31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?

Job 38:31-33

Can you see those 3 stars in a row? That’s Orion’s belt.

I pointed to the sky, at the only constellation I can identify with any degree of certainty. The boys seemed impressed. They ran into the house to get an encyclopedia on stars and we all went up to the roof for a better view. The boys thought that it was funny that Orion was upside down and there was a bright star at where his armpit should be.

GS shared with us how he was taught to navigate using the sun by day and the stars by night. When GPS fails, the sun and stars do not. I thought about how easy it is too forget this when you’re surrounded by buildings that you think were built by human ingenuity.

Frankly, the night sky in Singapore is clearer than it is in Kathmandu. There is far less pollution and even the view from my driveway is pretty amazing. But it has been a long time since I’ve stopped to look up. But seeing a child’s eyes light up because he was able to identify Orion’s belt made me remember the One who can “loose the belt of Orion”.

Chez bar

January 5, 2009

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2 years ago, I wanted to get a nice teak outdoor furniture set and turn the back of my house into a chill spot where I could have a couple of drinks with friends under the evening sky.  God knows I have a substantial enough liquor collection to keep people reasonably entertained for a long time.  And a semi-permanent fixture would save me all the trouble of moving tables and things into the driveway.  Think plants, candles and those beautiful flower fairy lights from Thailand.  I could run wires out from my bedroom window and have some music going.  It would have been perfect.  No one uses the space at the back anyway.

After the party on Friday I remembered what a truly wonderful idea that is.  I shall start hunting for teak furniture again.  🙂

I already had a name for the area:  Chez Bar.  (Geddit?!!)

Christmas cards

December 16, 2008

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Source:  http://www.alamy.com

I’ve been late getting onto the Christmas bandwagon this year.  Too many things on my mind to really get into the festive season and frankly, Christmas preparations can be a pain.  I’m not always big on the presents but my Christmas card list runs into the 100s each year and for some reason, I feel the need to MAKE my cards.  So 1 night early in December, Di and I cut, glue, stamp, paint and cover things in glitter.  We are running a little late this year and I wasn’t really too enthused about the Christmas season.  The last few Christmases have been crap and the last decent Christmas I remember was great for reasons that I would rather forget.  It’s a pity.  It’s supposed to be my favourite season.  I mean people won’t notice if I don’t send out cards this year, right?!

But then a card dropped out from a pile of old Christmas cards:

“… Christmas I suppose is kinda like that – after the insanity and madness of the year, you settle down to a peaceful, reflective period.  You can always count on it to be there, anchoring the days and months around it.  And even it is crazy mad, it’ll always be a merry Christmas on the 25th of December.  You’re a Christmas person because you’re always there for your friends and because you make good cards.”

Maybe I really am a Christmas person.  The kind who will irrationally stamp and hand-paint 100s of Christmas cards.  The kind who thinks through who she’s sending cards to each year and prays over each one as she writes them.  The kind who still believes that because it’s Christmas all will be right with the world, even if it isn’t now.  Maybe I don’t write those 100+ cards for the people they eventually get sent to, but for me.  To remind myself that Christmas is the season for love, joy, gratitude, peace, hope.  An excuse to keep in touch, to reconcile, to say thanks, to remember, to renew, to reflect and to be glad.

So Di and I are FINALLY getting around to making our Christmas cards tomorrow.  Hooray.  It would be a sad tradition to lose.

All kinds of happy

November 2, 2008

Being back in Australia made me all kinds of happy.  The 9 or so days I was there, I kept having the recurring thought that I am very blessed.  Blessed to pull off a work trip so last minute, it was shocking.  Blessed to be in a place where I’m very comfortable.  Blessed to know the right mix of irreverence and respect that is appropriate and how to get things done (in a professional context).  Blessed to see old friends.  Blessed to make new ones.  Blessed to see that things change and yet remain exactly the same.  Blessed with pancakes and tapas and gelato and coffee and kangaroo!  Blessed to no longer have the same irrational emotional attachment to Melbourne.  Blessed to be able to slip into the old routines of relationships separated by distance but not affection.  It was very nice.

My feelings of blessedness climaxed on Thursday when I flew home.  I started the day, standing outside in the chilly, pre-dawn Melbourne morning waiting for the cab to the airport, with a big bear hug from one of my favourite people.  I’ll miss you, he said.  I’ll miss you too.  I ended the day, at the Esplanade foyer waiting for Avenue Q to start and watching kiddies dance to gamelan, with a big bear hug from one of my favourite people.  I’ve missed you, he said.  I’ve missed you too. 

Blessedness – the feeling of leaving home to come home.  A comfortable sense of belonging both ways.  A girl could be so lucky.

Today, I walked along Bondi Beach and giant Scrabble tiles reminded me to “imagine”.   🙂

I’m off to Australia in just under 6 hours.  This time tomorrow, I will be watching the sunset over the Harbour Bridge from the Sydney Opera House with a cocktail in my hand.  Life is good.

Scrambling

October 16, 2008

No prizes for guessing where I'm off to next.

No prizes for guessing where I'm off to next!

Scrambling to put a work trip together. AGAIN. After a very very successful Amsterdam trip, I’m convinced that taking a little trouble to think through who you want to meet while overseas is so worth the effort.

It’s past midnight, I’m still working, I’m completely exhausted but damn, I’m happy.