Monthly Archives: July 2013

KIDS HAVE GOT A VERY GOOD MEMORY

kids have got a good memeory

One thing that has struck me so evidently is that kids have a very good memory; one shouldn’t take their little heads for granted. A few months ago, in February this year, I was coming from the grocery store just a few blocks from my house when my neighbour’s daughter came up to me. We became friends last year but one when I was teaching her and some other kids in our court how to skate; we’re close.

When she approached me I wasn’t sure what she wanted, but I could tell from her nervous look she wasn’t sure I would consent to whatever request she had. “How’re you?” I beamed, hoping it would ease her angst.

Managing a half smile, she replied, “I’m fine”. At first I thought she wanted to borrow my skates, even though they are atleast two sizes big; some older kids borrow them every once in a while, so that wouldn’t have been totally unexpected…but she has her own pair? I remembered… and while I was still in my head wondering what it was that made her look so nervous, she said, “Will you buy me smokies?”beef smokies

That caught me so off-guard…I have bought her and the other kids from our court candy many times before, but she had never walked up to me like this; she happens to be one of those introverted kids who don’t talk much. I’ve always wondered why she doesn’t smile much yet she’s only eight; I can almost count the number of times I’ve seen her laugh; she’s always wearing a grim look. Sometimes I can’t help but feel so much is concealed behind it. Pain? Anger? I’m not sure which.

Regaining from my momentary shock, I smiled, “Sure, I will tomorrow. I’ve run out of change”. She smiled back…and I could tell she was genuinely pleased, the joy radiated in her eyes. She didn’t say anything else; she just walked down the steps, her hand trailing the banister.

As I walked into the house, there were many questions running through my head; “Why did she ask me? What would her mom say if she found out? She comes off to me as a grumpy lady and there’s the other little fact that parents are always so protective of their kids… anyway, I thought to myself, if she had mastered the courage to ask, there’s no way I was going to disappoint her.

I imagined she had seen the beef smokies when the school bus was dropping them off; adjacent to the grocery store, there’s a guy who barbeques them. I was almost certain that’s what had happened…and of course, her mom was still at work…

The next day I didn’t see her, I thought she had changed her mind…well, how wrong I was. The following evening I was startled by the doorbell when it rang. I hadn’t been expecting anyone, and somehow I had forgotten about my little friend.

I opened the door, and there she stood…in the company of another girl, who is also from our court. When I saw her, I unconsciously flushed her a guilty smile; I had forgotten all about it. “Hi…” But then I remembered the previous day I hadn’t see her. I sighed, relieved; I wasn’t to blame entirely and I don’t like breaking my promises.

“Hi”, she smiled back before adding, “You promised me!” It sounded innocent with a touch of accusatory”.  But I understood…

“Yes I did”, I replied. “Wait here, let me go get the money”. I rushed back and a few minutes later she and her friend were on their way to buy some beef smokies, with their hands on each other’s’ shoulders. I couldn’t help feeling amused as I watched them…

Then the now obvious statement popped in my head, ‘kids have got a very good memory’. Sometimes people assume they’re too young to remember things, but truth is, their heads hold so much information… and when one promises them something, they will always come to collect; and even if they don’t, it won’t be because they forgot.

 

 

FOLLOWING CHRIST

Jesus

One of the basic lessons I learnt when I was growing up is that Jesus always preached in parables: it wasn’t for naught that He was referred to as Rabbi-teacher. Sometimes I would read a few verses and realize that I hadn’t grasped the concept…sometimes I would even feel afraid… (Sometimes it happens when one peruses through the enlightening chapters without an open mind). The book of Revelations, especially, does that to me a lot; there’s nothing pleasant about the end times… I didn’t want to feel that-afraid- so I learnt to read the Bible like I would a novel or poetry; always seeking to find the deeper meaning.

Apparently that worked; with it came a deeper understanding of the scriptures.

In church, this past Sunday, the readings were just the perfect examples of those verses that have so much meaning behind them. I thought it would be nice to share them; maybe then I’ll help someone else understand them:

1 kings 19: 16, 19-21 In those days the Lord said to Elijah, “Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place”. So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was ploughing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah took off his cloak and put it on Elisha. Elisha then left his oxen, ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother goodbye and I will go with you”. Elijah answered, “All right, go back I’m not stopping you!” Then Elisha went to his team of oxen, killed them and cooked the meat, using the yoke as fuel for the fire. He gave the meat to the people and they ate it. Then he went and followed Elijah as his helper.

Personally, when I read a particular verse, questions pop in my head. For instance, when I was reading this particular verse, I wondered, why Elijah would forbid Elisha from bidding his folks adieu? He- Elijah-was just implying that Elisha had to come back because by draping his cloak over him he had done a very significant gesture; he therefore had to follow him whatsoever. Thankfully Elisha managed to go back and settle things before he followed Elijah…

Once I went to school without hugging my mom goodbye; it wasn’t something planned; it just happened that she went to get me some stuff I had forgotten to buy while shopping the previous day as we waited for the bus to fill up with passengers. I had only realized it when I was in the bus. While still waiting for my mom to come back, the driver ignited the engine when all the seats were occupied, and before I knew it, we were on the road…headed for school. It would be a month and a half before I saw her again, on visiting day.

The feeling that washed over me was so intense…as the bus pulled out from the bus stop, onto the main road, I kept looking back frantically, hoping to spot my mom appearing from the crowds… thank God she didn’t, because at that time I was so sure I would jump out through the window if I did…

My heart paced madly, I was breathing fast…and I felt nauseous as my abdominal muscles tightened…it felt really bad… I got over it weeks later, and even though I was only eleven at the time, to date I consider it my worst opening day. So as I read about Elisha’s anointment, I imagined that’s how he felt… almost… Elijah was asking him to up and leave, without so much as a word to his parents…

But then the priest went on to explain: it was all symbolic; the parents and the oxen symbolize the things in life that prevent us from following Christ; the people we love, wealth… that is why Elisha ended up slaughtering his oxen and subsequently giving the people; he didn’t want anything holding him back…

In Genesis 19:26 When God rescued Lot and his family, from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He instructed them not to look back; but Lot’s wife defied Him and looked back at the cities that were up in flames. She turned into a pillar of salt. Basically, this emphasizes on following Christ without looking back.

Not everyone is a farmer, so that definitely means we don’t all own oxen…but each one of us has that precise thing that stops him/her from surrendering his all to God. Whatever it is, one  must give it up in order to follow Christ.

In the verse below, we’re shown further what Jesus felt about people who felt they had matters to attend to before following Him…

Luke 9:57-62 As they were going along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go”. And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests: but the son of man has nowhere to lay His head. To another He said, “Follow me”. But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. But He said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow You, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home”. Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”.

One would wonder, why wouldn’t He allow the man to go bury his father; to pay him the final respects? Why wouldn’t He allow the other to say goodbye to his family? But then, what Jesus is trying to emphasize here is that if one wants to be His follower, they must be willing to give up everything for His sake…one must give Him first priority.

It sounds like a herculean task, one might think? Personally, I realized that it’s actually the other way round; when one puts God first, things feel simplified. One can’t afford to worry about their problems because their faith gives them the courage to believe that in due time He will help them out.

He will feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, and one won’t have to stress about it…like the birds; they don’t have food stocked up in refrigerators, but they eat… they don’t pay mortgage, but they survive through the rain, the blistering sun, the chilly nights…and when dawn breaks we see them up in the sky, flying…  He takes care of them…

It’s all about faith; believing that He can make everything right; that He can offload the weighty burden on our shoulders, if we let Him. And He doesn’t imply that we should all be men & women of the cloth, no… all He asks is that we put Him first in our lives.

 

ES TODO SOBRE EL AMOR (it’s all about love).

foot popping kiss

As earlier mentioned in confessions of a soap-aholic, is that in the years that I’ve lived, I have watched so many telenovelas and they all seem to revolve around one principal theme; amor…or love if you rather. Honestly, I must admit that watching them gives one an illusion of what love is. It is after a careful deduction that I learnt to separate the real from the unreal-fantasies.

Normally,   people who don’t do soaps disregard them as mere illusions; and I couldn’t agree more. But then, there’s another way of looking at it; one can watch them and emulate the good parts. I love discussing matters love with my amigos, although lately I haven’t been feeling the whole ‘love’ issue…I intend to hunt down cupid and ask him if he’s got beef with me… It’s only after reading a friend’s-jowaljones– blog and by his special request that I decided to delve into matters amor.

In respect to all the telenovelas I’ve watched, which have given me so much to think about, concerning all matters love, I’ll call this piece, ‘es todo sobre el amor (it’s all about love)’.

The way I see it, one can’t quite describe love. It’s a very engulfing feeling that only a chosen few can describe. If you ask me, love is a phenomenon, which one can only describe based on their individual experience. It’s hard to describe love in only a few words; I attribute this to one simple fact, ‘God is love’… so how do you define love?

Naturally, I happen to be an avid reader; I just finished reading Fifty shades of Grey. Reading through the book, one can gather a lot; Christian Grey, even though is a self-confessed masochist, has his own twisted way of showing Anastasia Steel he loves her. I don’t mean to give the book’s review, but the underlying point is that everyone has their own interpretation of what love is… and as a result, people express it differently; some better than others.

When people talk about love, some of the common expressions are: love is blind, love at first sight…etc. when I hear the former, I always counter, “love is not blind, lovers are…” but truth is, love is indeed blind, for the mere fact that a person in love can do just about anything for the person they love. It is however, the latter that I seem to have trouble with; is it possible to love someone within the first few seconds of their meeting? I think not.

Love is a strong feeling; it doesn’t grow overnight. Love happens when two people have stayed in each other’s company long enough to be acquainted with their partner’s pros and cons. It happens in stages; the first of which is lust/infatuation. This, in my own understanding, is what a vast majority refer to as ‘love at first sight’. This is because, the first time one meets someone, the thing that reels them in is the physical beauty- beautiful eyes, curvaceous figures, evident jaw lines (everyone knows what works for them).

That is what defines the boundaries; is it merely based on physical attraction? On carnal instincts? Some people work on this love-at-first-sight feeling, and a short while later, after the wanton cravings have been satiated, realize that the excitement is gone…

One will realize that spending time with the object of their desire, gives them an insight into who they really are; their personalities. Some will be appalled by what they discover and they will pull away, others will be intrigued by what they find, and they will want to pursue further. That gets them into the attraction phase; when the two realize they are drawn to each other, and it’s not only based on the physical, but a feeling that sprouts from understanding how the other functions.

In this phase, the two people start adjusting their lives; synchronizing of some sought; so they can be able to live with each other’s inadequacies and all…

When the two have assimilated each other into their lives, they get into the attachment stage; the I-can’t-live-without-you stage. When the two get to that point safely-without breaking up- it would be in order to call it love.

Love connoisseurs say love happens within three-four months after two people have met. Based on this, I find it unbelievably insane when one uses the three words, eight letters-I love you- when they hardly know anything about their love interest, e.g. favourite colour, favourite food, movies…etc.

I believe that love, is that beautiful feeling one has towards someone after they have known them inside out, and still feel they want them in their lives…like ‘fifty shades’, he derives sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others, and even though he knows Ana can’t be all that he expects from his submissives, he still finds himself drawn to her; and she, even though afraid of pain that comes with ‘masochism’, intense spanking and all, still finds herself drawn to him.

That is what happens with love; it brings out the best in people; the parties involved find a central ground, where they make compromises, to be able to accommodate the other into their lives.

From my personal experience, love is many things; it is understanding, it’s kind, it’s selfless-not obsessive, it gives one unimaginable courage; one feels like they could conquer the world with the person they love by their side. One hurts when the other does…it bonds two souls; it’s a feeling that transcends physical attraction.

Love is a beautiful feeling…but it’s delicate too… love could bring out the best or worst in someone. It can build, or destroy… the dark side of love is seen when two people in love start drifting apart. At this point, one should be careful what they do, to avoid intense range and vengeance from consuming them, because these dark feelings turn something so beautiful into a disaster. And the thing with love, is that just like it takes time to bloom, it doesn’t just die…it fades with time. That is why sometimes one finds it impossible to yank an ex from their heart, long after the relationship ended.

The inevitable, brutal fact about love is that it hurts… a lot! Anyone who’s been in love can attest to this. But that only comes with the territories; it is almost impossible for one to share his/her heart with someone and not feel a thing when they break it… this simple fact makes me feel that love is only for the brave; many people avoid falling in love because they are afraid of hurting; they are afraid of getting their hearts broken. In respect to this, I have felt like a coward on more occasions than one…

Infatuation aside, there are instances when one thinks they’re in love, but are only into the idea of being in love… some years back, I thought I loved someone… I felt I loved him, and breaking up with him caused me so much misery, but later I realized I didn’t love him; I only loved the fact that I could say I was in love; I had something to talk about when my girlfriends and I were talking about boys and love… deep inside I didn’t want him-actually I hated so many things about him, but somehow I found myself hoping it would work out between us…it was only after we had gone our separate ways, after I’d soaked my pillows in tears for nights on end that it dawned on me… I didn’t love him…twisted!