Dwarves & Gnomes

I have spent a better part of the week thinking about what clever photo I could take to capture the idea of Dwarf, as featured by Debbie at TravewithIntent’s One Word Sunday Challenge. I’m was going to resort to my archives when I ran past a pair of Gatekeepers of the Hilton Hotel on Orchard Road a few nights ago. They were lit in a pretty sinister manner and I wondered then if they might qualify (referring to statuary, as opposed to stature).

Ran past them again this morning, and since I have had no joy with a clever interpretation of the challenge, here is Qin Shu Bao (1975) by Aw Eng Kwang. Qin Shu Bao was a Tang Dynasty general, whose image adorns many a door & gateway of homes, temples & businesses in China ( (and apparently, the Hilton Singapore)) as a Door God

Last night, I spent a rousing evening with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra who played from Balakiev, Borodin & Mussorgsky. The feature of the evening was Pictures from an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. I loved this piece as a teen, but what I only learnt from the programme notes last night is that Mussorgsky wrote this for piano. The version I have often listened to is an orchestral rendition by Ravel.

In the spirit of Debbie’s challenge, Part 2 of the piece is called Gnome. I know a gnome is not a dwarf, but in terms of statuary, maybe one can accept that they are not so different.

Pictures at an Exhibition: Part 2 Gnome,  Piano version by Mussorgsky

Pictures at an Exhibition: Part 2 Gnome, Orchestrated by Ravel

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Giant Among Men: 5 Minutes with The Lady

I love how inspiration flows through the WordPress community: a word, an image, a piece of music to lighten the day, to illuminate the dark, to compel us to be better than ourselves.

Thinking particularly of Debbie at TravelwithIntent‘s One Word Sunday Challenge for this week: Giant. Her spread featuring Botero’s audacious & curvy giants delighted and inspired me to post my series: Women in the Next Three Decades. Continue reading “Giant Among Men: 5 Minutes with The Lady”

Beautiful Bangkok

One of my favorite cityscapes as I run the bicycle path between Lumpini and Benjakitty Parks in Bangkok this week.

My contribution to Debbie’s One Word Sunday, Afar.

The Changing Seasons: June 2018

Thinking about The Frangipani & some of it’s meaning:

• Withstanding tough challenges

• Everlasting bond between two people

• spiritual devotion

It has been a month of recollecting and thanksgiving for where I am today. A time of reconnecting with friends and family, through numerous gatherings around food, culminating with a week in Bangkok with my parents, Sister & Niece (visiting from Phoenix, AZ), Loving Husband & Daughters.

With each meal we share & the time we take to reaffirm the bonds of love, I am reminded that I am who I am in large part because of those who love me.

Most of all, I acknowledge that I am part of a greater plan for Creation – I may not ever know what my role is, but for now, it is enough that I am here.

Feature Photo was taken this morning on our morning run to Benchasiri Park, Bangkok: Frangipani trees against a brilliant blue sky.

This my contribution to The Changing Seasons.

Time for a change

You may have noticed that the face of my blog has changed from Sunrise, Sunset: Matters of Perspective, to All Things Bright & Beautiful: Delighting in Our World.

AllThings1
Sharing the pavement with a Malayan Water Monitor

It began with an encounter with Lizzie on a morning run. I was squatting on the ground, attempting to photograph him without scaring him off. Two fellow-pavement users walked by, balked at the sight of Lizzie & I (I’m not really sure who created a greater sensation) and exclaimed: “You’re not scared of it?!!!”

Up till then, it didn’t even occur to me that I should be frightened. Sometimes, ignorance is really bliss! Inevitably, my thoughts turned to the year that has gone by; June 2017 was spent

  • recovering so I could leave the hospital (after almost a month)
  • relearning to breathe, walk and perform an assortment of other mundane tasks so I could reclaim a semblance of my life
  • rehabilitating so that I could become independent again
AllThings2
I run past this bench at the Saraca Stream Walk, Singapore Botanic Gardens pretty often. Every time I do, I remember my first month of rehabilitation when I had to stop often to catch my breath, even on slow, short walks. I spent much time sitting here.

Memories of my ICU experience continue to elude me. The 12 days of the coma are completely lost save what is recounted by my loved ones. Even after I regained consciousness, my few weeks in the hospital remain fragmented and surreal. I was repeatedly reassured that I am the miracle of the ICU pneumonia patient who survived. Oblivious to the ramifications of my situation, I focused and worked hard on getting myself out of the hospital and back home. I chose to think on what I needed to do, as opposed to what I could not. Only now, I find out that my Loving Husband (and others) were watching & waiting to see how much I had lost, in brain & physical function. Their gift to me was to keep their doubts and worries to themselves, and to allow me to heal on my own time & terms.

Are you back to normal? is the most frequently asked question I’ve received since then. I’d like to think that I am better than normal, or at least, better than before this episode, since I am not quite sure I know what normal is.

I don’t think too hard before I try new things, I seek for Beauty & the Bright side of things, and I don’t apologise when I to do things for myself, like taking singing and piano lessons, choosing alone-time to scribble or nap, or to hold court with anyone who will listen about poetry, music, books and the less pragmatic aspects of living.

This year has been a reflective time of introspection & rediscovery. Of all the resolutions I apparently made while I was in a drug haze, I have cantored the Psalm in church, embraced new experiences rather enthusiastically (photography, healthier food, music-making), and though far from being written, continue to work towards that elusive book.

After meeting Lizzie in the gardens, I am inspired to move away from introspection to venture outwards; to look to this world I enjoy each day for the lessons Our World has in store for me.

Thank you for continuing to journey with me, to share in my Delights as I revel in the beauty of all things bright & beautiful, all creatures great & small.

Feature Photo is taken at Symphony Lake, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

 

 

Granola Baked Apples: Simple Healthy Dessert

I have a bag of granola which I tired of and has been sitting in my larder. When I came across this recipe in Anita Bean’s The Runner’s Cookbook, I just had to try it: after all, I love apples, cinnamon, and it was a chance to use up some of the granola!

Anita says this dessert is low in sugar and a good source of fibre, Vitamin C and quercetin (a plant compound with potent antioxidants which helps to reduce inflammation and promote muscle repair). If you have plenty of apples to use up, make a bigger batch – reheated leftovers taste wonderful, or just eat them cold! Continue reading “Granola Baked Apples: Simple Healthy Dessert”

Voice of the Sublime

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In this month’s entry for the A and I Poetry Challenge to write a short 5-line poem, I thought I would try the version of a cinquain as used by Adelaide Crapsey, an early twentieth-century poet. Her form had 22 syllables distributed among the five lines in a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 pattern. Her poems share a similarity with the Japanese tanka, another five-line form & another favourite of mine, in their focus on imagery and the natural world. Continue reading “Voice of the Sublime”

Oojamaflip

Oojamaflip: a wonderful word to capture a state of mind I find myself in all too often lately. For one who thrives on words, struggling to remember the name of a thing should cause great frustration. Except that it has become a constant game of Charades; everyone joins in and enjoys laughs in the process.  Once again, laughter trumps grumpies!

After all, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet;  in my case, a Frangipani, my photographic contribution’s to Debbie’s One Word Sunday. Thanks Debbie, for a new word under my belt with which I can use to refer to all sort of good things whose names I have temporarily lost!

Feature Photo: grove of Frangipani Trees in the Singapore Botanic Gardens