I’m drunk with stars. My nephew, the artist and poet, is visiting with his family. We’ve been indulging in artsy-fartsy conversation, talk that makes me feel drunk with stars. Poetry is … A word picture, my nephew said. Or a frame of words with room for interpretation, I replied. We tossed the definitions back and forth: – an echo of the world – words that call to each reader’s memory – spaces between that resonate with the holes in each reader’s own story … In the end we agr
We’re just back from remote Lugu Lake, Yunnan China where my friend Choo Wai Hong traded in her high-flying high-stress corporate lawyer’s life for this: – the view from her front window – a handcrafted tribal living room – and time and more time to look back at her choices and write all about it. It was a huge change going from tropical rush-about Singapore to the quiet of these Northwestern Yunnan mountains to live among the matrilineal Mosuo. For our friend, it was the rig
Have I prayed in vain? Wai’s funeral was yesterday, Ish’s more than a year ago now. Kwan is in a deep coma. There’s very little chance he’ll wake. No. Despite the fact that Wai and Ish died, that Kwan isn’t likely to wake up from his hospital bed, prayer helped. It comforted, it left a legacy… I first began to circling the park with my rosary beads because of eighteen year old Ish. I didn’t know Ish but her mother was part of my women’s prayer group. When she was diagnosed wi
Someone told me yesterday I was getting too religious and hence difficult to get along with. That certainly caused me to go look in the mirror and consider my shortcomings. I was hoping that deeper spiritual growth would mean a kinder gentler me. Obviously, this person didn’t think so. Possibly, in my pursuit of beauty, justice, truth I was becoming more legalistic and judgmental…
Possibly, in leaving everything to a higher being up there, I had become irresponsible.
SILENCE! Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com Dani Batz’s photostream I’ve just returned from my 3rd retreat.
When I first started going, people kept asking me “Why?”The question was usually accompanied by a concerned expression or a caring touch. “What was happening with my life?” “What was getting too much for me to bear that I needed to check out? To re-arm and recuperate?” I had to re-assure everyone I was fine, I wasn’t re-treating from anything. It was more a call from
Moonlight over Clementi Rail Bridge Finally, 15th day of the 8th moon – Mid-Autumn Festival. The moon a beautiful yellow orb. The moon cakes set out with tea. The children traipsing around the garden with their lanterns. The children want to know why. Why on this night we eat these pastry crusted cakes. Why we walk around with lanterns. Why we sing these silly songs – to the jade rabbit, the lady Chang E? What do I tell them? That the cakes and the lanterns commemorate a rev
http://www.flickr.com/photos/camyluna 13th day of the 9th moon of the year of the water dragon.It’s raining again. Unless the weather changes, catching sight of the mid-autumn moon this year looks like an “iffy” affair. Of course, whether the moon’s fat or thin, covered in cloud or hidden by rain, still it’s there circling above us. It’s just a question of what gets in the way of us receiving her light.It took me a long time to understand the moon’s constancy.
Full moon through stained glass
Photo Credit: http://www.wilandra.com 12th day of the 8th moon in the year of the water dragon … and what a watery day it’s been. I woke up to a drizzle. By mid-morning, we had a windy hard plopping equatorial deluge. The storm tantrummed itself out by tea-time, but now it’s hazy. I don’t know if it’s residual moisture hanging about, or the ashes of burning rain forests blown across the Malacca Straits from Sumatra. What I do know for sure, t
11th day of the 8th moon in the year of the water dragon. Photo Credit: John Garozze
http://www.jagwah.blogspot.com Tonight it was cloudy. When I first went out to the park for my after dinner walk, I couldn’t see the moon at all. But by the time I was done, an hour later, there it was. A slightly bigger than half moon, fully revealed. Jallaluddin Rumi, b.1207-1273, the Persian Sufi has a wonderful verse about this gradual unmasking. Here it is – Last night the moon
10th day of the 8th month of the dragon year – a busy buzzy sort of day running around delivering Mid-Autumn gifts to friends and associates. Something new this year, we’re distributing fresh fruits and flower teas, not the usual fatty cakes! Finally sitting down to my own cup of tea now and a quiet stare at the moon with Wumen Huikai‘s poetry for company. Wumen Huikai, b. 1143-1217, was the abbot of Longxiang Zen monastry. His name means, Wisdom Opens Without a Gate. Belo
8th day of the 8th moon of the year of the Dragon. We start with the verses of the most unaccomplished – mine. Photo Credit: www.roschdeshnewmoon.com New Moon The new moon enters
Before her time A slim curve of silver
Behind yesterday’s flowers Hesitant
Unconscious of her charms —– Do you have a favourite moon-poem. In the spirit of awaiting Mid-Autumn share it. Leave a comment! #Poetry #MidAutumnFestival #crescentmoon #Mooncake #Moon #zen #Asia #Arts
Credit: Photo by Forest and Kim http://www.desert-tropicals.com Including me! One of my readers, Joe Bunting asked me to do a guest post on writing poetry. I could only respond in the same way my Peranakan auntie did when I asked her how she concocted her heavenly sambal udang belimbing – she made me watch while she cooked; I watched myself as I began to string the words together. You can read about the process today at www.thewritepractice.com. It’s titled “Anyone can be p
Like any other big city, you can’t ever find a taxi at rush-hour in my city. And of course the buses don’t move when there’s gridlock. That leaves the trains. I don’t take the trains much. I don’t like the feeling of being stuffed into a metal container like a sardine. But I had to the other day, when the monsoon was falling hard. And behold – I experienced magic! Just shows, the divine is everywhere. One just has to be aware. When have you had a glimpse of the divine while r