Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunny Sunday, oh yes indeed.

Winter is ending soon, and been really feelin' spring lately.. actually, it almost feels like summer today. Just a cool, summery day. The photo featured in today's post are blooming flowers of a plum tree, a discovery I made when I was walking around the neighbourhood and captured on my phone's camera.

So yes, us Melbournians have been enjoying the great weather. For the land of unpredictable climate, I've got to say, I'm pretty impressed so far. Just looking out the window and seeing the sun makes one smile. A good day to go for a run, listen to feel good music and just have a look around. And what's there to see, I hear you ask? Well, for starters, the beautiful flowers blooming have absolutely got me. Gorgeous weather and beautiful surroundings. What else could one ask for?

I hope you've been having as good of a weekend as I have. Smile lots, don't hold back the laughs and if you're anything like me, who is infected by the great weather, throw your hands up and have fun.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I understand now, Mum.

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do."

Those were the words my mother said to me when I went to my first sleepover. At the time, I was quite confused and wondered why she would say such a thing. What would I do exactly? I didn't understand her. I considered myself a sensible kid, because I generally was. I was brought up right, and knew what was right, and what was wrong. I didn't understand her words.

Today, I understood.

As I was walking past a primary school, I watched a dad drop his son off. He was helping his son with his bag, making sure that the flaps were correctly done. And then he talked to his son, laughing, and then gave his son an assuring pat on the shoulder, before he headed back to his car. I thought, that was nice. And then out of the blue, I was reminded of what my mother said years ago.

It all came back to me, and it made sense. My mother watched me grow from a little baby who hated the bath but never cried (unless you're bathing her, of course), to a toddler who loved her abc's, then to a living and talking girl who grew to love her music and writing stories. Who loved her crayons and painting, although like her mother, she was really no good at art, but she gave it a go anyway. That was me, but I was growing up, and being my overprotective mum who watched me grow, she wanted me to act safe, so she gave me advice and hoped for the best.

It's hard being a parent. Each day, you send you child to school, and it's difficult because you don't have control over what happens at school. You go to work, and you hope for the best. Child is sick. You bring them to the doctor's, and sometimes you can't take the day off, so you spend the whole day worrying. It's hard, because there are so many things that you can't control. There are circumstances that you just have to accept and let it all work out. It's difficult, and I certainly don't envy my mother at times, especially when it came to camps and being away from home.

I'm sorry that I worried you Mum, and I know that even as I grow older, you'll still worry for me. But I understand now. I understand now, Mum.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

40 Hour Famine 2011

my profile:
learn more about how the 40 Hour Famine here

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Favourite Close ups of Flowers

I love taking close up shots of flowers wherever I go, and sometimes even my own backyard.
Here are some of my favourite shots that I took recently:

Notice the little green creature.

This was taken in Malaysia; I've always loved the sight of them when I was younger. They're everywhere.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Story Behind the Picture of The Praying Hands

This is a beautiful and touching story of family and sacrifice published in my parish's fortnightly newsletter. Please take the time to read it.

The Story Behind the Picture of The Praying Hands
Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order to merely keep food on the table for thsi mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chores he could find in the neighbourhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children, Albrecht and Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they know full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser will go down into the nearby mines and with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toast, completed his studies in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by labouring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned work.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honoured position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother... for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert... blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream and I will take care of you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated over and over, "No.. no.. no.. no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother! I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look.. look what four years have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother... for me it's too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver point sketches, watercolours, charcoals, woodcuts and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's work. More than merely with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands".

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, that no one - no one - ever makes it alone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Life After School

"What do you want to do after school?"

That, my friends, is the trending question of the moment. It's what I've been hearing a lot more recently, and it's not the good ol' playground talk that used to take place where we dream about being teachers and firemen and construction workers (that was my dream, anyway). It was serious talk, because it's getting to the time where we have to pick our subjects, choose our future.

And what exactly does that mean, choosing our future? Can we really choose our future? As I browse and flick through stacks of booklets promising guidance for those lost out of their minds, I realise that we can, but it's not an easy decision to make.

Back in my grandparents' days, there wasn't really that option of choosing your future, as far as careers go. It was simply what was available, what you could afford and for many parents, making the difficult decision to provide later education opportunities for some children and shortening some children's education, because at the time parents simply couldn't afford education for all their children. There weren't many options to consider, and even if one had great potential, their parents could not see it through. It was making the best with what you have.

I believe that it still applies today, but today's children are given so much more to base their career decisions on. Today, we are fortunate to have all the options in the world, and great people and tools to help us along the way. We can choose our future. However, choosing what career path we want to take on is really not easy because it's hard to identify whether we're making the right choices. We're doubtful whether we can go that far to make it ours. We're not sure if it's what we really want.

The future is not predetermined. Whatever my fellow classmates and myself choose to take on as a career, it doesn't change the fact that our future is not set in stone. So many things can change and alter our opportunities of getting there, and for the most part, that's worrying and exciting at the same time. Having said that, I do strongly believe that this is the time where we have the most control of our future.

How did you go about choosing your career path? Have you known all along what you wanted, or was it hard?
Did you predict that you'd be where you are now?

I'd really love to hear from you.
On another note, what are your thoughts on the new blog design?

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