Tag Archives: california

I say Meow.

I am a dog person. I like their playful innocence and adorable artlessness. And I still believe all dogs go to heaven because of their innate goodness that brings joy to our overtly complexed human life. Also, dogs and humans have been living together for about 15,000 years as family members. Remember Argos, the loyal dog of Odyssey, who was the only one who recognized his old master in rags and tatters? Also, there were the dogs who saved the lives of soldiers during historical manmade wars in the expanse of their own lives. So, if the circumstances give me the green light, I would love to have a dog at home. Who wouldn’t anyway?


Then, given the express affection toward the canine race, how could my living with a cat be explained? The truth is still a mystery as  I still can’t believe I have Toro, an 11-week old male tabby I adopted from a shelter two weeks ago, at home with me all the time except when I am at work. Toro, which is a masculine form of ‘Tora”, meaning a tiger in Japanese, is a curious paradox of a beast; he is a little cutie with lovely big green eyes but shows all the characteristics of a predator just like his wild cousins. Toro shows he will grow into a formidable hunter contrary to his small and thin body with acute audibility and olfaction. Watching Toro playing with toys and the frills at the bottom of my skirts fluttering underneath the chairs, I wonder if Toro will turn out to be a Gremlin one day when I wake up in the morning. But his cuteness dominates fear, and he likes to sit on my laps when he feels like it. Toro seems to have crafted Ovid’s the Art of Love with innately feline caprice and whims turning it into an irresistible magic spell. What a kitty.

Toro and I moved from the pastoral Ventura County to the heart of Los Angeles during the inferno heatwave of the labor weekend. We both suffered a sense of vertigo in new urban surroundings and a little bit quizzical about how we should adopt to smaller spaces in an apartment. Maybe Toro doesn’t like our new den because he does not wake me up by climbing on my back and meowing in the morning any longer. Besides, he seems to suddenly develop attention deficiency by frequently stalking, jumping, scratching, and biting. Worse still, Toro hissed a lot and aloud for the last two days. Although I force myself to think that it’s due to the diabolical heatwave, I cannot stitch up a little hole in my heart to the immaculate condition.

Freud said the time spent with cats is never wasted. I want to believe it even if these days I spend most of the time tending Toro, instead of reading and writing. Certainly, unconditional love toward a living thing is noble and esteemed. Yet the Bard sums my state of mind thus: “Love sought is good but love unsought is better.” Still, there is a long way ahead of us to live according to the natures of our different species. Our inclinations are contralateral as our needs are egotistical for our own ends of the survival of the species. If so, then let it be – with pleasure.

Maybe, I am more feline than my kitten. Who knows? Meow.

 

spirited away

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Where the sky endless and boundless

Touched the curves of hills and vales

Adorned with pristine wildflowers;

My eyes gazed at the wonder in silence

And my heart filled with longings

for the bounties of beauty in bliss.

 

The restive soul, the ever doleful

In want of the joy of beauty wishful

Of the realization of desire fanciful

Coveted the beauty of nature graceful

In the eye of the beholder hopeful

Of sprinkles of the magic wonderful

 

Suddenly, I was a wandering lonely cloud ever

Floating on high over the canyon in the ether

And the top of the misty mountain yonder;

Then as a great lone eagle, I was flying near

The shrill west sun as a sovereign ruler

Of the serene beauty of magnificent nature. 

 

I wanted no more, and nothing more- evermore.

 

P.S.: Sitting on the top of the loop overlooking the creation down under, I felt like flying in the azure firmament freely without a shred of worries and anxieties binding me in the drab and dreary reality of the world below. That was my secret nature’s elbow room where I could willingly waste my time without a qualm about not doing anything but being transfixed to the beauty of nature for an indefinite time. 

Officially Haunted, Really

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Prologue: I wrote this post in March of this year upon reading an article about historic haunted places in the UK from a subscribed issue of ‘BBC History Revealed’. I wanted to contribute my knowledge about the Whaley Museum in Southern California in a letter to the editor. The new July issue arrived on my Kindle Fire this morning, and I saw my letter featuring therein. It was edited in the context, but only for the perfect perspicacity. The letter is, in fact, one of the fifth letters that have been so far published in the magazine. 

Sometimes they either don’t know they are dead or wouldn’t accept it because of strong attachments to their once earthly abodes. You may think it’s a puerile imagining to believe in ghosts, but there are indeed more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy. As someone keen on supernatural phenomena happening in the background of our ordinary landscape of daily life, it gave me a fillip when I came upon an article from my subscribed history magazine the other day about the historical capital punishments going horribly awry as though to use the grisly scenes of capital punishment as a reminder of societal retribution for an eye-for- an eye. It also reminded me of a story of the condemned whose ordeal of execution was so unbearably painful that he is still roaming around at his execution site as though with eternal lingering attachment to his earthly life.

Here in Southern California, the story of James Robinson (aka Yankee Jim) who was executed for attempted grand larceny in San Diego in 1852, is something of haunted folklore that attracts tourists and ghost hunters alike. He was hanged on a gallows off the back of a wagon, but being a tall man with long legs, he resisted being killed by keeping his feet in the wagon but was at last pulled off. His body then swung like a pendulum until he strangled to death. And it was this very site of hanging that one Thomas Whaley, who happened to witness the execution himself, built his dream house where he and his family soon began to hear the unexpected phantom footsteps as if being made by the boots of a large man, walking noise, and the windows mysteriously unlatched and opened up. Lilian Whaley, the Whaleys’ youngest daughter living in the house until 1953 was certain that it was the ghost of Yankee Jim haunting their house. Now the Whaley House is the Whaley Museum, a California Historical Landmark located in Old Town, San Diego, California.

However, ‘Yankee Jim’ still lives there because although unseen, his presence is felt and heard by visitors and staff at the museum. Never malicious or naughty, the ghost of the hanged man is said to rather shyly manifest himself by footsteps, markings on the wall, or opening and closing of windows. So much so that the Whaley Museum, along with the Winchester Mystery House, is certified by the US Department of Commerce that it is genuinely haunted. So if you live in Southern California, it’s worth visiting the Museum and Jim. I think I may pay a visit. The address is 2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110.

nature’s loves

 

The radiant morning she saw

Flatter the green tops

With her twinkling eye,

Touching with golden hands

The pretty coastal meadow,

Kissing the blue sky with 

Lovely vivacity.

 

P.S.: California is still in lockdown, so all the public beaches and state parks are closed. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the beauty of nature even from a distance, such as I did early this morning. As Shakespeare said, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin’, I felt like my heart’s filling with infinite generosity and munificence for humankind despite its recurring and intractable follies and vices. I saw a medicine that’s able to soothe heartaches and allay malaise and fatigue of the mind and body. 

Sylvanian troubadours

Nature is a free luxury spa for all without asking of you any identification card or permits to visit. It is a marvelous Carte Blanche given to us as our birthright gift from the greatest man above.

Nature is a spectacular cinema of what alchemists considered as the essential components of the Universe, where Fire, Water, Earth, and Air create a symphony of Beauty unsullied by human artfulness. So much so that Lord Byron rhapsodized about this natural beauty thus: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is a society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”

And that is what I and my band of Sylvanian troubadours saw and thought when we went hiking yesterday. We looked at beauty and saw it was purchased by the weight. What a wonderful world it was! Would it be the same feeling God was surged up with when he saw the world after his creation? I bet it was.