Friday, August 28, 2009

Sound familiar..Part 2

The sea lion was not entirely alone in those parts. For it was there he met the tortoise.

Now this tortoise was an ancient creature, so weathered by his life in the barren lands that at first, the sea lion mistook him for a rock. He told the tortoise of his plight, hoping that this wise one might be able to help him.

"Perhaps," the tortoise mused, " this is the sea."

His eyes appeared to be shut against the bright sun, but he was watching the sea lion very closely.

The sea lion swept his flippers once against his side, gliding to the end of the water hole and back. "I don't know," he said. "It isn't very deep."

"Isn't it?"

"Somehow, I thought the sea would be broader, deeper. At least, I hoped so."

"You must learn to be happy here," the tortoise told him one day. "For it is unlikely you shall ever find this sea of yours." Deep in his old and shriveled heart, the tortoise envied the sea lion and his sea.

"But I belong to the sea. We are made for each other."

"Perhaps. But you have been gone so long now, the sea has probably forgotten you."

This tought had never occurred to the sea lion. But it was true, he had been gone for a long, long time. "If this is not my home, how can I ever feel at home here?" the sea lion asked.

"You will, in time." The tortoise appeared to be squinting, his eyes a thin slit. "I have seen the sea, and it is no better than what you have found here."

"You have seen the sea!"

"Yes. Come closer," whispered the tortoise, "and I will tell you a secret. I am not a tortoise. I am a sea turtle. But I left the sea of my own accord, many years ago, in search of better things. If you stay with me, I will tell you stories of my adventures."

The stories of the ancient tortoise were enchanting and soon cast their spell upon the sea lion. As weeks passed into months, his memory of the sea faded. "The desert," whispered the tortoise, "is all that is, or was, or ever will be."

When the sun grew firece and burned his skin, the sea lion would hide in the shade of the tree, listening to the tales woven by the tortoise. When the dry winds cracked his flippers and filled his eyes with dust, the sea lion would retreat to the water hole. And so the sea lion remained, living his days between the water hole and tree.

The sea no longer filled his dreams.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Like This

Credits go to...erm...John Eldredge, I think, as I first read this in a book he wrote.

Once upon a time there lived a sea lion who had lost the sea.

He lived in a country known as the barren lands. High on a plateau far from any coast, it was a place so dry and dusty that it could only be called a desert. A king od coarse grass grew in patches here and there, and a few trees were scaterred across the horizon. But mostly, it was dust. And sometimes wind, which together make one very thirsty.

Of course, it must seem strange to you that such a beautiful creature should wind up in a desert at all. He was, mind you, a sea lion. But things like this do happen.

How the sea lion came to the barren lands, no one could remember. It all seemed very long ago. So long, in fact, it appeared as though he had always been there. Not that he belonged in such an arid place. How could that be? He was, after all, a sea lion. But as you know, once you have lived so long in a certain spot, no matter how odd, you come to think of it as home.

** **

There was a time, many years back, when the sea lion knew he was lost.

In those days, he would stop every traveler he met to see if he might help him find his way back to the sea. But no one seemed to know the way.

On he searched, but never finding.

After years without success, the sea lion took refuge beneath a solitary tree beside a very small water hole. The tree provided refuge from the burning rays of the sun, which was very fierce in that place. And the water hole, though small and muddy, was wet, in its own way. Here he settled down and got on as best he could.

** **

Had you journeyed in those days through the barren lands, you might have seen the sea lion for yourself. Quite often in the evening, he would go and sit upon his favourite rock, a very large boulder, which lifted him off the burning sand and allowed him a view of the entire country.

There he would remain for hours into the night, silhouetted against the sky. And on the best nights, when the wind shifted to the east, a faint smell of salt air would come to him on the breeze. Then he would close his eyes and imagine himself once more at the sea. When he lay himself down to sleep, he would dream of a vast, deep ocean. Twisting and turning, diving and twirling, he would swim and swim and swim. When he woke, he thought he heard the sound of breakers.

The sea was calling to him.

** **

The sea lion loved his rock, and he even loved waiting night after night for the sea breezes that might come. Especially he loved the dreams those memories would stir. But as you well know, even the best of dreams cannot go on, and in the morning when the sea lion woke, he was still in the barren lands. Sometimes he would close his eyes and try to fall back asleep. It never seemed to work, for the sun was always very bright.

Eventually it became too much for him to bear. He began to visit his rock only on occasion.

"I have too much to do," he told himself. "I cannot waste my time just idling about." He really did not have so much to do. The truth of it was, waking so far from home was such a disappointment, he did not want to have those wonderful dreams anymore.

The day finally came when he stopped going to his rock altogether, and he no longer lifted his nose to the wind when the sea breezes blew.

** **

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And so,

I've acquired the reputation of being a Celine Dion fanatic, simply because I was caught listening to her rendering of Beauty and the Beast on Youtube in the doctor's room after going to watch the musical in question.

The musical, performed at the Empire Theatre was better than I'd hoped for - I was actually quite excited about going to watch it (more so than I should have been, according to the prevaling opinion amongst the infectious diseases team).

The original 1994 movie being the first movie I've ever watched in cinema, kind of brought back memories...which were quickly dispelled at the start, with Belle's voice being a bit too squeaky (I thought).

Gaston, Lumeire and Cogsworth carried the show at the start, and by the time the iconic ballroom scene rolled around, we were all enjoying ourselves.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

F I N A L L Y !

I've never felt so nervous just before an hour's drive before. At least, not since my first 2 attempts at this British driving test which have left me frustrated both with myself and with how candidates are graded.

So the sense of relief upon hearing the words, "I'm pleased to tell you that you've passed" was almost palpable.

Now, which car to get? Suggestions?

And Sarah, you're right - this is super funny - for all generations of IMU students!!