Month: July 2007

Currently reading: Eva Luna

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a book in my hands that I feel I must savor (the last book that made me feel that way was It by Stephen King) but this time, from the Upstairs Library, I got Eva Luna by Isabel Allende and I am captivated, inching slowly to catch the nuance of the narration in each chapter like exotic spices blending together for a perfect dish.

Although I am still in the first few chapters I already feel like I could get lost and be transported into the story, buying a one-way ticket to that place somewhere in the Caribbean and never coming back to the harsh reality of cement pathwalks and grey concrete jungles of my present life (cynical laughter from me at this point).

Isabel Allende’s writing is like comfort food, something that soothes my agitated soul… her narrative warms my bones like good heating in a cold spring morning, soft and warm like a fuzzy blanket.

Her way of describing things engages all the senses — tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory, and gustatory. My head is steeped with the pictures she uses to make people see what is going on or how things are for the characters.

And Eva Luna, the narrator and main character in the story,  is just lovable… for her eccentricities and view about life.

Listen to her introduce herself:

My name is Eva, which means “life,” according to a book of names my mother consulted. I was born in the back room of a shadowy house, and grew up amidst ancient furniture, books in Latin, and human mummies, but none of those things made me melancholy, because I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory. My father, an Indian with yellow eyes, came from the place where the hundred rivers meet; he smelled of lush growing things and he never looked directly at the sky, because he had grown up beneath a canopy of trees, and light seemed indecent to him. Consuelo, my mother, spent her childhood in an enchanted region where for centuries adventurers have searched for the city of pure gold the conquistadors saw when they peered into the abyss of their own ambitions. She was marked forever by that landscape, and in some way she managed to pass that sign on to me. (Eva Luna, p. 1; I. Allende)

When I finish this book, and I’m in no hurry, I still have two of Allende’s works waiting for me: The House of the Spirits and Of Love and Shadows. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

UPDATE: Finished the book already (I am a bit disappointed with the ending… sort of anticlimactic) and have gone more than halfway through The House of the Spirits. Still, reading Allende’s like listening to someone I know from the past recall the memories we’ve shared  during childhood.

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Eyeliner Series

eherm…

here are some of the drawings i’ve done over the past weeks.  i used black and brown eyeliners instead of charcoal pencils. the eyeliners provided a nice waterproof sheen achieved after blending the lines. it’s pretty convenient because there wasn’t any surface sealing necessary — no smudged fingers to worry about.

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yvonne 

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aki

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marichu

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jenna

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adee

Wistfulness on a Thursday Afternoon

I’m still a Wolfgang fan through and through. The group has disbanded some years ago and the reunion that was slated for this year has yet to come to fruition.

In the height of the band’s fame, I remember vowing that I could already die happily if I could see just one of their live concerts. And when the time finally came when got to see Wolf, Basti, Mon, and Manuel doing a live performance, I was dirty, mud-splattered, hoarse, and giddy. It was in 2001 and I was one of the handful of folks who were in the front row of the SU stadium stomping and sloshing up mud all over the rain-soaked field converted into the concert arena for the one-night event. I was screaming up at Basti, “Marry me! Marry me!” I dunno if he heard (hehehe). It was a happy, happy night.

Anyway, I have a song of them from their first album playing again and again in my head and I might as well sing the entirety of it coz I’ve managed to get the lyrics…

…Ah, to be very young again; feckless and restless and careless… 

 

Darkness Fell (Wolfgang) 

And so she woke up from a dream
That was beautiful and starry and oh so wild
It was all still clear in her eyes
And though her mind was foggy and blank
She wondered why her life coudn’t be as lovely
It was time
There was this king, He had no castle or throne
But his horse was great and white
He rode alone and he liked it that way
But when he met her, he swore
He would never leave her side…

They rode across the land
Two lovers hand in hand
And no danger could come near
And when something made her cry
She’d look at him teary eyed
And he would make her feel better…

Oh… so much better… so much better than before…

And now this forest was their home
It was the night time, and the right time for love
In the dark
She placed her hand upon his chest
And then all the rest just flowed
Making love down under an ancient far away night…

It was so grand
Just holding someone’s hand
And so safety came naturally… oh yeah…
It was so clear that she would never ever have to fear…

Oh, tell me a story
Of magic, and spiralling ships and stars in the sky
Just whisper in my ear
Make it soft and make it clear
I wanna hear every breathe you say
And now this forest was their home
It was the night time and the right time for love
In the dark
He placed his hand upon her breast
And then all the rest just flowed
Making love down under an ancient far away time…

And she woke up from the land
Tears fallin in her hand as she looked up askin why
She laid back in her bed, thoughts raisin in her head
“Why can’t my life be as beautiful?” she said
And she closed her eyes again, just prayin’ he’d return
But only darkness fell upon her…

ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

….grrr….

just allow me to tear my hair out and gnash my teeth out of frustration. my latest post just dissolved in thin air when i hit the “save and continue editing” button

…arrrrrgggghhhhhh…

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this space was meant to contain a 20-paragraph narrative of the things i did and felt for the past few days

gone

for better or worse? i dunno

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Acta di medico, Faith style

Ride with me on this.

Faith was hospitalized late Monday night because she had very high fever, which only suddenly started that afternoon.

She cried so much, placing a palm on her hot forehead, saying yayay (it hurts) over and over. Ta & I managed to calm her a bit and she fell into a fitfull sleep. At eleven, Faith suddenly sat up, eyes still closed, and vomited on the bed sheets. Ta had told me that she also vomited that afternoon but there wasn’t any fever then so he had thought it was just indigestion.

Yet by that hour Faith’s temperature has spiked to near-burning. Her breathing was coming fast and I could actually feel her tiny heart beating like it wanted to escape from her chest.

Visions of nasty mosquitos, malaria, dengue, african jungles and delirious bodies came and stayed with the fear rising in my heart.

Ta immediately bundled her in a thick blanket and under the star-strewn inky sky we made our way from our mountains to a hospital in the city.

Faith vomited thrice on the way to the hospital.

Ta and I were both fearful. We didn’t want to say anything that could jinx the diagnosis of any physicians. We haven’t experienced anything like this before… stand-in parents that we are. We didn’t talk with each other, just took turns saying comforting things to Faith to distract her from the yayay she was feeling. Just took turns fielding questions from the orderlies, the hospital admitting staff, the nurses (who by the way mistook Faith for a severly malnourished 13-year old), and the pediatrician on duty in the emergency room that night. Just took turns holding Faith down so she could have her blood tested, so she could be injected with antibiotics, so she could be hooked to an IV tube.

The poor kid was already very sleepy, scared, and in pain. How could we convince her that what those people in hospital scrubs were doing were meant to help her get better when she was in pain more than ever because of the way we held her down and because of the needles piercing her skin? Even the scale meant to weigh her was already menacing.

It was already 2 in the morning when we carried Faith to a waiting cage crib in a small room crammed with other kids who had varying degrees of fever and malaise and their attending family members in various stages and positions of sleep. The room was hot and smelled of sickness. Ta and I were doubtful that this is a place where people get healed. We were banking on the opposite of a hospital’s role in a person’s well-being.

Faith was still crying, but in soft sobs. Every once in a while, she’d cry for her mama, her real one, whom we’ve just informed of Faith’s hospitalization thru SMS. She had just given birth to her new baby three weeks ago so of course she can’t just come to the hospital ASAP. She promised to come that morning, when there was light in the horizon already and after she’d found a caretaker for Faith’s younger brother.

Meanwhile, everything was up to Ta and myself. 

Those three days and three nights that we were in the hospital were probably equal to one childbirth and one toilet training stage in the life of a developing parent.

Ta and I couldn’t sleep properly. Faith was such a bundle to watch and besides, there was no room in the hospital for the attendants to feel comfortable. Hospitals should really rework their interior decorations.

Faith was uncomfortable in the hot hospital ward so she cried ever so often. Cried means thrashing her feet and waving her arms and rolling in bed and bawling her lungs out. Pretty good vocalization exercise for a three-year old.

And she may have inherited her mother’s stubborn streak coz when she set her mind that the medicine for her was bad-tasting, she clamped her jaws whenever it was already time to drink her analgesic. No amount of brute force or creative persuasion could make her open her mouth for the drug. I can’t blame her… the medicine, no matter how it was laced with fruit flavors, still tasted like the failed tastebud tickler analgesic(slash)paracetamol that it was.

But we made it through… Faith’s fever subsided. There was no danger of dengue. There was only some slight infection and gastroenteritis, hence the vomiting.

Thursday morning dawned grey and cool. The doctor informed us that Faith could go home. We did… relieved a hundredfold.

She’s fine now, gamboling with her new kittens and puppies she missed during her hospital stay. She is still wary each time I hand her something in liquid form, perhaps thinking that it was laced with that bad-tasting paracetamol.

Yes, we made it through… Ta and I are recovering our sanity as I write.

One moral lesson learned from this roller coaster ride: patience is the virtue