot of gold?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Whisper Tree

In the Philippines, my cousin told me that it is customary when you have a very bad dream that you would never want to come true, you have to whisper the dream to a tree. You can’t tell another person because it might come true, but you can whisper it to a tree who will keep your secret. Then once you’ve told the tree, you can walk away content that the dream has been released to the tree and will never come true.

But what do you do when you aren’t dreaming but you are actually living your nightmares? Where can you go when you are on the verge of being diminished, disdained and discarded?  When all that you hold precious and beloved is kept from you?

Professionally and personally, my life seems to be on the verge of imploding. Now my laptop, my big Huey is on the verge of dying on me again, this time permanently. Even my electronic devices are on the verge of abandoning me.

The Florida Keys

I have to find my whisper tree.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pain Interrupted

Does anyone else feel that in the depths of our despair there is this keen, thin, strand of hope that pierces the darkness like a stiletto? It’s a thin, fine line that can get through the tightest spot. It’s a keen high C in a roomful of dull hums.

When I’m in physical pain, I imagine I’m surrounded by a raging storm. Where should you go when you are caught in a storm? Search for the calm at the center of the storm.  I have been in the center of a storm; there is a preternatural silence that stops your eardrums from thrumming, that you wonder if you’ve lost your hearing.

So when I’m caught in a pain storm, I dig straight into the pain and seek out the center. It’s a strange exercise that I used to do as a child. I ran into the pain, I fought it with a fearlessness that we are instinctively born with. I created a mantra:

“This does not touch me, I cannot feel the rain. I cannot feel the poison coursing through my veins.”

I’m reminded of it as I struggle with psychic pain, a far more difficult fight and not so easy to transmute.  By psychic pain I mean an emotional toll that shakes our confidence, our ego and creates a dark struggle of self-doubt. 

But even there, there is that thin line of hope. I may not be able to fight this storm, but perhaps I don’t have to, some storms just have to be endured. Like the proverbial sword, it’s strength, it’s sharpness, it’s endurance comes from its tempering in the fire and in the hammer blows.

I am a sword being tempered.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Connecting the Dots

Monday night I had a dark dream.

I walked into a bank lobby. It was one of those old style banks, all marble and sharp echoes. The lobby was crowded with suits and high heels. I moved toward the line but I was blocked by two men, one of whom shouldered me aside. Then my sleeve got hooked on one of the men and I was caught up in their struggle over a black valise.

The man holding it was adamant about not letting go. Then he shouted “BOMB!”

I disentangled myself and walked away calmly as more men converged on the two struggling men. I didn’t panic, I didn’t run, I walked calmly. I was hoping to go unnoticed, not attract attention. It’s that walk all kids know, it’s the I’M-NOT-HERE-YOU-DON’T-SEE-ME walk. Trying to fly under the radar.

Then I heard a voice, in the dream I knew this voice was the boss.

Boss: Kill the witnesses.
Henchmen: How do we know who saw what?
Boss: Then kill them all. Calmly, coldly, the boss ordered our executions.

I was at the door, pushing the large brass doors and walking out into the sidewalk, my heart pounding as I heard the sound of more footsteps. Then the screams began, I didn’t hear gunshots, just the screams.
Then I turned into the next door’s alcove, hesitated before I pushed through that door and found myself at a train station. I pulled my transit card and burst past the turnstile. As I ran down the stairs to the train platform, a thought quickly ran through my head.

“If need be, I can go hide in Special Section, that’s beneath the train platform and requires a pass.”

As I started to wake from the dream another thought floated up with me through the dream.

“What if I can’t get out?”

Then I realized that my fear drove me underground, where I would be stuck if they found me. I  had painted myself into a corner.

I woke from the dream at 445am. Not a good feeling.

Last night I caught up with last week’s “Royal Pains” and suddenly one of the characters tells another character, “…hating your job is no way to living your life…” I half-heartedly wondered if the universe was sending me messages through my TV. After all, what gets the most of my attention? The universe knows.

Then tonight, I caught up with “Rubicon” a strange little series about CIA analyst and their quirky job. It’s part Conspiracy Theory and as exciting as a chess game. But I watch it anyways. I was multi-tasking when suddenly a scene caught my ears and I was jolted.

Analyst: “Are you setting me up to fail?”
Boss: “There are two types of fear. There’s the type that makes us work harder, that drives us: we dig deeper. There’s the kind that makes my heart come up in my throat and make me – at the cost of my sanity, look for answers… That’s the good fear. The bad fear is the kind that makes us stop working, paralyzes us; makes us stay in bed all day and hide. Bad fear doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means you shouldn’t be working here”

 Then the lightning struck me; the title of the episode was “Connect The Dots”

I connected the dots. I have to climb out of hiding - climb out of the dark tunnel I ran into and face my fears.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I want to run away

I want to run away to a distant island in the sun. I want to hide in the idea that was once alive in Lakawon. I would swing leisurely in my hammock, let the breeze brush my hair and listen to the sound of the surf. My eyes blinded by the sun, the hot sand curling about my feet and the gentle whispers of the coconut trees swaying. I want to savor my solitude.

There, I would cease to hear the soft sobbing of my broken heart. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Millenium Ramblings


Friday was a sultry night of slow sweat, a window fan that sounded like a plane on approach and my tinnitus that decided it was going to practice its scales. So rather than toss and turn, I sat up and reached for the final book in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy, “The Girl Who Kicked A Hornet’s Nest”.

When I first read “The Girl With The Dragon” I knew; that as Hollywood is trying to cast the American version of this movie, I wanted to see Natalie Portman play Lisbeth Salanger. After all, isn’t Lisbeth just the grown up version of Mathilde from her movie “The Professional”? I don’t know about Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomquist, simply because Craig is too lean, too …James Bond. Blomquist is an “everyman” I can’t see Craig in that role, unless he packs some pounds on so he looks more like a middle-aged man.

Then I immediately thought how PERFECT Lauren Holly would be as Erika Berger, the Editor in Chief of the Millenium magazine, friend and some time lover of Mikael Blomquist. She plays smart, sexy and classy very well. Berger’s story is integral to who Blomquist is and I was disappointed that the Swedish version chose to cut most of Berger’s story. But the final book has a very juicy side story for Berger and I would love to see Lauren Holly sink her teeth into that role.

Today, I saw the Swedish movie version of the “Dragon”, the movie like the book was slow to start and over 2hrs long. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch the movie w/o referencing the book, which obscures any thought of being objective on the merits of the movie alone.

But if anyone gets the chance, I would definitely recommend reading all 3 books. The 1st book was slow & despite having a murder mystery, to me a purely expository novel to introduce us to Mikael, Lisbeth(the ‘Girl’) and Erika, the three main characters that appear in all the books. It is slow and bears the atmospheric ambiance of an Ingmar Bergman movie.

The 2nd book is more of an action thriller. I couldn’t read this book fast enough. This starts with a murder and ends with attempted murders. This movie would be a more of a Christopher Dolan action movie, Jason Bourne, except with a girl kicking some ass!
The 3rd book is almost like two books. The 1st half of the book is an exposition of Swedish law and political history, but it sets the stage for ending of the story.  The last half is straight out of a courtroom drama, a Joel Schumacher touch, similar to how he directed “The Client”.

I know this isn’t much of a book review, but I spent all night reading “Hornet’s” and didn’t sleep until 9am this morning. Then I woke up and watched the ‘Dragon’ movie. Books, movies, reality and distorted dreams have made me a bit of a confused mess today, so excuse my ramblings. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Canadian Countryside Farm

I took this back in Oct 2003. I still had a Nikon SLR camera. I was on the 401. I was driving in from Montreal, heading to Toronto when I saw this sign for a cheese factory. I can't remember the name of the town/village nor the cheese factory. I've researched the internet but none of the listings look right. I've been back there since, in the spring of 2006. I took a picture with the trees full of leaves. It looked the same. But oddly, I've misplaced that photograph.

I'd like to take a picture of this same place but during each season. So I need to see it in summer, fall and spring again.

It was a strange photograph, it was at the beginning of my roll, so it took me a while to finish it, so it wasn't until after the new year 2004 that I had the roll developed. When I pulled the photo from the stack, I was stunned.

I couldn't remember taking this picture. I stood stock still, scanning my memory until I reminded myself that I did take this picture. To handle the photograph was surreal because to me it looks like a Monet painting. But it's a real farm.

Perhaps the cheese factory is closed. It was a very small clustering of buildings. Both times I arrived late in the afternoon, just barely in time to pick up some cheese curds before hitting the road and heading to Toronto.

As I recall, I was heading west on the 401. I exited northbound, and kept heading north for a bit before I turn back east on a small country road. Then a few minutes later there was a cluster of houses, buildings, a very small concrete bridge and the cheese factory was on the north side of the road.

This farm is on the south side of the road and I took the photo from the bridge.  Anyone know where this is or even just the exit number?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Twilight Moon

There is some something perfect about a circle. There is no beginning, no end and no middle. A full moon is beautiful, bright and serene with all the incipient hope it engenders just by its magnificent silence.

Here the day sheds itself of sunlight as the mountains begin to wrap themselves in shadows. It is a slow lingering sigh escaping from a long held breath of anticipation.

I cannot fear the night, not while the old man on the moon stands sentinel. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Full Moon Risen

I promised myself that I would drive into the lonely desert, lie beneath a carpet of stars and lose myself into the universe. I wanted to fall into the spaces in between and find myself renewed, invigorated and inspired with a clarity I have known only a few times in my life.

I hadn’t counted on the full moon usurping the sky and taking the night hostage. I had wanted to see a shooting star streak across the sky and grant me a wish. I never saw the shooting star, I never made my wish.

Instead, I crawled across unknown roads, lit only by shadows and pale, silver moonlight. I glided into the side of the road and turned off all the lights in my car, lest I disturb whatever nocturnal fauna may be about.

Then I gazed in wide astonishment at the pale silver light that bathed the world in a strange glow of magic and mystery. To see the full moon; under a wide, desert sky is a sight to behold. I challenge everyone to see it at least once in their lifetime.

Under the cold uncaring glass eye of a digital camera, brought through thousands of miles, what I beheld with my eyes took on a whole new meaning. Suddenly, they weren’t simply Joshua trees in the moonlight, there were wood creatures bowing to a light in the sky. One looks like it’s caught in the middle of genuflecting to Mistress Moon, while others look undaunted and unyielding.

It was creepy, but there was no malevolence in the air, just the sweet smell of night and the strange sounds of darkness.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tokyo Tea

Sitting in the Diamond Club of the Planet Hollywood casino, I overheard a woman order a Tokyo tea. Its a long island ice tea, but the coke is replaced with Midori, which basically makes it 90% alcohol. I order the same thing. We chat about it, she is effusive in her delight over this drink.

It is dangerously refreshing and at first sip, you want to just suck it up in a straw because you don't taste the alcohol, immediately. Instead after only the first few sips, you are suddenly infused with alcohol. This is not a drink to play with, I sip carefully. You'll notice the tartness, it's at first refreshing, then can become overpowering. I think it's my body's way of telling me to stop drinking before I have a stroke.

The difficult part of being in Vegas is the fact that alcohol flows freely, it's a spigot that can't be stopped. I asked why would the casino's what a bunch of drunk fools? Because Vegas is about the release of inhibitions, alcoholic imbibing is the handiest tool. You won't notice that you have just lost a month's worth of salary in a penny slot.

I am suddenly overcome with fatigue, or is it the Tokyo tea sneaking up on me?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Midnight Sun

The midnight sun shines over the calm sea. The darkness bows before the radiance, while I’m stunned into silent awe. What majesty the moon displays, achingly in the presence of such solitude.

Is it fancy that divides our day and night? Is it fantasy that we are guided by a solitary heavenly body? The Sun chases the shy Moon who turns her face in that never ending dance, that lights the sky eternally. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Brother's Garden

I hate to admit it, but there must be a green thumb handed down in my family. I don't have it. But then again, I don't have a garden. Father's Day was spent at my brother's house and I went rambling into his garden and got these very pretty shots. If you take the time to look, you will find beauty anywhere.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Pockets filled ~
With daily reminders ~
Without which ~
I would feel incomplete
Detritus of my day ~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stop, Look and Listen

I’ve heard of the saying, “…stop and smell the roses…” said in a most unctuous, grating voice. In the mood I’ve been lately, Evil Me screams “You know where you can shove those roses right?”

As I was driving today, I had this small epiphany.

Happiness makes you glow, anger makes you burn. But both give off light and energy. It’s what you do with that light and energy that matters.

So for lunch I left the building and strolled around the grounds and I just ‘looked’. I left through the basement and although I’ve climbed these same stairs for almost 7 years, I looked up and it looked so different. Dark, narrow and steep stairs but after the climb: bright blue sky.

These building companies spend so much money on the landscaping, it is a shame to ignore it.

If I close my eyes and narrow my focus, it’s as if I’m out in the country again!

I said a prayer this morning:
 “Lord, succor my soul as I swallow my anger and help me remain inviolate. Remind me of my self-respect and I will get through today.”

A moment came around 10am when God answered my prayers and although I wasn’t conscious of his blessing, I said things I needed to say and I remembered my self-respect, so I got through today. God always hears the prayers, we just have to make sure we’re listening when he answers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Day in the Country

When I first dived into Twitter, I never expected it to take me to places I’d never been to. A year after joining the twitterverse, I was generously invited to visit someone at their farm. At first I thought they were just being polite, but they convinced me of their sincerity. And I think it gets pretty obvious on Twitter just how sincere or insincere people can be.

I’m experiencing some “unpleasantness” in my life, lots of introspection because I feel the need to re-prioritize my life. Some strong incentives to make decisions or have the decisions made for me. My basic reaction is to flee.

So I grabbed my two oldest nieces, we hit the road and ended up visiting Beverly. Beverly has been one of my longer standing twitter friends. She’d always struck me as sincere, pleasant and her being a poet just sealed the deal for me. I followed her and never ever regretted it. From the moment we exchanged pleasantries, I always felt comfortable and safe with her. So when she invited me for a visit, how could I not accept?

She showed us her farm complete with a big red barn. My nieces thought they were going to milk cows, feed the chickens and collect eggs. That’s what every city slicker thinks when they think of a farm.

We headed out for our road trip on Friday night. Here are just a few reasons why I love road trips, sunsets, rainbows and windmills.

We saw this beautiful red barn.

In the hay loft where these little, hissing, baby vultures, big bad mama bird flew over the barn and we heard her settle on the roof, but she was too fast to catch on camera.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I leave you to the sights of our trip to the country to visit my friend Beverly. My 12yr old niece said, "You guys talk a lot." I looked at her and asked. "And you don't walk around your house with your phone glued to your ear talking to your friends?" She looked at me sheepishly and we smiled. 

Thank you Beverly, a day in the country was just what I needed!