Jane Eyre nights

Do you read yourself to sleep? Sometimes I do. Thirteen years ago I often did.

1998 was a terrible year for me. So much drama in my hands I was hardly aware of what was going on in the world. I did vaguely remember though cloning in the news. And I managed to take note of my country’s new president, the actor, whose election put images of Ronald Reagan in my head. How I like his facial expression. It’s kind.

There was something about Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian genocide. I remember thinking as long as I get to visit Angkor Wat before anything happens to it I am fine with the world. And I buried the rest of my own problems in books.  What perfect timing to read the Brontes. Just more of the depression that I needed. But at least those depressions were not mine and I took comfort in realizing I wasn’t the Queen of Depression at all.

filmcritic.com

Wuthering Heights. Check. Agnes Grey. Check. Jane Eyre. Double check.

Yesterday I watched the latest film adaptation of Jane Eyre on DVD.  A bit of classic romance for a nice break. Reading yourself to sleep could be way better than Valium. It also comes with nostalgic nights spent with story characters. This is the 1998 that I want to keep in memory.

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The nobel laureate

As writers and readers, as sinners and citizens, our realism and our aesthetic sense make us wary of crediting the positive note. ~ Seamus Heaney

Significance-to-me was my objective as I browsed handy Wikipedia for events in 1995. What is there with me to associate them with…. Here they go in random order:

WTO or World Trade Organization is established. In the grades we had this Current Events Digest that we bought for 75c, a Social Studies supplementary material. In it were important acronyms that we had to take note of. I remember WTO, NASA and WHO among several important others.

A chemical fire occurs in Manila exposing Project Bojinka, a mass terrorist attack plan masterminded by Ramzi Youseff. I had Youseff front page in a research proposal I wrote to the University of Copenhagen.

Talk of irony. I blabbed about terrorism to point out peace as my study rationale. Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 30.28 to close at 4,003.33. Ex in-laws used to talk of the Dow over meals at those family get-togethers. I would leave the table and tickle the piano with my stock market illiterate fingers.

The DVD media format is announced. To my left while I write this post, I glance at my collection of DVDs over the years. Isn’t it blu ray now?

Oklahoma City bombing. One of my favorite magazines, The Reader’s Digest, featured a book section story of bomber Timothy McVeigh and the victims. I hid my face with a larger mag in the faculty lounge so co-teachers wouldn’t see me welling up.

Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi is freed from house arrest. She crosses my mind when it’s mango season in Thailand. This brave lady reportedly likes Thai mangoes. My son’s nanny, “Auntie Gwen” is Burmese. She always had this Burmese-English dictionary with her. I like her effort to learn how to speak English.

Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “what the Nobel committee described as ‘works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.'” He is also called the most important Irish poet since Yeats. I’m a fan of Yeats (and Jane Austen). My adoration for their works is on the tag line of my Stasia Desiderata blog – austenuating a fire in my head.

I wonder if JK Rowling thought of the laureate when she created Seamus Finnigan.

Photo Courtesy: MCKERS

During those introductory grad school sessions at Bangkok University, a Nobel Prize winner was announced as one of our guest speakers. I was excited to listen to an academic celebrity, but missed the opportunity. Oh well, maybe next time.

My professional life was off to a good start. I published an article in a national women’s magazine (which later appalled me; can’t believe my writing style then). My head was going places. But my heart was reeling. Le Boyfriend got married. To another girl.

Nursing a broken heart didn’t persuade me to enter the convent though. It’s awesome to survive and I’m ever thankful to be alive. Let those memories fly on gossamer wings. Or fly back to stay. There’s a big difference when you’re over a tough dent.

I’m still celebrating.  I most probably always will.

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Nostalgia

The heart stealer

Meet Chester. He lives in Beamish. There are three probabilities to how I knew his name: someone told me he was called Chester; his name was listed in that guidebook on my left hand or I named him myself.
Chester is a heart stealer. Even without a capture, this heart-warming moment will breathe eternally fresh in my stock of beautiful emotions. I held out my palm. He came closer and checked what’s in it for him. Mint candies. Chester didn’t hesitate. He licked them off as if chiding, “what took you so long to give me my treat?”
 
I told Chester to leave some for me. He kept on eating til my palm was empty. I giggled and he understood I had more. It only took him a second to realize where were the rest. He licked my purse too! The force of his tongue gave me a gentle push. His intelligence sealed my admiration for him. That’s when I patted his head. We exchanged the same unspoken message of thanks.   

 Rose hosts Nostalgia @ Nostalgic Marvelling.

I went to a farm!

 Yes, I did and how happy I was. *big smile*  Chokchai Farm is in Saraburi, a town an hour’s drive from Bangkok.

There were five of us, alumni of the same college in the Philippines.  We all enjoyed our visit to the farm but I am not sure whether my companions were as happy as I was. There’s this feeling I can’t describe when I am in the countryside. I go into dream mode. It is like diving into the pages of a fairy tale book. I forget city life and imagine I never have to go back to raw skyscrapers, stilettos and despicable traffic.

If only I don’t have to my life would be perfect.

The rays of the afternoon sun were creeping through branches and leaves of this handsome tree.

I will appreciate it if anyone can tell me the name of this red beauty

These lamps remind me of my grandparents’ house at night long time ago, and the deer – an uncle whose sport is hunting.

Cowboy charm.  What a lucky girl…

The restaurant

If we go back, and I hope we can, I will sample the Chochai steak everyone is raving about. 

This is only a glimpse of a multitude of memories and dreams that the trip rewove.  I would love to reminisce again and again. One thing defines me – I am a farm girl at heart.

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