Archive for December, 2008


I was amazed when mom told me that a former student of hers still remembers one particular poem which she taught them 40 years ago. Bumping into my mom last night, she rattled off the first two lines to jog her memory which of course worked.

Mom related the whole thing to me but for the life of her couldn’t remember the title of the poem. What she did remember, I put to good use. I googled “O young Lockinvar is come out of the west” and was directed to this site. Notice that though I misspelled the name, it didn’t lead me way up the garden path. And we even decided to watch it and talk about it.

Mom was glad that though she didn’t teach her kids to speak with a Scottish brogue, the pronunciation was on the whole desirable. That got me thinking. Teachers didn’t have access to the internet then. How would they know how to pronounce Lochinvar and Eske? Any thoughts on that?

December 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

The 3 Gifts of Christmas

As Christmas is now round the corner, thoughts of loving and sharing are in the air.
Beautiful Blubber’s retelling of Dobson’s story is a case in point.

I have another Christmas tale to share here. It was published this year in the December issue of Today’s Catholic, a monthly publication of the Archdiocese of Kuching. I thought it best summarises the language of love. It’s not the saying that counts, but the doing. Read on and share your thoughts with me.

Three Gifts of Christmas

Three Gifts of Christmas

The Three Gifts of Christmas

When I was all done cleaning up,
I plonked down with tea in a cup.
My girl sidled next to my chair,
And poured her heart out in despair,
“Will Ah Ma spend Christmas this year
with us? Her other children dear
only come and say hi to her.
But never once did they offer
to take her back just for a day
and in their cozy homes to stay.”

I saw pain flooding her red eyes
Perhaps longing for her demise
And guilt written on her visage
For not reflecting God’s image.

I cuddled her close to my heart
And lovingly these words impart,
“I know you may think it unfair
that we have this burden to bear.
But let’s think of the first Christmas
which really seemed incredulous;
Kings set their eyes on Bethlehem,
The place that housed the priciest gem.”

She looked at me in puzzlement.
Yet with eyes that were insistent
She asked, “What’s the moral of your
story and who is it meant for?”

“For you of course my little girl.
Now you’ll see the moral unfurl.
These kings came bearing costly gifts
From various lands of craggy cliffs.

“Gold was placed before his manger
Whose kingship lies yon this harbour.
Hence, shall He rule the hearts of all—
The seeds of our first parents’ fall.
So child, fret not with this burden
For it’s there that Christ is hidden.

“Then frankincense for His priesthood
was placed next to the trough of wood.
He came to offer His whole self
to reconcile Man to Himself.
Seeing Ah Ma’s fragility
We see ah… God’s humility.

“Finally, myrrh cast its dark veil
over Christ with shades of the nail.
’twas on the cross He breathed His last,
That’s our Lord who’s Love unsurpassed.
We should then die to our complaints
And serve selflessly like the saints.”

She then bowed her head in silence
In an act of deep reverence.
These heartfelt words came flowing out,
which was indeed a turnabout,
“Thank you Lord for these figurines
Whose gifts are better than Jack’s beans.
For now I see you in our midst,
A presence I’ve often dismissed.”

December 14, 2008 at 12:27 pm 1 comment

How Instant is instant?

I find the following news article bemusing:

If this is instant, I wonder what fast is

If this is instant, I wonder what fast is

If he was able to shake violently for a period of time before he succumbed, how could his death be instant?

December 12, 2008 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

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