Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Feter Fifer

No, don't mind the title (as if this blog actually spews decent titles, decent entries). I just want to stop thinking about things. You got that? Does it make sense?

I am now having withdrawal symptoms from having Mama, Iya and my cousins Barry and Keng over for three days. I miss hearing them going about the house, especially Iya with her kulit "hiiiiiii" all the time. I miss having having Mama around, gave me a sense of---I dunno, security? warmth?

I said I wanted to get my mind off things.

I'm back to work tomorrow. Meeting in school and then that convention of Waldorf schools worldwide kicks off on Saturday. I'll be hauling my gorgeous ass (if my students chanced upon this blog, I'd have to explain that using the word ass was really necessary) to Manila for a week.

Gahd, I need to do something about my writing. I'm really going crazy. A secret: I have been keeping this longing to write fiction for quite some time now. Yep, I know my poetry is far far from being good enough, to think my poems are what have gotten me into workshops, fellowships, a teaching job, publications, affairs... But my heart is really longing to weave stories, prose...

Sana kayanin. I don't know what to do if I wouldn't be able to write again. Inasmuch as I love teaching and am really working on it as a career, writing is what I breathe for.

So help me God.


I have a list of topics to blog about. Can I just kill myself for simply not getting the job done?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I want to start over

Ninang Grace was buried last Saturday. It was once again a heavy, heartbreaking moment for my family. I cried for everything and everyone she lived for. She was and will always be very, very dear to me despite all the imperfections of our lives. I just wish I had tried to spend as much time as I could with her especially when she was already in the ICU. I wish, though I know she has always known this, I told her I love her when I went to see her and prayed with her for the last time.

Have I thanked her enough? Only those close to me know the role Ninang played in my life. More than an aunt, she helped Mama in every possible way to raise me and my siblings. She helped Nanay and Tatay when her business started going up. She helped so many people in ways she knew best. As I was growing up, Ninang was always there, never letting go, despite our occasional spats and differences.

I promise that this will not be the first thing I’ll be writing for her. When you lose someone you love, you somehow feel you are inadequate to give back something to honor the person. But I will do it. Maybe it will not be enough, maybe I will not be enough to do it, but I want to let the world know the story that Ninang Grace once was.

And I said I want to start over, so last night after trying to come up with my own attempt at pasta pomodoro for P’s friends who came by unplanned, I began cleaning my study. I started with my desk, wiping out the dust, organizing my piles of books precariously perched one on top of another: a stack for references, for my summer reading (For the Love of Literature-a Waldorf book, Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man, Diana Evans’ 26A,Ian McEwan’s First Love, Last Rites, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated, Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, Mr. Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase—surely, these would extend until the NEXT summer’s reading), another for “writing”, the piles go on and on. I am short of shelves already. Discovering Literature, Bulfinch’s Mythology, David Copperfield and The Best Philippine Short Stories almost broke my right toe. I better ask P to look for a good carpenter to make me more shelves.

Next in line will be my closet which is another disaster. I don’t want to procrastinate anymore (God help me) and waste precious time. I’m getting so good at it already it’s embarrassing.

After all these physical cleaning-ups I’ll make sure I’ll get to sort out the files in my head, too. And ok, add my heart in the cleaning up, too.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Peace my heart...

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.Let it not be a death but completeness.Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence. I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

~Rabindranath Tagore

for Ninang Grace. With all my love and gratitude.
19 October 1956 - 03 April 2006