My Right Brain

“I’m a left-brained girl,” is a phrase I have said often, particularly in reference to poetry. You know, being an engineer and all, I just don’t get poetry. You feed me a poem, and I would have no idea what it’s talking about.

But I think there may be some changes to my right side of the brain recently, because not only poetry, I just have increased appreciation for the arts in general.

Take paintings, for example. When someone likes a painting, I used to ask, “What do you like about it?” The person would say, “I don’t know, I just do. It’s art.” I would then think, silently or out loud, “How can you like something and not know how to explain why?”

Now I know what it feels like to experience a painting without the need to explain or interpret it. I talked about my amazing experience at Musée d’Orsay in Paris in a previous blog post, and I totally resonate with Bonhoeffer’s quote that I put in there.

Then, another surprise was when I read the poem Bright Star by John Keats the other day. Why the surprise?

The first time I came across this poem some three or four years ago, I totally didn’t get what the poem meant. I could only digest the first line, and after that, I was completely lost. The poem and I were going at different wavelengths; it just didn’t register.

But for some reason, I was drawn to it again a few days ago, and… I thought it was the most beautiful and powerful poem I’ve ever read. Absolutely magnificent. Here’s the poem for you.

Bright Star

by John Keats


Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—

Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night

And watching, with eternal lids apart,

Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,

The moving waters at their priestlike task

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—

No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,

Pillow’d upon my fail love’s ripening breast,

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,

And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

I don’t know what it is, but something’s happening to my right brain. I think.

Second Chances

Second Chances

Have you ever

Messed up badly

And you know it’s entirely your fault


Then you ask for a second chance

Not because you deserve it

But because your Master is kind


He gives it to you

And things are as though the mistake never happened

You know that you are under grace


I’m thankful there are such things called second chances

Glassy Water

Glassy Water

This storm is ridiculous. How are we ever going to get to the other side? We move an inch forward and five backward. Water keeps coming in, and the twelve pair of hands’ effort to throw it out is simply futile. Is nature making a joke out of our misery? I am so sick and tired of this!

Where is Jesus anyway? I don’t understand why He didn’t come with us. Why did He tell us to go? And I don’t understand why He told the crowd to leave as well. We were about to take over the world! We had such a great time on the mountain. Five thousand plus men were there, and that’s not counting the women and children. How did that turn into this? Why can’t the good times last?

It is now the fourth watch of the night. We’re exhausted. I’m tired of fighting. I just want to curl up and die…

What is that in the shadow? It has the shape of a man, but what kind of man walks on turbulent water?

“It’s a ghost,” someone gasps with wide eyes.

The sounds of our heartbeats seem to take over the sounds of the winds. Someone’s hands are trembling so hard he drops the oar into the water.

“Don’t be afraid. It’s me,” says the man in the shadow. It sounds awfully like Jesus.

This wouldn’t be the first time He surprises me. He has a mysterious way of coming out of left field. I just can’t predict what He’s going to do next.

Well, if it is really Jesus, I can do a little test right?

“Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to You on the water.”

Did I really just say that?


Okay, I don’t really expect that response, but I kind of do too. Something in His voice just sounds so sure, it makes the water seems like a glassy floor.

I know that He has come through for me in the past. Even though I feel a little disappointed with Him recently, it always seems like He has another plan in mind that turns out better than expected.

I think I can take my chances.

Eyes forward. I’m stepping out.