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Showing posts from November, 2010

Virtual Art Class and Other Epiphanies

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"Oh c'mon not another template again!" I find myself screaming to my head when I saw the email in my inbox about another balanced scorecard template. When will this ever end? Last week I saw another one that had weights on the four aspects of the scorecard and I remember thinking, "Why on earth are we going to put weights on them? What is the purpose of calling them balanced if one aspect is more important than the other?"
All we do is tip-toe around directions such as this. And I for the life of me do not understand the fear that overcomes our employees when they feel the urge to voice out their thoughts about situations that do not make sense such as now.
But I am choosing my battles and I need a job. And there are plenty of other warriors in the field that have not put in their two scents.
So this afternoon, I have chosen to look at Adi's blog and found it quite a breather to read something very affirming. Her blogs are almost a month late because s…

SNS Challenger Photo Project: Binondo Chronicles

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I don't know why I got up at 5:45 this morning. It's a holiday. But something is screaming to be written so I just have to follow the creative flow and see where it leads me.
I know I should be writing about my SNS Challenger photo trip experience already after having uploaded about 100 photographs this entire weekend. But there are some things that I would just like to keep looking at even before I do conclude what I felt about the whole trip. However, that might take too long and I figured, since this blog is about recording my creative processes anyway, I might as babble myself into enlightenment right here.
First of all, I have never been part of any photo project similar to what Gary McLeod has conceived with SNS Challenger. I had a lot of fun especially trying to decode the locations of the photographs and allowing myself to capture my response to the experience by pushing the limits of my creative thoughts through a series of other photographs from the trip. I don&#…

Breathe In, Breathe Out: A Friday Retreat

This has been quite an interesting week. Juggling between creative endeavors and work issues forced me to stretch my intellectual, emotional and creative quotient beyond my own knowledge of my capability.
I reach Friday and I'm trying to catch my breath so that I'll have enough energy for tomorrow's photo-trip. Psyching myself up for all the possible things that can happen from getting lost, experiencing Manila heat, traffic, and anything else unforseen.
Most of all I hope I can experience amidst all of these, the most awaited creative release. Working on this project for almost two weeks has been the highlight of my creative dry spell this year. I don't think I have fully stretched my creativity yet because I do not know what kind of creative output I'll get to unearth once I experience everything on the move. But I should remain open for any kind of possibility. As long as I am able to create.
I'm at loss for words right now. My mind is in knots from thi…

Pumped Up with Team Spirit and Other Epiphanies

Today I feel electric. Like there's a kind of pumping rhythm pulsating in my veins saying "Things will get done. Things will happen. Things will follow through."
This morning I had to face a man and tell him he needs to leave the job he's held for 7 years because of an offense that he has done. It was painful and I'm not even sure if writing about it right now is a breach of confidentiality but no details or identity will be revealed. This is just an HR person's introspective space so that strength can be rejuvenated after dealing with quite an emotional interaction. I don't know how other HR people can do it. I don't know how they are completely able to balance motivating people at the same time enforcing discipline.
Then again, I'm still young and I have so much more to learn.
After that I had to shift gears and meet with a consultant to talk about Internal Communications and how to jump start the initiative and get a huge following. I…

Remember Diamonds

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I've been hooked on preparing for the photo project of SNS Challenger. Studying 19th century photographs have really captivated me. I remember my younger days sitting in my grandmother's living room looking at her old photo albums of black and white snapshots treasured for posterity. I remember the dusty covers and how I would sneeze when I'd try to get them out the shelf all cramped with volumes of albums stored every year. I remember feeling like I want to go inside the photo like Mary Poppins did on the sidewalk with those paintings and find myself walking around surrounded with the scenery and the people from the photograph. I wonder why I always have the penchant for melancholy and nostalgia.
While preparing for the photo trip on Saturday, I browse through Adi's old albums of our trip to Intramuros 2 years ago. My bestfriend has never been to Intramuros and I thought it odd but then recalled she didn't spend her grade school years in the country. So vo…

SNS Challenger Project Picks Up

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My voyage with SNS Challenger is picking up momentum. It's the project I signed up for last week to help Gary McLeod. A perfect opportunity to put some purpose into my recently resurrected initiative to pursue my writing craft a little bit more seriously. I have always said that photography helps me write. This project is digging into intellectual clutter and helping me find my pen.
I thought of doing a mirror post of my chronicles of this journey here as I would like to keep all my notes in "one notebook". Before that I just want to thank Gary for his log and want to affirm him by saying that his enthusiasm for this project has reached "these shores".
written November 21, 2010 | 10:43pm
I'm starting this voyage by figuring out where Bye Street Canal is exactly located. Out of all the photos taken from Manila this seems to be the most difficult to locate. Right now, I'm working from my room and tapping my network to help me figure out the clues…

The Eat Pray Love Awakening

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I just finished watching Eat, Pray, Love. I didn't realize that it was a 2 hour movie that would remind me of the most important thing in this journey to find my authentic writing voice. This journey is really to find my authentic self.
At 33 I'm ashamed to say I have not been able to truly find that. But I suppose I'm not the only one who is going through this crisis of some sort in the world. Like Liz Gilbert, I'm going through this seeking with very much the same intentions.
And I realized a few things despite the occasional feeling of being rocked out of balance. I have this tendency to escape into spiritual activities because it makes me avoid having to deal with the messy realities of not finding my own solid groundI have this tendency to escape into relationships that feed my neediness I have this great big tendency for self-condemnation because it is the easiest way to control how I respond to uncontrollable circumstancesI shy away from having to go thro…

Writing and the Luggage Trolley

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Lunch with parents this Saturday noon ease the tension that has gone on over the past 2 weeks. They tell me they ran into Roger Collantes, who happens to be their friend and my favorite keynote speaker in last HR Philippines convention. In a 20 minute conversation they were able to engage in a hearty and soulful exchange. They tell me he likes my writing and if I need to ask for help on how to write a book, I can go to him.
How is it that all these things happen almost consecutively in the past 3 days?
2:43pm. I pick this post up now sitting in my Mom's hospital room as she gets prepared for her 4th chemotherapy cycle. I was pretty happy because while waiting to get checked in I was able to write a few things in my Moleskine while sitting on luggage trolley. It's my first attempt to try writing in a public place after a long time. It surprised me that I barely struggled and realized that as long as I do not keep thinking about what "other people will think" …

Paying Attention: Night Whispers

I just finished reading Heather King's latest post "The City: Cavafy". She writes about her past while recovering from alcoholism. Her words put me into a reverie. Sometimes I still dream of Merrimac Street, and the loft where I spent the darkest years of my alcoholic drinking, where I first experienced the deep, deep loneliness that formed me, where I got sober. I remember my own dark nights and many of them still recur as I write my way to wholeness. I came from a prayer meeting that reminded me of the cross and how it stands to save and not condemn. How the love that bled from tortured flesh, nailed hands and a pierced crown flowed to win my life redeemed.
There are days when I am illuminated by these thoughts of faith and the spiritual life. And there are days when they are just empty words mixed with the battle in my head. I remember them tonight because today is one of those days when I feel my faith is working for me. It's one of those unexplainable thing…

Note Taking and Following Through

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I don't know where to begin. I feel that a mighty refreshing rain has just poured upon this creative dry spell. I managed to take note of the things I wanted to write about yesterday but didn't really get around to doing much writing since I got preoccupied with more work issues yesterday until last night.

Significant things have happened yesterday that tell me all is not lost. Little breadcrumbs that show me the way back to myself.
Meeting Adi Alsaid on Tumblr was a breath of fresh air. A debut novel is upcoming and his blog talks about his journey to its fruition. I have read a couple of his posts from his archive and I like his writing voice. Very enunciate. Very lyrical. He talks about sculpting words and I can resonate with that thought because it is the very same thing I feel when I write and capture my thoughts to bring to life. From his blog was a link to Bookblogs and thought it would be added exposure and a great opportunity to learn from budding writers. …

Writing Out Restlessness and Organic Creativity

Ideas for writing surfaces during nightmorn after quite a few restless moments yesterday. Bombarded by busy-ness and work issues I had to put this on hold for a bit. But I'm glad it has surfaced in my conversation with Adi this morning.
adrienne: just keep the process organic. ORGANIC.
me: i'll take note of that in my journal
me: how do you keep a process ORGANIC
adrienne: like just feel your way through it. dont try to analyze write down anything that surfaces in your head if it surfaces, it means something and just keep praying for the play/story to stay with you and ask you to write it. I was telling her about how difficult it is for me hold on to a thought I want to write about especially when I get busy or feel anxious or experience a strain in a relationship. Yesterday I was jotting down my thoughts on my journal and realized how much I think about a lot of things. I wasn't sure if I was being coherent at all as I let the words just declutter themselves on paper. But …

Finding Spirit in Creating

The whole introspective and creative process is not complete without spiritual illumination. The act of "listening to the work" arises from the openness of a soul to receive the soft promptings of the Spirit.
I find myself resonating with Rachel's post of late as she gathers archives of her own spiritual journey in 2008. How incidental, I posted a comment on her page that I was doing the same thing just last weekend. Sifting through my writings hidden and in public. Turning pages of old journals and understanding myself a little bit better. Allowing myself to sit through the process of God creating and transforming me in these circumstances.
She writes, In this season--despite the "not-knowing," the pain, the fear, and the frustration--I can be grateful for so much. I am the daughter of the Creator of the universe, who guides my life with tenderness and compassion. In a way that I will never completely understand, He loves me. Yes, He loves me, despite the …

Convergence: Understanding Differences and Creativity

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I captured these series of screen shots this morning while in a nightmorn conversation cross-continental. London, 12mn. Manila, 8am.
I used to take a lot of these screenshots when Adi moved to London 2 years ago. Similar to screenshots I took when Toni studied in Vienna for student exchange during our MBA year. Parallelism, I surmise is God's way of driving home a point. He says, I am bigger than the proximity of your relationships. Even those you hold dear to your heart.

It was quite an intense conversation this morning similar to last Sunday's. A discovery on the meaning of ceramics and its creative processes sends us to a rush of illuminated insights about our purpose and our art. adrienne: it was good annie talked to me cos in the morning before school, i was telling her about how i'm quite torn between fine art and 3d like i'm not the "design" vibe of 3D but i also dont want to just paint the rest of my education and i asked her if it was possible fo…

Listen to The Work

I can feel my voice shifting sound from inside me. Earlier this last week it was pulsating with energy as if I were trying to knock a wall down with my words. And now I find it quieting down as if trying to inhale the series of circumstances these past few days and find a comfortable way to sit with them.
I have been busy learning about social entrepreneurship. A buzzword that I've recently started to understand in my efforts to put a little bit of form and structure to this calling I feel I am finally responding to. Yesterday was a marathon. The desire for knowledge flowed and I just kept on collecting and gathering all the information I found. I'm glad there is Google Wave to deposit all these things to. I like the application very much because it is easy to navigate and build discussions on the things I have found.
I am slowly beginning to realize that there may be a bit of sense to the chronology of my life. I had to study in business school for a reason. And this…

Breathing Space and Scatterbrain Writing

Where do I start talking about this Sunday? I'm scatterbrained this morning. It feels like I'm all over the place. And I wish I can really nail what it is that makes me lose the writer's flow. It is frustrating because I have to go back and retrace my steps all over again. But this chronicling is all about trying so I should not be so conscious if my writing doesn't make sense.
As long as I write. For now.
3.42 hours on a chat/video/voice conference with my bestfriend has pushed me back on track. I missed conversations like these. It doesn't happen very often but I suppose these are the things I need to keep my eyes open for. These unforced rhythms that become vessels of grace and illumination.
The ink is drying up so I'm just going to have to post some snippets of that conversation to hopefully chronicle that I am going somewhere with this journey.
Yesterday. I finally figured out why I can't write. Chronicling a chat conversation yesterday below. ad…

Augustine and Newman Morning Whispers

I found this on Eileen's blog this morning and it settles me down on to a prayer-filled moment. Life passes, riches fly away, popularity is fickle, the senses decay, the world changes, friends die. One alone is constant; One alone is true to us; One alone can be true; One alone can be all things to us; One alone can supply our needs; One alone can train us to our full perfection; One alone can give a meaning to our complex and intricate nature; One alone can give us tune and harmony; One alone can form and possess us. - Blessed John Henry Newman It is a Friday and I am staring out the window while typing on these keys and looking at the sun rising up against the sky. I have passed many Fridays and I wish a day will come when I can fully grasp what John Newman is talking about.
This week has been about finding that resolve inside myself to climb another step closer towards authentic living. Making choices. Being clear with preferences. Reaching out for long-forgotten dreams. …

Idea Dumps

Spent another 3 hours discussing the possible roll out of the art foundation. There seems to be a different tone in the discussion now compared to how it was 2 years ago. It feels a little bit more real. The inputs given are more well thought of compared to the burst of creative impulses and pent up yearnings.
So I have spent almost an hour reading through Artist of Humanity's program page and am already getting quite a lot of information on how to set up the foundation I want here in my own country. It's almost just like knowledge transfer except I do not have much experience in implementing anything large scale such as this. What has gotten into me and why do I really think that this is a good idea?
It's no different from what I'm doing now. Huddled with young people around the round table at our backyard. Spilling our guts about what we want to do with our lives and the passions we want to pursue. I fund most of these huddles. Nothing fancy. Pizza. McDona…

Reaching For It

I am up early updating Facebook discussions about this art foundation idea and quite enthralled really by the articles I have been reading about Artists for Humanity. Susan Rodgerson hits the nail on the head. I have almost the same vision as hers except I am coming from a different angle. In one article she says, "I wanted to use my love of working with youth to empower them through the same process that had empowered me."
It's amazing how resonating with somebody can do for your own liberation. Anyway, I have posted on that FB discussion a response to Rodgerson's viewpoint saying, "I was disempowered from a process I knew empowered me. I want to reclaim this empowerment because I know what it feels like to live without it and protect this empowerment that I knew inherently belongs to young people at a stage where they are at their peak in creative development."
The impulse to create again comes alive in this very small unearthing of possibilities provid…

Susan Rodgerson on Artists for Humanity

I'm picking up momentum by looking through models of these art foundations that I know already exist around the world. But so far I have not seen a model quite like Artists for Humanity that captures exactly what I feel is an unattended need in my own country.
Seldom does the need for art get recognized. Intangible things like this always end up in the back burner. Things that move society like art, philosophy, faith are dealt with in a passive way compared to economics, investment, or business outsourcing.
But there seems to be a new uprising of corporate social responsibility initiatives in the area of environmental management. Talks on sustainability and development are slowly being heard because of the extreme experiences of climate change. Could there be some kind of awakening? A different kind of renaissance? I would like to think so.
In the attempt to slow my mind down and get ready to hit the sack I think about this talk by Susan Rodgerson. I let it sink in. Reso…