Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perspective

Sometimes
it just takes
one moment
to put
EVERYTHING
into perspective

...

One moment.
One experience.
One epiphany.

Here's mine:

A habit is a developed discipline ...
constructive or destructive,
you decide.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Foot

Have you ever noticed that ATMs are always built in some areas that get very lonely after certain hours? Always some little corner out of the way, where people can easily get shot, robbed, mugged, killed... you notice these things when you're heading to one such secluded spot at 8:47 at night...

At the ATM:
A woman is inside doing her business.
A man is outside waiting.
I carefully look him up and down: no untoward bulges from his pants waist, no tattoos, piercings or weird shiny objects...
Man says good night.
At first I jump a little. Then sigh, smile and return the pleasantry.
I look around: no lone, suspicious characters nearby.
No police car either.
I wish that woman would hurry!.

The woman exits the machine.
The man enters.
I'm outside alone.
A prick of apprehension.

The man doesn't take long.
Soon, I'm safely bolted into the little cubicle
... or trapped, as the case may be ...

I hear a sound.
I quickly turn round to look outside.
Nothing.
I realise the ATM glass is not transparent from my end.
People outside can see me.
I can't see out.
I wonder which genius built this thing....

There's a little clear-looking strip at the bottom of the machine.
I stoop down to peep out...
I see a foot!!

Just one foot parked menacingly at the at the edge of the glass cubicle.
The rest of the body is hidden from view.
My heart beats double time.
who's out there?
what do they want?
will they hurt me??


I grab the money from the machine.
Quickly grab and tear up my receipt.
Stuff the cash into my bag.
Zip it tightly, push open the door and .... run like the wind!!

At a safe distance
I turn around, panting, breathless...
No one. Absolute emptiness.
Thank goodness I'm not being followed.
The predator must have ran off too...

I sigh. Look down. Eyes get stuck on my shoes.
I chuckle, then giggle, then comes full-blown laughter.

That 'menacing' foot I had been seeing on the other side of the ATM?
My own--- my reflection.

Steups.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death... Again.

I just found out that one of my favourite high school teachers died yesterday. Sad. Very sad.

Remember this post that I wrote as an ode to the teachers who invested quality time and energy into molding my mind and life?? Well, the Mrs Mullings I spoke of died of cancer yesterday.

I feel it in places I didn't even know I had.

I feel it in ways I can't explain or imagine.

I mean, it hurts. It really, really hurts. And I just want to cry and get mad and thump a pillow.

And after all that, I look around my sorry room and realise none of that really helps because it doesn't change the fact, the irreversible fact, that she is GONE. Gone. I don't even know what to say. And I never got the chance to say a million and one things to her that I should have said, could have said... don't know why I never said them.

Mrs. Mullings was my teacher-- my teacher. She was as precious as they come. She was a rare gem. A real beauty - inside and out. I miss her already, even though I have not seen her in years. Miss her dearly, and deeply. I almost feel wounded.

That was one of my favourite teachers. What she did for me.... what she did for me!! It was a miracle. In my life. She worked a miracle. And I will never get to say these things to her. Not in this life, anyway. Not anymore.

I've always had this grand plan in the back of my mind to one day go home and just shower my teachers with love. At this big luncheon, at a time when I would be able to adequately, truly express the depth of my appreciation to them all at once. How can I do that if, as time goes by, they all start leaving, one by one... I need a new plan. Because this one is too risky. I risk missing another opportunity to let someone special know just how special they are.

Mrs. Mullings was the wind beneath my wings for most of my high school life. The way she believed in me when I was still finding my footing, still trying to figure out who I was and where I was going, and why... the way she encouraged. When I was drowning in depression and despondency.... the way she taught, with eloquence, such grace and unparallelled clarity, the patience she had... the times I could catch her outside of class hours and get her to teach me something I missed in class all over again... the way she held on to grand hopes for ALL her students, not one, not some... she believed in ALL of US!! The way her life was well-lived, and she spent her years working small miracles in little lives everyday...

A life like that should get honorary prolongation. For being so well-spent. A life like that deserves to live on... A mind like that should have written books, thousands of books, or at least one good one, explaining the years and the experience, immortal knowledge bequeathed to the next generation. So much has left the world with Mrs. Mullings' death. So much more has left my life. It makes me tremendously sad.

Another death to deal with?? I don't know if I can handle it. Nobody told me that, in your early twenties, you start to see and feel death in a much more personal way... a warning of some kind would have been nice. I really would have liked to know so I could prepare... see, I like to be prepared. And why does it just do that - how can news like this just completely disrupt your life and your mind, and knock the wind out of you and, no matter how calmly you think you can handle it, completely take you by surprise??

I'm not liking this very much at all. I'd like to stay home from work today and just bawl. (Sadly enough, that line rhymes).

Sense of Adventure

One of these days,


I will pack my bags,


board a plane,



AND GO FIND ME AN ADVENTURE!!





The world is calling... can't you hear it?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Finally!!

I did it!! I. DID. IIIIITTT!!!

Did what, you ask.

Well, for the first time in a very long while, with deliberate effort and concentration, and that exceptional mixture of brevity, wit and timing that is necessary... I told a joke!!

I can see people shaking their heads in disbelief, and a few of you chuckling to yourselves and thinking, "OK, the bird has left the nest ... she's cuckoo." But you don't understand.

I'm never funny!! At least, not intentionally.

Usually, my attenpts to give jokes in large groups are met with laughter at the unfunniness of the joke more than anything else... and my misplaced enthusiasm, and pitifullly hung head after I realise that everybody's laughing at me and not with me...

So, when I sat with a group of my coworkers and successfully related a joke at which they all laughed, (not because I did a poor job of it, but because they got the joke and thought it was funny) I flung my hands into the air and screamed with delight. Finally! Finally I got it right!! I told a joke that made people laugh... I'm so happy I could cry.

*sniffles* You don't know how many years of humiliation I've had to endure for my awkward timing, unnecessary drawing out of the subject matter, or just plain unfunniness. But now?? Now?? The world of humour is my oyster, and there's no joke I can't tell!! Who knows? From this point on... Maybe I can do stand-up comedy... Suddenly, it all feels possible...

**YEEEEEEES!!** I finally found my funny!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kids are desperate

I've started this post about a hundred different ways, and then promptly deleted each paragraph, because I don't quite know what to say, don't quite know where to begin, don't quite know how to verbalise these feelings ... don't even know if I should yet again enunciate syllables that have reverberated in the corridors of our nation's history for centuries. Sometimes, words just seem inadequate.

"Children are desperately vulnerable," said Glenn Tucker in his letter to the editor in The Gleaner recently. He couldn't be more right. Children are desperately vulnerable. Vulnerable not only because of their inherent innocence and naïvette about the world they live in, but also because the care and protection that these inherent weaknesses necessitate are not being and cannot be met by a society full of irresponsible, selfish, greedy, apathetic and unconcerned adults.

Why are we so unmoved by the plight of our children?? Where did our hearts go? When did the little red valves and capillaries stop performing their critical functions? When did collective responsibility become a relic of an era buried under centuries of callous, inimical inertia?

Have we forgotten that our children are the future? Maybe that statement has become so regularised that we no longer remember what it means - that our children are us - in a future light, yes, but still, they are us. Ask any mother and she will tell you that her child is a living, breathing and irreplaceably precious extension of her life ... that that little bundle of ingratitude and laughs makes her existence meaningful, worthwhile and complete.

Kids complete us. They finish the life cycles that we begin and help to fulfil our lives in ways that we never truly understand until we're over the eighty year mark and ready to consider the 'important' things in life.

And what irks me is, we've all talked. Everybody has an opinion on the issue. Everybody gets hot, sweaty and pasionately riled up about these things. And, after venting their frustrations, concerns, heartaches and heartbreaks, we shut up, put up and do nothing. We go home to our warm, comfy beds and sleep peacefully and do nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all!

I don't want to sleep anymore. I can't anyway. Not now. Not anymore. I lay awake thinking. I lay awake dreaming. I lay awake groaning in my spirt for kids I've never seen. Angst and desperation bitter my respiration as I try to wrap my brain around the situation, and find the solution. There is a solution. There has to be a solution. Or else, what are we living for??

If not us, who?? If not now, when?!! I pray God give me the strength, courage and wisdom to once and for all shut up and act - decisively, effectively - to help rid our nation of the evils we have for so long gabbed about.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dreams

Dree-ee-ee-ee-eeams, dreams, dreams, dreams ...
Dree-ee-ee-ee-eeams, dreams, dreams, dreams ...

That song is exactly what I feel like ... dree-eee-ee-ee-eeams. Just lots and lots of dreams packed up in one head and heart that's about to explode!

I watched the Oscars yesterday, and saw Gabby Sidibe sitting there, nominated in the same category as Meryl Streep after only her first movie role... can you say dreams??

I saw Sandra Bullock finally win an Academy Award for lead actress, even though she's been leading for so long... Can you say dreams??

And what of Jeff Bridges? His breakthrough came after 38 years! Can you say dreams?

And Kathryn Bigelow was the icing on the cake with her best director prize... the first woman to win that award, after 82 years of Oscars. Can you say dreams?

Dream hard, scheme harder, start planning for your AA moment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Began...

It happened while I was reading the opening preface of my latest literary fixation: A compilation of all three volumes of The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee. After I read those two words, I missed the essence of his sentence. For a minute, whatever else the author was trying to say was completely lost on me. Those two words struck me and drowned out the sounds of the office buzzing around me. They floated around in my mind and impressed themselves on my internal eye. Two words glowing in the night: I began.

Watchman Nee said that he felt "commissioned of the Lord" to undertake the task of writing a book that would explain man's spiritual composition in a simple, straightforward and easily understandable manner. The next sentence starts with those two dynamic words: "I began". He started immediately ... he started at all. He didn't leave his impression as an impression, but acted with immediacy on his belief. And now, here I am, reading the completion - the fulfillment - of this dream.

And all because he began.

What does it take for a man to begin? How does he define the realm that should be his ideal starting point? Is there such a thing as an ideal starting point? Aren't all points in life axes on which we can build the momentum for the next phase, for action that takes us to the next level?

Watchman Nee may not be your favourite author. His religion may not be yours. But, if you take anything away from this post, let it be this: Wherever you are, whatever your name, age, grade or stage, if there's a dream in your heart and a desire in your mind (that is noble and positive and laced with integrity), begin. Begin it now. Let today be the day when you say, "I began."