Still You

Have you ever dreamed of people/things that look completely different in ways, shapes, and forms but known deep inside that it is them: people or things that you know? I think I have had at least a couple of dreams like these. Dreams when I realize they are dreams I wake up and say: It doesn’t look like him/her/it, but I just know it’s him/her/it. It just feels like them no matter what their “forms” look like.


I like to think it’s the part of them that never changes that I always recognize. Their essence. Their energy. Change as you may, but I still know it’s you. Somehow this gives me a sense of peace: the feeling of knowing that masks don’t matter. Replace them as many times as you want, I will see right through them…I simply know it’s still you.

(Pic by Google Images)


Row Row Row Your Boat

Gently down the stream. Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream. It’s a nursery rhyme I heard and sang more than two decades ago in an English class without thinking too much what it meant or where it came from. The origin of the song is listed as unknown according to the internet.

The rhyme comes back to me in recent days, only now I have a different perspective . I’ve been pretty nauseated with the transient life as is…ups and downs, downs and ups, temporary this and that. I want a certain thing, get that, temporary happiness, not satisfied, wanting another thing etc etc and the cycles keep going. That was my perspective in life then, still sometimes is, as old habits are hard to break but not impossible at all to change.

Different sources that I have read or watched gives me an insight that this life as I know it is nothing more or less than a dream. Everything is a dream till I wake up to the actual reality that’s hidden somewhere inside me but NEVER lost. I just haven’t found it yet and I know there is a time (usually when I least expect it and give up “trying”) it all will come back flooding me.


I dream of being born. I dream of being dead. I dream of being married. I dream of having things. I dream of being my body and the need to decorate it. I dream of having a very important job. I even dream of wanting other people’s existence (usually the ones with more money, more stuff, more wisdom, more this and that) I am ending this dream, and starting the beginning of what’s real. Dreams come. Dreams go. Dreams are transient. So yeah, life is a series of dreams so row row row your boat, gently down the stream….merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.

(Pic by Google Images)


Unclutter My Home

First: Happy New Year–3 “useless” words to describe a “new” time, and time is neither new nor old. Time is always that: time–we divide and separate time for our practical purposes though time itself never changes.

Anyway. I decided to unclutter my home in the past week. Getting rid of things that didn’t serve their purposes anymore. Clothes I liked but didn’t wear, things I kept but didn’t see: old letters, christmas cards, thank you cards, knicks knacks. You know, stuff…Why did I keep them if they no longer had any use? I am not sure why I became so attached to them all these years. I collected and collected and collected and then wasn’t aware that I had been collecting all these trashes? Mind you, on a “physical” level, I wasn’t considered (by others opinion) to be one who liked to compulsively buy and collect stuff though opinion is always that: opinion and always relative.


I saw what these junks left me with: empty spaces! Spaces I didn’t see before because all these things hid them from my sight. It was almost a relief when I saw them gone. Somehow it also felt like a pretty heavy load of burden being lifted up from me. If these physical trashes were my useless mental thoughts, imagine that! Lots of freedom at last! More room for myself! Now…off to unclutter my mental thoughts…and these are going to need lots of practice and discipline (so help me God–and I simply know She already has helped me)

(Pic by Google Images)


I’d like you to know that sometimes it’s not always easy for me to love you. It’s challenging to love the always changing. It’s challenging to see past your masquerade. My most loving lovers, it’s not your fault. It’s me that doesn’t see. I have been blinded by clouds of emotions I don’t see you. I have asked the sun to shine on you so I can see you with perfect clarity. You’re just perfect the way you are. I love you.

The song doesn’t really describe what I feel completely. Pretty close, though. It’s dedicated to all my most loving lovers.

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”-Rumi



To Be Or Not To Be

Most of us have heard the phrase “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. In the impatient, busy, noisy, and fast world, this is a very difficult thing to do. We’ll say we simply don’t have time , for example, to look someone in the eyes and recognize us in them. We get caught up with what we think as mundane, same old same old routine activities/work, not enough time for everybody etc. I am sure I am one of them. We get physically, emotionally, and spiritually tired. We just want to crash and take a break. But hey, what you do matter. Quite a few people have shown me that.

One case scenario: I was in in the hospital needing the bathroom badly because my bladder was screaming and I felt so nauseated. So I rang the bell asking for someone to help me out. Yes I wished I was just healthy and strong so I didn’t need to push the button and have someone help me. Asking for help is not one of my biggest qualities even though I subconsciously know there are plenty of people out there willing to help. Somehow I think I don’t want to bother people despite the fact that some people’s jobs are specifically to help people who directly need them. Anyway, a nursing aide was there looking like she was about to help me. Didn’t really look at me and just let me walk into the bathroom myself with her walking behind me. I didn’t even reach the toilet bowl yet when I could no longer control my nausea and vomited. That was it and she disappeared. Not a single word. No help, no sympathy, no empathy (so I thought). I tried to reason that she really had a bad day, had other pressing matters (more important case to deal with) etc etc. I tried to justify why she didn’t seem to care. One thing I couldn’t help? Feeling disappointed (more so than angry). But I learned my lesson: she showed me how NOT to be.


Which one? That is the question.

Second case scenario: This sweet talking, outgoing coworker lady who managed to borrow a few hundreds $ from me more than a decade ago. I wasn’t rich and this was my temp job. Every penny counted but my “weaker self” kinda felt bad for her. She needed the money and she probably knew how to use the naive me to lend her what she needed. She could cry all right, and those tears didn’t look like crocodile tears. So I did give her the money. I was no longer doing the temp work at the company and she seemed to “forget” that she owed anything. I even fell into her trap to give her cash so there wasn’t anything to track it. The money meant a lot to me but the fact that someone could manipulate someone else so NATURALLY like it was nothing just well…baffled me. Nonetheless. lesson learned: she showed me how NOT to be.

We are all teachers. It’s up to us to show others how to be…or not to be.


Smooth Operator

I took a shower an hour before, with the soap the clinic provided. Last shower before we needed to leave for the hospital. Morning hadn’t yet broken. It was the middle of fall in the Pacific Northwest and as expected, still super dark at 5 am. I was anxious and nervous but trying to act and appear as calm as possible. Everything was just going to be alright, I thought, while “these other contradictory thoughts” tried to compete and take over. I had to leave soon so I took the backpack I prepared overnight, said temporary goodbye to the dogs of the house. My hubby would drive me to the hospital to have this Diep Flap surgery done (cancer diagnosis was why I would have this surgery but I won’t go into details for now)

The hospital was only less than 30 minutes drive but the traffic was just starting to pile up as we left the house. I was not necessarily a religious person but had been praying for my doctors and everyone involved in my care to really be the “Hands of God” in this surgery-heck, for any surgery for that matter. I had no control over what happened to me while I was going under. I simply had to put my trust in them to do their job(s) right and it was scary. Let go and let God, I kept saying, trying to convince myself that all was well and everything was going to be just fine.

As we were driving and halfway to the hospital, I heard someone singing from the radio. All I heard was “No need to ask. He’s a smooth operator. Smooth operator, smooth operator. Smooth operator.” My hubby mentioned something like, “Did you hear the song? Smooth operator.” I got carried away with my thoughts before catching on almost spontaneously.

well you did


“That was a really good sign” I said, fully aware it was God’s way of answering what I asked for. I felt a sense of peace. I would be in good hands. My surgeon was a smooth operator and the operation would go smoothly.

As you can imagine (based on me sitting here and writing about this experience), surgery went well without any signs of complications. I came out of it pretty good–thank you God for manifesting Yourself in the form of a great surgical team. May they keep doing good works with all they have and save them from fatigue, lack of compassion and indifference.

PS: Thank you so much Dr. Sam Lien, Dr. James Edwards, CRNA, OR Nurse(s), Hospital Nurses (I read their name tags: Holly, Leah, Melissa, and a very helpful CNA, Jay)

(Pic taken from Google Images)


Steven Somebody

His name is Steven. He never failed to walk in front of our house everyday on the way to see his sick wife who had been living down the road in an adult group home (a place where they take care of mostly elderly people who can’t take care of themselves, usually because of physical and/or mental chronic illnesses). Rain or shine, we often saw him in the morning and back up the road to catch the bus home in the evening.

It wasn’t very often he stopped by (usually when he did, he asked for some flowers that grew in our yard or  hubby offered him some to bring to his wife)–whom, according to Steven, was half blind and had severe dementia. 


Today my hubby told me that he chatted a bit with Steven, who told him that they (the place where his wife had been living) just put her on hospice or palliative care because she quit eating and drinking. Hospice is a program where medical personnel along with the patient (who is still cognitively able to think and make decisions), family members/caregivers agree to just give palliative care for a smooth transition to death. No hospital is needed when they’re sick. No treatments other than comfort treatments and care (usually to alleviate pain and sufferings) The team of hospice usually includes a doctor, nurse, nurse assistant, chaplain/pastor (or whoever they ask for religious/spiritual support) who come every so often to the patient’s residence (be it their own home, hospital, assisted living, nursing home etc) to monitor their condition. Occasionally, a patient in hospice lives more months/years than expected. Sometimes they get better, too. Often they transition to their eternal home within days/weeks or months.

When someone like Steve’s wife quit eating and drinking, it usually doesn’t take long to transition home….It’s just a matter of (short) time and hopefully, a quick, easy and peaceful one.

Update: Steven’s wife condition was getting worse so he had her transferred to another home. I haven’t seen him since.

(Picture taken by me. Being cautious, I don’t use Steven’s real name)