Tuesday, November 23, 2010

24 November 2010

Yesterday, I was in the presence of goodness and it affected me so deeply, I was teary-eyed all throughout.

It was Howard Dee's 80th birthday, and I was privileged to be there. Viel texted me on Monday afternoon inviting me to the mass and lunch the next day. I dropped everything to be at San Jose Seminary for 11:30 am mass followed by lunch.

It was such a loving celebration of a life lived fully and well by a man so humble and compassionate, and who is so palpably close to God. Fr. Arevalo spoke of Howard Dee's five friends -- God, Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Joseph, and his wife Betty. Such a wondrous life he has had, totally dedicated to his God, country, people and family. And I am so privileged to have known him and worked with him and learned fom him for the past 18 years.

At the lunch, Betty Dee told us about the life of her husband. He was the fifth of 11chldren, not born to wealth and of poor health. When he was courting her, he said, he had spent the first 20 years olf his life learning, and would spend the next 20 working. And the rest of his life, he would spend in the service of God and country. And that is exactly how he has lived his life.

Betty spoke about the three women in Howard Dee's life, according to the late Cardinal Sin. He said the first was Mary, the second Cory, and Betty only came third. She laughed saying, it's ok as long as I'm not number four! They've been married 52 years and this was the first time Howard had so many people come on his birthday. And the only way this could be possible was they kept it a secret from him.

It was good to be there -- hearing mass at the chapel in San Jose, listening to Fr. Arevalo, and just watching Howard Dee sit with his head bowed, his eyes closed tight, as if in struggle with himself whether or not to accept the kind and admiring words of his friend at the pulpit. It was just what I needed. To be in the presence of such goodness was to be refreshed, to quench the thirst that was killing my soul, to be in touch with that part of me that has been lying dormant, unreachable to my cluttered mind and heart.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Howard Dee in my life. And for others whom You have allowed me to encounter and who have brought me closer to you -- Gasty Ortigas, Fr. Arevalo, Cory Aquino, Rapa Lopa, Sister Andy, Fr. Joel Tabora, Eva Galvey. There are many others You have sent my way just when I needed what they had to give. By their presence in my life, I know that You love me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

22 November 2010

I woke up at 4 am. I knew this would happen since i went to bed at 930 last night. I tried to read but I couldn't finish a page. Didn't even bother to turn on the TV. I just drifted into sleep.

And when I woke up, my mind was full of details -- bills to be paid, budgetting for the holidays, my meetings this week, and preparing for Monica's arrival on December 4. Bring bed sheets to borrowed condo, buy toiletires and breakfast food. And the logistics of moving her brood about -- she's arriving with a baby and two young boys, with stroller and luggage. Should I try and get a pass to help her get through the baggage area and customs? Details. Details. Am I a worry wart or what?

Call Rapa to ask Bodet for a NAIA pass.
Call Ed Mo to ask for key to condo.
Tell Poch we're picking up his van at 3 PM on December 4.
Finish all my deadlnes before December 4.

I have listed down all my immediate tasks, hoping I can get them all done in time. Before Monica arrives, I have to get the PBSP write-ups and Bei's request, and the Bayan brochure out of the way. I'll gt them done. I work best on a deadline.

Meanwhile, its getting light outside. In Mandaluyong where I live, the cocks start crowing at around 2 am. But strangely, they quiet down at around 330 until 430. Then the chorus resumes. I've gotten used to it. The crowing no longer wakes me. It is a given in a neighborhood as tightly packed as this.

It is the yapping dogs that I cannot stand. I think if you own a dog, you must see to it that it is comfortable so it doesn't inconvenience your neighbors. One morning, I awoke to the incessant yelping of a dog who was obviously in need of some attention. It was the dog of the neghbor downstairs who was left outside for the night. I wouldn't kill the dog but I could see myself strangling my neighbor for inflicting such cruelty on an animal.

Speaking of dogs, I have just realized that I love Ice Tea, our scrappy little Aspin at home. In Sydney, I fell in love with Jack, but it was some kind of forbidden love since he was under disciplinary action -- meaning he was undergoing strict training under my son-in-law with rules of behaviour that I tended to violate -- and he wasn't bathed too often and so I got really dirty and smelly when I played with him. But Jack is a handsome black lab, Ice Tea is not. He's a common dog, wih traces of some pedigree watered-down through several generations of cross-breeding, probably in some back alley. His body is overly long and his front paws toe in. But its his dopey ears that get me every time.

All my life, my experience with dogs has been negative. I hated -- make that feared -- dogs. All dogs. Cute ones, handsome ones, ugly ones, freindly and fierce ones. I'd cross the street when I saw a dog on my path. It didn't matter that it wagged its tail in friendship. I just hated those yappy critters.

But now I seem to be hooked. Ice Tea comes up to me and puts his paws on my lap, asking to be petted and I stop whatever I'm doing to oblige him. I have a feeling I know where this is going. I see myself and my need to be tactile in Ice Tea. Now I know why a lot of people need a dog. They're lonely. They need to touch and be touched. And there's no more loyal, more dependable creature on earth than a dog.

On that note, allow me to say, Good Morning World, and start my day's work.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I must, i will write something everyday

Thursday, November 18, 2020

So this is what it feels like to be dry. I am bored with my work. I have no conversation. I cannot find the words for my thoughts. I am so distracted, I can’t finish writing a sentence.

Instead of chatting, I tend to whine. I am so boring. I have no original insights. And I can’t even be funny anymore.

My soul is drying up. I thirst for a shot, of what, I don’t know.

Listened to a writer talk about writing last night. For a moment there, I was high. He spoke a language I understood completely. And I just wanted to cry.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Another unproductive day, work-wise. But I did write a short blog this morning. It was not great but I liked that it was easy to write. It flowed quite easily at 5 AM, and I kept it to 300 words. I should write something short every day. 300 words. A small story. A single insight. An exercise in thinking, in stringing words together, in writing. Tomorrow, I will write again for an hour in the morning. Then I will go into my work. No TV, No FB. No Internet. I can do it. I will do it. Get the work out by Monday morning. There is much to do next week. Meetings, meeting, meetings.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Good morning, world!

Last night, I went to the TOWNS Christmas Party. I’ve been avoiding going over the years because going to TOWNS affairs always costs. But this year, Mel Tiangco offered her home and had the party catered. And there was no exchange gift. Just come and enjoy the sisterhood.

There were issues that hung in the air --- political, professional, personal – but they didn’t get in the way of people expressing their strong opinions and still having arousing good time. There was laughter, empathy, brilliance, gratitude, generosity, camaraderie – and compassion. Egos were in check as most of us girls just wanted to have fun.

I came in a t-shirt with a plunging neckline, carefully made-up and in uncomfortable heels, fully aware that I had dressed up for the women, which is something I do not do as consciously when I’m out with men. Why is that? Am I that competitive? Or is it that I don’t go out much and it was fun getting dolled up? Or perhaps it is because it is ‘safe’ to live out my fantasies in the company of women.

Whatever. Now it’s back to reality. Focus, focus, Meiling. You will meet your deadline TODAY.