Twisting and Pondering Thomas Merton

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. "-Thomas Merton


ShivashaktiShape Challenge Collage (because I loved this Challenge) plus the backstory to two of these pictures ....

(For the shot outside of the Cathedral first row photo second from left)
Early this morning I received a text.

Friend: "Do you want to run with me?"

Me: "If I say yes, can we run to a church with a steeple so you can take my picture outside of it?"

Friend: "Okay. Will do."

Me: "It's a yoga pose. You won't be embarrassed?

Friend: "I figured."

It's low 30 degree type of winter weather. Windy and cloudy in Pittsburgh.
I put on four layers. Jogging pants, gloves and a hat.
We run.
We get to the spot.
As I start stripping off all my clothes she says:
"Now Chesca, today is the day I don't ever want to hear you complaining about the cold....and that as a Filipino you are not used to the harsh winters....blah blah blah. This is it. You taking off your clothes right now, out here ends all future complaining."

Me: "I promise."

I strip down to a layer of yoga shorts, a tank and I keep my striped socks on which trust me, I know I look ridiculous as I stood on Fifth Ave prepping for the shot
She is very patient.
She takes a fabulous shot.
I get dressed again and then we keep running. -
"The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends."-John 15:13
Or in this case to allow yourself to get embarrassed for the sake of your friend's IG yoga project.
Thank you DZ!


(For the shot overlooking the city wearing a tutu; photo right under the Cathedral picture)
"The ostriches' wings flap joyously With the pinion and plumage of love..."-Job 39:13
"You are wearing that?" -- My husband Steve questioned AFTER he had already agreed to take my photo. 
I had asked him to photograph me at a location where I could "soar."
He inquired, "Why what's your theme?"
"FLIGHT," I answered. 
He said okay. "But I am only doing this because I love you." --
He does not really enjoy taking my yoga pictures and hates it even more when the poses are done in public. He abhors unnecessary attention and gets embarrassed easily.
When he saw me grab my plastic tutu and my roll of tape, he looked as if he was changing his mind.
So I offered to just pose in the privacy of our backyard.
But he took a deep breath and said, "No let's just do it."
And off we went.


Sunday Night

GZ's retirement party aka a drink after the last game our girls played basketball all together in one team.


Snowball Weekend and a Random Act of Elevator Yoga (FIL is in the hospital)

Gabi was invited to the Allderdice dance

Kika was invited to the Vincentian Academy dance

While FIL has suffered a setback, he is stable.


Good Bye To A Friend

Los Angeles, 2012 
My friend Michelle passed away in her sleep yesterday.
We were friends since we were in grade school.  

A Parable of Immortality
By Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads white sails
To the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky
come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There she goes!"

Gone where?
Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
"There she goes!" there are other eyes
watching her coming and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes."

(This poem was a comfort to me when my friend P. Faustino sent it after my dad died)