Friday, March 31, 2006

Down Memory Lane

Testing post pics ... Which one is me?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lessons from The Producers

Talk about life imitating art - I just had to calm myself from an anxiety attack and flee 'Panic Station' once again - so I went for a movie preview of The Producers and had a real good time last nite.
But what do I find? A nervous wreck as the protagonist - very much like Linus from Peanuts cartoon strip, clinging to his security blanket, haha! But Bloom (Matthew Broderick) had Bialystock (Nathan Lane) who believed in him: "There is more to you than there is" (or somethin' like that) and Ulla (Uma Thurman) as the delicious and determined predator!
Anyway, had lunch at Marche (Renaissance) with the media corps, and someone from Sin Chew had to mention Anxiety Disorder. Is this a coincidence or is this a coincidence? The palpitation, the breathing difficulties, the fear of Heaven knows what ...
TQ, Chooi Leng (Petite Green), for the info.

Gotta sooth those frazzled nerves with a theme song, man:

With You I'm Born Again
(Billy Preston & Syreeta)
Come bring me your softness
Comfort me through all this madness
Woman, don't you know, with you I'm born again
Come give me your sweetness
Now there's you, there is no weakness
Lying safe within your arms, I'm born again
I was half, not whole
In step with none
Reaching through this world
In need of one
Come show me your kindness
In your arms I know I'll find this
Woman, don't you know, with you I'm born again
Lying safe with you
I'm born again

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Return of the Prodigal Child

“Bagaikan Sireh Pulang ke Gagang”
“You must have only Allah in your Heart. You must nourish your spirit. You must have strength, willpower and discipline” When the student is ready, the teacher will appear - and teachers who subscribed to the critical school of thought make very poor students indeed, be it in the material or spiritual domain. There is always this knee-jerk reaction to authority, this unconscious resistance to power, this impulsive desire to assert self-reliance and individualism; yet I felt indescribable gladness upon receiving the ba’ait.
“Life is about sharing - you need a companion, you need fresh air, your air is stale” The child, the parent and the educator in me had kept me busy - that for so long I found that a companion would only encroach on my space, freedom and tasks. And now, the space seems empty, the freedom redundant, the tasks insignificant, without someone to share with.
As I was packing to move to a new place, I found a book that shed more light on my roots. I was excited, I had to tell someone – I told Mama, she asked me to tell my Murshid – and he said: “That’s why you’re here”. Life is a circuitous journey – not a direct and straight path that leads you to your final destination – there are so many diversions and detours that are inadvertently determined by your own character, or lack of it; yet guilt and conscience will lead you back - you will end up at the place where you began - the end is the beginning.

The Light of Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Life is a Lamp, a Hidden Treasure. And the Essence of Allah can only be known through Creation. An-Nur al-Muhammadi was the Light that was created first before Adam (Allah, Dunia and Muhammad), who then manifested the Light of beautiful names and attributes.

Monday, March 06, 2006

No Race, No Route, No Finish Line (Part 3)

Just reflecting on her life's journey made her feel physically, mentally and emotionally drained. She felt that she had been running all the time in what seemed like the KL, PJ, Boston and LA Marathon all rolled in one for more than 17 years. The exhilaration and adrenalin rush that she got from running from PJ to Madison, from Madison to PJ, from PJ to Bonn, from PJ to Perth, from the uni to the ministry and back again, has finally subsided and left her thoroughly exhausted.
It's high time to hang her running shoes. No more running, no more hiding, no more stopping for no reason, and no more walking to nowhere. At last, it's time to heal/heel(?). To be continued ....

Baby Come To Me
(Patti Austin & James Ingram)
Thinkin' back in time
When love was only in my mind
I realize
Ain't no second chance
You've got to hold on to romance
Don't let it slide
There's a special kind of magic in the air
When you find another heart that needs to share
Baby, come to me
Let me put my arms around you
This was meant to be
And I'm oh so glad I found you
Need you ev'ry day
Gotta have your love around me
Baby, always stay
'Cause I can't go back to livin' without you
Spendin' ev'ry dime
To keep you talkin' on the line
That's how it was
And all those walks together
Out in any kind of weather
Just because
There's a brand-new way
Of looking at your life
When you know that love
Is standing by your side
Baby, come to me
Let me put my arms around you
This was meant to be
And I'm oh so glad I found you
Need you ev'ry day
Gotta have your love around me
Baby, always stay
'Cause I can't go back to livin' without you
The nights can be cold
There's a chill to ev'ry evenin'
When you're all alone
Don't talk anymore
'Cause you know that I'll be here
To keep you warm
(Oh, darling keep me warm)
Baby, come to me (come to me)
Let me put my arms around you
This was meant to be (my love)
And I'm oh so, glad I found you
(Oh, so glad I found you)
Need you ev'ry day (ev'ry day)
Gotta have your love around me
(Gotta have you)
Baby, always stay
'Cause I can't go back to livin' without you
Come to me
(Let me put my arms around you)
Let me put my arms around you
This was meant to be
(Hey, I need you ev'ry day, baby)
And I'm oh, so glad I found you
Need you ev'ry day
Gotta have your love around me
(Gotta have you and I want you to stay)
Baby, always stay
'Cause I can't go back to livin' without you
Come to me (come to me)
Let me put my arms around you
(Love me, love me, baby)
This was meant to be
And I'm oh so glad I found you....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

No Race, No Route, No Finish Line (Part 2)

"You're a little more pensive than usual, especially when you contemplate the passage of time. Some recent successes have made you see how far you've come, and how many milestones are under your belt."
She doesn't know how far that's true, but she tells herself, that she must never, ever allow herself to backslide.
Even in her general state of lethargy, she notices the peace offerings, and the hints to take initiatives, but the hurt lingers. Sure, the rules have changed and the goalposts have moved, yet some things remain the same - all girls would like to be fetched from their homes. If there's a bias towards guys who show up at your door, then why the differential treatment of a certain girl vs another?

Relationship Foundation, Improvement, and Rescue
This is a title by Dr Phil MacGraw.
In a nutshell, it says that you have to first change yourself before you can change your relationship.
It prescribes seven steps:
define and diagnose where the relationship is now;
get rid of your wrong thinking about relationship;
find out what you are doing to hurt the relationship;
internalize the values needed to build and maintain strong relationship;
the necessary format for a strong relationship;
and how to reconnect and manage the relationship.
Each section posed diagnostic questions, and directions for implementing what you learn. The process begins with identifying stalled thinking, works on stallbusting that thinking, and then builds new habits that will work better. The steps are extensive, but you can take them in bite-sized amounts.

Friday, March 03, 2006

No Race, No Route, No Finish Line (Part 1)

"Are you moving in the right direction? Ask yourself if you're holding true to your beliefs, or if you feel like your life is an unending series of unsatisfying compromises. It's time to make choices to better your life."
Ken, the trainer from the self-help class had told her:
"You want so much to be in control of your life, but the truth is - you're so out of control"
And she thought that she would finally win the battle against this self-defeating shyness and self-consciousness that stopped her legs when she should go on walking and pushed her to walk when she should stop.
Stop there, are you sure? Walk on by, nobody said nothin'. The running has slowed down somewhat but the walking continued. Learn to apply the brakes, babe. The walking keeps you in control but it's not taking you anywhere.
To be continued ...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Cop and the Runaway

Is it a given trait or social conditioning of Big Bros that made them disciplinarians? Hatta was one such Big Bro who died a tragic and untimely death at the age of 28. He was an obedient child who lived by the rules even when his own father and siblings abandoned their responsibilities to pursue their own self-interests, at some point or other. When his parents were finding it hard to care for four growing children, he and his sister were sent to live with their grandparents. There, they were relegated to the lowest rung of the family hierarchy and subjected to domestic chores and torments from their more dominant aunts and cousins in that extended family. His more independent sister had planned her escape with the help of a girl friend and left him flabbergasted. But he dutifully waited for instructions from his parents to return to the fold.
Back with his family, he took on the role of the head of household in the absence of his father. He made sure that his younger brother and sisters behaved and adhered to their daily schedule. And they would dash home as soon as they saw him walk down the hill from work in the evenings. However, the family moved away after a calamity and he was left to his own devices. Being family-oriented, he gravitated towards his male cousins, Aim (Rahim) in particular. But Aim was sucked in this mystical movement that left Hatta lost and lonely.
Although he was a diligent student and very well-read, it took a few attempts before he passed his Senior Cambridge examinations. He just couldn’t think “outside the box”, to use a present terminology. He was just so stiff that he couldn’t bend, even if he were tickled. Being recruited into the police force seemed like a right vocation for him.
Missing his mother and sister KKN, he sought comfort in the company of a widow cum caterer. The circumstances around the last days of his life were so obscure but the tragic news of his watery death made the headlines and dealt a severe blow to his mother’s conscience. The guilt of abandoning her first born son endured until her own demise. Now that mother and son are gone, I wonder if the bidadari reserved for my Big Bro in paradise will resemble the widow mother or the runaway sister that he so adored?

The Cave and the Torchlight
On a lighter and more cheerful note, I remembered feeling so embarrassed when Erik used the metaphor of the cave and the North American torchlight to refer to the search for knowledge. Since the similes chosen are that of nature and tools (or the nature of tools?), the issue naturally leads to:
Should the cave look for the torchlight?
Or shouldn’t the torchlight look for the cave?

Michael Bolton
How can we be lovers if we can't be friends
How can we start over when the fighting never ends
Baby, how can we make love if we can't make amends
Tell me how we can be lovers if we can't be,
can't be friends
Look at us now, look at us baby
Still tryin' to work it out
Never get it right
We must be fools, we must be crazy
Whoa, whoa, when there's no
Whao, Whoa, it's a no win situation
We lie awake, this wall between us
We're just not talking, we got so much to say
Let's break these chains, our love can free us
Whoa, Whoa, ain't it time we started tryin'
Whoa, whoa, gotta stop this love from dying
Baby, love is tough but we can take it
Baby, times are rough but we can make it
We can work it out