Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yali Jubilee


Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. 1 thess 3:12-13


I don't think i fully understood Paul's heart until I watched this video of the Yali people celebrating the 50th anniversary of the day the first missionaries arrived in their villages.

the celebration involved spears and chanting and dance and was not at all the typical 'western' notion of christianity. But I was so moved to see them celebrate in such a big way. Where they live is so remote and cut off that the first missionaries had to hike over mountains to reach them ... and when I think how many lives were saved because of that....

They know that too. You can see it.

the bible says over and over again that the word of God is living water that will give eternal life. But too often I take it for granted. the multiple copies of the bible scattered around and forget that if it hadn't been for similarly intrepid men who came to Singapore, I would never have heard the gospel too.

I hope when the Day arrives, I'll get to celebrate alongside these people. And those two missionaries who hiked all the way to find them ... I hope they get to meet all the people they helped spread the Word to.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grieg Nocturne


The piano teacher's getting married and he's going to perform this for his wedding dinner. I got the sneak preview on Monday night :) He actually asked my permission to play it in front of me so that he could get used to playing it in front of people and I could hardly believe my good fortune.

I hope the people at the wedding dinner appreciate how sylvan and graceful it is. Thought of forests and mountains all through even though Mr D was so nervous he stumbled a few times.

Played here by Gilels - I love his touch. There's another video on Youtube where he plays Rachmaninov's's one of my favourites on a bad day.

So ashamed of my own lack of knowledge about music sometimes. Can you believe the only other Grieg piece I've ever listened to is Peer Gynt? It's so overplayed now that people mostly think of it as elevator music but I remember loving it when I was really small, maybe age 9?

Forgetfulness - Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Monday, June 13, 2011

a long lost friend

Last week, one of my friends brought over a book to keep me occupied while I was stuck at home. I'd told her before that I loved this series of vet/animal stories by James Herriot and she kept saying that I'd love 'Doctor in the house' by Richard Gordon. So during her recent visit home to Australia, she grabbed it off her bookshelves and brought it to Singapore for me.

Well, I finally got around to reading last night and I did love it. But the best part was when I got to the end of the book where the protagonist, a medical student, is describing his final year exams - an episode in a clinic where the patient he was treating knew so much about her own illness that he was able to pass off her accurate diagnosis as his own and passed with flying colours.

I read that through with a feeling of incredulity - it could not be... but then it was! The chapter ends with a memorable anecdote of one of the medical students flunking out his practical exam with a flourish. The poor chap was told to deliver a baby from a papier mache model of a pregnant woman and in his urgency to get the baby out, he flung the "mother" and the "baby" over his head. The furious examiner then picks up the "baby", hands it over to the student and says: "Here, hit the father with this and you'd have killed the whole damn family..."

The entire passage about the medical exam - with that fantastic anecdote - was used for one of my English comprehension questions in school. I'm sure of it; I remember enjoying the story so much, I wished I could have read the whole book - and now I have!

I can't believe I recognized the story (hey it must have been 15 years ago!) and I am amazed at the way the book eventually found its way into my hands :)

Perhaps no one else the world gets this feeling but recognizing a story that way is lovely - very much like stepping into a party and recognizing the face of a dear friend in the crowd, one that you haven't met in a long time but would love to catch up with.

Or better yet, meeting a new friend who is such a kindred spirit that it's almost as though you "recognize" her/him even though you've only just met.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Working from home

I always thought that if I worked from home, I'd never get anything done.

But here I am diligently beavering away. The upside of course is that I get to lie down when my back starts complaining - which is more often than I'd like.

Update - turns out it was the sacrum and not the coccyx that fractured. The ortho says so and given the sheer number of x-rays he took, I'm inclined to believe him. It all boils down to the same thing though; rest is the only cure and bones take 6 weeks or so to knit.

GAH. Miss Canada told me stories of how her friend's fracture widened because she didn't keep her weight off it and now I'm thoroughly frightened. I WANT TO GET BETTER DARNIT.

Reminder to self - if the doctor gives you THAT many days of MC, he probably means business. DO NOT GO OUT. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT WORK AND KILL YOURSELF. DO NOT MOVE.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

it takes a fall

to teach you that

... good health is very important

... when in pain, reading and writing are pretty much out

... sleeping through pain is an excellent excellent idea

... God is good for so very many reasons, the chief of which is that you didn't injure yourself even more

... when you are rolling around in pain, you can somehow STILL feel embarrassed

... the humour of the situation is only available in retrospect

... when people remember you and ask after you or visit (you guys know who you are), no matter how much you want alone time to lick your wounds, it's still really really lovely and gives you all kinds of warm fuzzies.

... music brings pain relief.


Took a minor tumble last week and landed on my butt and it turns out I've gone and cracked my coccyx. What's that you say? It's the tailbone, less nicely put, the butt bone.

It was horribly embarrassing and even more horribly painful. I didn't hit my head at all and I saw stars - which I think means that I almost blacked out from pain. Not fun.

But I'm very grateful for people who texted/emailed/left messages for me/came to see me :) Thanks guys!

Feeling very loved is definitely a pre-requisite for getting better methinks - how else to explain the speedy recovery? Lots and lots better now but won't be able to actually do anything above slo--o--ow motion walking (I practically fell asleep on the way to the loo) and lying around for awhile.