Monday, October 25, 2021

Dusk

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Looking at the orange skies on Sunday's sunset, I remember this beautiful song

This is my father's world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres

This is my father's world
The birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white
Declare their maker's praise

This is my father's world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Light rain

Light rain greets us as we drive to Rizal Park this Sunday morning. Nanay buys flowers to arrange for church. Flowerless pulpits bother her. Our house tries very hard to have flower cutting; even pictures, paintings, and cross-stitch art at home have floral themes. Waiting by the road, on hazard, I listen to Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be That I Should Gain” (1738).

Light rain greets us as we drive to Rizal Park this Sunday morning. Nanay buys flowers to arrange for church. Flowerless pulpits bother her. Our house tries very hard to have flower cutting; even pictures, paintings, and cross-stitch art at home have floral themes. Waiting by the road, on hazard, I listen to Charles Wesley’s “And Can It Be That I Should Gain” (1738).

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach th'eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

A blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Home visit

Visiting Tita Beb, Tito Henry, my cousin Matt, and my nephew Jared (son of my cousin Ate Bing) today, after lunch. Manong is coming with me. He'll get some writing done in a café in Gen San (says he needs a change of venue to keep his verbal juices coming), then I'll pick him up once I'm done with clinic and meetings. It's a wonderful excuse to visit Polomolok, where I used to spend summer breaks as a child. Praise be to God for those memories of endless games, merienda, and trips to parties and beaches with cousins who are all grown up now, with families of their own, but who remain childlike—and sometimes childish—in an endearing way.

Sleeping cat

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Picked Lola up yesterday for an eye consult in Marbel and saw Moon, this beautiful cat, sleeping on a throw pillow. Lola will need a cataract surgery. Been complaining she couldn't see well with her right eye. Had many good laughs during the trip. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

,

In the tunnel

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Read Mavis Gallant's In the Tunnel this morning: a short story about a young Canadian woman (Sarah) who falls in love with an older man (Roy) and stays with him in "a low building that [she] thought was an Indian lodge." Roy's friends (Tim and Meg Reeve) own the place. They are used to Roy bringing many girls around. 

Started feeling irritated and angry towards Sarah for her unwise decision—why elope with an older man she hardly knows? 

Tita Mavis, always gracious and respectful to her characters (and we can learn from her example of understanding and suspending judgment), writes as the story winds down:

Her father would say it was all her own fault again. Why? Was it Sarah's fault that she had all this loving capital to invest? What was she supposed to do with it? Even if she always ended up sitting outside a gate somewhere, was she any the worse for it?

I know several friends and family who have made wrong decisions, leaving them with fatherless children and broken families. This story resonates with that theme: if love is in all the wrong places, it is love at all?

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Not my own

John Calvin, Ch. II (“A Summary of the Christian Life. Of Self Denial”). 1: 
O how great the proficiency of him who, taught that he is not his own, has withdrawn the dominion and government of himself from his own reason that he may give them to God! For as the surest source of destruction to men is to obey themselves, so the only haven of safety is to have no other will, no other wisdom, than to follow the Lord wherever he leads. Let this, then be the first step, to abandon ourselves, and devote the whole energy of our minds to the service of God.

I remember the song, "I'm Abandoned to the Captain." (Oasis Worship, Celebrate King Jesus – Praise & Worship Collection. ℗ 2012 Classic Fox Records. Released on: 1996-03-06. Music Publisher: (c) 1986 Birdwing Music). We sing in in church. 

I'm abandoned to the Captain
Of the mighty hosts of Heaven
And I pledge Him my allegiance
'Til the earth beholds His Kingdom 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Old and new

I expected my new laptop—a MacBook Air, space gray—to arrive yesterday. But the delivery man from the courier company couldn’t find my home address; I’d later learn he didn’t ask around. The website thus registered the issue as “The company named in the Company Name field on the transport label is not the entity located at the physical address.” I was supposed to “provide new or updated consignee address.” Another person reading the notice would imagine I lived somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.

This morning I went to the warehouse facility in GenSan, about 200 meters from my clinic. The security guard asked me to wait outside: they have my package. The laptop was wrapped in a brown box, which was wrapped by a thick transparent plastic. I placed the package in the backseat of the car, thanked the warehouse people, and drove to another hospital to see a patient.

I hadn't planned on getting a new computer. My old MacBook Air, around seven years old, remains functional. Sure, it’s a bit slow at times, when too many tabs are opened, or when I activate Garage Band by accident. There are moments when a restart is required. But the machine gets things done—Zoom meetings, Keynote or PowerPoint slides, Word or Pages, web browsing, and Netflix. I drag it in my clinics and use it for my consultancy and faculty work. It is only about 10 to 20 percent less efficient than when I had bought it at Robinsons Manila with my first salary; this was on my first year internal medicine residency. I remember that afternoon: my friend Racquel Bruno accompanied me after work. She said, “It feels like Christmas morning.” Her MacBook Air, she tells me, is still alive and kicking. We used our Macs on mortality reviews, meta-analyses, and the many paper work and researches we had to submit. 

Colored lines

My old Mac is special to me. It has been with me on my overseas trips for conferences. It has proven a trustworthy company in presentations, lectures, and audits. I wrote papers, essays, blog posts, and stories on it. I recorded my podcasts with its built-in QuickTime player. I used it for my diplomate exam in medical oncology. So it pained me when, on October 5, vertical lines appeared in the screen’s center. Forums in the internet said it could be an LCD error, which requires replacement of the screen. It could also be a motherboard issue, which needs a special restart (it didn’t work). I was forced to get a new one.

I borrowed my brother Sean’s laptop, which runs on Windows, to tide things through. I reached out to a schoolmate from Notre Dame who fixes Apple products at a minimal fee. Just when I was about to meet Jeff, the vertical lines had disappeared. The screen looked normal. MacBook Airs are self-healing, after all.

Mac

I had just finished transferring all files from the old to the new Mac, and I’m writing this post so I could get used to the keyboard. For the file transfer, I used Apple’s Migration Assistant, which clones the old to the new. It took 30 minutes to complete the entire process. Sean made me a cup of lavender tea for the meantime. I also entertained myself with an Elizabeth Bowen story, “Mrs. Windermere.” Sean said, “Daw nami man ang laptop mo, Manong, ah. Nami iya color.”

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Rereading Stephen King's story with fresher, older eyes

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Treated myself to a Stephen King short story on this bright Sunday morning. "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away," which appears in his collection, Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales. Read it first in high school. Now I have older eyes, with a fresher perspective; and I've been driving. A salesman in the American Midwest stops by a motel to kill himself then second-guesses his decision. Ending is open-ended, but I like to think it ends happily. Rained last night. Plants in Nanay's garden are refreshed. Getty hymns play in the background as the family prepares for Sunday worship. Take care, dear friends!
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