Saturday, January 12, 2013

2012 in words and photos

WE'RE ALREADY on the second week of the year 2013, but for reasons already familiar to you—sloth, stress, the black hole called the Philippine General Hospital—I haven't posted any year-in-review article for 2012 yet. Which is unfortunate, really, because 2012 has been a great year for me.

Weeks in 2012

A picture paints a thousand words, so the song goes. Here's a compilation of all the photos I posted for my Weeks in 2012 Project, where I took seven photos of random people and things every week. The idea behind the project was for me to narrate my life through pictures. Some events are better remembered that way, I guess, but how pumpkin soup describes my journey through life remains a puzzle, even to me. I'll give the project a sabbatical this internship year, where I expect to write fewer entries.

January: Banaue, Parts 1 and 2

week 4, 2012

"I'm still nursing thigh and calf pains, about 5/10 in severity, relieved by rest, and aggravated by movement, but I keep looking back at the past four days of this rather spontaneous trip to Northern Philippines and ask myself what made this trip awesome. Was it the view? Of course, that was a major factor. Was it the fulfilment at having survived the longest treks I've done in my life? Yes, that one, too. But more than these, I think it was the company."

February: To the first baby I have delivered


"I was overjoyed when I saw you. My delight was a combination of anything that accompanies a memorable first experience and of the sheer sight of a living human being seeing the world for the first time. All my stresses disappeared momentarily when I heard your noise, an announcement to everyone that you have, after 37 months of being in the womb, arrived. 9:30 PM, February 18. I will mark that date forever."

March: Human

"So when I pray that He grant me strength to carry on my hospital duties, He knows the feeling of physical weakness, and He knows exactly what kind of strength to provide. When I ask Him for joy when my heart is filled with pain, sorrow, grief, or depression, He knows exactly how to lift my spirits up.  When I ask Him for a delicious meal to eat when I hear my stomach grumble, He knows exactly what food to provide.  When I pray for guidance to make important, life-changing decisions and I am filled with anxiety, He knows exactly how to dispel my worries with His assurances. When I struggle with sins or when I am tempted, He knows exactly where I am weakest, and He gives me the grace to overcome these struggles."

April: Remembering Mawwi

"Denial is my reflex reaction to news of death. I don't wallow in grief all at once; I walk away, pretend I never heard the news, and go on with whatever it is I'm doing."

May: On my 25th year

"And I realized that was what I wished for on my 25th birthday: I wanted the Lord to make me an upright man. O, that God would grant me a heart that rejoices in truth and love and holiness, a heart that seeks after His own!

"I still have so many jagged edges. I struggle with a lot of things. And day after day, I'm reminded of how sinful a man I am—in my thoughts, words, and deeds. But I rejoice and take comfort in the fact that, more than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ chose to die for all my sins on that wooden cross, gave me new life, and is daily changing me to be more like Him."

May: White water rafting in Cagayan de Oro

"Are you going for Mild or Wild?" Jojo asked us before we began. "WILD!" we yelled back. My companions were adrenalin-rush addicts, and so was I. The wilder we wanted it, the more flipping we got. Those were the moments when I most enjoyed the rafting adventure. The trick is to let yourself fall and to keep your mouth shut lest you swallow river water. Suffice it to say that I fell seven times. I may have taken sips of Cagayan River here and there.

"Almighty Father, remind me that I need you every day, as I am inclined to trust in my own devices, thinking I can make it through the day on my own. Show me how depraved and sinful I am, how large my need is for Your grace to win the battle against my godless desires and motives, that I may cling on to You, my joy and strength."

August: Old friends

luths, myself, paul

"I like this photo of us sharing a stomach ache-inducing laughter. I was explaining something I could no longer recall exactly (or maybe I was teasing Luther Caranguian with a pretty lady I hope he'd marry someday). Luther, who graduated summa cum laude in ECE, is wearing the t-shirt with lizards. Meanwhile Paul Balite has long since abandoned the idea of wearing simple shirts, resorting instead to lawyer-ly outfits, a habit he probably takes with him when he goes to bed."

September: Notes

A letter from my patient

"My patient at the Medical ICU (MICU) liked writing notes. He was intubated when he came in, so I never really got to hear him speak. He relied mostly on hand gestures, but even those had their limitations. His wife had a brilliant idea: maybe he could write things down instead. Every time I dropped by his bed, I saw a notebook and a black marker pen beside him. I would ask him a question. Slowly he would jot the answer down."

October: Memories of IM Past

"The two-hour session would start with a quick rundown of mortalities and mortalities of the previous 24-hours, followed by moments of silence as the senior residents, seated at the topmost row, picked one case to be discussed for the day. The ensuing tension was similar to the choosing of Katniss Everdeen's sister to represent District 12 in the Hunger Games, where one either lived or died."

November: Torpe

"I thought I had known what it meant, "torpe," a word I hear in every day parlance, in songs, on television, but I didn't take the effort to search for its actual meaning, the same way I didn't bother looking for the definition of "astig," "toma," or "chever" because, well, people just happen to know what they stand for. But my lexicographical laxity gave way to ignorance, and I had been mistaken all along. I still don't know a lot of things, apparently, and all these years I've misunderstood "torpe" entirely."

December: Christmas meditations

"Unless you become a Christian, you stand with every other unbeliever under God's condemning hand. The punishment is eternal death. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4-5). "

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't take a blog sabbatical this year :( I look forward to reading your posts! I'm sure internship will still allow you to write. :) -aa

Mon Jan 14, 10:47:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

That's just for the Week in Photo project, Aace.

Mon Jan 14, 04:30:00 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Koji said...

Torpe! haha. Praise God for a wonderful year kapatid. His grace is so multifaceted! It's been a pleasure admiring Him in your life. Cheers to 2013!

Mon Jan 14, 06:17:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Amen, Koj! Thanks for visiting! Let's look forward to knowing more of God in 2013.

Tue Jan 15, 03:54:00 AM GMT+8  

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