When I go out to meet the light, the shadow of my body follows me, but the shadow of my spirit precedes me and leads the way to an unknown place
- Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Beginnings

It is morning and I am sitting at the cafe downstairs from the apartment that I have been living at for the past 2 years. Tonight I leave for Australia, the flight arrives at 8am in Sydney and I actually start my first working day on that same day. This is because my new boss will not be in all of next week and he wants to introduce me to the team. I'll have 3 days off in succession thereafter since Monday is a holiday with it being Anzac Day.

In an hour the movers will be here to pack my things, I'll have it stored locally for about a month prior to shipment in order to time the arrival 2 months from now. This will allow the items to be delivered to my new apartment instead of the temporary serviced apartment provided by the company.

Yesterday as I was organizing my items for shipment, my mother made an interesting comment. She said, "You'll be arriving in Australia to begin your new life on April 23rd. Do you know that it was precisely on that date 20 years ago that we landed in Canada as immigrants?."

Historically April tends to be a conspicuous month for relocation. Last year in April, I was in New Zealand with the intention of starting a new life there but it didn't quite work out - I simply decided it was not the right place for me irregardless of the gorgeous landscape. The year before last, I moved out of California in April too. And if memory serves me correctly, I arrived in California 5 years before that in April too. It is fascinating.

Is this a general phenomenon? Do statistics show that people tend to relocate across borders when the first flowers bloom after a long winter?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Appropriate Quote

We cannot discover new oceans,....

until we have the COURAGE to lose sight of the shore,.....

I like the quote above sent to me by my friend in Australia on my birthday. My mother's response is to chuckle and say while looking at my father, "When we travel, I take the 'Shor-i' with me".

Another Happy Return

It is befitting that on my birthday I post this excerpt from Paulo Coelho's Manual of the Warrior of Light (which I am now reading):

A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for.

He was helped in his struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each

thing in its place, thus allowing him to give of his best.

His companions say: 'He's so lucky!' And the warrior does sometimes

achieve things far beyond his capabilities.

That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak

surrounding him.

His gratitude, however, is not limited to the spiritual world; he never forgets

his friends, for their blood mingled with his on the battlefield.

I have been quite touched by the outpouring of well wishes from friends and relatives this year for my birthday. With the advent of Facebook and mobile text messaging, it is little effort to reach out to someone; and thus, never in my lfie have I been so inundated with greetings. Birthday greetings aside, the past month in general has been laden with hugs, well wishes and heartfelt goodbyes between myself and my friends in California and Malaysia as I embark for Australia. I have been feeling a bit drained by it to be honest. It is the pouring of love I think. I shall not take the people in my life for granted, it was once said by a wise man - "the level of happiness in life is not by how much you are loved but rather how much love you have for others".

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A mystery is solved

It is my last day here in the States and I have spent most of it packing then Ascending and doing Tai Chi in Tom's driveway. I love Tai Chi there, it is sunny and cool on most days. I can smell the ocean nearby and freshly cut grass from the golf course along with Eucalyptus. Tom returns early from work and we run some last minute errands before my flight departs later in the night.

I mention that I need to scan my driver's license because my brother is selling his car in Texas though technically the vehicle is registered in my name still so I need to authorize the transfer of ownership. Tom is quiet for awhile then he says, "I think I actually have a picture of your driver's license on my PC." "Why on earth do you have a picture of my driver's license on your PC?", I ask. "Because you scanned it the last time you were visiting, because you needed to....", he pauses in recollection then starts again, "I think you needed to purchase something online and they wanted verification of your ID and credit card." It comes back to me now - yes indeed I did scan it last time. "Well, no matter I'll scan it anyways, I've got my replacement ID.", I say.

My replacement ID was obtained a couple of weeks ago, in fact I had scheduled an appointment at the Inglewood DMV office for two days after I had gotten into L.A. so I could finally replace my California driver's license that had mysteriously gone missing when I returned to Malaysia following my last trip to the US.

After some thought I add, "Is your scanner working?" "Yeah sure, I think my scanner is still working, I've not actually used it since you used it the last time you were in L.A.". A light bulb flashes in my head and at the same moment Tom turns to me and says "I think we might have figured out where you lost your ID."

Could it be? Is THAT the reason I had returned to Malaysia over a year ago convinced that someone had robbed me on the flight back. I had turned my room upside down looking for it, I had not bothered to phone Tom to ask if he had seen my ID and bank card since I figured he would have mentioned it for sure.

When we return to his home, Tom heads straight for the scanner and lo and behold, produces my driver's license AND bank card that were in the precise placement as I had left them over a year ago. What are the chances that I would need to scan my driver's license in both visits? Not likely but it's a good thing I did since it finally brought closure to a nagging mystery. Tom and I share a good laugh at my expense.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sway with Me

It is 340pm in the afternoon and I am standing perusing the shelves in a spiritual bookstore called Mystic Journey on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, California. Tom is there also, looking about on his own.

I am engrossed in the titles on the shelf before me when I become aware of two things occurring - one is the loud chiming from the large standing display array of chimes and gongs behind me and the other is the swaying motion of my body. I think to myself that something is amiss but perhaps it is my imagination. Then the swaying becomes more pronounced and I try to comprehend how it is that the sound of chimes is causing me to sway in this uncontrollable manner.

I turn around and Tom is now standing before me speaking about a book in his hands but I am not paying much attention, instead I notice that the temperament of the people in the room has shifted. It hits me that this is an earthquake and in fact the strongest tremor that I have ever experienced. Tom does not seem to notice it until he is looking at me directly and then it registers that the distance between us is shifting in a dizzying way. Nobody panics but there are people already making phone calls to dear ones before the tremors subside after a minute. I overhear a phone conversation about someone's swimming pools overflowing.

As Tom pays for his book the cashier tells him that there was a 7.2 earthquake in Baja California, incredible that the epicenter was hundreds of miles away yet felt so strongly.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Me versus China

Today I met with LD, his wife LP and 11 year old daughter XX for dinner at their new home in a quaint peaceful neighborhood in Irvine. First LD, XX and I agreed to meet on the tennis court nearby to play some tennis.

This is a sort of big deal for me... LD is a former national #1 player in his home country of China and has competed in Davis Cup tennis, once ranked inside the top 300 in the world now he makes his living as a professional coach in California. I had first met them 7 years ago when they lived in Malaysia as neighbors to my aunt. Back then I had just moved out of Vancouver and was residing temporarily in Malaysia. I asked LD to teach me tennis. He was my first tennis coach and despite his poor English I learned a good deal over the 3 months of lessons.

Then I left for California and figured I would not see them again. I was wrong - a couple of years later I received an email from LD saying that he was moving with his family to California. He had been granted a green card almost instantaneously by the US because of his hefty sports credentials. He asked for assistance about where to live and how to start coaching in the US. I gladly obliged.

When they made the move to California, I volunteered to pick them up from the airport. There were a couple of occasions when they would get hopelessly lost trying to get home in the initial period of adjustment. The confusion stemmed primarily from the road sign convention being reversed, in Asia a sign directly across from you at an intersection referred to the road you were on. But in America, the sign pertained to the road parallel to it. There was an occasion when I had to excuse myself from work in the afternoon to rescue them.

More gratitude came a year later when LP applied for a job at the bank. My boss' wife was actually the hiring manager and I only realized the connection when he mentioned it to me at work that someone that fit the description of my friends had applied at his wife's workplace. And so I became an impromptu reference, LP got the job and she attributed that in part to my endorsement.

I suppose that LD and family see me as a lucky charm of sorts for I sense they have a fond place in their hearts for me because of the role I played in their footing in 'The Wild West'.

And so when I played LD and XX, I resolved not to be taken down easily by an 11 year old girl. I had my concerns, she had been playing a LOT of tennis with her Dad and also winning competitions in her age group. XX was a lot taller than I last saw her, she was turning into a pretty and lanky girl. I had the impression of an Asian Sharapova minus the ear splitting shrieks. As we rallied, she struck the ball confidently and consistently. I couldn't count on her making the unforced errors, I had to be a jerk and rely on my more powerful serve and go for winners at each opportunity. In the end, my brute force won the day.

Then LD stood up in a business like manner, it almost seemed like he pulled up his britches when he got off the bench. "Ok, now we play.", he announces.

We play for the first to win 4 games. I win the first two points and then everything else transpires in a blur of frenzied scrambling and errors on my part. Before I realize it he is standing at the net triumphantly waiting to shake my hand, I walk up and dazedly remark, "it's over already??".

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Divine Matrix entanglement or coincidence?

When I was working in Malaysia I went out for lunch twice with a co-worker. We would go to a Balinese restaurant and talk about traveling and about how we were both going to quit the company soon for adventure and to shake up our lives. She had her own plans and I had mine. Hers were along the lines of traveling to Europe or some 3rd world country to do volunteer work and I spoke of a new life in Sydney at some point. She left the company a couple of months before me in late January and the last we had communicated was late Dec. We had only met on those two lunch occasions.

A few days ago Tom mentioned that our friend S had a friend of a friend from Malaysia who was in the Los Angeles area for 2 weeks to do a bar tending course. The description was of someone who had been living in Washington for awhile, had graduated from Yale and now was passing through LA and perhaps Tom could put her up for awhile. He told S he couldn't since I was already staying with him. Tom showed me the name of the person on his Blackberry, I was a little stunned that it was the same name as my aforementioned co-worker - she had an unusual name.

Tom arranged for the 3 of us to meet anyways for dinner in Long Beach. I asked my friend IM and his girl friend to join us too, it would be nice for IM and Tom to meet too. As Tom and I pulled into the hotel reception driveway, I looked over at him and said "how weird would it be if it were actually my ex-coworker?". I stepped out of the car and my jaw dropped, it WAS her and she looked even more shocked than I did.

Is this a random coincidence? The timing location and chain of people that allowed this to happen spontaneously... can we dismiss this to mere coincidence or are we forced instead to acknowledge an underlying intelligence or guiding force such as the workings of the Divine Matrix described by Gregg Braden. The particular feature of the Divine Matrix to which I allude to is the quantum physics phenomenon known as non-local entanglement, it can be read here.