Monday, January 26, 2009

A Saturday for Tarot Reading

I have heard of Tarot cards, but have not explored what it was, nor knew of someone who does it. Then suddenly i thought of a friend who does Tarot reading for interested friends. She is a lawyer doing consultancy work for the military as a sideline, and Tarot card reading has been a hobby. And suddenly i felt like having a reading.

She obliged in between hectic schedules and last Saturday, we did it in my office table. She specifically wanted that we need to be in my personal area. That was because the office lobby's energies are chaotic and do not blend with mine.

She shuffled the big tarot cards, then gave me instructions, e.g. shuffle them the way i want and think of the big something which induced me to have a reading. So i did. I am excited to see for the first time the tarot cards, big and plenty compared to the ordinary playing cards.

Then, she laid down a few of them following her rules. She was smiling after the 3 cards, and smiled even wider after all the suppose-to-be open cards are laid down. "This is the first time i saw such beautiful set of cards", she said. Even my common sense thought that my cards are nice, even before she made the first words. Most of the cards have reinforcement, just like if there is the 2 cups, another one is 10 cups. One is 2 swords and another is 4 swords. An 8 pentacles is reinforced by 10 pentacles. The other 2 are still good looking. No deaths, no hanging, no, enemies, etc. Then she made her readings of the cards, and reinforced them with the exact reading from the references.

I am glad my exploratory tarot reading turned out positive, really related to my dilemma, and inspired me more. My lawyer-friend also sighed a thank you because it relieved her also that the cards turned out beautifully. She said she is also a bit affected if the cards turned out problematic, negative or ominous. We left happy, and amazed at how the cards turned out to reflect my thinking during these times, at the crossroads.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Sandpiper...a touching story

FW: Cesar Maligalig thru the Batchmates
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 3:25:03 AM
Subject: Fw: I Wish You a Sandpiper

The Sandpiper
by Robert Peterson

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea. "Hello," she said.

I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. "I'm building," she said. "I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring. "Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand." That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by. "That's a joy," the child said. "It's a what?" "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy." The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance. "What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.

"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson." "Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're funny," she said. In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me. "Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day." The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. "Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?" "What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance. "I don't know. You say." "How about charades?" I asked sarcastically. The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is." "Then let's just walk." Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where do you live?" I asked. "Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter. "Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation.

"She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed. Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home. "Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of breath. "Why?" she asked. I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My God, why was I saying this to a little child? "Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day." "Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and -- oh, go away!" "Did it hurt?" she inquired. "Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself. "When she died?" "Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door. "Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was." "Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies." "Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said. "Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you." Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.

"She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But! the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?" I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for some thing to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: !A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I uttered over and over, and we wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift of love.

Friday, January 9, 2009

More Unusual Finds

I have not seen fighting spiders when i was a kid. Now i am redeeming my right to play with them. Allen is always looking for small spiders and keep them in matchboxes. I asked him to show me how the winning spider covers the loosing one with its saliva 'sapot' and how it sucks the others juices. It takes hours before the lost spider shriveled dehydrated, its juices fully gone. This fighting spiders are amazing to me. Allen showed me all the tricks and explanations.

Because the fighting spiders are so small i asked him if we can try the big ones. We found 2 different colors in the big mango tree. He said these spiders are not known for fighting. The yellow is an ordinary common spider for me, but the red-legged black spider is new. I wonder why i have not seen it in my lifetime till now. Maybe because i have time now to look and observe them.

We struggled to catch them in a long branch, which was really difficult. They always drop through their string of saliva. I wonder if they are afraid of us or of the other spider. When finally we managed to let them stop on the stick, maybe they have been tired because of us, we summon each one to walk and meet the other. We were surprised they both run everytime they meet the other. Allen said spiders like that are called 'bading'. It seems that for kids like Allen men dont run from fights! I have to teach him some lessons after the spider episode. Men have the rights to run!

Notes: the 3rd legs are shorter than the rest
how do we know the sexes of spiders
how do you call that saliva they clung on to make their webs

Red and yellow spiders not willing to fight

Allen's New Pets

Pusa has her first generation of kittens which are now ready to have their own. They are Muningning and Maripusa. Even now that Pusa already has her 2nd set of kittens, the 2 older ones still breastfeed on her. What an amazing Mother!

When the 3 new ones are born, Pusa got the older 2 and put them near the newborns. However, the older ones dont like to stay in her delivery bed. They ran away. They only breastfeed when Pusa is out in the open.

If a newborn kitten has 3 colors, called tortoiseshell, older males or even the mother kills it. It is said to rule over every cat in the neighborhood if allowed to grow. We don't see 3-colored male cats. Pusa is female tortoiseshell so able to mature. Fortunately, her 3 new ones are free of tortoiseshell. They are now transferred twice and now near the kitchen, maybe ready for eating foods other than her milk.

It will be a big problem again for the people in the house to clean the kittens' mess in the mornings, while they still don't know the house rules. By the way, Muningning is an old soul cat. She thinks wisely. She pees at the hole in the sink or the drain in the bathroom. Have you seen such cultured cat even without training! An old soul...can you say more.
This is Allen always fond of the outdoors.
Pusa before getting pregnant the first time
Pusa, Muningning and Maripusa

The 2nd set of kittens, unnamed yet, newly opened eyes

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Experiences with Allen

Allen is my 10 year old nephew. He is in grade 5. I appreciate Allen very much because he can play on his own even when he was younger. His older sister, Eriel, doesn't like his things. They are diametrically opposed. One likes sweet catsup, the other prefers it sour. When one likes a food fried, the other wants it with soup. One likes 'tuyo', the other one 'sapsap'. Allen wants the tartar or mayonaise for his burgers, Eriel requests hers without any. Moreover, Allen eats more viand and less rice, and the opposite is for Eriel. If someone has a strong liking for something, think of its opposite and you will not guess far! The only thing they eat together is fried chicken and both love Max's sizzling menus. A lot more follows in contrasts...

During weekends when i come home to visit them, Allen and i normally make this small trips on the roads. We call it 'pasyal'. We sometimes venture on more difficult paths, once he calls it extreme pasyal, the road was muddy, slippery or weedy, because only Kiko's horse uses that path. It was a farm path very far from the main road. Our pants were full of 'amorseko', 'mangkit', 'kulutan' etc. These are the plant propagules which attach to your clothes that touch them. It assured them of species perpetuation because you carry them far from the source and deposit the seeds wherever you 'pagpag' them.

These past holidays Allen and i tried our 'pasyal' again. He introduced me to the habits of insects which i discovered he probably has been observing all his young life. In a small tree are some termites along the trunk. He said these termites are eaten by the orange ants, which in turn makes its house on top of the tree by enclosing some leaves with some materials to make a hole inside for their habitat. Then, he said the orange ants (we call 'lisa-lisa) are killed by the big black ants resembling 'hantik' but not really 'hantik'. He can actually hold the black ants on its back and put them near the orange ants. We basically put the prey near the predator to easily observe the drama.

I asked him what then happens to the black ants. Who are its enemies. To my amazement, he already knows the answer. He pulled me somewhere to look for some small holes half a centemeter in diameter at the opening. Even without the ants entering it he is already familiar with them. We just waited for sometime and there was the black ant coming out. Very near the hole entrance was a small spider net, maybe 2 inches diameter. The spider is said to be the predator of the black ant. Very wise spider, making its house near the black ant's door. And, we really observed the food chain in action that few hours in the morning.

Allen is an amazing kid. He is a scientist in the making, maybe! Be it ants, spiders, birds, chicken and cats, he definitely is interested. I hope he will easily survive the future generation's challenges.
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