Monday, August 23, 2010

poked stars

if vision is the only validation then most of my life isn't real (black&gold)

Sometime when there's a full moon, or at least a very sizable sliver, you should try very hard to imagine this:

Stars are just pinpricks into REALITY-- glittering eternity. The moon is our best peek because a thumb poked through the black canvas, revealing what's really out there.

Of course, if I really believed that the stars were holes, then they couldn't sing, and I love that the stars sing (read Job. or just look at them).
But it bends my mind just enough to remember that there's such a deeper, firmer, MORE bodily reality than we can comprehend.

sing to me of the song of the stars
of your galaxies dancing and laughing and laughing again
when it feels like my dreams are so far
sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again

so i lay my head back down
and i lift my hands and pray
to be only yours,
i pray
to be only yours

i know now you're my



Saturday, August 14, 2010


One of my favorite songs is "How He Loves" (John Mark MacMillian). It's incredible, simple, powerful and all about love--enough said. It begins: "He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy..."

Such vivid imagery. But I didn't really have a schema for it, having never experienced a hurricane. Until i realized---wait, wait--a hurricane is a typhoon.

They mean the same thing--a hurricane is a huge blustery storm in the west, and a typhoon is a huge blustery storm in the east. Of course they have to have totally different names; why would you simplify English?
Oh, and btw, why do people drive on different sides of the road? We've only had cars since the 20th century, after all. I actually saw a car with the steering wheel on the right side yesterday--it was so weird! Like Singapore. When we'd visit the US I would always embarrass myself and get into the wrong side... way before I had my driver's license.

ANYway-- there is a whole typhoon season in Taiwan.

The sky would get darkly moody, rain would turn to downpour and street signs would rip away and crash along the streets. Think "Wizard of Oz" cyclone without flying houses. One night as we were going to bed, a typhoon was brewing and my parents were worried about my bed being against a window.

I, being the level headed, non-emotional child I was, immediately pictured me huddling in a corner as a tree branch shattered the window and sucked out the bed into a black whirlwind. Which was very exciting; I was quite looking forward to it.
We ended up just moving my bed a foot away from the window so no dust or rubble would seep in. *sigh*

Once my Dad was late teaching at a church and had to walk back during a fierce typhoon--we prayed that a small tree wouldn't knock him out. He made it home safely, having huddled in an alley and made short dashes between secure shelters.

The weather was just dire enough to stir up excitement and cause somewhat sizable damage, much like many tiny earthquakes that happened regularly. Of course, there have been horrific typhoons with death tolls and fallen buildings... thankfully we didn't experience one like that.

We used to take post-typhoon walks to survey the damage, and especially around a university campus that was the only 'park' close by. We'd navigate around signs, broken glass, and huge fallen foliage.

Although Singapore was too sheltered geographically to endure typhoons, would have wonderfully violent thunderstorms almost daily. It was most dramatic on the beach, when the waves would kick up and palm trees doubled over like heartbroken lovers.

Now I have a picture. God's love like a typhoon wind, buckling trees under the weight of sheer glory.

It's real.

Monday, August 2, 2010

airport imaginings

This is kind of a long-standing tradition with my sister; we're each writing a sentence (or impassioned paragraph) to create a stunningly brilliant short story! kai shi ba!
bonus points for pp who can tell which narrator is which sister.

Once there was graceful young porpoise who loved to swim among the swaying seaweed off the coast of Tasmania.

This porpoise was very delusional, for she believed she was a mermaid and swam around humming tunes about princes and lobsters and fish named Flounder.

In her quest for a prince, she stumbled upon a family reunion of merpeople who were welcoming back a constantly singing redhead who promptly slapped her for trying to steal her story.

The spiteful princess Ariel continued to harass the poor porpoise until she was well outside of the barriers of the kingdom. Overwhelmed as her blissful ignorance was shattered, the poor dear aimlessly swam deeper and deeper into the unknown depths of the uncharted seas........

Suddenly her snout scraped against coral, and, smarting, our heroine Blenfulsy realized that she was entangled in the Great Barrier Reef. As she collected herself, a band of clownfish solemnly assembled.

Taking one look at her, they uniformly shook their heads and, in unison, grimly informed her that she needed to get her act together. After helping her dislodge herself from the coral, they gave her pointers on embracing the beauty of the porpoise, the true essence of her species. The first thing to changed had to be her name. Instead of the common mermaid name of Blenfulsy, she would now be called Seastar... a coveted name among porpoises.

Blenfulsy blinked. Could she really take on another name? She started to hyperventilate, her whiskers annoyingly getting sucked up into her nostrils. Yes, she could. And she would! "Thank you, my little friends. I will gladly take up your name for me." The newly christened Seastar thanked the kind but grim little clowns, and twirled upward.

Though Seastar now understood that her standards for a man must change, she still wished to find the prince of her dreams. However, why stop at porpoises? Why not a killer whale, or a shark, or even a whale? She had heard there are plenty of fish in the sea and she set out to test the theory.

Seastar now traveled west, set on Italy and dark-eyed Italian killer whales with smoking eyes and accents. She practiced "Ciao!" and "T'Amo" with newly found chuzpah. But just as she was passing South Africa, she heard the most dreadful noise--

She looked over to see a fellow porpoise belting his heart out to the languid tones of Celine Dion. She scrunched up her nose in disgust and began swimming off as fast as she could.

"neear, faar, whereEEEEEEEEVVEEER you are, I beliiieeeeve that our hearts wiiill (BREATH) go ooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooonnnnn....."
Seastar swam faster, wincing.

Suddenly the porpoise stopped and said, "Wait, I hear you, who are you?" Surprised by the odd wording, Seastar turned around to discover that the porpoise was actually blind! Having not quite let go of her previous fantasy she said in her sweetest mermaid voice, "My name is Blenfulsy!" To her joy he replied "Oohh I've never met a mermaid before! It really is a pleasure!"

"The pleasure's all mine!" she chirruped. "I'm just on my way to a European cruise. I hear that Grecian beaches are just deLIGHTful." The porpoise sang out jubilantly, "Hallelujah!! I was just heading that way myself! Please allow me to accompany you, beautiful mermaid. My name, by the way, is Gus."

So they set out together! Everyday Seastar would tell Gus magnificent stories about the glamor of being a mermaid and the burdens of the beauty and fame that accompanied her race. He would drink in every word with an a awe and reverence that never failed to boost her confidence level even if it all was a lie. Until, one day, Gus confessed

"I'm not really a singer." Seastar gasped. Gus whimpered. "I never was! I always wanted to be, but everyone told me I was awful. that's why I was wandering around alone in the ocean. I was trying to practice." Seastar comforted him, "Well, I've gotten so tonedeaf since listening to you, I think that everything else sounds worse! You can always sing for me, Gus."
Gus, tears still bubbling, slowly turned toward her--

"I'm also not blind Blenfulsy, or whatever your real name is. I was only wearing these glasses to gain inspiration for my rocker image. But now, after spending so much time with you, I am convinced that you are far more beautiful and glamorous than any mermaid that ever lived."

Seastar sighed in delight. "Reeeally?" "Would you like me to sing it to you?" Gus offered. "No, no, I believe you dearest," Seastar hastily replied. "Let's just elope to New Zealand. My name is Seastar, by the way."

"Charmed," said Gus gallantly.

the END