Nature

What is your inspiration? What moves you? What is it that never fails to motivate you, to get you going, or make you happy?

My inspiration? Nature. Nature and its never-ending cycles and phases, ever-changing faces, and multiple facets. It never fails to move and motivate me and at times makes me momentarily happy. I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic. Someone wrote (I think it’s Byron)

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”

Anne Frank said:

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. 

And to directly quote Van Gogh: “I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

Wednesday Treasure

It was at that very moment, that I realized I couldn’t force the flowers to bloom. I couldn’t force the clouds to part or the rain to cease. I could never go back and I hadn’t the capacity to leap forwards. I understood what they meant when they said, “Patience is a virtue.”

I had succumbed to the “no day but today/life’s too short” attitude and turned it against me. I suppose it might be better for me to say that it turned me against time. Time became the enemy ‒ I was in a race against the clock. If life is too short and there’s no day but today then I’m not waiting for anything. I saw no utility in waiting for love, in investing time to cultivate something that you may never see to fruition. What if I spend all of my time today building something for tomorrow and I die tonight?

But then again, if there’s no day but today and life is too short why am I wondering about “what if’s”? If it brings me joy to wait for love, to invest in something that I may never finish, then I have brought value and worth to the only gift that I truly have ‒ the now.

The beauty of flowers is that they bloom in their own sweet time, and sunny days are beautiful because we know rain. And rain can be beautiful because we know the joy of sitting on the couch with a cup of tea, or walking through a storm on a hot summer’s day.

Because we can make inferences about the future, we do and I’m not sure if succumbing to the present moment will obliterate my tendency to look forwards. In fact, I know that it can be useful to plan for the future but having the patience to not wish it before its time is of crucial importance. Get the camera ready but the flowers are going to do it on their own terms, not ours. Invest in love that may never happen, but if it’s supposed to happen it will happen on its own terms, not ours.

Have I been so afraid of being wrong that I had given up on faith? If I didn’t believe in something and it never happened, then at least I’d be right ‒ was that my mentality? Instead of putting my faith in something, waiting, having patience, and then having it never happen or worse having the opposite happening?

But at that very moment, I disregarded my ego. I called a truce with time. I stopped trying to control the forces that controlled me. I yielded my life to higher plans and experienced a taste of freedom, knowing I would have to consciously achieve that state every day to find peace of mind…

(Disclaimer: I found this note among my documents. I have no idea where it came from but I like it nonetheless so, I am sharing it with you)

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Monday Thoughts

I agreed to meet a biologist once (didn’t go further than the first date) who thought he looked like Nicholas Cage. Maybe it’s me but I didn’t see any slightest resemblance, the only thing I’ve noticed was his height. He’s soooo tall I come only up to his waist (which some people might consider the ideal height combination) He got a house (he said) and a fancy car, which I find ugly ‒ the car I mean- the house I didn’t have a chance to see which is good. Imagine…

We went to the zoo (that’s a degree better than I had with D. on our first date. He bought some bread from a random deli along the way and we ate them sitting on a dirty patch of grass in some park which that time was under renovation, looking at an empty lake with unhappy ducks in it. So, I told D. I would love to cut his hands and put them in formaldehyde together with his eyes because they are his two best features so better preserve them in case) oh my, I got side-tracked again. Where was I?

Oh, in the zoo with the biologist, and he was reciting the entire living organism in those big aquariums naming them in their scientific names. We watched a show with dolphins afterwards. He placed his hand on my thigh the moment we sit down. It reminds me of another time when someone let me drive his fancy sport car so he (assumed) can paw me while I’m driving. I told this guy to put his hand higher (better than letting go of the wheel and beating him up) I never see him again. I think (some) guys want to be in control. But that’s another story for another time.

The biologist smoked like a chimney but at least had a decency not to do it in front of me. We had to stop walking ever so often to have his drag-break. And every time he would walk few meters away from me and have his fill. Very romantic. He said he can stop anytime he wants. I heard it all before.  I wonder if he knows the difference (taste-wise) between smoker’s kiss and non-smoker’s kiss.

Half way the date, I knew already with a violent certainty that I would never see him again. And when he said he thought that I was open for seduction while we were eating ice cream, that definitely put a punctuation mark to my thought of him being one of those I rather not see no matter how lonely alone could be…

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I was eating hot porridge at four o’clock in the morning taking a break from one of my night-time marathon when I realized that the goo tasted like soap.

Reminded me instantly of my youth, when a not properly rinse kitchen utensil would evoked a rage from my father and will result to an immediate incomprehensible reaction like forbidding all of us to go to school (which in our family was the cruellest form of punishment) unless you are second child named Maricor and your parents thought you were their passport out of poverty which by the way a puzzle to everyone including yourself since you spent four years being a freshman in high school and the chance that you will stay there is 99 to 1 for so many obvious reasons like: spending your tuition money betting on a basketball game, stealing bikes (or carabao) drinking and smoking, experimenting with soft drugs (which btw a revolutionary for a girl like you in that place in that time but who cares certainly not you) but probably the best possible reason was it was because you failed to attend classes and instead roaming around preferably in the rain knowing your white uniform will be see-through and guaranteed for attracting boys attention by large. The rest will stay at home and clean the whole house crying, but not you; life was more exciting for you than everyone else. You had your own set of rules and those were the ones you follow.

There were neighbour’s kids to fight, trees to climb, and boys to seduce; so staying at home was no option even it will result to few broken ribs and couple of bruises when your own ever-believing father thrown you from the stairs because he caught you making out with one of so many boy-next-door while you said you were just going to the small shop to rent some comic books and that means not exchanging candy with whoever mouth-to-mouth. There is always tomorrow. And tomorrow is another day.

It was quite clear to everyone (except your blind parents) that you will end up to no good, and indeed you did. Before the end of another year being a freshman, you put your new clothes which was supposed to be for school’s Christmas party (your mother always bought them earlier during fiesta market because it’s cheaper and kept them hidden in an old fashioned wooden chest full of moth balls and in the night when she thought everyone was sleeping, she will secretly take it out and hand-sewn the existing stitches to re-enforce them for hard-wearing) and disappeared humming in the night.

You didn’t came back till after three weeks and you showed up with a boy whom you gladly demonstrated with the art of French kissing to your wide-eyed-open-mouthed- siblings.

You married him shortly after because your father insisted on it when he found out that you were in the family way and not getting hitch before it becomes obvious will damage not only his self-conjured up “good” reputation but will shatter his oh so precious fragile gypsy pride. So, there you were, not even 18 and married to someone you never expected would beat you up to death while you were carrying his baby not knowing maybe it takes two to tango and your own attitude and ways didn’t really suited up for a married woman eighteen or no eighteen.

So when the baby born dead, you stayed just after the funeral and said to your mother you were going away and will never come back again. True to your promise, you never really did, even when they looked for you and found you in (un)likely place, looking more beautiful than ever with your fashionable cheap clothes and scars and needle marks on your arms.

Years after, your baby brother saw you at stop light in a limousine populated by personal bodyguards, you looked through him, no expression no nothing. You live now in a mansion with an old Chinese guy who gives you everything but keeps you prisoner. I wonder if that’s what you are looking for, I would not even ask myself if you’re happy or when we will see you again if ever. It’s been more than 30 years. Too long to know somebody or even remember. Even that someone is your own sister…

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Escape

“Writing let me escape. It let me escape the insistent tug of my family, its ongoing misery and the reality of the world outside. Writing is like slipping into the ocean, where I could move easily, where I could be nobody and anybody, visible and invisible all at once. Sitting in front of the computer, with the screen blank and the cursor blinking, is the best escape I know.”

~ good in bed

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Always Something There to Remind Me

A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.

Wow! This particular prompt is popular. By the time I came back from hiking (around 20:43) and saw it, there was already 212 people responded to the challenge that I had some momentary doubt if it is still worth adding mine to the list. But I thought: why not? What I’ve got to lose? The worst thing that could happen is nobody like it and even then…

Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s start answering the prompt. 

Like I said before, I don’t listen to music unless it evokes certain feelings, people, places and memories; otherwise they are just plain noise to me. A little intermission: while I was writing this there was a big fly trapped inside the window panes and it was making too much sounds I had to chase and kill it. Excuse me for a minute while I attend to the matter at hand. Be right back.

That was taken care of nicely. Where are we? Ah, songs I listen to which evoke memories… I’ll always love you by Michael Johnson. It reminds me of the night of my birthday about eleven years ago when I was dancing with someone in our terrace without music. Instead, he was singing that song softly in my ear. 

What else? Ordinary song by Mark Velasco… the night Monday failed to study for his mid-term exam because he was singing that song to me while strumming his guitar. We were sitting on the floor of the boarding house at one o’clock in the morning, back against the wall, he was half naked (I didn’t know why exactly) just looking into each other eyes.

Here I am by Air Supply. The time I broke up with someone because he had acquired a tattoo without telling me first and I hate guys who treat their bodies like paper. Few days later I was at my friend’s house and she dialed the phone. I thought she was calling someone (and indeed I was right ) for herself, then she passed me the horn  and the first thing I heard was the song, my ex-boyfriend came on the phone afterwards and asked me if like it, the next day we’re back together. But not for long…

Now for the real deal it got to be Heaven by Bryan Adams. I can’t say much because of privacy matters of all the people concerned. All I can say is: just like the song “but how can I forget you, when there is always something there to remind me

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Hoodwinked

Tell us about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good. Was it a humorous experience or one you’d rather forget? What was the outcome?

Completely fooled is probably not the right description of what by now is the famous story of my life because no one can really fool me unless I allow it to happen. But often times (in the past) I granted people too much benefit of the doubt simply because I could hardly believe they were (and still are) out to harm me. You wouldn’t deliberately hurt your own flesh and blood, would you?

But I was wrong! And it took me more than four decades to realize my mistake. The damage is done and there is no way back.

The outcome? I now trust no one!

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Under Pressure

Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it? Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of? Tell us how you work best.

I am at my best working under pressure. It is like I am most calm when I’m angry. The angrier I get, the lower the timbre of my voice becomes. Funny, but sedentary or peaceful kind of existence is not for me. I find it boring. Predictable. I have difficulties dealing with smooth waters. In the beginning, I thought this is what I wanted after years of sailing on turbulent seas but lately this one dimensional life with no excitements and actions begins to bother me. Only common sense stopping me to pack my bags (or take nothing) and be out there in unknown territories. 

No, I am in my element working under pressure. Years of practice, background and upbringing prepared me for it. That is one area I know best and feel familiar with. Pressure is my home. What it is that they say? A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor? Agree?

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