It is rare and precious when we are able to pause all the noise, to push back all the pressures, to move away all the smoke screens and be able for just a brief moment to receive clarity. It is like being frozen in time, everything slowed down and something clicks, clear understanding. Moments like these are rare, but when they happen, they feel like eternity. They are short but deep, multidimensional, elevating. They are moments when being human make so much sense.
It's a fragile story, and it's all inside the bubble
They say if we want to keep something safe, an idea, a secret, a special thought, a new love, a tender moment; then we need to protect it. We need to shield it and contain it until it grows from fragile and new to strong and mature. It sound easy to do, but I have found it always to be one of life’s biggest challenges. Almost like keeping a bubble from bursting, and letting it hold the magic inside for as long as I possibly can.
A private conversation...I love the innocence of little children!
Since the tragic earthquake happened in Japan a few days ago, I did my best to keep the details from Lea. The reason is that she tends to worry so much about things, I feared opening up the subject with her would lead to some sleepless nights and a whole amount of of worry much too heavy for a six year old. This happened to us the last time she learned about fires and volcanos at school and until now we have to discuss her concerns about these issues almost daily.
Today, she heard details about the earthquake in school so naturally she came home and requested that she be informed about all the details. After a long process she decided to light a candle and dedicate a prayer (more of a private conversation between her and God really) for the people who lost their lives and got hurt, and she prayed that this does not happen again.
She also prayed as she does every night wishing for a little sister 🙂
To watch a group of little girls play in harmony is to witness magic in the making! I was transfixed watching Lea and her friends play this afternoon from the window of our 16th floor apartment in Shanghai. Little pink shapes running, hair flying, smiles shining, conspiracies being planned, whispers and looks exchanged, giggles echoing, and the essence of pure joy filling the spring air !
…This is until they start to misbehave and the naughty fairy syndrome appears !
passing through life, one must strive to leave a trace
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
– Albert Einstein
My biggest fear in life is if I were to one day lose the awe of being alive. If that were ever to happen then life would brutally change from the rich multidimensional wonder that it is, to a flat world like that of ‘Flatland’ by Edwin Abbott Abbott.
This photo was taken this morning at the wonderful ‘1933’ building in Shanghai’s Hongkou district. A wonder in art deco architecture and completed in 1933 by a British architect, it still stands in full magnificence of light, shadow, motifs, bridges, and unique design elements. Once an abattoir (slaughterhouse), this gem of a building restored from the communist Era of Shanghai is a must see if you are in Shanghai.
Yes, the Shanghainese still sport pajamas in the street.
It is mostly the older generations, but wearing sleepwear outdoors is still a wide custom and is seen on a daily basis around city streets. The reasons, when you investigate, vary from the fact of people sharing bathrooms outside their homes with other families, to comfort, to the cheap price of the garments, to simple cultural tradition. Bit I love seeing it, because for me it makes Shanghai what it is, especially when I see ladies with their high heels, bags and perfectly styled hair and makeup walk down the street in their pajamas, like this lady in my neighborhood today!
There are days when I catch myself running at a pace that is way too fast, faster than I can handle; too many projects, too many commitments, too many intentions than I am able to realize, and I think I wish I could take timeout! I feel like just pressing a ‘pause’ button on everything like in those movies where everyone in the street just freezes, just long enough for me to put my feet up with cup of tea and a book.
There is no one better at teaching us timeout than the Chinese. They can just drop everything and take timeout, in the street, on a bike, on a train, on a pavement… wherever they are, they can just stop!
The photo below if from yesterday of a man who was resting on his bike full of bottles in the middle of the wide street, just because it was what he needed right then. Much to learn!