Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ray Bradbury Revisited

what's taking me so long to sift through my old files and books and rearrange them is that not only do i wipe each file, each book, lovingly, i open most of them and browse through old notes to my self, old underlined words, and remember who i was then, what i was thinking about, and how they have brought me to who i am, where i am now.

right now, i am taking my nth break from my "work" to digest things, even as i think about what i want to do next for the coming year.

right now, i am feeling quite glum for not making it to the two writing contests i applied to and was so excited about a few months ago (i just learned of the results today when i Google-searched for them again for the nth time, too), but i also feel the building up of a steel resolve to do better, to study my craft better, even get into the only national writing workshop for children's lit here by preparing for it well, and continue writing my stories anyway and telling my truth, win or no win in contests.

ive just come across an old beloved book by Ray Bradbury, Zen in The Art of Writing, and an old unsent letter to Mr. Bradbury falls out from the pages. it was from me at 26, wife, young mother, businessperson... but oh so lost about who she was then and slowly dying inside. i remember now how this book made me secretly cry copious tears, even as it slowly healed me and encouraged me to pick up my pen again, even if only by writing in my diaries, and find my own voice again, and write my way through my life again.

it has been 11 years since then. ive not only made a shift in my life's work from business to education, where i can be closer to books and writing, but have even made a part-time freelance career out of my writing, become a fellow to two national writing workshops, won a national writing award for my first children's story, and had my first book published to critical acclaim. the best thing, always, is people coming up to me and telling me how my writing has touched them in some way.

so i shouldnt feel so glum, but i still do. i guess there is the thought at the back of my mind that im not good enough for more, that maybe this is the end, that i shouldnt even dream about making writing my life's work (how dare i?), that even if i loved writing with a passion, writing may not love me back similarly... : (

picking up Bradbury's book again, erased all those doubts away, though, and renewed me.

here are now some excerpts from the book, which i not only underlined in red, but marked with a star even, to remind me of my deepest loves and passions--literature, writing, living, a constant wondrous inquiring into life and human nature...

- Stay alive! Yell. Jump. Play. Out-run those sons-of-bitches. They'll never live the way you live. Go do it.

- Not to write, for many of us, is to die. ... What would happen is that the world would catch up with and try to sicken you. If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

- If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. It means you are so busy keeping one eye on the commercial market, or one ear peeled for the avant-garde coterie, that you are not being your self.

- Do not, for money, turn away from all the stuff you have collected in a lifetime. Do not, for the vanity of intellectual publications, turn away from what you are-- the material within you which makes you individual, and therefore, indispensable to others.

- To fail is to give up. But you are in the midst of a moving process. Nothing fails then. All goes on. Work is done. If good, you learn from it. If bad, you learn even more. Work done and behind you is a lesson to be studied. There is no failure unless one stops. Not to work is to cease, tighten up, become nervous, and therefore, destructive of the creative process. We are working not for work's sake. What we are trying to do is find a way to release the truth that lies in all of us.

- How does one get lost? Through incorrect aims... Through wanting literary fame too quickly. From wanting money too soon. If only we could remember, fame and money are gifts given us only after we have gifted the world with our best, our lonely, our individual truths. Now we must build a better mousetrap, heedless if a path is being beaten to our door.

- What do you think of the world? You, the prism, measure the light of the world; it burns through your mind to throw a different spectroscopic reading onto white paper than anyone else can throw. Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper. Make your own individual spectroscopic reading.

- Go dig the Troy in you!
thank you again, Ray, for reminding me of what i am about.

and so, i will continue to write even more, and write even better, this time.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Passion

i heard about it and all its rave reviews but i never got to watch it when it was shown in all local theatres here more than a year ago. i was happy to find a vcd version of it, though, when we were at the local home movies shop a week ago, and i promptly borrowed it.

i didn't know what was coming when i asked Thea to play it for me yesterday early morning. it was just the last vcd we haven't watched yet, but the timing couldn't have been more right. watching The Passion of the Christ only made me see clearly what the life of Christ, and especially his birth at Christmas, was all about -- Love one another as I love you. that is all.

i cried so hard from watching the film, but it was a good kind of cry, the healing kind. i cried so hard i feel like all vestiges of whatever hurt and pain i still harbor from the unkindness of people in my past has all been washed clean.

the door to the past is finally closed, for good, and i am finally healed, whole.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The X

while turning a corner on the drive home last night, another car appeared to want to turn in the direction i was going, too, but hesitated and paused... so i let it go ahead. i only found out a moment later, while i was following it and my headlights beamed on its plate number, that it was the ex's car.

i was bemused by the situation and i just watched what would happen next. the occupants in the other car seemed excited, though. i saw the ex's head rear up and i guess he must have sat up straighter, as his head actually showed over the head rest (he is not a very tall man). the other occupant, a woman, seemed all agog turning her head this way and that, then turning to look at my car. although there's nothing to see-- my car is tinted.

i couldnt make out their faces and expressions either, as they appeared to me in silhouette; i could only make out their agitated movements.

why would they be agitated, i wondered? we're both free now, with the annulment. they can do whatever they pleased. if that was the gf, i even hear they're planning to marry next year. but, the way they acted, looked guilty to me. and i just sat there amused.

when i first heard the news of their planned marriage a week ago (the ex bragged to the maid as he came to pick up the kids, and the maid told me. he said childishly, i have a house now... duh!), i felt a pang somewhere deep inside. was it jealousy?

not of the other woman; people tell me she's nothing close to me. my sister was actually blunt about it: she's ugly, manang. : )

but still, jealousy, yes... in the sense that he seems to be moving on in that department, while i still have years to go. but in my heart, i wish him well, and i wish her good luck. : )

still, just before i woke up this morning, i dreamt of the ex. he was in a training seminar i was in, too, and people were talking about us, about how we used to be married to each other. i just took it calmly, going about my way nonchalantly but he seemed overly disturbed.

as i turned a corner to go to another room, he blocked my way and confronted me, and started blaming me again for the past, for leaving him, but which i coolly ignored. that must have infuriated him further as he now started talking abusively to me, calling me names and insulting me. even in that dream, his anger at me was palpable. but all i remember thinking was that, my god, he's still hurting after all these years, poor guy, so trapped in the past.

finally, when his abuse was getting loud and obnoxious, i challenged him to a fistfight to settle it once and for all. i took on my basic aikido stance (the only stance i learned... heehee... as i only had one session of aikido), and prepared my self to take him on.

instead, though, he tried to kick me, but i was able to adeptly cut his kick with my hand and twist his leg so, he groaned in pain.

people gathered around us and i could tell he was dying from shame. i only calmly told him, nobody abuses me anymore and gets away with it.

and then i woke up.

Friday, December 16, 2005

nth life

im birthing another adventure again, in a new blog.

this time it's about my experiments in manifesting my dreams and my heart and soul desires.

maybe someday, i'll give you the link to it.

but then again, maybe not.

maybe you'll find it on your own, when you're ready for it.

; >

Friday, November 18, 2005

hide

a growing disappointment
turning
into cold grief--

i
turn inside
afraid
to ever try again
anymore.

Monday, October 24, 2005

this life i live

at times like right now, i shake my head at the kind of life i live.

there's a measure of stability now, more or less, but moments still come up when, because of my inherent good faith in things working out, and my creative open nature, i do things at the last minute (but perform oh so well!), causing me and those around me both anxiety and thrill at how i will be able to orchestrate things in perfect timing so that they turn out well... at the last minute.

i promised a friend today a long overdue date to a mongolian buffet lunch and a spa massage treat, in "payment" for her being so good to me last May, when, also because of my last-minute habit, the flight we were both going to take for a speaking engagement i was going to and which she was going to assist in, bumped her off in favor of me, because we both lost our seats coming in after check-in deadline.

i did schedule today weeks ago. and i did schedule today to use some funds from a writing project i did and earned weeks ago. however, i deposited the check only last thursday, but the bank teller did tell me it was going to be cleared today.

i am getting fidgety now, though-- the funds haven't cleared yet, and im down to my last P20... although i have my butterfly biz commission of around 40k hopefully coming in via bank transfer by noon today, too.

so, it's another magic act to orchestrate. it is both exhilirating yet wearying on the nerves, too, this "dangerous" life i live. : (

next time i will do better. my friend deserves more from me than this. : (

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Slipping

i feel him
growing silent
slipping away...

my heart trembles
still i stay.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Missing

i'm missing somebody i care for deeply so bad, it's making me cry.

people i see everywhere around me have their loves with them; why don't i?

: (

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Time

to get my self off my blahs before, it occurred to me that maybe i wasnt managing my time well enough, or why would i go on spurts of activity then plateaus of inactivity just recovering from the intensity of the activity in almost predictable cycles, and feeling guilty and "not so accomplished" about it all.

so i surfed for "time management" guidelines and skills to learn about and acquire, and i immediately started on the first step recommended -- do a time management audit. in a time audit, you're supposed to just record your time and what you do with it, and how you're feeling while you're doing it. at the end of an audit period-- a week or a month-- you begin to be more conscious of where and how you're spending your time and you're supposed to point out several "time wasters" which could free up more time for you to do more useful things.

i did my time audit in only 3 days, first because i had to go on two out-of-town trips soon after, and my time audit record was stored here on the home pc, and i wasnt bringing my laptop along either. second, and most importantly, i think it has served its use in only 3 days of my keeping track of how i use my time.

it was an eye opener for me to see my self spending 16 to 19 hour workdays, not just working on my regular day job teaching and checking papers and consulting with students, but also on my freelance projects, as well as taking care of my three children and home and my self all by my self, with a little support from a maid and the kids themselves. and in those 16 to 19 hour days, i had very little time for "personal care" things, as most of my time were spent just working and producing output for other people! no wonder i feel so tired and need to recharge for many days after one of my intense projects are over.

instead of making me see where i was "wasting" my time, though, i began to appreciate my self a little more with my time audit. i could see that i was doing all the things in line with my major life goals, not wasting any precious second, even milking it and stretching it for all it's worth, doing two to three things multitasking at almost the same time.

i began to see that what i was wasting, though, were my precious energies feeling guilty about not finishing all that i've set out to do in a day, and bashing my self for being such a "failure".

i began to see that with my already full-packed, fully-used days, i was actually overstuffing my To Dos for a day, and whatever can't be fit into a day actually doesn't need to be done that day, that it could afford to wait for another day or two, and that the world won't end if i let them wait.

i finally began to see that i actually am a very good manager of my time; it's more of the good management of my energies that i need to practice more about...

i've already learned to set my boundaries with people long ago; and i've learned to avoid negative, energy-draining people.

now, it's time for me to focus on becoming more of my own best friend by letting go of guilt and self-bashing when i am not able to accomplish all i've set out to do in a day... to learn more self-compassion.... self-acceptance... and truer and fuller self-Love, at last.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

gone are my Depo days

my cellphone beeps to remind me that today is supposed to be my 3-month "renewal" of my Depo Provera shots.

i used to look forward to going to the clinic for my shots, convinced that it was a sign of my empowerment, my ability to take care of my self and be responsible for my self even as i seek out my pleasures and fulfill my needs, without having to worry about untimely consequences.

but today, i am feeling hesitant... more like refusing now, actually.

there was a time when i needed to have the shots because i was actively pleasure-seeking, and i didnt have to worry about creating consequences i did not really want beyond the passing pleasure of the moment.

but today, it is different. for quite some time, i have not been as actively pleasure-seeking as before, because i noticed an inner shift in me-- a shift towards more depth and meaning, even in my pleasure-seeking. i more strongly long for deeper, more lasting joys now; it assumes more power now over that part of me willing to risk lasting joys for passing pleasures.

then, too, i think that NOT renewing my shots today would act like an automatic "control" mechanism, holding me back from situations i would have otherwise usually just jumped into before, knowing i didnt have serious consequences to worry about. so, holding back would be good for me, in the light of what i want now.

also, i think my body needs the rest. it would be good for my body to resume its natural cycles again, getting in sync with Nature's rhythms the way it was always been meant to be...

i just surfed for Depo Provera in Google right now, and my readings somehow confirm the "rightness" of my decision -- it is good for the short term, but not as a lifestyle.

somehow, today, for the first time in a very long time, NOT renewing my shots feels more right to me than renewing it.

besides, there is a Love i am holding my self out for, now, too... : )

for the first time in a long time, i am both right and happy now.

oh, how far i've come...!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

not so together today

i woke up troubled from a dream where i learned i won the NCCA Writers Prize 2005, but that i lost the letter confirming my winnings. i searched and searched in my dream but i never found it, even until i woke up.

i woke up to find it's already 6am, when i only meant to sleep until the little ones fell asleep last night, and wake up again at around midnight to do my paperwork backlog... and now, im feeling guilty and feeling like a failure for not waking up at midnight as i planned to. : (

i read a subscription email on resolving unconscious conflicts through free-writing and i guess that's what i'm doing right now. just freely writing to feel better, at least.

i read another subscription email about a woman's beautiful wedding by an old stone church and a countryside garden, and seeing the name of her groom as the name of the man i love too, i burst out in tears... i love him, i miss him, but he is so far away. and how can we ever get married?... will i still marry someday?... do i still even dream? : (

another subscription email on men and women and masculinity and femininity from a spiritual perspective confirmed what i've learned for my self already; it was a nice read, especially that part where the author said a man is most tested in his ability to love a woman, in how he treats her... and that part about women's power of invitation, just by being women.

it's a cloudy, dark sunday morning, and i am feeling the same.

i am missing something.... somebody... and life is a drag. : (

the past is over, the future is still being formed, and today, i just want be numb to it all. i guess i am just sooo tired and weary from all this living and learning and knowing and struggling...

i wish i could just let it all hang, and let somebody else be responsible for a while, take care of me for a while. i wish to just snuggle and cuddle and not even think about a care, not have to be responsible for anything or anybody else but my own pleasure...

i wish to just go away and hide, and be nobody, but just be me.

sigh.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Change

my life is changing now; i feel it in my bones and in the circumstances around me.

gone are the days of day-to-day struggling just to survive, living on the edge by my guts and wit and creativity, fueled by the fire of my anger at past injustices, and my own pride and sense of dignity and self-preservation. those were the days when being strongly assertive and taking the proverbial bull by the horns moved things for me, worked things out for me...

but these days, as i get out of survival mode and find my life filled with new people im meeting who are helping me get trained and earn in so many more ways, i see with my inner eye how i need to move on and move ahead with a new kind of fire now-- the fire of tact and diplomacy and patience and gentle persuasion and tolerance and... trust.

it's taking some time and not a few "aftershocks" getting used to this new kind of being and behaving. sometimes i miss the hungry, angry years. they were strenous and stressful but they were all ive come to know and become good at.

these days, learning to relax into trust and non-anxiety, to let things and people be and trust that it will all work out anyway even without my pushing so hard, still takes some time getting comfortable in, but i guess it is the way to go now.

i feel half-lost sometimes, guilty even (why am i not striving so hard? why am i not doing more?). for the past days, i've even gotten into some kind of depression, feeling like im not so good at things anymore, but the old ways do not work either, and im still finding out what the new ways should be. there's a sense of loss for an old part of me, and that old part of me reappears sometimes, over petty and trivial matters, just so i can get a sense of control and "hold" over "reality" as it is happening now...

... in many ways, the "better times" i am experiencing are also bringing their own kind of stress, and i still can't get over the newness of it all! : O

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jeanette

recently, i've started using my baptismal name in my email accounts; the last time i used it was when i was in kindergarten 32 years ago, before the primary school i was enrolling for grade one in asked for my birth certificate, and the birth certificate my parents found in the local civil registry gave me another name instead, the other name i have been using since then : ( , although cousins and friends from childhood still call me "Jeanette" ...

somehow, though, using "Jeanette" again feels perfectly right, with my new life now, reclaiming my self and my life back from the clutches of a horribly wrong marriage and a spiritually deadening administrative career.

i say my name out loud to myself now, rolling it on my tongue like candy... and i find it deliciously sweet. the feeling is both of depth and height at the same time, like earning a purple heart for a battle long and nobly fought and won.

i plan to start using "Jeanette" whenever i can now, mostly as a pen name for my stories and my books. once ive established my name in the mainstream, i also plan to legally change my name and all my legal records someday soon...

"Jeanette" was the name i was blessed with, so "Jeanette" will be the name i will use from now on as i move on with my magnificently blessed life now, so blessed in many and all ways! : )

i am coming home to me, at last... and for good.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

40

my life has already begun now, but these are the details of my vision for my life at 40, and onwards:

- "retire" from my day job and work from home earning comfortably (at least P1million a month net income which is continually and exponentially growing, too!) from my writing, research, consultancy, speaking and online business projects;

- live with my family in a beautiful, charming and cozy two-storey filipino-spanish style home amidst wide open spaces with lush greenery all around, with a flower garden in front, an herb garden at the sides, and a vegetable garden at the back;

- on weekends, live with my family in a beautiful filipino-spanish style cottage by the beach or a river or a lake, also amidst wide open spaces and surrounded by lush greenery and flower, herb and vegetable gardens;

- drive around a red sports utility vehicle (SUV) for the kids and i, and a lemon yellow sports car/convertible for me : );

- travel around the country and all over the world with my Love and my kids for vacations twice or thrice each year or whenever we feel like it, and when i take them with me on my speaking engagements and conferences;

- be an internationally-acclaimed and published, best selling and well-loved author of children's and other books which become classics soon after and outlive me and my lifetime;

- share good loving and life and experiences and lessons learned, and enjoy good lovemaking and embarking on fun adventures with the Love of my life : > !

- enjoy good food, good conversations, good coffee, art, music, the theatre, hiking, scuba diving, belly dance, aikido, learning new and more things with my Love, and sometimes, with other friends, too;

- continue being fit and healthy and looking and feeling my best, by taking the best care of my self physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually!

"So it is written, so it shall be done!" : )

Friday, August 26, 2005

Consumatum Est!

it is finished!

ohhhh, joy of joys! i am printing my entry later today at the office. it is ready -- the accomplished entry form, my curriculum vitae, my concept paper and my three sample stories.

and i made good time for the august 31st deadline, too! im sending them by courier today, so they will get to the contest secretariat by tomorrow, or monday, aug. 29, at the latest.

i did the best i can with it, agonized over the stories, researched, immersed my self in the topics, grew from writing them, invested my whole self and all my love and energies into them... whatever happens now, i am very proud of them! : D

(of course, winning the Prize would be a dream come true! ... but i already have a back-up in my head too,... if it doesn't happen this time yet, i will look for other markets; the stories will seek their own home, i believe!)

i release them to the Universe now, for it to do its own work.

God bless these stories! may they find their true home in the hearts and minds and souls in the people who need to read them!

thank you, God, for the gift of stories!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Time for Healing

talking with a friend earlier today about being particular about who i invite to my home triggered a not so long ago memory-- a horror, actually-- the memory that started the unraveling of my marriage of ten years, five years ago.

i was telling my friend how i remembered not so long ago how the ex invited a buddy to our home because the buddy was down and out on luck in his life, and how the buddy almost lived with us as he ate with us, played with the kids, watched tv with us... and even slept on the couch sometimes when it got too late for him to go home.

i hated it, first because im a very private person and ive always believed that a home should be one's sanctuary, and only very close family members and lifelong friends should be let in, much less stay in for any length of time.

i hated it too, because even if i was 8 months pregnant at that time, the buddy made passes at me and i found a photograph in our family album i had of me in a swimsuit suddenly taken from the album at about that time when he was around.

and i also hated the way he tried to get close to my eldest daughter, who was only seven years old then, which disturbed me so... as he liked having her sit on his lap while watching tv... even when there was a lot of space left on the couch for my daughter to sit on!

anyway i told the ex about it, many times, but he just brushed me off, saying i was being too imaginative, and even defended his friend and accused me of being heartless for not being more sympathetic of his friend's predicament.

finally, i gave birth to our youngest child. the ex said he couldnt be with me at the hospital as he had two construction projects going on out of town and which he couldnt leave for long to the foremen. so he asked his buddy to be with me instead to assist me in my hospital needs.

i cringed at the thought and managed to ignore the buddy and just maintain a modicum of civility to him, even as i recovered from the childbirth. still, it upset me that when the nurse asked me to go with her to the sitz bath room, he asked to come with us!!!

the ex left the money to pay the hospital bills with, as well as the car keys, in the drawer beside my bed, and instructed the buddy to process the billing and checkout and take us home in our car. he didnt even come to see the new baby.

despite my heavy bleeding and grogginess, i still was able to scheme enough to ask the buddy on some errand out of the hospital. and during that time he was away, with only my eldest daughter to keep me company, i managed to go and up and down the many hospital floors to process my bill, pay it and check my self and the baby out as fast as we could.

i hastily packed our things, placed my eldest at the backseat of the car with only pillows around her supporting her as she gingerly held her newborn sister close to her, while i, still profusely bleeding and groggy, drove home.

*****

since i told my friend about this five hours ago, i have not stopped crying.

the tears have finally come, after all these years spent on being angry and using my anger to break my way out of the horrors i was in. i remember those months and years since then as being driven mainly by rage and fury, and everybody marveled at the courage i mustered to break through.

especially since i never cried.

nobody has seen me cry.

until today.

the tears are flowing and they can't be stopped.

i don't intend to stop them either.

*****

the time to fully heal has finally come, i guess.

awash in my own tears, i embrace being cleansed and being made whole again...

i embrace being made whole at last.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Time Out

i think i will need to take time, space and energies off from blogging here for a while; i will need the time, space and energies for making a dream come true.

there's this national writing grant with an october 31 deadline that i want to prepare for; i need to write at least three very good children's stories to qualify. winning that national writer's prize would mean that i get to take time off for a year from my day job and stay at home instead just writing twelve more stories! it would pay me a little more than the equivalent of my day job's salary, too; so i would have no reason not to take a leave off work for a while.

i've started writing down notes for the first story; im beginning my descent into my inner well. i need to collect all my energies and focus around me, gather my cloak up and hide for a while (now i know why Dracula does that action every time before he goes and disappears! : ) heehee...)

wish me focus, wish me out-of-this world creative and universal inspiration, wish me stories that would touch people's lives.

the luck will just follow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Brewing

i truly do not want to go back to work yet. i am not ready for the topside world yet. this, despite a long weekend of having an additional free day off on friday last week for a spiritual recollection, and another free day off yesterday because of the transport strike.

i know it defies logic and i am being belligerent and i should really be at work later today. but i don't want to...

well, for one there are the papers i have to correct, which until this hour, still makes my mind go blank when i face them. so im not prepared to meet my students yet.

for another, i feel, deep inside, that im not done with my inner work yet, my little transformations that happen every time i go inside my self, look deep, look at my darkness and shine loving light on them, lick my self cleaner, heal my wounds, brew my magic...

it is 230am and i just woke up from some little dreams that left me feeling bothered, too--

i dreamt that i told somebody i don't intend to continue teaching for long; that i'd rather stay at home and work and earn from my freelance writing projects instead;

i dreamt too, that i was in Boracay with my son. Boracay had greatly changed for the worse--more stalls, more girlie bars and massage parlors... and when it came time to go, i couldn't find my car. my son and i kept looking everywhere and back again but i couldn't find my car! how would we get home?

then there was a middle-aged man, somebody known and respected in our community, who was talking to me and some other people, about how these marriage enrichment seminars have become like a wave sweeping people on, how almost all couples in their place now are scheduled for a seminar in the coming days... and i was thinking, "yeah, more brainwashing!"

*****

this witch is not coming out of her cave for more magic yet. potions are only half-brewed.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

body wisdom

i stuck to my original decision last night and self-declared another day of "emergency leave" for me today.

i thought, at the back of my mind, that i could use my reclaimed free time today to do productive things anyway, like checking papers and doing grades... but my body rebelled.

every time i started gearing up for the task, my mind went blank and i would automatically feel both head-achy and sleepy!!!

so i put aside all intellectual protestations and submitted to my body's needs anyway. all i did today was do pleasurable things for my self-- doing online stuff, sleeping, just sitting around musing... then sleeping again, while of course fulfilling my minimum obligations like bringing the children to and from school.

i am feeling a little better now.

the body has its own way of sorting things out, i am learning, and one has got to trust the process.

then, too... making love twice to my man today, even if only in our minds, helps move the healing along a little faster. : )

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Beseiged

my brother texts me to tell me he's worried about our dad, how our dad's mistress is making it really difficult for him to let go of her despite my dad's having actually personally found out about her shenanigans and stealing from the business. she wears him down with her daily hysterics and threats and drama and violence against him, so much so that his doctor has advised him to go back to his heart patches again--- this, after undergoing a million and a half pesos five-stent angioplasty fix-up just three months ago!!!

then my sister tells me that maybe i should talk to the mistress since im the one quite good at dealing with all sorts of people and conflict...

i remember a time not so long ago when i was a pariah in the family, for refusing to kowtow to our father when he brought his mistress to our house to live with us, now that our mother was away in the States. i was made to feel like the baddest person on earth, for "dishonoring" our father and "not respecting" him enough by adamantly refusing to live with his terms of having us all in one house and me taking care of our family business so everybody gets to enjoy his/her life by living off the fat from the business, except me.

i remember a time not so long ago when i warned him and everyone that not only is the situation very wrong, but that the kind of person the mistress is is bad news for the family.

but nobody listened; i was even cast out.

and now, this, they all come to me for help.
they all come to me to clean up their mess.
as usual.

they don't know i am done with playing the role of martyr and savior.
that was another life ago.

*****

now my mom shares with me how difficult her dialysis treatment is getting to be for her to be able to do her normal activities. i long and ache to be with her in the States, but the memory of getting refused by the US embassy for a tourist visa twice, just because i was honest (and stupid?) enough to declare my real income and net worth (what did they expect from a middle class struggling 37 year old separated woman and single parent?), still makes me fume in disgust.

here i was really intending to just go visit her and be there for her for her operations -- first, for her breast removal because of stage 4 breast cancer, next for both her triple heart bypass and the start of her dialysis treatment all in the same month -- but the embassy refused me saying i didnt have enough "financial resources" to show i won't be overstaying there. that is the stupidest logic ever. if i didnt have enough financial resources on my own to stay there in the first place, i would never even dream of overstaying, especially with my three young kids back here!!!

*****

and then, earlier tonight, the ex called, only to tell me to talk to our son's teacher about a certain classmate who socked him in the groin three days ago. i was calm in explaining how the matter has been settled, but he insisted i should talk to the teacher again, sounding as if i wasn't doing enough as a good mother should. i just lamely said, "i'll see... i'm not feeling too well lately..."

and only belatedly do i get hold of my anger at his hypocritical self-righteousness. i should have told him what i really thought and felt, "if you're such a concerned parent, why don't YOU go talk to the teacher your self??? i already do enough for three kids alone, without your help!!!"

*****

and now, here comes the man i love, who innocently shares with me a little harmless flirtation from his past... because he was feeling safe and loving and intimate with me...

... and i just fall apart with all-consuming jealousy.

*****

i haven't been at work in the last two days, telling my students im on "emergency leave" for a "sickness in the family"...

i think i'll make it three.

this is just tooo much to take right now.

i want to climb into my shell again and hide.

somebody, make the hurting stop, please!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Goodbyes

it is very telling how people handle goodbyes; they reveal their true maturity or childishness, nobility of character or just plain crassness.

while working here on the pc, with my yahoo set to invisible, a friend whom i thought i was fast falling for a few months ago suddenly messaged me again. we had a falling out some time ago because when the feelings got too intense, he bailed out by saying he didnt want to get serious. but i knew how seriously he was falling from the frequent calls he made, and how he even spoke of taking me with him, and having babies and a family ...

anyway, here is how the sudden "reunion" conversation went:

HIM (7:20 PM): remember me?
HIM (7:23 PM): BUZZ!!!
me (7:25:15 PM): yes
me (7:25:29 PM): the guy who only wanted to play
HIM (7:25:37 PM): ic
HIM (7:25:53 PM): still upset?
me (7:26:05 PM): ive moved on, A
HIM (7:26:11 PM): goood
HIM (7:26:34 PM): why did u write me apology then?
me (7:27:01 PM): well i thought maybe some of the words i said were unfair
HIM (7:27:08 PM): okay
HIM (7:27:27 PM): i never played with u
HIM (7:27:36 PM): my telephone got disconnected
HIM (7:28:25 PM): u there?
HIM (7:28:37 PM): ur dad is ok?
me (7:28:39 PM): sorry im busy with something
me (7:28:48 PM): yes he is better now thank you
HIM (7:28:58 PM): okay
HIM (7:29:01 PM): take care
HIM (7:29:06 PM): bye
me (7:29:07 PM): thank you
me (7:29:10 PM): bye
HIM (7:29:36 PM): u dont wish to talk to me anymore right?
me (7:29:52 PM): we dont seem to have compatible goals, do we?
HIM (7:30:27 PM): first let us meet
me (7:30:38 PM): im sorry
HIM (7:30:50 PM): u dont want to meet me too?
me (7:31:10 PM): there is somebody special and serious in my life now. i wouldnt want to hurt him
HIM (7:31:18 PM): oh okay
HIM (7:31:26 PM): can i see u on cam for last time then?
me (7:31:34 PM): sorry
HIM (7:31:43 PM): ok good luckkkk
me (7:31:47 PM): thank you
HIM (7:31:54 PM): am removing from u messenger
HIM (7:31:56 PM): bye
me (7:31:57 PM): sure
me (7:31:59 PM): no problem
me (7:32:00 PM): bye
HIM (7:32:07 PM): dont write me at my email pls
HIM (7:32:09 PM): thanks
HIM (7:32:12 PM): bye and bye
me (7:32:19 PM): whatever gave you the idea! (rolling eyes emoticon)
HIM (7:32:54 PM): u are not my type...I dont want a promiscious person.
me (7:33:02 PM): yes sure (smiley)
me (7:33:06 PM): sour grapes (more smileys)
HIM (7:33:06 PM): bye
HIM (7:33:09 PM): no
HIM (7:33:16 PM): too ugly for me
me (7:33:16 PM): i hope you get exactly what you deserve
HIM (7:33:28 PM): u are too ugly looking for me.
me (7:33:35 PM): (more smileys)
HIM (7:33:42 PM): and u think u are Ms Philippines
HIM (7:33:45 PM): bye
me (7:33:58 PM): (more and more smileys)
me (7:34:05 PM): you are hurt
HIM (7:34:09 PM): no
me (7:34:11 PM): your character shows
me (7:34:15 PM): i was right
me (7:34:18 PM): goodbye
me (7:34:26 PM): you are blocked now too
HIM (7:34:27 PM): my character is better than urs


oh, sure.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

the way to me

sometimes i play hide and seek with my self.

i've been in a funk lately, with the doldrums setting in, and feeling a growing sense of worthlessness and incompentency from having so many items in my To Do list for the day left unchecked. to make my self feel a little bit better, i would move the unchecked items down to another date and time, and when the date and time came and i still didn't feel like doing them, id move them down again. : (

now that i have so much time to my self after my resignation as Chair of a big department in our university, i am surprisingly feeling swamped from all the many things i've planned for my self to do yet not knowing where to start. ive been feeling like ive done so much and done all in my life already at half the time, what else was there left for me to do, except more of the same?

thankfully, a blogger friend reminded me of how there are always new things one can explore, like his trying to learn German. that reminded me of two things i wanted to learn "once i had more time for my self"-- aikido and belly dancing! : )

my friend's reminder jumpstarted me into getting a hold of my self again, and finally sitting down with my self to organize my thoughts and plans and To Dos.

the by-date-and-time method didn't work for me this time. so i resorted to an old technique--mapping.

i constructed a table of many columns, the number of columns depending on the number of major areas in my life i wanted to work on-- personal, teaching, writing, higher studies, others/msc.-- and i filled in all the columns with all the To Dos i still have left undone, transferring them from my regular planner to this sheet of paper.

after i finished putting everything down, i could see a better and bigger picture of what i wanted to do. i didnt set any deadlines this time, although i knew in my head which ones were the most urgent.

still, the important thing is my little map encouraged me again to wake up from my inertia and start doing things again. because there were no deadlines, and i gave my self the freedom to choose whichever task i felt like doing every time i looked at my map, my inner self felt more empowered rather than imposed upon. : )

and so i did and accomplished my To Dos again with my characteristic gusto and speed (ive been told that i work real fast and deliver quality output at that... when my heart is in it... :>... but when my heart isn't in it, nothing can budge me either, not threat, not reward, not pleas... : < ).

this little game with my self only served to further remind me, now, though, of how there's this other underside part of me that refuses to be tamed, much more bossed around, even if the one doing the taming and bossing is the other rational, logical, law-abiding topside part of me that the world sees. but it is this underside part of me that funds all my creativity and passion and joy, and so the topside part of me must learn to be ingenious in dealing with this underside part of me, as well as tolerant, gentle, forgiving, loving... much like a loving parent would treat her impetous, irrational child who insists on having a tantrum. : )

and so i learned this about me again--

that sometimes, to way to me is around me. : )

Thursday, June 23, 2005

small

i am suddenly feeling sooo small... and vulnerable. at the mercy of externals, like a feather being blown this way and that, with no force of its own propelling it towards its own self-willed direction.

the car's still in the garage; the mechanic has been too busy to come for it since monday. so the children and i use the taxi every day. at P70 per trip at 4 trips a day, that's like snatching the equivalent of 3 days' food away from the table.

still i sigh and keep my chin up, for the children's sake. i keep repeating to my self like a mantra now-- God will provide. There's always more where it comes from, God will provide.

besides, ive been through this before... so there's really nothing new.

i have been carrying around an "almost-flu" my self, but i tell my self i can't afford to break down and get sick; my children need me to make the world keep turning. besides, paolo woke up with a sudden high fever at 5 am today.

i am still monitoring it even as i worry. my mom called earlier and when i told her about it, her sharing of watching the news on tv of how meningitis has been breaking out among children in manila didn't help much.

now i am more worried.

yet, i hesitate to go to the doctor unless i really have to.

there's the finances to think about, for one. i just got my butterfly commission, yes, but everything's budgeted for... and my sister called me up earlier today to borrow 3k to cover a business overdraft. she's helped me through so much before, it was the least i could do for her, even if it already meant a dent on my budget...

another thing is, when i called the hospital earlier, and asked for my children's last doctor, they told me she has left and doesn't hold office there anymore. the children's original pediatrician has long since stopped working too, because of a mysterious illness. and since my children have been virtually healthy since their birth, ive never had reason to bring them to the hospital since then, even for check ups (!).

now i am soo lost. i hate to think of carrying paolo into the emergency room, with unknown people to attend to us.

i need somebody i know and trust, to talk to me, to hold my hand, and tell me things will be okay, as they always do.

and right now, there is no one.

i am free, yes --
and alone,
and small.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Free

i received a surprise visit from the ex today, the surprise mostly coming from the fact that he finally dared to enter the house in my presence. he usually just stops by the gate and relays whatever messages he has for me through the maid.

today, though, to his credit, he was man enough to face me, and hand me a set of papers from The Court himself, my copy of The Court's decision on our Petition for the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage:

...WHEREFORE, Premises Considered, based on the foregoing citations and/or jurisprudence and under the "totality rule" this Court is safe to decree that the marriage between the plaintiff and the defendant on 16 May 1992 is null and void ab initio and the parties are restored to their former civil status.

Let copies of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, the Office of the Solicitor General, Manila, the Office of the City Prosecutor, Bacolod City, the parties and counsel for their guidance.

SO ORDERED.

Bacolod City, Philippines, 17 May 2005.

*****

thirteen years to the very day.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Hmmmm...

i wonder who my sole fan from Moreno Valley, California is who religiously visits this incognito site...

: )

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Confession: The Beginning and The End

perhaps, it is only fitting that i should end my sexual exploration phase with whom i began it with, with T... which started almost three years ago, a few months after i left my marriage, at 34.

with T, i learned what i should have known long before -- that a man can make love with a woman with all his heart and cherish her and treat her with the tenderness and respect and careful attention that she deserves -- but which i never experienced in what i see now as a horribly sick marriage.

the ex was the first man in my life -- first holding hands, first kiss, first "everything"-- and so, i had no other experience with another to compare my experience of him with. at 23, i should have known better that i wasnt treated the way i should be treated as a woman, but what the heck, the sex was great! (it still brought me orgasms didn't it? only to realize now that my own imagination and willingness and curiosity and natural hunger fed my own fire as much--if not more-- than whatever techniques and tricks in the bag the ex knew.)

it was with T though, that i learned from first hand experience, that there is great orgasmic sex, and there is great lovemaking, and that the two need not necessarily be the same.

i wanted to pursue a relationship with T, but T wasn't ready, or willing, or prepared, or just wiser and more sensible than i, being 14 years older: how do you seriously sustain a long-distance relationship, at a time in your lives when you're both trying to pick up the pieces and rebuild again?

... and so, the love and passion with T was put at the back burner and left simmering, while we became better friends instead.

the opportunity with M came next, a year after, while i was getting over the shock at having been taken for a ride by an online love. M was convenient-- i could tell he was attracted to me and even possibly in love with me, with the way he was following me around like a lovesick puppy. M was a new experience too-- half foreign, and much younger-- someone ive never had before, and never even entertained in my wildest dreams.

the experience with M further taught me that some men do know how to make good loving, even when they're clumsy with the sex. : ) it also further bolstered my confidence as a woman, knowing from his "feedback" how naturally "talented" and good i was, even when compared to the women in his country.

M wanted more with me, but i wasn't ready. when it came time for me to be ready for something more with him, he was already so hurt from my initial rejection that he couldn't believe id really want him for him anymore... it was a bittersweet parting of ways over the course of a year and a half, but i thank God that, like T, he still also remains a good friend.

*****

i met D another year later, at this adult friendfinders site. by this time, i was with the notion that mixing love with sex makes it confusing and stressful... so why not go for just the sex itself and enjoy it for what it is?

so i registered at that site, anonymously, of course. it was a scary kind of thrilling experience, but it's interesting to note that the only three people i decided to pursue communication with from that site are the three most real people i knew, virtually or in real life. i guess that maybe, since the illusion of "love" was out of the picture, we were freer to just be ourselves and to talk without the BS.

D lived the nearest to me, and at a beach at that. he invited me to take a break from my regular life and enjoy my self, for once in my life, without having to worry about my responsibilities to my kids, my work and other people. it touched me that he quickly saw through that, my fast burning out from my real life's demands, and offered me the friendly vacation at his place, "with no strings attached".

: )

of course, knowing me and my curiousity and hunger then, i went ahead with the adventure. what the heck, i decided-- life's too short to be limited by other people's shoulds and should nots about how i should live my life!

and so i spent an interesting three days of my life with D, doing nothing but pleasuring my self.

it was a new kind of pleasure with D, though. there was pain, and then there was tenderness. i didn't understand what was happening. i went home still feeling confused, although refreshed and renewed in going back to my old life. i learned though, that i should have been clearer with D about what i really wanted, especially when he asked me many times what i wanted. after a year-long hiatus, i guess i was just so hungry i forgot to look out for my self and set my boundaries. : (

N was from the adult friendfinders site, too, and we agreed to meet a month after i met D. this time i was more upfront with N about what i wanted, and what i didnt want. for sure, i expressly told him i didnt want pain, and i wanted to take it really slow. N was more than happy to accommodate.

that one night with N healed me from my confusion with D. ive never laughed so much and enjoyed my self so much with N, who aimed to please and was more other-centered than D.
And N's "feedback"-- his wondrous surprise at how eager and hungry i was as he was, of how he said he can't believe ive only had 3 before him, excluding the ex-- did much to boost my womanly esteem, considering that he was a "pro" at this whole new "fubu" (f__k buddy) kind of game.

i didnt want a bad-taste-in-the-mouth memory of D, so when the opportunity arose for me to be at his beach again the next month after N, i jumped on it. this time, though, i specifically asked D to remove some "piercings" he had, which scared me and upset me and hurt me... i was also more explicit about taking it slow and being more gentle.

it was another adventurous time for me. the kids and my students were sleeping still at 5am, and i sneaked out of our cottage to be with D.

this time, he was good to me. he did remove what i asked him to remove, and he was gentler. but it was me who had to go fast and leave soon after, as the kids were waking up and calling me on my cellphone!

but, at least, i consoled my self with the new happy memory with D.

*****

i was in the capital city another month later, to be with my father and the rest of my siblings for our father's heart operation.

T called and asked to meet me again, after 3 years of our not seeing each other.

it was like old times, and then it wasn't. T said ive become a woman now, from the girl i used to be the first time we met. : )

*****

and then, too, while with T again, i sensed intuitively that it was to be the last of my (mis?) adventures.

i learned that im a woman of curiousity and hunger and passion and fun and a sense of adventure; but i also learned that im a woman of a sensitive heart, who must at least feel affection for the man before she can give herself fully to him, even in supposedly more casual and undefined relationships. to go on with more adventures like these would be harmful for my heart and soul. : (

i learned too, that im good, and that i don't need anymore to keep proving to my self so.

what i needed to do now is to find somebody who is as good, not just with their bodies, but with their minds and hearts and souls.

and so, that's how it started, and that's how it ended.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Him

- faith in goodness;
- a healthy sense of fun and adventure;
- an inquiring, independent mind;
- a kind heart;
- a strong, wise and fine spirit...
- loves me heart, body, mind and soul with all his heart, body, mind and soul!

that would be Him.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

From Moulin Rouge


"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return."

Friday, May 13, 2005

Writing as Anarchy

when all else is lost, i write.

when i am made to keep silent, by people or circumstances or considerations of sensibilities, i write still.

when i am being what i should not be, or not being what i should be, i write all the more.

for it is only in writing that i hear my self think and i am made aware of what i feel, and it is in writing that i keep, or find, or rediscover, a clearer, stronger sense of who i am and what i am about.

if anarchy is "no government", and i refuse to be governed by keeping true to who i am, by giving voice to my ongoing thoughts and feelings at any moment in time through my writing, then call me an anarchist.

whatever i am called anyway, i still write.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Wildish Nature*

It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can.

*****

The way to maintain one's connection to the wild is to ask yourself what is it that you want. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.

We choose a thing because it just happened to be beneath our noses at that moment in time. It is not necessarily what we want, but it is interesting, and the longer we gaze at it, the more compelling it becomes.

When we are connected to the instinctual self, to the soul of the feminine which is natural and wild, then instead of looking over whatever happens to be on display, we say to ourselves, "What am I hungry for?" Without looking at anything outwardly, we venture inward and ask, "What do I long for? What do I wish for now? What do I crave? What do I desire? For what do I yearn?"

It takes spirit, will, and soulfulness and it often means holding out for what one wants.

*****

*excerpts from Women Who Run With The Wolves

The Cat As Symbol

from Lionrhod (emphasis mine):

Mischevious, playful, alluring, intuitive, cats embody the essence of magick and mystery.

As totems and spirit guides they offer protection, independence, psychic power, sensuality and self confidence.

They are associated with the Moon, the Night and the element of Fire.

Traditionally seen as the archetypical witch's familiar, cats are a magnificent aid to grounding, and just stroking their fur can bring calm, healing and a sense of peace.

With their mysterious airs, it is no wonder that cats have been revered, mythologized and sometimes even feared since ancient times. During the Burning Times, cats were firmly entrenched in our mythology as the familiar animal of witches, and often murdered along with their owners. The lack of cats to kill rats allowed the Black Death to spread swiftly across Europe.

In sharp contrast, the Egyptians treated them as gods and kings and even mummified them after their deaths, and killing a cat (even by accident) was punishable by death. The Egyptian goddess Bast, protectress of the Pharoah and of women, was seen as a cat or a cat-headed woman.

Because of the cat's penchant for freedom, the Romans depicted the goddess of Liberty as having a cat at her feet. Freya, the Norse goddess of passion and fertility was associated with cats, and Shosti, the childbirth goddess of the Hindu mythos rides a cat. In Celtic lore, heroes were often seen battling giant cats rather than dragons.

Why Do People Say That Cats Have 9 Lives?

here is Jeeves' answer ( emphasis mine ):

Some people believe in the superstition that cats have nine lives, because cats can survive falls from high places with few, if any injuries. This gives the appearance that the cats return to life after sustaining a fatal accident. Granted, they may sustain minor injuries, such as bloody noses, cracked teeth, or a few broken ribs, but they live to recover.

The ability of the cat to survive these accidents that would kill humans or other animals is not due to multiple lives, but to several advantages they possess. Their small size and low body weight soften the impact as they make contact with the ground after falling from great heights.

The highly developed inner ears of cats equip them with an unusually keen sense of balance, which is critical to their landing on their feet. This sense of balance allows a cat falling upside down to right himself by rapidly determining his position, repositioning himself, and making any adjustments necessary to ensure that he lands on all fours.


Since cats land on all four paws, the impact from landing on the ground is absorbed by all four. Additionally, cats bend their legs when they land, which cushions the impact by spreading the impact, not only through bones that could easily break, but through the joints and muscles as well.

Most are surprised to learn that a cat stands a greater chance of survival if it falls from a higher place than from a lower place. New York veterinarians gathered data from their feline patients, which clearly supports this fact. Ten percent of their patients died after falling from 2-6 stories, while only five percent of the fatalities occurred when their patients fell from 7-32 stories

Laws of physics explain why these survival rates vary. All falling bodies, regardless or their masses, accelerate by 22 miles per hour per second of their falls. The falling object, after traveling a certain distance through the air reaches a final speed, or "terminal velocity," because the object’s friction with the air slows the fall. The smaller the object’s mass, and the greater its area, the more it will slow.


A cat falling from a higher floor, after it stops accelerating, spreads its legs into an umbrella shape, which increases the area against which the air must push and increases the friction, thus slowing the cat’s fall. Through the cats highly developed sense of balance, he buys more time to maneuver his body in preparation for landing on all fours. A cat falling from a lower height does not have the opportunity to increase its body’s area, slow its fall, or position his body to land on all four feet.

This Secret Place

this is getting to be quite fun, to be in this secret place -- where i don't know anybody who visits (well, no one has visited yet even!) and nobody knows me.

it helps me deal with the real world out there, with people grasping, clawing, voraciously demanding for my time and attention and energies, it seems. i walk around and know that at least, some part of my life is mine and mine alone, nobody can touch it.

i am hurting so bad right now too. i feel like an open, gaping wound walking around, drip-dripping blood all over the place but unable to even speak nor cry about my pain, because nobody will truly understand nor be there with me down there in the depths anyway.

this secret place helps. i can start writing about it, at least, without worrying that somebody else might misunderstand, or take offense, or become more confused about who i am and where i'm at with them...

i am safe here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Starting Anew

i already have two blogs elsewhere (no, make that three--with the third one only announcing the other two), but too many people already know too much about me there.

right now, i just want to get away from them all and speak my mind and heart again as freely as i used to when i started blogging.

so this is it -- me again, incognito this time, so i can be most me at last.