Busy April

Approaching the middle of the month and school/work/rakets have been piling up! Not complaining, not complaining (oh but I sometimes do. I just pray that even when I do complain, I remember to be thankful).

Before I list the highlights, here are 2 poems, for those "different wells within your heart" (Hafiz) and to, this time, loving with all of your intelligence (A. Rich).

Splittings (Adrienne Rich)

My body opens over San Francisco like the day-
light raining down     each pore crying the change of light
I am not with her     I have been waking off and on
all night to that pain     not simply absence but
the presence of the past     destructive
to living here and now     Yet if I could instruct
myself, if we could learn to learn from pain
even as it grasps us     if the mind, the mind that lives
in this body could refuse     to let itself be crushed
in that grasp     it would loosen     Pain would have to stand
off from me and listen     its dark breath still on me
but the mind could begin to speak to pain
and pain would have to answer:

                                                       We are older now
we have met before     these are my hands before your eyes
my figure blotting out     all that is not mine
I am the pain of division     creator of divisions
it is I who blot your lover from you
and not the time-zones nor the miles
It is not separation calls me forth     but I
who am separation     And remember
I have no existence     apart from you

I believe I am choosing something new
not to suffer uselessly     yet still to feel
Does the infant memorize the body of the mother
and create her in absence?     or simply cry
primordial loneliness?     does the bed of the stream
once diverted     mourning     remember wetness?
But we, we live so much in these
configurations of the past     I choose
to separate her     from my past we have not shared
I choose not to suffer uselessly
to detect primordial pain as it stalks toward me
flashing its bleak torch in my eyes     blotting out
her particular being     the details of her love
I will not be divided     from her or from myself
by myths of separation
while her mind and body in Manhattan are more with me
than the smell of eucalyptus coolly burning     on these hills

The world tells me I am its creature
I am raked by eyes     brushed by hands
I want to crawl into her for refuge     lay my head
in the space     between her breast and shoulder
abnegating power for love
as women have done     or hiding
from power in her love     like a man
I refuse these givens     the splitting
between love and action     I am choosing
not to suffer uselessly     and not to use her
I choose to love     this time     for once
with all my intelligence


Some Fill with Each Good Rain (Hafiz)

There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that.

In one well
You have just a few precious cups of water,

That “love” is literally something of yourself,
It can grow as slow as a diamond
If it is lost.

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a

Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife

Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

There are different wells within us.
Some fill with each good rain,

Others are far, far too deep
For that.



Events that transpired in the Philippines last March was somewhat taxing, soul-wise. There were the events in Lahad Datu, there was the tragic suicide of a UP Manila student. The last one hit pretty hard. If there's one thing the Kristel Tejada tragedy reminded me is this: that activism is still relevant and very necessary. And that we in our middle class chairs owe it to the Kristel Tejadas in the Philippines, of the University of the Philippines, to speak out and guard against unfair administrative policies.  

What Dr. Seuss said:

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” (The Lorax) 

Caring is tiring, yes, but if we want things to change there's no other recourse.


cupboard inventory

Love is a grilled cheese sandwich, layered with different kinds of cheeses and butter. It's an exotic Mexican burger (with a name you already forgot) given a Pinoy twist (with pandesal) stuffed with chorizo and beans, an ingredient bought and cooked the first time. There I guess, love makes you dare. 

But also, love is planning the week's meal, a somewhat elaborate go/grow/glow breakfast, that surprise dinner you may/ may not botch up. Love is scrambled eggs, fritata, canned tuna, caramel popcorn. Love is never getting tired of  rinsing rice, at least thrice, and sticking to that 1:2 rice & water ratio.