This is one I had actually written in 2006, but had trashed because no one quite fit the bill. I had NO idea back then that 4 years later, it would all make perfect sense! I surprised myself, re-reading it now. Have edited a few words here and there to suit the “now” better, but the basic content is still the same.
There was something about him I couldn’t quite define
But he did, most certainly, my whole life refine!
Came in not by chance, but by intervention divine,
Swept my feet off the ground though I wasn’t even in line,
Brought a smile to my lips, made my face with joy shine -
He’s more than I could ask for and I believe that he’s mine,
Just as I belong to him and together we’re thine.
For we are the branches and you are the vine;
On the works of our hands you’ve stamped your own sign -
Pruned, crushed, fermented – soon you’ll pour out new wine!
While here on earth, we’ll strive to be as brine
Till that day when we’ll meet you and together we’ll dine.
Posted in Here Comes the Sun, The River of Life, The Wind in the Willows | Leave a Comment »
The same is true of both blessings and disasters. That’s why, when it comes to the latter, they say, “Nip it in the bud.”
Posted in Earth Feast, The Wind in the Willows | Tagged blessings, choices and their consequences, disaster, fruit, nip it in the bud, photography | 1 Comment »
I awoke today & lay gazing in reverie at the ray of light streaming in through the skylight in my loft, when this inspiration struck me.
Have you ever wiped a thick grey-brown layer of dust off a shelf or pile of books with your finger and looked at it in disgust? Have you also gazed, like I did, at a ray of sunshine streaming in through a window or a crack, mesmerized by its beauty as the dancing flecks glistened and gleamed?
Very often, I find that we are like dust. Dull. Dry. Dead. Dirty. Until troubles come and shake things up, cause a stir, kick up the dust… It’s then we begin to rise, resurrected, revived. And as the sun glances in from above, we forget we are dust and dance instead as sparkling specs, basking in the light of His glory.
That, I believe, is the ashes to beauty experience.
Posted in Here Comes the Sun, The River of Life, The Wind in the Willows | Tagged ashes, beauty, dust, sunlight, troubles | 1 Comment »
You know how in the Flatliners, one’s past comes back to haunt them until they make amends? It was sort of like that for me yesterday, but with a twist. Whereas in the movie, the people of the past were back to take revenge, in my case there was grace, and probably more than I deserved. But the effect, if anything, was stronger and more permanent than revenge could ever achieve.
It’s like this… Once upon a time, I had laughed my butt off in the face of someone for something they didn’t quite do well. Let me simply call this person, “Ramona”. Well, Ramona and I both got caught up with life and I had quite forgotten about her altogether. But as it turned out, she went on to excel and become well-known in the very same thing I had laughed at her for. Now, all these years down the line, Ramona was actually being nice to me, even allowing me to witness and be a part of her ‘guts and glory’. I looked for the expected shades of pride and the “ummm-so-you-were-saying?” attitude, but not finding much, I had to take it as genuine.
First of all, it felt like a jab in my guts, a payback that proved I had been wrong back then. Then it made me want to slit my own throat for having been such a jerk in the first place. Most of all, it made me feel ashamed – ashamed that I had to be taught a lesson in grace from someone I had once written off as useless.
I would have liked to soothe my wounds by telling myself that perhaps my ridiculing Ramona is what first angered and thereby motivated her to prove me wrong and get where she is. But that would have been very vain, conceited and irresponsible (not to mention, supremely wretched) of me. So, I found myself actually thankful for an opportunity to set the record straight, as humbling as it was.
Ramona is just one person, but I have been wondering how many others I might have mocked in the past for whatever reason. I know I probably won’t be given an opportunity to identify and make it up to every one of them face to face. But let me take this opportunity to say how sincerely sorry I am to every “Ramona” that has ever been derided, both on behalf of myself and also on behalf of anyone else that was responsible for your hurt. And I really mean this:
I was wrong to discount you or treat you in any way less than you deserved. I should have thought of you more highly than I thought of myself. You are NOT useless or good for nothing, as my words or actions might have led you to believe. And for whatever anger, hurt, fear, disappointment or regret I may have caused you, I sincerely apologize. I assure you that I will think a million times before I ever laugh my butt off at someone else’s expense again. I just hope you can find it in you to forgive me. Thank you!
You might be thinking, big deal, this is nonsense! But for someone out there, it is a big deal. So, for all it’s worth, there, I’ve said it.
And if you’ve ever laughed your butt off at me, chill. You’re forgiven. It’s all good.
Posted in Here Comes the Sun | Tagged apology, derision, forgiveness, hurt, LMBO, ridicule, scorn | Leave a Comment »
Typed this on my mobile the morning of 19 October 2010, en route to the airport early in the AM.
Early AM on a plane -
Bet I’m gonna go insane
For it’s one thing I disdain -
What an awful, awful pain!
I’d rather take a train
Than loose my precious sleep in vain
‘Cause I stand nothing great to gain
And declare it but a bane!
This here’s written by me, Jane.
Posted in The Wind in the Willows | Tagged air plane, train | 1 Comment »
Once there was television… And then there was Jack Bauer. Simply described, badass – the biggest, baddest and best television has ever seen.
Stubbornly pursed lips bent on serving out justice, grim eyes that defiantly stare death in its face, brazen boldness both in stride and word coupled with unequalled brilliance of scheme, weapons in skilled hands that miss no mark no fraction of a second too late – the irrepressible federal agent controlled only by self-will and determination, know for his unmatched courage, resilience and resolve despite losing everything to gain nothing for self – so surreal, yet very real even if only on reel is Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland).
For me, and I believe many more across the world, Bauer and “24” have redefined television forever. Never has a character or TV series been so compelling or convincing, thanks to the ingenious concept, script, direction, performances and cut that went into its making. We, the captive audience, couldn’t help but join Bauer in the longest days of his life by spending the longest days of our lives watching every episode of every series back-to-back if we could help it. What was it that mesmerized us so and still holds us in its grip? The heart-thumping action, no doubt… and like it or not, the dissatisfaction – of never getting enough of Jack Bauer. I, for one, can honestly say that 24 was my “twelve” and I struggle with withdrawal symptoms, now that the series has concluded. Seth Godin was right when he said that great brands (and I say, great TV series/characters) are built on dissatisfaction. You have a prime example of that in 24!
What drew me most to Bauer and what I will no doubt remember him most for, though, is his motto to “do whatever it takes to save them and I mean, whatever it takes.” (Dialogue between Jack Bauer and Renee Walker in my favourite season, Season 7) Sure, there has been a lot of controversy about the torture and violence implied and portrayed throughout the series as a means to the end. However, my fascination is with regards to Bauer’s commitment to protect his country and people no matter what the cost. As a federal agent forced to turn fugitive whose wife was killed, daughter estranged, and his own health seriously jeopardized on more than one occasion, he owed his country nothing, least of all after they abandoned him as prisoner to the Chinese and then decided to sacrifice him in order to meet terrorist demands – all of that despite the great service he had rendered his country. Wouldn’t some recognition be in order? A medal of honour, perhaps? Or a bravery award? At least, a chance at a decent life? But, no!
I find it hard to fathom such unquestioned allegiance and dedication to a cause, harder still to implement it in my own life. Season 7 forced me to think hard and question my own commitment to mission accomplishment. Was I willing to do whatever it took? Or would I turn chicken when the going got tough? Worse still, would I turn into a Tony Almeida, agent turned traitor, disillusioned, distraught? Would my losses, failures, fears and regrets rule me or I would I overrule them?
I learned that the name Jack Bauer is believed to allude to the highest card in the game of Euchre, the “bower” being the jack of the trump suit and the most powerful card in any particular round (via Wikipedia). I sincerely pray that in my mission and commission I will come out the “Jack Bauer” in every trial, know that I have been given a spirit of power, believe that I am more than a conqueror with greater strength in me than is in the world. So help me, God!
Posted in Earth Feast, The Wind in the Willows | Tagged 24, action, allegiance, commitment, courage, dedication, determination, dissatisfaction, do whatever it takes, failure, fear, Jack Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland, loss, mission accomplishment, regret, Renee Walker, Season 7, Seth Godin, Television, Television Series, Tony Almeida, TV | Leave a Comment »
The other day, I got back from Chennai after a wonderful conference. I had done a little shopping, and was mighty pleased with the brand new Samsonite Skywheeler I had gotten at a good discount – that was until I tried opening the number lock and it wouldn’t budge. I had followed instructions and set the code correctly, but for whatever reason, it just would not open. Breaking the “unbreakable” exterior was not an option given how much it cost besides being a virtual impossibility, so my best bet was to try & get the zips out of the lock with minimal damage. It took me quite by surprise when after a few moments of pushing & tugging, one zip came loose without breaking anything, and it wasn’t long before I got the other zip out as well – all with absolutely no damage to the suitcase. Even so, for the record, let me say that I fully intend to use only my TSA baggage locks in future!
The incident made me wonder if Samsonite was really as safe and durable as we imagine it is. When I shared my concerns on Facebook, a friend commented that perhaps I had a special talent, and that took me back to a childhood memory I had of opening a magnetic lock (I solemnly swear that this is true and my sister can verify it if you don’t completely believe it). We used to have a lock that used a particular kind of magnet to open it. Back then it must have been the coolest thing that had taken my Dad’s fancy and it was quite by accident that I discovered I could actually open the lock using my thumb instead of the magnet. Others tried doing the same, but it didn’t quite work. Magic? Yeah, sure! It became a trick I put on for show for everyone and even remember my sister asking me to open the lock once when we wanted to get something out of a meat safe and didn’t have the key. I don’t, however, remember doing that ever again.
As I pondered those bygone years and events, I began to sense something in my spirit. I asked the question I often ask of God, “What are you trying to teach me through this? What do you want me to learn?” The answer was plain and clear to me. I needed to remember that I was a “lock breaker”. Yes. As much as I may have a “talent” for breaking open locks in the physical, the same is truer in the spiritual. I was both challenged and emboldened when I realized that. After all, isn’t that what many of us are commissioned to:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Isaiah 61:1 NLT; Matt. 18:18 NIV, Emphasis added)
Even as I write this, I believe if you are reading this, it is not by accident. So be reminded and challenged to step out in boldness and faith, and go break some locks!
Posted in Earth Feast, The River of Life | Tagged facebook, Lock, Lock Breaking, Samsonite, Skywheeler | Leave a Comment »