Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The dictionary defines paradox as
a seemingly contradictory statement
that may nonetheless be true. The
word is synonymous to enigma as
in the enigma of the Sphinx, mystery as
in the mystery of the Trinity,
oddity, puzzle, inconsistency, absurdity
and the like.
In my slumbook,
I have quoted "the paradox of
climbing high to lowest depths; and
the Christian way of bending low
to reach the stars."
The world is now reeling and operating
on many paradoxes and ironies.One
newspaper columnist has enumerated
some of the many inconsistencies
in and around us.I cannot help but
become more aware and conscious
of the many oddities and absurdities
in the name of progress, and I quote:
"taller buildings but shorter tempers;
wider freeways but narrower viewpoints;
bigger houses but smaller families;
fancier houses but broken homes;
more conveniences but less time;
more degrees but less common sense;
more knowledge but less judgment;
more experts but more problems;
more medicine but less wellness;
higher incomes but lower morals;
more food but less appeasement;
more kinds of food but less nutrition;
more acquaintances but fewer friends;
more effort but less success;
more leisure but less fun;
much in the show window but
nothing in the stockroom."
On behavior and character,
we notice the propensity
of people to:
"drive too recklessly and fast,
get too angry too quickly,
spend too recklessly,
stay up too late,
get up too tired,
talk too much,
lie too often
watch TV too much,
love too seldom,
laugh too little,
read too seldom,
pray too little.
As a people,we have
multiplied our possessions but
reduced our values;
learned to make a living, but
not a life;
we've added years to life,but
not life to years;
we've been all the way to
the moon and back, but we
have trouble crossing the street to
meet the new neighbor;
we've conquered outer space, but
not inner space,
we've done larger things, but
not better things;
we've cleaned up the air,but
polluted the soul,
we've split the atom, but
not our prejudice,
we write more, but learn less
plan more but accomplish less
we've learned to rush, but
not to wait.
we build more computers to
hold more information,to produce
more copies than ever, but have less
we've become long on quantity,but
short in quality.
These are the times of fast foods but
slow digestion,
tall men but short character,
steep profits and shallow relationships.
these are the days of two incomes,but
more divorce.
These are the days of quick trips,
disposable diapers,
throwaway morality,
one- night stands, and
pills that do everything
from cheer,
to quiet,
to kill.
In a line,
these are the times that try men's soul!

Monday, September 19, 2005

The word means so many things
to so many people.More often
than not the word connotes
something negative.To some
the word is synonymous to
witch,monster, wicked, cruel,
inhuman, meddler, nagger,nasty and
so many other things.
But one page in my slumbook
stands out with the title
"To His Mother"
I clipped this poem of Minnie Price

long before I met
the man of my life, long before I
got hitched and begot children.

Unfortunately, I
didn't get the chance to meet her

as she was already gone
when I got married
to her son, the best and the most
wonderful person in my life,one of the

best things that ever happened
to my life.
Nevertheless, I kept the poem
in my slum book and I read and re-read
it so many many
times over and over again.
Today, I decided to blog the poem and
dedicate it to all the daughters-in-law in
the whole wide world. Hopefully the

ugly connotations would fade and in its stead,
a fresh new vibrant image could emanate.
" To His Mother"
"Mother-in-law," they say, and yet

Somehow I simply can't forget,
T'was you who watched his baby ways,
who taught him his first hymn of praise.
Who smiled on him with loving pride
when first he toddled by your side.
And as I think of this today,
Methinks that I'd much rather say
just "Mother."
"Mother-in-law," but oh! t'was you
Who taught him to be kind and true;
When he was tired, almost asleep,
T'was to your arms he used to creep,
And when he scrubbed his tiny knee,
T'was you who kissed it tenderly.
When he was down you cheered him too
And so I'd rather speak of you
as "Mother."
"Mother-in-law," they say and yet-
Somehow I never shall forget
How very much I owe,
To you who taught him how to grow.
You trained your son to look above
You made of him the man I love.
And as I think of that today
Ah then with thankful heart I'll say-
Our" Mother."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Page in my Slum Book
written in 1957, 48 years ago
The title is "To My Son"
I didn't know then that
I would have four sons in a row
and a daughter, too.
So in my mind I modify
the title to
"To My Sons and Daughter."
I thought today is an
opportune time to blog the
poem for the sake of my four sons
and daughter so they can
read my admonition to them
even when they had not yet been
thought of and conceived.
They started coming only in
1960,1962,1965,1972 and 1980,
a span of twenty two years.
And the poem goes:
"If you can live,and make your life worth living,
Do well your work and not neglect your fun,
If you can find your joy as much in giving,
As getting paid for what you may have done;
If you can hold the world at a safe distance,
And pick and choose the way that you would go,
And then hold on with sure but fine insistence,
You'll be a friend that men will come to know.
If you can love and hate in true proportions
The things that go to make or mar a man,
And free your mind of wild and silly notions
And measure up to this as best you can.
If you can do these things and win approval
You'll have more spunk than yellow in your spine,
And I, your Mom will watch with pride unusual
And thank the gods that you are sons
and daughter of mine."
This is a clipped poem written
by Gordon Higham
And up to this point in my life,
it remains
my admonition to my four sons
and daughter.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Six Days in August of 2005
Three days in Ho Chi Minh,
a city in Vietnam
just enough to savor
the fresh young "buko"
the curry chicken swimming
in coconut milk,
the yummy beef,melting in the mouth.
just enough to get exposed to the thousand and one
pictures of the anguish of war,
the mutilated bodies of women and children,
the deformed bodies because of dioxin
in a Vietnam Museum of unforgettable memories.
just enough to experience the Cu Chi tunnel
that spoke of a people
who in their time of need
made their imagination and intelligence
work out booby traps, and a network
set deep under the earth
to live,to dine, to meet,to fight.
Now that I have seen it
my admiration for the Vietnamese people will linger on!
Three days in Siem Reap Angkor,
A town in Cambodia
just enough to feel spiritual,
the Buddha images,
temples and monuments,
most of them in ruins but still retaining
the Angkorian art and architecture.
just enough to be awed
by Javayarman VII, the monument builder,
who made Buddhism the state religion
and made his giant stone face grace the facade
of some monuments
Fifty nine of his giant faces, not a single one
similar to another is in Bayon,the capital city
of Angkor Thom
Dozens of temples, but the legendary ruins of Angkor Wat
and the giant faces of Bayon are enough so as not
to get temple fatigue.
just enough to go
hie off to the marketplace
to haggle and bargain
for Cambodian carvings
in wood and in cloth!
Six days in August, unforgettable!
Thanks to Gary & Melissa,
Ryan & Tricia and to Lidie
for giving me the opportunity!