Saccharine Irony

This site is a compilation of fluid thoughts, a collection of poetry, random glimpses of humor and tragedy, spontaneous notions of an extremely sensitive mind.

This Thing Called Faith January 28, 2011

Filed under: Life — Aimee @ 4:38 am
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Faith is everything. It is not an illusion, it is not something that you are compelled to believe in because others tell you to, it does not relate to religion alone. Faith is the silent force that leads you from one place to another, it is the strength that you unknowingly hold on to when nothing else is working. It builds hope, it bolsters peace, it keeps humility, it nurtures love. Faith is not the way of the blind or of fools. What good is your wisdom if you have not faith?

Faith is everything because you have it in you all this time, even without you knowing about it.

You retire to bed each night knowing that you will wake up the next morning. – That is faith.

You send your toddler to school knowing that she’ll have a happy time wrestling toys with other kids, and then getting home safely later in the afternoon to tell you all about it. – That is faith.

You choose someone to love not knowing for certain if things will work for the long term, but you try to make things work anyway because you know you are doing the right thing, and because you are happy. – That is faith.

You try to craft your life the best way you can, but you know you don’t control anything. You are a speck in the universe, an important speck may be, but a speck nonetheless. Your wisdom has limits. You don’t have all the answers. But you believe a greater force is at work. – That is faith.

People build bridges, design skyscrapers, make discoveries, go to work day in and day out, save for the rainy days, get married, have babies, plan for their retirement.

Why? Because they know the earth will keep on spinning, that sunrise will give way to sunset, then sunrise again. Because they know their children will grow up to be adults and bless them with grandchildren.

Without any spoken assurances.

Faith. Silent and entrenched. You fade away when you don’t have it.

There is no assurance that the sun will rise tomorrow, or that your toddler will come home after a long day at school, or that your love story will have a happy ending. But you believe in your heart that they will and unknowingly you do things that lead to another sunrise, another day spent in shrieking laughter, another page in that story. That is faith.

Things may not be at their peachiest right now, you may have a pressing question that doesn’t have the slightest semblance of an answer, or you may be at an ugly crossroad just when everyone else is having a grand time. Faith allows you to see beyond any goal you have set, any expectation you have ever made, any dream you have designed. You may not have gotten that promotion at work or your friend may have tossed your feelings recklessly, but you know eventually you’ll have your place in the sun, you’ll have your time. Things will be fine.

If you have not faith, you’ll never get to that peachy place you have in your head.

Everything else is secondary.

 

How to be a Happier Person

Filed under: confessions,Life,Love — Aimee @ 1:04 am
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Because my mornings these days are unusually cold – it’s been raining since the year started – I usually spend a little more time in bed, curled up, sometimes with eyes closed, oftentimes staring into the windows, thinking of random things. Yes there are people I think about more than the others – okay one person in particular these days, but that’s another story – and then without realizing how it really happens – but it does – my thoughts make a detour and I realize I’m a whole lot happier now.

I’m no guru whatsoever but I will list here some of the ways that can make you a much happier, more balanced person. I realized all these the previous year, and almost all of these discoveries I made through my own personal journey. After all they say that when you are able to get through a most devastating heartbreak, you can get through almost anything. So here:

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from gettyimages

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1. Stop building walls. Walls can make you feel safe, but they won’t make you any happier. Be as open as you possibly can, but guard yourself. People will always disappoint you, walls or no walls.

2. Throw away your expectations. The biggest culprit to our many little unhappinesses and even the huge heartbreaking ones is having way too many expectations. We often love because we want to be loved back, we become good to people because we expect them to be good to us. And while reciprocation will definitely make our lives a lot pleasanter, what happens when none is given? Unhappiness.

3. Give help. Generously, happily. So you have to put in extra hours at work, without the assurance of overtime pay? Or a friend is in desperate need of a wedding planner and she has enlisted you as one of the volunteers. If we give help generously, happily, we become happier. Why? Because you realize you are needed, you have skills. You are not a waste of space.

4. Pray. It doesn’t matter which faith you belong to, says a friend. When you pray, in praise, adoration, thanksgiving, or supplication, you recognize that a greater power is at work. But then you can’t just simply pray. You have to have faith; you have to believe in your prayers. Praying without faith is an insult.

5. Feed on your faith. Stop your senseless worrying and feed your faith. Did your worrying ever get you anywhere? Nope, except maybe at the ER or perhaps  at your friend’s house while you’re bawling over your imagined anxieties.

6. Laugh. Find hilarity in everything- when your Mom is in a bad mood, when you’re stuck in traffic just when you’ve decided never to be late again, or when people are less sensitive than usual. Try to distance yourself from these things, and since you know things fall into place eventually, laugh.

7. Be grateful. It has been said that when you don’t see your blessings as blessings, they become curses. How chillingly true. So be thankful for everything. Be thankful that the sun streams through your window, be thankful that your phone is working, be thankful that you have your eyesight, be thankful that you have your friends. Or that you have a crazy family. Be thankful even when things are not looking too good. Everything, yes everything, is a reason for gratitude.

8. Forgive in a heartbeat. Let go of all your grudges. Allow yourself to be angry but never for far too long. Forgive people, forgive circumstances, and best of all forgive yourself. Love cannot exist without forgiveness.

9. Love the world. You can never be happy without love, without knowing how to love, without knowing how to love without selfishness, without expectations, without wanting anything in return. And the only way you can love the world is to freely give love. Love everyone. Love your friends, love your colleagues, love the people who exasperate you, love your annoying neighbor, love those who are of a different faith,  even learn to love the people you know you will be meeting in this lifetime but have not met yet.

I know loving people you don’t necessarily like is a huge paradox. But you don’t have to all at once. Oftentimes, the willingness to do so is enough. And when you’ve learned to love, without reservations, without necessarily picking who to love and who not to love, you are no longer captive to your expectations, your need for reciprocation, your craving for attention. You love just because. No whys, buts, and ifs.

In the end, only love can make us happy. Because to love is to be courageous, to love means putting your heart out for everyone, to be fish and fodder for everyone (I got this from the corporate worship last night and I was moved). To love is to accept people for who they are and who they are not and to choose to love them anyway.

The scared ones never get to know what love is like, and so the scared ones are unhappy. And if you have only this life to live, wouldn’t it be a wiser choice to live it in happiness, in peace, in friendship, in faith? In love?

So cheer up, have courage, love, and be a sunshine to everyone. You just might end up doing at least one person, possibly even yourself,  a really huge favor. 🙂

 

A Feast of Words January 27, 2011

Filed under: books — Aimee @ 5:01 am
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So several chapters into Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before, I realize that I cannot possibly finish this book without consulting a dictionary every five minutes. I remember buying this book four years ago, after my-then boyfriend and I had a spat and I decided to take refuge in a bookstore and purchase the first book I liked. (I was famous for these random shopping impulses. Hungry, bored, impatient, angry – I shop. Thank God I’ve outgrown this obsession.)

Well, this Eco book has a really attractive cover, all blue and gold, and despite its non-attractive price I made my purchase without batting an eyelash. Alas, after a few reading attempts, the book sat in my shelf all these years gathering dust and growing more yellowed by the day. I never went beyond a few chapters simply for the reason that I did not fancy consulting a dictionary page after page! What I did then was to list out all the words that made me feel like some sort of idiot, and then when my patience would begin to run out, toss the book away and opt for an easier read. That had been the way all these years. Until I began reading up on the classics again, from Austen to Kafka, Hesse and Flaubert, and the more contemporary Murakami and McEwan. So now I’ve taken up Eco again.

But to give you an idea as to this royal feast of words, I’m going to type them here. I’d be glad to know what you think. 🙂

Gigue. Saraband. Ostrogothic. Versipellous. Spagyrist. Vintner. Tready. Stimulacra. Parallaxes. Tropes. Pullet. Mandragora. Escutcheon. Hircocervi. Nielloed.

And so on and so forth.

Sigh. I have a love/hate relationship with this marvel of a book.

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Facebook Hiatus Equals Reading Holiday. Or Not. January 26, 2011

Filed under: books,confessions — Aimee @ 1:31 pm
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So for the previous week I made this hugely crazy proposition to myself: I will cut back on Facebook time so I can spend more time reading.

I can point out many things why this idea is silly, preposterous even.

First, all my friends are on Facebook so if somehow I can’t contact them or send them an SMS, using Facebook chat online is the easiest route to connect.

Second, when you’re working online and you spend a lot of time researching, things can get pretty stale quickly, so that your only momentary reprieve would be to visit a social networking site –  Facebook.

And third, no matter how much I complain that it’s getting lame and how I agree with Dennise that yeah, stalking non-worthy people gets pointless after some time, I still love Facebook. I mean kemmon, you get to rant in your status updates, check your horoscope even when you don’t believe a single word of it, and get to check who’s grown fat and who’s grown bald and who’s grown a beard all in just a few clicks. So why would anyone not love Facebook?

But I needed to spend more time reading. My initial goal was to double the number of books I’ve read last year, which totaled to a measly 15. But just an hour ago, while beginning to enjoy Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before (which I tried for years to finish, in vain. Now on my 7th attempt I have vowed to thumb through to the last pages!) I wanted to triple my list. So that means I need to read 45 books for this year. It’s almost the end of January and I’m still on my third paperback. I’m starting to think I may have been to ambitious with my plans but yeah, reading is reading as work is work.

I plan to beef up on as much classics as I can so I hope after reading Eco I’ll be equipped to take on Nabokov or Dostoevsky or Dante Alighieri. As I’ve said reading is reading, whether I agree with their ideas or get moved by their stories or not.

And even if I don’t go on a Facebook hiatus, the reading holiday is definitely ON.

🙂

 

Officially an Aunt… Almost January 14, 2011

Filed under: Life,Love — Aimee @ 2:50 pm
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adorable booties from dreamstime.com

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Anytime now, I’ll officially be an Auntie. In a few hours Rigaux/Rigo Matteo (I vote for Rigo, though my brother is all for the more complicated, French Rigaux), my younger brother’s firstborn will be greeting this world all pink-faced and slimy. Not that I’ll be around during the delivery, but you know how new born babies are when they gasp for air for the very first time: faces all crunched up, fists closed tightly, their toothless mouths a gaping hole. At least that’s how I see them on TV and in pictures and on YouTube.

But I bet Matteo is going to be really, really, handsome. And smart. And charming. And a future heart breaker. (See, I’m taking this “Auntie” role very, very seriously.) I can’t wait to read stories to him, show him his first constellation, or give him my first lecture on how to treat girls properly. And how to break their hearts ever so gently, smartly, so that they end up thanking him in the end.

For Matteo, my love, I have these wishes for you:

1. That you will be blessed with excellent health and grow up to be a smart, precocious little boy.

2. That you will choose a sport and strive to be good at it.

3. That you will be excellent both in Math and in English.

4. That you will love books.

5. That you will follow your heart and your dreams and your happiness.

6. That you will respect and love your Mom and Dad at all times.

7. That you will be a responsible, loving sibling, son, friend, boyfriend, husband, citizen, colleague, team player.

8. That you will allow your Auntie Ai and Auntie Tics to spoil you, without making you rotten.

9. That you will know God and understand your faith and discover that in the end, only love and kindness really matter.

I love you, Matteo. I hope WordPress will still be around 18 or 20 years from now so you can read this post, written on the eve of your birthday.

🙂

Happy birthday, sweetie.

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Update:

My brother has decided on Rigaux. Oh, well. The parent always gets to have the last say. :-p

 

To Start the Week Off… January 9, 2011

Filed under: Life,Love — Aimee @ 1:28 pm
Tags: ,

I just have a few thoughts to share on friendship. :->

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cutesy mug from cafepress.com

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Sometimes, we find the best of friends in the most unexpected places, in the most unusual circumstances, and in the most unlikely guises. If there is anything as magical as romantic love, it’s true friendship.

To all the friends I’ve serendipitously met last year and to the ones I will be meeting this year, I love you all. 🙂

Have a blessed Sunday everyone. :->

 

 

Freak Accident on a Friday

Filed under: confessions,Life,Women — Aimee @ 3:19 am
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AndroidHeel from Testfreaks.com

Freak accidents are the scariest. Especially one that had you stepping into the dull end of a bamboo skewer so that the sharp, deadly end pierces into your right foot as you take an unknowing step forward. Then a sharp, shooting pain runs from your foot to your knee and you get a sudden headache in all of five seconds, you just want to crumple on the ground and cry.

So that’s what happened to me on a Friday, two days ago, as I was rushing for first Friday Mass from the park to the cathedral. And the foolish me had been to confident to presume that bamboo sticks are just bamboo sticks, and well, I didn’t pierce myself with some rusty metal, did I? So all I did was to clean the mess with some tissue I found in my purse until only a small puncture wound was visible. Some minutes later I washed the outer areas of the wound with ethyl alcohol and proceeded to visit a friend, who’s just undergone surgery at the hospital and laughed with other visiting friends, as if I’ve not a single care in the world.

As I was already heading home though, the pain in my foot got more excruciating by the second. So much so that I could barely walk from the block leading to our house. And when I got home and Mom found out I had not taken myself to the hospital (I did go to the hospital, stupid me!) for first aid, I finally understood the gravity of the situation. I almost passed out from the pain and begged to be taken to the ER not five minutes after having arrived home.

So that’s the story of my freak accident and my stupidity. Some of the most delicious food on the planet are cooked or served on bamboo skewers – kebabs, barbecues, grilled chicken, grilled plantains with butter and sugar, fried sweet potatoes, juicy hot dogs! I even used to play with these seemingly harmless things in my childhood! And then I step into one and hurt myself so bad, I can’t imagine eating spicy barbecue ever again.

So this serves as a word of caution to everyone. If you get pierced by a bamboo stick anywhere, especially one that’s filthy and all, go to the ER immediately for antibiotics and anti-tetanus shots, if you haven’t had any. Don’t be stupid or presumptuous. The pain is almost unbearable and for my women folks, even worse than your worst day of dysmenorrhea (I hope that paints a clear enough picture).

I hope and pray my foot gets better. I look forward to wearing my favorite platforms and sneakers and high heels again.

🙂