The object in my junk drawer 

 

There is an object in my junk drawer.  It is my New York City Public Library Card.  I don’t really think it is a junk piece.  Not at all.  I used to live in New York (Queens), back in the late ’80’s.  There was a branch of the library a block from my workplace. That was on 1st Avenue and 68th street. Or was it 67th? I would go to the library to borrow books and actually lug them home (walk to the subway, in the subway waiting for the train to arrive, at subway stop where I lived, on the walk home).  I don’t know how I managed to bring books home all the way from Manhattan.

I totally love libraries, and the NY Public Library is such a big and great place to find books of all kinds.  The card is laminated, has a lion on the front, just like the lion statues on the front of the main library and the text that shows my name is in a maroon color.

I found, while I lived in NY, that New Yorkers loved to read on the subway, in the park, in any place where there was a chair and a coffee to drink.  In the subway, one didn’t just stare into space.  They read books, mostly to relieve the boredom of the train ride, and to avoid eye contact.

I don’t know now how New Yorkers read their books.  Do they have their Kindle? Or read on their iPhone Kindle app?  Or do they actually hold an honest-to-God paperback or hardback? I would guess technology would trump tradition in this case.  It is easier to read with a Kindle or iPhone, jostled by other subway riders or hanging by the straps trying not to fall into someone’s space.

I am proud to hold a library card from NYC PL.  It is something so authentically New York.  I should put the card in a frame and have it on display at my desk.  Like a badge of having been through life in New York city.

This library card is a symbol of my literary journey.  I will keep it safe to remind me that the journey is just getting into a groove.

This library card is also a symbol of hope – hope that one day at least one book of mine will share the shelves of the books in the NYCPL or at least, in our own city library.  I don’t really know, however, whether a book, once published, would automatically get added to the NYCPL catalogue of books.  In my city library, the members of the library have to submit book suggestions for their library to buy.  Not all of their suggestions are taken up.  I find that daunting.  I now look at my library card and try to remember what books I actually checked out of the NYCPL.  Most likely, bestsellers.  In fiction, in romance, or mystery.  What else would someone who once worked for a living by growing human cells do to relax their mind?

On Turning 60

I am now 60.  I have been since 9-12.  It is a rather strange feeling to be 60 when I certainly don’t feel like I am.  And people I know are puzzled to look at me and know or be told my age.  They find it odd that I don’t look 60 to them. But I’m just thinking that I don’t look 60 because of perhaps a few things that are unique to me:  I am single.  I’ve never had children.  And, I happen to be Asian.  These things give away the main reasons why I don’t look my age.  There were no marital issues in my life, and children had never given me the frown lines nor the smile lines around my mouth.  The turning of age to 60 is a jolt, to be sure, because I feel as though I am yet unfinished.  I am several years till retirement age.  And yet, here I am, going for my MFA in Creative Writing.  I could also want to just retire and bake bread all day, or clean my house.  Or garden. All these are fine.  Yet, I feel like I am still able to contribute to society.  I don’t like to travel and hate airports.  I’d rather then find a way to keep myself alert and do what I always loved to do.  And that is to write.  Stories. Blogs. Screenplays.  Essays.  Like this.

I am certainly feeling that God had a hand in my life story.  I’ve had many – or really, several jobs, and changed careers a few times.  So now I think that 60 is, as many profess, merely a number.

I don’t mind being 60.  I try to not think of being 60. I still feel new at the 60 generation.  I don’t like spandex waistbands but I like how they allow me to have an extra helping of pasta.  I find it hard to believe that I would even become romantically involved at 60.  My interests don’t take me very far from home.  And I surely think that God is still working on me, and from Him am I getting ideas and graces and inspirations.

So, now that I’m one fourth of the way to being 61, I am happy to say that I am glad I made it to 60.  I’m one lucky person who came through the last year of unrest in politics, conflicts in many areas of the world, and even periods of sadness that blossomed into this period of (and I hope it is a long one) happy creativity.

Thoughts on the Gospel of the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God

275px-virgen_de_guadalupe1As I listened to Father’s homily this past weekend, the quote that came to me is that the “Same Spirit that resurrected Jesus from the dead resides in you”.  (This quote was something I saw posted on Twitter.)  And, I also remembered this when contemplating how our Lady received the news from St. Gabriel about having a child, Jesus.  In those days, Mary was a young girl, and being with Child even in a very holy way would have been a very difficult situation because as she told the angel, she knew no man.  To add to this, St. Joseph found out she was pregnant and he had the challenge to accept this and carry on as if this was ok – to become Mary’s husband and Jesus’ foster father.  I imagined how very difficult this was in those days – and even now – to have a baby and just go along with it as if it was the natural thing – which to others, it was, not really knowing that God “said” it and “It” was done.  I think my point is, that God works in mysterious ways and Mary and Joseph accepted this with the simplest of faith and placed their trust that things were all going to be alright.  Mary and Joseph truly relied on God and His angels to bring Jesus into the world and that is so very GRAND.

So what I am getting down to is that we, too, must place our trust in God’s plan for us, no matter how tough things seem to be.  God is the Divine Provider, Who will always listen and send us what we truly need, not what we want or think we ought to have.  Because He sees everything and has no boundaries, the plan He has for us is truly wise and for the good of all. He won’t forget our little lives either, because, in the words of Isiah (paraphrasing here) God knew us before we were knit in our mother’s wombs.  God wants us to be with Him in heaven after our lives are finished on earth.  Pray for His Will to be done in you and trust in Him implicitly.

May the blessings of Almighty God be with us all.  Peace and all good.