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Seriously Awesome

14 Sep

Once in a while you stumble across something so incredibly awesome, it would be almost sinful to not share the joy and the thrill of the discovery.

And so from my piano-loving home to yours (is there anyone who does not love music?), here’s a seriously awesome work of magic.

Hands

23 May

I have always loved taking photos of hands because I think hands can tell many stories (ever notice how difficult it is to speak without moving your hands? Try it. ;)). In direct correlation, I think hands can reveal so much about the body and soul that are connected to them. They can reach out and they can block off. They can flutter about or they can hold steady and calm. They can give or they can take.

I can’t imagine a world without hands. And a child’s hands—ah, a world without that, to have and to hold, would be a bleak and dreary world indeed.

Speaking of little hands, there is a saying, “From little acorns mighty oaks do grow.” In little hands, acorns speak so much: what a wonderful metaphor for the future of the world lying cradled in the faith, love and hope of pure children’s hands.

And that brings me to my take on this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week Challenge, with the awesome Hands theme:

{Click on the image for a larger view}

And today, I end this with a wish for you in the words of William Blake:

To see the world in a grain of sand,
And to see heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
And eternity in an hour.

And this beautiful song of Jewel:

May you have a handful of happy hugs this Tuesday evening / Wednesday morning, my dear friends!

Whattaguy.

27 Mar

I love surprises. I love it when yet again there is proof, both visible and audible, of the wisdom in this truth: We must go beyond the surface and seek the beauty that is within. And I love it when that truth is proven in such an unexpectedly stunning way.

Hang on a sec, if you’ll just indulge me just a wee bit, I feel the need to gush some more: I especially love it when the underdog rises above a hurtful past and manages to come out so wonderful, not despite but perhaps even because.  I love it that someone who has every reason to be proud of himself chooses instead to remain refreshingly humble. I love that in the moment of victory he remains magnanimous, and doesn’t forget the friend who has journeyed along with him.

Such deep lessons from a seemingly simple video.

And whattaguy, seriously.

Check it out:

 

PS. Clicking above will lead you directly to the video on Youtube since the video doesn’t permit embedding in blogs. Sorry about that. But it’s worth watching, I promise you. 🙂

Yes, Yep and Yeah!

25 Mar

Wouldn’t it be great if every day every single thing went exactly the way we wished it to, with bright sunshine and happy flowers and smiles on the faces of everyone we happen to pass by on our way? If there were no more fighting, no more wars, no more killing and no more suffering? (And while we’re at it, no more traffic too? heehee).

But then life’s not always like that. Not every day is perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t just rain, it pours. Sometimes no matter how we try our best to control the variables, things don’t go exactly the way we planned. Sometimes even the best intentions fail.

But you know what? It’s okay. It’s fine. That’s life, after all. This is Planet Earth, not Heaven, and struggles and obstacles and setbacks are part of what gives us the strength, the will, even the ammunition to get to that final destination. That is, as long as we hold on to that great don’t-leave-home-without-it essential, Hope.

Yup, that wonderful thing that keeps us going even when the going gets tough. That thing that pushes us back on our feet after we’ve slipped and fallen the 53rd time. That thing that puts a smile on our face, determination in our heart, and a spring in our step.

Methinks it’s really all in the attitude, and if there’s one thing that life has taught me, it’s that the attitude that wins is one that overflows with optimism even in the face of defeat. Kind of like being able to  peer beyond the lightning and thunder and know that there’s a rainbow that lies behind. Kind of like choosing to laugh instead of weep. Kind of like electing to say Yes, yep and yeah instead of No, no way, never again, ever.

Because it is a choice, isn’t it?

As always and in all things, we have a choice. We can throw our hands up in despair, moan groan and wail, gnash our teeth and bang our heads on the table. Or we can smile, dust off the backseat of our pants, and start walking again along the path, grateful for whatever lessons that baptism of fire might have handed us.

I ‘m guessing we all know which choice leads to the path of happiness. 😉

Which brings me to my interpretation of THROUGH, which is the latest WordPress Photo of the Week challenge theme:

(And speaking of the best viewpoints through which to view life, I’m pretty certain there’s a silent—if coincidental—message written between the lines in the image above. After all, that “peephole” in the image above happens to be the back of a chair found in the Happiest Place on Earth 😉 ).

Positivity. It’s a great attitude to have, isn’t it?

Suede agrees:

And so, as the Irish blessing goes:

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

And may the birds sing for you today, too, my dear darling friends!

Of Dark and Light

13 Mar

I have always thought that there is beauty in difference. In contrast. In a juxtaposition of opposites. Chiaroscuro. Light-Dark. Laughter and tears. Somehow the knowledge and comprehension of one seems incomplete without the other.

Take, for instance, the most magical tapestry that hangs on the walls of castles: would our eyes have the chance to behold such stunning beauty without the crisscrossing of threads at the back?

But the key behind the beauty of opposites, I think, is not simply that both exist but that they do so in a peaceful manner, in a way that brings out the intrinsic and individual qualities of each. Kinda like Venus and Mars, no? 🙂

And this is why I particularly enjoyed this week’s theme for the WordPress Photo of the Week: Contrast.

Here’s my take on it:

{Click on the image for a larger view}

And this is where I have to admit that I couldn’t look at this photo without feeling the urge to hum along with Howie Day’s Collide:

Hope you have a wonderful week filled with bright days and magical nights, my sweet friends!

Beauty and Distortion

5 Mar

Quick! When you hear the word “distorted,” what’s the first thing you think of?

Something twisted? Something misshapen? Something that looks like itself but with a quality that makes you a bit uneasy, precisely because it’s not supposed to be there, because it kind of breaks the flow of what would otherwise seem perfect?

The dictionary defines distortion in many different ways: to force or put out of the true posture or direction; to twist out of natural or regular shape; a crookedness. Some distortion can be jarring and uncomfortable, even disturbing (I’m thinking, specifically, of truths that are distorted, for instance—when reality or facts are twisted in order to suit one’s motives). But there are also distortions that can be natural (like that which is the result of refraction of light, as when a perfectly straight straw in a glass seems bent out of shape). And then there are “distortions” that can actually be beautiful, such as the fluidity and flexibility of the bodies of the acrobats in Cirque du Soleil.

Case in point: (Okay, so this is not an acrobat, but I swear I actually saw an amazing acrobat in this exact position when we watched Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai last year):

{ Click on the image to view it at full size }

Beautiful, no? (Thank you, Ms. Cat of my dear friend Jes, for that amazing pose).

Speaking of beauty, I do agree with Charles Beaudelaire, a French poet, who said:

That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity—that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment—are an essential part and characteristic of beauty.

And here’s Mandisa, who has a great song about what true beauty is all about:

I hope your day is filled with true beauty, dear friends!

Shifting Views

22 Feb

I love windows. My home is filled with them. I love that they let light in, and I love even more that they allow me to look out, up, and down.

To me, windows—and the views they allow—are a great metaphor for wisdom. If we look, and look well; if we look and take in different views, odds are we’ll eventually find the answers we’re seeking. Only when one is able to see things from different angles can complete understanding, often even true wisdom, walk in.

Speaking of wisdom, one of the wisest things I’ve learned came from one of my past relationships in my late-teens / early-twenties (yeah, that time when you think you’re an adult but you’re not really there yet, so there’s still a spattering of angst and a tendency to brood over things that don’t quite go the way you want them; that kind of thing 🙄 ). I don’t even remember what I was moping about, but the lesson I have kept well and have practiced all the time since, and it is one I have passed on to my kids:

When things don’t go the way you want them to, or something makes you frustrated / depressed / angry et cetera, ask yourself this question:

Can I do something about it?

If  the answer to that is Yes, then go do it. If the answer to that is No, then laugh. That’s right: laugh! You can’t do anything about it anyway, so you might as well keep your sense of humor and get on with the rest of the business of living… of living a happy, good life. Right?

We can be down, honey, but we’ll never be out. 😉

Which brings me to the WordPress Photo of the Week theme (Down) and my take on it:

And extolling the wonders of looking at the world from a different viewpoint, here’s Jack Johnson:

I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found
I’ll share this love I find with everyone…

Have a wonderful day loaded with amazing sights and views, and much love too, my friends!

Home Again

14 Feb

He is my best gift from God. He is my greatest treasure. He is my home. (Uhm… along with our five home-lets 😉 ).

From me and “my home” (and Adele) to you and yours – may today be filled with abundant love and laughter in a very special way!

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again …
Whatever words I say
I will always love you 

Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweeties!

{No} Regrets

13 Feb

When you think of regrets–that is, if you have any–what is the first thing that comes to mind? Love (unrequited, lost, or still unknown)? Words (spoken or left unspoken)? Decisions (made hastily or not made early enough or not made at all)?

In case you’re wondering why I’m suddenly wondering about this, you can put the blame on WordPress’s Photo Challenge for the Week (I say this tongue in cheek, of course :)).

The theme, no surprises here, is Regret… and I have to admit it was kind of difficult to think of a way to interpret regret visually (especially since I don’t really make a habit of whipping out my camera and capturing someone caught in a moment of remorse… it somehow feels too invasive, if you know what I mean).

Also, I must confess to a certain discomfort with clicking the shutter and freezing a moment loaded with sorrow (for doesn’t regret always bring sorrow along in its wake?). While I do think that most, if not all, of us have had at least one regret, huge or miniscule, in this life, I also personally believe that these pangs of grief must be long in wisdom and short in memory. In other words (yes, the very ones which I often use to counsel my sons), learn the lesson that pain brings in its wake then move on. Perhaps that’s a natural offshoot of my firm belief that negativity and wallowing in gloom are a waste of energy. 🙂

Which, I hope, explains my interpretation of this week’s challenge:

And here’s a song (from the new, proudly Filipino-made musical: The Ateneo-La Salle Rivalry) that demonstrates how it is possible to go through regret and pain and still come out of it full of hope and optimism.

PS. I just saw Mamma Mia with the hubs and our two older boys yesterday, and we enjoyed it a lot (was especially thrilled when the stage actress performing the role of Donna said “Mabuhay, Manila!” during the encore <heehee> ). Next on the “Want to Watch” list is this musical for which the song above was written and composed.

For my friends who are not from this side of the world, Ateneo (de Manila) and La Salle are two of the all-boys schools that are institutions almost as old as the mountains and seas of this country. I don’t know too many people who cannot claim a connection to either one of the schools, often even both, either from generations past or present. To wit: my dad studied at the Ateneo for grade school and high school then went to De La Salle for university. My brothers went to La Salle for grade school and high school. Two of my sisters went to Ateneo for university. My husband (and his brothers) went to the Ateneo. My two older sons are Ateneans. I have a niece at the Ateneo university and another niece at De La Salle.  And that’s just family… the list goes on and on. See what I mean? Haha!

So the Ateneo-La Salle connection is truly something that many in my country can relate to. I certainly can and am thinking that seeing this musical is very much a “must.” After watching “The Making of Rivalry” my interest in seeing the musical grew even greater! Here it is:

Have a happy week ahead filled with loads of happiness, wonderful music, and absolutely no regrets!

Bring It On!

8 Feb

I love the word ready because it denotes a willingness, an openness, to jump into adventure, into learning, into life.

It also happens to be the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and here’s my take on it (a triathlete standing on the shore of the beach at dawn, stretching before jumping into the cold waters for the swimming event):

And here’s U2’s singing People Get Ready!

May you be ready for all the adventures this week has to offer! 🙂

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