Sunday, January 10, 2010

I hate being jealous

That ugly, nauseating, reflux-like sensation of heartburn. Sending wave after wave of discomfort done your spine. I hate it. Ugh.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Almost a week ago, I came home from dinner at holland village. The night was still young, I was looking forward to what I had to do, and getting down to doing it. As I walked to the lift lobby, I saw the outline of a figure perched on the floor. It looked like a toad from far, but when I got closer, it was a little bird, maybe not that little, sprawled out on the floor, its neck too weak even to support its head, with it's leg splayed out towards the front. I bent to take a closer look, and this little bird, weak as it was, tried to scuttle away in fear.

Thoughts raced in my mind for a moment, what should I do? What happened to this bird? The fast-approaching footsteps of another person interrupted me. but I thought about how precious life was, and how, in my idealism and all, what with being a medical student still, I should try my best to help. But most of all, I wondered how guilty and curious I'd feel, if I remained apathetic and left that bird there.

So I went up back home, got an old shoebox and some paper, came back down. Found that that kind soul who came after me placed the bird on a piece of cardboard with some paper acting as a blanket (at least he did something), and I took the bird home. A lot of that night was spent googling and reading about mynahs and what they eat, trying to get the little bird to drink or eat something, and an attempted cursory physical examination to figure out what was going on. Haha, but I know jack about birds.

Over the next few days, my parents joined in. Dad named him Jackie, I didn't tell them that I'd thought Easter was an appropriate name, for the significance of when he was found. So Easter/Jackie seemed to be recovering as the days went by. He didn't know how to feed himself. I had to carry him to a dish of water to get him to drink. We even tried feeding him milk with a syringe, which he gulped down ravenously, and sometimes spat out of his mouth equally enthusiastically. I really didn't think birds took milk, but my parents specially bought the milk and syringe for him, since he seemed to be a baby.

Mom and Dad chopped up sunflower seeds and grapes to feed him. Easter didn't like Bananas, but he loved grapes. There were days when he ate a total of 4-6 grapes, seems like a lot for a baby bird. Then again, maybe it wasnt enough. And all the while, I kept thinking about how momma birds supposedly regurgitate their food and allow their young ones to eat from their mouths. So we did what we thought was alright.

Easter seemed to be getting better over time. He gained strength enough to sit up, hold his head up, chirp a lot, maybe when he was hungry, perhaps when he was cold, maybe to call out to his long-lost mother, but he never gained the strength to walk. And from the looks of the feathers on his wings, he didn't look developed enough to fly. So this went on, everyday I came home from school, my dad would've fed him a little through the day, and I'd feed him dinner, change his newspaper, gave him a spray bath once, sayang him a little. I wonder how familiar he got with us, I'd like to think that he got less fearful of us whenever we picked him up.

It was cute though, one of the ways to stop him chirping when he refused to eat anymore was to carry him. He'd lay there in my hand quietly, apparently content, perhaps with the warmth of my hand, with his eyes closed. I never did give him the patience though, carrying him only for a few minutes before returning him to his shoebox home, where I rolled an old cloth in an attempt to provide some warmth for him.

Today was day 6. I came home, took a look at him. He looked a little weaker than usual, but I thought maybe he was just resting and not being very mobile. I went out for dinner with Felicia after that, and then mom messages me to say that he's passed on. I was shocked. I had all these hopes of letting him loose, watching him fly away, putting him back in the wild and checking to see if his mother came. But I suppose I was never that serious, never put my all into caring for him, didn't try harder to find out about nursing a sick mynah back to health. I thought time would heal it's wounds/illness. And I suppose that's why I feel the way I do now, not because I tried my best and Easter passed on, but because...maybe he passed on from my not doing enough. Should we have fed him milk? Did I not give him enough water? Was the milk too cold? The grapes? Did either of them spoil over time? Did I not bathe him enough? Should I have kept him warmer? Should I just have called friends who are vets who would've known much better than me to ask for advice?

I guess it's too late now. I rushed home to check on him, and he was completely still. His head hung low, beak touching the floor. I'd secretly hoped my parents got it wrong, because they thought he'd died on day 2 when they were leaving for church, but what were the chances? I have several perspectives floating in my mind now. "This was just a mynah". "Why didn't I try harder?". "There was little I could've done". "Or was there?".

And so for 6 days, Easter was a part of us. At least he's not suffering anymore now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Childlike Behaviour

On the way home today, a part of me felt disappointed, nothing out of the norm perhaps, just the usual thoughts floating in my mind "hai, how come I didn't know that? How come I'm not getting things together?" Common sentiments for a tough posting. And I walked by some of my neighbours sitting by the ground floor, a father and son pair, people I've met several times before, greeted and spoken to sparsely while in the elevator.

So as I walked by the father, we exchanged greetings. And his son, his adorable 18 month year old who I was told (by his mother), likes to behave like a 2 and half year old, who has the cutest rosiest cheeks ever, the brightest smile, with innocent looking eyes; He turned excitedly to see who I might be, and at first glance, I saw his face light up with recognition, his mouth conforming into the shape of a wide smile, his eyes sparkling, conveying a sense of warmth and joy...and if you use a little imagination, perhaps even an element of childlike love. I turned to smile and wave, of course, who could resist doing that?

But in that moment, in receiving that smile, that excited response from this little toddler, whom I've only met 3-4 times before in and around the elevator, I felt my heart jump out of its hole, my spirit lifted. I felt blessed by this simple transaction, I felt...loved.

Imagine that, what power a gesture like that wields. Amazing how a child possesses that ability to edify. Perhaps as adults, we construct inhibitions as we grow up, as we mature, we constantly assess, holding everything suspect, we find it so difficult to trust, so difficult to have faith. What if we could restore that child in us? What if we could maintain that uninhibited childlike perspective in our relationships with each other? Imagine the power of love that would transcend all boundaries. Imagine how we could grow.

Hm..ideals of another world perhaps. If only it were possible.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I like James!

Verses 2-5: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Verse 12: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

Verses 19-20: My dear brothers; take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Verse 22: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Verse 26: If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Hm. I feel like no words I can say can be more beautiful and profound than the words written above. So I shan't try. Haha.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pray for Humility

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advanced for us to do."
Ephesians 2: 8-10

Today I realized how important it is to be meek. Meekness, not weakness, but strength under control. All my life, it seems as if I have been taught to be assertive, aggressive, to pursue whatever I want or need to the best of my ability. Sometimes I think I get lost in that. I forget to slow down, to take time to think before I act or speak. And then I get brash. I tear down. And even though I intend to do otherwise, I fail to encourage or build up.

A teacher of mine once told me that the ends justify the means. But more and more I feel like...what end is there, that you could achieve, that is desirable and beneficial for all, that could be justified by any means necessary? Maybe it isn't all about the end-point, but the process. Seeing that we're all works in progress, it's all about how we develop, how we pick up those soft skills, the intangible things that direct us, shape us into what we are, guide our thoughts and our actions. I suppose I'm thinking about all this because I wonder how I will dispense care as a doctor in future. In my haste to make sense of things, to intervene and to treat, where will I slow down to care for a patient? Or when I work with a colleague? When will I stop being so concerned with the things that do not have feelings?

1 Peter 5:5 says that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He knows that we require humility in order to admit that we are unable to deal with sin and its effects on our own, and that we need a Saviour. Only in humility are we able to fully embrace what God has offered to us - Salvation, His power, a relationship with Him.

Lord, let me not be proud, that I will not be a stumbling block to those around me, and to myself.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Query : Life

I am suddenly burdened by what I've been doing these past few months, or perhaps longer. Sometimes, I look at other people, and am amazed at the things they engage themselves in, with the time that they have. And then I realize, that the time that we have, is exactly the same. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week, and so on. And time, as we grow older, seems to be picking up the pace, even accelerating, perhaps because experience results in routine, the rendering of new tasks or challenges into the simple humdrum activity that we face everyday, so much so that we are no longer stimulated the way we used to be, even if we are still equally occupied, and time moves on. I suppose the crux of all this, is that I wonder if I have been making use of my time properly.

Part of me feels like every moment of every day should be spent doing something constructive, self-improving, learning, building myself up. But by what measure? Maybe I could console myself, because I know that we are not meant to gather treasures for ourselves here on Earth, but as we live as He wants us to, we are gathering up for ourselves treasures in Heaven. But am I living like He wants me to? Am I seeking Him with all my heart? I have my lapses. I wish I could be certain. I wish I had more faith.

"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

I wish I had more drive, more passion, more initiative, a greater curiosity that would propel me to become more inquisitive, to be more thorough with the things that I did - more productive. Thats the word I was looking for. Am I enjoying myself enough when I intend to? Am I learning enough when I study? Am I focused enough to identify my failings and driven enough convert ignorance to knowledge? Knowledge to skill? Skill to success? Hm. Or am I looking at things the wrong way? Haha. argh.

I've taken to saying this more and more often : If in doubt, pray.
Then again, if anything, and I really mean anything, pray.

Thats the only answer that I have to anything. So far.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."