Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Memories Of Feelings



There are many happenings in our journey of life.

Some we anticipate, but some surprise us.

Some we desire, but some we want to avoid.

But what is to happen will happen.

No matter how hard we try.

*******

There are always the memories and feelings of the past.

There are always the remembrances and thoughts of those people we knew and loved.

And there are always the nostalgia, heartache and emotional moments when the memories of the past events and people come to life again.

*******

Sometimes we get together and have a long talk about our memories.

But sometimes we keep them to ourselves, but always trying hard to remember the details.

Sometimes we just want to forget about them and move on with our lives.

*******

There are those moments of shame and guilt that we want to forget.

There are those moments of triumph and success that we are delighted to share.

There are those moments of joy and happiness that we want to dwell on as they always burst us into laughter and tears.

And there are those moments of nostalgia and longing that we want to recall and remember.

*******

I remember that moment when my late mother mourned for the demise of my father.

I remember her screaming, crying, and yelling for her beloved.

They still haunt me from time to time.

********

I remember the moment when my mother drew her last breath.

I remember knowing how she hugged my sister-in-law and patted her on the back, thanking her for taking good care of her.

I remember her funeral service and burial.

And our many tears.

********

Some of us live to a ripe old age, carrying the memories of our family and friends.

We have many stories to tell.

We have many memories to remember.

We have many happiness to share.

And we have many tears to cry.

********

Oh! Memories of the past.

Memories so full of emotions and meanings.

They are not mere happenings.

They are memories of feelings.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How Long Is My Little While?



Wonder why it's so difficult to get things done these days.

Feeling rather restless and very unsettled.

There are many things I desire to do in life for the betterment of my family and career.

I plan well and I make a good head start.

And in the process of doing them, I derive great satisfaction and fulfillment.

Then certain problems and difficulties crop up.

I try to study and understand them.

Then rather helplessly I resign and leave them for a while, only to realize that I have never picked them up again.

I admire those who can do everything meticulously and methodically on their own from beginning to end.

I believe they derive great satisfaction and fulfillment too from everything they do.

Their quality life is not only measured by their products but also by the processes they have gone through.

If only I have the gift of patience, persistence and perseverance.

It is a talent well-developed.

It is a skill well-learned.

It is a present from God well received.

Maybe I need more contemplation and less frenetic activities.

Maybe I need to stop and reorganize my life than let life continues to take its course, like the river of no return.

Ah! I don't know just to how and where to start doing.

There are a lot of things to think about.

I need more time to pay more attention to everything I do.

Even little children can do big things by study things in their own small ways.

Of course, some will say, "Don't hurry. Everything will be done in due time."

But it maybe too late for the benefits of the family and everyone.

Maybe I should relate the problems to someone.

There are people out there who have more knowledge and experience than me.

They most probably know how to help.

Maybe certain things cannot be done alone.

I will need helps and cooperation from others.

How about spending sometimes meditating and praying?

It will surely help when we are inspired and motivated to see things clearer and sharper, and to think things through before going ahead.

Maybe life isn't that complex and unfathomable.

A little more time to contemplate, to mix around, and to meditate and pray may help.

Maybe we need just a little rest.

Maybe we just need to leave the things behind for a while and pick them up later.

A little while?

How long is my little while?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Picture With A Thousand Stories


It was an age-old picture.

It belonged to my colleague, a good friend of mine.

It was a picture of a wooden attap house.

The roof and the walls were covered with nipah palm leaves.

The house stood on stilts and there were wooden staircases to the front and back of the house.

The house was in a low-lying area, prone to flood whenever the river rose.

I presumed the picture was taken when everyone was summoned to gather in front of the house.

The family members looked smart and was ready with their sweet smile.

Then someone might have suggested to take picture of the whole house.

Eventually, the picture was taken with its focus on the house, and not on the family who lined up the staircase.

It was rather comical to see two bystanders in the picture.

*******

The picture looked old and faded.

It was torn and cracked with many white spots and dirty finger prints.

I took a good look at the picture. The surroundings could be done with the cloning and healing tools. The difficulties would be the retouching of people, where viewers would pay the most attention.

Not wanting to disappoint my good friend on the spot, I told him that I would give it a try.

After a few days of busy activities, I began to do some basic restoring and retouching works on the picture.

If it was a few years ago, it would not have been a problem; I had a sharp eyes for details.

But that day was gone, now that I had blurry eyes.

My eyes were red and swollen after few hours of doing the cloning and healing of the surroundings.

I had eventually enlarged the picture to the best resolution possible.

My wife was watching me from behind as I worked, shaking her head.

Eventually she told me to stop as it would involve too much work, and more complaining from me.

I contemplated for a while but decided to continue.

After trying for another few minutes, I finally gave up.

It was too difficult for me!

I realized that it was not easy to say "No" to a friend's request.

But it was equally difficult to please a friend when the thing was not done well.

Whatever we do, we must do the best we can to our friends and family.

I relaxed for a while, thinking what to do next.

Then I made up my mind to give my dear friend a call.

It was not easy but I must tell him that I was not good enough for the job.

My friend answered my call, rather disappointed and sad with my answer.

But he showed his understanding and appreciation.

The truth did disappoint but telling him a lie would bring in more lies.

I pondered for a while and was pleased with all that I had done.

Then I looked at the picture again.

It was an age-old picture with many sweet memories.

I could feel the sense of comfort and belonging as I examined the picture.

Sometimes, memories like this is not easy to let go and let loose.

Memory tends to stay and the good old days may refuse to fade away.

Vaguely I recalled my lost family and friends........

A sense of remorse and sadness came over me, and I was drowned in the sea of love.......

A picture can and do tell a thousand stories.

Sorry to disappoint you, my dear friend.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Teaching Is A Sacrifice, But For Whom?



Everyone works hard to provide for themselves and their family. So do teachers.

Given a choice, they would like to teach near their home, where the family gather, where there are relatives and friends, where they can buy all their needs and wants, and where they can do when they want.

And as the children grow, they have more things to consider, more areas to cover, and more headaches and migraines......

Recently they are told that the government is making it compulsory for teachers to teach at least 3-5 years in the rural and interior schools.

The education ministry is determined to see experienced and knowledgeable teachers serving in rural schools.

And all teachers are to view such postings as national service as well as for the love of teaching and for the students who were our future.

The news stunned them all........

Rural postings was no longer only for newly graduated teachers.

Fear and apprehension eventually took them.......

They were afraid they would end up in the rural ares permanently.

They were afraid that once they accepted postings to rural schools, they would be forgotten and left there for years by the ministry.

They had heard news of teachers who had been stuck in rural schools for 20 to 30 years.

Yes, the government was providing monetary and other incentive to attract teachers to teach in rural areas.

But the issue here was not money........ They wanted to be with their families back home.

Many walked and sat uneasily and began to grumble and complain.......

Why couldn't the government train more locals as teachers? These people could and would return to serve their communities once they graduated.

But just how many of these local teachers would do that? I asked myself. Slowly they would still be moving to the towns and cities too.

And so did all those who were successful in their works and studies........

Only the poor and illiterate remained there in rural areas, forever working hard for a living, with no one to hear their grievances.

And just how many teachers care enough to go there?

But why couldn't the government develop the rural areas faster?

More questioning and reasoning, everywhere and every time.

The coffee shops and roadside stalls were filled with people, more businesses and more money........

The shopkeepers and vendors were smiling broadly, serving their clients.

Everyone knows teaching is a sacrifice, but for whom?

And who cares what you think?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Walking And Dreaming



Walking through a sea of people in a strange place, not many people seems to notice, call or greet one another. Many are busy and preoccupied with their own thinking and doings. Occasionally a cell phone rings and calls them back into reality. Then you can see them standing somewhere, listening and sometimes smiling. And you can hear them talking and laughing, with their unique gestures and facial expressions. When all is done, you will see them continue their thinking and doings again.

Many of us are filling our life with our own things. We do most of our doings and thinking. We are driven by our hopes and dreams. And we are not willing to be slowed or stopped by anyone, including our family, relatives and friends. It may take a while before we are persuaded to have a family outing, do some shopping, have a cup of drink or just sit down to relax and enjoy our lives.

We sometimes tell ourselves that certain things in life just cannot wait for us. We have to act fast to get them before we lose the opportunity. And so we pursue our studies, our career....... relentlessly and tenaciously. Nothing is to stop us! We remind ourselves constantly.

And so we lose the joy of a family life and we neglect our friends. We don't have time for all these. They are not to distract us from chasing after our dreams and goals. No...no. Nothing must hinder us! We remind ourselves constantly. Yes, we do relax, watching some movies or TV series, or playing some games. But our work is our priority.

But at the end of the day, when we see our friends enjoying a happy family life, when we see our friends having fruitful times together, and when we see the joy and the love surrounding them. We tend to be envious of them...... if only we know our work is not our priority.

Many of us continue to walk like a walking corpse through the sea of people in a strange place. Life is a drudgery and continues to be a burden.

Deep inside, many are still searching and questioning the meaning of life, the purpose of our beings........ Is life just a walking through the sea of people, fulfilling our dreams? Do we just continue to manipulate others for our ends? How about accountability? Is it there?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Life Is A Highway



In life, there is always a time for everything. A time to sow, a time to reap. A time to be together, a time to be alone. A time to mourn, a time to rejoice. A time to move, a time to pause. A time to work and a time to play.

In work, there is also a time for everything. A time to plan, a time to respond. A time to lead, a time to follow. A time to listen and a time to act.

There is also a season for everything. There are times when we celebrate and commemorate. There are times when we anticipate the arrival of every festival and occasion. There are times when we desire to have everyone coming together to talk about old times and to share about the latest happenings.

And we never forget to teach our future generations the same; they are to learn, to remember and to honor every one of them. These are our culture and tradition to keep and to treasure throughout the generations. We are never to forget. And we look forward to them as they continue to give us meaningful and memorable times and experiences.

And so we celebrated our Chinese New Years 2010. We spent weeks of preparation and days of planning.

Then came the moment of truth when family members, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, first time visitors.... flocked in groups to visit us.

Then we visited them in return and had a nice and sweet time.

Throughout the festival, We learned to know about other old and new friends. We enjoyed each other's presence. There are so many things to learn, to share, and to cherish. These were indeed exciting and wonderful moments of our lives.

Time flew and waited for no man. A time to be together and a time to separate. A time for festival and then we must be back to the highway.

Came Chap Go Mei, the 15th night of Chinese New Year, the Chinese's Valentine's day. Family members came together for the last time, eating, drinking and enjoying one another's company. More fire crackers and fire works, more laughter and fun, with the children running around and shouting on the street, and with more smoke and pungent smell of fire crackers entering the house.

Then came the moment of separation and departure. Everyone seemed to be unwilling to go. Many wanted to stay longer.

But the time had arrived. Everyone must return to the highway.

Everyone is back to the road, moving in a different direction, and desiring a different destination.

Time to get busy again until another season, another festival, and another celebration.

Life is a highway.

Back to the highway, everyone continues to have their journey of life. They continue to chase after their dreams and butterflies. Sometimes they stop in the toll station, paying the cost of their journey. Sometimes they stop in the emergency lane when the vehicle breaks down. Sometimes they drive to retail outlets for their needs and wants. But most of the time, they are returning to the same office, going through their daily routine busy time.

Life is always a highway.

But for how long?