Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Alphabetically Thankful

I think the best way to cap the year is to give thanks for all that has happened, good or bad. I could just give a general thanks but that would rob me of the joy of identifying specific things I am thankful to God for, so here goes…

A – Apple. I had a wonderful three-year relationship with my iBook before he called it quits this year. Well, it was fun while it lasted…thanks anyway for the great experience.

B – Blogging! I discovered the joy of blogging last March and never regretted it. It has helped me in my writing skills (though I still have trouble with my prepositions) and also in becoming more perceptive about things that concern me.

C – CK, my 4-month old Toshiba laptop, despite its bulk, it is serving me well...I'm hoping this relationship will last a bit longer...

D – Davao. It’s great to spend a few months home on Sabbatical from work in Manila. There’s no place like home, and what a place to call home!

E – Emails. The long, windy and intimate ones I receive assures me that friends who are far away doesn’t mean they've become strangers.

F – Fellowship. Even though I value my alone time. I am thankful for friends I can fellowship with in a deeper level.

G – God’s Word. Not just anybody’s words, but His, most especially and most essentially. There are times when I feel like I'm tossed in restless waves of angst and confusion, His Word anchors me.

H – Home. These days I am hard put to figure out where home is, but it’s great to realize that where one’s mom is, there your home can be also. It is good to be home with my mom even if it's just for half a year. It isn’t always sunshiny sweet, but it is still a restful to be able to leave the adult rat race once in a while and simply be somebody’s child again.

I – Inexpensive Airfares. It is such a great thing that budget airlines are in vogue these days. I get to travel without having my organization pay so much!

J – Jesus, the friend who loves at all times, forgives at all times and believes in me at all times.

K – Ketchup. I can never do without a packet or two of ketchup in my bag, and it has come in handy. It’s very touching as well to know that some of my friends are collecting ketchup packets for, if that's not friendship, I don't know what is!

L – Late mornings. For a change, I get to sleep in a little bit later than usual. It’s wonderful to catch up with something that has become an almost unaffordable luxury to me.

M – Music. It wakens me, grips me, inspires me, and gladdens me. What would the world be without music?

N – Nighttime Musings. Since I am nocturnal by nature, inspiration usually hits when I am laying in bed, hoping to catch some sleep.

O – Opportunities. Some of the opportunities that come my way have been unbelievable, frankly speaking. I am just thankful that I have been given these opportunities…it could have easily gone to other more qualified people.

P – Provision. Living by faith as a Christian worker sounds grand but it can be “hairy” sometimes. When I am in a tight squeeze, I wonder how I will be provided for and God never fails to show me how, in His wonderful and unexpected way.

Q – Quiche. A good friend bakes spinach quiche for me and I'm glad she still makes it for me when I am really hankering for it.

R – Regrets. I have been thinking of things I have done in the past that I shouldn’t have. I know that they cannot be undone, but for what its worth, I can learn from them as I move on.

S – Silence. Those rare blocks of time when the only sound I hear is silence. I so need those times to just be quiet and hear myself think.

T – Travels. Being on the road has a lot of perks, from enjoying nice roadside scenes to meeting new people.

U – Unlimited Wi Fi Access. I get to enjoy this while in Davao, and really savoring it as long as I can, ‘cause when I get back to Manila, it will be back to the old dial-up drudgery...on second thought...I’m not sure this is something I should be thankful for...

V – Vacations—I mean mini ones. I can’t usually afford to be away from work for two straight weeks but the pockets of rest I get in between whenever has been helpful. But I hope to get a full two-week break next year…

W – Words. I love words. I love the fact that I don’t have to hold everything in...and that I have words to use to express my feelings and ideas.

X – Xasperations...minor ones, at least, like the neighbor’s 11pm to 3am drunken and frighteningly tone-deaf videoke sessions. I am not exactly sure why I should be thankful about it...maybe just to fill the letter X?

Y – Yahoo Messenger. Some of the friends on the list are hundred of miles away, but just to see them on line while I am working is great—it’s like their just working beside me.

Z – Zany humor (I know, a bit stretching it just to put something on “Z”). I thank God for giving me this gift, helps keeps me sane in trying moments.

So, how was your year?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sleep Eludes Us

In the warmth of my bed

Silence broken
By rhythmic, reassuring cricket hymns

Staring up at the ceiling
Seeing dancing shadows from passing lights

Sleep eludes me
Images and noise stir my mind

Of men, women and children,
Shivering on scant, damp mats

Shrills fill the air
of babies’ wails and mothers’ weeping

Squinting at harsh lights
Glaring from above thin rusty roofs

Sleep eludes them
No comfort, no shelter, only grief of buried lives
And fear of another storm

Sleep eludes us
As sadness engulfs.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Bliss of Getting There

The whole point of traveling is to get “there.” Not for me, especially when I’m on my way to Bukidnon! The travel is as much a joy as the destination point. I always get refreshed from the four-hour (by bus) or three-hour (by private transport) travel just staring out at the wide open spaces, brilliant blue skies, rolling hills in different shades of green and the awesome mountains.

One of things that always come to mind as I take that scenic route to Bukidnon is, “The people who live here are sooo lucky!” But what I always see when I look out the bus window, are people seemingly blasé about the view from their windows (a view that would actually beat any ol’ calendar picture). In fact, many of them can be found hanging around by the side of the road, looking out to buses and cars that pass by, instead of staring out at the green expanse behind ironic is that!

But I guess too much of a good thing leads to boredom…and too little of a good thing leads to giddiness (when faced with the good things).

And I guess the oohhs and the aaahhs that come out of me are simply because staying in Manila meant I only get to “admire” soot-blackened, run-down buildings, murky grey skies and cramp spaces.

But if that makes me more appreciative of God’s creation—far from being blasé, then I guess staying in Manila has its benefits…I know, I know it’s a warped way of looking at the bright side, but hey, I have to find some good out of staying in Manila...instead of Bukidnon.