Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Mattie's Heartsongs

A week ago, on June 22th, my hero Mattie Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek passed away on his 13th. Yes, he was young but he was the world's hero. In the all-too-short time of his life, Mattie graced the world with his presence and an incredible talent for writing and a passion for life. He taught the world about 'love'. He was and still is a source of inspiration for many, including me. His poems have touched my heart and mind.

I got introducted to Mattie on my 2002 birthday when my beloved one gave me a Journey through Heartsongs book of Mattie. I was greatly impressed by this collection of poems. He humbled me.

The boy who suffered from a rare neuromuscular disease called dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy had started writing poems since he was 3 years old. And he kept writing until he died.

I like all of his poems, including his very short poem below:

Facing the Future

Every journey begins
With but a small step.
And every day is a chance
For a new, small step
In the right direction.
Just follow your Heartsong.

and this poem that means a lot for this world:

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment…
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment…
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment…
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice…
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment…
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

September 12, 2001

Mattie, thanks for teaching us about love. We will miss you a lot.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Moulin Rouge

When I was in the hospital I spent many nights watching movies. One of them was the Moulin Rouge, which is unforgetable for me.

I loved this movie. The plot wasn't anything special, yet I couldn't stop but sit, stare, laugh and cry. The movie was absolutely ridiculous, but it has the ability to hit your heart and soul where it matters..

I admire the bravery of the producer. So wacko! I enjoyed his wacko-ness. The movie contains many element of famous pieces like Romeo-Juliet love story and popular American musics... and everything were bravely mixed without doubt nor shame in it. It takes what many people consider 'ordinary' or 'mediocre' things and puts a new soul in them in such a fantastic way that knocking you off your couch.

The Moulin Rouge also has some great redone music and great visual scenes. Also important is the fact that the stars, Nicole Kidman (Satine) and Ewan MacGregor (Christian), they can really sing.

I think this movie is a must-see for musical enthusiasts...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

GoogleMail - a blessing or a curse?

Today my friend Rani invited me to sign up for GMail (Google Mail), a giant web-based email that allows you to have 1 GB storage to keep your emails. I knew about it several months ago, but just did not follow the issue, just forgetting it.... But Rani is the most updated person about the Internet (this is serious!) and she is also very well organized so there's no way for her to forget something! So, in brief, based on Rani's information, I signed up for GMail through Blogger.

I feel ambivalent about this service. I really think it's a real breakthrough. This is really a public relation triumph for Google. Imagine that it offers a FREE email service with 100 times as much storage as Yahoo's premium paid service!

However, my suspicious mind cannot stop being suspicious. It's a public secret that Google is not a company that respects the privacy. What would Mr. Google do with our 1GB emails? Would Mr. G sell it to the eBay? spammers? or CIA and all intelligent agencies in the world?

In fact, Mr. G gave a hint about it. It says that while GMail users can delete emails from our mailbox, those deleted emails would be eternally kept in Google's server. Also there is cookie issue, etc. In the end GMail is a panopticon... a tool of surveillance.. a tool for privacy violation.

So, it a blessing or a curse?

Well, 'suspicion is as suspicion does' has its limit! I has signed up, anyway. It's not bad to have 1 GB harddisk in cyberspace...:-)

Monday, June 21, 2004

I'm back

You never know how good something is until you lose it. That's so true.

Today I am finally back to the office after almost two weeks off. Feel good to be able to see the office again, yet cannot stay really long. Margaret, a colleague who also picked me up this morning, sent me back home at around 1:30 pm. I can continue working from home, of course.

Yes, I am back to a real life... my home and my office. Life is good, life is valuable. I appreciate life more after leaving my usual life for 9 days.

Perhaps sometimes it's necessary to leave your routine world.. when you come back then you would know how nice it is. In my case it was a forced leave.. unfortunately.. my body, nature, world.. and God.. they worked together to force me to take a leave. That's not so nice, but well... everything work together for something good, I believe so.