Category: Literary


I have heard about him, read about him, and I respect him for bringing hope and inspiration to millions. His life is a testament to me that no matter how many lemons Fate throws you, you can make glasses after glasses of lemonade.

Nick Vujicic at this morning's press conference, Singapore

Nick Vujicic at this morning’s press conference, Singapore

But what I did not know about Nick Vujicic (pron. Vooy-cheech) is that he attempted suicide at the age of 10.

He was bullied from a young age, and suffered from loneliness and depression. He hated God then for making him the way he was and was terrified of what would happen to him if his parents weren’t there to take care of him.

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Being ‘different’ was already tough enough for this Serb growing up in Melbourne. It became tougher when his family moved to Los Angeles because not only was he the only kid in his school with no arms and no legs, and the only kid in a wheelchair, he also became the only kid in the school with an Australian accent!

“The most common bullying experience is being taunted or ridiculed for being ‘different’ in some way. I’m the poster child for this,” he says in his latest book, Stand Strong, on bullying.

“Most of us are familiar with childhood bullies who threaten to beat us up, make fun of us, or turn friends against us. Adults may experience bullying in the form of sexual harassment or as discrimination based on race, religion, sexual identity or disabilities. Bullies can be your boss, coworkers, teachers, coaches, boyfriends or girlfriends – anyone who abuses his power or position.” 

When I hear Nick’s definition of bullying, it puts some things into perspective for me: Lately, there have been religious leaders in Singapore making discriminatory remarks against pockets of people in the community who are ‘different’. And when their actions were exposed, they tried to turn the tables around to accuse those they attacked for being the ones discriminating against them.

Seriously? When people who are ‘different’ – who have been marginalised or discriminated against all their lives – speak up, they are not discriminating against you. They are standing up for themselves against your bullying.

The media lapped up his every word and questions flowed freely.

The media lapped up his every word and questions flowed freely.

Nick Vujicic is an inspiration to me because despite what he has gone through, he exudes JOY.

And he is unapologetic about attributing it to God and His faith. And while this may seem a little out of place – in theory – in a secular press conference filled with journalists, it was not out of place at all. I did not get a sense of him speaking about God from a place of self-righteousness or a ‘holier than thou’ pulpit. He was coming from a space of love.

During this press conference, Nick announced three projects he’s working on:

1,000 Videos in 1,000 Days

About a month ago, Nick launched a project to put 1,000 messages of hope – each about a minute long – on YouTube, where anyone can access. These are broadcast through 36 YouTube channels in 36 different languages. At this point in time, there are about 30 clips up, and you can expect another 970 over the next three years. One every day. You can access these clips here.

Here’s a taste of it:

A Movie on His Life

Nick also revealed that a movie on his life is in the works, and is scheduled to be released in the United States in 2015. This movie is produced by 10 Elephants Pictures, a film production house he’s set up with some partners. “I’m not sure if I will be acting in it, or if they will use my body and CGI the actor’s head on!” he jokes. “But we do have a budget for a Class A actor and Class A director.” (A little narcissistic though?)

Love Without Limits 

Many people have been asking Nick Vujicic how he met his beautiful wife, Kanae. The couple were married in Feb 2012, and a year later, became parents to a healthy baby boy whom they named Kiyoshi. Nick announced today that his wife Kanae and him are writing a book about their love story.

Nick proposed to Kanae on a boat, and put the ring on her finger with his mouth!

Nick proposed to Kanae on a boat, and put the ring on her finger with his mouth!

The book is entitled Love Without Limits and will be released in the United States on Nov 18. “If you’re inspired by me, I’m even more inspired by her,” he says with pride. “What I’ve gone through is nothing compared to her. She has not shared her side of our story.”

Nick and Kanae with their one-year-old son, Kiyoshi

Nick and Kanae with their one-year-old son, Kiyoshi

I’m excited about what’s in store for Nick. He is the keynote speaker for the 2014 National Achievers Congress in Singapore this weekend, but his talk Success Without Limits has been sold out.

But you can grab a copy of his latest book, Stand Strong, at all major bookstores. Launched here on 15 April, it has claimed No. 1 spot on the Sunday Times Bestsellers List for the past three weeks, and counting…

Truth be told, I have not read a single book of his. But after meeting Nick today, I think I may start with this one.

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“Whatever the field of our expertise, most of us realize that the more data we acquire, the less, very often, we know. The universe is not a fixed sum, in which the amount you know subtracts from the amount you don’t… The more we know, the greater we find is our ignorance.” ~ Pico Iyer

I started following media reports of the disappearance of MH370 with puzzlement and horror. In the early days, every new piece of information seemed to open a new door of possibilities. And I was hooked. But of late, I’ve stopped following the developments because the more information I read, and the more speculations I hear, the more confused I feel.

Photo: International Business Times

Photo: International Business Times

So this piece of writing by one of my favourite travel writers, Pico Iyer, really spoke to me. Not just with regards to MH370, but also for the things I’m learning about human trafficking in the region. I have been learning and reading up and doing interviews with people in the field for a decade now, but it seems the more I know, the less I know. The more information I get, the more I realise just how ignorant I am!

“The universe is not a fixed sum, in which the amount you know subtracts from the amount you don’t… The more we know, the greater we find is our ignorance.” ~ Pico Iyer 

This article was shared with me by my dear friend Jasmine Choo. I took a while to get to reading it but I’m glad I did. It speaks to me on so many levels!

Here’s the full article by Pico Iyer. Published in The New Times on 20 March 2014.

—–

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer

The Folly of Thinking We Know

The Painful Hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

– Pico Iyer (The New York Times, 20 March 2014)

 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — WE’VE most of us, surely, heard all the figures: Humanity now produces as much data in two days as it did in all of history till the year 2003 — and the amount of data is doubling every two years. In the time you take to read this piece, the human race will generate as much data as currently exists in the Library of Congress. For that matter — yes, your inbox and Facebook page would reflect this — 10 percent of all the pictures ever taken as of the end of 2011 were taken in 2011. Yet as we think about how an entire Boeing 777 has gone missing for almost two weeks now, we’re also painfully reminded of how much we can’t — and may never — know, even in the Knowledge Economy.

 

The Nobel Prize-winning economist and psychologist Daniel Kahneman has noted, after decades of research, that it’s our nature to overestimate how much we understand the world and to underestimate the role of chance. And it’s our folly to assume we know very much at all. There’s “a highly objectionable word,” he writes, “which should be removed from our vocabulary in discussions of major events,” and that word is “knew.”

 

I think of this as I watch one expert after another offer informed guesses about the fate of the missing plane, even as all we know about it so far is how provisional — and contradictory — our speculations have been. I also recall how the words that most convey authority and credibility whenever I listen to any pundit speak are “I don’t know.” Whatever the field of our expertise, most of us realize that the more data we acquire, the less, very often, we know. The universe is not a fixed sum, in which the amount you know subtracts from the amount you don’t.

 

As Gardiner G. Hubbard, the first president of the National Geographic Society, said in 1888, when his magazine set out to chart everything in the known universe, “The more we know, the greater we find is our ignorance.” And it can often seem as if nature — or something beyond our reckoning at least — intrudes every time we’re tempted to get above ourselves. Whenever we begin to assume we can command or comprehend quite a bit, some Icarian calamity pushes our face, tragically, in the limits of our knowledge.

 

It’s been humbling, as well as horrifying, to see the entire globe, in an age of unprecedented data accumulation, up in the air, more or less, but poignantly aware that, whatever we do learn, a grief beyond understanding is likely to be a part of it.

 

We imagine how those with loved ones on the plane must be trying to fill the absence, of knowledge as well as of their sons or wives, and how they may fear, even if at times they long for, certainty. We imagine the people on the aircraft, whose not-knowing might have been felt on the pulse, accelerating, as the vessel suddenly changed course. We translate the story into our own lives, and think about how the things we don’t know haunt and possess us as the things we do seldom can.

 

Even if we do learn more about the fate of the airliner, it’s unlikely that all of our questions will ever be answered. And the memory of how much we didn’t know — and how long we didn’t know it — ought to sober us as we prepare for the next sudden visitation of the inexplicable.

 

We’re all grateful that we know as much as we do these days, and enjoy lives that are safer, longer, healthier and better connected than those of any generation before ours. Yet each day that passes, Malaysia 370 keeps hovering like a terrible blank in our minds, more visible the longer it’s out of our view.

 
Pico Iyer is the author, most recently, of “The Man Within My Head” and a distinguished presidential fellow at Chapman University.

Fight the Good Fight

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“We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies, and agape cannot reach it. 

The good fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us. In the heroic ages – at the time of the knights in armour – this was easy. There were lands to conquer and much to do. Today, though, the world has changed a lot, and the good fight has shifted from the battlefields to the fields within ourselves. 

The good fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams. When we’re young and our dreams first explode inside us with all their force, we were very courageous, but we haven’t yet learned how to fight. With great effort, we learn how to fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat. So we turn against ourselves and do battle within. We become our own worst enemy. We say that our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realise, or the result of our not having known enough about life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid to fight the good fight.” 

~ Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage) 

The Road to Santiago

The Road to Santiago

Today marks the last day of 2013. When I look back on this one year, I remember it for two things: 

Firstly, for leaving my full-time journalism job of 7 years to follow my dream of being a writer. I have known since I was 13 that I was created to write. And while I did make a decision to do that in a mid-career shift, this path was somehow overshadowed when I pursued journalism into the realms of radio and television. Those were, no doubt, good years. But it was time to return to my first love.

If we don’t stand up and fight for our own dreams, who will fight for us?

There are battles we can step away from, and there are battles we need to step up to. And I think we need to pray for wisdom to choose them wisely. But once we’ve chosen, fight the good fight for them!

Secondly, 2013 was about closing chapters and writing new ones. It was a season of letting go, of decluttering, and recognising that I need to step away from things in my life that don’t serve to build me up but drag me down. I wouldn’t say it was easy at all, but necessary.

With the closing of a chapter meant the freeing-up of space in my life. I think in many ways I was ready for God to fill it with His idea of goodness. And I trusted that He would provide – in His time, and in His way.

And He did. I will remember 2013 as a year of new and unexpected friendships. I am still in the midst of spring-cleaning, taking stock of who are my Reason, Season & Lifetime friends. It’s a time of flux, but I believe I’ll emerge with a greater knowing of how to move forward, traveling lighter.

2013 was also a year of extensive travel for me. I barely stayed for a month before I was off again. In March, I embarked on my first solo trip, followed by another one in October, and I realised how much I love solo travel.

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So for all the ups and downs, the pains and joys, the endings and beginnings, I am deeply grateful.

I am looking forward to 2014 because I’m recently reminded that my life must serve a purpose bigger than myself. I want some clarity on that in the new year.

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And for that reason, one of the items on my bucket list in 2014 is a pilgrimage to walk the Road to Santiago, a path trodden by millions of pilgrims for centuries. Insha’Allah – God willing.

Let’s see where that leads.

“The good fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Call of the Camino


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These words by Mark Twain hit me like a brick wall. I don’t profess to know why I’m born. And it strikes me today that I may never know.

But I feel it shouldn’t stop me from searching. Because if my Maker made me for a reason, then I want to live out that purpose while I’m still here.

I woke up this morning wanting to re-watch a 42min video on the El Camino a Santiago – or the Road to Santiago – with Paulo Coelho, one of my most revered writers.

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The  film traces his 700km walk across northern Spain, a journey that would change the course of his life forever. It was this pivotal journey that compelled him to start writing at the age of 38. And in many ways, it was the journey that revealed to him his life’s purpose.

Coelho has since sold more than 150 million books in over 150 countries worldwide, and his works have been translated into 80 languages.

From his own El Camino a Santiago experience, he wrote The Pilgrimage – a precursor to his international bestseller, The Alchemist.

A copy of this book has been sitting on my shelf for many years.

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Perhaps it’s time to finally read it. I’ve always believed that books find you at the right time.

I don’t know where this prompting will lead me. But I do know that in the current circumstances of my life, there is a quiet persistent yearning to know: Why I’m here, and what I’m meant to do in this fraction of eternity that I’m here.

And really, it shouldn’t surprise me that it would be authors who have set me on this path. 

Here is the video. If you decide to watch it, BE OPEN because you never know what questions it raises for you. And isn’t it always about asking the right questions?

“The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats.” 
― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage 

  

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“The secret to staying intrigued on the road is this: Don’t set limits

Don’t set limits on what you can or can’t do.

Don’t set limits on what is or isn’t worthy of your time.

Dare yourself to play games with your day: watch, wait, listen; allow things to happen. 

Vagabonding is not a quest for answers so much as a celebration of the questions,

an embrace of the ambiguous, and an openness to anything that comes your way.

Indeed if you set off on down the road with specific agendas and goals,

you will at best discover the pleasure of actualizing them. 

But if you wander with open eyes and simple curiosity, you’ll discover a much richer pleasure –

the simple feeling of possibility that hums from every direction as you move from place to place.” 

– Rolf Potts, ‘Vagabonding’

Meeting travel writer Rolf Potts in Melbourne, 2013

Meeting travel writer Rolf Potts in Melbourne, 2013

In the recent months, I’ve been traveling quite a bit for work. I am deeply grateful for the fact that I can marry my twin loves of writing and traveling, and am attempting to make a living out of it as a full-time freelance writer.

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But reading a little bit of Rolf Potts’ book ‘Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel’ makes me realise that the sort of traveling he is talking about is a little different from the sort of traveling I’m doing now, but totally what I was doing back in 2011, when I dropped everything and took a year off to backpack around the world.

Rolf defines the concept of ‘Vagabonding‘ as this: 

(1) The act of leaving behind the orderly world to travel independently for an extended period of time, 

(2) A privately meaningful manner of travel that emphasises creativity, adventure, awareness, simplicity, discovery, independence, realism, self-reliance, and the growth of the spirit,

(3) A deliberate way of living that makes freedom to travel possible. 

Short vacations – even many back-to-back ones – isn’t akin to Vagabonding, in the strict sense of the word. But for most of us, it is as close to leading a vagabonding lifestyle as we can hope to have, while balancing our personal commitments back home.

What I am focusing on now is (3) because the freedom to travel – as a deliberate way of living – has to be earned. And it has to be earned through honest, hard work. And we must value the work that permits this freedom.

I need to mention this definition in order to put in context the first quote. When Rolf wrote about “the secret to staying intrigued on the road”, he was not referring to short vacations, but the art of long-term world travel.

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On all my short trips (lasting two weeks or less), I never ever felt travel fatigue. Maybe in Siem Reap, I did feel a little weary of visiting temples and ruins after a while… and in Bhutan too… but there was always a cosy cafe somewhere where I could kick off my shoes and enjoy a cuppa, lounge music and eat French fries.

But when I took a year off to backpack around the world, I did experience moments when travel lost its lustre.

I woke up one day in Vermont and actually thought to myself, “What the hell am I going to do today in this frickin’ town?” On the map, it seemed like a good idea to stay in a town equi-distant from three cities. But what I did not realise is that in an expansive state like Vermont, that’s like staying in the middle of nowhere.

You can’t quite “walk around” in Vermont. There was nothing around the neighbourhood where my B&B was, except houses, houses and more houses. Boredom set in, heavily.

tumblr_lj0wix2o981qdkde1o1_500I was getting sick of sandwiches and salads and bad American coffee. And it was getting wretchedly lonely on the road. I missed late night supper with my friends back home – having roti prata, rowdy conversations, and real kopi with thick, sweet condensed milk.

On hindsight, I don’t even remember the name of the Vermont town I was staying in. But I did vaguely recall that this town grew as a result of immigrants moving here to work on a quarry. How exciting is that? Seriously.

A quarry.

But then, in my utter boredom, this question tickled my grey matter: What sort of quarry? Granite? Limestone? What happened to these quarries? Do they still exist today?

And so I asked the B&B owner about this, and he said it was a marble quarry. And that there was a factory not too far from where I was staying that still manufactures marble slabs, for cemetery headstones and ornamental plaques.

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I could have dismissed this – easily. It’s not one of those things I would have considered “part of my travel plans” or even worthy of my time. But on that day, I reckoned I had nothing to lose.

Well, as luck would have it, it turned out that I could not even go into the factory to see how these marble monuments were made.

But when I was milling around the little gift shop, an elderly couple came in and started chatting with the cashier. I wasn’t eavesdropping on their conversation – not really – because the shop was just not that big. But they started talking about driving down to the quarry, and I thought: OOH.

“Wait a minute, I’ll get the truck around and you can hop on,” the cashier was saying, grabbing her keys.

“Can I come along?” I heard myself saying.

“Sure, sweetie!” smiled the kindly old cashier lady. “Just get your car around and drive behind me.”

We drove away from the marble factory and small gift shop, through some dusty roads, to a private enclosure somewhere – in the middle of nowhere – and then we stopped and walked, our shoes crunching on the gravel.

Then lo and behold, we saw this…

Marble quarry

My jaw dropped, literally.

It was a living, breathing marble quarry. I could hear the machinery at work, the call of workmen’s voices down below, and it was surreal. It didn’t look like anything I’d seen on Planet Earth.

The cashier lady started to explain to us the history of this place. How the discovery of this top-grade marble had led to immigrants from as far as Europe coming here to find work in the 1800s.

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And that was how this little town grew… from European immigrants settling here, and starting families. Most of the people living in the area were descendants of these Scottish and Irish immigrants.

It turns out that marble shaped the history of this town – and Vermont – in more ways than I ever imagined. Who would have thought Vermont even had marble? It’s something you find in Italy.

To this day, I do not remember the name of that little town in Vermont. But this was what Rolf Potts was talking about in his uncommon guide to the art of long-term world travel. You never know the possibilities that hum from every direction.

“The secret to staying intrigued on the road is this: Don’t set limits. 

Don’t set limits on what you can or can’t do.

Don’t set limits on what is or isn’t worthy of your time.”

Ode to a Rose

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How intricate your petals weave and coil,

Unfolding little by little as you bloom.

You are a mystery to me as you blossom;

So unpredictable, so distinct from every other.

But the transience of your beauty!

Let me love you now before it’s too late,

Because nothing in this life lasts forever.

And some things, more than others, last for just a heartbeat.

~ Pamela Ho ~

*My pretty roses are blooming, and this one inspired me to write an ode.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I think I must be growing old. Because the things that used to matter to me when I meet a new friend, a new love, no longer matter to me.

When I was 15, I wanted to marry a boy who wore Nike shoes, played tennis, and was Eurasian. Any boy. As long as he fulfilled that criteria.

Don’t ask me how I remember these details. Maybe it’s because they are so silly.

Then as I got older, different things started to interest me about a person. What did he do for a living? What has she accomplished? What are his passions? Her dreams?

But even these are starting to lose its interest for me. What does it matter what a person does for a living? How old he or she is? Where they live or how much money they make? What car they drive?

It matters naught to me.

This poem captures so beautifully the essence of what matters, underlying the superficial trappings of the external.

A person – man or woman, rich or poor, educated or uneducated – is so much more.

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Just before I slept late last night, I saw a lovely sketch by my friend @fleecircus on Instagram.

But what captioned my heart immediately after her beautiful drawing was her accompanying caption:

Sketch by @fleecircus

Sketch by @fleecircus

I asked her where this quote came from, and @fleecircus pointed me to this poem below.

I think nothing happens by chance, and anything can inspire us. This poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer – storyteller and lover of words – has inspired me to share.

I don’t think I can put it in better words. And so I shall clear my little playground for her words to dance around freely, and hopefully into your heart.

The Dance 

I have sent you my invi­ta­tion, the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of liv­ing. Don’t jump up and shout, “Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!” Just stand up qui­etly and dance with me.

Show me how you fol­low your deep­est desires, spi­ral­ing down into the ache within the ache. And I will show you how I reach inward and open out­ward to feel the kiss of the Mys­tery, sweet lips on my own, everyday.

Don’t tell me you want to hold the whole world in your heart. Show me how you turn away from mak­ing another wrong with­out aban­don­ing your­self when you are hurt and afraid of being unloved.

Tell me a story of who you are, And see who I am in the sto­ries I am liv­ing. And together we will remem­ber that each of us always has a choice.

Don’t tell me how won­der­ful things will be … some day. Show me you can risk being com­pletely at peace, truly OK with the way things are right now in this moment, and again in the next and the next and the next…

I have heard enough war­rior sto­ries of heroic dar­ing. Tell me how you crum­ble when you hit the wall, the place you can­not go beyond by the strength of your own will. What car­ries you to the other side of that wall, to the frag­ile beauty of your own humanness?

And after we have shown each other how we have set and kept the clear, healthy bound­aries that help us live side by side with each other, let us risk remem­ber­ing that we never stop silently lov­ing those we once loved out loud.

Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk let­ting the world break your heart. And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars over­head make my heart whole again and again.

Show me how you take care of busi­ness with­out let­ting busi­ness deter­mine who you are. When the chil­dren are fed but still the voices within and around us shout that soul’s desires have too high a price, let us remind each other that it is never about the money.

Show me how you offer to your peo­ple and the world the sto­ries and the songs you want our children’s chil­dren to remem­ber, and I will show you how I strug­gle not to change the world, but to love it.

Sit beside me in long moments of shared soli­tude, know­ing both our absolute alone­ness and our unde­ni­able belong­ing. Dance with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, hold­ing nei­ther against me at the end of the day.

And when the sound of all the dec­la­ra­tions of our sin­cer­est inten­tions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infi­nite pause before the next great inhale of the breath that is breath­ing us all into being, not fill­ing the empti­ness from the out­side or from within.

Don’t say, “Yes!” Just take my hand and dance with me. 

~ Oriah Moun­tain Dreamer

“And after we have shown each other how we have set and kept the clear, healthy bound­aries that help us live side by side with each other, let us risk remem­ber­ing that we never stop silently lov­ing those we once loved out loud.”

/ˈwändərˌləst/

Some words just have a way of wooing you; even seducing you.

They are like a curious translucent pool of deep purple… luring you in, drawing you closer, compelling you to just lean over to catch a glimpse of what lies deeper.

The first word that had that profound effect on me was Serendipity.

11 letters,  5 syllables, almost randomly strewn together. But oh, the depth of that one word! You could spin a million magical tales with it.

No dictionary or thesaurus, in my opinion, can ever do justice to its semantics. It can only be fully understood, and appreciated, through stories.

I have always loved words. They fascinate me. I’ll mull over them, repeat them out loud, even slam a book shut because I simply can’t go on. I have to stop and savour.

That’s probably why I’m the slowest reader in the history of humankind. I don’t just read for plots. I read for words.

Recently, another word has surfaced from the bowels of the English language to grab hold of me, and woo me.

She isn’t quite there yet, but she is getting under my skin.

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/ˈwändərˌləst/ 

German : wandernto wander + Lustdesire 

When you’ve been on the road continuously for almost a year, going where the wind blows, you quickly realize that the line between “destination” and “journey” is blurred.  

Is stopping overnight at Glenwood Springs, Colorado – along the breathtaking “California Zephyr” Amtrak route – a destination or part of the journey?

Is Madagascar – which lies along the route from Africa to Asia – a destination or just a stopover on our journey home?

I’ve come to accept that everything is journey. And the journey itself is home.

Wanderlust. That word alone encapsulates a myriad of memories and unmarked paths yet untrodden; freedom and fear, desires and apprehensions, happiness and heartbreaks. Past. Present. Future.

It is still, for me, a tangled mess of paradoxes. A blessing and a curse.

And so, I’ll continue to allow myself to savour this word. Because I am leaning over that translucent pool of deep purple, and still I can’t see the bottom.