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.

; >