Sunday, February 24, 2013

it starts and ends with you

You know that experience when you fall so madly in love with a song and you can't stop playing it over and over again and every time it plays it is like the first time you hear it and your heart just explodes all over the place each time and you become just a little bit supernatural, straddling this world and that world where the song is and where a story of your life unfolds like some kind of a fairy tale except you cannot see it clearly yet but you know it's there and that you will get there eventually? It's a song that takes you out of yourself and closer to the place where you have always dreamed to be, as close to kissing the sun without burning, as deep as you dare to dive into the ocean without drowning. All your lethargic dreams are wakened by this song, even the lost ones, the forgotten ones. This song is a call to the core of your spirit. A call to journey and finish what has languished in your life because you became too concerned with what mattered less than what really matters. This song is the anthem to your happily ever after, maybe. If you are brave enough. If you let the song weave the magic through you. You can feel it already. Your body moves of its own accord, your heart beats a rhythm that is familiar and frightening and exhilarating all at the same time, your mind opens up to avenues to thought that were not accessible before. Your soul sings along. If you had special magic glasses you could probably see how the pulsing light of your soul thrums and travels and spreads through the cosmic web, unlocking chapters, touching other sleeping souls, leaving markers. The magic shimmers on your skin (it will call to what is yours), coats the tip of your tongue (be careful what you say), weaves through the veins of your heart (be careful what you wish), and seeps through your dreams at night (find the Dream King).

And I've worn so many faces
Shot my love at fifteen paces
My inheritance is all the thoughts I can't sweep away

I shout out but I just spin faster
I crawl out but my knees are water
I cling on by my nails to the sweet disaster

And I fall to the floor like my strings are cut
Pinch myself but I don't wake up
Spit in the wind 'cause too much is not enough
It starts and ends with you

(Suede, It Starts And Ends With You)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

geek alert

I joined Scribd, which is hailed as a YouTube for Documents. There are catalogs from various book publishers, class lectures, serious papers -- lots of pretty useful stuff if you're doing research or merely curious. I found a paper discussing the shift from Feudalism to Capitalism which I saved for later reading. Don't ask me why. Certain things I just find interesting.

The site also shares book excerpts and I discovered this:

I have to admit, I want it.

Stuff like this interest me. Plus I really really like studying, as long as it's on a subject I like. There is a secret part of me that actually wants to be forever in a university, studying and doing research and writing papers. Spending days in the library. Hanging out in coffee shops and bookstores. Having exciting conversations with fellow learners.

If I could, I would like to go back to college and earn another degree, or two. Maybe I could. I wonder if I will survive the long homework nights as well as I did when I was eighteen. I'll take up Literature, Creative Writing, and Psychology. Then maybe take extra courses on History and Language Studies. All those reading to be done! Perfect excuse to stay curled up with books, paper, and pen for whole days.

Monday, February 18, 2013

afternoon catch-up

I am taking a break from work. I will spend it by sharing a list of random things and events.
  • I got two local work projects "approved" and then everything ground to a halt. The checks I was counting on did not materialize and left me scrambling for alternative solutions.
  • I was rescued last week by a small project which paid immediately and was easy to do. Now I can pay all my smaller bills. But I still need to figure out the rent and the home loan.
  • Today there is another project in the works. It is for a workshop and it is based in China and I won't be surprised if this happens first before the other two local projects. I will have to admit though that I am a wee bit nervous about it because it will be my first time to do a workshop. I hated workshops when I was still employed. What irony.
  • I do believe that I am finally over the worst part of having been in love with a certain person. I care less for him each day and I find myself reacting more to seeing Dean Winchester than seeing him.
  • A dear friend sent me rice stalks for hanging on my door for prosperity, and I added gold coins to my hanging lucky fish. Rather pagan, I know. Very old religion. But at this point, anything helps. I did get the small project and the China project follow-up after I put up the stalks and the coins. 
  • Yesterday I went to the Japan Surplus shop near my parents' house (our family personally knows the owner) and scored myself a watercolor sketchbook and a stamp collection album. I plan to use the latter as a Life Project album.
  • My house is clean today. Hurray! I've worked through the chores a little bit each day and now the house is clean. I just need to do some re-arranging but otherwise there are no glaring or urgent chores on the list.
  • I had a chat with a friend I haven't seen in a while and we got talking about doing what you want and I found myself saying this nice bit about where I am and what I'm doing now, and I realize that I haven't done too bad, even if I have actually come very very close to being a starving artist/writer.
  • I revisited my novel last night after not working on it for more than a week and I was pleased to note that it is going well. 
  • I had a nice girls' night out last Saturday and it really is fun to be with like-minded people. I had a really spicy Korean noodle soup.
  • I miss baking, but butter is so expensive.
  • I really, really have to fix my sleeping and waking hours.
  • I have lately been craving for bacon and eggs for breakfast.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

currently inspired by:

And since I am starting out on my personal New Year ('twas my birthday two days ago), this is a good time to refresh those corners and re-organize more towards to what I am becoming. There have been changes in the past year. For one thing, I write much, much more and have redefined the breakfast table as a writing table. I have renewed my book buying and will need to manage space better. I want a wall gallery for my artworks. My studio space needs a next-phase evolution.

It is easier now because I have captured my color theme and life flavor. All I have to do is basically fine-tune and edit so that my home is attuned to what and where I am in my life.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

a valentine birthday

Grandma and I
Born on Valentine's Day. That's me. Valentine eve was spent with my sister sleeping over and the two of us doing a Supernatural marathon -- the Winchester brothers can easily dispel real-life disappointments with real-life men.

My sister treated me to sandwich, donut, and coffee on the night before my birthday. It was part of her birthday gift. It has been a while since we spent cafe time together with just the two of us. I brought a book but did not get to read it.

Next morning was my breakfast treat at McNeighbor.

Then it was a special home-cooked lunch at my parents' house where I received the loveliest gifts. Afternoon was spent visiting my grandmother, watching more Supernatural, then a nap, then reading, then I treated the family to dinner at my dad's latest favorite chinese restaurant.

Lots of happy greetings and wishes on Facebook and by text message. Everyone who really mattered to me sent a greeting. I am joyful!

I'l post my gifts tomorrow as I need light to take photos and it is very late evening.

Nobody sent me a Valentine-related gift. No suitors or secret admirers revealing themselves.

I did get a small project though, and I will be working tomorrow afternoon which will let me pay some of this month's bills.

I am toying with an idea for a practical solution to getting more projects but I need to consider it carefully. It's on territory that I never really felt right in but it's an option. I'll see where the consideration takes me. I really want to go to England.

My three birthday wishes:
1) a happy steady source of sufficient income (something that will make me wake up eagerly in the morning so I can get to work)
2) a perfect husband (perfect for me, not perfect template)
3) a long visit to England

They say you should keep your wishes secret, but some say you should declare them to the Universe.  I choose to do the latter to stir up the energies towards their fulfillment.

Any wishes you care to share? :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

a post on books (with other bits on the side)

Early birthday gifts to myself which I hope to add to before my birthday month ends. Of course it's just another excuse to buy books. I got these on the first day of February. Already finished reading two of them, and re-reading one (Campbell). The Campbell book was also a gift from the Universe because it sharpened my focus in life and in my daily goals. I was actually on the way out when it caught my eye as if it was hollering out at me and waving a flaming torch. And when I held it in my hand I felt that old familiar shiver when a Thing Falls Into Place.

I got Alice's Adventures in Wonderland because... I have never read it in full. Or maybe I have but I can no longer remember.

Sixty-One Nails is an adult urban fantasy that is being compared to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. By adult I mean that the main character is an adult (a divorced man, actually) instead of a teenager who has all the convenience of only going to school and not worrying about paying the bills and getting food on the table - thereby having all the luxury of time to go off on adventures and fall in love for the first time and discover one's identity. I think there should be more fantasy/other-world stories with adult characters, like the adult versions of the likes of Clockwork Angel, Hunger Games, and Divergent (I love all of these series.) Neil Gaiman does adult fantasies so well, there should be more. Or maybe I just haven't come across them so let me know if you can recommend anything. More urban fantasy type, because there is also enough of the likes of Game Of Thrones and Wheel Of Time (Yes, I'm reading them too).

The novel I'm writing (which I started during last year's NaNoWriMo) has adult characters, set in a land where magic is part of nature, and with the substantial focus on relationships like young adult fantasies but with the complexity of adult concerns and realities, and then situated in the bigger context of saving the world, or a world (aren't they all?) I read somewhere that you must write the book you want to read, so I guess I'm on the right track. I want to discover more of those kinds of books.  Sarah Addison Allen's books are pretty good -- I have read all of them and they often make me cry because they chip away at my jadedness and cynicism. Others that are along similar story-lines tend to be too chick-lit, the crafting itself lacks the pull and impact that Allen is able to put in her stories.

There, I think I have rambled on enough about books. It's just that I caught myself fantasizing this morning over my coffee, that I would love to spend the morning of my birthday browsing for hours in the bookstore, and then coming out with bagfuls of purchase, and then having a late lunch with coffee and dessert with Someone who would probably need to sneak out of the office to do so. Then I would go home and sort through my purchases and maybe paint a little, while I wait for Someone to finish work and then we would have dinner. It could even be home delivery, or I could even cook as my own token for the occasion (it's my birthday AND Valentine's Day, so there) so we could go barefoot and stretch our legs and then just step out again for coffee at McNeighbor.

Yes, that would be just perfect.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

P for Valentine

Head over to my art blog and see some of the reasons I've been too busy to post here. I also had two projects approved so I will have less time for the fun stuff. On the other hand, I get to pay my bills. One day, soon, I will pay my bills with money made from the fun stuff.

P for Valentine. Because I will most likely spend that day in my Pajamas. With a Pen, Pencil, or Paintbrush making magic over Paper. Or absorbed in the Pages of a book.

P could also mean Pride, Prejudice, and Pemberley. But such things happening to me will take a bit more magic than I have on hand, even if it is going to be my birthday. Still, it would not hurt to wish.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

pre-birthday project : a life map

It just struck me this morning. And then I found myself mapping my life. Greatly inspired by Joseph Campbell's Pathways To Bliss.

At the core of the map is heeding Campbell's call to follow my bliss. Then I break it out into four key aspects: Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit. In each aspect I identify my influences and inspirations, and how my life actually manifests in these areas. I am now able to see where I need more nurturing, where I need more growth. I suddenly see why my work (i.e. dayjob) has been causing me so much ache and discomfort (it does not fit into the patterns of my life at all, and it desperately needs integration and the injection of soul.)

I see my priorities, I see my values. I will now be better equipped when I read about the spectacular events that seem to be happening to my friends in Facebook every single day. It is very easy for me to think and feel, "I want to do that do." or "I want to have that too." But that is their journey, that is their path. I have my own and it is no less important or spectacular. When I am being distracted or depressed i will go back to this map and remind myself. This is what matters. My own timing is not the same as other people's. I unfold in my own perfect time.

The map reveals to me my outmoded behaviors and habits, what I need to let go of, what I need to do more of. I discover that I need to awaken my Warrior Self.

I realize how many wise teachers have been sent to me and have been with me through all these years. I discover and understand why there are things that I keep going back to, or why some things never fail to bring me the deepest joy.

I realize that it will be my birthday soon and that is why I find myself mapping my life. What will my new year bring to me? What will I bring to myself? Where will I take myself?

"You enter the forest at the darkest point,
where there is no path.
Where there's a way or path,
it is someone else's path;
each human being is a unique phenomenon.

The idea is to find your own pathway to bliss."

- Joseph Campbell