Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thinking of You

If a flower blooms each time I think of you, 

the whole earth would be a carpet of colorful meadows.

Joining Weekend Flowers

Thursday, February 21, 2013


...the sun came out peering from behind the snowy roof of the apartment building that's viewable from our dining room window.

This was the view that greeted me yesterday morning as I opened the Venetian blinds. Then a plane zipped by.

As I was taking my breakfast, the sun started to radiate over the roof. I could feel its warmth that filtered through the window panes, though outside, the bare twigs were slightly coated with ice crystals.

Shadows on the snow began to form and tiny ice crystals sparkled radiantly as the sunlight kissed them.

Through our back door, I captured this view. Our back porch table was also covered with snow.

I was on my way to work when an irresistible force pulled me toward the university campus. I got off the bus and headed toward the university's frozen pond. The soft contours of the snow and the long blue shadows dazzled me and sent me to shooting frenzy.

When I have had enough, I proceeded to my place of work, which was not so far from the university. I worked fast, but thoroughly, so that I would have more time to enjoy the sunny day, like walking here and there and taking lots of pictures. Most of the people I met along the way looked radiant too. I was glad to exchange words with some customers whom I happened to meet.

Once outside the building where I worked, I glanced up and saw several magpies perched on the birch trees. They too seemed to take pleasure in the warmth of the sun and the radiant moon.

All day long, the sun shone radiantly. And so was the moon at night.

My heart, too, shone radiantly inside of me, as it brimmed with appreciation for all the blessings of light and beauty.

And I went to sleep with thoughts of my life's "sunshine" whose radiance keeps enwrapping and inspiring  me as I move on with my life.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Beauty of My Job Is...

To many, this is not an attractive job. They may even scoff at it. Yes, it's just a humble job, yet I love it and am happy with it. And I'm not at all ashamed of it.

To put it in a euphemism, my job is to make sure that premises like private homes, offices, apartment lobbies and new buildings are fresh, spotlessly clean and pleasant-looking.

It's not that I have no other choice. With my Bachelor's degree in Education, I could work as a university or a high school teacher, though I would have to meet up with the higher standard of education here, which  requires at least two years of further studies. I could also take up an entirely new  course of my own choice at the university or some vocational courses, all for free and with a monthly allowance from the government. But I brushed such opportunities aside, without any regrets. The thought of going back to school makes me cringe. I had spent five years at the university and completed two Bachelor's degrees, and now I'm too lazy to live a student's life again. That's ancient history now.

I chose my present job because it's something new for me. I have that special knack of doing jobs that the majority scorns. Odd jobs involving the use of physical prowess. Jobs with diversities. I can keep such jobs as long as they exist and as long as I have the strength to do them. Another reason is that I didn't go looking for it. It came to me right before I completed my Swedish language course in SFI (Swedish for Immigrants / Svenska för Invandrare). And I started right away sans the trouble of job-hunting. (I thank my employer, Städkompetens AB, for hiring me.)

Okay, so, what's wrong with cleaning jobs? For me it's enjoyable, even advantageous. Just imagine, I make places clean and shiny! Well, this is not actually a hard job here since everything is already clean. Our clients just want their places super clean, which is actually the standard here, to maintain their cleanness, and I like to do such polishing jobs. These are not difficult jobs at all. I've done much tougher jobs in the Philippines.

I'm also the master of my time. I determine what time I go to work. If there are some job orders for home-cleaning (hemstädning), my superiors or our clients would usually ask me what time suits me best.

Salary-wise, I get a standard per-hour pay. I work only a little over 50 percent, but my monthly salary is good enough to make ends meet. I work to survive and to support a greater cause, which is actually the main reason for my whole existence.  If I want to earn more for some long-distance travel expenses, I'd just ask for some extra jobs. No sweat. And if I want to be "rich" according to my simple standard, I can request for a full-time work load. No problem with that. I'm a workaholic anyway. But then, as I said, I'm contented with what I presently earn, knowing that my "other mission" makes my life more meaningful and satisfying, as it brings lasting benefit to mankind.

I believe that the best aspect of my job is the help that I can give to people who work hard to build up their families,  some too old and incapable to clean up their big villas and units, others alone  and in need of companionship. I love the thought of being needed and making them feel secure. I love the way they treat me with respect and dignity, the way they try to help me lighten my work by cleaning up a little before I'd go  to them or by entirely avoiding to mess up. 

I like the way they express their gratitude for my service, which is through words of thanks and material gifts. I'm refreshed to hear them say, "Thanks, as always.", "Just let me know what else you need to make your work easier", "It's always nice to have you here.", "We're very satisfied!", "Jag känner mig trygg när du är här." (I feel safe when you are here.), "Vad bra att du finns!" (It's good you exist!), "Hmmm...smells good again! It's clean here again!", "I like the way you clean.", etc. Expressions I never forget and that keep me inspired.

And sure, one more beauty of my job is our clients' trust in me. They leave the entire house or office in my hands, sometimes with money lying here or there, especially during the first time they hired me. Some kind of test? Sorry, I'm never tempted to take others' belongings, whatever they are. I only have eyes for "dirt" and hands to sweep it away. Well, I gained their full trust, and that's a reward I cherish.

So...isn't my job beautiful? I know I'm rambling here again, but I can't help it. I just enjoy this job, that's all. I like the people I work for, and I truly care about their homes, offices and apartment buildings.  Of course, I also enjoy intellectual, aesthetic, photographic and "cosmic" jobs, for which I also make time as long as I can. 

For now, though, I find beauty in this job and  in the people I work for.

...Just as I find beauty in simple, little things around me.

Isn't life full of beauty? It's actually a matter of how we look at things.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Adamantine Hope

The river had been flowing smoothly, uninterruptedly. Then all at once, parallel walls, named Fear and Anxiety,  emerged across it, cutting off the stream. The water stopped, and time stood still.

Stagnancy. For how long?

In conjunction with such immobility,  ominous gray clouds hovered above. An afternoon masked with a deathly countenance.

Gradually, however, a golden glow sparked on the horizon. It kept amplifying until an orange pillar jutted out to the sky.

An illumination on a dismal day.

Everything will be alright.

It's just a matter of patiently waiting while nurturing the inner joy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

First of February

We had snowstorm class 1 these past two days, adding a thick layer of immaculately fresh snow to the ground.

This morning when I woke up, the semi-overcast sky was saturated with the tangerine glow of the sun. These are the views from our kitchen window.

Looks like a day full of promises.

On my way to work, the clouds had started to clear away. After my first two-hour job in the morning, I chose to take a long walk through the snow instead of going directly to the bus stop. I had no idea where that track in the middle of an open snowy field would lead me, but I folllowed it anyway. By then, the sky had turned clear blue and the sun shone intensely. I took my time to scan the vicinity and take in the serenity, while enjoying the feel of the amalgam of sunshine and the cold.

The path led to the frozen city river, and it stretches out toward the city center. I found out that many people love to stroll in this walkway along the river even in winter.

I took a few stops to take some pictures. I just loved to look at those pools of unfrozen sections of the river's surface in their torquoise hue!

Even the blue shades of the virgin snow were captivating!

The fine weather tempted me to go skiing but I still had one more job to get done.

In a way, the day was great, and I felt great just being out there in the snow!

Well, this is just a rambling, which means, in two words: Welcome, February!