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Showing posts from May, 2011

On Andy Goldsworthy

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I just finished watching Andy Goldsworthy's documentary entitled "Rivers and Tides".  I am still quite speechless.  Adi introduced me to this artist some time last year but I never really found the right time to appreciate the entire meaning of his work until today.  I remember watching about 10 minutes of the documentary last year and told myself, I can't continue watching this because I am not able to absorb it and appreciate it as I should.  Today was a rainy Sunday and it was perfect for watching this piece.  
I am still quite speechless.  It has had a profound effect on me such that it's quieted me down and made me realize what a paradox life really is.  His art is transient in nature.  Taking everything from the earth's landscape: rocks, twigs, leaves, ice, vines.  He uses natural means of putting everything together.  He finds the essence of the piece of landscape and "dialogues" with it until it unravels a creative process in him that allows …

Fascinated with Bookmarks, Corners and Clay

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Yesterday I spent most of the morning writing in my journal.  It was quite a release.  Introspection in longhand is almost like an art that's lost in this internet age.  So in the middle of the rain and sparks of thunder and lightning while the internet got cut I took the opportunity to do it the old way.  I realized that there are some things I can say on a piece of paper and not be able to say online.  The honesty that gets drawn out of me as I hold my pen and scratch the surface of my journal with words is an intimate act of making sacred reveries.
Yesterday I was restless for creativity.  Two hours of writing about it and figuring out the creative urge led me trying to paint with my fingers and sing old songs from the faded sheet music of my favorite grandaunt Filomena.  I listened to my voice and how comfortable it was singing the warm melodies of 1950s music.  Finally my camera, which I have not used in a long time beckoned and I found myself captivated by the booksmarks and …

There Must Be More Than This

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I just find myself reflecting on this photo this morning.  It's from one of Adi's albums.  One of my favorites I'd say.  I've been staring at it and looking at the misty windows.  The notes posted on the walls with hand torn masking tapes.  The ball of yarn forgotten in the corner.  The collecting dust on the sill.  She easily notices things like that and oftentimes draws her into a quiet place of her own.  Something I never really quite understood but have slowly begun to appreciate.  During the past 3 years of her stay in London we've been keeping in touch and I've learned about her life through these photographs and occasionally her handwritten journals scanned for posterity on this page.   I've often wondered why I have gravitated so much to her way of life and behind closed doors I always realize that it is because there's not much of this kind of rhythm in mine.
I don't know what this is telling me but for quite a while I have to admit, I hav…

A Break from Report Writing

How does a writer articulately describe what she's feeling in the middle of a workday with piled up deliverables and very little time?  I'll probably be going around in circles on this one but I suppose writing more and more about will help me excavate what needs to be let out.  Sometimes I wish I can write a bit more transparently.  But I can't.  Not yet.  
It's our afternoon break and the clouds are pregnant with rain.  They said that there will be a thunderstorm these next couple of days.  Not that I'm looking forward to it but what I am looking forward to really is the rain.  Pouring down and hearing the droplets pitter-patter on the roof.  The whole quietness it cloaks the world and how everything seems to just slow down in unison.  I'd go out for coffee but I don't want to really run into a lot of people right now.  There are so many things in my mind.  So many questions about the workplace dynamics.  So many unanswered questions about relationships, d…

Invoking the Virtue of Patience

Sifting through task lists took my entire day.  Sorting out what needs to be done and followed through.  I can't believe that it takes that much time to sort everything out and I can't believe that I know very little of the details going on.  Part of me feels frustrated.  Part me of me feels sad.  It's hard to just point out one reason why my team is not able to measure up to the pace they are expected to be in.  But, right now I think I'm almost exhausted making up excuses why they can't.  I just needed to take them by the hand and push them to do it.  
Reactive.  Most of the regret is really in the end and I don't know what impact they feel about this.  I don't know if they feel the urgency if and they want to rise above what they think are their personal limits and just unleash excellence.  
Is it really that hard to unleash?  I pray for the grace to withstand this crucible and the patience to see everything through God's eyes.

Discovering Katherine Mansfield

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I've been forcing it.  Trying to pry myself open.  After a long week of creative hibernation.  I needed to keep the sensitive capability to draw out meaning from every moment at bay.  For emotions and sensations in the middle of the political workplace are too sharp to lay my thoughts on.  They pierce.  What's more is that they remain unabsolved of a possible redemption.  
I had a long discussion with Dad about the difficulties of making decisions.  I told him about what I faced at work and I saw in his face a contorted look of disbelief.  So he shook his head and told me to make people attend the trainings they needed so they will learn because it will be too hard to do it on my own.
It's all easier said than done.  I circle in this story of a family organizational saga.  Much similar to the saga of the school my grandparents left behind.  Only now do I understand how difficult it has been.  
So I keep prying myself open.  Searching for anything that will let me release all …

Outside Looking In

I wonder if I'll always be in this state of feeling like I'm "outside looking in".  Every Sunday, I lazily wake up from my sleep and like most Sundays that have come I find myself always wanting to come to that point wherein I'm letting a torrent of words pour out of me for release, for discovery, for peace.  Today is just like one of those Sundays.
I spent yesterday at church for a whole day teaching on Shepherding.  I realized how very little I knew about it.  I also realized that I may have been going about this the wrong way in the past.  Being introduced to Ezekiel 34 convicted me and made me wonder how God never quite struck me down after all the mistakes I've made serving as a youth minister.  These teachings on Shepherding make me wonder about how I am towards people at work.  I know that I've made a conscious decision to really be a little bit more patient with everything going on at work right now but after my experience last week, I'm not su…

Slowing down with La Vie En Rose

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The week has been quite hard for me.  It's the first time I felt really affected by work place politics.  But I am grateful that God sustained me throughout the week.  Despite the harsh words or the whispers behind my back or the judgmental perceptions we received.

This week I learned what it means to "defeat evil".  I learned what it means to be amidst "evil" and not let myself be consumed by it.  And in not letting myself be consumed by it, I consume it.

Thanks God.

To start the peaceful weekend, I've been watching Priscilla Ahn's videos.  She has a great voice and it always calms me down when I listen to her songs.  This video enchanted me, a cover of La Vie en Rose.  Took me to a place of small town cafe and chilly mornings painted orange and gray.


Decisions and Work Load

Today has been quite an ordeal.  I found myself a little bit stuck on thinking about decision making processes and how I can bring home the idea that for implementation plans to consistently be rolled out, the decision making processes need to be consistent as well.   It is not always the case in a fast paced growing organization as the one I work in.  And a few meetings here and there today tell me that it will not be as easy to change this system.
A part of me is demotivated.  A part of me is hungry to make things happen.  I find myself wide awake at 12:04am still thinking about organizing the things in my mind and all the things listed down in our recent task management tool.  I find myself thinking about other thoughts blowing up in a bubble somewhere in my head.  Like my the prayer meeting I will lead on Friday and the concert committee meeting on Thursday night.  Like the book I'm currently reading on Design Thinking and the Diaries of Ettie Hillesum.  The productivity of my …

North Bound City Office

I'm going to the our office in the city today to do some needs assessment for the graphic design team all huddled up in a lonesome penthouse.  Last Friday's trip to that office made me realize how painfully abandoned they have been.  Hired as graphic designers and promised a creative career they find themselves now stuck with routine work retouching finished designs for magazines and brochures.  I learned a lot about this retouching process.  A zit?  A body curve unwanted?  A crumple on a blouse?  Adobe Photoshop is their bestfriend.  What is painful about this process is: that's all they do all day.  
Imagine creative people who are born to create from nothing now stuck zoning in to their computer every single minute working on the most creative way to clean up skin tone.  
Don't get me wrong.  It's not a bad thing.  It's still a job that pays them.  But, for me the challenge in this case is how I can help them make this job creative?  How do you put some spice …

Truth Comes Stirring

Oh but I'm seeking for truth
Is it where you are?
I knock and search
Up hill and down low
In every breathing conversation
I check the things they know

I find it absent and lacking
In sugar-coated sighs
I fear the lack of meaning
In praying through these lies

Oh where is the soul
Where is the soul
In the worship colored life?
When will the truth
Birth pregnant aching cries?

I can't be satisfied
With driving windows down
In circles up the highway
Oh what does it take
to cling hard to the vine?
I'd laugh this away
And put on my guise
But I no longer can ignore
The Jewish man calling
Come and be mine.

Unearthing A Song: Leading into Prayer

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It's a miracle.  Who would've thought I'd unearth a song tonight?  After the pounding of my brain into absorbing the paradox of strategy and leadership, I found myself humming to a melody of release.  Yes, a release.   From all the expectations.  From all the pressure.  From all the processes that lock me up every day in gray walls.  

Art and Business

Letting myself unwind for the past couple of hours after an intense dialogue with executives on business strategy and leadership philosophies.  I ran into this video.  Aside from faith, what motivates me is my passion for art or any related artistic experience.  Finding a relationship between deepening my faith and learning about how artistic experiences can help this deepening process has been an ongoing pursuit for me since I graduated from business school.  
I've realized how art can help me become more grounded and reflective in anything I do which translates to almost a prayerful experience.  This helps me understand why faith is needed in pursuing any experience and in understanding the aspects that strengthen faith, I am able to keep up with my perseverance of pursuing any experience. 
An elective I took up in business school called "Self-Mastery and the Arts" has convinced me how important the impact of art is in one's life.  In that study, I also learned how i…

The Leadership Philosophy Challenge

A four hour meeting on strategy.  What to say about that.  I look at the sky which has turned gray in just a matter of 30 minutes.  Somehow I am glad that after the meeting the weather has turned from a sunny morning to a rainy midday.   
It's a pressing concern.  They say.  A pressing concern to improve and reach goals that make you feel fulfilled and accomplished.  And moreso, earn money.  How can an organization venture into reaching these goals and remain fulfilled while they're at it?  I learned a lot about leadership in this past 2 years of working where I am.  And they're right.  Leadership is influence.  It is influence because a big portion of what goes on in conversations behind closed doors are debacles about mindset and values and beliefs.  Decisions are made because of certain premises.  And those premises can be relevant to you or not.  
It's difficult to carry out something when a philosophy of leadership is not commonly engaged in.  I realize how difficul…

Getting Through the Morning

It's a little bit hard to start the writing rhythm when the mind is filled with concerns at work.  I find myself being able to think and hear myself think during the mornings just when I am about to leave.  It's a 40 minute drive from my house to the office and most of the time I pick up my holy beads and contemplate on the mysteries that make up this faith.  I talk to an angel or two and eventually hear the voice of God whisper through my imagination.  
The imagination, I heard as of late, comes in the forms: the sensory imagination, the creative imagination and the divine imagination.  Peter Kreeft talks about it better here.  
The rainy days have passed and the sun now shines bright against my neighbors windows.  She's put this funny wind vane out on her trellis.  I wonder why.  
I think about my day today and how it's filled with so much "hurrying to get it over with" and I pray for a time when meaningful work will come to me and so I'll be able to say &…

Personality Splits and Report Work

A part of me wonders if I'm going to develop a split personality while pursuing this memoir writing project. I'm not sure when I will even finish it.  It might take me a lifetime but I'm writing to believe that this God-given dream will somehow bear fruit in one way or another.   It's been quite a journey so far and I talk about it more in the other page.  It's funny how I feel that conversations online need to be segregated in different pages like different meeting rooms held in closed doors.  
I started today thinking I might lose it because I was asked to create a plan for an ideal structure for the human resource team.  I labored for 3 hours last night and almost the entire morning writing a plan that I'm not sure will exist after it leaves my desk and onto the decision maker's hands.  So much of conceptualizing a plan for an organizational structure is reliant on how my intellect has understood the current situation, known the ideal situation and graspe…

Writing in the Middle of Rain

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I learned yesterday that if I never start it, I never will.  The voice I've been looking for to write has been found and I follow her voice on a separate page for she likes to write "in the middle of rain".  It's not yet a book but it must be something.  It's definitely a memoir of sorts.  Fragments of memories I'm sorting through and trying to understand as she looks at the pieces and picks out her tune.  
Her name is Soleil Laville.  And I write from her thoughts and the way she perceives mine.  I wrote for more than 5 hours yesterday until I've fallen asleep to the sound of the rainstorm.  It's been interesting.  Taking down the rhythm in her rush of words.  I feel like I'm being introduced to myself once again.  I cannot completely say what that is like but it's definitely a discovery and one that I hope I'll not be tired of pursuing.  

It's interesting I never thought I'd start to see all these "voices in my head" as …

My Refreshing Moment

For the first time in a while, I went home early on a Friday  night.  I've have been wanting to slow down on some activities as of late to give myself some time to breathe.  Lately, there hasn't been a lot of silence.  Youth ministry has been taking up a lot of time.  Conversations mixed with prayers.   Workload has doubled my stack of "things to do" and I look forlornly at the accumulating stack of reading material on my desk that is now catching dust.  
Reading.  Prayer.  Writing.  This is my haven.  This is what rejuvenates me and yet I am seldom able to do it.  There are times I find myself able to cull out the words that are clumped up in thoughts but those times are few and far between.  The past few days have been almost suffocating.  But I take heart in the thought that all challenges are a part of pruning and as the epistles of St. Paul say, "perseverance produces character".  
I just finished watching my favorite TV series as of late.  Shifting in b…

Alongside Pope John Paul II Beatification

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Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.Think not about your frustrations,but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in,but with what it is still possible for you to do”

- Pope John Paul II
This afternoon I watch the beatification of Pope John Paul on EWTN.  Listening to the inspiring recount of his life and the virtues he made manifest during his pontificate.  It's timely because today I search myself for those much needed virtues to continue remaining steadfast in youth ministry life.  Last night, an experience that shook me again as I witnessed emotional outbursts again from the siblings I look after, turned me into the shock absorber I've always found myself to be in.  
We were outside at the church of St. Jerome.  It was supposed to be simple issue and yet the woundedness of young hearts screamed for their voices to be hurt crying out "I'm in pain! Pay attention to me!"  
The screams were loud and it w…