Thursday, February 24, 2011

Un-birthday Tea!

So my friend Pam, being the awesome "Bosom Buddy" that she is, was thinking of me even while she was on vacation in Disney World last week... she bought me "Unbirthday Tea"! So for this occasion, I am re-posting my "Mad Tea Party Un-poem" that I wrote a couple years back... enjoy!

Tea Time!
Oh, please take two lumps and tell me a story
And make sure this time it is about nothing at all
Except everything nonsensical and impossible and delightful
Toss the words about and mix them up so everyone and no one understands

Tea Time again!
As we move to the next seat and a fresher cup
I will take this opportunity to ask you a little riddle
That is so puzzling and absurd and disjointed and ridiculous
That there is no answer, at least as far as any mad person is concerned

Good heavens, Tea Time again!
It is always tea time and no time for anything else
For you see, I had a quarrel with Master Time once upon
And ever since, seconds and minutes and Mondays do not matter
Mmmm… muffins, marmalade, March Hares, and much of a muchness…

My, my, my, Tea Time once more!
Forever on time, and yet always two days late
And days are a good deal more important than hours
Perhaps it would be wise to butter up the pocket watch again
But this time, please do not use the bread knife that is so crumbly

Alas, it is Tea Time!
And what shall we celebrate this time around?
How can we make this timeless moment memorable?
We will cut the cake and then sing a song and then hail a toast
To my very merry un-birthday… and what a coincidence - It’s yours as well!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just Another Day in Little Burma

Last night Lian made Burmese doughnuts, with rice flour and oil boiling in a wok. They were awesome and delicious! Tonight, Lian made what she described as "fish." The long skinny things with teeth did not look like fish to me, and as Hannah and I picked white meat off sharp bones, I said, "I think we're eating an eel." So to clarify, I played 20 Questions with Lian... Color? Black. Like snake (with gestures and sound effects)? Oh, yes. In water? Yes. ... Yep, we're eating eel. Deep fried eel.

I have to include a cute picture of the boys here - Jo Lien and Moi San. Jo Lien has discovered that my feet on my footrest make a good little stool for him to sit on... which I think is just too cute! Last night I was talking to my mom on Skype, and Jo Lien waved at her. Later when I was working on other things, he came in my room, leaned on my chair and waved at the screen. "Let's see if we can find someone for you to wave at," I whispered, and logged on to Skype again. My grandparents were on, so they got to meet my little brother, who was all too happy to wave and smile at them.

Moi San loves it when we sing praise songs to Jesus (or Zesu) in English or in Chin-Zo. He raises his hands, claps, bounces, and puts his hands over his heart. Jo Lien just jumps around and laughs the whole time. I love that these little ones get so much joy out of praising the Lord!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eternal February

"February... seemed to be lasting for ever, with its chilly, blustery winds and violent storms. ...but the bad weather led to a certain cosy intimacy among those who were, for whatever reason, fixed in town." - excerpt from Mr. Darcy's Daughters

This was the view from my window all day yesterday. As much as I am tired of the cold weather, the ice, and yes, even the snow, I know this is where I am supposed to be right now. So I keep wearing thick sweaters, drinking hot tea, and keeping my dear Indiana friends close by. I depend on their love and company, and I hang on the hope that this winter will not be forever.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flowering Tea

It is just a dry, dead bulb
Dull and faded in color
Curled up tight on itself like packed potpourri
I plop it in the glass teapot
And it clinks around, hard and lifeless
And I wonder at its potential.

Still, it has a purpose, a destiny,
And the boiling kettle on the stove whistles
To let me and this rigid ball know that it is time for change.
Water pours into the pot and the bulb spins and fizzes,
Protesting such a harsh and painful awakening.
The pot is full now, the spout steams,
Drops of moisture form against the domed lid, and
The bulb settles on the bottom again,
As though it is tired of fighting and resisting.
It surrenders.

And at that moment I start to see a change.

The blanched leaves that were clutched so tightly
Extend like muscles loosening, stretching, letting go.
A brighter green peels back and deep inside
The heart is unveiled in hues of pink and red
With surprising greatness and grace
And it continues to grow, to bloom, to flourish.

And just when I think the transformation is complete…

The water begins to swirl with color –
Pale pink, bronzed tan, earthy brown, richer and richer every moment.
The scent of lily and jasmine fills the room
The flower blooms still more lovely, it smells still more fragrant.
The heart is broken open and set free –
And because it is changed,
Its life now changes everything it touches.

~ Flowering Tea
by C.L. Chandler