Beach, Life is

i. Early morning in Rayong

ii. Some of my happiest childhood memories are those spent on the beach.

iii. History repeats itself. When I told the kiddo that we would celebrate the new year at the beach, I saw my own excitement many years before in him. “Mommy, I can’t sleep. How many hours til we go?” Precisely the same lines I used to bother his Grandma with as soon as a beach day was announced.

iv. Nang Ram Beach near Pattaya, 1-1-2018

v. The latest beach I have been to was in Rayong yesterday which was also Teacher’s Day in Thailand.

vi. Bangkok campus administrators of the university I work in treated lecturers to a beachfront breakfast. Then set us loose on the beach. I take it they were expecting us to be refreshed and re-energized to tackle another year of academia. Well, it’s a win-win.

vii. Natural exfoliant on one’s toetips

viii. Beach benefits natural and free
ix. What really made the day remarkable for me was my beach read – breaking news back home and a beach hottie’s thoughts on this triumph of the law.

x. Life’s a bitch to brats. Long story. I provided links in case anyone is curious. Meanwhile…

xi. Beach. Life is. And more
xii. like “the three great sounds of nature are the sound of rain, the sound of primeval wood and the sound of outer ocean on the beach” ~ Henry Beston

and

xiii. On Chesil Beach  ‘the truly great books are those that are constantly revelatory’

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Asik – Asik Falls

The loveliest waterfall I have ever seen in my entire life to date –

Asik – Asik Falls. It is found in a small, far-flung village called Barangay Upper Dado in Alamada, a town in North Cotabato province in the Philippines.

The pleasure of beholding this waterfall comes with a price. Visitors have to descend 550 steps to see it and ascend the same number of steps to get back ‘to civilization.’  A bit physically daunting; it made me realize that I was not getting any younger. Where did those college mountaineering days go?

If I were to operate some business in the area, it would be helicopter rides for visitors like me who had their nostrils flaring on the trek down and gasping for oxygen on the arduous ascent.

But the sight is so worth it. ‘Whoa…w!’ was all I could exhale when I saw it. Then I was speechless.

Asik-Asik Falls is liquid drapery. The atmosphere about is balmy, clearing sinuses brand new. The hum of the water could lull you to slumber. I would not have minded drifting off had I not have the kiddo to watch.  He was approaching the waterfall as if it was an enchantress beckoning him.  There was magic in the place.

My photos (taken from an iphone SE) do not do this fantastic falls justice but they are what would at least serve as reminder of this beautiful experience.

View from the jump-off point

The muddy way gets steeper but the quiet is therapeutic.

Someone thought Asik-Asik would be easier to get to without shoes

With me were my twelve year-old and two nephews (cousin’s kids) on a school break.

Beginning our trek down

‘Mommy, are we there yet?’ was the son’s excited refrain. He meant he saw a couple of what looked like high school kids swinging on a vine and he wanted to try it. As soon as we heard the water, we exchanged grins and followed the sound literally running, skipping fallen logs.

First sign of the falls

And there she is…

Asik-Asik Falls, April 2017

Most people came with picnic baskets. I sat on the rocks opposite taking it all in including the mist which was the perfect skin moisturizer.

Nature’s shower

The nephews lost no time in exploring the falls.

Agility, come back to me!

The falling water is potable. I do not know what but one thing about Asik-Asik Falls intrigues me: there is no river above it.

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Zanoni

Boekentips

A Rosicrucian tale by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
1842

At a glance, Zanoni is a novel about a member of an ancient fraternity who gives up his power of immortality for love of a human.

Plot is of course available on Wikipedia. The flowery prose some reviewers say Zanoni is filled with does not bother me perhaps because reading it is different from listening to it which I did on LibriVox. There are excellent commentaries and reviews on goodreads. They are usefully enlightening for first time readers like me.  I first noticed this book from a list of David Bowie’s Top 100 Books. One connection I see as to why the book was among Bowie’s Top 100 is music. Viola, with whom Zanoni (main character) fell in love, is a promising opera singer and daughter of a misunderstood violinist.

Aisling ~ Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes

Bowie may have been attracted to the idea of immortality.  “I feel puny as a human. … I want to be ‘superhuman.'”  Emphasis on superhuman. Zanoni is immortal.

Zanoni is said to be inspired by a dream.  This one refers to my choice of this book on Aisling Tales.

More reads or skimming if you will –

i     Musings on Zanoni… as source of theosophical beliefs
ii    Rosy Cross
iii   Pleasing sort of terror
iv   Divine madness

Notes to remember Zanoni by –

v     The spiritual and the occult are not the same.
vi    It’s “a truth for those who can comprehend it, and an extravagance for those who cannot.”
vii   The fourth part of the book, “The Dweller of the Threshold” contains esoteric facts and experiences.
viii  The French Revolution is which the book is set represents the nadir of humanity which affects even Zanoni.
ix    Zanoni makes few concessions to realism, an ideal Bulwer-Lytton had contempt for.

Zanoni –

x    is a pioneering book on esoteric writing
xi   describes occult as the kind that searches for wisdom
xii   approaches the ‘divine without the fetters of religion’
xiii  is a book for those interested in early British occultism

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