It is Easter Sunday and God is out in all his glory, shining his light and love upon us.
Sheba and I basked in the sunshine as we walked the streets this morning. I have recovered from working nights nicely but still….
It is difficult to pick up the threads and rhythms of your life as if you are a normal person. I do believe that we, shift workers are not quite normal. Perhaps I should only speak for myself. I admit it. I am not quite normal. That is not a bad thing unto itself. It just means I am quirky, eccentric, weird, remarkable….But I am not flaky nor crazy. There are subtleties.
With Easter comes the end of my official written journey in the desert. But I have fallen in love with this arid climate. I will stay and live in my desert. I have not suffered nor deprived myself of anything here. On the contrary, the desert has been very kind to me. It has taught me many lessons. It has tempered this stiff stubborn Chinese neck of mine. I am a wee more forgiving, a wee more kind and opened to possibilities.
I am blessed.
I think I have had too many glasses of wine. I am not feeling myself on this 43rd day into Lent. I am feeling rather angry, ticked off.
Making progress in becoming enlightened is a hard task. I am no Buddha but I do try hard. I have no Bodhi tree to sit under. But I do have a snow pile to clear. I am learning to use my bad energy to do good things. Today I have cleared a wide path all the way in front of the house. Now, there’s less worry about melting snow doing damage to the foundation.
I have not lost any of my excess weight yet, though I have stepped on the scale a few times. Getting slimmer is not easy or simple. I am walking Sheba twice a day. I am not really thrilled about it, but I do it anyways. As soon as we start out, I want to come back and hit the couch already. I talk myself into one block, then another block, and another. I have to train myself into liking something. I have to train myself into good habits.
I threw out my drawer full of old ugly, utilitarian bras today….finally. Funny how that is. Even though I’ve brought 4 nice new ones and 6 really pretty vibrant camisoles, it was still difficult to toss those ugly old bras. Attachment? What was I attached to – things of no use and no longer desirable. So what other undesirables are still lurking in my drawers and closet? What yukkies are hidden in my head?
Well, it is getting late. I am scare of the dark. I am scare of my shadow. Best wait for sunlight before digging further. I might have to stick with digging snow for awhile till I am stronger. And I will – get stronger. I trust the God in me.
So here I sit on this 42nd day into Lent. I’m sipping my black coffee and feeling as fat as my laughing Buddha. I am, however, not feeling as jolly.
I’ve been feeling more tired lately, finding myself breathless when Sheba and I are out for our walks. It is hard to bend over to tie my boots. I attribute that to the amount of clothes that I have on. Yesterday, I could not find any clothes that looks good on me. Everything emphasizes my belly. I look like my laughing statue. Well, my ears do look considerably smaller than his.
I still went out for lunch, but that was after a romp at the dog park. I have discovered this restaurant called the Asian Buffet and the food was just sumptuous with so many selections. I chose mostly the healthy ones or so I tried to comfort myself. To tell the truth, I felt full after my appetizers of 2 steamed Vietnamese rolls, 4 little sushi rolls and a tiny salad. But I felt compelled to go back for my plate of fried rice, stir fried veggies, some noodles and 2 little deep fried chicken nuggets. And of course, after that some dessert of fresh fruit and one tiny sweet square.
Well, I am not quite sure whether I am still so enamored with the restaurant. Perhaps it is too much of a good thing. To be sure, it doesn’t really help my weight problem. But I want to get all the mindless, addictive eating out of my system. Now I can settle down and do something about it. What better time than now, in the last days of Lent, to make that commitment?
I have a plan already. One must have a plan. Start small. Add to it. Figure in lapses. Keep at it. The reward would be feeling better, looking good and being able to bend over to tie my boots without gasping for air.
Today is March 24th, Palm Sunday, the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
I am out early with Sheba for our walk. The world is amazingly bright and warm, the snow reflecting the sun’s light and warmth. It is a winter wonderland. I try to reflect back God’s goodness. It is not a difficult task in the morning hours of the day. Not too many souls out and about, giving off bad vibes.
So I saunter along with Sheba, exploring God’s kingdom. I allow Sheba to sniff here and there, scratching through the snow. She rolls in the snow to her heart’s content. After all, it is Sunday and every dog needs her day, too.
It is good to relax, not to be so hard on myself. I once try to live my life according to a formula and discovered that it just didn’t work…no matter how hard I tried, even when I put the square pegs into the square holes and the round ones into round holes. Someone dare to throw in pegs of a different shape. I think that must have been God.
I reckon that there must be reasons for life being not perfect, not according to a formula. I am learning to look at things from both sides, up and down and all around. There is relief in being flawed, in being human. There is always something to strive for, something to work towards. Is that what they call life purpose?
It is March 22, 38 days into Lent. My days in the desert are coming to an end. What better time to talk about miracles than in these last days?
Did I ever tell you that I saw Jesus on the cross? It was in my mind’s eye that I saw him. I felt his ever loving arms surround me. I felt his radiance. I felt his warmth. And I felt lost never more…me, the ever lost shepherd.
I had lost the gift of my third eye for awhile. I became lost again for awhile. But in these days of Lent, I have found it again. I breathed through my center, relaxing and letting everything go. I found myself part of the cosmos. I found the God in me. I found my own divinity.
The world is with me. The world is in me. I have lost my stubbornness, my Chinese stiff neck. I can see in all directions now. I can see from both sides, from up and down – as Joni Mitchell would sing. And yet I still don’t know life at all. It is still a mystery, but I am open to all its miracles.
I do not have to know all the answers. They will reveal themselves one by one. I do not have to be perfect. I can make mistakes. Life is fluid. Nothing stays the same. The universe is forever shifting, like the desert sand.
It is the 20th of March and 36 days into Lent. It is another day. I am trying to find my zen. I am tired from a rem-less sleep. It is where I am, heavy and loaded down. This is where I will start.
The fact is, we are down to one loaf of bread and there are no makings for sandwiches for lunch. The utensils, flour, yeast come out. And while the dough is rising, I steal one of Sheba’s bones for making soup. The pot goes on the stove, the bone and water goes on to boil. In the meantime, I find, wash and chop the vegetables. The bone comes out, the vegetables go in.
The dough is ready. I punch it down and divide into three loaves to rise again. The soup bone is cooled, so out the door it goes with Sheba. She is out of my hair, gnawing happily for some minutes. I have some free time to relax with my second cup of tea. I have an urge to make biscuits to go with the soup but axed it along with the urge to vacuum. Better to just chill.
The timer is beeping that the loaves are ready for the oven. I will put them in and then enjoy the warmth and brightness of the sun. I will catnap with Sheba while the bread bake. This imperfect life is just purrr-fect.
We are 35 days into Lent. Winter is still with us. And the world is too much with me. And so here I sit, tapping out the anxieties that I feel.
I feel my heart racing. Is it the caffeine or is it all the bad news I’m seeing? I do not understand all these violence we have for each other. Somewhere in the world, a bomb kills 20 people. I see the blood on the ground. It is the same almost every night…broadcasts of more fighting, more killing. A woman is raped and killed by a gang of men. A woman is killed by her lover. We are all horrified but it goes on and on.
I turn off the television. But can I turn off the images and my feelings? And so I talk with my fingers, trying to soothe my heart and soul with the written word. I make no noise in the night. All is quiet except for the rhythm of my keyboard. My heart is slowing down. I am catching my breath. I am doing my best. I am not fighting my feelings but letting them flow out with my breath. Tomorrow is another day.
So we are 30 days into Lent. We have a new pope. Do we have new hope? I guess where there is life, there’s hope.
I learned today that my aunt, my ah yee had passed away a few days ago. She died at home amid her family in New York City. She was 93, a good age. Even so, she will be greatly missed.
My ah yee lived with us for awhile when we were in Hong Kong. She came to keep my mother, my sister and me company. My sister was only a baby then. She’s called Me Jing in Chinese, Me for short. My father, grandmother and uncles had left for Canada and we were alone. It was good Ah Yee came to be with us. She was good company and helped with household chores and taking care of my sister.
Ah Yee lived with us till my father was able to send for us. Sometimes she went back to spend time with her parents (my other grandparents) and her children. During those times her oldest daughter would come and stay with us. I liked that very much, too. I was the only child for eight years and it was such luxury to have an older sister/cousin. It felt akin to New Year’s Eve sleepovers.
I think our time together in Hong Kong was almost a year. And what a wonderful year, thinking back. There was such a feeling of warmth, caring and security in our house of women and children. My sister was an early talker and talk and sing she did. Her world was consisted of three people and she frequently sang: Ah Yee, Mama, and Me over and over.
We are 23 days into Lent.
I spent the night sleepless wandering in the desert. Needless to say, I had no dreams nor visions. Moses did not speak to me from the mountain. No one came to lead me out, not even God. The desert was very dry, no oasis in sight.
I did not panic. I journeyed from where I was, the best that I could. I remembered long time ago a classmate, new to the city, was crossing the street. Half way across, the DON’T WALK sign came on. She turned back, waited for the WALK sign and started again. Guess what? The same thing happened! We laughed about it but it was a huge lesson for me, though it took some time for me to realize it.
We cannot always start afresh. It is not always a good thing. We have to start from where we are now, scarred, with heavy baggage and all. And so, I did not fight my sleeplessness. I try to use the time to put a few things in order, to look at things differently. Then I just lay down, close my eyes. I let everything be.
I did the best I could. I put my hand over my heart and felt comforted.
We are into the 21st day of Lent. So far, so good. I am still tranquil, peaceful and almost Buddha-like. I am mixing my religion here. And does it matter, the name we give to God, this spirit inside each of us. Is a rose not a rose, by any other name?
There are so many things to think upon….so many sides to everything. It is best not to dig too much or to dwell too much. That is the course I have chosen for at least these days of Lent….just to feel what peace is like. Maybe it is THE path to open-mindedness, an open heart, and forgiveness.
It is one thing for Dr. Phil to ask: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? I am stubborn. I have a stiff neck as the Chinese would say. I do not like to give in, to concede. I want to be right. My neck is very stiff. Sometimes I feel like I’m choking with my righteousness.
I have to start where I am now, in these days of Lent. I am accepting myself as I am…flawed, imperfect, human. I forgive myself for being all that I am and will move forward one step at a time.