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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Billy Boyd: The Last Goodbye - Official Music Video

Billy Boyd, better known as Pippin in the Lord of the Rings, created this credit song for the upcoming and last of Peter Jackson's Tolkien franchise- The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.
All, if not most of us, grew up with this fantasy franchise.
I plan on seeing the last Hobbit movie in theaters, the same way as I have seen all the rest of Peter Jackson's adaptations.

Billy Boyd's rendition is chilling.





 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hope, Prayers and Long Lines

I haven't written a meaningful post in a long time; lately it has been what I've been going through with my own personal life, probably something I should not really be blogging about.

I guess this piece is inspired with my own current situation, but I think most of us deal with this, at some point or at some stage in our lives. It all entails having Faith and Hope, from the happiest most satisfied times to even when we are like the Apostles in the boat, being blown and tossed about on the water when Jesus is seemingly sleeping.

St. Padre Pio once said that when we consistently pray, we maintain Faith and I think Hope as well. Faith and Hope go hand in hand. When you were a little child, you hoped for a certain present at Christmas. You had faith that you were going to get it. I know this example seems silly, but it's a simple way of describing that when we hope for something, we do indeed have faith that it will most likely come to pass. If  what we hoped for did not happen, then it was just not meant to be or it would not be good for us. The same can be said in maintaining Faith and Hope in God. The difference is, God works not according to our time frame, especially when when we absolutely want Him to.

God is like a parent, a Heavenly Parent who knows our desires, our wants and needs, but with His supreme wisdom determines whether what we want would be good for us. He is always there, watching and listening. He is always with us when we think He is not, like the aforementioned Bible story. It is during those times of doubt, when we feel we are floating along with no wind or tossed about by the worldly waves and we fear sinking. It is during these times that we need to maintain Faith and Hope, and this is shown best when we pray.

When the tempest was at its worst, the Apostles cried out in fear and begged Our Lord to cease the storm, which He did.  Our Lord desired His Apostles to cry out to Him for help- it showed the Faith and Hope that the Apostles had. Jesus desires all of us to lean on Him- like the child who depends on his mother for everything. When we pray, we are like fearfully crying to the Lord, begging His assistance. It is not until only that we persevere in our crying out to Him that He will act. Sometimes it takes a long time to tell Jesus that we desperately need His help when we consistently pray. When we pray we try to offer up our trust to Jesus, hoping that ultimately He will take care of us in the way He desires; and our Faith is strengthened when we pray. Patience is key here.
I really felt the need to be impatient when I was waiting in the long, security lines at the airport. I had to chuckle to myself and thinking that God is teaching me something here, even when I barely made my flight.
Praying is hard, when all you want to do is to complain and blame. Praying is an act of humility, as well as exercising our capacity to maintain Hope, Faith and lastly, Patience. Pray to Mary and to the Saints for their intercession. Lastly, pray the Rosary.


So, let us pray then!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In My 22 years....


This post marks the 100th post of my blogging "career."

Tomorrow, I am turning another year older and hopefully another year wiser. On this last eve of enjoying my 22-year-old self, I wonder that if I ever had a moment to travel back in time and offer a word of advice or a note to my younger and naive counterpart.......I would say:


  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Take better care in learning and appreciating French and Latin. 
  • Be a better English student. 
  • Play in the strategic position of "Forward" or "Striker" in soccer.
  •  Write sooner. 
  • Do not let anyone anyone influence the decision(s) you make because of a heartthrob.
  • Do not fall in the wrong crowd, because you want to "fit in" with your peers. 
  • Be proud of who you are. 
  • Love the name your parents gave you.
  • Listen to new music other than the popular tunes you hear on the radio.
  •  Don't let other people's opinions or criticisms downgrade your spirit and zest for life. Take all with a grain of salt, acknowledge the ones that will make you better and let the rest role off your back, like water droplets on a duck's wing.  
  •  Count your friends- You know who your real friends are. 
  • Express yourself. Words are a gift to others, as well as feelings.
  • Enjoy every day as it comes. 
  • Be patient- it will happen when it will happen. 
  • Being a grown-up is not what it's made out to be- adjust to it.
  • Have a diverse group of friends, but be careful who you admire.  
  • Jobs should make you happy and add definition and fulfillment to your life. 
  • Some people are noble and have integrity; others are two-faced and shifty.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New Layout and Design+The Bane of Parkies

I've rearranged the design of my blog-once again. I don't know how I can ever keep it on just one theme. Anyway, I've changed the title of my blog. From Aspenglow to Wandering Reflections.
 I could just become a "Parkie" and travel to other National Parks or resorts and work at these places, never settling down and never being stable, always having a "survival mindset".
My new blog title would surely fit this experience.

 My rather curious friend of a Frenchman, once told me, "Screw being stable, you can be stable later in life." He didn't actually use the word "screw", but because I wish to maintain a blog rating of G or even PG-13, I elected to leave his more accurate description out of this post.
First of all, we have to define "Stable". It means to be constant, consistent, firm, steadfast, even-keeled, tough, or even well-balanced. Why would anyone question the decision to be stable? What is being stable in life really mean? Does it mean the hampering of freedom and expression-or the ability "to come and go like the Seasons?" Or does it mean remaining constant in one's responsibilities, job, relationships, and living? Regarding the latter point, some consider this type of "stability" to be a bore. Is it a personality or intellectual flaw, a changed notion on living, or is it something else that spurns some to think this radical?  Does not being stable mean that they're more mature and whatnot? Perhaps my readers can help shed some light on this quandary.
I have friends and acquaintances who like to make good money, travel, soak up every cultural thing there is in the world and I think, remain uninhibited by Life's ultimate responsibility of growing up.
I think those who hop from state-to-state and switch jobs every 6-9 months aren't really responsible or even have the maturity to settle down and deal with Life, in the true sense of the phrase. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. I could be right, but then again, what do I know of such things, after all, I am a "baby" as some older people would say as a counter statement.

OR, I could break the mold of the status quo and take the time to discern what God is calling me to do, and take my time with making an employment decision. I just wish He would lay out His cards for me right now. God has a knack at letting me wonder to the point of doubt and confusion, and then back to wondering and never doing. The circle never ends.
If I begin another job right now, I would have no time for ample self-reflection and decompression. I actually would be working another job right now if I hadn't taken a step back to think and ponder, and think some more, aside from peer-pressure to be "busy" with an another adventure.(?) Sometimes being busy is counterproductive.

Like +Ashley Wied said in her comment (I hope she doesn't mind being put on the spot) in the previous post, there are in fact many leaves strewn about. The path I am on seems to be more of a rough hiking trail, it wouldn't be so bad if there weren't so many wet and slick leaves on it.

That brings me to an another point. I hope my readers take the time and enjoy this beautiful Autumn right now.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

~Summer Highlights~

 Here are some pictures detailing my summer in a scroll or less.


Hike on Garfield Peak- June.


May.

This year's Survivor Party was the ultimate Survivor Party!

Last breakfast before Annie Creek shutdown for the winter.

Mattheus and me went bowling. So much fun, but we're both out of practice.

Enjoying some beer at Running Y Ranch after our bicycle tour.

Ah, Toketee Falls.

Scaled Mt. Scott twice this season. View of Klamath Basin.

Last hike upon my favorite, Garfield Peak.












Mattheus and his salads.


Sample platter of Standing Stone Brewery beers.



This was taken before work one time.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Changing of the Seasons

It is now fall or autumn here in Southern Oregon, and it is very pretty. The colors of the trees, sunsets, swirling leaves, and nature getting ready for winter, offers me some temporary respite and decompression from stress at work and in my personal life.

This journey for me, which includes realization of many different aspects of myself and of the world, is partly related to the Pilgrimage and the tantalizing workplace drama, which seems to have dominate and perpetuate throughout the season. This season and this year, in all of its tomfoolery-ish annoyance and seemingly grandeur facade, is autonomous to a Shakespearean play.
You have your protagonists, antagonists, themes, conflicts, symbolism, and minor characters that all somehow add definition to your story. There are character die-offs that translate to firings and or quitting/s. The climax of a story is best related to those daunting days in August when all seemed hopelessly lost.The resolution of the story is a two-edged sword- you don't really know what happens in the end, but 'il est fini', or consummatum est.You also have twists in the story, that catches the reader or observer unawares.
Shakespeare had it right then.
I have learned what friends are and what friends aren't. Cathy has been with me since the beginning. We have been through feast and famine and thick and thin over the course of this season. You are an amazing person Cathy! I love your determination, sensibility, inquisitive and caring nature. You have helped me to carry on at work, even more so recently. I can be an intense, emotional, reserved person, hard to read at times and yet, you have been very patient and tolerant with me. I have a hard time showing gratitude and appreciation, but I want you to know, that I will always be your friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

........

I didn't really pass my vocational schooling, but am still considered a "graduate".  I don't regret the time spent in studying Medical Transcription, even though I realized much later on I didn't want to do it. I learned a lot and even though it took a little longer than most, I am impressed with the fact that I persevered and had determination to finish it. Even more so, I was able to go to France and attend a Pilgrimage all by myself, away from my safe-havens. If I set my mind to something, I can do things. I am a tenacious, stubborn, determined, honest and dependable over-achiever.
Now, as I look back from this present time to several years ago, everything seems to have fit together like it was a puzzle. Everything happens for a reason, known only to God. 
As Isaiah 55:9 states:
 " 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
            Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
      9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
            So are My ways higher than your ways
            And My thoughts than your thoughts.' "

At this stage in my life, it is one of frustration. I am discerning a religious vocation. There, I admitted it, I am discerning a religious vocation. I don't expect everyone to like this idea. In fact, I expect no one too. Religious life has obtained somewhat of a mysterious and repulsive rap to it. I used to be repulsed by it. I used to fear it. I just didn't understand it then. It's not conclusive yet that my vocation is a religious one, but I am sincerely taking an effort in discerning it and opening myself up to other possibilities. 
I am coming to terms that I probably am not going to be settled down by age 25, have a lucrative career, a satisfying relationship and a fancy car. This is what the world expects of me, but it is not what I or maybe even God really wants. The discernment continues during the changing of my seasons.