Showing posts from November, 2011

Meeting the Praying Runner

One of the things I'm trying to get myself to do is to have a consistent prayer life.  It's a must have.  Over the years I've realized that compared to night caps, vice, and impulsive shopping, there is no better way to find peace of mind than a good hour of silence and prayer.  
I've often likened my writing life to my prayer life.  It comes and goes.  Like the ebb and flow of tides.  I lose the anchor and I drift like a log floating aimlessly at sea.  When this happens I know I've either not written enough or not prayed enough.  
This afternoon I come across someone who has known the importance of prayer.  His name is Joey Cumagun and he was my highschool professor.  He is known as the Praying Runner and his blog is a tribute to the sport of running in memory of his wife who passed away early this year after battling 11 years of breast cancer.  I am moved by his honesty and his transparency to share the grief he goes through as he moves on without his wife.  His…

Gratitude and Remembering Grandmother

Today I was much enlightened by Paul's letter to the Romans. Brothers and sisters: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The Scripture says, No one who believes in him will be put to shame. There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The moments I call on God's name are few.  The conscious effort to remember that these words are alive and are a testament from believers of ancient days are not enough.  But this morning's Eucharist helped me realize that I am grateful for so very little.  Gratitude isn't something I practice regularly.  At most I often think that I should be receiving gratitude for all the difficult things I put up with.  This morning I…

Letter to Saint Rita | Getting to Know the Woman with a Big Heart

Dear Saint Rita,
I watched a movie that told the story of your life yesterday and I felt moved by your immense capacity to love.   Your love manifested like God's with different faces.  Your love for your husband who was a difficult man.  You endured the jagged edges of his character and did not give up until his soul was saved.  You preferred that your sons be taken away at such a young age than have them grow up in a society that loomed with so much vendetta.  You loved by letting go.  You loved by embracing people's thorns.  You loved like Christ.
With this love you were enflamed with such an ardent longing to be one with the Savior of the world.  The Incarnate Word who remained faithful to you until the end of your life.  Today I reflect upon the story of your life and long for the same love to overwhelm me and captivate me.  So much of my misery in this world is caused by a lack of love and therefore a lack of understanding that people who lack love really behave so hars…

Finally Reading Shirt of Flame

I have been reading Heather King's latest book entitled Shirt of Flame this weekend.  I've felt it finally calling me and found myself hungrily absorbing all the words.  I somehow hit a low spot after a busy week and found myself asking those questions again that led me to wondering what am I really supposed to do in this life?  
The awful feeling of being locked in on a circumstance that is beyond my control puts me in a situation greatly in need of contemplation.  So I find myself wading in her words that allow me to feel what I'm feeling and learn how to be comfortable with the tensions that normally come with growing up. 

Here are a few of my favorites so far.
...Yes, I'm deeply grateful to be sober and to have been supported by a job as a lawyer for a time, but it's not for me.  I can't and won't do such work anymore, and if I have to be thought of as a quitter, disappoint my parents, bewilder my [now ex-] husband, and possibly become a bag lady, so b…

Relative Acts to Writing

I find myself searching for words this morning.  Unable to quite define what I'm feeling after such an overflow of literary thought last weekend.  I dived into this week in a different rhythm.  There is so much to do and I'm still trying to learn how to be graceful about everything.  
Delayed schedules on newsletter printing.  Delayed artwork for laid out pages.  Last minute changes on photos and editing.  I'm missing a half-beat.  I'm losing the rhythm.  But I suppose this is how it really is.  Printing publication materials isn't an easy.  Creating content to describe life at work in a busy organization is complicated.  But for someone who wants to see life chronicled in pages and words it shouldn't be a problem.  
I'm realizing that a writer's world is more than just scratching words on paper or reading carefully crafted prose from another's thoughts.  It's more than the act of writing itself.  It's everything that involves producing wri…

Lectio Divina | A Reflection on Yehuda Amichai's "The Amen Stone"

It took me a week to finally choose a poem I resonated with among the six poems I was assigned to reflect on through the ancient practice of sacred reading called lectio divina.  The experience of being in a writing course (albeit online) has given me the liberation to explore the power of words and unearth the gift I know I've long locked within.  The gift of realizing I have the same power as well.
My writing process was a painful unraveling.  I could not write immediately.  I could not catch the thought and pin it down on paper.  I tried reading other books that would get the flow of creativity going and to no avail the anxiety caught on and forced me to take a break.  So I did.  And went back on it again this weekend.  I had to recalibrate my mind for 2 hours.  Removing the residue of the business mind that forces me to constrict my definitions of life in a less human sounding voice.  I began my meditatio of Yehuda Amichai's "The Amen Stone".  

On my desk there i…

I Remember Beautiful Places and Making Choices

Sometimes I forget that I've actually seen beautiful places.  When I forget, my world suddenly feels too small.  I immediately feel limited.  What becomes magnified are the stressful situations that eat up the peace I try to pursue everyday.  This morning, I was thinking to myself that I need to learn how to be more decisive about my choices.  I ran into the Happiness Project Blog by Gretchen Rubin from a feed in Facebook linking me to an article about writing tips from Flannery O'Connor.  It would be a good project to do for this coming year.  
On my way to work I was telling myself that I needed to know how to respond to situations without being overpowered by the circumstance.  The past few months have extremely been busy and getting myself anchored back to my center has been a big challenge.  I noticed that some people have it easier and it's because they're able to choose the way they respond to situations.  
This morning's weight comes from a long day of pla…

Stories of Things: Bonsai of Three

I started looking into a photography and writing activity to get my rhythm more consistent and upon the advise of my bestfriend Adrienne I should start with everyday things.  She showed me this blog of someone who took pictures of things and their sentimental value.  It made sense.  I'm a pretty sentimental person and I find it hard to throw some things away because of their value.  So it looked like a worthwhile project to take on, yet again. (laughs).  

A bonsai pot of three, this little garden used to brighten up my room 4 years ago.  I bought it in 2007 when I went on a trip to Tagaytay City.  That trip was an exploration of faith and friendship that became formed because of spiritual bond.  The pursuit of authenticity and the perfection of a craft became the purpose of fellowship and camaraderie.  I look back on those days and remember the cool breeze and laughter.  Silly jokes over piles of food spilled throughout the afternoon.  It was the longest lunch I've had and I d…

Stirrings of Unity

The tension subsided as soon as I sat outside on the front porch and opened  Chiara Lubich's book "Stirrings of Unity".  It was timely because I was feeling a big of a gnawing on the inside after last night's meeting on the things that needed to be finished for our work projects this month.  
Pressure can do a lot of damage to a person.  Too much of it can break their spirits and steal their hope.  I know I still have a lot to improve on when it comes to dealing with pressure.  But I've learned that overcoming the aggressive force of pressure takes grace.  I woke up this morning and asked for that grace. I wanted to make that choice and choose grace.  
So after a quick breakfast, I spent some time outside and relished the morning air.  Flipped the pages of the book and found illumination. It takes such time and effort, sometimes to detach ourselves from our occupation, from the world and from things.  To recollect ourselves and concentrate on God.  Yet as soon as…

Stepping into a Calm Rhythm and How the Church can Fix Culture

I got my first writing assignment at 12:00mn my time.  But I was sleeping then and was just able to open it early this morning.  I am too eager to delve into it and read all 6 poems through the practice of lectio divina.  But I held back.  I don't want to rush into such a sacred moment most especially since I know I'm not in a complete disposition to appreciate the words and soak in them during a busy weekday.  There is still so much to improve on time management.
Yesterday's weight was primarily caused by my inability to handle pressure from other people who had a different work rhythm.  Perhaps you can also say, a different work ethic or a different work value.  I had an early unexpected meeting that asked for the extraction of an urgent report.  Suffice to say, this report is indeed important but what didn't make sense to me was how many ways can such data be manipulated until the outcome is satisfactory?  It feels like pounding sand.  How far can sand be reduced t…

Finally a Writing Student

The other night I took the brave step of signing up for an online writing course at the Glen Online.  I've been looking at the page for almost a year and have been contemplating taking online writing classes for about 2 years.  I finally did it.  I'm quite speechless as of this point because I'm still letting the reality hit me.  For most of my 34 year old life, I've made decisions anchored on the question: is this something my parents will approve of?  This was the first time that I've made the call on my own.  
I'm not sure how I'll be coping with writing classes the next 6 months given how things are going at work but I'm keeping faith that everything will fall into place.  I've decided to take the course below because my history with the writing craft started with poetry.  I don't write a lot anymore these days and I want to be able to understand what poems are really made of.  In that way I can try to get my rhythm back and hopefully conti…

On Father Barron's Book: Catholicism | Beginning with Jest

Upon Heather King's recommendation of Fr. Robert Barron's book, I immediately got a Kindle Copy.  I've fallen in love the first few pages of chapter one.  
It all begins with jest.  The essence of comedy is the coming together of opposites, the juxtaposition of incongruous things.  So we laugh when an adult speaks like a child or when a simple man finds himself lost amid the complexities of sophisticated society.   The central claim of Christianity--still startling after two thousand years--is that God became human.  The Creator of the cosmos, who transcends any definition or concept, took to himself a nature like ours, becoming one of us.  Christianity asserts that the infinite and finite met, that the eternal and the temporal embraced, that the fashioner of the galaxies and planets became a baby too weak even to raise his head.  And to make the humor even more pointed, this incarnation of God was first made manifest not in Rome, Athens or Babylon, not in a great cultural o…

Days of Breathing

Today was one of those days that just reminded me how things can fall into place without much effort at all.  Unforced rhythms of grace.  I'd call it that.  It started with a light conversation with my Mom over breakfast.  Saturday mornings aren't usually cheerful in my household but this morning it was.  We talked about books and how it would be nice to own a small and quaint bookshop and sell titles we'd normally not find in our area.  I immediately thought of all the books I have and how wonderful it would be to have conversations with people who were interested in them.  
I love reading.  I've loved it since 5th grade.  But my taste for books have changed over time and now they have narrowed down to a few categories.  Most of the books that move me now are those that touch my spirit.  A novel would occasionally allow for a beautiful escape when days are mostly lived with too much toil and a plane ticket to somewhere it not quite within reach.  But a book that talk…

Songwriting and the Critic that Keeps me From It

I can't say it any better than Christa Wells.  Christian singer whose song entitled Held reached into my heart 4 years ago and opened my eyes to the beauty of the faithful's struggle.  She wrote this song after she lost 2 loved ones in a span of 48 hours as relayed and sung  by Natalie Grant.

this is what it means to be held
how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive this is what it means to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell we'd be held.
It was not until a year after that I discovered how these lyrics were inspired by the verse Deuteronomy 33:27 that says "The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms".  I tried to write a song that responded to that just a little after.  
let the weight fall down
let the tears roll it's okay to let a frown wake up that little ache that's hiding inside your soul let the sun go down on some dream that has died it's okay to sit a while and …

A Repost: An Authentic Christmas

In trying to keep up with the rhythm I am trying to start picking up with this blog I start looking through old pages and found a post I wrote back in 2009.  It's one of those posts that I just delved myself into.  Long and emotional.  Obviously I had used writing as a lifeline to cope with my grandmother's passing.  I hope life's meaning keeps unraveling for us everyday.

written January 3, 2009.
It's been a while since I wrote and really sat down with myself to think about everything that has happened for me this Christmas season.
For quite some time, I have been blogging with the sole effort of picking up my writing habit. So that little by little I can start feeling productive as I pursue my writer's dream. For quite some time I have been taking tabs on myself like how meaningful my posts have been or how many pictures I have uploaded in Flickr that caught how many number of views or comments. For quite some time I have been metering myself on my own progress with…

Rediscovered Quotes

A friend of mine posted this quote on to my Facebook Wall last night and it surprised me.
I've also concluded that one must learn simply to be at home with oneself and with God in the presence of others. Sinking into the bench in our van is often as private as it gets, and surprisingly it proves to be enough. Through all of this, I have learned that God is not particularly bothered by small holes of time or space. He is like oxygen: He only needs a small whole in order to fill a room with life. And I've learned that in the midst of an otherwise frantic pace life is full of these little moments, these gaps into which God sneaks His sustenance. The trick is not in planning them, but in discovering them. And when you do, it is enough. -Don Shaffer, Songwriter and Singer, Waterdeep I didn't recognize where it came from until he told me that it was from one of my Multiply albums posted on October 2007.
This was a long time ago.  Back when I was more in touch with the rhythms of…

Why Do I Blog?

I write this tonight in response to Rachel's post last November 4 on her own confessions about why she keeps up her blog.  Reading her post liberated me from my own struggle in finding the words I want to be able to express tonight.  
I've kept a journal since I was 12 years old.  I'd write almost about anything and everything.  From the food that I ate to the homework I forgot to pass.  I'd write about unrequited loves and the books I'd read to compensate.  Later on I started to write about spiritual experiences that have helped me live a better life.  I'd also write about the struggles I experience as I try to keep living a better life.  Writing has been like a lifeline for me.  It's the way I think.  
I've started so many blogs since 2001.  They're all over the internet and I always felt like moving from one blog to another because it's like "I never quite catch it".  I never quite define this voice I'm expressing and until it …

A New Novel to Read: Angelology

I'm hobbling.  Yes.  I'm hobbling along this page with great dreams of writing and an inconsistent rhythm as I battle with words.  But this morning I found something.  A spark.  A breath of fresh air.  A new rhythm.  
My gaze landed on this book I bought around 2 weeks ago.  It belonged to the batch of books I bought on impulse because I liked their book covers.  This one caught my eye because of the spread of angel's wings and the title.  Angelology.   I'm reading it slowly.  I don't want to rush into it.  The words melt on the palette like the banana caramel roll I just had for dessert.  It's one of those books you'd rather read on a rainy day but since it's not the least bit cloudy today, I'll take it as a holiday read.  It's forcing me to take the day off on Friday just so I won't lose the rhythm since I only have 3 working days to follow through this week.  Should I?  I should.  
Having been exposed to a lot of information on the creat…