today, tonight, as i rage against myself, this is a stark reminder for me (see chunk of text appended below).( Read more...Collapse )
i spend hours musing over matters, working them through my head with kkmlcolin applying bbjx lessons and logic, googling and reading up random sites online, and in the end the answer was just waiting for me in tonight's quiet time reading (feb 13).
three points that stood out for me:
1. "If I spread my doubts, I will harm my brethren."
2. What about the principle of reminding ourselves of the blessings of God in times past? Or actually talking to ourselves in the way the psalmist did in Psalm 42:5: "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God'".
3. Use everything you can to stop yourself from falling, however small or insignificant it might appear to be ... Don't concern yourself about climbing, just concern yourself with stopping your slide. Once you have stopped sliding you can then plan how to climb again.
and this one bible story that was the extra reading:
the widow had only a handful of flour and a little olive oil left and was preparing to die after her last meal of a few sticks. but God made it so that her jar of flour never ran out and her jug of oil never ran dry. even when her son died, God 也能把他起死回生.
gracious God. 其实答案就是祢啦.
need a positive forward-looking song (albeit from before my time) to balance out another day that has just spelt more changes and chaos ahead.
frankly, i'm not fond of the word "success" -- the definition of success differs from person to person and its societal definition is what has irked me from time to time and caused me a lot of cognitive dissonance over the years. but some bits of these "35 things" stood out for me. hopefully bearing in mind and applying some of these will help make me a better, calmer, more disciplined, less gripeful and generally happier being.
1. If you could have superpowers, would you use it for good or for evil?
Good ... Well, maybe a bit of mischief when people bully me.
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(you might have read an entry here highly similar to this one a few years ago. here's my attempt at better articulating myself with new thoughts, new feelings, after our latest aru sighting.)
just minutes before i spotted him, we were still wondering where aru might be now, whether he had failed to adapt to the whole new upgraded bedok interchange, whether his family had sent him to a care home, or if he was still around at all.
our re-sighting of him again tonight, well as ever, once more brings us the renewed hope that despite our lives having changed so much that just meeting up has become so tough, aru (and therefore what we share between us) will forever remain constant -- showing up faithfully to hang around seemingly aimlessly at the interchange in the evenings -- even more than a decade after we gave him his name (short for ahsiao rabbit uncle) and made up various backstories for him.
the bus drivers speak to him; they seem familiar with him, even fond of him, which makes me feel 欣慰, thankful for their kindness towards him and a kind of muted warmth. even after we individually moved away and then moved back and then moved away and then moved back again, aru is still around and still the same -- after all these years.
aru is like the embodiment of our relationship, (almost) all our history together, sitting/standing at the interchange waiting for each other's buses while trying to fit everything into our conversations before our buses arrive, from academic concerns to our love lives to work woes to family feuds to random rubbish.
i guess that must be why we both feel a kind of ... melancholic affection for him (to the extent that i asked, "could it be true love?!") and hope that he will remain the same, keeping to his interchange routine seemingly ailment-free and worry-free forever?
其实…其实 aru 就是我们。
Crooning to her, caressing her face on and off and fussing around her with a small wet towel in hand, he never took his attention from her, never spared a glance for who was checking into the ward and making all that check-in noise around them that day.
At first, I thought she had mere days, maybe hours, left. How else could one find such focus, such devotion to care so single-mindedly for a person who couldn't move, couldn't converse, couldn't interact, could only stare back seemingly emptily and make choking, gurgling, difficulty-breathing noises at you?
I was wrong.
"He had to rush home last night to prepare dinner for their son ... Already a working adult and can't even buy his own food from outside, let alone cook for himself."
"And he didn't just buy food home for their son, you know? He went and bought food home to cook for him."
"That's why I say, that's what happens when there's no woman in the family."
"It's really not easy, having to shuttle from place to place..."
"It's the school holidays in Taiwan now, this week ... He'll be flying back next month."
"He's really one of a kind."
"Yes, my boss is really...
"But I told him he can't expect to care for her 15 hours a day every day; he's not a professional ... She's stable ... Do you know he slept on this chair here the other day?"
"I've already introduced another caregiver friend to him ... Even if he pays me $2,000, I also can't do this for so long la; it's crazy."
One can really learn a lot from nurses gossiping among themselves.
I was playing around with my unappetising dinner, pushing plain mashed potato around the plate, feeling nauseated and sorry for myself, when he started sobbing -- not loudly, but audibly, and sorrowfully -- from behind the pink curtains half-drawn around her bed.
The weeping was over in seconds. He blew his nose into a hanky, cleared his throat, stood up, and went right back to tending to her, cupping her face in his hands, speaking gently close to her.
He had been here for at least six hours today. Standing over the bed, he would sing to her. He must have had some choir training, if not opera; it was a trained voice with which he sang. But he would stop at some songs.
Longer than there've been fishes in the ocean,
Higher than any bird ever flew,
Longer than there've been stars up in the heavens,
I've been in love with you...
This was one song he skipped.
Why, I wondered. Was it not true? Or was it too true? Did he find it cheesy? Or was he overcome by emotion?
But what did it matter.
He didn't have to say it, didn't need to sing it; surely this man knows love.
its english name suggests only joy, no hint of sadness, while its german name sounds so morose, sorrowful even -- like it's saying, "after all this, all of life's griefs and torments, Jesus remains my one joy who holds me together".
i'm wondering this because online, people using the english name of the song have said the song is meant to be a joyful one and that a sorrowful rendition of it is clearly wrong. but why do I suspect that a slower, sadder, more morose interpretation of the song may go better and may in fact be bach's original intention?
p.s.: this is my (sg) church's opening tune for every sunday's morning service as the candles at the altar are lit. apparently it was also used in the japanese animation film evangelion.