A thing of beauty is a joy forever Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
– John Keats, Endymion
Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea
This past week I’m attempting to meditate and center myself as I’m adjusting to the chaos. One of the university administrators asked me if I would be interested in teaching a virtual workshop as a way of engaging alumni during the pandemic. Students are feeling the cabin fever and are itching to learn new hobbies.
I decided to team up with one of my friends and co-teach a crochet class during Friday evenings in the month of March. My experience being president of a knitting club back in high school is coming in handy! In the first couple of hours within posting the event, 18 people signed up!
The deadline to register is the end of next week, but I may already have my hands full with 18 students! I’m planning out the logistics as my friend is figuring out the scarf pattern we’re working on. We picked school colors for the yarn to feature school spirit.
The best color in the world is the one that looks good on you.
Hello! Today, I’ll be exploring a bizarre dream I had last night. It’s definitely related to an enlightening, yet disturbing conference I attended a few months ago. I’ll be responding to Jude’s Saturday Symphony prompt below:
DREAM-CATCHER” This week, let’s use the beauty of a dream, Or the horror of a nightmare To share from the realm without time And loose some of the secret magic that lies in us all.
In case you can’t hold on to a dream for long, it’s best to keep a notebook bedside so you can catch them before they float away.
And then share them for the prompt.lol
The Fashion Police
The afternoon sunlight shone through the skylights. I was walking to an unknown destination in an airport lobby. I scanned the area around me. Nothing out of the ordinary. Business people heading to where their flight is located. Giggling girls shopping in the nearby gift shops. Families munching on their lunches in the food courts.
Nothing out of the ordinary until… I noticed hovering robots scanning individuals.
Holographic images of the individual’s clothing appeared in thin air. Electrical blue schematic diagrams indicated particular stats on the outfit while analyzing the cultural influences, the quality of the fabric, the stitching, and brand name. The robot would then determine if the outfit itself was a fashion atrocity.
Some people were unfazed by the intrusive lasers and went about the day accepting the current state of affairs. When an outfit was deemed unacceptable, the robot would recommend a series of outfits that the individual could wear instead and offer several payment options to purchase the outfit. After the individual presses a few buttons in the air, the robot constructs the outfit from the pattern that the brand provides and 3-D prints the outfit and tailors it for the individual right then and there.
Meanwhile, I’m watching in awe as the thread in the fabric’s fiber are assembling themselves. When they were finished, they scanned around their surroundings. Their lasers scans reached me, and they proceeded in my direction. I looked down and noticed my jeans and t-shirt were in a state of disrepair.
Frightened, I ran away in the opposite direction as fast as I could. I tripped and fell on the ground which accidentally toggled my own dashboard of my current wardrobe to my own surprise. I quickly chose an outfit my mother made for me many years ago. I frantically thought to myself, “She’s a seamstress and had a good eye for stuff. Sure, let’s put it on!”
The robots scanned me again and told me I was free to go. Thankfully, they glided away away. I took a deep breath and exhaled a sigh of relief.
Once upon a time, there was a royal newlywed who lived in a castle nestled in the forest nearby a glistening lake. The beloved couple ruled over the kingdom to the best of their ability honoring the previous leaders who recently passed away. The king and queen were deeply in love, but for reasons unexplained, they had difficulty bearing children.
They decided to visit a village of fairies who lived within a grove of jacaranda trees near a majestic waterfall. There was one famed fairy, in particular, who could help them with their barrenness, and her name was Florence.
The royal couple packed for food and supplies for a day’s trek, saddled their horses, and ventured out into the forest. The cool breeze whipped around them as their steeds galloped onto the soft ground. They smiled at each other the moment they listened to the resounding sound of the waterfall swishing on the boulders.
The jacaranda trees were a sight to behold! Lavender blossoms gently fell about them as the fairies warmly greeted the king and queen. One of the fairies welcomed the couple into her home, and put on the tea kettle. “How can we help you?”
Blessed by her hospitality, the queen smiled. “We’re looking for a fairy named Florence. My husband and I are in need of her assistance.” The fairy gazed at the queen thoughtfully for the briefest of moments before she left to fetch Florence.
The king clasped the queen’s clammy hands as they waited, “We will be fine, I’m sure.” The queen gazed at his hazelnut eyes warmed by the twinkle in his eyes and his reassurance.
“NOW…. who is need of my assistance?”
The queen was startled by a loud, sing-song voice. The couple turned around taking in the sight of Florence. Her hair was a brilliant shade of ultraviolet which framed a lovely heart-shaped face. Her crooked nose was accompanied by a gleaming broad smile.
Breaking out of a trance, the king introduced themselves. “My wife and I are having difficulty bearing children, but we would love to raise a family someday.” Florence nodded in understanding, “You came to the right fairy. I can help you with that!”
In her satchel, she took out some magical blackberries she harvested while searching for various herbs. She mashed them in a bowl and poured special nectar on them to mix. She gave the concoction to the king and queen, “Here you go! Drink this, and it will grant your dreams.”
The couple was willing to be open to various possibilities, and obediently they drank the delicious drink excited by what will unfold in the coming months.
He transformed into a tough security guard, and wherever I went, he was there….
Last night, I had an disturbing dream where a coworker’s omnipresence at a building’s every entrance unsettled me. With his steely gaze, he said firmly, “Sa, you can’t leave. You have been QUARANTINED.” I look behind me to find a packed auditorium surrendering to the shadows.
This morning, the city mayor and important officials imposed a shelter-in-place order on the residents for at least three weeks to help “flatten the curve“. Those who choose not to follow the rules can face a fine of $2000.
In the midst of the fearful masses, courageous people throughout the community have displayed admirable, selfless acts of service. A small alteration business has been donating their fabric to help make more masks for the medical professionals in the hospital. There has been an increase in volunteers at the homeless shelters and food banks helping those that are most vulnerable.
Fear and faith can’t occupy the same space.
A friend shared a post-it note and the above declaration with me. I thought to share this post-it with you and invite you to reflect on these questions in your own lives.
1. What are you GRATEFUL for today?
Good morning from my end! 🌻🌅
Emojis! Regardless of how Rory Gilmore feels about them!
Stress-relief balls of all shapes and sizes!
Yarn for crocheting Harry Potter House scarves for everyone!
Adult coloring books, comic books, and magazines to create collages!
Business and work that allows me to work from home!
But seriously…. Most of all… Dare I say it? 😆 YOU’RE da bomb! 💣💥
Today, I celebrate having 600 followers on my blog! 🍹💝 THANK YOU! You guys are all rock stars in my eyes! 🙌 Shining bright like diamonds in the sky creating beautiful constellations.
Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy You and I, you and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy …. At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays I saw the life inside your eyes
Each of you has impacted my world one way or another. Words cannot express how deeply appreciative I am for your presence. You have brought a full spectrum of emotions from jubilation, sadness, humor, and companionship into my life by sharing pockets of your life through a variety of mediums: film, poetry, story, & photos.
Truly, you’ve made my life richer. You’ve even inspired me to take my first virtual poetry workshop (Sharpened Visions) hosted by California Institute of the Arts on Coursera which I never thought I would do.
2. Who am I CHECKING IN or CONNECTING WITH today?
Unable to visit anyone due to new laws enacted in my city, I’ve checked in family, friends, coworkers, former coworkers, and other acquaintance-friends in my phone book. A friend who worked on the front lines as a medical worker passed away recently.
Today I’m checking in with you! How are you? Are you relishing the homebody lifestyle? Or…are you itching go somewhere?
3. What expectations of “NORMAL” am I LETTING GO OF today?
Such a timely question considering how the purpose of my blog explores just that! Lately, I’ve noticed that there is a deeper spiritual hunger which wants to be quenched perhaps not just in myself but around the world. I came across this story below.
Finally, after over an hour, a beautiful sight rose before my eyes. The Yamuna River, descended from the Himalayas, having flowed through the plains of North India, was embracing Mother Ganges—Yamuna with her complexion of deep blue, Ganges with hers of white, and the transparent Saraswati joined them from below.Sitting on the sandy bank, I gazed into the cloudless blue sky.
There, a hawk, wings extended, soared the airways. His reddish-brown feathers shone in the sun as he hovered lower and lower, till he was just a few yards above my head, his glistening yellow eyes intently scanning the river. Suddenly he plunged headlong into the Ganges.
There, a frantic underwater skirmish ensued until he emerged with a flapping fish, about a foot long, pierced in the grip of his talons. Squirming desperately, the fish was carried overhead and into a nearby forest. Looking on I reflected:
The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but a life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death.
Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy, or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment.
We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give higher priority to our spiritual needs.
If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and so satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseeable fate with a stable, detached mind.
Hello all, Reena’s prompt resonated with me in a more literal way today. A few days ago, I watched a film: Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Geared towards children, it was inspirational and emotional, rather than technical. I would recommend to watch something else like National Geographic: Engineering the Impossible to learn more conceptual details about various engineering projects, but the movie nevertheless gave me warm fuzzy feelings and gripped my heart with a wonderful soundtrack.
In one scene, an engineer and her team decided to take on a challenge in Haiti where the children had to cross a river with strong current often to get to their school. Every year, there are several drownings. Due to extreme poverty, the river was considered unbridgeable for a long time. I was cheering at the screen and excited to see this bridge constructed with a fairly simple design!
Sometimes, I can’t help but notice engineering tidbits as I’m surfing the web like this cartoon:
It reminds me of a hilarious, yet educational video clip I watched of John Oliver as he discusses U.S. infrastructure. “America’s crumbling infrastructure: It’s not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one. “
For the past nine weeks, I’ve been working on a signature project development plan for an engineering software suite for a class. It’s been a rather engaging endeavor for me!
Ace, Elusive conundrum Encumbered by your gold standard When did three little lines that form the letter “A” dominate our lives? Iconoclasts have grown within your regime Our pursuit towards the milieu of achievement has developed our acumen Sine qua non in certain realms
Alright, my poem may be a tad dramatic! 😉 Today, I was collaborating with my study group at a beautiful venue downtown called The Pearl. The city recently finished building a water park which lights up at night for the kids to play in. I’ve been thinking about joining the yoga group that meets out here on the AstroTurf at night.
One of my study buddies treated me to a gourmet “Raspberry Hibiscus Donut” from a place called Maybelle’s Donuts after I excitedly pointed out that I’ve never seen a donut like this one before! According to readers of the city’s magazine, Maybelle’s has been honored with the “Best Donut award” in the “Best of the City” category.
This artisan donut just seemed unique to me because I enjoy taking pictures of hibiscus flowers and drinking hibiscus tea. I even had a strange dream where a hibiscus flower was chatting to me insisting that I call her Hibi for short. 🙂 However, I never heard of it being an ingredient in desserts. It was certainly delicious and tart!
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Sia’s videos and lyrics frequently makes me think about life. I first found her on Spotify from the song Bird Set Free. Maddie is such a talented dancer as well and adds another dimension to Sia’s songs.
Note: This was written in dedication to my mom who is one of the Vietnamese boat refugees of the 70’s. It was a perilous trip and many people died. Americans sponsored both of my parents to come to the U.S. Fortunately, it was a blessing in disguise.