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Showing posts from January, 2021

My Reading Year 2020

A World of Love, Elizabeth Bowen On Writing, Stephen King Monstrous Devices, Damien Love The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar Diaries, David Sedaris Mother's Milk, Edward St. Aubyn No One Here Belongs More Than You, Miranda July Scenes from an Impending Marriage, Adrian Tomine Across the Bridge, Mavis Gallant Paris Diaries, Mavis Gallant Traveler: Poems, Dennis Johnston Friend of My Youth, Alice Munro Self-Help, Lorrie Moore Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles The Nearest Thing to Life, James Wood Nothing to Envy, Barbara Demick The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Alice Munro Dance of the Happy Shades, Alice Munro In the Country, Mia Alvar HHhH, Laurent Binet The Character of an Upright Man, Thomas Watson Hermit in Paris, Italo Calvino The Cost of Living, Mavis Gallant Currently reading (January 2021): We Shall Write Love Poems Again, Dinah Roma Th

Remembering Jason Polan

One year since Jason Polan passed away. Stumbled upon his blog many years ago. He wanted to draw Every Person in New York. Sketches were rudimentary, like scribbles on paper. No motive to impress; only, perhaps, to remember and have fun while doing so.  Have been a fan since I learned of him. From the NYT Obituary: Mr. Polan’s signature project for the last decade or so was “Every Person in New York,” in which he set himself the admittedly impossible task of drawing everyone in New York City. He kept a robust blog of those sketches, and by the time he published a book of that title in 2015 — which he envisioned as Vol. 1 — he had drawn more than 30,000 people. These were not sit-for-a-portrait-style drawings. They were quick sketches of people who often didn’t know they were being sketched, done on the fly, with delightfully unfinished results, as Mr. Polan wrote in the book’s introduction. In memory of Jason Polan, here's my self-portrait. 

About Southern California

Break from diplomate exam review: Joan Didion's Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream , the first essay that appears in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. 

Congratulations to our new fellows!

The pen that my patient (with colon cancer) gave me

Missed National Handwriting Day (January 23) by a few days!

"Claiming and acclaiming afflictions"

Juan Miguel Leandro L. Quizon's paper, Claiming and Acclaiming Afflictions: Narrative Medicine and the Articulation of Human Ailments , explores the power and usefulness of stories in healthcare.  Narrative medicine creates a platform for a patient and everyone in the periphery to share in a point of contact to confront our mortality. To talk about the stories, to write and utter these experiences “help us to form clearings — and we are able to come together in the clearing of storytelling, and within the clearing of this human gift of mortality, that is where the freedoms emit” (Charon, 2011). These endeavors create sturdy affiliations and communities so that patients do not have to face their pains alone. What is the ultimate manifestation when readers are “moved” by a story? Action and connection.... The core is relationship-building.  The process of narrative medicine is complex because it is not just about chronicling the patient’s or the medical health professional’s stories,

Jehu, lizard, naps, rejoicing

2 Kings is where I read about Jehu, a furious driver (2 Kings 9:20). During his 28-year reign, he slaughtered the house of Ahab, including the wicked Jezebel and all the worshippers of Baal. The account was like an episode of Game of Thrones, only that it happened in history. The Bible is so fascinating and comforting. God's justice prevails in the end.  On this early Saturday morning, I'm the only one awake. It's 26 degrees in the living room, without any fan on. A lizard sticks to the white wall. The neighbor's cat isn't around. It usually visits the house between 3 to 4 am, hiding underneath the sofa.  Lots of reading and studying planned for today. Might head out to the café at 8, when it opens. Resolved not to complain but to glorify God through perseverance and prayer. Wrote in my notebook, "Take fewer naps."  An encouragement by John Calvin (via Tim Challies ). View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tim Challies (@challies

What am I doing here?

Before I visit my patients, some morning entertainment: the account of a writer finding himself in the middle of a coup in Benin. Wish I got to be friends with Bruce Chatwin. Seems like a guy who's fun to travel with. 

Random kindness

My kid brother Sean—not a kid anymore, he's 30—barged into the room. He found me reading something in my laptop and shoved a mug in front of my face.  "Hold this," he said.  "What's that?" "It's cold, don't worry." There was ice floating. "It's Vietnamese coffee," he clarified. Sweet and bitter, with an earthy taste, it reminded me of the restaurant that served banh mi at the fourth floor of Robinson's Manila. "You made this? It's delicious. I'll take this," I said.  He walked out of the room, resolved to make another cup for himself. 

Collection of handwriting-related posts for 2020

2020 was my most prolific year of blogging yet. I posted daily, mostly of random photographs in my archive with a short note. I also wrote about fountain pens and shared photos of my handwriting! What a year it has been. January   February March April   May   June July   August September   October November   December