Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today's Quotes

Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.

-Annie Lennox


Intimacy means that we're safe enough to reveal the truth about ourselves in all its creative chaos. If a space is created in which two people are totally free to reveal their walls, then those walls, in time, will come down.

-Marianne Williamson


Maturity is the ability to do a job whether or not you are supervised, to carry money without spending it, and to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.

-Ann Landers


The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you really want.

And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself.

And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself.

And the only way to be yourself, Jeanette, is to listen to your heart.

I do,
The Universe

: ) : ) : )

Friday, July 25, 2008

What if War was Outlawed?*

July 22, 2008
11:25 a.m.
Phiippine Airlines (PAL) Domestic Airport/Centennial 2 Departure Terminal

I'm at the Philippine Airlines (PAL) domestic terminal right now writing this, as I wait for my 2pm flight back to Bacolod. I have just come in from the 2008 International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Conference in Leuven, Belgium, which theme is "Building Sustainable Futures: Enabling Peace and Development".

The experience was wonderful--intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching, although seeing all those Europeans holding hands everywhere, especially the old couples, drove me crazy with admiring envy and longing for my own holding-hands partner to be with me too!

Sigh.... oh, well, maybe someday soon...

Anyway, one idea which grabbed me during the Conference was the suggestion proposed by two groups of participants, when we were asked to workshop on the peace research agenda for the future via open source technology (THAT is another topic I hope to blog about soon, too!): that Peace IS a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT, and if so, then we must outlaw war!


Truly, it got me thinking: how come we make a criminal out of a person who has murdered or even just violently attacked another person, but how come we don't make criminals out of a person or group of persons who decided to hurt, maim, kill an entire people in war?

What if we do, indeed, OUTLAW war?

What if we make it a crime for any body, any state leader, any nation for that matter, to wage war against another? Wouldn't that law and structure itself IMPOSE non-war at least, and force people to seek other options, other methods of resolving their conflicts? Even if its coercion, wouldn't it at least coerce people to seek more peaceful means because they are obliged not to wage war?

We outlaw murder. Why not outlaw mass murder in war?

*Originally, a New Tomorrows post

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Home again

arrived last night
via Manila
via Amsterdam
via Brussels
from Leuven
no time
for jet lag

soon after landing
i put on
my car owner robe,
then mommy robe,
then homeowner robe,
asking the kids how their week went
without me
as they feasted on
Belgian chocolates
while i watched the driver
and gave instructions
on next destinations.

we stopped by L'Sea
to buy take-out Chinese food
as homecoming celebration dinner
while i texted two money-exchange contacts
for today's rates
thinking i might convert my Euros to pesos
or maybe tomorrow
so i can refund the PJ office soon,
as we arrived home
and the housekeeper
reported on comings and goings,
bills and letters received,
and appliances needing repair
while i unpacked
and then had dinner
with the kids
who prattled on
about their day,
their week
without me,
while i too shared
my new memories
of Belgium
and the people i met,
even the Commission Convenor
i crushed on. : )

no time for jet lag
i woke up at 5am
turned on the pc
checked and started whittling down
new 374 emails
as B found me
and we chatted and caught up
with each other
as i woke the kids up
from their groggy sleep
and i thought to my self
how blessed i am
to have B
who keeps me rooted,

and then it was almost 7am
so we packed ourselves
into the car
as i drove off
steering into my favorite
short cuts
which are actually the long way around
inside subdivision roads
but with no traffic
they take less time
to drive through

and then we're in school
and i drop the kids off
as i turn back
to go home
eat breakfast mindfully,
then continue with my email whittling
as i make the prelim exams
which my students will take
tomorrow and friday

as i text a writing client
that i have arrived last night
still jet-lagged (!)
will resume work on the writing project
by tomorrow
and have it in
by august 1

and then, as usually happens with me,
believing my own white lies,
i begin to feel drowsy and tired--
truly jet-lagged now?--
and so i climb into bed
to sleep
but dream of Belgian landscapes
and rooms
and strangely interesting people instead.

so instead,
i wake up again
to finish the exams
even as i respond
to my vulcanizing mechanic's text
that the Vios jack i wanted
was ready for pick up now
and could i pick it up now?

with 2 of the 3 exams done,
i drive out again
to pay for and pick up the jack,
then proceed on to school
stop by the risograph office
to submit my two exam sheets
as i drop by the bosses' office
to say hi, hello, give a quick report
on Belgium and how i did,
as i gave them their chocolates
and the staff's too.

picking up the children now,
we drop by our favorite mall
on the way home,
for them to get their snacks,
as we shop for
a new flat iron
(the old one at home has conked out),
school supplies for their homework,
and some little gift bags
for me to distribute my chocolates into
for giving to more people;
then, groceries
to stock up on the dwindling stash at home,
then the dry cleaner,
for my Conference suit.

arriving home,
we have dinner
and homework,
as i finish
the last of the exams,
answer more emails,
until i find Bea
has fallen asleep on the couch.
so i pick her up and tried to sleep with her in my bed
even as i convinced Paolo
that it's his turn to sleep with his Manang Thea tonight.

but i couldn't sleep
thinking of a children's story
long percolating in my head
but now boiling into something
with more form
and voice

so i wake up again
and write some notes
as i also read my writing notes to my self
from 3 years,
3 months,
then 3 weeks ago
while i ate roasted almonds
and drank non-alcoholic Cali
(i eat strangely when in a writing mood.)

so it is 2am now of my tomorrow
yet i have to write this one last post
after i've finished finetuning an old story
and finally sent it to the Contest
(deadline july 31)
as i put my writing notebook aside
to let the new story cook some more
and i try to lie down and sleep again
but this blog post
runs through my mind instead.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Tomorrows

There must be more to life than blaming, complaining, dissing what's going wrong, and generally feeling like helpless victims to the events and forces acting on our lives. That is not the way I want to spend my time on this planet.

The same energies used for blaming, complaining, dissing what's going wrong, and generally feeling like helpless victims (it takes more muscles to frown than to smile!) CAN be used for focusing attention on what does go right, what one can still do, what one envisions for one's self and one's loved ones, working on building that vision, and finding like-minded, fine-spirited people who are engaging in and aiming for similar endeavors.

So, when a group of friends from the futures, education, peace and cultural work communities and I got together some weeks ago to catch up with each other and have fun again just being ourselves as well as sharing what we're trying to do in each of our individual lives, the idea of banding together specifically for putting all our vision, faith, knowledge, experience, expertise, resources and networks to good use in this direction was born.

KalayLah GLocal Network (KGN) was conceived.

"KalayLah" as a coined term for the Filipino terms, "Kalayaan ng Lahi", or freedom of the race, freedom of generations. "GLocal", for the coined term "global" as well as "local", and the implied synergy between the two spheres acting on each other as preferred futures are envisioned, created and built.

In one of our later discussions, though, the idea of extending this community further, not necessarily as part of KGN itself, but just as an online global community of people focused on enabling preferred futures was born.

So many social networks abound on the Net now, and they are mainly for self-promotion and keeping in touch as well as making new friends purposes. What if we utilize this grand (also free) resource and opportunity to harness people's attentions and energies not just to tell others about themselves or to make new friends, but to share how they think and see and what they are doing towards the future?

Imagine what can happen with this harnessed energy and potential.

At the very least, I want to be around when it happens. : )

Please check out the new global community on the web, "New Tomorrows".

Thursday, July 03, 2008

the gifts of my parents' deaths

people at school keep commenting how i'm looking so bloomingly gorgeous these days, well, actually since the last time they saw me, which was last schoolyear yet.

one colleague said i had an almost otherworldly aura about me. another said i had a glow, and how im looking really younger and more beautiful. one other person said i had an "international, star-quality" aura, whatever that means.... heehee. thank you. : )

i feel it, too, ... well yes, feeling good about my self, my life, like im in the right place and right path at last, comfortable and happy and joyful and content in my own skin, yet also relishing achieving more of my dreams.... and yes, feeling otherworldly, too.

like somehow, as i accompanied Papa and Mama to their last days and hours, i sort of stepped into some zone reserved only for the dying and those died, but which i was allowed the grace to enter and experience.

so now, coming back "from the dead", i feel even more alive, yet also not part of this world anymore.

in-between worlds. that's how im feeling.

so, im finding my self transformed in many subtle but powerful ways these days--

1. i don't sweat the small stuff, and yes, everything is small stuff.

there used to be time when id get anxious and bash my self, especially, for things not turning out as planned, or even for not being able to finish all ive set out to do for the day in my to do list. these days, i simply move them on to another date. i figure, if they can't be done today, then probably today was not enough for them, so they can wait for another day. when things go wrong... oh well, ive been through worse. and i also know things will get better again. life goes in cycles of up and down. the trick is to ride the cycles well, to crest the waves gracefully.

2. im kinder to and gentler with my self these days. i take time, just to savor each little action, each moment spent with a loved one or even just a friend or passing acquaintance. now is really all i have, i am sooo conscious of that now. so i stay in the moment and relish it and feel so deeply awed and thankful for it. i don't engage in anxious, rushing, pressing self-talk now, especially.

3. im even more philosophical and accepting of Life as it comes now, not much shoulds and musts anymore, just letting Life and people and events flow and my responding to them according to how i authentically think and feel and am at any given moment.

4. surprisingly, im finding my self more willing to live with structures and deadlines and schedules and even commit to appointments when people try to pin me down now. is that a sign of settling down, or what? : )

5. i have less and less patience for bullshit and dramas and melodramas, though. when im feeling really in the mood for fun, i tell people to shove off, and enjoy the surprised looks on their faces. when im feeling nicer, i tell people to shove off, but nicer and in a sweeter way. still, i find i have less and less patience for being nice these days. i find im enjoying just being me, however i am, whoever i am, at any moment in time.

6. people ask how ive slimmed down and am looking so great and what's the secret? i kid them by saying, "have your parents die at almost the same time." heheh. but it's true.

practically speaking, im more mindful of the food and drink i take in now, taking care to make only healthier and cleaner choices. is that dieting? no. i just feel that im taking even better care of my self now.

so, condolences... tragedy?

up to now, i still can't see what's to condole about.