Highly politicized and strangely divisive. I was pondering over this mask phenomenon upon hearing news on TV about the mask controversy. A very simple thing, yet on the hot seat of public opinion. While we have the freedom to choose or take sides, my inclination leans toward common sense and well-being, all politics aside.
As I was tinkering with this thought, I spotted a picture on Facebook posted by my son-in-law Matt, who touted the lovely and relaxing day he spent at Laguna Beach, Los Angeles with my daughter Joy. Two seagulls, one carried a mask in its beak. The other was just ambling ahead to meet the waves. Hmmm … my interpretation was that the first bird wanted to wear the mask. Smart seagull, I thought. But someone else remarked that the bird was going to throw the mask out to the waves. Interesting. I was just toying with the tension between both sides of the controversy in my mind – and there appeared the seagull picture in front of my eyes, oddly mirroring that controversy.
Seagulls at Laguna Beach, Los Angeles (Photo by Matt Rosenburg)
Well, what do you think? Venture to guess what’s on the seagull’s mind. This does not advance any rhetoric, but whatever your response is reveals what side you’re on (regarding the use and value of the mask) … of course, politics aside (really?!).
Monterey – a tease for seafood and poetry
Then, I saw a photo on FB of my son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott at Old Fisherman’s Wharf in beautiful Monterey, California. Immediately, I imagined fish and chips.
Fish & chips, seafood sandwich ordered on a whim (Photo by Linda PJ)
Fish & chips are a favorite that I usually order during my trips to Monterey. Craving for that food that very instant! It didn’t surprise me that I looked for fish & chips to purchase through the internet, and found them on the Palo Alto Fish Market’s website. The seafood pictures were teasing – so I ordered more, adding the crab and shrimp sandwich for delivery. A little over an hour later, my eyes gloated over the aromatic food on my table. Ignoring the urge to gobble up, I took several pictures one of which is shown on this blog. Heavenly! I ate it with so much gusto, while thankful that my son posted that Monterey picture on FB, or I wouldn’t have gotten the crazy impulse that led to enjoying such splendid delight – crispy golden brown fish and chips! And seafood sandwich to boot!
But of course, I am fond of Monterey – the sultry sea breeze, the turquoise ocean, the waves that pirouette about boulders jutting out of the waters, or fragile foams that just languidly lace up the shore. And then, there’s the salt and fish aroma that permeates the air. Gazing above the waters, one can see hazy blue mountains on the sides, flat top pines like sentinels guarding the sky, and fishing boats or yachts gliding in the distance. Then, on some sandy shore as at the Spanish Bay, peals of laughter from children cavorting on the beach lend accent to the gusty winds. Ah, Monterey – picturesque to the sight, soothing to the mind, a balm to the spirit, an inspiration for poetry and creative meanderings. I love Monterey. And I love fish and chips, too!
Old photograph provokes memory of a veiled victory from defeat
A Facebook friend posted an old picture, almost “vintage”, of Santa Isabel’s contestants posing after a regional competition. Ester’s picture triggered memories of the BACS (Bicol Association of Catholic Schools) that held a yearly 3-day academic, sports and performing arts marathon that edged to becoming one of the Bicol region’s most awaited events. The competition seemed to stir stiff rivalry for excellence rather than promote congeniality among schools. It was, however, an effective vehicle for motivation and drive to excel – and in no uncertainty, the BACS Meet every year always was a catalyst for exciting whirlwind of activities that, on the overall, spurred “fun”. And yes, the Meet was always the reason for anxiety and hard work during the long, drawn-out preparation stage. But it was an event that everyone (contestants, trainers, trainees, teachers, school administrators, families, supporters, communities, etc.) looked forward to with extreme anticipation and expectation.
I was part of the BACS Meet representing my school in the elementary and high school years. Reactions to the FB post expressed euphoria for victories, and very little expression of deflation over defeat, though some mentioned a great deal of “drama” around the rivalries. For me, one event particularly stuck in my mind, and I said this on the FB post:
You talk about “drama” – the biggest for me was when I was the declaimer for CSI at the Albay BACS Meet in my senior year (my coaches were Mr. Brillante and Sor Consolacion). I lost by rule default due to going overtime by 4 seconds, though the judges’ scores easily proclaimed me winner. Oh my gosh … heartbroken. But the day after, I wrote an editorial about defeat and victory on the BACS newsletter, since I was an editor. I’m just saying this humbly because of a lesson learned — I got more acclaims and praises for that editorial than if I had won the declamation contest the night before — and people remembered many years after. God works in mysterious ways.
Amazing thought – when you don’t get what you work and aim for – often, something better comes your way, something ingratiating on a higher plane. And if you asked God for what you wanted in the first place – and you didn’t get it – you’ll realize later that He gave you something even better, way better. Yes, God works in mysterious ways!