Where Is Home?

I’m lost.

I don’t know where I am but one thing is for sure, I don’t belong here. Nor I belong to other places I’ve been. I thought in the beginning that home is where I was, with my family but I was wrong. I didn’t belong there either. That’s why probably I always sneaked out the window when I supposed to be sleeping and play on my own instead of playing with my siblings.  I like to be alone, even then.

Growing up I didn’t (and still don’t) understand these people. I feel that I have nothing in common with them. I have different moral and values. I don’t lie and cheat and I don’t believe in stealing. But I did what I was told to do, always. I even sold my soul to rescue them but it didn’t help. I think they are lost too.

We had too many houses. None of those we owned. We stayed only for awhile. We were gone before I could ever feel at home in any of those abodes. The same with places. We were always moving.

The longest I stayed in one place is with someone my family thought was/is the best for me, for them. I spent (wasted) twenty years of my life (youth) there. But it wasn’t home. During that time I felt I was on transit, that I was on my way to somewhere, that one day I was going to wake up and will find out that my life then was nothing but a long, long nightmare. It didn’t happen of course. I had to force myself to realize that nothing will change unless I take the crucial step. Eventually I did.

But not before I did all those things looking for home, for my rainbow connection. I thought I will find it during one of those adventures though I didn’t know that I was looking for it subconsciously, I thought I was having fun. Those choices have consequences, but I will gladly do it again. To have some respite is better than suffering continuously. I’m only human.

After I escaped I have chosen to find home in the most likely place, somewhere new, fresh, unspoiled, almost a fairy-tale. The perfect beginning of a new story. I thought: here I can start again.

But it is like incorporating Sinbad in a Cinderella story. You cannot mix water with oil. Feeling pain is better than feeling nothing. You might as well be dead. Is life really like this? Because everyday I wake up, the first thought that comes in my head is: this is it? Is that normal? I didn’t realize that home means boring. Too peaceful, too calm. 

Is there nothing in between two extremes? Why it have to be one thing or the other? Where is the gray area in this? Do I have to draw (color) it myself? Maybe I’m a gypsy, a nomad… Perhaps I am not really cut out for home, wherever that is…

 

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The Things We Leave Behind

For today’s assignment I decided to use my tag cloud as inspiration to create a poem. I picked words that I use frequently to tag my posts. Here they are:

Home 

I say goodbye to you even before I left

The illusion shattered from within

Gradually without me knowing

How can I miss something I’ve never known

Yet I’m longing to find you on every shore…

Family

Blood is thicker than water 

There is no greater lie ever told

Like The phantom I am a stranger 

A meal ticket nothing more…

People

There is nothing I am more scared of

My fear is grounded on experience

Countless encounters and betrayals

I learned the hard way trust is a fairy tale…

Life

I had not wealth I had not fame

I knew not love though I did know pain..

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Soulmates

How do you define the term “soulmate,” and do you believe in the existence of such a person — for you?

Looking for the true meaning of soulmate online I stumbled upon this “scary” passage:

In his dialogue The Symposium, Plato has Aristophanes present a story about soulmates. Aristophanes states that humans originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces. He continues that there were three genders: man, woman and the “Androgynous”. Each with two sets of genitalia with the Androgynous having both male and female genitalia. The men were children of the sun, the women were children of the earth and the Androgynous were children of the moon, which was born of the sun and earth. It is said that humans had great strength at the time and threatened to conquer the gods. The gods were then faced with the prospect of destroying the humans with lightning as they had done with the Titans but then they would lose the tributes given to the gods by humans. Zeus developed a creative solution by splitting humans in half as punishment for humanity’s pride and doubling the number of humans who would give tribute to the gods. These split humans were in utter misery to the point where they would not eat and would perish so Apollo had sewn them up and reconstituted their bodies with the navel being the only remnant harkening back to their original form. Each human would then only have one set of genitalia and would forever long for his/her other half; the other half of his/her soul. It is said that when the two find each other, there is an unspoken understanding of one another, that they feel unified and would lie with each other in unity and would know no greater joy than that.

Others definition goes like this:

In current usage, “soulmate” usually refers to a romantic partner, with the implication of an exclusive lifelong bond.This is to say, the word is used with more rarity than other terms associated with ‘romantic partner’. It is a very versatile term, being defined differently by different individuals, as it is related to the concept of love. It commonly holds the connotation of being the strongest bond with another person that one can achieve. Soulmate is not used as often as other terms representing the same idea, and this is likely to lead to its perceived rarity in meaning. The definition ranges widely and cannot be pinpointed. It is commonly accepted that one will feel ‘complete’ once they have found their soulmate, as it is partially in the perceived definition that two souls are meant to unite.

They say:

Soul Mate: Someone who is aligned with your soul and is sent to challenge, awaken and stir different parts of you in order for your soul to transcend to a higher level of consciousness and awareness. Once the lesson has been learnt, physical separation usually occurs.

Life Partner: A companion, a friend, a stable and secure individual who you can lean on, trust and depend on to help you through life. There is a mutual feeling of love and respect and you are both in sync with each others needs and wants. 

I say: Sometimes your knight in shining armor is just a retard in tin foil.

So, Life Partner is the one we married, the most practical choice, the person we can live, build life and future with and soulmates are the ones that got away. The individuals we share passion, adventures, self-consuming romances and deep rooted feelings. The ones who can make our bodies and souls sing and can give us unforgettable memories we are longing to experience again from time to time. Soulmate is the person we are only going to encounter once in a lifetime.

Well, the choice is easy then. I consider myself lucky to have experience both…

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When Childhood Ends

She took the bus quite late, around 8:00 o’clock in the evening. She could have gone earlier, but there was some class officers meeting and those always take longer than necessary.  It was Friday. If everything goes the way it supposed to be, she will be at her place around midnight.

She still was wearing her school uniform loose fitting white blouse with a big green bow that looked like a dead butterfly over long beige skirt and the usual black sensible Mary Jane shoes. She didn’t have time to change. She had to hurry home.

When the conductor asked for her school ID, she handed it to him without comment. Not even when he sat next to her. There were only few passengers; one of those was a 9 years old boy who kept looking at her. Guess it would be a quiet four hour drive.

She didn’t know what happened. All she could remember was: when the bus reached the terminal and the conductor stepped out with the boy, she went with them. The place was dark and as alien to her as the people she was with. But it seemed didn’t matter. Nothing matters. Not even her(self.)

At 4:00 a.m. she gathered her clothes and slowly put them on. She glanced at the strange man on the bed. He was sleeping peacefully and seemed oblivious of the mess around him. There was so much blood! She didn’t remember having to feel pain. Nothing. She stepped over the sleeping boy on the floor. How did it happen? Why? She opened the door and slipped out into the dark alley. She didn’t dare to close it for the fear of making sound. She wondered where she was.

She found a tricycle and boarded. Looked back at the motel for a brief second and told the driver to go. Then for no apparent reason, she started crying. She cried all the way home…

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Changes

I visited an old coal mine the other day and I saw this beautiful mine car and support strut at the entrance and I can’t help but take few shots of the remaining evidence of years gone by. The place is so fascinating I stayed there till dark. I must have taken hundreds of photographs of the buildings and the surrounding area. At one point I even squeezed myself in between fence which is already vandalized open to gain access so I can take pictures of the inside. I know it’s dangerous. Dozens of warning signs hang on every crumbling wall but I can’t help myself, it’s so damn gorgeous, the place.  As Arnie said: I’ll be back!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changes

Ideas

I did not set up a poll or a contact form the other week to collect ideas from my readers because I said I don’t believe in it. Besides, it will not fit in the overall look of my blog; now I am sitting here in the front of my computer empty handed  and I don’t know what to do.

Looking for ideas from other people or from snippets of conversations in the common prove to be difficult. You see in order to write, I have to be truly passionate about the subject, I need to have a genuine interest in it or I will not be able to gather my thoughts to form a cohesive post. I always draw my inspiration from feelings, personal experience and opinions about certain things. I rarely or never write about other people’s thoughts.

I might post a quote to accompany my writings but it is there to enhance my words, to strengthen them but never as a source of inspiration. Perhaps it may sound strange to others what I’m saying but to me it make sense. So, for today’s assignment, I decided to answer the four questions they provided to give us some ideas what to write. I might conjure up another piece for the prompt when a notion hit me but for now, this is the best I can do.

 “I’ve always felt the brain organizes and computes while writing, but the body is the place where story lives.”

— Kathleen Winter

What does the line above mean to you?

If it means all those memories that stored in my brain and all those stories I write based on that memories happen because my body experience all of it, that I’ve been somewhere, went to places to convert those thoughts and ideas into reality, then I believe in it.

“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.”

— Unknown source, from a fortune cookie

Have you ever felt awake, but in a dream?

Yes. Countless times. Here and here are examples of that.

Have you received a message in a fortune cookie that moved you?

Yes. Literally. I wrote a post about it here

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

I love books. Like I said in my about page, I cannot live without them. I wrote an article about the fate of books in this internet era. You can read it here.

Describe a life-changing experience with a book.

I have none.

Where do you like to read?

Anywhere and everywhere.

Describe a favorite bookstore, library, or setting with books.

Flea markets and second hand bookstore or book fairs. I can roam around there for hours! My dream is to be locked up in a huge library or museum.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Though I don’t listen to music unless I want to feel nostalgic, I think there is some truth in that saying. Music is universal language. It transcends all the barriers. Pity that I am not musical. I don’t have timing or rhythm. I can’t even dance. Like i said, I only listen to those songs that brings back memories, otherwise music is noise to me.  

Tell us about a time when a piece of music moved you.

Every time I hear songs that catapult me into a certain place with certain someone in certain time.

Do you have an all-time favorite song? Why is it significant?

I don’t have an all-time favorite but I can listen to Air Supply music anytime, all night long if necessary.

Compile a playlist of 10 tracks that represent you.

Here they are:

I am A rock – Simon and Garfunkel

I’ve never been to me – Charlene

My way – Frank Sinatra

I am what I am – Gloria Gaynor

This is my life – Shirley Bassey 

I will survive – Gloria Gaynor

I think that’s all. For now…

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Out of Reach

A thought-provoking prompt – Write about the one X that got away — a person, an experience, a place you wanted to visit. How much would you change about your life to have it within reach again?

Thought provoking indeed.

But for some reason I cannot think of anything or anyone that got away. Except for this but I don’t know if I can count it as such. Places… Hmmm… there is no place I will change my life for in order to be there but there are quite few that  can change my life if I managed to move there because the climate is highly beneficial to my condition like for example Spain, Portugal, New Zealand – my dream destination by the way- or my birth country Philippines. But for the moment retiring is out of the question, in other word_ out of reach.

How about experience…

Well, there used to be that bungee jumping was on the top of my bucket list but I didn’t get around to realizing that wish and now I’m afraid it is another thing that is out of the question because of my RA and cervical hernia. I still dreaming about doing it though but I know that the chance of it happening lies in Utopia/Avalon/Shangri-La. No harm in dreaming though…

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Follow The yellow Brick Road

At 18:15 that particular day I stepped out of the car and went inside. The weed was nowhere to be seen (so far so good) normally whenever I arrived home I will find her sitting at the foot of the stairs in the hallway, waiting. Okay, I could understand that she was lonely (so did I) that she was alone when I was working, that we lived a practically isolated life, but that’s me and she knew it. I thrive in solitude (she was very sociable and always looking for contact; in the supermarket, in the sauna, in the street, everywhere!) For god’s sake, I want to be on my own after a day’s work; to unwind, to rest, to think, to be myself. If I find her there waiting for me, I feel guilty. I feel responsible. I feel trapped!

I went directly upstairs and that was a mistake. I saw my computer and before I knew it I was answering comments in my blog.  When I looked up… it was 20:00! And I was planning to take a long walk! What now?

After weighing, deliberating and looking at the position of the sun from my bedroom window I decided to give it a shot anyway. I said to myself while studying the map: 

“Well… it’s eleven kilometers to where I have to start, I can be there in… fifteen minutes? And if it’s really starting to get dark, I can cut the walk along the river by about two miles; that will give me another ten-twenty minutes  allowance, and if I have to, I can always follow the highway for the remaining stretch of the walk.”

I grabbed my rucksack stuffed the pancakes leftover from this morning in, added a small bottle of water and off I went.

Some people listen to music while walking/jogging, I don’t. I need all my senses especially if I’m alone. I have to be alert. I don’t need any distraction. Instead, I kept an eye on the sun. I saw it was sinking very rapidly on the horizon. I know that the weather around late august-early September is treacherous. One time the sun is high on the sky but before you know it, its gone. Goes dark faster as well almost in a blink of an eye.

I looked at the map and realized that most of the paths I had to tread had no lights, no houses nearby and woods either on one or on both sides. Fuck! I did it again! How many times I promised to myself never to hike in the night. But every time I made it home in one piece, I know I will do it again. Too exhilarating, too exciting, and too tempting just to let it go. I know someday I will pay for my recklessness. As for now… making it home (alive) is my main and only concern.

It went so fast! From seeing one hundred meters before me to I could not even make out my shoe laces! Damn it! Couldn’t use my flashlight even if I wanted to, afraid I might attract attention to myself so, I used my cell phone to illuminate the sign I was following instead. A quick glance to my watch told me that it was 22:15. I was really pushing my luck here. Time to hurry. If only it wasn’t so dark!

The moon was no help either. So pale, so egg-shaped, and so shy hiding behind nimbus clouds. I kept telling to myself: as long as it’s not going to rain… I will be more or less okay.

I saw (with so much effort) on the map that I had to pass a castle if at least I’m going on the right direction. But where is the castle in all this darkness?

Scrutinizing the landscape, I can barely make out a silhouette of a turret somewhere. Okay walk to that direction.

After a time I found myself on a very small muddy path between a river (to my right) and a wasteland? (maybe it only looked that way because of the dark) there was some kind of fencing on the left which I was afraid to touch (for guidance) thinking it was loaded with electric current. Suddenly there was movement not far away! Very heavy! Very fast! I draw my diving knife from its sheath and waited. Nothing! I walked backwards facing the direction of the sound, relying on my reflex and instinct. Still nothing. I saw that the castle was very near, if I could make a dash for it… then what? I did anyway.

Approaching the castle via an avenue of giant corns, I saw that there were lights scattered here and there around the perimeter of the area; for the rest__ darkness.  I was reminded of Disneyland. A spooky Disneyland. All of a sudden I became aware of the fact that I was walking straight to the gate of the castle. My mind  said: What if that gate suddenly opens up the moment you’re there? What about children of the corn? Remember that?  I told my brain to shut up. The place was magnificent even in the darkness. And the more you walk the winding path, the more it came to focus. I walked slowly backwards. As if in slow motion, the castle unfolded its magnificent beauty; tall, dark, and solitaire, waiting for passersby to discover its secrets, beckoning me to come in.

I noticed that there were no tress or plants near the building, nothing to obscure the view, just the fortress itself sitting on an island of soft rolling baby hills covered in green luscious grasses. Amazingly breathtaking. Simply magical.

After the castle, I was plunged in total darkness once more. From a very far distance I could make out the lighted tower of the church where I had parked my car. Okay, but how to get there?  There was not a single path in sight leading to that direction? Then, I realized I had to go through the woods first, then I will probably emerged in the village where the church was. Probably…

I said to myself : “Okay, how about cutting through this surrounding wasteland to reach the big road. Good idea. But highway is dangerous. There are people there with cars. One could drag your petite old beauty in the vehicle and the rest it’s up to you to imagine. Besides, how could you know that the big road will lead to the church where your safety is? Okay the woods it is.”

Walking alone in the dark with your knife drawn, scared that someone maybe is there waiting for you ( how could he knows you would pass by at that precise moment?) and in the back of your twisted mind wishing, hoping that it will be true, so you can practice what you learn, wanting to know how it is to have the taste of your first killing if necessary, how it feels to sink the sharp blade into the flesh wounding intently… the feeling is almost orgasmic.

At 23: 47 hours I reached my car without any accident. Pity! Driving home, I was thinking; in all that I experienced a moment ago, still I could not resist to take pictures of the moon. Now let’s wait and see if it works because my flash was broken. 

My own castle here I come!

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The Second Time Around

Have you ever had an experience that was amazing the first time, but terrible the second time around? Or vice versa? What made it different the second time?

Quite few times actually. Restaurants that served good quality food the first time and then slowly declined or the difference between my first and second visit is enormous I could hardly believe it is the same establishment. Places of interests like resorts, major tourist attractions, theme parks that for some reasons don’t offer the same quality of service anymore. Likewise with hair salons, spas, beauty farms and stores. 

I think it is more common these days compare to other years because of recessions. People don’t get the same service and quality anymore for their money. If you want quality nowadays you have to go high end and even then. Most famous places and brands are overrated and not everyone can afford it. Just my opinion.

And of course the ever popular “Love is sweeter the second time around.” No it isn’t. Keep in mind that you go separate ways for a reason, that no matter how many lessons you learned from whatever mistakes you made within/during that relationship and vowed not to do it again this time will not erase the fact that the two of you called it quits instead of working on it. It means the problem is serious enough for the two of you to give up instead of resolving whatever differences were there between you and the other person. And that problem will not disappear overnight just because you decided to give it another try. Chances are you will come out from that second time around more disillusioned than ever but hopefully wiser.

Of course in every rule there is an exception but like it says, exception is a special case and not the standard. In general, when it comes to love, there is no second glory believe you me. I have enough experience with this matter to last me a lifetime. People change and evolve constantly I know but it doesn’t mean they can alter their basic foundation and core. Can the leopard change its spots? I’m afraid not. People cannot change their innate nature no matter what they say or lead you to believe…

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The Phantom

You have to spend one day as or with your favorite fictional character. Which one would it be and what would you do?

That would be Erik The Phantom as written by Susan Kay.

I know that there are other books out there about the same subject including the original by Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux but the difference is Ms. Kay gave Erik a back story; her book begins when he was born and ended when he became The Phantom. While the majority only know him as the “ghost” at the Paris Opera House, she introduced us the boy before he became the man.

In this book, the author let us see the person behind the mask, the hows and whys he becomes what the world famously known him for. Susan Kay successfully portrayed him as a victim of circumstances instead of a villain, an ugly one. In this book you will see his beauty, his longings, his sufferings and dreams, like any normal human being. In her book, Erik became as real as anyone of us out there and I love him.

I want to spend a day with this character if only to show him that not everyone is cruel, that some people could see beneath the exterior, that love is not always based on appearance alone; that someone could love him the way he is: amazingly genuine and lovable creature. I want to see his genius in person, watch him draw, build, play and compost music; I want to take care of him even just for a while…

Erik had spoken so many quotable quotes that will stay with me forever. Here are the three that made the most impression on me:

“Happiness is like the first intoxication of morphine; it doesn’t last very long.”

“Time ravages beauty and preserves plainness.”

“None of us can choose where we shall love…”

God, I love the boy…

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A Chair Is Still A Chair

Name five things in your house that make it a home.

What makes a house a home? The furniture? The  bric-à-brac? Those personal little details people added and collected through the years? Perhaps it is the comfort people created, the rooms they inhabit, feel comfortable and familiar with; their favorite places, their little corners… What it is that makes a house a home?

Is it the sitting room?

The bedroom?

The study or the kitchen?

To me, it’s all of the above. But the most important is having someone there with you, loving, caring, sharing and making memories for better or for worse not only till death do you part but till life after death…

Home is where we are truly comfortable, accepted, valued and cared for. Home is where we belong…

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Balance

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?

I consider myself an artist; both in my work, personal life and hobbies. I love to create. I need to create. It’s my outlet, my way to vent all those thoughts that swirling in my head. A day without creating is like being buried under the ground in a coffin, alive. Whether it is painting on canvas or a room, a garden shed or a fence, making a new bed for vegetables, digging a new flower border, rearranging the furniture or making my own custom jewelries and sketching outside; as long as I am busy creating something new and beautiful, I’m okay. But don’t make me sit still, in the house or in a cafe/restaurant, I will be dead in no time. 

Another thing I do (which you probably all know by now) is taking long walks and photography. I rarely go out the door without my pocket camera. One never know what interesting things one might see out there. Walking is as essential to my well-being as water and air, I cannot live without. Not being able to roam around means a bad day to me. Unproductive one. And there is nothing that can drive me crazy than having a day without being able to move and create.

I cannot exist without exploring new terrain/frontier, seeing/discovering new horizons, watch/observe people and learning… Learning new exciting things and absorbing knowledge. I simply need to reinvent myself over and over again, hear other point of views, expand and evolve so, I have constant inspiration for something to write. New experiences bring new materials and infuse fresh breath/ideas into my writings. Life is my source of inspiration, my muse, the core of my works, my art…

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