The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s collection of 12 short stories, was first published on this day (October 14) in 1892. Here’s one of my favorite lines from one of Holmes’ locked room mystery, Adventure of the Speckled Band.
Do you believe in karma (good or bad)? Have you experienced one?
It is with heavy heart that I share this quote as I mourn for a colleague, a friend, and a kuya who is now off to seek his Great Perhaps. I cannot talk about life and death the way Albom or Coelho does, but I can wholeheartedly say the world lost another good man today. I could only wish he left us on a good time. Not during this cursed pandemic. But perhaps, God has far better plans. He may not be surrounded by the people whose lives he touched, but his soul will be surrounded by our love. 😦
My first foray into the written world of Michael Crichton was Congo. James, who loves the man as much as Dan Brown, never missed to mention his works whenever we talk about books. So I guess this is where curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back comes in.
The 1980 sci-fi novel centers on an expedition searching for rare blue diamonds and investigating the mysterious deaths of a previous expedition in the dense tropical rainforest of the Congo. At first I was worried that I’d be stuck in the complicated science and technical jargon but as it turns out, Crichton is a great de-jargonizer. I found myself immediately engaged in the story that capsulized science, history, and geography in each and every page.
Which brings me to this week’s WQW, Iron and Ironies. Congo left me emotionally, mentally and morally disturbed. In a simple story it raised provocative questions that I found hard to answer.
To what extent is animal cruelty? Is it limited to performing experiments/animal research? How about throwing lobsters on a boiling pot? Sticking pigs on bamboo poles? Exterminating rats? Do ALL animals have rights or just a selected few? Does man get to give them the reason to stay alive as a species?
These questions led me to reflect on our deeply ingrained habit of meat eating, on the equality among animals, and man’s idea of speciesism. I know there are multiple sides to these multifaceted issues and I would love to hear a thing or two from you. 🙂
A blank page is no empty space. It is brimming with potential… It is a masterpiece in waiting— yours. A.A. Patawaran
Masterpiece in Waiting
Each day is as blank a sheet of paper
Empty as a white canvas
Quite as a still guitar
Bare as the starless sky
But as magic slides through our pen
Ink drips from our paintbrush
Fingers play with the strings
And stars twinkle in our eyes
A masterpiece takes shape
Out of nothing, a glimpse of something divine.
Flatterers and fools To power they drool Honeyed words, sugar-sweet Night and day, they breathe of cheat Savages in polished suits To vagabonds they stomp their boots And if in frivolous pledge we fall In misery we shall crawl
A little over a month from now, PH will be having its national election for the next governing body. As much as we would like to have ideal leaders that are dedicated to public service, we couldn’t really have that. Can we?
“Choose the lesser evil,” this is the very thing I have in mind. It’s saddening that we are left with this choice but that’s life. It happens.
For years I have knocked on a closed door Each thump was a plea, A prayer from a fervent soul My hands never ceased to rap- Slam, hammer, and whack At the threshold of dreams I won’t let go But years have passed And the door remained closed I should have gambled at the window Which opened a chance, A possibility of luck- An opportunity I mustn’t let go