Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rainy Wednesday

Summer's almost over. Or maybe it already is?...

I'm at Netopia Greenhills again. Stranded by the sudden downpour. While the school is just a few meters away. Funny thing, water. So formless, yet so powerful. But I don't mind waiting. Or passing the time away (one of my few luxuries, really). Everything is so fast-paced nowadays, it is such a pleasure to say, "I like for me to be still..."

I recently made a lot of changes in my life. These changes came from some fundamental choices I made about what to keep, and what to let go. For sure, there will be consequences because of this, but I only hope that people understand.

Sometimes, the heart calls and there is no force on earth that can stop it. I'm not even talking about something romantic here. When the essence of your life calls, you just drop everything to answer it, no matter the cost. I only wish that I were more of a multi-tasker, but I'm not really. I can only focus on one thing at a time.

And to whoever is reading this, may your muse keep your fire burning. In the darkest night, your light will reveal its hidden colors and its deepest hues.

Never stop creating.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Guitar Dreams

photo by dan massey Posted by Hello

Bad trip, hindi na-save yung una kong sinulat... Oh well.

Been thinking about the flamenco for some months now, and looking for teachers and classes. Partly because I love the improvisations and the music and the history, and partly because my guitar playing has reached a plateau. My laziness has gotten to the point where I want to kick myself in the ass hehe. I need to seriously spend more time playing. I mean seriously. Which begs the question, is it still a hobby, or is it already a craft?

Hobbyist. In the art scene (at least among the younger groups), it's a word spoken with disdain, if not outright hostility. Whenever I find myself in a conversation of this sort concerning a particular person, I want to just scream out, "Amp, e buti nga nagsisipag magpinta yung tao e!" but I can't say I blame them. They've been through blood, sweat and tears, and have the scars to show for it. They do mean well, and they do have a point. Where does the hobby end, and the discipline begin? Many of those who engage in artistic disciplines have sacrificed much for the sheer love of their craft. Tapos paano pa kung ayaw ng ibang tao ng trabaho mo? But that is another issue...

Of course, talking to the older artists is a breath of fresh air. Having accomplished much, and achieved much, they're more laid back, at ease, and very much more willing to tell you everything they know about their craft. Well, maybe not everything, but at least they're a lot more fun to be with hehehe.

But going back to the guitar, it is an extremely difficult instrument to master. Although it is one of the easiest to learn. Tatlong chords lang buhay na hehe. Kanta na yun lol. Self-study, I think, will only get someone so far. Eventually, one would have to look for teachers. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a center (on all things flamenco) here in the Philippines, the
Fundacion Centro Flamenco.

Hmm... now I just hope i don't procrastinate anymore. And I hope I can marry the two styles I've been working on, blues and this. Apologies to purists out there. ;)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ayan Bagong Mukha Ulit

Changed my blog template again. Hopefully, no more glitches this time. And yes, Van, pwede na magcomment hehehe. :D

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Walking on Water

i revised a recent poem, and this is what came out of it...

Walking on Water

it would be a moment of stillness

the sea would touch
the soles of your feet
and it would wonder
at your weightlessness

while you,
a child of the wind,
would marvel at its strength

where heaven kisses its tears,
you will wait

for the sea to whisper
the meaning of its depths

and in turn,
you will reveal your soul's journey
up until this singular instant --

how your horizon is no longer
an illusion of an endless line
that always comes full circle

and how, as you tell an ancient friend,
much has changed
with the way you see the world

may 12, 2005

Thursday, May 05, 2005

On Teaching and Other Stuff this Laidback Thursday Aternoon

My drawing and watercolor workshop for kids is coming to a close. I miss my students already. Kids are so easy to please. Kanina, I gave them Coke, and they were so happy about it. After that, kwentuhan na sila about wrestling, etc. Umm, guys, you still have to finish this, i would tell them... Oh well, baby sitter mode na naman ako.

I was telling them about Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan during the early days of Wrestlemania. haha they were looking at me like, you're that old already? On the other hand, kinukwento naman nila sa akin yung nangyari sa Wrestlemania 21 (which I missed watching.) The return of Stone Cold, pagkapanalo ni Undertaker etc. Hahaha complete with actions.

I loved the way they mixed their colors. So fearless, so pure. Their oranges would leap off the paper like fire. And their choices of colors! Surely no painter my age would do it this way. Pero galing grabe. I hope they can keep their artistic flair.

My other two classes are ending as well (Drawing for adults and Creativity.) Iba rin namang magturo ng matanda. Masaya rin hehe. If there's anything I would have hoped to teach them, it's that it's okay to be an artist. In a sense, the older students in my drawing class are like kids din, kasi where they stopped in their drawing stages is actually where we took off. Adults going back to drawing usually find their works juvenile. Which makes sense since it's about that period when kids stop drawing, overtaken by other concerns.

So I usually start off any new workshop by diagnostic drawing tests - drawing a person from memory, doing a self-portrait, and then drawing their hand. And then at the end of the course, I have them look at their initial drawings again. To say that they're surprised is an understatement. But it's all them. It's their hard work. I just facilitate. I keep telling them that drawing is a learnable skill, just like cooking, or driving, or swimming. I have one student there that's really serious about his craft, and I try to teach him everything I know. It's good rin to get feedback, since that way, i'll know where I need to concentrate, and what more I could teach them.

The hardest workshop to do is the Creativity Workshop. It's such a huge field, and there isn't any one authoritative text or source. It runs the gamut from creativity and spirit, blocks and fears, to skills and knowledge, life and learning. I still remember Tina asking me to do the workshop for her a year before. And I remember always begging off.. I can't do it, it's too hard, I still need more time. Finally, I said yes. And true enough, it was very difficult. I remember exhausting all my material in day one, as in pouring myself out, everything I knew.
And then the course just took on a life of its own. Our conversations became a creative spirit in itself, taking us in directions we never would have imagined. And along the way, learning about each other's processes, and our own. Although, I will admit, marami pa talaga akong hindi alam. But I think I'll let the workshop morph into whatever form it wants to take. And probably do more research and interviews.

I'll have to thank Havi for helping me while I was doing the workshop. Sabi nga nila, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I would not have been able to leap through the abyss without her correspondence. In a sense, the workshop took place because of her creativity coaching. Hmm... wise people - they're all over the place, and we don't even have to look far to ask for their help. And we don't even have to ask - sometimes they just show up, and our lives are all the richer for it.