Monday, January 21, 2008

Eat Pray Love by E. Gilbert – Not my Cup of Tea

Finally! After 3 months, I was able to finish this book. I'm sorry but I sort of lost interest right where she's treating herself with ice cream in Italy. I don't know, the review was great or maybe I was just paying attention to the promise of humor and of travel to Italy, India and Bali that I did not bother to find out what it is really about. Unfortunately it did not meet my expectations. This is of personal opinion and nothing else.

I have learned something from my daughter. Whenever we watch a movie, she would ask at the end, “What is the problem in the story and how was it solved?”. That is the way they were taught on how to appreciate any story. Any story would always have a problem and a solution. From then, I started to ask myself the same question after reading a book or watching a movie. It’s not just what it made me feel that matters anymore, it was also how the dilemma was resolved. This book made me laugh, that is good. I, however was not impressed when I saw what's behind the humor.

When I started to read this book and as I go in further and further, the problem started to form in my mind. This is about a woman who is struggling in a marriage because she does not want to have children. Struggling went to depression and then the divorce. Plus, an affair that did not help at all. She was totally blaming herself and in need of self-assurance in what ever form. She decided to go out into the world to renew herself. Being a writer, her boss has agreed to finance her travel only if a book can be written out of it. She first went to Italy to indulge herself with pasta and ice cream. Then she went to India to seek faith. She learned how to meditate and discovered yoga. Then she went to Bali and found love. A new love in one years time. Someone who, like her, does not need children and enjoy the luxury of travel.

As hard as I try, I can’t find any empathy towards the writer. The problem was really shallow and the solution is giving mixed ideas. She is indeed a very fortunate woman and quite a spoiled too. Not all divorcee can go out in the world and reinvent themselves. Most of them were forced to end their marriage because they were abused or mistreated. Most of them have children to think about even before they can think about themselves. Most of them are not lucky enough to have a job, much more a job that will finance all expenses traveling the world. If I’m a divorcee or have a problem that consumes me and I’m looking for answers, should I hop on a plane and go to Italy to gorge myself full? Journey the holy lands of India so I can find God? And then off to Bali because the answer is there? If i can't, does it mean that i'm doomed?!!

But I’m not as lucky as her or as spoiled. But then if I should take all of these as a big metaphor, then probably the basics would help. I would follow the same pattern. Step one is Eat, this does not mean gluttony but to take ones attention to oneself. Take care of yourself because no one will, give it nourishment and ask it to rest. Listen to it and make it stronger because it's all you have. You don't have to go as far as Italy to enjoy a spaghetti or an ice cream. Second step, Pray, - one does not have to go far to find faith. God is never too far, He’s forever near, you just have to let Him in. In the quietness of your mind (anywhere in the world, even in the noisiest part), you can let him in to your heart. Share your burden with Him and trust in His love. Third is Love --- this is the last… open your heart and let love come to you. You need not seek it to the ends of the Earth for it will come willingly and in full surrender in God’s time. This I think, makes more sense.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pre-Valentine Thought

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, Then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

Neil Gaiman

Strange, though at first read I was shocked to read so much hateful words, but after the initial shock I was impressed at how acurate Neil Gaiman is at describing how he feels. Broken hearted. If I am to put myself in his shoes, I would probably say the same thing. It may offend at first but that's exactly how it felt and that is exactly how it is. Did I just let out a secret? hehe Who, in this wide world hasn't experienced being heart broken?? It maybe of different intensity and reactions may vary but it is the same thing. If i'm heart broken, i'm not expected to be polite too!
The bright part of it is that it passes. Time heals all wound. And then you'll fall in love again... hopefully this time it would work.

Neil Gaiman by the way is the author of alot of books. I have three of his books that I haven't read yet but looking forward to reading. I have the "Good Omen", "American Gods" and "Neverland". According to reviews these book are categorized as humorous. Quite opposite to the sentiments that he has shown above. However, it is not surprising since writers are known to express such a wide array of emotions.

Do not fret. It isn't that bad. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Of Flowers and Butterflies

Paruparong bukid na lilipad-lipad
Sa gitna ng daan'y papagapagaspas
Isang bara ang tapis
Isang dangkal ang manggas
Ang sayang de kola
Isang piyesa ang sayad
May payneta pa siya -- uy!
May suklay pa mandin -- uy!
Nagwas de-ohetes ang palalabasin
Haharap sa altar at mananalamin
At saka lalakad na pakendeng-kendeng.

My opening line is so cute. It’s a folk song that very small children would first learn back home (i.e. during my time ). I have no idea when or where I’ve learn this song but in the very back of my mind I still remember it. Maybe broken and fragmented but I can surely hum it. I can remember how my friends and I would sing it complete with hand and hip gestures. It’s a very funny song about an overly dressed young lady (which is why she was called a field butterfly). Anyway, this post has something to do with butterflies but not entirely.

The artistic side of me has flared up again. I have this episode every once in a while. I saw these albums on sale in the mall. It was covered with pink fabric and maybe due to storage has somehow stained a little. Being in constant look out for bargains, I was not able to put them down. I could make some improvement on these or make them personalized.
So, off I went to the Dollar Store to buy some small flowers, butterflies and some stick on letters. Guess what? It didn’t take me too long. I have personalized the albums to be given to my two nieces back home. I am sure they will both like it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Kastilyong Buhangin- Sand Castle

Basil Valdez(G. Canseco)

Minsan ang 'sang pangako'y maihahambing
Sa isang kastilyong buhangin,
Sakdal-rupok at huwag di masaling
Guguho sa ihip ng hangin

Ang alon ng maling pagmamahal
Ang s'yang kalaban n'yang mortal,
Kapag dalampasiga'y nahagkan
Ang kastilyo ay nabubuwal

Kayat bago nating bigkasin ang pagsintang sumpa
Sa minumutya, sa diwa't gawa,
Pakaisipin naitn kung pag-ibig ay wagas
Kahit pa magsanga ng landas

Minsan dalawang puso'y nagsumpaan
Pag-ibig na walang hanggan,
Sumpang kastilyong buhangin pala
Pag-ibig na pansamantala.

Kayat bago nating bigkasin ang pagsintang sumpa
Sa minumutya, sa diwa't gawa,
Pakaisipin naitn kung pag-ibig ay wagas
Kahit pa magsanga ng landas

Minsan dalawang puso'y nagsumpaan
Pag-ibig na walang hanggan,
Sumpang kastilyong buhangin pala
Pag-ibig naPansamantala, luha ang dala'
Yan ang pag-ibig na nangyari sa atin,
Gumuhong kastilyong buhangin.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Winter Wonderland on the 1st Day of 2008

We slept late last night but never bothered looking out of the window. Our new year celebrations every year since we came here have been in the comfort of our homes. We had the traditional new years eve feast, we gather together and do fun things as we wait for the new year to come. Around 4 minutes to midnight we watch the fireworks and countdown on TV. Since every new year was celebrated in our place, we never really get to see the outside until the morning of the 1st day of the new year.

It turned out that there was a snow storm last night. Not really a blizzard but it snowed enough to cover everything. Guess what? We woke up to a winter wonderland!!! When we stepped outside going for the morning mass... it was a sight to behold. It just took my breath away! I felt like going back and taking pictures right at that momment. It was so perfect. But we're getting late to the mass so we went our way. We need to thank God for the past year as well as this coming year. We have much to thank for, so much that I somehow feel that I can't thank enough.

After the mass, we went back to get the camera and tried to capture the moment. This scenery could not be more perfect. It's still snowing a bit but there no wind and it's not too cold. I'm even wearing skirts, no gloves and I'm still not cold. Such a perfect day for picture taking. The ground snow is still undisturbed which is perfect for making snow angels.

Perfect day to start the new year. Praise God!

13 Fruits for New Year

My mom always reminds me to have 13 fruits to greet the New Year. Not just any fruits but preferably round ones to signify money. It’s a bit odd but I always managed to comply every year. I have to go to the grocery store twice to complete my 13 fruits this year. The cashier probably thought it’s a bit strange that I bought only two of each fruit except the grapes and the pineapple. If she had commented, I would have explained about a little Noahs ark I’m building.

So, hopefully my 13 fruits work. If not, I always have these bowls of coins stashed on every corner of the house… :)