Wednesday, December 12, 2012

around the mango tree

I had lunch with a very dear friend today. He also used to be my boss and is a believer in the kind of research work that I do (i.e. my dayjob). At the same time he is a staunch supporter of everything else in my life. But most importantly he has become the best kind of friend anyone can ever hope to have in a lifetime.

We agreed to meet up at a bookstore by noon. He came from a meeting so he was a few minutes late, which meant that I ended up discovering and finding books. There was this blank moment and then I am suddenly in possession of three new books that I could barely afford (although they were priced quite low for a regular book).

My friend and I had lunch at a Thai restaurant called The Mango Tree. We had pomelo salad with prawns for starters, then grilled steak with thai sauce and seafood with hot basil. We were so engrossed with catching up that I totally forgot about taking a snapshot of the food. But here's a snapshot of the ever delicious Illy coffee.

I always believe that people and events come upon us when we are ready to receive the message. Something along the line of the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. For today, my friend has been the strong gust of wind that blew on my sails and helped me move forward with an optimistic heart. He shared a number of inspiring stories, particularly how the tide turned just when he thought it never would. I like that image of the tide turning, of last-minute plot twists, even a deux ex machina, a divine intervention, an explosion of magic.

Today my well of hope has been refreshed. Even when many things are still up in the air and seem to be evading resolution.

I have started re-writing my novel after letting it rest for a couple of weeks. And again I am experiencing that joy and calm that lifted me up before amidst the uncertainties and trials. Anger, despair, and fears are channeled into this creative endeavor. When nothing much is happening in real life, it helps to make things happen on the page.

On the way home I finally made myself purchase a large old dictionary with yellowing pages for a creative project that I have been wanting to do for months. I was postponing it because I thought it cost too much given my budget constraints. When I checked again today, however, the shop was on sale and the price was a third of what I thought it was.

I walked home from the mall (where the secondhand book shop was), my arms aching with the weight of the dictionary. But I treated it like a little exercise and did not mind the burning pain in my muscles as I dodged traffic and marched steadily through the varying slopes of the sidewalk.

I am now back on my writing desk, CSI: New York playing in the background, and chores lined up for the evening. It has been a good day.

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