Whoa, Baby! 2016 Year in Review

2016, when God did “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)

I know it’s already February, but it was a big year. Let’s recap! Continue reading

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The Secret

September 12, 2012

“Once you decide on your occupation…you must immerse yourself in your work.

You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job.

You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill.

That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”

– Jiro Ono

The greatest sushi chef in the world, Jiro, in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, works relentlessly to master his skill.  Everyday, for the past 70 years, he has committed to making sushi that tastes better than the sushi he made the day before.

How much of my own life have I dedicated to mastering my skill?

For 12 years, I played piano.  Continue reading

Autumn’s Concierto

IMG_2078It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, but oh, how I have autumn written on my heart! Christmas just passed, and autumn has come and long gone, yet I never had a chance to write about it.

This year was the first time I realized that autumn has its own soundtrack.  During my lunch breaks, I circled around the park, listening to the seasons change. When the wind blew, I imagined a conductor lifting his arms, inhaling with a large gesture, and signaling the orchestra to play. There was a dissonance, as the wind carried certain branches in one direction, and other branches in an opposing direction- they were flutes, clarinets, oboes, playing different notes on a minor chord. Then when the conductor cued all the leaves, collectively, to play at the same time, the rustling was like the string section of an orchestra. The violins played a somber melody. (Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks autumn sounds like violins, so did this famous French poet!) When the wind rushed quickly past my ears, I heard ringing like the hollow sounds of a vibraphone. Continue reading

Locked. Unleashed. Leaving.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, reposting an old blog post that includes a vignette of one of my patients.

For all those who have served our country.. a sincerest thank you.

~ ~ ~

April 9, 2010

He glanced out the window, then looked at me. “I’m 92. I’ve been through a lot.”

He began to story tell. “It was winter time, and I was stationed in Europe during World War II. At night, we wore all of our gear and slept in the trenches. They were these deep, buried holes in the Earth. I thought it was going to be cold, but that first night, it was rather warm. Then in the morning, I emerged from my trench, and Continue reading

The Definition of Home

the definition of home

my students leaping with joy

Waiting at the gate to board, I searched for my boarding pass. My hand brushed against a Ziploc bag.

Fresh coconut slices.

I held the bag in my hands. It was a bit of a nuisance; if the juice leaked from the bag, it would soak my journal, laptop, chargers, and travel pillow. My backpack was already cramped.

But Ba had insisted.

~ ~ ~

Before coming to the airport, Ba stood in the kitchen, holding a fresh coconut.

“We have fresh coconuts?!” I asked, a bit bewildered.

“It’s for you, កូន (daughter), drink the juice,” Ba grabbed a mini axe, the size of a butcher knife, then hacked away at the head of coconut. He flipped the coconut upside down and drained the clear coconut juice into a tall glass. He carved the pearly, white flesh out into thin slivers, and packed them into a ziploc.

“Drink.” He pointed to the glass. “For the plane ride.” He handed me the bag.

It was a short trip home, and I didn’t get to spend as much time with my parents as I had wanted. Actually, I spent the least time with Ba. It was the weekend before Father’s Day, and I was not able to stay another week to celebrate Father’s Day with him either.

Yet he continued to care for me, in the best way he knew how.

Food. Continue reading