Daily Prompt: Varnish

The over 200-year old trees on Gulangyu that were uprooted by Super typhoon Meranti were turned into works of art by Chinese artists. This trunk has been varnished and inscribed with Chinese characters that mean “remember” and its synonyms. It is also fitted with several speakers that play recordings of local people talking about their memories of the island.

Have a lovely weekend! 💕

T.

Daily Prompt: Varnish

Daily Prompt: Expect 

Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada

She was told not to wait, 

Not to expect and just live 

As if the things that had happened 

Never happened. 

But was that even possible? 

How could one forget — 

Those eyes that smiled

Even when the lips didn’t? 

The embrace that seemed 

To promise to never let go? 

The words that should only be uttered 

By those who mean them?

She couldn’t. 

So she waits. 

And expects 

As she remembers

Everything that happened. 
Daily Prompt: Expect 

Daily Prompt: Exceptional


There’s nothing exceptional about you,

Nothing that anyone will ever notice. 

You can go in and out of any place,

And people wouldn’t even know you were there. 

You may even laugh, but your laughter 

Is always drowned by others’ louder laughter. 

Your tears are yours alone, 

The world never bothers to ask

What bring them to your sad eyes. 
So now that your back is bent,

And your feet hurt when you walk, 

You think no one will miss you 

When you simply disappear. 

No one will come runnning 

To stop you from jumping 

From that bridge 

You walk every day 

Of your lonely adult life. 

But you have to know — you’re not exceptional. 

Not even in this. 
Daily Prompt: Exceptional 

Daily Prompt: Elastic 

To be elastic is to be flexible, tolerant, resilient, to easily recover from depression or exhaustion.   

To be elastic should be everyone’s goal. 

I easily get angry, but I also easily get over the anger which sometimes annoys me because I think people shouldn’t just be allowed to readily forget the hurt they caused you. But that’s me. 

I also get depressed so easily, but let me walk around a quiet park and give me solitude and let me have a good cry, then I’ll be fine. 

Fuzhou Normal University

Jimei University

I like to think I’m “elastic,” but my husband doesn’t think so. He always tells me I’m stubborn, and maybe he’s right. But there’s one thing I’m 100% certain of — that both us have some “elasticity” within us or we wouldn’t still be happily married after 11 years! 

Have a lovely weekend! 💕
T. 

Daily Prompt: Elastic 

Daily Prompt: Popular 


I think most of us, in our childhood, have dreamed of becoming popular. We wanted to be liked, to have the most number of friends, but as we grow older, most of us realize, we do not need that many people in our lives. We just need our real friends, and they are usually fewer than what we originally thought.

These days people, young and old alike, gauge their popularity by the number of “likes,” “comments,” or “shares” they get for their post in whatever social media platform they are using. I was genuinely perplexed one time when a student asked another student in my class, “How would you feel if you find out your best friend ‘liked’ the post of one of your friends, but didn’t ‘like’ yours?” I really didn’t think it should matter. But then again I’m “old.”

If you’re popular, you will never have peace. People will always want to get your attention or get something from you. (I heard about Ed Sheeran refusing to use a celllphone, so he can get away from people who are always asking something from him.)

If you’re popular, you’re an easy target for criticism from people who do not like your popularity. And there are always that kind of people. And if you’re the type who value popularity, most likely you wouldn’t like criticism.

The desire for popularity, like any other form of desire, causes suffering. If you want to be popular, better be ready to suffer.
Daily Prompt: Popular

Daily Prompt: Focused 


“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” — David Hume

There is so much beauty and goodness in our world, but some people are more focused on what’s ugly and bad. 

Even the most ordinary flower by the side of the road has its beauty. If you just learn how to stop and have a closer look, you will see. 

May you find beauty in your world today. 💕
T. 
Daily Prompt: Focused 

Daily Post: Disastrous 


This is the trunk of one of the many mango tress that line the roads of our campus. It seems this mango tree is dying even though its leaves are still very green.  I don’t know if this has anything to do with the disastrous super typhoon that struck the city last year, or that this tree is very old. 


I took this photo a week before I left Xiamen. Perhaps by the time I get back weeks from now, this tree shall have been replaced by a healthier-looking one. Like everything in China, old stuff can easily be replaced. Even trees. 
Daily Prompt: Disastrous 

Daily Prompt: Savor

Here’s a collage of photos of tropical fruits in a supermarket here in Xiamen. They are all imported from Southeast Asia; the bananas are from the Philippines.

I’ll be home soon. Then I can savor the taste of these luscious tropical fruits at a much cheaper price! Yay!

Have a great week ahead!

 

T.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage 

Daily Prompt: Savor 

Daily Prompt: Roxy’s Moxie


Roxy lived

Hiding in her shell,

Afraid of showing

Her true, bright  self.

Then she met him

Who showed her the world

And how to survive in it.

Though now he’s gone,

She still remembers

How she finally got the moxie

From him whose name is Rocky.😜

Daily Prompt: Grit 


By understanding the enemy and yourself, you can engage in a hundred battles without ever being in danger.”   Sun Zi 歙歐

This is good advice not only for those who have enemies but also those who battle challenges, temptations. Some of us don’t have enemies, but on a daily basis we are confronted with situations that test the firmness of our character, our grit.

As important as knowing what we are up against is knowing what we are and what we are not capable of doing. We need an honest assessment of ourselves and work from there. If we truly understand who or what we are up against, and we truly understand our strengths and weaknesses, we can be confident of not being defeated.

You can play with fire with the confidence that you won’t get burned. 😁
T.
(I’ve been rereading Sun Zi’s Art of War. It’s always an interesting read.)

Torment

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The savage in you

Like to tickle me

To death – you

Relish seeing me squirm

When your hands start sneaking slowly

D

O

W

N

My arms, my waist

Then up the sides of my breasts

Where your fingers deftly move

Like a pianist’s hands on the keys

Or a wolf’s claws on its prey.

 

July 5, 2000

(Written 17 years ago when love meant something totally different. Sigh.) 

 

Daily Prompt: Savage 

Daily Prompt: Savage 


Your roots savagely grow down 

From you, growing faster and stronger 

As they reach the ground 

And later strangle you. 

You from whom they came from. 

If you could stop them, 

Would you? 


(Banyan trees are also known as “strangler figs” for their “strangling” growth  habit. The roots descend from the branches and grow a pseudotrunk that makes it look like it’s strangling the main trunk. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of a pseudotrunk although I’ve seen so many here in Xiamen. I chose these two photos for the way the roots seem to grow savagely from the branches.) 

May you have a CALM week, not a savage one. 💕😁
T. 

Daily Prompt: Wheel

This is a ship music box that a friend gave me about ten years ago before he left China. It had been sitting in my office for years until one day a year ago, I brought my son to the office, and not finding anything else that interested him, I gave him this. It plays Fur Elise (Mozart never fails to calm him down) as the wheel goes round, and that was all that was needed to keep him in one place. So then I brought it home. 

I never consciously taught my son to call it a music box. He knows the words “ship” and “boat,” but somehow he did not associate those words with this thing. One day, though, when he wanted to play with this but he couldn’t reach it, he grabbed my hand to try to get me to reach for it saying, “There!” And I said, “What is it? What do you want?” And he thought and later blurted, “Ferris wheel!” 

That wheel DOES look like a Ferris wheel!

I corrected him, but that got me thinking about how we perceive things. I guess for him because it’s only the wheel that moves and it makes a sound as it does, that was all he could see. He couldn’t really see the ship. 

Have a lovely Wednesday! 💕
T. 
Daily Prompt: Wheel 

Daily Prompt: Local

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Mango: my favorite fruit. The sweetest mangoes I’ve ever tasted were from the Philippines.

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These ones are from a local supermarket here in Xiamen but they are imported from I’m not sure which Southeast Asian country. Or maybe they are just from Hainan.

IMG_5839

Back home we would slice these green mangoes into strips and dip it into a mix of soy sauce and vinegar. It’s sour and salty and just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

IMG_5840

I don’t have a picture of it here, but the Carabao mango or Philippine mango, locally grown in Zambales, is supposedly the sweetest mango in the world.

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, try Philippine mangoes. 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

 

T.

Daily Prompt: Local 

Daily Prompt: Relieved 

This may sound very simplistic, but it is quite true: when I am stressed out, all I need is some alone time (not necessarily a quiet place, but a place where I don’t have to talk to anybody) and a bit of nature to to look at — flowers, trees, lake — and then I can recover. My problems may not be solved, but at least I’d have the energy and the clarity of mind to face them.


When people are unhappy about things, they want to cure themselves of this unhappiness as quickly as possible, and do things that most often just add to their unhappiness. I think we ought to embrace this unhappiness first before we let it go. And then we can look to nature to remind ourselves that everything is being taken care of.

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” –Luke 12:27

I believe nature can help heal our unhappiness. We just need to spend time with it and be relieved of our worries by it.

Nature loves patience: always remember that. It is a law given her of God Himself, who has blessed all those who are strong to endure.” –– Gogol, Dead Souls

May you find relief from all your troubles. 💕
T.


Daily Prompt: Relieved

Daily Prompt: Jolt 

A KIND OF ODE TO THE DURIAN 

They say you are 

Thorny 

Heavy 

And stinky. 

But when I see you 

When I smell you 

This tired and sleepy body 

Jolts into wakefulness…


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the smell of durian as much as my sisters HATE, HATE, HATE it. Like they say, “its strong, pungent smell either delights or repels. ” 

Durian: does it jolt your appetite? Or does it jolt you into running as far away from it and as fast as you can? 

Have a lovely week! 
T. 

Daily Prompt: Jolt