Disturbing the Universe
My nocturnal creative outbursts, illegitimate art & curious antidotes for cabin fever
Tuesday, October 31
The end in the beginning & the beginning in the end (Part 1)
In many ancient cultures, Samhain (Halloween or All Hollows Eve) marked the last day of the year. They celebrated the last sunset of the summer and welcomed the rise of the first winter moon. It was not only the most opportune time for settling and reckoning, for throwing out old ideas and influences, but it was also the perfect occasion to commemorate the cycle of life and death, the beginning and ending of things.
I celebrated my first year as a blogger on the 19th of October. I haven’t been a good one lately; 377 days was not nearly enough to train me to write and post everyday. I shall make an effort to improve on my record during my sophomore year.
To celebrate my anniversary and to mark the beginning of another year of being a webnaut (you know, like an astronaut), I have decided to change the look and feel of my blog and migrate it to another site. I am still tweaking parts of it, so you will have to wait till the last sunset and the first moon rise to see it.
I hope you enjoy the eternal turnings of birth and rebirth that today brings. Remember, you can’t have room for anything good and new if you don’t cast out the devils of the old year.
Happy All Hollows Eve!
Sunday, October 29
My uber crush, recently retired Japanese footballer Hidotoshi Nakata, is here in Manila. He arrived late last Friday and went to Payatas Saturday. His visit made it to the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Sunday edition. Imagine that! :) His trip was organized by the UNDP and the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor.
Now why did I not hear about this till now?!?!
Early last Saturday he signed some autographs at the Starbucks 6750 (does that mean he's staying at the Shangri-La Makati???) and was whisked off to Pasig City to kick off a series of Football clinics organized by UNDP, Futkal, and Rock Ed Philippines called "Sipa sa Masa." For more info go to this site.
So is he still here? I was not able to go to Germany to see him play... maybe I'll get to meet him here. Yeah right. With my luck, he is probably boarding a plane right this minute to go to another Asia country. Lovely.
I should really pay more attention to these things! :) It's great though that football is being promoted in this country. Hooray! :)
Thursday, October 26
I have something to confess: I've been binging. I feel as if I have been forcibly put on a sensory diet for the past couple of months, so now I am gorging on every photo, website, news, art blog I could get my hands on. Ahhh.... it's so good to be alive again. I credit this sudden awakening to the following events:
1) Milenyo: Much has been said about the storm that ravaged Manila a while back. I was inconvenienced by its passing (no electricity therefore no aircon, no TV, no mobile, etc, etc), but was basically left untouched and undamaged. I survived but… what was I to do with my time? I was weaned from the telly and texting and was able to read, write, sketch, and WORK. We still do not have cable at home, but I don't even miss it. And my mobile phone? I honestly can't be bothered to text unless it's really important. I am not a slave to Globe's UNLIMITXT anymore!
2) My old computer crashing: If my old computer didn't die on me (may it rest in peace), I wouldn't have been forced to buy a new laptop, the one I have been planning for months to get. Since I now have a faster, more efficient machine, I get to work more and I get to do extensive art research online. BTW, I christened my laptop "Brighid." B was named after the Irish Goddess of all sacred fires. She's also a healer and guardian of the Arts. She doesn't get along with my iPod , though. "Cerridwen" (from the Welsh Goddess of inspiration and providence) is a Mac Girl; I'll have to reconfigure her, change her settings to Windows, in order to connect to B. I lose all of my songs if I do that, so I just have to keep the two gals separate. I got Cerridwen ages ago when I still had my Mac "Precioussssss..." Long story.
3) Getting sick: I have been stressing over a major personal project for two weeks and when I finally finished the first part, chronic fatigue set in, my body turned into a sack of sand, and I had no other choice but to rest. This spell wasn't as bad as my usual, but it kept me from spending my energy on trivial things. It made me see the things that were important to me.
4) Unexpected messages from friends: several midnight calls from NJ to help me (no, push me!) get my project rolling again, a simple, quick text from a friend jet-setting in Davao or Cebu or Bacolod (she travels a lot so I forget!) saying that she believes that my plan might work, an early text after a football match from a friend who was watching it in Singapore--my favorite team lost but she saw it as a good omen for me, and a pancit palabok for dinner (hmmm... this isn't exactly a message but you get the point!). It's amazing how real friends just know when to catch you.
5) Revisiting my other friends: re-reading old novels and comic books, listening to my favorite bands from high school, dyeing my hair back to my natural hair color (I know... that's another blog altogether!)... I start to remember myself again without all the static and white noise.
Okay, I am getting sleepy and I am already finding it hard to concentrate on this entry, so I am just going to leave you with some inspiring images I found on the net. They are photos of sculptures made by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz. They remind me of the type of art I can make.
Monday, September 11
6B pencil on A4 paper
11 September 2006
My former Life Drawing professor would freak if he sees this. I guess because I still insist on illustrating instead of drawing. He said I had a style though, which was good, and that he could see that I draw the way I sculpt. We went to the zoo a couple of times to sketch the animals and, at the end of the day, my hippos, giraffes, lions, and birds looked like a menagerie of my plaster models. It’s those lines and the way I compose my pictures. At first glance they exude Zen-like silence; when you sit beside them for a while, though, you could see that the clean lines are there to keep what’s inside from bursting out.
I am learning to be messy and chase the shadows.
Sunday, September 10
Enduring Creation and random thoughts
This is a drawing I did in under an hour. I stopped working on her face when I realized she was starting to look like me. She’s slightly askew. I hate that she came out so clean. She will probably become a part of something bigger.
Temperance, the Fourteenth of the Major Arcana in a regular Tarot deck, generally means “Mature adaptation to whatever life offers; individualized existence.” Reversed: Unfortunate combinations.
Pain. Old French peine; Italian pena. The root taps down to Latin: poena.
According to Random House Webster’s Dictionary, Temperance means, 1. “moderation or self-restraint. 2. total abstinence from alcoholic liquors."
It’s time to eat another bag of Boy Bawang (that’s yummy, garlicky roasted corn kernels).
Illustration Friday: Farm
I like dark things. I initially didn’t want to post an entry for this topic. Farm sounds so benign. I found a way to make it my own though. At least I am still trying! :)
Saturday, September 9
Child of Saturn
Nuir d’été, 1890 (Musée d’Orsay)
Homer Winslow (1836-1910)
Something clicked into place inside me. I awoke with a start, jumped out of bed as the sun rose, and started cleaning my room. I threw open all the windows, scrubbed the floorboards, dusted my bookshelves, and changed the sheets. I rearranged the furniture with Herculean determination; I would have torn down walls and transplanted my room to a sunnier spot had I not realized that I was only renting a room and did not own the place. General cleaning was in order.
This could be the effect of the Full Moon or it could be that I just got tired of being tired. I spent the whole day yesterday in bed, nursing a colossal hangover. I didn’t really drink that much; with two bottles of beer and a sip of cheap red wine, I willed myself into drunkenness. I was desperate for a reprieve from that barren child who had been spending endless hours splayed on the floor, defeated, reeking with suffocating saturnine malaise and dripping with melancholy.
I was only able to slip away from her tight grip for a couple of hours. When I opened my eyes she was roosting on my chest, scratching the lint on my shirt with muddied claws, staring at the black moth that somehow got into my room. I wonder if she would let it escape. Too exhausted to move, I allowed myself to be swallowed by darkness. An hour later and I was up. She had moved to a corner, her scraggly head resting on a pile of dirty clothes. The moth was gone.
I rummaged through the fridge for nourishment. I opened a bag of fresh greens. My body was screaming for meat, but I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I finished half a gallon of water hoping that would flush down the toxins and cobwebs from my system. There was still no running water (it was the third day; the manager of the building said it would be back by tomorrow) and the electricity was low. I could turn on the fan but not the lights, the telly but not the computer. Frustrated, I return to my room. Mélancolie, as I now start calling her, coaxed me to return to bed. With nothing to do, I gave in. Sleep took over instantly.
It was dark outside when I woke up. The lights were still not working; I turn on the TV. Not even the Sports News could rouse an emotion from me. Spain lost to Northern Ireland? I turn my head the other way and face the wretched creature that has been siphoning my energy. I study her face with indifference—her slithery hair shining in half light, weathered skin that was both greasy and parched, pudgy and taut, her eyes drowning in darkened sockets. She was not malevolent in any way, I realized. She was just devoid of everything; a useless lump of mass occupying space for no reason at all.
I began talking to her, asking her questions. She remained in her wraith-like state, more interested in flicking specks of dirt from her nails than speaking to me. I poked, I prodded. WHY ARE YOU HERE?!? Her apathy enraged me. I started pulling her at her yellow-stained sleeves. I pushed her off the bed. I grabbed her neck and threw her against the night table. WHY? WHY? WHY? Not a screech, a whimper, a moan. WILL YOU EVER LET ME GO? My head started to throb. I wanted to kill.
I stepped back and started to weep. The scream that was thrashing inside my lungs for days was no longer silent. Primordial anger, hate, sorrow, pride, guilt, and wrath pulsated within my shell, erupting from my chest, tearing down the stone cold moor around my heart. I am sorry. I was wrong.
I sat in front of her; I am shivering. She doesn’t ask for comfort or care; I offer her none. I reached for the nearest trinket on the table, a half-eaten chocolate bar, and left it beside her. I bid her goodnight.
Something clicked into place within me this morning. She is gone. Saturn’s child will be back someday. In the meantime I am alone again. I am free to open the windows and air out my soul.