Sunday, May 25, 2008

Infinite Loop

my first memory was sunlight
falling through motes of dust
patterns merging from shadows
inside reaching out

if time is seamlessly round
then it could just be

my last memory will be starlight
rising though desert air
transparence touching spirit
outside reaching in

© 2008 by WEb

Photo Credit: Galaxy HUDF-JD2 From the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (NASA,ESA)


I wrote this poem for Memorial Day, and it's mostly about wonder and growth. The poem is about our past and future memories as we grow from childhood toward an understanding of the universe.

My first fuzzy memories are mostly about "sunlight" -- which, of course, is also "starlight" (since the sun is a star). I was probably not more than three. As one grows older, one tries to make sense of the greater universe.

As adults, we now know that the starlight arriving at the Earth today has actually been traveling for a very very long time -- and we can actually see backward in time. Some of the photos from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field originates from 13 billion years ago. Our observational evidence and understanding of physics currently points to a "Big Bang" where the universe was born in an explosion and expanded outward 13.7 billion years ago.

There's a lot of speculation on what may happen next, and one can wonder about it. Will the Big Bang be followed by a Big Crunch? An "infinite loop" (title of the poem) is sequence of instructions in a computer program that loops endlessly forever. Could old age be like becoming new again?

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Slowing Down

We've been getting a little sick and tired of getting sick and tired. Last Friday, Hikaru got sick with a high fever. Three days later on Monday, Mommy got sick and so tired that she couldn't stand up or keep her eyes open.

And finally Wednesday afternoon was Daddy's turn to go down, and he was even on jury duty. However having a hundred degree fever, headache, sore throat, and diarrhea isn't enough to be excused from fulfilling one's civic responsibility as a US citizen. As the judge said, "There's currently a war going on... Being on jury duty isn't much of an inconvenience compared to being a soldier in Iraq." Yes, I suppose, that could be argued to be true. Fortunately, it was quick trial.

My fever finally broke on Friday morning. My body's systems eventually came back online, and I was able to eat something else besides rice porridge. It felt so good to be alive again (and my sense of humor returned too). So what do we learn from all this?

We do realize that our lives have changed from the day Hikaru was born. Getting sick, though, is part of the way we all build up our immune defenses against diseases, so it's a required component of life. Yes, we've gotten sick, but so far (keeping our fingers crossed) we've always recovered too. So we're learning to appreciate our "non-sickness", our health, and to find ways of leading healthier happier lives.

For me, I'm also learning to say it's "OK" to slow down -- and not to be so compulsive about the work stuff that tends to stress me out anyway. Hikaru gets sick; gets well; then he's back to jumping around and having fun. So that should work for adults too, right? I wish I could learn those things without having to get so sick, but maybe there's a reason for everything.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Little Tokyo Service Center

If any relatives and friends are wondering about my workplace, and what we do there, here's a short video on YouTube. I work at the Little Tokyo Service Center in downtown LA. Just click below to watch...

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Visiting Venice

The previous weekend, we explored the westside of LA, and took a walk around Venice, California. Back around 1904, there were about 16 miles of canals dug in this area. Today some of these canals still remain. We noticed that many of the residents along the canal seem to have a boat.

This is a view from the Venice Beach pier. However, Hikaru was anxious to get off the pier and putting his feet into the sand and water. He was looking forward to going to the beach all morning.

From a two-year-old's perspective, happiness is being at beach...

Uh-oh... A big wave came along, and Hikaru fell into the water. We forgot to bring a change of dry clothes for him, so Hikaru went home in his diaper.

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Mother's Day

We personally think that "every day" should be Mother's Day (and Grandmother's Day), but we had a family gathering at an Italian American restaurant to celebrate this holiday. Parenting is a rough job, and it's really nice to have grandparents. Pau-Pau is one "super woman" who takes care of three grandkids during the day while we go to work -- Hikaru, Marcus, and Sarah.

All of our family gatherings revolve around eating, so here's a photo of Hikaru shoveling pasta into his mouth.

And this Hikaru's cousin "Dai-Dai" (meaning younger brother in Cantonese) or baby Marcus.

And this is "Mui-Mui" (meaning younger sister) or cousin Sarah who is roughly the same age as Hikaru.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Going Somewhere

Hikaru is presently undergoing his "training" and he goes "poo-poo" in the toilet. He flushes the toilet, and wonders where the poo-poo goes. "Go follow poo-poo!" he says. We respond, "The poo-poo went to the ocean."

A random question that came to me was, "Where are we going?" That is, what determines our path in life? It all goes somewhere, right? After a little thought, I felt that that life's direction has to do a lot with our belief system and values.

There are many influences in society that could affect our beliefs and values. It probably starts from the influence of our cultural backgrounds, our parents, our communities, our schools and teachers, our books (media), but we also form our own beliefs from individual life experiences and observations.

Eventually, we figure out an optimal path guided by our values -- matched to our personality, environment, responsibilities, health, whatever -- including the things we find to be "fun" (and the things we fear). But what makes stuff complicated, though, is that our beliefs and values can change with time. I sketched out a diagram...

Changing our beliefs and values will shift one's fundamental goals, motivations, attitudes, behavior -- our direction in life. Unlike the poo-poo guided by gravity and eventually sliding to the ocean, though, does this mean we could end up somewhere else? I suppose, it depends.

"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is."
--Bhagavad Gita


Friday, May 02, 2008

Weeds of Grass Haiku

gentle vibrations
touching shimmers of the wind
waving in sunlight

grass from winter rains
green to translucent in spring
glowing from the earth

connecting with sky
speaking every upward grain
reaching for stories

(sorry, excuse the pun on walt whitman's "leaves of grass" :-) )

[link to more poems]

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