"Year after year beheld the silent toil "That spread his lustrous coil; "Still, as the spiral grew, "He left the past year's dwelling for the new, "Stole with soft step its shining archway through, "Built up its idle door, "Stretched in his last found home, and knew the old no more."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Chambered Nautilus
Hello my bloggity friends. I celebrate the week remembering a few favorites:
At the Temple of Literature, National University Hanoi... in that American Literature class our teacher made us 'chant' The Chambered Nautilus. She spent a few minutes on the beauty of the words and 'preached' the message into our heads.
It was either the heat outside or the memories that made me linger in the souvenir shop. Both maybe. I quietly enjoyed the moment: viewing the beautiful shell as fond memories of college buddies and a teacher that I liked so much came spiraling back.
One of my friends is reflected on the glass. That's how I made sure I did not lose them.
Coming back, a few minutes before landing in Bangkok, I glimpsed the Martial Law sky. The nice thing is curfew has been lifted, thanks to the World Cup...err... whatever reason the Thai military might have had.
Rain! a real break from all the unrelentingly high temps in the past few months.
Applause in the boardroom. Addressing my colleagues, the vice president said it mainly in Thai. I made out 'research,' 'financial report' and my own name. Then all eyes on me, (I was going red; oh dear what have I done?!) they cheered. It really was just a simple case of getting the job done but guess I survived to share some tale of Once upon a time, just when I thought I was going to resign.... Maleficent. I will happily never get over the fairy tales!
For some reason whenever I dig into my archives and see this photo, I always associate it with a scene from The Hobbit or the filming location, Hobbiton in New Zealand. This is a spot on King Rama IX Park, and on the opposite side is one of the ponds.
Inside the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, built in 1070, pavilions have a
screaming, fighting red ceiling. Or at least that's what came to my
mind as I looked up with my ear to the guide emphasizing Vietnam's
independence from Imperial China.
So I was in Vietnam last week. With friends who took charge of everything (as I had been busy at work and had no time to search), i.e. hotel and airline bookings, deciding where to go, what to see, where and what to eat... and that is why I thought I had a grand time. Thanks to friends who gave me the luxury of not having to think of such holiday details.
Here's Chris, our guide. We're at National University, Hanoi. He also guided us around Hoan Kiem Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, and Hoa Lo Prison Museum. The stop at an ice cream shop was just as interesting.
They say you have never really been to Vietnam if you didn't go on a cruise in Ha long Bay, so we made it the highlight of our trip. I took this shot from Hang Sung Sot cave up one of these limestone karsts.
And then at sunset we partied on the deck of our cruise liner. So let Martial Law rage on in Thailand. We're having wine with the gentlest ocean breeze, worry-free chat over Vietnamese spring roll and the thought of being wave-lulled to sleep while helping ourselves to the reddest water melon in the bay. Viva Vietnam!
“Dare to love yourself
as if you were a rainbow
with gold at both ends.”
~ Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
May I tell you something? I have been frequenting tea rooms lately. The other thing is, I found a sky beauty from my 5th floor porch! It makes me momentarily forget that we are under Martial Law right now. Life goes on and I am grateful for the wonderful things this week. Here are five of them:
Something that made me smile in the midst of anxiety. Back home in the Philippines my kiddo is sick. It goes without saying I am worried but I can't help chuckling when I was told that he complained to my mother, "Grandma, I have a headache on my neck."
An 'oh...?' moment. I was told that CJ's doctor is an old friend I used to date; asked my Mom about me after taking a look at CJ. Sounds and feels like my son is in good hands.... And then the roses, those love letters, that weekend together in an uncle's house came flooding back.
No ordinary birthday. Poor kid is celebrating it hooked up to an IV drip. Quite a milestone this one is. A few family, friends and nurses are having a
little party in his hospital room as I type this post.
Hope, relief and just pure happiness on the updates. CJ may be allowed to go home as soon as his platelet count
is back to normal.
My unbirthday from TWG Tea is called Sweet Secret Salad: smoked Scottish salmon served with aragula and avocado delicately enhanced by the flavors of fresh strawberries and Secret of Vietnam Tea.