Thursday, September 21

Do Not Flee

Some 16 months ago I fell for a girl who already had a boyfriend. I always learn a lot when I find in someone the qualities I'm looking for in a life-partner. The way Javad put it, it's always nice to experience this, 'cause it reminds us that there are indeed people out there that match the criteria. On the one hand, I should obviously respect the boyfriend-girlfriend relationship existing, but on the other hand, what if something else is destined? Or in my own words,

To fall in love with one you cannot wed
Is better fate than to have loved and fled.

This is one of the 20 sonnets I wrote to this love interest:

Zonnet 5

Reverberating curiously between
Our hearts, a love traverses the divide.
By circumstance my heart from yours is wheened,
Yet still we find that you and I collide.

For in mine eyes thou seest thine expressed.
A swift connection binds our hearts in twine.
No selfish purpose hid, no wish repressed,
Nor ambiguity canst thou yet find.

If growth and learning be hereby attained,
If truthful love and happiness abound,
If to our lives these instances pertain,
If to inspection it remaineth sound,

Then let such magic foster as it would,
It can forsooth amount to only good.


To give credit to Brent's comments, I would do things differently now than I did then. I would remember that "Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it."

Thursday, September 14

I So Love Children...

I am frequently overtaken with emotion at my job, on the verge of tears. I contemplate the beauty of these young souls who are still in the beginning phases of their relationship with this big world of ours.

One thing that strikes me frequently is how "real" their experience is. It is rare for us adults to cry outright, or to scream out of fright, or feel completely overtaken by embarassment the way children do. However, the experience is as real for them as it would be for us if we had it right now. Those are the childhood memories we tend to keep, because they're so intense. But it's easy for adults to dismiss the instance as something children maybe "just go through." I frequently see adults, especially teachers, ignore children crying, or even yelling at them. My God! They are so sensitive and vulnerable! Every time this happens, it takes a toll on their whole life! I pine for their suffering, as I recall my own experience as a child!

There is a new class I teach on Thursday afternoon. They are 3-4 years old. They are a trouble class, specifically bunched together according to a perceived lesser potential - at least that's how it's been explained to me. There are difficult to teach. Their discipline and focus is very poor, and their ability to learn in hampered. But this is where the simple acts of love show the clearest effect. In the course a short 25 minutes, I saw how my love and patience empowered them to control and enjoy their own actions. I am so grateful to God that I have a job where I can so clearly see the effect of my own service. And according to friends' accounts, what I see is only a small portion of what I am actually bestowing.

Month after month, my mother's widsdom of a multi-decade teacher infiltrates my own methods and approaches. I always thought it was remarkable how every single day she could have so very much to say about her students and her classes. I never thought I might one day be so grateful for her endless stories and anecdotes! Today we taught a huge class of some 40 students (2 classes combined for their English learning, actually), which is exceptionally challenging. The majority didn't behave too well, which Jacqueline and I both feel should be corrected. How? Remembering my mom's wisdom, I thought of a punishment. I usually focus on rewards, but punishments are also useful. It's simple: we said that because of how poorly they were behaving, the class went very slowly, and therefore we had no time to play a game, which we know they all love.

Did I mention I love my job?

On another note, it's been raining for four days. I love rain, but this time there's another meaning, and I have to finish a mission before the rain leaves, which gives me possibly another two days to complete a task which will most likely change my life. One day I might share i

Sunday, September 10

Last Resort

So I got a membership at a gym near my home, as a last resort, since I have not been exercising since I've come to Shanghai. I was trying to do capoeira, but it didn't work with my schedule.

I've started working on three different performance projects - some friends have been asking me about this, since I am a performer, after all... I have to make slow progress at this point, because of my heavy schedule, but it's nice to make some headway.

The new semester has started, and it's great to be back at the kindergartens, especially to be once again with some of my classes from the Spring.


How about a poem! a love poem!

Beneath the surface of your smile there lies
A mystery, which no detective's eyes,
However keen, could e'er elucidate.
How can your smile so bright illuminate
In one sweet hour a world as big as mine?
The secret lies in how you did define
The meaning of your life when as a child
You looked up to your teacher's face, so mild
And kind, and recognized the peaceful way
That you yourself would choose to be and stay.
Today, like many other days you teach,
Your light has shone on one you tried to reach,
And I am thankful for the smile I feel
Is spreading on my face - so warm and real.
I hope and pray you always will bestow
Your happy smile on those you get to know,
Because our world can seem so very dark
With so few acts of love to make their mark,
But smiles like yours can bring a kindling spark.


danio's song of the month

Gnarls Barkley - Smiley Faces

What did you do? What did you say?
Did you walk or did you run away?
Where are you now? Where have you been?
Did you go alone or did you bring a friend?
I need to know this 'cause I noticed you're smiling.
Out of the sun, having fun and and feeling free.
And I can tell you know how hard this life can be, but you keep on smiling for me.

What went right? What went wrong?
Was it a story or was it a song?
Was it overnight or did it take you long?
Was it knowing your weakness what made you strong?
Or all of the above. Oh how I love to see you smiling.
And oh yeah, take a little pain just in case.
You need something warm to embrace, to help you put on a smiling face.
Put on a smiling face.

Don't you go off into the new day with any doubt.
Here's a summary of something that you could smile about.
Say for instance, my girlfriend she bugs me all the time.
But the irony of it all is that she loves me all the time. Oh, see.

I wanna be you, whenever I see you smiling.
'Cause it's easily one of the hardest things to do.
Your worries and fears become your friends and they end up smiling at you.
Put on a smiling face.