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You dream of one day having your own place

under the sun,

like a bird that glides its wings and soar

Why should you look for more?

If  you could feel the  honeyed breath

of the morning on your face

and the softness of wet grass on your toes

wouldn’t that be enough?

But you look for more

because love is never constant

and life is not perfect.

Still, you dream of one day -

finally finding peace at last

finally smiling at yourself

finally knowing that happiness

lies within you.

You cannot conquer the world

but you can dream, still!

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Sometimes,

I hide myself behind the flow of words

If you are clever enough

You’ll catch me  peeking

from a curtained widow

admiring the view

but never brave enough

to open the door.

Sometimes,

life seems so difficult

and one’s smile catches the tears

one look that lingers

that one goodbye

erases hundreds of hello.

How could you not see

that life  is sometimes

hard to journey through?

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I woke up this morning remembering a well-loved quote in my head.  Many, many years ago, I  was on my way to school when I saw this guy who wore a shirt with a lovely quote written in front and it made a big impact on me. Oh yes, short of staring boldly at the words, I committed them  to memory and  that’s what I remember now. It was written by Langston Hughes, an  American poet , playwright and novelist.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Dreams keep us going don’t you think? And I believe, really believe that dreams do come true.  Maybe, in my subconscious thought, I remembered these simple lines when I wrote Dreams and Escapes as my blog title.  There are simple things in life that give extra meaning to our existence. There are  simple things in life that make us smile and inspire us to go on. There are simple things in life that always add color to our everyday existence.  When I was in college, I used to fill up whole notebooks of quotes, poems and inspiring words culled from the books I have read. It makes me happy to read them now and then, always with some remembered thoughts of long ago, the years in between, the tears and laughter and teenage angst and frustrations. I was lucky to have worked for three years at my university’s library when I was in college and still luckier to have read so many inspiring books and to have known so many inspiring authors.

I dreamed of one day writing something that would inspire. I dreamed of one day reaching out to people by sharing my thoughts. I am slowly getting there I guess.  Dreams inspire us to go on and see life in all its beauty, not blinded by the ugly realities that somehow we have to face.

One day, I’ll write a poem and will share it with you.

Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16075#sthash.2OXIgkUr.dpuf
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16075#sthash.2OXIgkUr.dpuf

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Here I am, still thinking  of  the gentle days of January. It seems as if the month is in a hurry to shed its leaves  and bid goodbye.  The quiet days of January -  the cold winds on my face each morning  I stay in the garden, the balmy weather  that hopefully will stay until the end of February, the surprise  visits from friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time, Nate’s newly learned words that sometimes I still can’t understand but pleasant to my ears just the same, the delight in discovering new blooms in my garden,  what bliss!

Today is my  son-in-law’s birthday and Nissa treated him with a nice family lunch at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay City. They brought Nate with them of course and Nissa said the food was good. Gosh, it’s been three years since I last visited Tagaytay and my favorite place, aside from Breakfast at  Antonio’s  is the Mushroomburger  house. I always have a takeout every time we pass by the place. They sell the yummiest mushroom burger this side of town.  Tagaytay is a very nice place to visit. Aside from the lovely weather, it’s closer to home and the view of Taal Lake from  the top of the ridge is just so beautiful.

My priest son, Fr. Lovell is going on a mission two months from now. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard of Babuyan Islands except in old history books during my younger years. It is even more remote  and isolated than the beautiful Batanes. My initial questions were, “Do they have cell sites there, do they have internet connection? How long will you be staying?” He briefed me on how life is there.  You can only reach the place from Cagayan province via an 8-hour boat ride with sometimes big waves (the size of  a house) along the way. The islands are  actually closer to Taiwan than the nearest island in Northern Luzon.  Visiting the place when he was still a seminarian  made him finally decide to persevere to become a Dominican priest.  I found this lovely blog with lots of pictures of Babuyan Islands.  Looking at the pristine landscapes and reading the blogger’s description of the place, this island paradise truly mesmerize.

Except for the party my close friends (at AFCC) and I had last January 11 and the family visit from my daughter Nissa, January was a quiet month but I love it just the same. My only regret is that, I haven’t finished my sixth book that I originally planned to read this month.

It is growing cold and I am here wondering what February will bring.

 

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It’s been a while  and that translates  to almost a week without blogging. Here’s one sure proof that a day is not complete without writing those thoughts, some fleeting burst of inspiration but always, always would not come when you’re ready to write them down and immortalize them on paper, that is. Being busy does not help either and it was quite a busy week for me.

I’ve checked my dashboard closely since I got some e-mail updates from about.me , an app which let you make a short introduction about yourself but completely separate from the “about page” of WordPress. You can link it to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. It helps that every update you post on WordPress is automatically posted as link to your blog. It’s only now that I get to appreciate it after  almost a year of using it and earned views and compliments on the side. Maybe their feature on “Added Me to A Collection”  is equal to the blog follows which they have here at WordPress.  I am not too conscious on how many blog followers I have  since I also carefully choose those that I follow so if you are in my orbit, I find all your blogs interesting, something I come back to now and then for updates and where I learn something too on everything you share. My blog followers increased a little though when I joined the  2011 post a day challenge. And when I think of it, I still can’t believe that I was able to challenge myself to write every day and share it with the world. It was fun and it brought me a very significant upswing in my stats which I think is more important than how many followers one has. It makes me smile when  I encounter people who are not even my  blog followers and yet  make lovely  comments in some of my posts. The last time I looked, WordPress has this update:

1,351  posts (and this is my 1,352nd)

239,378  viewed my page

620  followers

And this is only for my main blog, Dreams and Escapes. I also have three more blogs  which are steadily gaining views/followers/comments but I don’t regularly update them as much as I do with my main blog. And I want to be honest with you, I don’t regularly read Freshly Pressed  but I admire those bloggers whose posts are featured there. And I don’t follow  WordPress’s suggestions on what to write about except for participating in their Weekly Photo Challenge which I haven’t done lately. Four years ago, I started this blog to share my plight as a cancer patient/survivor and over the years it somehow evolved into something more personal than writing about doctor visits, chemotherapy and such.  I am allowed 3,072MB to use but I already used up 1,889.85MB. That’s a total of 62% space used and I am wondering how the remaining 48% would last, always taking into account the pictures I attach on almost all of my blogs. Maybe, I have to cut on posting photos and update my Cams and Photos blog instead. I still picture myself blogging for the next three or four years, making  regular updates on my blog about baby Nate. One thing I learned is this, having so many followers does not equate to more viewers  and  even if your blog has a few followers , if they like the content of your blog, they will always come back and visit you.

What about you? Do you find self-fulfillment in blogging? I do.

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♫♪♫♪Was it something on a dream
That touch my memory
Or a picture I didn’t know I’ve seen
That made me stop and stare♪♫♪♫

There is this radio station in the AM band that I listen to every Sunday  night that plays purely 70′s music for three straight solid hours unhampered by radio ads except for an occasional station ID. The music of the 70′s is really something I really could relate to, the best kind of music, mellow touch and such. Back in the mid 70′s, I was a teenager finding her place under the sun and falling in love for the first time (did I just say that?) Oh well, there is always something that makes us a little sentimental, going back to old dreams and letting your mind wander on the might-have-beens. No regrets though because that was a part of my life that I truly enjoy reminiscing from time to time. I became a strong person because of it.

Don’t you just love listening to old favorite songs that remind you of how brave you were  in facing life’s challenges? Do you remember? Do you smile at yourself  while listening to the lovely melodies and meaningful lyrics?  Back in the 70′s, we had this phonograph and old 45 discs that you get to play over and over again until the record sounded scratchy in your ear because the needle needed changing due to constant use. Those were the days when you get to memorize  (by heart) every lyric of songs that you hear. And those were the days when keeping a journal was the “in” thing to do because you get to write all your secrets there. Ah, the joys of teenage life, the bittersweet experience of a heartbreak. And you believed that you could write tons of poems and hide  them somewhere in an old shoebox lined with a pretty gift-wrapping paper.

They’re playing Dan Fogelberg’s  Leader of the Band now. Back then, I was fascinated by someone who could really play the guitar so well,  James Taylor was a favorite too.  I attempted to learn to play the guitar  and bought every issue  of those Jingle chordbook  magazines by saving some of my meager allowance. The pin-up feature of various artists was something to look forward to.

Reminiscing and  finding joy in it. And the years are like a slide show of events that pass through a screen and you laugh and smile or even shed a tear or two. Such is life, an unending road of discoveries. Gosh, I will celebrate my birthday in exactly a week from now.  Growing old, remembering the passing years and keeping in one’s memory the joys and bliss that life brings. And always  reminding  yourself  that the life-changing events were part of the growing up years.

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Mar M, a friend who is based in San Diego posted several pictures of seagulls on his wall  at Facebook captioning most of them with quotes from the lovely book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I asked him if I could borrow one and he said yes. So here it is, a lovely picture of a seagull that truly reminds me of Jonathan, a fable about flight, life and having wings to soar to the sky. The book is about self-perfection and doing something one might think impossible  but with practice and grace, one can do it.  Those same quotes are heavily underlined in my little book of Richard Bach.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

“You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”

the art of flying

I remember those days when I started blogging here at WordPress, more than four years ago. I never knew that I could last this long in the blogging world and finally meeting online friends who share a bit of themselves like I do. During the early years, I didn’t care about stats and followers because all I wanted was to keep a blog and it took me almost a year to add something to my very first entry here and  a few tries  before I settled to this  theme which I am still using until now.  It’s been one long ride of happy thoughts, ramblings some times or just spur-of-the-moment  string of words that need to be written somehow. Needing to share and hoping to inspire others,  drawing strength from the knowledge that despite all the setbacks and ugly realities of life,  I learn something new every day and blessings come pouring in.

I still believe in dreams.  As I have said before in my earlier posts, dreams never end  just because you have experienced something life-threatening. Sometimes, in your moment of weakness, you ask, “What have I done to deserve all this?” and the echo gets back to you.  There are always roadblocks in our life and there will always be moments that you feel so abandoned and unloved but the times in between the dark hours are shining pots of gold.

Dream. Believe. Soar.  There will always  be a new  life, a new hope and a new beginning. Learn the art of flying.

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I dream sometimes
of a place far from home
where wild grass grows
where the meadowlark
sings with grace.

And I will sit in silence
absorbing every word.
Sometimes though,
dreams are just a play
of words and meaning
deep in my soul.

And I still sit in silence
looking, searching, dreaming
once more.

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I am not sure if that word porky is appropriate here but this is just to show you how tiring it is to see and read news on the pork barrel every day. All of a sudden, I am tired of seeing Napoles’ face everywhere on the net, I am tired of reading her daughter’s blog freely flaunting her signature shoes, bags, and everything else she wears from head to foot, an ostentatious display of wealth while majority of the Filipino people are  living below the poverty line. I am tired of those shameless politicians denying that they didn’t get anything from their share of the “drums” and “barrels” of  people’s money  and those who entered politics just because they want to get their share too.  One  senator even said that it is not their responsibility where their pork barrel goes, if I may say, what an irresponsible and irrelevant statement coming from someone who was supposed to be intelligent enough to understand that it is not their money but hard-earned by Juan dela Cruz.  As they say in Tagalog, dugo’t pawis ang puhunan. Or are they swimming in the quagmire of their deceit, lies  and more lies?  Do they still have conscience ?  Don’t they possess any shame? Where did the P10B go, in the pockets of a few?

Today, finally, Pres. Aquino issued a statement on the abolition of PDAF  (Priority Development Assistance Fund).  Some senators have filed resolutions too  (or at least around 15 of them)  believe that it should be abolished.  I hope it is not just mere lip service since the Filipino people are getting  angry and we have the right to be.  Let  justice prevail and punish those who are guilty of this sabotage.  Corona’s impeachment is nothing compared to this.

I am just tired of it all.

So I’ll spend a little of my time getting acquainted with new authors and new books. Sometimes, you’ll get a nice surprise. I have just  watched the trailer of the movie adaptation of The Book Thief,  one of the best books I encountered a few years ago.  (A favorite read, obviously but I don’t have my copy yet).  Just can’t wait.  And here’s something from Roger Housden  which might inspire you too.

When I write I fall by the wayside and pick myself up and stumble and bumble along the line hoping that any moment, this moment, I’ll find my way home and there is a moment and then another moment when I almost catch the inexpressible by the tail and it slips away again just out of reach but I’m on the scent now and I can see the letters almost forming into words and the words into sentences but then I see a cup of tea floating between me and the screen and my body is already half out of the chair when I remember again what I’m sitting here in search of and I fall in, I fall in and the words come bubbling up from below onto the line and I can’t stop now nothing can stop what wants to take shape and all this despite myself.

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And I must say, it’s been a while. And it’s hard to start blogging again after a week of hibernation. Anyway, I promised I’ll be back. The last week has been full of thoughts and dreadful news that I buried myself reading a series of eight books ( I  actually read six) in a little town of  Virginia.  Reading historical novels and getting acquainted with years of survival and living in a  world when horses were the only means of transport in an undiscovered territory  is sometimes a great change from the noise of daily living.  As I read the last book though, cellphones, e-mails and social networking became ordinary means of communication in a modern world where horseback riding was no longer a necessity but something only the rich populace could afford.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent all of one week reading because in between resting my eyes, I was busy preparing simple meals and trimming our carabao grass.  Gardening has its rewards, it lets your mind wander  and form words in your head and you think of how blessed you are. When nature shows itself,  you can’t help but think  that there is something miraculous  in the way it rewards you with lovely blooms despite the rains. My Mokara and Hoya Orchids are in bloom again. I saw four new spikes of Mokara showing gentle buds of orange. And all the Hoyas are blooming too.  Gardening may sometimes be a pain  because it does not thrive on neglect but  the joy and the quiet times you spend pulling off weeds, pruning and watering are more than enough to make your day complete.

Last Monday, we have experienced the worst typhoon so far this year.  Typhoon Labuyo (internationally named Utor) caused massive floods and landslides all over central and northern Luzon and wreaked havoc to so many homes, crops and properties particularly in Aurora province.  I know the feeling of losing what you have  to typhoons and finding your home submerged in water. Four years ago, we experienced exactly that and it took us a month to repair our cabinets  and replace some of our appliances and personal effects  that were destroyed by  the typhoon. We lost most of our books too. But still we were lucky because we had a house to come back to unlike those typhoon victims in Aurora where their houses were destroyed. I  always dread the thought of storms and typhoons. And it sad to think that every year, we experience  at least twenty or more weather disturbances .

Just started on a new book by a Turkish author entitled My Name is Red. It’s sixteenth-century Istanbul and the author Orhan Pamuk is a recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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