Thứ Hai, 5 tháng 9, 2011


Sáng dậy sớm ra đường, nghe lao xao gió mùa về và lao xao lá của mùa cũ. Lao xao là cả hương ẩm mưa đêm nép trong nắng nhạt sớm mai.
Mỉm cười vì ta biết thu lại đang gọi mình rồi đấy.

Cảm giác được uống trà cùng ông ngoại vẫn thế, bình yên đến tĩnh lặng. Chập choạng ùa về trong đáy tách trà là hương quế ấm sực của thu ngày bé, cũng là hương sấu len lén theo heo may đẩy rèm cửa trắng muốt có vết ố ngả màu trà, se sẽ tựa vào tủ sách nhỏ bên cửa sổ.
Hai ông cháu mỗi người một quyển sách, một tách trà, đều lặng yên không nói. Nắng ngọt mùa thu phủ lên mùi giấy và tiếng giở sách nhè nhẹ một ảo ảnh cổ tích.
Tìm một người để cùng nói chuyện, dễ hơn nhiều tìm được người để cùng im lặng.

Lại mỉm cười vì tự dưng muốn dụi đầu vào lòng ông như ngày bé. Rồi thì lại thèm được khoác áo đồng phục già khụ với quàng khăn nhí nhảnh tung tăng lăn xả xuống canteen. À. Thu năm nay còn có thêm thói quen lượn Đinh Lễ một mình chiều thứ bảy nữa.

Mùa thu hoang mang trong nắng mưa bất thường, dễ làm người ta thấy bực mình.
Nhưng ai nỡ giận mùa thu lâu, vì thu khéo biết giữ bước chân người chậm nhịp, lại nhẹ nhàng phủ màu kỉ niệm lên mắt ai.
Vì ta yêu chính bản thân mình khi mùa thu khe khẽ chạm vào hồn ta, khiến tim ta như lỡ mất mấy nhịp. Và ta chợt nhận ra... mình dịu dàng biết bao nhiêu khi mùa thu đến.

Anh có biết Hà Nội đã thu sang?
Chuông lại đổ chênh vênh hàng cây cũ
Tháp Rùa trầm tư hay là nhớ?
Một người đi - có phải một người xa?

Một người đi - có phải một người xa?
Hà Nội nắng cho những ngày không nắng
Câu hỏi rơi vào chiều lẳng lặng
Anh có biết rằng, Hà Nội nhớ Anh không?

Thứ Hai, 15 tháng 8, 2011

Randomly beautiful

A little bit over half past twelve

Bubbly - Colbie Caillat

Book on my knees (fave pose for reading/drinking)

"Something borrowed" - Emily Giffin (a birthday gift)

A bit of lipstick on (a birthday gift also)

Playing with the cat toy (another birthday gift)

Hair plaited

What's missing?

Ah, a hot cup of tea

My random Autumn reading :)

Chủ Nhật, 14 tháng 8, 2011

Autumn Reading

If I have a daughter (as the future holds, who knows?), I would name her “Thanh Thu” – Blue Autumn in Vietnamese.
Yes, because Autumn holds this blueness of the sky, blueness of the lakes around my beloved city, and sometimes, the blueness in souls.

Autumn is when I start to make a habit of wandering around West Lake to feel the softness of the breeze, then turning to Dinh Le to sink deep in an ocean of books. I would get myself a warm drink, enough to go with the season; then stroll down this street to pick a random bookstore. Then pick a random book, turn to a random page and begin my random autumn reading.

Each story lives a different world. Imagine you who just have one life, could breathe a million, billion lives through the eyes of every character; could experience extensive feelings your ordinary somewhat boring life can’t offer; could shed tears for a complete stranger – and you’ll understand why people love books.

Autumn is also a story-lover, a very keen one indeed. She would whisper a hundred thousand tales if you’re willing to listen to her.
You said you’d like one? Fine, set up an appointment with her, and here you go...

You rush to the appointed place to find her there, drifting away on a wooden bench surrounded by autumn plants. This is where Autumn promised to meet you: by a small lake glistening as if it lighted countless sparks under the sunset, and the grass under you feet is hiding tiny fragile dandelions. She chuckles while you apologize for coming late, says that she’s gotten too used to that.

Now you’ve got time to observe the maiden in white smiling before your eyes, you could hardly hide your surprise. Her long, soft, dark hair is catching a gentle breeze as her merry brown eyes mischievously and silently tell you that she knows what you’ve got in mind.
“Is this ordinary girl really the celebrated Autumn?” - You look at her, full of wonder. You have pictured her differently: red lips of autumn falling leaves, wavy shiny hair of autumn water and glossy blue eyes of autumn sky. She’s not at all like that, for she’s the Hanoi Autumn you’ve just met...

She nods her head and politely asks what would be good for you to hear.

You hesitate for a moment, but soon speak with curiosity: “The story ‘bout yourself, please.”. She stares back at you, yet with a calm look; she hands you a cup of tea and raises her sweet voice. And here’s the story for you.

The wind whispers:
“I am Autumn’s soul.”

It hovers above you; then with a beautiful dance, it gently carries the dandelions on its wings. It gives the water a soft touch, and all the waves are bursting into tinkling laughter.
It mumbles a song and Autumn sings along.

The sunshine smiles:
“I am Autumn’s heart.”

It holds your tea cup with both hands, and the tea feels warm and fragrant. It leans on a tiny bud, and a beautiful flower blossoms.
It kisses on Autumn cheek and brings a cherry color to her lips.

The storm doesn’t say anything. It comes suddenly, hiding all sunshine, making the wind scream out loud. It cries days and nights, and one morning the vanishing haze quietly tells you that it’s no where to be found now.
For it is Autumn’s anger and sadness...

Autumn blinks at the light reflected by the water, her fingers tapping tenderly into the air, as if she were playing the melody you hear from far away. She feels almost serene and aloof. After the storm, Autumn is still Autumn, so calm and soothing with her blue, blue sky.
Because she knows weepy tears and sweetness from Spring, craziness and passion from Summer; because she knows what awaits are Winter’s harshness and chill – that’s why she wants you to be heart-warming for a while.

And she remains silent just like that, not even looking at you or whispering a single word. All dreamy and distant.

Suddenly she reaches out and adds a spoonful of sugar to your tea. A mysterious, yet amiable, sweet smile blooms on her face. Before you know, she has already taken her first steps to leave.

Autumn never has much time to stay anyway.

But you know? She’s happy that she’s made you smile with her story... even only for a short while.

That’s how Autumn is.

So if you come back next year, please smile with her again. You know, she may hold your hand and whisper to you a brand new story... if only you come back.

Thứ Bảy, 18 tháng 9, 2010

My childhood

... was Mother, maternal Grandparents and cousin Xoai.

Mother would leave me at Grandpa's care for 6 days a week, under the tiny root of a tiny hamlet in 12 Thuy Khue st., until she picked me up in Saturday to enjoy my weekends with papa, mama and my little sister.

Grandpa and Grandma would have me eat at least 2 bows of rice each meal, and prepare a cup of hot milk for me when I returned from school, and walk to school with me each day, and scold me when I was stubborn and senseless, and hold me and pacify me when I cried, and encourage me warmly to study harder, and let me sleep between them, so warm and comforting. Grandma would make delicious sweetened porridge while Grandpa, Xoai and me discussed about matters of sciences and the mysterious world. Grandpa was never tired out of our childish and curious wonders: he was like a know-it-all, a real philosopher, a philanthropist, a Saint of Knowledge and Goodness in our heart. And he still is.

Xoai would yell at me following after him in his secret scientific experiments. He mumbled to himself a lot, and though grumbling, he still answered all of my foolish questions, though sometimes it was just "You'll know when you grow up" (this did not satisfy me in the least, but I understood that I was bugging him, so I just observe him quietly, curiously and eagerly with no more question)

Time went by, went by, as quietly and mysteriously as the curious little girl and the discerning little boy a.k.a the future Harvarder grew up in the arms of their haven't-yet-grown-old Grandparents...

... was the nights when I wept at the sound of Mama and Papa quarrels.
When he opened the door with such an angry and scary sound, the little me was awoken.
He raised his voice and asked mama for a discussion with a curt request.
And mama would say: "Let the children sleep"
And they leave, I would certainly quietly cry my heart out with emptiness filled my soul, until a day I learned to wipe away my tears and tried to drown myself in the realm of dreams, where papa was kind, strong and humorous, where mama was caring, gentle and mischievous.

... was the days...
When I was a strange little girl, understanding some truths of the world yet could not perceive things children should, like how to gain love from teachers, how to get high marks, how to appear cute and beautiful.
When I quietly watched the sky and teach myself about dreams and freedom.
When my soul didn't differ even the slightest to mine now.

... was gone...

Thứ Hai, 2 tháng 8, 2010

For Hanoi

My city. The city that had wide opened its arms to greet me coming to the world, gave me my childhood, the city that has made me grow up as a Hanoi girl.
For eternity, Hanoi in me can only be the city “in river”, the noble and simple, proud and bright city of Flying Dragon.

Hanoi may be busy, chaotic and frowzy for now. Yet I have never seen an unattractive Hanoi.
I see the pure and gentle sunshine sparkles in the smoke from the vehicles of the busy and crowded streets of the city.
I see the old streets together with the old houses calmly face with the ludicrous new buildings threatening to ruin the ancient atmosphere of Thang Long.
I see the beautiful inside the ugly of Hanoi. Is it because I’m so in love with Hanoi, so that I can only see a dreamily beautiful and glamorous Hanoi?

I like the warm, gentle and fresh morning of Hanoi, when the sunshine is so soft and sweet, and the breeze is just so light that it can only gently blows my hair.
I like the sunny summer noon and afternoon, when I slowly ride my bike through the cool small back streets, away from the exhausting heat outside.
I love the night of Hanoi.
With the sweet and deep fragrance of the milk wood pine flowers.
With the white dracontomelum flowers that twinkle under the moonlight.
With the wind carrying the whisper of the Red River into the quiet nights of Hanoi.

I ride in the streets, let my soul soaring in the deep blue sky of Hanoi, feel my heart just as light and fluffy as the white cloud flying freely and watching over the city from above.

The city has a high school, where the trees abandon their leaves as May comes. I always think that it is a miniature of Hanoi. The essence of the city can be found in the West Lake wind, flies somewhere in the school yard, in each of the walls, the classes and in each of the leaves.

I may well be a tiny dust, wandering with the breeze of the city. Someday, I will take my time to fly high… Yet, Hanoi will always be the same old Hanoi, the ordinary and simple, humble and cordial city of mine.

And, no matter how many changes it may undergo, I will always belong here, as Hanoi will always and can only be Hanoi, forever and on…