Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book reviews

I realize when I write book reviews, I always succeed at making the story seem dull. A lot of times, the essence or most beautiful part of a book is not the plot/ storyline. Sometimes it's about how beautifully the author can construct the sentences, sometimes it's about the facets of the characters in the book, sometimes it's the display of the human nature, emotions, etc. If I had look at the review of the cider house rules, I would probably not be enticed enough to want to read it coz the plot sounded so unexciting. I really do not know how to make a story come alive. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cider house rules - John Irving

The best line I like from the book : "how we love to love things for other people; how we love to have other people love things through our eyes."

A very awesome read. I had to watch the movie after reading the book but was vastly disappointed by the movie. Wilbur Larch was an obstetrician and head of an orphanage in St Clouds, Maine in the 1920s. He was a non-religious man who believed that everyone had freedom of choice and that he merely gave people what they wanted and would not give recommendations. He delivered unwanted children and also performed abortions which at that time was illegal. Homer Wells was an orphan who was adopted and returned twice and so would, as Larch thought, forever belong to St Clouds. Larch loved homer and trained him to become an obstetrician so that he would one day replace him. However Homer disagreed with Larch on abortions and said that he would never perform one as he believed the fetus had a soul. 
Then came Wally and Candy, a beautiful couple who came to St Clouds for the sole purpose of abortion. Homer fell in love with Candy at first sight and followed them back to Wally's family's apple orchard to work as a picker. Wally then went to the war to fly the Burma route during WWII. His plane was shot down and he was thought to be dead. Candy who was never good at being alone fell in love with Homer but they kept their affair a secret out of the protection of wally's mother's heart. Candy then got pregnant and in order to continue keeping things a secret, they delivered the baby at St clouds and then told everyone that they had adopted an orphan. This secret they kept till Angel, their son, was a teenager. Before their return to the apple orchard, they received news that Wally had been found (very Pearl Harborish) but was paralyzed after being bitten by Japanese B mosquito. He was also sterile after acquiring an infection during catherization  in Burma. Candy married Wally even though she told Homer that she loved him but she couldn't leave Wally now that he was a cripple. Homer continued working on the orchard despite Larch's continuous efforts in asking him to return to St Clouds to replace him. Larch then started faking documents (medical degrees etc) and stories so that Homer could officially become the head of the orphanage. Homer continued to refuse until he had to perform an abortion for one of the pickers who was abused and impregnated by her father. That was he relented on the belief that abortion is immoral. Larch then died of an accidental ether overdose and Homer had no choice but to return to St Clouds as his replacement. It was before his departure that he told Angel the truth and Candy the truth to Wally (although throughout the story there was the impression given that Wally already knew). 

The story is beautifully written as it portrays the dark and beautiful sides of the human nature. Dr Larch and Homer's father and son love for each other, Homer's unrelenting and insufferable love for Candy, Meloney's worship of Homer as her hero and her pursuit of him for decades, Dr Larch's and his nurses' devotion to the orphanage, the secrets that were hidden, the crimes committed (incest, fights, prostitution, etc), Homer as the prodigal son who returned to the orphanage, etc.i don't know how the movie could turn out to be so dull. 

18 July 2015

Ether dreams

She lay in bed half awake
Surrounded by the fumes of ether.
In a minute or in two
Her mind will be fogged
And she can begin to dream.

A dream or two
She wouldn't be counting
One dream may get lost
But what does it matter?
The colors of her dreams
Are vibrant and brilliant,
Like the sun that burns with ferocity.

She will be roused from her dreams 
When the ether loses its power
And she will be released once more
Into that dark grimy world
The one with a name that spells

Counting tears

She sits by the pier,
Overlooking the lake,
The water shimmers 
And her tears glisten.
She counts each teardrop 
One, two, three,
And wonders if they could be named.
The sun burns her soft skin,
Yet she wouldn't leave.
One, two, three
She continues to count.
Sometimes she wonders if the tears would never end,
And she would have to sit by the pier
And count her tears 
Till the end of days.

Do not go gentle into that good night-Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I thought I could use these two months of solitude to carefully reflect on things and make a change. But almost two months have passed and I caught myself thinking where had all the time gone? Time is funny that way. Days just slip you by without you noticing it. I realize there's always something for me to do but never time for me to just sit quietly and think. There are just too many distractions. I also realize I don't even know what questions I want to ask myself, and where I see myself say 5-10 years down the road. What do I want? What does God want? How do I discern His will and my own desires? How do I live this life properly? Will I get a second chance at a life if this one goes awry or wasted?
Living alone somehow doesn't affect the rhythm of my life that much but yet at the back of my mind and in my heart, I realize im the type of person who will always need someone. I'm not sure if the need to have someone is a good or bad thing. Recognizing that we will always need someone is a good thing I guess, since men are not made to be solitary creatures. Bad in the sense that it puts fear in your life coz you know you may not always have someone. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

C                            Am
Dreams they'll only be dreams 
                F                  G
If you're not here with me.
      C                   Am