We are craftsmen

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What is your art? It amuses me to hear people say they don’t have any talent or that they’re not good in anything.

“Care of the Soul requires craft.

To live with a high degree of artfulness
means to attend to the small things
that keep the soul engaged in whatever we are doing
And it is the very heart of soul-making.”

Art, as language of the soul, nurtures the soul.
Thus it should be in our every day. 

“The fine arts are elevated and set apart from life,
becoming too precious and therefore irrelevant.
Having banished art to the museum,
we fail to give it a place in ordinary life.”

My art is in people. I like seeing them grow and I’m a believer of change and progress. Seeing through and being seen, that’s when I am most connected to the world, in my very sense of destiny. People when they bloom, for me is the most beautiful that art has ever known.

Art that is not contained in movement, in rhythm, in color, texture and shape, in emotions and still moments — what is your art?

This is what Hey Artist is all about. Focus on your craft, enrich your talent, nurture your soul, and work out your own salvation.

Wiser every mourning

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Create a dreamy afternoon, the sun melting a tangerine sky; on your feet is fine sand becoming finer with every bitter-sweet rendezvous with confusing waves.

The people stare at your open back baring inked skin and no longer toned physique.

They also stare at his piercing eyes of confidence, of holding onto this moment with you. He knows it will go by as fast as you came into his friendly little hometown.

Picture out the night you got there and the bars that you would hop about; the smell of beer and the men who think they’re living the life, and the women who don’t know why they are fucked up.

Draw in your mind the music that will make you stand. And you both will dance because not a pair of eyes could tell that you are victims of time, criminals of the law.

Sculpt very well the touch of his hands as he drags you out to watch the stars he booked just for you. Tonight the clouds take leave to make you fall even more in-love.

Hug him and fear the dawning of the reality. Believe him say that he’ll do something.

Create this dreamy paradise and visit it every night-mare;

and your heart shall become wiser every mourning.

For the psychologically challenged

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A couple of days ago, I had a familiar visitor (again) at the boarding house, and it was starting to manifest as fever and UTI attack. The smarter person in me texted my dad to cook some nice food, sinigang na hipon (how do you translate that? Maybe shrimp soup lol). His reply was “ok,” as usual.

Right when I got home, the fever was gone, together with all the bad feelings. The next day, he dyed my hair (because my mom and sisters can’t), offered to teach me how to drive (this time, a car and not a motorbike; oh and I suddenly remember that he also taught me how to ride a bike), and then got into a muddy fight with this huge crab that he had been feeding the past weeks.

Crab in mud

From the muddy pond

huge crab on plate

To this, on my plate

Do you remember my post, “There’s a place for healing?” Yes, I confirm that there is such a place. If we can just treat our psychological challenges as simple as physical illnesses or allergies, survival and happiness may be closer at hand. Just like there are kinds of weather and substances that trigger allergies, or food that heightens cardiovascular diseases, there are also music and sky colors that make you crawl on the bed and hurt yourself a little bit. And just like there are foods that could prevent cancer, there are also dogs and sounds of birds and the wind that relax your soul.

dog on boardwalk, dog by the pond, dog by the lake

Kobi relaxes on the boardwalk

dog welcome

Shila welcomes me back, all the time.

Dog goodbye

And says goodbye when I leave

What essentially makes you stronger is the knowledge of your weaknesses and limitations. Always remember the components of your healing process.

Join me when you’re strong

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Can’t help but take a photo of this little boy sitting in front of me in the jeep, who had a nice mixture of tired-adult look in his eyes and the i-care-not comfy-ness of a kid.

Don't rush darling, love is a matter of timing.

Don’t rush darling, love is a matter of timing.

I grow strong when you are weak
So can you just be weak?
I’ll be gone before you know it.
So love me before I’m gone.
It could have been the best journeys
of our ironic lives
but the Universe was quick to say no,
and go
your separate ways.

A whole lifetime stretches ahead of us
The road is long before the next.
When you look back for me,
Don’t.
I may be the road you’re walking on,
the light that gives you life,
And the tomorrow that you promised yesterday.
If you’d want to look back for me,
Walk on,
So you may join me when you’re strong.

I forgot my password

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That I forgot my WordPress password is an indication that I (honestly, sincerely, persistently, unpretentiously) need to get back to writing. I’ve said it a million times thinking that announcing it here would make it easier. 

The truth is, the longer that days pass without re-connecting to you, I get more disconnected from something important (that I could not name). 

I hope you would still accept me here and let me connect again. 

I miss you, wordpress, and all the peace and comfort I find here. 

The friend that’s best for your art

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No, she doesn’t need to be an “artist”
She could be the one who shares good reads from Thought Catalog.

He could be the travel buddy who is brave enough
to say that he felt loved by you.

Or a dance buddy who risked losing his identity on the dancefloor,
and make you rethink the alignment of stars.

She could be the eccentric who loves great films.

After encounters, you’d find yourself pregnant with words
that fly away too quickly so you need to grab a pen.

They’re all good for your soul, for your art.

They make you wanna roll away the curtain

They make you wanna roll away the curtain

Live. Love. Liloan.

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Four months out of the dark days, I feel like walking on an old, wooden bridge, careful with every step and aware that I could fall off and into the abyss again where there is only confusion and victim-mindedness. A kind of darkness that wraps like a bubble where the only source of hope is optimism and matter-of-fact knowledge that everything will pass, like anything else.

The Universe led me to this municipality, Liloan, with its tagline Live.Love.Liloan. Oh! I almost forgot that it birthed me here. I remember travelling to the countryside and breathing deep into my lungs when I see province-living. Now I’m convinced that I’ve been called here.

The past four months have been quiet and simple, with a lot of smiles to give, friends to make, unarmed with my big ideals. Last night I missed those big intelligent/culture/big-picture talks, but as soon as I read economic/political/progress discussions, I was a kermit retracting to its shell. Do you remember my post Living a Monk’s Life? I wanted such kind of detachment and never knew it was possible in the social world. 

But tadah! What makes this downfall and restoration sweet is a new strength gained from knowing thy weaknesses and accepting thy human flaws. Maybe Fergie’s song is for me, “The love bug crawls right back up, bites me and I’m back.”

Century-old Enchanted Balete Tree, Siquijor

Century-old Enchanted Balete Tree, Siquijor

So I guess I’m just gonna cross them bridges and spooky trees. The Universe always covers my ass anyway. Trust. Live. Love. Liloan.

 

**I feel sorry that I get back to blogging at long intervals. Writing this piece felt like the first day of work especially with the new WordPress layout. How long has it been? 

Fun, challenge and growth

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To survive and flourish, an individual must always be part of a community. But when she ceases to be an individual, she loses altogether the capacity to form and build a community.

The big question was whether to stay in the big boat of public service and social change (assuming I didnt have a huge heart break to deal with), and lose my individuality; or to get off and yet again find my calm — an ever difficult situation that people with passion (obsession/frustration) for a better world face from time to time (that was the same dilemma that lead to the creation of this blog — “This is your battle, and yours alone”).

Your individuality is your creativity, your freedom to make real your craft.

My symptom of losing individuality: I became the center of my own world.

Everything I did had become about survival and how to avoid more pain. It had nothing to do with my vision, with creativity, with finding a real problem and crafting a real solution.

I must admit, individuality still hasn’t taken center stage. But knowing where it is not opened up doors that may lead there.

I am now working in the call center industry, something I thought I would never do (no offense meant). But here I am, having fun, being challenged, and looking forward to potential growth.

We will see.

There’s a place for healing

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Prinzel said as I left, “There’s no perfect place.” But sure there is a place where you can be with the people who lift you up in mornings you are knocked down. There is a place where you must teach yourself to hold the tears because sometimes they just want to fall in the middle of breakfast. There is a place where there are rabbit holes to hide yourself in when tears are too heavy to hold.

liloan Cebu

My first two weeks of rehab

This is the place. Where I commute and don’t cover my nose. Where the people are not always in a rush and don’t shout out “hurry up!” Where the sky is a palette. Where I can bike downtown to the market with papa, or to my relatives with mama. Where I can murmur the words “Why, help me, I can’t go on any farther, I messed up, help me… God,” and the answers are in the waters, the sky it reflects and the wind, and all that separates this moment from the dreadful past I have run away from, and the future I have not the slightest idea of.

And what have made this transition kinder are the little things that I have found – the dance machine in the mall where I and Prinzel would meet after work, a waxing salon, a nearby day spa, and a party beach!

Here I am rebuilding my life, and hoping to remember these moments and the lessons that the Universe has been repeating, which I am slow to learn. I guess in this long life, there are just lessons that cannot be mastered in one take, so we need to repeat them. I know that no matter how I rebuild myself and emerge feeling that I’ve mastered the art of life once again, I know, for sure, one day I will break down again. But I will look back to these dreadful months and know with confidence that I will get by.

To those broken, go find a place to heal. 

If death precedes a new life

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If I would die between 10 and 11:20 tonight on my way to starting a new life, I would die a happy woman.

- I have nearly closed the loops of my friendships, and each will have an ever stronger support system because life is hard.

- Kash has learned to become more compassionate and that prayers always come with action.

- Aziel now wears shorts, w/o care what people will say about her legs.

- Prinzel will remember how she ferried a friend to survival and renewal.

- Despite losing her little boy, Lanie remains strong, loving and purehearted. Everyone must learn from her “growing up with grace.”

- Abegail will realize that life is short and start pursuing freedom.

- Khai will teach herself that being alone is totally fine and enjoyable sometimes.

- Helen will not read diaries anymore hahaha

- Katy will still be like Pooh.

- Rhea will be ever more comfortable with her mal-adjustments because she’s one of the wisest I know. She’ll love herself more and assert what she deserves.

- Anj will know that I treasure every moment she stood up for me.

- My family knows I die on my way back to them :)

- And Dennis will go on find the best woman for him, one who has true “soldier-wife skills.” He’ll also know that he would be the last man I loved.

Truly, the universe never runs out of support systems.

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