Sunday, June 28, 2009

Under the Shadow of Leaves

It is a good day.

I sit on a stone bench under the shadow of leaves, the sun poking through as if light were leaking through the green canopy. Looking out, the sky is clear blue except for the presence of a few wispy clouds. The day is bright and full of colors forgotten in the seasons prior.

I close my eyes and hear the sounds of toddlers and children laughing, of students talking, of many feet walking by. I wonder, how many hundreds of thousands of people have passed this point? What were they thinking as they passed by? The birds above sing their chorus in a language I cannot decipher. Far off a group of people are playing some instruments - a guitar and some drums. Though unrefined and unpolished, the sounds mix organically into carefree music.

A breeze blows by, carrying with it the scent of approaching summer. It is the smell of leaves, of living wood, of flowers, of the stone buildings - sentinels that resist the wear of time. It is the smell of life itself, and nourishes my lungs in a way I had taken for granted. I hold out my hands and arms into the breeze, as if to slow it down or capture it. Instead, the invisible force flows up over and down under my arms. It flows between my fingers, eddying slightly and briefly into an almost tangible ball in the palm of my hands. It feels as though I was almost able to grasp the breath of the world.

Something speaks to me, faint just beyond the detection of my senses. I see nothing, hear no words, smell no source, touch no object - but it is there. It surrounds me like an emotion but is not an emotion. Suddenly it feels as if things will be okay. And all those times I have tried to believe, to rationally seek answers to the mysteries, to understand that which cannot be tested, all this does not matter. It is there, it is here, and somehow I know things will be okay.

I open my eyes and walk away from my stone bench, away out from under the shadow of leaves. I am cloaked in the day and the moment and the world and this mystery. I will be okay.

It is a good day.
A small prose passage. A memory - a snapshot capturing what I feel on the best of days. It is curious how I never expect it but always welcomed, replenishing my inner strength.

You may have noticed my new blog title banner thing. I'd like to give a HUGE shout out to J of Southern Inebriation for designing it for me at my request (he's an art major, can you tell?). I will explain the 5 panels of this banner from the left to the right:

The first panel is of Chinese opera masks and the Great Wall. It represents my background: being Chinese, culture and language has been a huge influence in my life (sometimes good, sometimes bad). The second panel is of a stethoscope on a book. It represents my future, my goals and aspirations: for a long time I have worked my ass off towards getting into medical school and (hopefully) I will come out poised to be an excellent doctor. The third panel you should all recognize as the smiley face banner I had previously. It represents outlet and others: it is this blog and all of you who read, and all of you I talk to. The fourth panel is of a flower I took while visiting a clinic in China. It represents life: I was a biology major in undergrad not primarily because it's the "easiest" path to medical school, but because it can give one an appreciation for life - for all its complexities, and mysteries, and frailty, and endurance. The last panel is of a ghostly mask of sorts. It represents conflict and struggle: all the uncertainty and frustration that being bi/gay brings and a kind of loneliness that comes with an inability to find "the one."

Finally, to conclude this post, I would like to give a shout out to the following 3 blogs that I've had the pleasure to read fully on. They may need no introduction as many of you already read them, but if not, do go over and say hi! And they are:

Enjoying the Journey
Overrated Integrity


Anonymous said...

Such beautiful words, Aek. Thanks for sharing them with us. ^_^

I like the new banner and the story it tells. As for the last image, *hugs*.

Randy said...

I feel the same way on morphine! Kinda funny...

Thanks for the shout out man.

hellogenation said...

I like good days. Too bad in our lives we have a tendency to experience too few of them.

Thanks for the shout out! I'm glad you enjoy reading my blog. =]

Anonymous said...

banner is hella-cool

Jeremy said...

Oohh I especially like the photo on the far right in your banner... I dunno it looks cool :)

J said...

Something in your remarks is reminiscent of these lines from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets:
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.


Aek said...

James, goleftatthefork, Jeremy: Thanks!! ^_^

Randy: Hey man, don't abandon me now that I've given you a shout out!!

hellogenation: Sometimes I feel like good days and bad days are what we make of them. Our attitude towards the day can have a huge impact, as well as sometimes just letting go.

J: Hmm, I've never read that poem. I'm curious now.

Hynce said...

At any rate, I liked some of the vadlo science cartoons!