I am rich



Driving home after a long day at work, longing to put my feet up and taking sips of my green tea, I was on the brink of a ‘woe is me’ moment – I was so tired – when it dawned on me that I am rich.

I am rich for I have the love of a good man, the trust of children, the nurture and care of parents, the respect of my peers and colleagues, the support of friends.  I am rich for the love I have to give.  I am rich for I do want for material comforts.

I am rich for my  lived experiences – pain so I might learn to endure and be strong, disappointments so I might learn to trust and hope, suffering so I might learn empathy, loss so I learn to cherish.  So it was that I become who I am today.

When the experience of life becomes overwhelming, as it invariably will some time, I take stock.  Sage advice often told.  But it is not as easy as it seem.  To take stock, we will need to let go of our attachment to expectations, to the tyranny of ‘shoulds’, to stories told of our lives, and to positions we have taken and conclusions we have drawn of our selves.

Instead,we will have to embrace what living is – that unexpected things happen, that adversities have lessons to teach (and only for those open to learning), and that things will appear better.  After all, as Anais Nin said,

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Life will not stop surprising us.  So perhaps all we can do is to accept it as a learning and growth opportunity. 

And thus I am rich!  


Good friends or BFF?

Postaday – On Bees and Efs

I have friends or good friends, but never a BFF  – at least not one that resides solely in one person.  In fact it is difficult for me to imagine any one person who could embody all aspects of what a ‘friend’ is, through the ages, through the moments and life events, who could appreciate who I am and accept without judgment what I do at all times, through all the changes in my life.

Do we have a right to expect this of anyone?  Should negative  judgment attach to anyone who is unable to fulfill this ‘job description’?  I think not.

I have a close group of friends, who perhaps collectively knows everything there is to know about me (except for that part of me which I hold close – my secret life to which no one knows).  Collectively, we share moments of hilarity and tears, we support each other through our pain and loss, we celebrate our lives.. and we speak of everyday mundane moments.  We have created shared history which is a bedrock for the friendship years to come.

Yet each of them would know more than enough of me to be a very dear friend.  Each of them would know one or more aspects of me in greater depth than the others.  This phenomenon was not an intentional act to conceal parts of me from a friend.  It is just that there is a friend with whom I am more comfortable confiding about the intricacies of my relationships, another with whom I share the highs and lows of my career, the other I speak to of the fears and hopes of parenting.  Not any one is less important, not any one is less significant.

BFF means Best Friend Forever.  Best friend – she who is somehow the best of the lot.  Can you fathom that? I would not wish to pick, among my friends, who is best.

I have a fine group of women as friends who have stood by me, who have seen me through thick and thin, who have gently admonished me , picked me up, cheered me on, shared space with me in silence, kept me grounded.

I am blessed!

Water like words

Water like words

Water cascading
Like words on a page
Reminder of past hurts
Etched into my skin
Watching it bleed
Washing away.

Water cascading
Like words on a screen
Bringing renewal, healing balm
To a soul seeking
Rest now, my child
All is well.

– FlorenceT


All about That Bass

I have a big smile on my face… I know you can’t see it so I’m telling – so you can ‘hear’ my smiling voice when I say what I have to say.

The TV was on whilst I was cooking, when I heard this vibrant rhythm began –  rather unique for this day and age.  What, rock n roll?  Of course, I checked it out and voila! the second surprise.  The music video – which I have included below – has men and women dressed well, instead of dressed exposed.  The most risque outfit might shock a 1950s audience, if that.

Besides the rhythm and melody, there is the song’s empowering lyrics:

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Then there is the dig at the media’s misrepresentation of women, creating a false and unachievable body image:

I see the magazines workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop

Girls cannot be what they cannot see, and there has been a lot of music and music video depicting girls and women solely as sexual beings, looking like Barbie, playing supporting roles to men.  Well, not this one.

The music genre may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but the message is loud and clear:

If you got beauty beauty, just raise ’em up
Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

There is hope yet!   So, watch the video of Meghan Trainor’s ‘All about That Bass’ for yourself 🙂


Between waking and sleeping

Copyright 2010 Florence Thum

Between waking and sleeping

In the space between waking and sleeping
I welcome your embrace
Your breath on my neck
Your hands caresssing

In the space between waking and sleeping
I relish all of you
Sensuous evocative
Searching enveloping

In the space between waking and sleeping
The shared joy of release
The moment of meeting
Engraved in our hearts.

– FlorenceT

A fantasy, an illusion


Yearning, searching
for that elusive understanding;
The unconditional embrace,
the wealth of acceptance
that I have not yet earned.

Caress of a thousand words,
A smile – knowledge of a lifetime;
A fount of desire overflowing,
brimming with intention
that I have not yet encountered.

Gather reverently
In this space – longing
for an illusion, a fantasy
that escapes definition
That I have not yet captured.

– FlorenceT

Haiku Challenge – Turtle, Snail

RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge #2

Word: turtle, snail


Wow, this is a tough one, especially when I don’t have a particular affinity to these creatures… here’s the attempts anyway.

Like turtle majestic

Gliding steady assured proud

The snail is thus.


Or, as I imagine them not alive…  Hope I don’t offend.

Turtle soup scrumptious

Filling the hunger within

So the snail confit.


It’s done!


10 things I want to know… about men

Ronovan posed some interesting insights and questions (?) about women, some of which I have no response – though I did pick Hugh Jackman over David Beckham and Vince Diesel.  Seriously, who wouldn’t? Don’t answer that!

So being ‘inspired’ by Ronovan’s humorous post, here are my all time questions about men… perplexed me for years and no satisfactory answer as yet 🙂 

Here’s a challenge for you out there!


What is it with chasing white balls around all day? Golf, baseball …etc. Oh, please don’t say ‘we love team work’ cause then you can help me mow the lawn or cook!


What is it with watching other men chasing balls? Oh, let’s not forget the talking, yelling, shouting at the TV while at it!


What is it with long hair on a woman (picture this – said long hair gently blowing in the wind, or draped over… you get what I mean).


What is it about the need to feel competent at all times?  Classic case of not asking for directions – guess men are never lost, always ‘I know we are heading in the general direction’? Or not asking where the dukkah (an Egyptian spice) is shelved, always ‘let’s just walk through each aisle, should be here somewhere!”


What is it about envy of other men in rock bands?  Or worse, the emulation? Is it the guitar toting, or the front man allure,…what is it?


A man in a well-cut suit… how come few men get the ‘well-cut’ or the ‘suit’?  And I am referring to those who could afford to do so but somehow don’t do it… Have they any idea what they’re missing?


Mateship… I get friendships and the close support friends provide.  However, the back-slapping, awkward hugs, non-emotional interaction (unless alcohol is involved).. what’s with that?  This could be a cultural (being an immigrant of South-East Asian origin) as well as a gender issue.  Well, is it?


This just got a little serious… What is it with the refusal to be considered as ‘nice’, or for that matter, an outright acting out against ‘nice’?  I know it’s a 4-letter word – a damn good one in my view – and so sexy done right.  So, reason for the denial?


This is the big one… for me.  What do men do with their emotionality? Where do they channel it?  Men feel, I know they do, but many would be loathed to show it except for perhaps the acceptable trio of anger, humor and lust.


This leads from the previous one.  Do men wish they could express their emotionality?  In the context that we the people will not deride or mock it, that we do not think man is ‘wuss’ for owning and expressing feelings, that we actually respect and admire the courage and strength, that we know it is part of being human. 

Do you, men out there, long for a more accepting world?


Phew, that’s done… I’m sure there are more questions out there (men are such complex creatures! *I can hear the protests already*) but this is the best I can do in the time I’ve got.