Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Would-Be Lawyer

prior to graduating in highschool, i remember taking a battery of exams to measure english proficiency, reading comprehension, abstract reasoning et al. we were supposed to indicate our preferred professions, the ones we are preparing for in the future, perhaps to better strategically show whether your are fit to be what you want to become, in this future. in one, i indicated LAW --- must be the one which ends with SAT or sounds like it. at 16, i could not think of anywhere else to go. for a student who likes history, social studies, is a little good in english, and a little into writing. for the record, i wanted to take political science in college until it was watered down by an insult from my father ('you'll just end up a teacher...), whose words then, were always written in stone.

today, after having lunch at dara and luky's place and arriving at around 430pm, there's no time to do transcripts anymore. the momentum is no longer there. what with yaman coming around in skype anytime soon by 5pm. so i went to reading this compilation by fr. joaquin bernas s.j. 'the intent of the 1986 constitutional writers', borrowed by my school from as far as the university of hawaii for an intent scholar wanting to know the deliberations and decisions behind urban land reform provisions in the 1986 philippine constitution.

from the debates, one can see how the law is actually an embodiment of personhood (exerting one's rights and aspirations as an individual with an innate culture) and civichood (I as part of a larger social group), and how it arises organically from the women and men representing not just cultures, but also their demographics, their religions, sector and political affiliations, their belief systems. it lays out the basics, in the general sense to allow for the law's flexibility but to also lay down the minimum conditions under which a people could build on. thus, the constitution is a living document, the bible of the land, which just cannot die but will only continue to evolve. and i hark back to my highschool days. what if i had the courage to challenge my dad to take political science instead? what if i had taken up law and made good on the secret desire of a shy colegiala? would i end up loving the law to my boon, or to my bane? i look at this document and perhaps, i'd say, i would have loved the law either way. the future is not my call right now. but yes, i love the law.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Minding my Methods

i am facing a methodological issue in my phd. that which pits development impact with development effectiveness. originally, i wanted to do the former. i could understand 'development' in the context of goals, objectives, inputs, outputs, outcomes, then impact. in impact assessment though, i mean in 'standard' impact assessment, it is important to establish a counterfactual, the without-project condition which stands as the representation of what would X have been without Y. as we all know, my X in this project is the urban poor and my Y is the Kaantabay program. on the ground, Kaantabay was participated by at least 36 organizations, at different points in time (anytime from 1989 to 2009), at different starting points (e.g., some already organized, some totally unprepared), and at different rates of progress (some waiting for 1 year for the land to be negotiated, some waiting for 5 years). the worse is, none of the 36 had similarities. thus, i could not find a common starting point. which brings me to the difficulty of establishing a counterfactual. with the size of naga and the movement of the urban poor across all of its 21 barangays, including the presence of a Kaantabay-assisted urban poor organization in each barangay, it is hard to find any urban poor organization, or site which has not been influenced, one way or another by the program. i could not find similarities between the participating organizations/sites.  it is hard to establish a counterfactual.

but taking my mind off these 'standard' standards in evaluating, still i am faced with the reality that indeed, something changed in the urban poor orgs/ sites and even communities participating in Kaantabay, and this something that changed matters and it bears reporting to the world, if i may sound ambitious. but i would not be able to capture it following the 'standards' of standards. i had to go outside the methodological space available and instead concentrate on what is really the essential thing about my study: that something that changed in over 20 years that Kaantabay existed.

so i went about capturing the something.  i did the rounds of at least 10 organizations from february to july. and there i picked all the expected and peculiar orgs: the onsites, the offsites, the oldest, the newest hybrids, those displaying gentrification, those indirectly assisted, and those with a lot of illegal occupants. in the sense, i was getting a fuller picture with this technique unlike if i concentrated only on orgs/ sites with the same start years (that is, to pick out a single starting position if i were to study based on 'standard' impact evaluation approaches) which for example, could all turn out to be onsites and with a majority of legal occupants. with the latter, i may have adopted the standard methods of impact evaluation, but i would be grasping at thin straws, the picture incomplete; indeed, very lean. do you get what i mean?

what i do not have now is a methodology to which my methodology could latch on.

thus i decided to adopt 'development effectiveness', as influenced by my supervisor who's doing work on aid effectiveness. development effectiveness stems from the conscious efforts of donors and their development agencies to generate 'results', which briefly put, to make sure that aid is being used well and is well accounted for. in our generation, this 'wellness', the effectiveness of this aid is particularly assessed to the progress in which assisted countries meet up with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which cover such aspects as health, education, access to water supply and even the reduction of the numbers of urban poor.

with such background on aid effectiveness, i am made to understand that i have to extrapolate my own description of development effectiveness, as it applies on Kaantabay. right now, i am still grappling with this definition, my own translation, which by methodological standards should hold the scrutiny of experts in the fields of impact assessment. ugh...the very audience whom, i believe, may not be swayed on my side because of the uniqueness the methods i adopted. so the pestering question if i adopt development effectiveness is, under what parameters would the 'effectiveness' of Kaantabay be defined? and how different would this 'effectiveness' be from the study of its 'development impact'? sooner or later, i would have to confront the question, 'what is so special about development effectiveness that you chose it over development impact?'. and of course, the breaking question would be, 'are the two any different?'.

mine is a grounded form of research. my methodology adopting to the uniqueness of the program i'm studying, the uniqueness of the organizations and the uniqueness of naga city. yet now, my methodological bearings are still under fire. i have no diverse methodological base except for Robert Yin's case study method and the qualitative methods i have applied so far --- focused interviews, triangulation, and analysis of secondary data.

my roots are few but i still believe, in my heart and my intellectual conscience (Nietzsche), that my methods are right.

perhaps instead of warring over 'development impact' and 'development effectiveness, maybe i should just swim in them. do a dead man's float and later find my weight, my buoyancy, my confidence to later swim and find my bearings in the sea of methodologies. 

is 'what shall i do?' the question or should it be 'what more can i do?' to go on the process of creating, innovating, and cultivating my hold, finally, to the methods i seek.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sa Iyo Lamang

angkinin man ng oras
sayo pa rin susuko
itago man ng panahon

sayo hindi kukubli
lumakbay man ng malayo
sayo lalaon tutungo
ang magkaugnay
magkalapat
magsasanga't uugat
sa lupa ng pag-ibig natin

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Valenzuela Genealogy

my friend here in perth, ate babot, has asked my help to build and relate her genealogy, the tiongsons of bulacan but only from the line of sulpicio, one of three brothers arising from their great-to-the-7th-power grandfather by the name of tomas tiongson.

i wonder as i see her verve, whether i could do the same. trace the genealogy of my family, the valenzuelas and give solace to the present, and consolation to history.

all i know from my line is this: our great-no idea-what-nth power grandfather is a katipunero from batanes, whose bolo used for the katipunan, is a family emblem.

i feel responsible since in my father's line, i am the eldest of 18 cousins. i should lead the way to knowing. 

from my lolo, ciano, daddy's father, i know only my fraternal great grandmother, lola anday, who was a deaf-mute. from my lola's side, abeng, i could trace no further up. i remember nay tonying in loob (gainza). the many old women who would come by the house when i came to visit when i was 10. i know of aunts and cousins there with mental disorders, one even refusing to leave her room to the point that she has to be served food and water for bathing up to now. i know of beautiful parang-si-hilda-koronel-sa-ganda aunts who had the misfortune of marrying early and losing their beauty as early as 20.  prominent men are few in my dad's line because few had come to escape the remote roadless area that is gainza, where children would only know a jeepney by 2000.

lolo ciano is half chinese, by his features alone. i could surmise my great grandfather was the chinese since great grandmother anday (lola anday) had filipina features, about my height. perhaps she had spanish blood because two brothers, had mestizo features: tall noses and piercing pale eyes. lolo ayong would come to live with us when i was 12 until 18 when he died. lolo ayong's right leg was a stump; the portion below the knee cut off because of gangrene. but crippled as he is, lolo ayong could climb a coconut tree to perch containers for collecting coco sap (later turning into vinegar), and could slay snakes found in our backyard.  after him and my other lolo, the older one, whose name now escapes me, i know no one else. no one to connect to the katipunero in batanes, to reclaim him from the ever distant past.

perhaps i should begin in batanes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Little Things (A Pseudo-Haiku)

these i like
finding my mug
with leftover coffee
cold but good enough to drink

comfy warm shoes
enough to walk steady
under wind-blown hard rain

a safety pin
sharp enough to hold tight
open spaces peeping up

spare steno pads
unringed to keep moving
the hand and thoughts bursting forth

all little things
special meanings revealed
need and delight uniting

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wala Lang

paano ba gumawa ng tula?
magdila ng bulaklakin
at malalim?
kailangan bang maghugis
makata'ng diwa at isip?
kailangan bang arukin
ang malalim na hinagpis
ang balon ng kawalan
o lumabas sa sarili?
saan hahanapin inspirasyon
sa paglaya ng pananaw
o pagsukol sa damdamin
marahil
ang tula ay nangingisi lang
marahil
ang saysay ay
nasa laya at kusa
nasa istilong iba sa karaniwan
nag aabang ng hudyat
kampay sa salita
nagsisimula sa tanong
pano nga ba talaga
ginagawa ang tula?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ritz

if not ambition
then just insanity
crossing over a divide
meaning, another life
perhaps the questioning
should stop
and i'll figure myself out
the answer lying out there
surfacing sooner or later

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Time for Tears

a friend of mine just had her heart broken. i am a veteran of failed relationships but still being in the third person, being a spectator to someone else's grieving has not made me immune to it  --- loss, regret, guilt. sometimes, we wonder there is still strength, enough to make us walk, talk, be normal to the outside world. for inside, we are dead. saying, 'i understand how you feel' is meaningless. for heartbreak and heartaches, like fingerprints, are as distinct to the person and her experience. we console,  we advise but we reach our goals only halfway. because outcomes will never be in our control. just as her experience, i could never claim enough to unravel what is the best way out of this dread.  so like the dead, we attend the wake and let the grieving weep. for this time, tears show the path to wisdom.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Angel

the crudest way to die
is to stop forgiving
the shortest distance
to unbelieving is a stop
the cruelest punishment
is steeling your heart
the fakest show of strength
is ignoring doubts
the surest route to regret
is burying yesterday

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Goodbye Soon

a girl came over to inspect my room here in loris. 3 months here, 4 months of fieldwork in naga, and 3 more months, i will be moving on, again. strange, i have not quite taken root here. but i felt sad, and a little jealous that someone would be taking over, my room. she's nice, very sweet and confident but somehow, i felt this possessiveness. as if my claim is permanent, lasting. perhaps it's not the room but the space. the space that knew me for the past 3 months and more. where i lock in without guilt, where i have cried over a returning love, and where movement has been unbridled. this space, totally mine. another's claim to my space, i take no comfort for now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Problem with Time

time running fast
against a slow mind
time impatient
against fragile hands
time diminishing
against a struggling heart

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Sunday, and Monday on a Wednesday

it's like, i was ruled by the day. i was planning to still work while here in loris. until, time rolled on in the kitchen and stood still. the most of the morning until 2pm, i was cooking. first, corned beef guisado for breakfast which to my surprise, tasted good with white onions and tomatoes without the seeds. tasted less soggy, and sweet. then, pork broccoli, which to my surprise again, was made tastier by the combination of sesame oil, rice wine, oyster sauce, corn starch and beef stock. the chicken caldereta came after, still soupy but made delicious (to my taste), by tomato sauce and liver spread. i was hoping to cook some pasta but hesitated. no more storage space, in this tiny little ref here in loris. at my room around 2pm, got hooked watching 'when harry met sally' over youtube. oh, this is us, me and my Shadowman. we share the stories of forever of these old wrinkled women and men. battling it out through nth years of marriage, togetherness. i can't help crying. in an hour, i would book an appointment with DFA and collect dried clothes outside. then prepared the chunk of food i'll bring to arc tomorrow: the milk, kiwis, banana, peanut better, white fab bread, and later cooked rice.  and that's it. didn't get to read. didn't do any transcript. as i've promised myself, and ShadowMan. now i'm even blogging. but somehow, i'm content.  one is entitled to this once in a while. prepared my psyche by just doing nothing phd-related. cooked two dishes for the week ahead.  another week that starts on a wednesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Do You Love Me?

seven months into the relationship, i was asked the bombshell question. a question that has never been asked in the past, and so whose answer left me stunned, thinking. indeed...

wifey, how do you love me?

i love you with a love 
that will not seek
for what is not there
a love that will not demand
what cannot be given
a love that will not force
a response undeserved

i love you with a love
that will wait without tiring
a love that will
believe without failing
a love that will
endure without breaking

and if you find, one day
you no longer love me
that it has become an effort
just to be with me
it does not matter
because i love you
with a love that need no more asking
how much do you love me?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

May IQ Restaurant

for my sister yumi, people who don't know how to cook don't have IQ, as in intelligence quotient. so it was really a slap on my intellect, so to speak, that i, am no child wonder in the kitchen. when i was a teenager, my father challenged me to cook and left a slab of frozen pork in the kitchen for me to cook. he and my siblings were off to church then. when they returned, the pork was still pork, and still a slab. so amid two masters in the kitchen, i never dared to cook in naga. masakit nang ma-kanti anf IQ level.

now that i'm learning to cook, i still don't have any confidence. so last week, when i brought some adobo for lunch, i dared not share it with elaine. i reasoned, the vinegar i got from coles was no good, hindi maasim. it was like saying, please stay away from my food because it's so embarrassing. this week, however, the food i have just could not escape elaine. first it was the sweet and sour chicken. then the tinola. remember, elaine knows her food since her mother is an extraordinary cook while a sister is a wonder at baking. hay, mapapasubok na ako. the researcher in me did not offer the food without giving elaine any context. that's why i have to tell her the IQ story, yumi's belief (berating) that people don't know how to cook because they have zero IQ.

so there. elaine's verdict was, 'may IQ ka naman, vitti!'.

remember this story. because if i could open a cooking blog, who would say that i won't open my own resto,  soon, or kahit pa later? and it will carry this name, MAY IQ RESTAURANT, which means, may karapatan akong tawagin na cook.

so what will be in the menu? i'm still thinking (letting my IQ  work). what i have for now are the headings that will bear the level of difficulty and complicatedness to which one's IQ would be tested:

MORONIC (as in no IQ needed to prepare like hot water, boiled egg)
KARANIWAN (as in simpleng process lang like menudo, sige na nga adobo and stews --- I am at this level I think)
ABOVE AVERAGE (as in Yumi's Kare-Kare)
GENIUS (wala akong maisip o di lang maabot ng IQ ko now, siguro Yumi's Chicken Sitti)
SAVANT (?...)

yun lang. watch out for my opening!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yaman's Heart

yaman told me to wait. so i did. it was quite long, more than 30 minutes. so long that i was able to repost our wanted ad for a roommate. so long that i was able to surf jobs over gumtree. so long i was able to go to facebook. then when i complained, she came up to me and matter-of-fact said, 'ma, sabi ko diba wait?'. oo nga naman, i agreed to wait. so i have no choice but to wait. no matter how long it takes. then suddenly she cried, 'close your eyes mommy'. which took about a minute. shall i open my eyes now? and from the little hands of our sweet baby, i behold this masterpiece...

 Yaman is now writing words to sentences. So here she says, 'gift to you'. And as her wont, she loves sending me hearts, and here a big big heart for Mommy...

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Lesson

these days
a paragraph is mediocre
three a breakthrough
and five a victory
a hundred words
makes a good day
slumping on the bed
the reward
an everyday effort
the least to quell worry
a simple lesson taken
from the wise and returning

Thursday, July 15, 2010

About a Day

this is a day mapped out with things to do, ending up with doing things not in the agenda
this is a day marked with a 6am alarm, leading to no alarm instead, waking up at 630am and deciding to just sleep, anyway
this is a day started with an apology about yesterday's affairs, patience being tested by impatience
this is a day hoping to talk with a little girl, then losing 50 minutes of calltime over 2-minute shouting falling on deaf ears
this is a day of a 4-paragraph transcript, a one-article xerox, a deliberate hand wanting to write, told to map out diagrams instead
this is a day when a short walk to cockburn central meant a walk over 4 blocks, one intersection, and we haven't reached the mall yet
this is a day when blogging is the only release for an unpredictable, emotionally charged day

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love and Consequences

if any rift, fault, limitation is a cause of break-up then there is no cause to call a relationship, a relationship. there is no treading on heavy seas and storm but only one joy ride that ends in a smash.

sometimes lovers should be reminded that a love relationship exists like any other non-romantic relationship: daughter-mother, brother-sister, student-mentor, farmer-carabao atbp. relationships to be sustained need time: time for the blossoming of faith and trust; time for forgiveness to bear fruit and take root; time for one's personality to surface and prevail over one's fears and insecurities; time to uncover and succumb to an inescapable truth --- that our decisions and very existence has consequences for others.

this week, i have come to witness the passing of a promising relationship. i am not sure whether the passing is part of a transition or in its final throes. but the sadness is deep and it leaves a hole in my heart filled with alternating feelings --- disbelief, pity, hopelessness, rue, and now, anger. thus, it leaves me far stronger now in my belief that indeed, the test of true love is not on the whimsy, early stages of a relationship when one is in cloud 9 and drunk with anticipation.

love becomes love in the face of the ugly, the unbearable, the sickening part of us and the person we claim to love. if your answer to any ugly, unbearable and sickening is to turn away and run; then one is unprepared to accept love in its full form. it is the selfish heart that speaks, one that resists maturity, too coward to own up to consequences.

the last thing that one needs to get going and finish a phd is a heartache. but God has his ways, of finding the perfect time to unmask what to you, is real or not.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eating a Chocolate Muffin

i just have to savor the first bite...uhmmmmmm...the little dark choco chips crunchy still and now melting inside my mouth....uhmmmmmmm...waited for this since after lunch at 1231pm. i'm craving for Aroma Cafe's choco muffins, a far second from Miss Maud's at garden city but still enough to make my mouth water.

This is the can't-wait-pinch-and-bite effect...

i'm about to have my period soon (or maybe i'm pregnant?) but my craving for choco muffins started only today. after a lunch of leftover adobo and spanish sardines left my tongue a bit hanging out there and lonely for sweets. but rather than have the muffin right away, it's just a 2 minute stroll from my room to the cafe, i detoured to the Murdoch University's Health and Counseling Centre to get flu vax. it won't be a minute. it's just a flu shot, wham zit finished! that wham zit affair lasted for more than an hour; the woeful me sitting on a hard blue chair, contending with jennifer aniston  in a very old edition of marie claire. the poor ex-mrs brad pitt who's being all questions except the most obvious one: 'you still love him, don't you?'. after the shot, i was told to wait for 15 minutes more (to check for allergies). i had to mimic 'waiting' for the next 3 minutes after leaving nurse jean's office then just walked off inconspicuously through the glass doors, took a right to the refectory and straight to Aroma.

and now i'm here. with the last morsel of the muffin as i finish this blog. with tiny choco chips pasted still on the bed of the muffin wrapper for me to pick and chew on later. uhmmmmmmmm...sarap...a sip of coffee here and there and i'm off writing...

 Who would think a chocolate muffin lived here? See the left-over choco chips?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love on Hard Times

love becomes love
when you have reason
to leave, but won't

P. S. Bako po kami ang may problema...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Writing and a New Mountain

i haven't really explored writing from a writer's perspective, writing as life, writing as anguish, writing as  historical inspiration, writing as personal tension, writing as frustration, writing as work until this blog was set up in 2007. for more than three years now, i have been exploring myriad skeins of writing, with the elemental purpose of writing about it as it is felt, perceived, and heart-breakingly dealt with in the very moment of blogging.

i have been asked more than once why this blog has turned private. for privacy purposes clearly because in exposing my life, i am also exposing the life of others more important than mine. i have been told this blog requires readership but more for its boldness than perhaps the quality of writing in it. to write from hell and about hell is not as easy task and as i've written once before that if writing is writing on top of a mountain, then as much as we could enjoy the view of the universe below us so should we be wary of the elements testing our position, testing our strength by blowing us off the mountain, from above.

i have never been more affirmed with this blog becoming a vehicle for connecting writing with my consciousness until i actually came across this school curriculum in the California Institute of Integral Studies about Writing and Consciousness.  as if i found a Natalie Goldberg-style institution, where the formalized process of writing embraces the 'informality' of writing from a position of self-awareness, of meaning-making, of spiritual connection.

that such a school like this exists affirms what i have been blogging all along, although from personal experience, that writing is not just an imagined experience but a lived one. therefore, art is the totality of expression and experience. and with this blog, i explore a form of writing popular now and contemplated here as a form of expression and experience in the now, since this very blog opened, and right until this very entry. a contemporary renegade vacillating between the mainstream and the margins. if i ever get to california, i know what mountain i'll be climbing.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Daughter from Afar

for a relationship separated by miles, the internet is the instrument for sustaining mother-daughter relationships. today, over skype, i watch as yaman plays run-and-catch with her lola, and orders me to cross my legs; makes faces while holding her nose and sends me party emoticons showing how excited she is already of her october birthday. by the time i return to naga, she would have known already how to type, and goof off in the internet. with increasing internet access, i bet other migrant mothers and fathers resort to the same. and sans the touch and the human feel of that little tsikiting on the screen. whatever means available is enough, sometimes more than. mababaw na kaligayahan. makita lang ang anak na masaya,  masaya na rin. pero pag umiiyak na ang anak, how totally helpless. the worlds traveled by a lonesome mom.

 Ordering me to cross my legs.
 
Cutie (L) and Goofy (R) for a snapshot.

Pinaiyak ni Tita. No choice si Mommy but to just look and wish myself elsewhere but here in Perth.

Tapos na paghihinagpis...

OK na uli. Playing spelling na with Mommy

Friday, July 9, 2010

Writing is War

i'm having a hard time starting. but nevertheless, i'm writing starting 148pm. i couldn't get past the 10th paragraph (the output since monday) so i said, what the heck! i wrote whatever's on my mind. with no regard as to the weight of it in meaning. writing is war every time. because you war with yourself, that nasty editor, that agent of failure, that agent of fear. so what the heck! use writing as a weapon! strike through! if it slaps you on one side, slap it on the other. or attack it head on. don't give it time to talk back or even open its mouth. and when you're through with the paragraph, gloat like this --- blog.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dark Eve

i was out whaling
gone frying manta rays
back to stealing sealskins
thawing the last ice in the arctic
the sun will burn the desert
oil drips for the last time
one lake slaking thirst
i've gone headfirst

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

'Seeing' and Writing

i think i'm beginning to 'see', as in 'see' the interactions and intersections of the urban land tenure program in naga city and its ramifications to the study on urban poverty and politics. i did nothing inspirational. i just did what i must. i went back to writing.

it's not continuous, bun-straining writing but the process-ual aspect of it. writing down a thought (and fighting off 'mental editor' saying 'no, that's not it, that's not a worthy thought, what silly words, you think you can get a phd with that!'), remembering this and that author's idea, walking to my bunch of books and photocopies on the side wall, leafing through the collection sometimes muttering expressions of frustration for articles i can't find, reading, digesting, stabilo-highlighting, then writing again.

that's how my writing goes now, but nonetheless i'm writing. even if it's only 50 words a day, even if it's a debatable thought like how i'm seeing the redistributive aspect of Kaantabay and how forward-looking indeed mayor robredo is.

the mere working of my fingers, the tweaking of brain cells, despite the underlying lack (still) of coherence in thought is helping me in actually processing what i know now to what i previously thought i knew before, and what should i still be knowing in the future.

indeed, what i'm doing is an exercise in patience and just just dogged determination to see this work through. one just has to do it. to write. to fight off fear by attacking it with thoughts made concrete in words.

steph warned i should watch out for burnout because i went immediately into writing after the fieldwork. but as what i've told Shadowman, let burn out be. i would not know my burnout point until i do so, right?  what is important for me right now is to take advantage of this 'high', this resurrected interest on the meaning of what i'm doing. it's a rare event to capture it this early. for now, sustaining it will just come. it's not my primary concern. i'm capturing the bird by its wings and i'm not letting go.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

King of Grass

The King of Clay is the King of Grass for 2010!  Vamos Rafa for back-to-back wins, for the second time since 2008.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Writing Life (Again)

during the first four months of fieldwork, i did no serious writing except blogging. today, in the first writing class with cecily this semester, i got in touch with consciousness again to the discipline of writing. blogging is writing and while it could not substitute in depth of thought and meaning compared to the one engaged in under critical writing, the discipline of being able to produce one blog every night makes one learn commitment in its fluid form. you blog because one has to, it just is. the day could not end without an entry in this electronic diary.

natalie is right. keep on doing this and it gets to you. while one may hesitate at first and think it improbable of blogging every night, suddenly uneasiness and fears are still and one just resigns to the effort of finding inspiration, sometimes desperation and sadness, for the sake of committing thoughts and feelings on white space. to set expression free, and even freer.

here now in perth and without the rigors of the field, i have no choice but produce two chapters before i leave again in october. and those chapters, i could not produce just by thinking about them or even brainstorming connections and gaps in red ink. one has to decipher what is hidden in the data, get the connections by forming words, by giving expression to thoughts through words, how simplistic or even hallow these may sound at first. one has to fight through the nasty editor again by just letting one's fingers rule the deck and unite it with thoughts a-swirling.

i have no choice but to write. one does not ask anymore whether one really likes to write, or whether there is enough inspiration, desperation, or even sadness to drive the words out of hibernation. discipline will lead the way, the heart still at a pace, the writer alone in the shadows, taking the keyboard for a piano, once more.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Home to You

i love you
i love you
and
i love you
simple words
almost a trite 
but when uttered to you
always brings meaning

home is where you are
so i am coming home to you 
wait for me my love
i am homing to you
i am coming for you

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Real Thunder, Real Lightning

three experts are discussing half-time results of argentina-germany's in the world cup. bring people together, perhaps former players or just sportscasters, give them  a topic to discuss and what comes out of their mouth are touted to be credible, valid. just like in wimbledon, the bets are up for nadal and berdych vying for the championship. half-time analysis made by mcenroe or gilbert.  in truth, these guys in wimbledon and the world cup are not the experts. those who are do not the talking but the walking, the running, the scrambling, the hitting, the hurting. what they do on the field and the court is what expertise is all about. silent thunder and lightning shots.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Left Half

perhaps i'm just being selfish. Shadowman is off to Taipei today. the prospect of not seeing him in the next few days until monday left me feeling like a lost schoolgirl again, alone and vulnerable in the crowd waiting for his familiar face, his presence. because it's different now, he explained, i am the one leaving you. it's always me who's saying goodbye. but is it that? i realize instead that missing and the loneliness could be different from different sides of leaving and waiting. it is possible. that the degree of helplessness, if it could be called that, differ depending on one's position. the one being left is the more helpless, the one contending with the status quo, the one contending with the imprints of the one who left.  while the one leaving's helplessness could be tempered by that anticipation of the unknown waiting on the other side. my hands are full with what to do in the next couple of days --- laundry now, the ARC on saturday, yaman saturday evening then janty on sunday. the schedule would still be the same if Shadowman's in manila. but somehow, i feel like an invalid. i am half of who i am now he's gone. i am half-heart, half-soul, half-mind. the other halves are drifting there to my love in only God knows where.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Still Not There Yet

i have pledged to go straight to transcribing since i got here in perth. but four days after, i still have to really play the last remaining cassette tape or the digital recording, to finally transcribe voice to text.  my excuse last monday was claustrophobia, extending till wednesday. a transient singaporean roommate preferred to close the blinds in the room; something which i could not take. really choking me, all this white boring space.  tuesday, i missed out because of sleeping late watching wimbledon. wednesday, i spent preparing the liquidation of my cash advance (jane calls it 'acquittal' as if the word's any better). thursday, today, i went to freo as i can't take my mind off the 'fun' of looking for second-hand clothes at good sammy's, perth's own version of ukay. have i done enough to escape? i am indeed escaping really. escaping fear by first satisfying my 'self-ish' desires. i would again be denying myself in a couple of days, weeks, months. then it's justified --- for what is four days?