Who will remember me after I am gone?

Recent trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Click to enlarge


Will you write me a letter after I am gone?

or will there be a long slow sleep for me, until all has forgotten who I was?

dog, cat, crocodile, baby crocodile

all may crumble into dust.

kitty

but this is who I once was.


Here I remain.

Here’s to you.

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Postscript

But I have come to realize that if my ceramic heart and all its secrets which are locked away inside slips from my ever-careful fingers, I would have you pick up the pieces.

Not to be careless, like those who drop their hearts in front of unsuspecting lonely strangers who then leave them alone to sweep up the shards as best as they can… or as I have done… but to hold it gently but daringly out to another lonely understanding soul…

Closer to you, one secret at a time.

—–

Happy new year, everybody! I hope that 2011 brings you much joy.

Bend in the Road

I recently read a blog post written by Aubrey from Made You Blush about following your dreams, and about taking those opportunities that help us to move forward.

I think part of what makes us hesitant to follow our dreams is the uncertainty of it all. What if this doesn’t work out? What if we fail, due to some unseen fault of our own? What if we take a wrong turn while following our dreams, and then we can’t find our way back to the present moment to begin again?

What if this dream is only foolishness, and what we want to gain impossible to get? What if we’re only deceiving ourselves about our chances?

What if the people we care about most won’t dare to step out with us and journey with us? What if they would rather have us sit in comfort and prevent us from moving forward and living life the way we were meant to live it?

What if?

Sometimes we let our doubts keep us from reaching our destinies, until we are so afraid to do anything, make some wrong move…

So we sit and wait, making piles of stones, counting the days and the months and the people that pass us by. Making do with a house made of lost chances. Perhaps we are merely fanning our troubles into flame whilst we wait.

And wait, and wait, and wait.

Nothing really is certain, and the road less traveled on is obviously the road other people might not know much about. People who have traveled that road can tell us what they faced, and how they succeeded and gained something for themselves. However, every road is different, and one cannot tell for sure what she might meet until she walks onto it. There’s different demons for every person, just as there are different kinds of successes.

At the same time, one can’t just sit at the fork at the road and wait. One can’t even worry about the people that one might leave behind.

In the end, it all boils down to something called faith.

Shouldn’t one be excited about the adventures that these bends in the roads inevitably bring?

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

Future

So Independence Day has come and gone. I am so very grateful for the freedom that I can get in this country. Considering many of the things that has happened over the past few weeks and months (BP oil spill, for one), it may seem that right now, America really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I am in a country where at times it seems that we are moving backwards. I am in a country where politicians cheat on their wives and hurt their children. I am in a country where my fellow countrymen sometimes do the wrong thing more than they do the right thing. I am in a country where oppression still exists, whether we like to admit it or not.

But at the same time, I am in a country where the possibility exists to move forward. I am in a country where lives can be rebuilt. I am in a country where people can still make the choice whether to do the right thing, or the wrong thing. And I am in a country where I can see those who are fighting every day to break those bonds of oppression, both for those oppressed and those oppressing, and are inspiring others to take their stand.

At this moment, I am also very grateful for that freedom that comes from the Son, who died to buy my pardon.

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

Happy Independence Day!

"Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice."

I went to watch the fireworks the night before at the local high school stadium. It used to be quite the family tradition: take a few picnic blankets and some snacks and head down to spend some time together while enjoying colorful explosions. However, I hadn’t gone for the past few years. The first year, I went to a summer conference in New York and had to miss the fireworks. My family went without me, but they got me one of those lightsaber type toys that light up. The year after that, my dad was sick and I hadn’t learned how to drive properly yet. Not to mention the lack of a license. So we didn’t go.

This year, we went as a family.

The fireworks started more than a half hour late, as they were waiting for the sky to get properly dark. During that time, my dad talked incessantly about the near proximity of a clam chowder booth and I embarrassed my family by commenting on the number of hand-holding couples, concluding with remarks that watching the fireworks was rather “romantic.”

My family very much enjoyed the fireworks, which lasted a full 45 minutes instead of the usual 30. This is evidenced by their various comments:

My father: Mmm. Firecrackers go up so high. Mm. So high. Up so high.
My mother: Oh, so pretty!
Older brother: Cesium magnahyxochloride is used to make colors… mmmbrrghh bblllggrrh carbon dioxide
Younger sister 1: Oh, so pretty!
Younger sister 2: Can you think of the money the rich businessmen spent? Money! Oh, that is a pretty one!
Younger brother: *awed silence*

A nice touch was the extra policemen directing traffic so that no one got backed up in rows of cars attempting to get out of a tiny, cramped parking lot. Something they hadn’t had before, to my knowledge…

All-in-all, we agreed that this year’s fireworks display was spectacularly exceptional, both in quality and in execution.

Perhaps part of it was because we were together as a family, making memories…

How did you spend your July 4th?

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

Clarity of Perspective

For a while it had been a friendship I had cherished, a one-sided love that I grasped and pulled at in attempts to mold it into something ideal. After a while it became something different, something harmful. Something illusory. I wanted it to be something it wasn’t and never could be. It became a kind of fragile security that could break at any moment… and so, desperate, I held on to it. But the more I tried to hold it, the more it tried to escape, and the more I didn’t want to let go.

And I was devastated with this knowledge that I wasn’t prepared to face.

For a while I wasn’t ready to let go and face that what I was holding on to no longer was something I should let go of. It might have been pretty before, but come on, this false love wasn’t pretty anymore, and it was not mine. And had never been.

(I was a pretty messed up kid.)

Friends knew about my struggle. Well-meaning, they told me to try my hardest to let go. So I did. I mean, I tried. But I didn’t want to. I wasn’t ready to let go. Part of me knew that I was making myself miserable by dwelling on this lost love; however, another part of me thought that I could be happy if I had this lost love.

It was only after I started college, met new people and became occupied with a new sort of life that I forgot about it. A few months later, I would realize that I had let go without even realizing it. It was then that I finally saw it for what it was: something tiny that had been made into something bigger than it was by my fevered imagination.

I’m amazed now that I could have been so stupid. I am so thankful that things happened the way they happened, even though I was angry at the time… because who knows how long it would have taken me to realize?

It happens differently for different people. Maybe if I had been a stronger person, maybe if I had tried harder and tried not to lean on myself so much, I would have been able to let go much earlier and been a much happier person without several damaged relationships to give me nightmares. I think I am most thankful that even though I was (am) such a weak person, God provided a way out for me all the same.

Even without my realizing it.

Isn’t it interesting how we can only see clearly when the situation has passed? And how we’re somehow loathe to look at it from different perspectives at that time and place because we’re not ready yet?

It passes when it passes, and perhaps when things have happened to let us open our eyes to see things with clarity for the first time.

It Was Never Mine to Hold

when all the world is blossoming
when everything around is bursting into life
and I don’t have to strain to hear the beat of Your heart
oh, oh…

when all the world is under fire
when the skies are threatening to thunder and rain
and I am overcome by fears that I can’t see
oh, oh…

if everything is Yours, everything is Yours
if everything is Yours,
I can let it go; it was never mine to hold.

who could command the stars to sing
or hold the raging seas from breaking through the doors
and tend the fragile roses with the very same hands?
oh, oh…

I can let it go–I can let it go
Cause everything is Yours, everything is Yours.

I just heard “Everything is Yours” by new artist Audrey Assad. I recently found this artist through a facebook ad… funny, right? It goes to show that God can even use those annoying facebook ads to His glory.

What I think is interesting is the way she takes a familiar theme – that of trusting God both in the good circumstances and the bad – and fits it to a song with touching lyrics and a heartwarming melody in a way that it seems new and beautiful and like a hot cup of chicken noodle soup on a cold, rainy day.

While this song is encouraging, speaking of God who commands the stars to sing, holds the raging seas from breaking through the doors, and tends roses, there seems to be a hint of sadness. There is the God who owns everything, takes care of everything, while there is the fragile human spirit who is grasping so tightly to the things that was really never hers to hold.

Letting go is something I’ve always had a problem with. I’m the human whose happiness always seems to depend on whether I get what I think I want. Or whether I get to keep the things that I hold so dear.

Even my hurts. There is a certain comfort to holding a familiar hurt and nursing it through many weeks or months of brooding. There’s a certain feeling one gets from twisting the knife in again and again… and it’s so easy to get used to the pain to the point where when we’re given a chance to give up the pain, it’s unthinkable and so we turn it down. I turned down the chance many times because I’d lived with the pain so long that I couldn’t think of living without it. So I thought about it day after day. I dreamed about it at night… and I really didn’t want to let it go even though it hurt so much.

It’s interesting that even pain can be so dear… I didn’t want to relinquish it even though I had no claim on it.

I eventually was forced to let it go. Circumstances called for it and I found that it wasn’t as difficult letting go as I thought. But even now I still struggle with the thought that the life I live is not totally my own.

It’s Your sacred heart within me beating, Your voice within me calling out…

There is a certain irony to all this.

We are so unwilling to let go of the things that we could do very well without. Please don’t take it away, it’s mine, I’ve lived with it so long I don’t think I could do without it. If you take it away I will be lost… if you take him away I don’t think my heart can beat the same way… You have no right to take it away. Those thoughts fill us, consume our small fragile hearts, and meanwhile we do our best to hang on to a shred of something that we think is solidarity but is no better than the shadow world we live in.

Meanwhile, the things we so desperately need are the things we are so hesitant about reaching out and taking hold of.

But we are offered the chance to let go of all those things because God wants us to experience so much more of what he has for us. He wants us to grow beyond our pain and learn things like trust and humility and faith. He doesn’t want us to focus on all the reality of our hurts but reach for the unknown beauty of the eternal.

He wants us to be whole again.

And there are always comfort for our pain. We need that, too.

Enjoy the spring sunshine and the warmth outside!

ps: i think the lyrics in the vid might be incorrect. I’ve put up in the beginning of this post what I believe are the correct lyrics. Meanwhile, Audrey Assad’s LP comes out in June. Buy it. I’m going to.