Monthly Archives: February 2020

dishes and books

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Agatha Christie once said: “The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” So did Jane Austen, who used to write before preparing a meal for her elderly father and after washing the dishes. And there was Laura Ingalls, an incredible pioneer woman tenaciously grasping on her aspiration to write while guiding her poor family to the long and winding climb to long-term financial security.  Then there was Lucy Maude Montgomery working full time as a teacher and writing full time to arrive one day as an established writer. Now enter Christine De Pisaner, a single mother of three children and mother, employed as a full-time supervisor at a scriptorium in the Late Middle Age France. What they had in common was the inexhaustible self-discipline and the independent will that drove them to spur their creativity on the craft of writing while juggling with their existential needs of life.

In fact, the figure of Christine De Pisan stands scintillating amid the somber Gothic spheres of cathedrals and gargoyles in the Late Middle Ages. She was the first professional woman writer making a living out of writing to support her three children and mother on her own against the custom of remarrying as a widow. Pisan was a precocious, voracious reader at a very young age, wallowing herself in books, soaking up in knowledge gained from hours of reading at the royal place of the Louvre. Upon her husband’s death, Pisan worked at a scriptorium where she supervised the works of calligraphers, miniaturists, and bookbinders while writing in her spare time. It was during this time of employment Pisan began to write for livelihood under the aegis of King Charles VI, attracting European royal patronage of Phillip II of Burgundy, Queen Isabella of Bavaria, and England’s Earl of Salisbury, despite the fact that England and France fought against each other during the Hundred Years’ War. But Pisan’s feats of words and erudition triumphed over the vortex of the war and communicated to Taste and Reason universal in humanity by which her love of France and admiration of the Virgin Maid of Orleans were sublimated to the epic romantic poem “The Tale of Joan of Arc”.

Pisan, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls, and Lucy Maude Montgomery are soul sisters bound by the ambition, fortitude, and talents to express their inner voices in the peculiar alchemy of literature with a burst of pep in spite of their dealings with the existential world hostile to their sensitiveness. They were writers who knew how to strike the chords of readers with their artistic craft and admiring independent spirits that are contemporary with our time. For they write despite life’s challenges with a resilient sense of purpose in search of a meaning of life by actualizing dreams, hopes, and values in an expression of will across a blank page in divine madness of art. You see, washing and writing are not apples and oranges.

life is life – poetry in motion

 

What then, if you lose your leisure

With no time to stand and stare;

No time to stand on the top of the hill

And stare the world under with thrill.

Author’s Note: They are on the top of the world looking down the creations below and think life is alright if only they live one day at a time. And I guess such revelation of meaning of life in nature can be on par with the “Ecstasy of Gold”. 

illusion

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I know it through, see it through
many more
causing up my illusion
playing up my emotion.

I know it wrong, feel it wrong
evermore
I only think about it,
can I still resist it?

Irresistible, irresistible
I can’t fight the temptation
I can’t fight it anymore.

it’s illogical
it’s magical

Forget about Sin
Never mind Reason
still, I love the sensation.

Irresistible, irresistible
I can’t fight the heart,
Nevermore.

the California musketeers – double trouble

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Your present fears are less than your horrible imaginings.  What you see now is what you get with, deal with, and live with. It’s no way around, and if you run away from it for an instant reprieve, you know it will come to you again sooner or later. This is it, thinks Judy. I must take it and bear it with a grin. These men, the trio looking like characters from a western movie, appearing from the wild high noon haze, she does not fear, but their impending intents of coming to her with mysterious questions she doubts. Surely, doubts are healthier than fears because fears can crush your strength, and the weakness emanating from within can double the strength of the foes. Judy is secretly asking God to come to aid her and make haste to help her as the images of the trio are entering her trembling irises of the big beautiful brown eyes and fill her eyes in entirety.

‘Howdy! Lass!’ Raphael, the talker, begins the talking. The two other men on the stead behind Raphael display the look of curiosity and amusement. They are pleased to see a pretty woman with a matching cute little dog in the middle of the wild. Quite an exotic kind of a bird, Rufus and Ben think in harmony. But the exoticness comes not from the demarcation of the race but from a uniqueness of beauty: innocence and sensuality are delicately concocted in her big brown expressive eyes decorated with long, thick Persian black eyelashes like black silk curtains. And the crown of her beauty seems to be bestowed on the tall slim figure that renders her graceful and respectful. There’s something about her, which sets her apart from the women they have seen in saloons, music halls, ballrooms, and any place where flowers of society gather and mingle to be wooed and wed. ‘The lucky bastard’, think Rufus and Ben, both of whom envy Raphael with admiration for his way with ladies. In terms of looks, Raphael is an epitome of your ordinary amigo: slightly chubby in a frame, a round smiley face that looks impossible to grimace decorated with a neatly trimmed mustache, all amicability personified that will save him from malicious gossips and wrongful accusations. Hence, Raphael is the talker of the trio and a sort of mother and father to Rufus and Ben with his practical sense of reality and survival skills.

‘We are headed west toward Doritos. Do you know where it is?’ Raphael asks the lass as friendly as possible. Judy incredulously looks up the mounted man with a mustache and a sombrero and thinks that he looks very convincingly like Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s faithful servant. There’s something about the man, thinks Judy. The diction, the ambiance, and the deportment are rather anachronistic or incongruous even to the social media era where people flag their selfies on the internet as if they were on a popularity contest and compete for likes and comments as emotional security and collateral for their forged so-called self-confidence. My Dear Reader, don’t misunderstand that it’s immoral of you to hang your beautiful pictures on a digital platform for popular admiration. It’s just that this act of self-promotion serves as a springboard for testing your marketability and your mobility as a result of winning the competition for likability based upon looks and frivolous comments that do not mean much, much at all. Amid this train of thought, Judy warms to this amiable man and decides to answer him. ‘This is Wildwood Park, sir. And I am sorry that I have never heard that there’s a place called Doritos, except for a brand of chips.’ Upon answering, Judy could not but burst into a peal of laughter. It is a sight to behold – the face of Raphael grimaced partly and bewildered partly, all in dazzling chemistry of emotions that is hard to describe. So much so that this display of indescribable human emotions on Raphael mollifies Nena’s agitation and puts the tempestuous waves of her emotions at ease. Now Judy feels refreshed and happy.

Rufus and Ben are within an earshot of this dialogue between the pretty lass and Raphael and cannot but be disappointed by the fact that they are once again on the wrong track, which seems to be forever chasing after a phantom of the dead Union soldier obfuscating them lest they should find where the buried treasure is. Where’s the Aztec gold? When can they find it? Maybe the miasma of frustration and agitation that hovered over Judy must have been transmitted to Rufus and Ben on the stead because now their faces mirror the symptoms of the malady of broken hearts. Then suddenly, Nena now recovered from the plague of uneasiness, springs forward and wags its chubby tail and bark toward the firmament as if it were looking at a thing invisible to your and my human eyes. Nena keeps barking and looking at the puzzled crowd behind as though it were trying to explain to them that there is something in the air that only Nena can see but we can’t see. ‘What is it, Nena? What do you see?’ Judy knows that dogs and cats can see supernatural things because their eyes can look through the souls of the living and ghosts of the dead. Judy tries to follow the direction where Nena is looking and barking and sees a gossamer trace of haze vanishing into the air like the vestige of a propeller plane soon to be effaced across the skies. The more Judy tries to scrutinize it, the faster it disappears. And Nena keeps barking, looking in front of the curious crowd. What is it that the dog is seeing? They all look at the barking dog and become curiouser and curiouser.

150 miles to El Dorado

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Judy begins to feel like a whimsical paramour leaving for a new object of love at sight. What was pleasingly solitary in nature seems to be prolonged isolation from the world that Judy so wanted to escape, and her coquettish dalliance with the wild rugged nature is no longer wanted as the Sun is slowly moving westerly to cave into the Evening Star and the Moon. It might be still early for calling it a day to you with your weekend frolics still left to re-calibrate your kicks for another week, but it’s late for Judy, who would rather mourn for a passing of the last day of a weekend at home than rebel against it in a frenzy of nocturnal bacchanalian orgy elsewhere outside the comforts of her den. Now the anxiety holds a grip on her, and she begins to fret, and the miasma of the ill-feelings begins to effuse the uneasiness to Nena who begins to whimper and to the accidental trio of strangers observing every move that this girl makes as they are nearing to her, part perplexed, part bewildered. What a curious mixture of emotions she puts on her face! Rufus, Ben, and Raphael become curiouser and curiouser as they get nearer to the porcelain doll in their eyes.

‘Howdy! Lass! What are you doing here?’ Raphael, the talker, begins the talking. ‘We are headed west toward Los Adios Mountain. Do you know where it is?’ Judy incredulously looks up the mounted man with a mustache and a sombrero and thinks that he looks very convincingly like Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s faithful servant. There’s something about the man, thinks Judy. The diction, the ambiance, and the deportment are rather anachronistic or incongruous even to the social media era where people flag their selfies on the internet as if they were on a popularity contest and compete for likes and comments as emotional security and collateral for their forged so-called self-confidence. My Dear Reader, don’t misunderstand that it’s immoral for you to hang your beautiful pictures on a digital platform for popular admiration. It’s just that this act of self-promotion serves as a springboard for testing your marketability and your mobility as a result of winning the competition for likability based upon looks and frivolous comments that do not mean much, much at all. Amid this train of thought, Judy despite being agitated by the lateness of the time warms to this amiable man and decides to answer him. ‘This is Wildwood Park, sir. Los Adios Mountain is 150 miles away from here. And you should go northward. You are far off from your destination.’ It is a sight to behold – the face of Raphael grimaced partly and bewildered partly, all in dazzling chemistry of emotions that is hard to describe. So much so that this display of indescribable human emotions on Raphael mollifies Nena’s agitation and puts the tempestuous waves of her emotions at ease. Now Judy feels refreshed and happy.

Rufus and Ben are within an earshot of this dialogue between the pretty lass and Raphael and cannot but be disappointed by the fact that they are once again on the wrong track, which seems to be forever chasing after a phantom of the dead Union soldier obfuscating them lest they should find where the buried treasure is. Where’s the Aztec gold? When can they find it? Maybe the miasma of frustration and agitation that hovered over Judy must have been transmitted to Rufus and Ben on the stead because now their faces mirror the symptoms of a malady of broken hearts. Then suddenly, Nena now recovered from the plague of uneasiness, springs forward and wags its chubby tail and bark toward the firmament as if it were looking at a thing invisible to your and my human eyes. Nena keeps barking and looking at the puzzled crowd behind as though it were trying to explain to them that there is something in the air that only Nena can see but we can’t see. ‘What is it, Nena? What do you see?’ Judy knows that dogs and cats can see supernatural things because their eyes can look through the souls of the living and ghosts of the dead. Judy tries to follow the direction where Nena is looking and barking and sees a gossamer trace of haze vanishing into the air like the vestige of a propeller plane soon to be effaced across the skies. The more Judy tries to scrutinize it, the faster it disappears. And Nena keeps barking, looking in front of the curious crowd. What is it that the dog is seeing?