Vonnerable

Perspective II

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Humility is not thinking less of yourself,

but thinking of yourself less.

CS Lewis

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Written by ivonnelim

November 19, 2017 at 3:46 am

Posted in Quotes

Coelho’s

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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“I’m not afraid of failing. It’s just that I don’t know how to turn myself into the wind.”
“Well, you’ll have to learn; your life depends on it.”
“But what if I can’t?”
“Then you’ll die in the midst of trying to realize your destiny. That’s a lot better than dying like millions of other people, who never even knew what their destinies were.”

The Alchemist



I am wandering distractedly through a shopping mall with my violinist friend, Ursula, who was born in Hungary, and is now a leading figure in two international orchestras. Suddenly, she grips my arm: “Listen!”
I listen. I hear the voices of adults, a child screaming, the noise from televisions in the shops selling electrical appliances, high heels clicking over the tiled floor, and the inevitable music that is played in every shopping mall in the world. 

“Isn’t it wonderful?”
I say that I can’t hear anything wonderful or unusual.
“The piano!” she says, looking at me with an air of disappointment. “The pianist is marvellous!”
“It must be a recording.”
“Don’t be silly.”
When I listen more intently, it is clear that the music is, indeed, live. The person is playing a sonata by Chopin, and now that I can concentrate, the notes seem to hide all the other sounds surrounding us. We walk along the walkways crowded with people, shops, bargains, and with things which, according to the announcements, everyone has, except me and you. We reach the food hall, where people are eating, talking, arguing, reading newspapers, and where there is one of those special attractions that all malls try to offer their customers.
In this case, it is a piano and a pianist. 
The pianist plays two more Chopin sonatas, then pieces by Schubert and Mozart. He must be around thirty. A notice beside the stage explains that he is a famous musician from Georgia, one of the ex-Soviet republics. He must have looked for work, found all doors closed, despaired, given up, and now here he is in this mall.
Except that I’m not sure he is really here: his eyes are fixed on the magical world where the music was composed; his hands share with us all his love, his soul, his enthusiasm, the very best of himself, all his years of study, concentration and discipline. 
The one thing he appears not to have understood is that no one, absolutely no one, has gone there to listen to him; they have gone there to buy, to eat to pass the time, to window-shop, or to meet friends. A couple of people stop beside us, talking loudly, and then move on. The pianist does not notice – he is still conversing with Mozart’s angels. Nor has he noticed that he has an audience of two, one of whom is an extremely gifted violinist and is listening with tears in her eyes.
I remember going into a chapel once and seeing a young woman playing for God, but that was in a chapel and made some kind of sense. Here, though, no one is listening, possibly not even God.
That’s a lie. God is listening. God is in the soul, and in the hands of this man, because he is giving the very best of himself, regardless of whether or not he is noticed, regardless of the money he gets paid. He is playing as if he were at the Scala in Milan, or the Opera in Paris. He is playing because that is his fate, his joy, his reason for living.
I am filled by a profound sense of reverence and respect for a man who is, at the moment, reminding me of a very important lesson: that we each of us have a personal legend to fulfill, and that is all. It doesn’t matter if other people support us or criticize us, or ignore us, or put up with us – we are doing it because that is our destiny on this earth, and the fount of all joy.
The pianist ends with another piece by Mozart and, for the first time, he notices our presence. He gives us a discreet, polite nod, and we do the same. Then he returns to his paradise, and it is best to leave him there, untouched by the world, or even by our timid applause. He is serving as an example to us. Whenever we feel that no one is paying attention to what we are doing, think of that pianist. He was talking to God through his work, and nothing else mattered.

Like The Flowing River

Written by ivonnelim

October 7, 2017 at 12:55 am

Posted in Inspiration

Porto

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Written by ivonnelim

September 13, 2017 at 11:24 pm

Posted in Travel

Barcelona

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Park Güell
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Sagrada Familia
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Mount Tibidabo 
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Barcelona city view from Tibidabo
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Written by ivonnelim

September 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Travel

Without Thinking

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“See, you don’t have to think about doing the right thing.
If you’re for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.”

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,
Maya Angelou

Written by ivonnelim

April 19, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Quotes

Ladakh, India

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                                                           Himalayas from above
Hemis Monastery
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Confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers

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Seabuckthorn juice, a local product rich in Vit C and E, apparently used in cosmetics

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Tibetian food (From top left, clockwise): Mutton dumplings (also called Ruchotse when it comes with soup), Veg Thantuk, and Chicken Teemok (steamed bread, similar to “pau” in Malaysia, with a chicken gravy dish with onions)

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A cosy restaurant that serves homemade Ladakhi food, famous enough to appear in last Feb’s Wall Street Journal magazine

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Chuttagi, the authentic Ladakhi dish

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“The only place in the world where one can suffer frost bite and heat stroke at the same time”

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                                                  Frozen Pangong Tso

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“Be soft on my curves”
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Chemday Monastery
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Leh main market street
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Most Western cafe in town
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Prayer wheels in all sizes, can be seen all over Ladakh

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Leh Palace

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The BIG WORD
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Poplar trees, silhouetted against the lights of dusk

Written by ivonnelim

April 16, 2017 at 2:02 am

Posted in Travel

Perspective

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” At the beginning I said there were Personalities in God. I will go further now. There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most ‘natural’ men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.

But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away ‘blindly’ to so speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even  in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes everyday and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

Mere Christianity,
C.S. Lewis

Written by ivonnelim

January 3, 2017 at 1:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized