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.

New fear

When Alon came along, so did a new fear — that is to be dead long before he has a fighting chance in this difficult life. I’m worried about who will teach him manners, values, critical thinking, creativity, and spirituality.

And my response? To keep on writing.

So he will hear momma, a talking thinking momma. Not just a photo/video momma, but one from whom he can keep learning, long after I’m gone. A momma who doesn’t just preach, but also unfolds. A momma who isn’t perfect, but real. A momma he may never see again, but whose love he will feel eternally.

Thanks to Alon I have the courage to find and hold my voice again. I will pour my heart out so he will hear me loud and clear even from the other side!

Trapped (translation)

So many people get trapped with the wrong person. They think that “getting to know” means knowing his favorite food, sports, or to meet his family, or if you know what his fart smells like.

You should also get to know his issues — can he restore and heal himself? Can you help him? How does he cope with his problems: does he drink, or does he look for a solution? When you fight, does he have violent tendencies? When he falls, how fast does he get back to his feet? Which among his traits are merely due to his upbringing, and which ones did he freely choose? When he says “sorry,” does it mean he’ll never do it again, or just some ten times more? Does he see you as his equal, inferior, or could be superior?

When you truly get to know him, then ask yourself, “Do I want this?” For the things you don’t like, “Can I live with these?”

Don’t get yourself trapped.

Trapped

Ang daming nata-trap sa maling tao. Akala kasi nila yung “kilalanin mo” ay alamin mo lang ang paboritong ulam nya, anong hilig nyang sports, yung makapunta ng sampung beses sa bahay nya, o kapag alam mo na ang amoy ng utot nya.

Dapat alamin mo rin kung anong issues nya, kaya ba nyang gamutin ang sarili nya? Kaya mo bang matulungan sya? Pag may problema, paano sya mag-cope, naglalasing ba o naghahanap ng solusyon? Pag nag-aaway kayo, may tendency ba syang maging bayolente? Pag nadadapa, gaano kabilis sya bumangon? Anong ugali yung nakalakihan lang nya, at ano naman yung pinili nya talaga? Kapag nagso-sorry sya, ibig sabihin ba nun di na nya uulitin, o mga sampung beses na lang? Kapantay ba ang tingin nya sayo, o mas mababa, baka naman din mas mataas? Dapat pantay lang.

Kapag kilala mo na, tsaka tanungin ang sarili, “Gusto ko ba? Yung di ko gusto, kaya ko ba?”

Aralin muna nang mabuti para hindi ma-trap.

I’ve been toning it down

And it makes me a dull girl.

At 6 AM today, I remember my late friend Henriette, the few other people I no longer have, and a part of me that feels to have gone with every loss.

My smart mouth, the opinionated girl, the randomness and spontaneity, yung maarte, free-spirited, free. The girl who blurts out, unfiltered, unprocessed, raw, unaffected, yet very much affected. Baliw. The one who’s always misunderstood and won’t bother explaining herself.

I want to talk about algebra, but I’m stuck in arithmetic.

I want to touch base.

Using my maiden name as a married woman in the Philippines

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In a few days I’ll be celebrating my first wedding anniversary, and until now I’m not ready to change my last name. For reasons that I keep to myself.

I hadn’t touched my government records until I gave birth last month, during which my husband had to get me officially admitted into the hospital, update my PhilHealth, file for the baby’s civil registration and whatnot.

He went through hell, to the point that he was cursing my decision and even asked me (again) to just keep it simple and hassle-free. My husband didn’t really agree at first, but eventually supported me. Until this super big inconvenience.

At the labor room, I was “threatened” by the nurse that I had to “follow the rules” otherwise I would not be admitted at the hospital (what, they will usher me out of the labor room?). She asked me why I wouldn’t use my husband’s surname, to which I said “I’m not ready.” She said, “Then why did you get married?” Seriously? Not only that, they said my baby will have to follow my name (even after providing a marriage certificate?).

So this other nurse was curious enough to look up the laws governing this matter, which I quoted in the letter that I needed to write to the Admitting Office. “Please allow me to exercise my right.”

Different people asked my husband if he’s alright with this. And what’s worst, they had to extract blood from my baby twice because they used the wrong surname for him, and lied to my face that the lab test had to be redone.

Not ranting, just hoping to raise awareness just a little bit.

Introduction to motherhood

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So many things I’ve been wanting to write since March 10, the day I gave birth to Alon. But the past month (can’t believe I’ve survived the past month!) has been extreme, probably the most extreme I’ve ever allowed myself to go through.

More extreme than my adventures with rebels and guns and soldiers; sexier and more bone-breaking than the heels I wore when I kissed and kicked some ass; more brutal and captivating than the mountains I trekked; more crushing and awakening than dangerous adult love; darker than the secrets that still haunt me sometimes; holier than anything else in this world. . .

Unconditional Love and Changing What You Can

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This is an oath and a way of releasing possible tension that prevents my body from going into labor yet. I’m not in a rush, I’m trying to contain my excitement.

It’s quite healthy to find yourself in between happiness and self-doubt, to assess whether what makes you happy or unhappy deserves any validation.

And from now on, I will stop blaming myself for a particular dissatisfaction and discontent that I’ve been feeling over the past few months. It’s unfair to take blame for wanting to raise the standards, and failing.

My oath goes… that I will love my baby no matter what. I will be there to support him, guide him. But I will also be there to tell him the hard truths and maybe pour ice-cold water over his head if he needs to wake up like that.

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Prayers big and small

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This overwhelming gratitude has been going on for months now, and my prayer for tonight is for God to remind me all the things that I’m grateful for; especially when things get shaky. It’s like a matter of fact now that things won’t always go well, yet I feel a deep sense of security that no matter what happens, I will always be loved and I will always be grateful.

It’s not the kind of youthful highs that I felt before. Those were extreme, and fleeting. This one is simple, basic, restful, and comes from a kind of knowing.

Let me try to put it in a coherent story (this one is for those who’s up for some reading)…

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Managing the household

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They don’t call it “managing the household” for nothing, right? And I’m talking about the more traditional setting where women run the house, set the budget, maintain orderliness, make sure everything is smooth and squeaky clean.

Now I don’t wanna talk about history, feminism, whatever. This is a purely based-on-observation narrative, of the men I met or heard about.

Seems to me that men need managing. “But my man is the CEO type already.” Then be the majority shareholder. He’s the skilled worker type, be the supervisor.

The household is only as good (and clean and orderly and harmonious) as its manager.

A difficult challenge in modern times.

I love the girl

Just looked back through all of my profile pictures on FB, back on photos as old as 8 years. I see a girl who wanted to be wanted, a girl who liked herself, and wanted to be liked by herself. She sought adventure in foreign lands, foreign relationships, and in nature. She had always been a child of nature, long before she even knew she was being called. She fell in love, with people, with life, with old churches, her best friend. She’s always wanted more from life, somehow she got addicted to the adrenaline of adventure and being in contact with the strange. She loved art, and learned how to express her beautiful soul. And then she tried to fit in, to belong, be accepted and loved by others. She projected an image of success, youth, potential, direction, passion, certainty, when deep inside she was torn apart, fighting for the faith that had been challenged forever. She grew wings for her own liberation, experimented, played with herself and with danger, not with caution but with an all-in defiance of reason. She had rocks, like her friends whom she keeps until now, and hope. Her everlasting hope that maybe God is there. She plunged into the dark headfirst, broke her wings. She thought it was for love, but yes it was. She broke her wings but not her soul. She found the pure. Pure loss and nothingness. She tried again.

And this is the final photo on her profile, which she doesn’t plan to change anytime soon.

Wedding inspiration, photography

Taken by Burtz of Blinkbox Photos