Friday, March 13, 2009

If I were not a pumice rock, what would I be?

I would be like a flower, a rose, so beautiful and graceful, a staple in a love scenario, a pleasant gift, a get-well, thank-you, drive-carefully kind of present.

I would be like kosher salt: a must-have seasoning, reduces sourness, enhances flavors, any chef can't do without.

I would be like a tight rope, a willing prey to circus and its walker, teetering between carefree and flight.

I would be like the morning sun as it slowly creeps up the sky and splashes yellows and orange and pink and sometimes lime green and makes an early riser smile.

I would be like a wave that walks and runs and stampedes ashore, licks the sand and combs the bank free of colorful shells and corals and more sand.

If I were a pumice rock - second

When commuting aboard a jeepney in Manila, I would seat closest to the driver's backseat, cling ferociously to his bottle-blonde ponytail and remind myself that God loves all creatures, great and small.

Snorkeling in Moorea, I would marvel at how friendly the slimy manta rays are and thank God for letting me float safely among them and providing an abundant supply of tuna and mackerel.

Vis a vis a cuddly dog, I would make myself twirl like a baton on busy wheels and watch how my furry friend's chubby tail speed up its rotation.

While on a hike with my friend Rose, I would play hide-and-seek, plant myself firmly next to a boulder and cause a search and rescue mission aired on CNN and Nancy Grace while my rock-heart aches for Rose's tears.

If I were a pumice rock - first

Living in a tropical island, I would settle my pumice bottom near an alabaster-sandy beach and muster a sexy whistle everytime a sunkissed local pair of sturdy, hennaed legs saunter by.

When in New York, I would prop my weightless form on a Manhattan apartment's rooftop balcony, perch on the rail and catch my breathless life while watching the city sleep and toss.

Aboard a plane to Asia from the US, I would check myself in a luggage snug enough for me not to roll around and flop back and forth through umpteenth hours of fly time.

Once in Sedona, I would quickly divulge that my race is purely pumice, but that I am open to the possibility of some pink and red rock cousins.

Next to Elvis Presley's star in Hollywood, I would play serious dead with ketchup and larger craters on me just so some paparazzi would take a snapshot and splash my photo on People that maybe one day CSI would take notice and hire me as a victim.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Where does the 'im' set in?

It is true that impatience is at the other end of its nemesis, patience. It is when you know you can't go any further, but you also know that you had started somewhere, far more pleasing, to where it desperately headed. In most cases, it's like a runaway, untrained horse that kept on galloping wildly across the field, not knowing where to go and not knowing he just tore apart the neighbor's white picket fence along the way and left a few strands of horse mane as evidence. I know it should be much simpler than this, but is impatience ever any simpler? I mean, where does the 'im' set in?

I live it in some kind of daily format now:

Oma, my 99-year old German grandma-in-law lives with us and she seems to breathe the 'im' in my patience every two minutes or so, as long as I'm at home. Over the phone it has become quite impossible, because she hardly hears anything unless it's being screamed at her. She had disposed of two pairs of hearing aid and then, just the other day, reminded my husband to buy her another one. She forgot why she hated her hearing aid in the first place: "The sound gets all mumbled up together...I couldn't understand anything."

What we found out after having her tested was that no hearing aid would have done its job on her, after all. The doctor said that, though her hearing has deteriorated quite significantly from her last test, her comprehension has gone down the drain even worse. Besides she never liked the transition period with the equipment; the adjustment period between the scrambled hearing, to a controlled volume, to where she could easily isolate one sound from the other and combine sounds that make sense together.

Oftentimes, we had to grin and bear the 'im' a lot and learned how to go with the flow and enjoy the other sweeter moments when Oma couldn't hear, much less understand, when we fool around with words or gestures or when we even berate each other over some kind of you-are-wrong and I-am-right, husband-wife back and forth. Sometimes my husband and I could talk three yards away from each other and have some sort of privacy, even with Oma as the third person and a curious black dog with the busy, wagging tail.

It's not even just the hearing: Oma's eyesight, with traces of healing glaucoma on both eyes, is displaying signs of her ninety-nine years. There were times when I had to re-wash the spoons, forks, dishes, pot and pans because they're not quite properly cleaned. [I know, we should already ban her from dishwashing, but she usually insisted and we always complied.] It's easier not to argue much with Oma, because it could be a lot pointless and stupid to even go there. Fortunately, we won the laundry battle twice, two years ago, when she thought bleach was actually the regular detergent and my husband’s ivory-blotched clothes proved that they weren't.

So with her hearing and eyesight on red alert, we learned how to have sharp-like attention despite walls and floors in between. Just yesterday, I watched her move around our eight by twelve kitchen space. [You have to remember that Oma's kitchen is her own little world and it is where she feels the most special. And if you've tasted her banana bread and her chocolate chip cookies, you know she masters the oven and baking these yummy dishes is her forte.] Well, while she moved around with the fridge door open and her slim, pale face halfway in, she had also left the hot water faucet running and the oven turned full on. I waited five minutes to see if she would notice. She went back and forth the fridge, leaving it open, to the sink left of the fridge, wondering what she had to do next.

Can you imagine what just dawned on me while I closely watched? Oma couldn't see the steaming, running water, let alone hear it; nor hear the oven heating up; nor remember what she needed to do next; nor even notice that I was a few feet away from her peripheral view. She moved around the small, square kitchen with her gray eyebrows furrowed and her skinny lips quenched, probably from her own 'im' trying mercilessly to get out.

And perhaps, on one of those rare moments, my own 'im' settled back and hesitated, then stayed way away from the forefront. This time, patience ruled and kept itself exposed, vulnerable and relaxed. I don't know where the 'im' set in a lot of times, but I am beginning to know when and where patience shows up: It is always when the heart is open and where time begins to shut up.

I could almost hear the docile horse quietly tapping its heels, cautiously slow-trotting back, barn ward.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

prepping for '09 - part two

just wrote a bunch of stuff about what i still need to rehash from stuff that i was in the process of rehashing off the old list of ancient rehash points that gave me more to think about. i have been wanting to really shake it all off and start undoing or doing what needed to be done a long time ago. i figured that since i am approaching an age defined by lack of innocence and purportedly 'the donning of wisdom or the unveiling of late-blooming ignorance, replaced with a semblance of maturing intelligence' i have to somehow wiggle my old booty to its senses and get going with my rehash points. i blogged it all out, assuming that i could get myself now to really pen it out and assign it numbers that represent - not necessarily the order of which they need to accomplished - unit numbers so that checking them off means having done a certain number of units or things on the list. it's amazing how one can just obssess on the rehash points themselves and justify the lack of time to actualize them. so having said this, i am now on my way to doing what the rehash points represent.

prepping for '09 - part one

in the process of elimination of junk piling to the max: old clothes too tight or too young for me, pitiful thoughts of what-ifs and what-if-not, relationships that are one-sided or three-sided and sometimes lopsided, books that are spiritually empty and gain no one any wisdom, too much meaningless time spent on sense-and-self-gratification, associations that tear down rather than build up, heaps of ageing papers and magazines on storage boxes and makeshift shelves and closets in our cramped garage, unnecessary memories and pretend arts and craft.
where does this list end?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rehash Points

My ’09 business development plan is belatedly done and I should say “yeay!” but then I still have a pile of home-cooked plans to rehash and I still need to figure out where I left off from 2008 and all the things that I never got to finish last year which now got moved over to this year, if I can figure out where to scratch and stretch, after all. Now I have these seven rehash points which I am sure will multiply to seventy other rehash points and ideas and forgotten other points and ideas from way back when I even started rehashing.

Rehash Point 1

I still want to release some weight off and welcome more lean muscles without having to spend any mullah on a personal trainer or fester about not taking up Bikram yoga because I don’t know if I could handle anything hotter than 80-degrees and the expense it translates for exposing myself to a figurative and probably awkward stretch or balk at the thought of walking uphill in my neighborhood which, when you think about it, is really dumb because door knocking in my area is in my business plan and walking uphill is really a requirement – no, the only way without having to drive every four yards - in order for me to get from one house to the next, so I would just revert back to going to my local gym where I am prepaid for another two years; thanks to my husband’s Christmas gift in ’07 when he prepped me for a three-year journey on the elliptical trainer and the local sporting club where it takes fifty cents to park and another ten minute-drive from my house or a quick three blocks from my office.

Rehash Point 2

I still dream about a trip to Israel sometime after war and almost peace, when it’s safe to venture and walk where Jesus walked and believe that, war or peace, Hamas or not, does not matter because the ground is holy anyway and my God knows where my next steps are leading.

Rehash Point 3

I still plan to write and get pages going, give birth to a character in my head and beat the traffic over to Zuma Beach one of these days just to breathe in the Pacific Coast breeze and remember the days when I got photo opp here for my engagement picture, which was really sort of silly now that I look back because I was wearing linen and lined slacks and light blue (yes, dry clean only) sweater while I sat perched uncomfortably on a big, jutted beach rock, waves splashing and really wetting the folded edges of my dry clean only matching slacks. I should have blamed my wedding photographer for not warning me, but hey, it was no secret: the setting was the beach, props were sand, waves, sea water, setting sun and the sharp-like-a- razor beach rock for a chair. In retrospect, we looked good with the sepia effect and all the airbrushing and the magnificent swell of the SoCal surf just fit right behind us.

Rehash Point 4

I still plan to take some Jerry Savelle’s correspondence classes for me to learn how to walk by faith and not really just rely on my own mighty and lofty list of objectives and plans which I have no idea when I’d get the chance to all check them off anyway.

Rehash Point 5

I still need to really get my long list of to-read books opened and read and to-watch movies played, snatch some time here and there to just vege out with a dusty book on one hand or a netflix mailer playing and a steaming hot cocoa or some green tea on the other hand, contemplating on what those classic or funny or sad or crazy or biblical or drug-induced words and scenes mean in my life and the life of the characters and ideas in my head.

Rehash Point 6

I still want to cook a big bowl of my colleagues’ favorite adobo, use the same ingredients but this time twist it a little bit to make it less porky (good concept: lessen the pork!) and add some out-of-this-world secret ingredient so that I could call it my own without the bottled marinade basking in the glory all by itself.

Rehash Point 7

I still want to go and visit my mother who is now on a feeding tube because, like my sister hypothesized, her year-old hematoma and prior strokes affected her vocal muscles and her brain must have shut off communication with her palate so she just never thought to be hungry and occasionally couldn’t even say my name, let alone say I love you. Or maybe she just got tired of feeling awful and decided not to speak much.

Friday, January 09, 2009

not enough words

It is a long pause after my last entry here. I don't know whether to go on and peel off one layer after another. Then again I ask myself, why not? Times have certainly changed and I have grown quite accepting of what I thought were just empty words or inconsequential attempts at sentences. It doesn't matter if I voice my mind or shut up. I just want to have a space that not enough words can fill.

Just the other day I watched the movie "Becoming Jane" and became quickly enamored at how Jane demonstrated persistence and courage in her time. She was clearly vocal in her opinions and had a strength of character that ignores gender and vocation. Interestingly, her desire for anonymity cries irony: She was like an open book with her thoughts, but she never quite opened up with her heart. Or else, couldn't she easily have let herself be undisquised in the pages of her book?

I don't know if Jane inspired me to peel myself off, or not. But here I am peeling off and claiming space after blank space to put not enough words to fill.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Revelation for the Coming Year

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
--Isaiah 43:19

I haven't watched Pastor Rod Parsley for a long time, but I woke up especially early this morning. He gave this word: Isaiah 43:19. I went to my page in the Bible right away, because the scripture was just what I wanted to hear. After all, I have been consistently praying for His wisdom and strength. When I turned to the page in my Bible, there it was: underlined is the exact scripture, none preceding and none after it.

This brings me back to God's love and faithfulness. He reveals to us what our hearts desire, if we listen carefully and if we trust Him completely. He wants only the best for us!

I must have shut my ears for a long time until this morning when I got His answer to my prayers through Rod Parsley. I keep forgetting that my timing and His timing aren't usually on the same page. I keep forgetting that His ways, though mysterious, are higher than mine. In other words, all I keep thinking is how reliable my own strength and my own wisdom. It's really twisted thinking on my part: To actually ask and pray for wisdom and then rely upon my own strength and smarts to arrive at the answer. It's so unadulteratedly human, if anything.

So there, I hang onto this truth. He is certainly doing a new thing these days! As for me, I'm holding onto His promises which had already been revealed in His Word. Like He said, "It is written."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Choose to choose

Everyday we are bombarded with temptations that look like enhancements or some better way or someone better. It seems that, as we grow in faith, we become more in tune with detecting the difference between a disquised temptation and a real blessing.

I know this much: I am learning, everyday, how to say no to small, confusing temptations.

It is still a bit startling whenever I realize that I can actually turn down a good, old confusing, irritatingly delicious temptation. It sometimes comes as a seemingly minor or trivial desire to buy something that is not even a need, but more like an unnecessary want; or to invite and ignite the lurking horns of office gossip and the luring ways of ignorant tolerance or its ally - the calculating, purposeful, know-it-all arrogance.

Really, His Wisdom embraces even in the littlest of details. The Holy Spirit nudges: It's not for you, my dear! Because you are His and not of this world...

Always, at the peak of it, one temptation, I ask: Who do I choose to be now, to become what I choose to be tomorrow and the next day after and the next day after? Who am I in Him, when all is said and done?

basically Yours

Convivially, I should attend to all the comments and e-mails that I get when I tell everyone my most private thoughts and, oh, my weaknesses even. But there is a small chance that a lot of people will bump into my own quiet place.

Simply, I don't advertise it, I don't really share it with just anyone, I don't even tell my immediate family about it. I don't even talk about what I really do on a day-to-day basis, or what, quote-unquote, achievements in the bubble-world out there I snag, or how much I do for this and that which, ideal-worldly, merits accolade and, yes, some kind of vertical trophy or something thicker than a cardboard to stuff into some Office Depot certificate frame.

So what is the purpose of this? At first it was just my way of exercise: a sort-of platform to air out what bogs my head when I think, or when I want to say something to someone close but couldn't because it's not appropos at the time or that it's simply immature to even utter, or when I feel like the flow is within me and I want God to be in the know like I am in the know of what's going on in my head, or just to be in the same page with God, because as we all know we aren't always in the same page with the Almighty. It is my own quiet place to be me - suddenly, internally, vocally, artistically, whimsically, stupidly, spiritually - from all adverbial vantage points thesaurus has already, previously factored as a word.

Besides I just am done with the ex-crap, for lack of a better noun, that came with my in-and-ex-baggage I now refer to as pride. It was the stupidity of pride and the ingenuity of embellished prejudice that prevent one's lowest self to be thrown in the air and left to be picked up by a Power stronger and higher than itself. Holding tight to a configuration of self, or the idea of self, is plain stupid in my spiffed-up notion of wisdom, which happens to be the kind that originated from my Maker.

See, I am nobody special to a lot of human beings, but I am special especially to my Maker. This alone, now, gives me peace. He knows what I am doing at all times. I don't really have to announce to Him what my heart's desires are, because He knows me inside and out. But when I blog here, when I use this platform to cry out to Him, it's as if He is right there, ready with His keyboard, ready to respond and comment, or not respond and comment, ready to understand everything I say, ready to forgive me for the foibles that I say in-between-the-lines, ready to decipher the in-between-the-lines before they even come out of here. He is ready for me at all times. He always says, I'm basically yours, my love.

Many times I ask myself: Why do I bother or not bother? Why is it that I am compelled from the deepest recesses of my heart to talk to Him? I don't even seem to exist for any other reason, but to exist for Him. But there is where I could be wrong: He made me for something and that something is so close to me now, just as far as I could stretch my arm. I could smell the purpose. I could even feel the static that creates a whizzing noise when the thin spark implodes. It is here, my purpose. Tapping on my heart, it is here. I am to do what I am supposed to do.

You know what I say to my Maker? Now I say, I am basically Yours, my Maker! Do with me what You will for me to do.

--June 11, 2008, Year of New Beginnings