Author: Pao Alfonso

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
Category:
Publisher:
Published: October 3, 2017
Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend tackle the very common issue of boundaries and how healthy and unhealthy boundaries can affect every area of your life for good or bad.

I don't really like reading self-help books, but I tried this book out because it's on a subject matter that I want to understand better. Boundaries is a book that will help you understand what boundaries are and recognize if your boundaries are injured or unhealthy. This book offers a Biblical perspective on boundaries, and confronts the many spiritual-sounding misconceptions about boundaries especially among Christians.

There are important questions here such as whether God intended us to have healthy boundaries, how can you keep your boundaries intact while still being a loving person, how to deal with people who do not respect your boundaries, among others. It talks about boundaries at work, in a marriage, with kids, with friends, etc. I appreciate that the book tackled ways to identified injured boundaries in different settings, and offered practical ways on how to address these issues. It's not going to be easy, they didn't offer quick fixes, but the suggestions are Bible-based and practical. Doable, if you're willing to take ownership of the issue.

I wish I read this book earlier in life. It did, however, bring to my attention how our parents did their best to teach us how to establish healthy boundaries. Many of the lessons mentioned in the book, I recognized from my memory of my parents. Biblical principles are timeless, after all. Overall, this is a very helpful and insightful book.

Colorverse Limited Edition Voyager 1 Set

I joined Everything Calligraphy‘s Colorverse preorder a few weeks ago and I got the package today. I was really tempted to get Schrodinger & Cat set because…cat. But I thought I liked the colors of this set better. This one’s the limited edition Voyager 1 box set, which was made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager I space probe. Only 1977 sets were made, to remember the date of the launch which was September 5, 1977.

It’s my first time to use any ink from the Colorverse brand. I found the packaging very cute. It came in a colorful box that had little illustrations of the Voyager 1 probe.

It came with some literature about the ink, cute little Voyager-themed stickers, and a gift card. It’s a really nice way to package a limited edition set, I appreciate all the information about both the probe and the inks.

The ink bottles are so cute. I didn’t expect them to be so small, at 15ml per bottle, but I appreciate that Everything Calligraphy priced the set competitively.

Look at that, so cute. ^_^

Aww, cutie. You gotta love how everything about this ink set is well put-together. I have to say, though, that with such a cute bottle comes a very small bottle opening…

You’d probably need to decant this in a bottle with a bigger opening, or just use a thinner pen. You can also use a syringe to fill your pen if that’s applicable.

I am eager to try out these inks and I will write my reviews very soon. I already filled one pen with my first ink, Pale Blue Dot. So far, so good!

I’m not sure when the Colorverse line will be available on the Everything Calligraphy page since this is part of a preorder, but I’m hoping they will put up the other colors for sale soon because I want to try the other colors too. Maybe I’ll get the Schrodinger & Cat next. ^_^ Meow.

El Roi, The God Who Sees Me

I’m reading this book about the different names of God in the Bible. Today I learned about God’s name El Roi. I learned that it was only used once, by Hagar who had just fled from the mistreatment of her mistress, Sarai. As a servant, she must be so used to being invisible, virtually unseen and unimportant to the people around her. She called God “El Roi”, the God who sees who she is, who sees the circumstances of her life.

 

Marcel’s Letters

Marcel's Letters
Category:
Genres: ,
Published: June 6, 2017
While in search for an inspiration for her personal project of designing her own font, graphic designer Carolyn Porter stumbled across some letters from 1943-1944, written in French, by someone named Marcel. She couldn't understand the words but she fell in love with his handwriting. Years later, she had the letters translated and was suddenly wrapped up in Marcel's remarkable story.

Before I even read the summary of this book, the title and the font used on it, particularly the letter M, caught my attention. I love handwriting-style fonts, and this font is quite gorgeous. I delved into the book expecting to read about Marcel's letters (as in his written correspondences), but I was pleasantly surprised that the book is also about his letters (as in the letters he formed with his hands, his penmanship).

Carolyn Porter wrote about how she found the letters in a flea market, and even without being able to understand a word on it because it was written in French, she bought it because she found the penmanship beautiful. This penmanship would be the basis for her personal project, a handwriting-style font. I can appreciate this fascination, and I love how the author included a lot of technical details about font design without being overly technical about it. Somehow she managed to describe the long and arduous process of making a font without alienating readers like me, who don't really understand the technicalities. I enjoyed and appreciated how she shared her creative process. It was a lot of work, to be sure, but she didn't sound overly whiny or defeatist about it. I came away with a better understanding of how a personal passion project can really take years to complete. It's bittersweet, and if you're not careful, it can eat up a lot of your time and focus. The details of her passion project were interspersed with the story of Marcel, the man who wrote the letters that became the inspiration for her font.

Marcel's letters were dated between 1943 to 1944, and they had stamps that had Hitler's face on them. They were written during World War II and looked like they were sent from Germany. What was a Frenchman doing in Germany in 1943-44? Several years after working on her passion project, Porter decided to have the letters translated. Pretty soon, she found herself immersed in yet another project...that of unraveling the story of Marcel. She detailed all her efforts to trace Marcel's whereabouts in order to answer that nagging question--was Marcel able to make it home after the war?

This pursuit was itself filled with a lot of challenges and also took time and resources to work on. At times it was already beginning to sound like an obsession. After all, what did it matter if Marcel was able to go home or not, right? But it mattered to Carolyn Porter, and while reading the book and soaking in her thoughts, it began to matter to me too.

I really loved how she uncovered the historical context of Marcel's time in Germany. I can relate to how she felt. We know of the Holocaust, we know of World War II, Nazi Germany, Hitler, all the millions of people who suffered and died during those years, but we really actually don't know much to truly care. We don't have enough of a connection to it to let it inform the way that we live our lives today. The more you uncover the details and the more you are able to somehow put names and faces at a certain point in time during this dark corridor in history, the more it becomes vivid in your mind. It's like the dawning of understanding, when history stops being a vague collection of dates and events and personalities that we should know but we really don't grasp, and begins to be clearer and weightier.

Porter's journey of discovery was fascinating and engrossing. The details of her love for calligraphy, for type, and the birth of her first font was also fascinating. It resonated with me, and I feel like somehow we're kindred spirits, poring over and admiring written words on paper.

I was afraid at first that it would be a book about a handful of letters stretched and padded into a rambling account to force it into a book, but I loved how the author shared Marcel with the readers. She handled Marcel's story thoughtfully and respectfully. This is a very pleasant, memorable book. I enjoyed it from start to end.

30 Inks in 30 Days: (Day 2) Akkerman Hopjesbruin

Day 2’s ink for #30inks30days is Akkerman Hopjesbruin. It’s one of my favorite inks because it reminds me of the color of yummy caramel syrup. I use it only with my Kaweco Cognac, not just because the color suits perfectly, but because the ink flows best in this pen. I have never filled this pen with any other ink, I think they’re MFEO. ^_^ Here’s a review of the ink if you’re interested in reading more about it.

“I think love is caramel. Sweet and fragant; always welcome. It is the gentle golden colour of a setting harvest sun; the warmth of a squeezed embrace; the easy melting of two souls into one and a taste that lingers even when everything else has melted away. Once tasted it is never forgotten.” – Jenny Colgan