Monday, May 18, 2009

Redefinitions


(In which my internal problem was finally realized and I learned “new words.")
***

Shopping means time, energy and money, of course. But last Saturday, it meant new meanings to me.

I told my sister that I’ll be shopping for art materials and she asked me to come with her to Anitpolo, saying that the bookstore I’m looking for has a branch there. So off we went and she was unbelievably concerned about me getting there that she rode off the jeep and walked me to the bookstore.

“It’s far from your workplace, right?”

“Yeah. But you aren’t familiar with this place so I’m showing you where it is. I’ll just take a tricycle later.”

How sweet!

When we finally get to the scarlet bookstore, I thanked her and waved goodbye.

Ate! Don’t forget the letter I told you to edit and print, okay? It should be ready tonight.”

How sweet.

I entered and left my bag at the baggage counter then started looking for the materials I needed.

Masking tape: check!

H and B Faber-Castell pencils: check!

Faber-Castell eraser: check!

Faber-Castell Classic Colored Pencils: check!

Ooops. Then I saw it. It’s a set of 36 Faber-Castell Classic Colored Pencils and it cost more than a hundred pesos cheaper than what I have. But it's also 12 pieces less. I held it up and compared. It will be wise to check which colors were included in the 48-piece set that were not in the 36-piece set. But the free DVD was put in the place that would not allow me to see the colors in the set. Great.

I spent more than one minute thinking and arguing with myself over which one is better.

Sure. The other one is way cheaper but it’s not the best I can have. I mean, I don’t mind spending a lot for something really good. I might be able to save myself from spending almost two hundred bucks but it won’t save me from the disappointment that I will get later on from not being able to make the right color combinations or settling with my limited palette. 12 colors – THEY MATTER!

Then a realization hit me.

Why do I settle for the temporary happiness something gives me when I can have something better? If it makes me feel good for now, will it last?

That’s it. I believe I know where my problem is now.

Long term effects plus good quality: CHECK!

It’s time now to get the papers. I went upstairs to pick some really good Strathmore or Canson paper. Wow! Just the thought of it really makes me feel good! I remember my sorrow during my high school days when I can’t purchase these art materials because they are very expensive. I remember the hard times I have to endure thinking about combining different colors to get a more complicated one because I only have the 12 basic, limited colors… (Screeching sound.) But that’s over.

I pulled a sheet of plastic-covered beige Canson paper just to get disappointed. Damn, they look like they have been touched by someone who hates them! It took me ages before I can get the neatest of them all. I was planning to get two sheets of Canson but because of their misfortune, I just chose to get a Berkeley instead. Poor Canson papers.

I went to the counter to pay for the items. The cashier carefully placed them, except the papers, in a plastic bag. She sweetly asked me if I want to take advantage of the bag the bookstore’s offering for Php99.

“No thanks.”

“Okay.” Then she smiled. She held the two sheets of watercolor paper up and placed them on the counter.

“Is it okay if I fold them?”

“Ugh… Please don’t. I had a hard time getting the smooth ones. You can just rol-“

“Okay. I understand. I’ll just fold them,” she said with an I’m-not-stupid-I-know-what-you-mean kind of smile.

I opened my mouth to stop her from folding it but before I could utter a sound of protest, she has already rolled it, wrapped it with a plastic strip and secured it with a tape.

“Anything else, ma’am?”

“No. That would be it. Thank you.”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Leaving and Living

(In which I am reacquainting myself with another life’s lesson.)
***
A meeting comes with a price. And more often than not, the price of meeting someone has to be paid when someone has to leave and someone has to be left. Lately, I have realized that when we open up ourselves to people we are being subjected to pain. And that pain comes when something has to end. Yet it has the same results when we refuse to open up.

Life means dealing with the inevitable. And parting is as inevitable as every introduction. I have to admit that the worst pain I had and would have will be the pain brought by being left. Yet I know that every pain passes away – Time assures that. It is the same as any exercise. It hurts like hell at first but do it everyday and you’ll sore no more.

But for how long do I have to be sore?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Slowly… Closer

(In which every step is a movement closer to freedom.)

When everything has fallen down and hope seems obscured
By clouds - dark clouds,
I listen
to a familiar voice
and a familiar song.
then
I can get my way back
Into the old me.
The old me who has known happiness
In you.

You,
whose reticence has made my heart
numb and wounded
You,
whose shadow nor trace was neither visible
yet felt.
Your memories, omnipresent;
Like a ghost that haunts me when I’m most vulnerable.
And now you are
As abstract as a ghost.
as abstract as your voice
and a song.
Yet how sweet it is to be back
to my old self.

Slowly.
As slow as melody dancing its way
To my heart,
I glide back to happiness.
And if I have to do it alone, let it be.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What I Want

(In which my hands are aching to feel it again.)

***


Before I got myself into the trouble, which I am still paying the consequences of until now, I was a different person. I see beauty in almost everything. I love meeting new people. I love to see different smiles from different faces. And most especially, I love the art that has been with me since the first time I got comfortable with my pencil.

I loved drawing and painting. But because of my asthma, I was advised not to expose myself with paints anymore. So I am more comfortable using colored pencils. I draw every time I feel like drawing – or whenever I see something beautiful. Until I got myself burned.

The last time I drew was when those eyes were locked with mine. They were so expressive I got inspired and with a mechanical pencil, I was able to draw his left eye. I was still lucky though. I was supposed to draw his face but he was so uncomfortable I swear he could have snatched the drawing and torn it. But my little talent has saved me. When he saw his own eye on the paper, he smiled. He smiles whenever he sees it. I especially like his smile the last time he saw it. But that was ages ago. History.

I regret not being able to draw his portrait. But whenever I see it now, I don’t smile. Not anymore.

Now I don’t want to be unfair with the art with which I have grown up. Not when it’s my only escape from the harsh realities this world has never been tired of bringing on me. Not when it makes me feel special.

What I want now is to relive the days when me and my pencils are one. And we make beautiful and expressive things again – as beautiful and as expressive as the eyes that used to see through me.
The pain passes but the beauty remains.
- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Monday, May 4, 2009

잘 들어 보세요.*

(In which music finds a way.)

***

We were watching a movie while eating dinner last night. My sister brought the DVD of a 2007 film “August Rush”. It was about Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore), the child of classical cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) and Irish rock singer Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Lyla’s father, who was against their relationship, sent him to the orphanage and told Lyla that he’s dead. Later on Evan decided to look for his parents, and in the process, discovered his talent in playing the guitar and in composition. Wizard (Robin Williams) gave him the new name August Rush.

There was a scene where he played like a virtuoso guitarist though he never learned his notes. Yeah, he doesn’t know how to strum the strings but he created an impossibly beautiful music. He was also able to create a complex composition on the piano three minutes after the young girl told him about the “Every Good Boy Does Fine” and “F.A.C.E” thing. How genius!

I was smirking and told my sister “Whoah! So he just listened to every sound and noise and he made music out of them? Hey! And how did he ever come up with sixteenth notes when he never learned to read musical notations?”

“Do you know that Mozart had his first composition when he was five? That boy’s eleven.”

Okay. She has Music as her major.

“Really? But did he ever have a formal music education?”

“Uh… Yeah.”

“That boy didn’t.”

Anyway, so that made the film preposterous. Yet as a musician myself, I appreciate how music connects and brings people together. I also enjoyed watching the cellist and the orchestra. Oh how I miss those times when I’m playing the flute with a brass band in front of many people during a concert. I miss the confidence it gives me. I long for the comfort and serenity music brings into my soul.

***

I remembered someone told me how he dreamed of becoming a cellist. So last Christmas, I sent him a video of a musical piece with his name as the title it was a Japanese composition with piano, violin and cello parts. He loved music too. If only it could connect our hearts again, then… I hope he can hear. I hope he’s listening.

Wizard: If there is anything in this world that you want to be, what is it?

Evan: Found.
***

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.
- Evan Taylor, “August Rush”

*Listen carefully.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekend Realizations and Nationwide Cheers

(In which I started my new life off with a new haircut, a new song to live by and Manny’s victory.)

***

Saturday. I went to a salon to get a new haircut which I have always been skeptic about. So I just got the style with uneven ends and all that. It’s hard to explain. And I don’t have photos available.As I was resting at home after the long supermarket and tiangge walks with my oh-so-energetic younger sister, I heared a guy singing a song on the videoke. It was from Neocolours.

video

Tuloy Pa rin
Neocolours

Sa wari ko’y
Lumipas na ang kadiliman ng araw
Dahan-dahan pang gumigising
At ngayo’y babawi na

Muntik na
Nasanay ako sa ‘king pag-iisa
Kaya nang iwanan ang
Bakas ng kahapon ko

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin

Kung minsan ay hinahanap
Pang alaala ng iyong halik
Inaamin ko na kay tagal pa
Bago malilimutan ito

Kay hirap nang maulit muli
Ang naiwan nating pag-ibig (alam ko na ‘yan)
Tanggap na at natututo pang
Harapin ang katotohanang ito

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko (tuloy pa rin)
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin

Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin


I haven’t appreciated it as much as I do now. Yet the message was so true I can’t get over it. Right. No matter how you screwed up, life doesn’t stop. It didn’t stop on X and it definitely won’t stop on me. As we have always chanted in our group class, “You can do it!” Aja!


Sunday. My cousin and I did the laundry to watch East vs. West on GMA 7. Yeah. GMA 7. No one needs to tell me how it was to watch him fight on that channel. 75% commercial breaks, right? Anyway, so everyone was shouting that Pacquiao won over Hatton on the second round which brought us to so-what-the-hell-are-we-still-sitting-here-for but we remembered how long we’ve waited so we still waited. And true. It ended with a left hook er, straight… Oh please bear with me. Much as I would like to write it in a sportsperson’s point of view, I can’t. I just can’t. So let me try again. It ended with Hatton’s jaw being hit by a left punch from Manny which made Hatton land flat on the floor with his blue eyes swirling of dizziness. Whew!

Anyway, cheers for our victory!^^