Sunday, September 2, 2012

This Date

Each one of us have a significant date that we would remember.  It would be one of those uncommon ones.  And perhaps may bear no quality to others such as birthdays, anniversaries, or the much anticipated dates of holidays.

But this date tugs at me every time it comes.  I remember clearly the day--the black silk pumps I wore, the outfit with gold buttons that ran straight down the middle, how my shoulders bunched up and left an ache down the sides of my neck and the base of my skull, how the people I met and ran across with looked different.  Gone was the multitude of ebony hair I was most accustomed to; replaced now by a predominant color of different shades of blond--caramel blond, chestnut, dirty blond and strawberry blond.

I remember how my heart beat fast and exhaustion and nausea was taking a toll leaving me to wonder, "Did I make the right choice?"

In the slough of people pacing in a hurry here and there, heads either looking up or staring down, each had a purpose or business to accomplish while boxed speakers situated inconspicously announcing their times of departure or arrival, I see heads bearing the same mane as mine.

I delight in seeing them, but gazing in their owner's eyes, I am left feeling as if I'm but a small fish in a massive ocean.  The current and tides churning us all.  The familiarity was gone.  The bridge had already been burned.  There was no turning back.

I wheel my suitcase searching for a sign.  "Welcome to LAX," was the first one I saw.  Then, in the awaiting crowd, a small cardboard sign bore my name.  It was held by R.W., a man whom I soon would find out was the one I'd be working with under the employ of his oldest brother Ferd, who owns an architectural/engineering firm in Southern California.

September 1st would mark my 23rd year of being in this country.  

A lot of things had happened since then.  The architectural firm I worked for no longer exists.  Ferd had passed away years after I left while R.W., from what I heard, had moved to Hong Kong.  There were heartbreaks and betrayals as years went along.  I moved two states away for the sole purpose of finding who I truly am and trials and triumphs punctuated my path. 

(Here I met a wonderful man and to this day we are still together.  Our two kids grace our lives as we forge on).

As I look back to my own personal history, I've realized things--good and bad--were placed in their significant spots.  Because of them I am left much more aware of who I am and what my place is in this world of ours.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Funny Side of Being a Writer

Yesterday, I found this poem by Shel Silverstein (author of Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling UP).  It reminded me of how a writer's life is sometimes.  Hope you'd find it hilarious as much as I did.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


     Night falls.  The wind crashes upon the house with relentless force.  The chime by the balcony screams to the fierceness of the hysterical element.  One day, it cajoles it like a friend, and now it slaps it to swaying and spinning as from an adversary. 

     In the kitchen, the vent rattles.  Feet away, the living room blares the voice of Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat,"  a winter special.  The woodstove in the corner spits a "pop;"  flame red logs fighting endlessly to keep wearied bones warm.

     The inhabitants are tired.  One gives a cough--lungs rattling like the vent in the kitchen.  They all accept winter's presence.  It is what it is.  A reminder to the cycle of nature and of life.


by Constantine Peter Cavafy (1911)

As you set out in search of Ithaka
Pray that your journey be long
full of adventures, full of awakenings.
Do not fear the monsters of old...
You will not meet them in your travels
if your thoughts are exalted and remain high,
if authentic passions stir your mind, body and spirit.
You will not encounter fearful monsters
if you do not carry them within your soul
if your soul does not set them up in front of you.

                    * * *

I jotted this poem down in my journal on December 28, 2011, way before I met Jessica Bell (poet and author of String Bridge).  This is in honor of her Homeric Writers Retreat and Workshop which will be held in Ithaca  this coming August.

The Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Sometimes in life we are forced to “take a break.” Unwillingly, we drop what we love and face the inevitable.

Through all the workings, it is still there, hidden in the deep recesses of our minds -- what we most love, what seared us with passion, and its voice, though faint, begs us to come, to rise, and to never let go because it is what comprises us to be who we really are and should be.

After only entering three posts in my blog, life had dealt me something unexpected. My only kin here, an aunt, who had been a second mom to me was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. She was a nurse, no kids and a non-smoker, and I was left baffled by how cancer rapidly consumed her body to deterioration. One minute, she looked stronger than her younger sisters. The next minute, a short walk to the mailbox proved arduous to her.

I was unprepared. And I guess nothing about cancer could really prepare you for it. Yet, I did what I must--dutifully commuting two hours to where she was at--cooking for her, assisting her, and as much as possible did everything I could to make it easy for her. After a long exhausting day, and numerous days after that, with suppressed tears finally making its way, I journey back home to my husband and kids, my source of comfort.

During this time, I have let go of putting entries into my blog. I also let go of finishing my manuscript. No amount of concentration could get me to write.

When my beloved aunt passed away a few months ago, I learned that she had accumulated six month’s worth of vacation time. They were all unused. Why had she done this? Was she waiting for the right time to use them? Why had she waited so long?

Her decision of foregoing time for herself would always fill my mind, and it became my stimulus to change…to waste no more time…to see what‘s out there…and to fulfill my purpose as a writer. It is my hope to never tire, to be back into blogging once again, to write more, to be of help and get to know fellow bloggers and non-bloggers out there because all I am given is one chance and it is my aim to spend it wisely.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


(Mental curiosities of what's around me)
by Sabini Row

-- Why is it that when everything is washed and put away, we have more forks left in the kitchen drawer than spoons?

-- Why is it that when doing laundry one sock tends to go missing from the pair and new ones sprout up, leaving them mismatched and you wondering to whom these belong to?

-- Why is it that when taking some type of medication, the side effects is much worse than the illness it's suppose to heal?

-- Why is it that when we call customer service, we are put on hold and an automated voice comes on saying, "Your call is important to us...."   Now if my call is so darn important, why am I being put on hold?

-- Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

-- Why is it warmer in Iceland, and colder in Greenland?

-- Why is it that when we go to a public restroom, the roll of toilet paper they put in the stalls fight us to a tee? The faster and hurried you go about rolling it, the more it rips?  So you try again...and pray...holding your breath as you slowly stroke the roll for more, coaxing it to share a square.  Then you become excited.  Another square is coming!  And voila!!!   What it gives you out of the painstaking effort is not one but two squares?  Grrrrrrr.  I'm thinking it's an inside job.

-- Why is it that we tend to hold on to the older style clothes we have in our closets as if they'll come back in fashion again? As if they'll fit us again?

-- Why is it that we eat more hot, spicy foods during summer and milder foods during winter?

-- Why is it that we have this thing called the freeway, when all it does is get us stuck in traffic and leave us feeling unfree?

Do you have any such curiosities?  Please share.

Friday, February 11, 2011

When Things Fall on my Lap

I am a collector of great quotes.  I write them all down on a special hard cover journal.  Some of the quotes had fallen on my lap when I least expected it and some shared to me by friends or family.  There was one instance, five months ago, right on my birthday when all the celebrating was done and over,  I sought the quietness of my bedroom.  Feet tucked under me, I sat on the small couch,  the table lamp curiously casting a glow over my shoulder and onto the book I just opened to read. On the first page, I was given the most amazing gift.  It said:

"All life belongs to you, [young novelist] and do not listen either to those who would shut you up into the corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing a superfine air, and turning her head from the truth of things.  There is no impression of life, no manner of seeing it and feeling it, to which the plan of the novelist may not offer a place."

                                                      - Henry James
                                                        The Art of Fiction

This quote was the glowing candle on my cake of life.  A spark...the most irridescent spark a writer could ever need.  The unexpected boost to push through doubts.  I am grateful for it and  I am blessed. 

To anyone who might chance upon reading this, writer or not, who seem to be doubting what's ahead, I share this with you.  Keep plodding and believe.