Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘talent’

Stirring Up the Sleeping Palette

I kept on dreaming colors. They swirl around me like icing on a cupcake that makes me hungry for more. I mix and mold them together until they become trees, mountains, a sunny landscape and a smiling me. I was so inlove with them, I buried them in the secret cupboard in my psyche. But here they are, giggling before the partly opened door after a long hibernation.

It’s been ten years since I messed my fingers and my brush with watercolor. I stared at the newly-bought acrylic tubes with a bit of consternation. However, my excitement was tingled even more by the warm, afternoon sun. It’s like releasing the joy of childhood again. It’s awakening the magic from within.

I thought art was a childish hobby to play along. But I did not realize art is actually a part of my soul. Art is an expression for me. I could do art in Microsoft Paint, Photoshop or in the PicsArt app. But I realized digital media cannot take away the power of art in physical form, particularly paintings.

Just as I love the smell of books, I love the enigma paintings can bring. They carry emotions and nostalgia. They also carry the soul of the artist who made them. That’s the reason I’m always fascinated with the artworks at museums at Ben Cab Museum, the National Museum and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. They are channeling us deep into one’s heart and insights, as well as in another time and space.

As for me, I just love stroking my brush as I try to replicate landscapes and childhood memories. This one is one of my favorites. And it was born about fifteen years ago.

That artistic silence was cut off when I needed it to heal me from a traumatic event months ago. That day, I stupidly sank my smartphone in beachwater while it was sitting in the pocket of my shorts. I could not enjoy my beachside trip in Marinduque because I had no gadget to play around with. I was so attached with my phone, I felt I have lost a loved one. I know that sounds stupid, but think of the hardwork I have done just to own a smartphone – for the first time! For a month without one, I then focused my attention on scrapbooking.

I did that for a few friends who were leaving the company. I gathered our other friends who unleashed their artistic creativity on paper. I searched for old colored pencils, brushes and art set. They need to be replaced. I need a new set of color tubes.

I was compelled to buy acrylic paint because I something to mark my newfound cane at Mt. Ulap. Months after, I was encouraged to go beyond this because of a friend.

For now, I would not reveal this part of the story. I just could not contain the joy of mixing colors and painting again. All I could think for now is to give away all my artworks because I believe art is for sharing. I hope my paintings would never serve a selfish purpose but it would bring encouragement and joy to many people.

The Pen Into Your Heart

There is a rising madness from within
Walls enclosing, silence prevailing
I see a window but you see a hole
The rest see nothing but an empty casing
My key is my pen and my door is my paper
Through them I see you, my beloved, the one
But when the last line has been penned by the last drop
You run away secretly
Breaking my heart in this madness

___________

I write instead of pinning myself away this long vacation. As the Holy Week wanders away, I try to buy my time by being with my pen (er, laptop) and my paper (I mean, broadband). I missed writing, as well as the vision that brought this obsession to write down everything that springs out of my heart. 🙂

Surviving the Dangerous Waters

“Do fishes have emotion?” I asked my mom while looking at the pool filled with variously colored koi.

“Of course they do,” she replied, “they also feel stress.”

I asked the question because I was wondering how they would feel when they’re removed from the comforts of their calm, cultured world. Put them in a running river or the open sea, these fishes might feel extreme stress. The outside world is too hostile compared to the serenity offered by their artificial pond. I wouldn’t wonder if they don’t survive at all in the open sea or the dangerously gushing river.

It’s the same with us human beings. We love to stay in our comfort zones. When we are placed in an environment or situation outside these comfort zones, we become stressed. What if like a fish, we have no chance of going back to that artificial pond? We have two choices: give up and destroy ourselves or overcome and emerge stronger.

It’s good to be in the comfort zone, but there is also great danger in it. There’s a false sense of peace going on around it, causing us to be unaware how our senses, thinking, discernment and ability are destroyed by a bacteria called complacency. We’re trading all talents and ability for sleep. Thus, when the shell of comfort are destroyed around us, we are caught unaware, too late to realize that all our capacity to survive is lost.

But when we are put into dangerous waters, this is the time we use every given ability, talent, and thinking into survival mode. Through this, we learn how to stand up and strengthen ourselves and forge ourselves to persevere until we develop the ability to survive.

I’ve been put into such moments many, many times. But at such instances, I wanted to give up and destroy myself, believing its the only way to get out of the problem. But, of course, we are not meant to stand in the flames alone. Do you know how God wanted to partner with us? In Him, we can have all the survival mode that we can need: the abilities, talents, thinking, and wisdom can only come from the Creator of time and space. By the moment I thought I got nothing, I just ask the Father the grace and wisdom to overcome. In Him, I got everything, and in Him I can persevere and survive.

When we are put into dangerous waters, don’t curse the moment. Instead, it’s an opportunity and privilege to become stronger and better people yet.

Writing Pains

I woke up at almost 2 o’ clock in the morning just to write my script. In the state of surprise, I rushed to my still open netbook and typed away. Focused and alert, I did not notice how I’ve finished my long script in a jiffy.

Somebody told me I’m a very intelligent person because I write well. Being a student who joined journalism clubs and wrote for school columns, I was a bit popular among my peers. I even once thought that being a writer makes one exclusive. But through the years, I realized that being a writer does not make you the brightest person in the world. Rather, it’s a talent and gift with a purpose, and not made for bragging.

It’s a gift to the one who will use it well and a curse who will use it senselessly. I don’t know why some thought it’s very intelligent to write eloquently without really making a straight point. Just like any other skill, it’s not made for the writer to be famous but as a help to the public. Let me tell you that it can also be a puzzle. It’s challenging to put every information together, while constructing a very clear and concrete point.

Hard to be a writer? Yes. Very much. But no skill can be developed without it being tested on harsh waters. Waking up in the wee hours in the morning is one. But, when furnished, there’s fulfillment. Besides, whatever talent and skill you have, your passion can never die even if it is thrown into the fire. Living the passion just points one to where he should belong. To know one’s gift brings him to his convergence point. This is what everyone should discover in himself, for when we find our assignment, we would know what is our purpose in our generation.

I might not know how big can my script make an impact to the society. All I know is that I should do my job well. Popularity should not be an issue. When the real purpose of one’s skill is forgotten, chances are, the skill can be forgotten, too. When we practice our skills and gifts, may be remember the generation to whom these skills will impact, as we are part of this big world that we take part in rebuilding.

Habakkuk’s Empty Strings

It has been almost three years. But I did not know him until now.

Habakkuk's Empty Strings

Habakkuk has been a faithful friend to me. Actually, he has been my baby by the time I bought him. My first guitar, I bought him days before I resigned from my first job. All I wanted was to learn how to play a guitar, know a few worship songs that I can sing during my quiet times, and know how to play at least one instrument in my entire life (for I was not too successful in the violin and in the keyboards).

Just recently, one of his strings broke. Playing with one string missing sounds odd, especially now that I have been asked to play at two Christmas parties at Malacaňang. This time, I realized that I should pursue this hidden passion in music (and once-denied talent), not to impress anyone but to take care of this skill given to me.

Three years later, I’m still a beginner.

But this time, I’m determined to learn and know a few tips. I kept on asking questions from a friend whose father is a guitar virtuoso (and hope to meet and learn from him myself). I kept on watching tutorial videos this past week to learn and try to adopt new playing styles. I’ll never be perfect though, but it’s good to accelerate from where I am now.

I was determined to buy new strings and a capo, as well. Imagine, three years and it is only now when I realize I have to change a lot from Habakkuk. And it’s only now I realized how my baby needs some make-over and a clean-up.

Yes, you read it right — a clean-up. Poor baby…I’m so sorry.

While changing his strings and wiping dust off the fingerboard, I realized how I neglected him even though I’ve been bringing him out most of the time. I saw his bruises and his tarnishes, and I felt foolish how I called him “my baby” without really caring much about him. It took me so much time to realize how to remove the old strings from these pegs (which took me hours to discover how to remove them and bring them back) and wasted so much time from removing the tiny balls from the old strings (because I thought that they should be used by the new ones :-O ).

Ah yes, today was a major trial and error moment. Though I lost much time, I felt fulfilled when the new strings were in place.

This is another lesson of good stewardship. We don’t buy things to fill up our houses. We buy them because they are made with a purpose in our lives.

When I was looking for another guitar last Friday, my friend told me that I should not only check everything from it but feel from it. It’s a weird concept, as she added that things also “feel” their masters. It’s like looking for a life-partner — one has to make sure that that guitar is “meant for you”.

I guess she’s right. There are things that are “meant for us”.

I’ve heard of friends who prayed for the things they’re buying. I thought it was totally awkward, but when they gain wisdom from the Lord to buy it or not, they find a blessing of not wasting their money over the “second best” of their choices. Even in gaining things, one should never be impulsive…being a spoiled brat over materialism can never give us any gain; only added trash in our houses and our lives.

And as Habakkuk rests on my bed with the new strings in place, I wonder if he was complained at all. I felt that we are both rugged kids trying to stick together for a reason. He loved me anyway, for he did not break away from despair of not being cleaned at all. Besides, we have tagged along each other during intercession nights. He sang along with me most of the time. We had some little adventures at times. I wonder if he has been tired when tucked away in the dark for days…or even weeks.

I know, it’s weird. It’s like how my friend can love her pet dog, or how a guy can love his car by investing so much from it. Loving something can cause one to invest time and money to bring out the best from it. Now, little by little, I realized how I need to invest new things not only for my dear Habakkuk but also for this gift and skill in music. By this way, I do not waste what was lent to me and I will sow to make it grow, making sure that it will not be a waste.

As I take care of Habakkuk, it’s also taking value to the One who gave him to me. I remember how I had been joyful when I brought Habakkuk home, being thankful that even with a small salary, I was blessed to have him. Indeed, it is the Lord who gives all our heart’s desire. Taking care of Habakkuk is my way of thanking the Lord who has given him to me. Only now I realized that Habakkuk, before he was mine, had been my prayer and my heart’s desire. 🙂

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