Daily Prompt: Sail

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Northern Mindanao, Philippines

The last time I traveled by boat was in 2002 from Bohol, Philippines to my hometown. I was with a new friend then. We were just getting to know each other, and he was really nice. So even if it was very dark, star-less night at midnight as we hung out on the stern of the ship, and all I could see was the white foam on the big waves, I didn’t want the evening to end. (I always find it interesting looking back how when I was younger, I was not easily scared by dangerous situations — bombings, typhoons, big waves — for as long as I was with a guy I liked! How silly was that?!)

These days I would rather travel by plane than be on a ship, especially if I have to travel in the evening. I don’t care if Bradley Cooper is on the same ship, I would never travel by boat at night.

sail

Northern Mindanao, Philippines

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Don’t get me wrong. I love the sea, the ocean. See, I made this watercolor because I really like this view of a boat sailing on the sea. When I made this, I was imagining myself being on that boat watching the horizon. But now several months have passed, and I look at this again, I’m thinking that can’t be me. I’d never get on a boat alone.

 

Daily Prompt: Sail 

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Smiling for a good mood

One thing I miss about being in my country is seeing the smile of people, especially early in the morning. Filipinos, in general, are a happy people, and we don’t think highly of people who are grumpy early in the morning. Even now that I have been living in a foreign country for 12 years, I still cannot understand (or maybe I do but I just cannot accept the answer) why it is so hard for people to smile, or be courteous early in the morning. (Perhaps because they don’t shower in the morning but in the evening?)

Last time I was in my home country I had to stay in a hotel in Cebu for a couple of days, and, close to the hotel is a 7-Eleven store. I went there a couple of times early in the morning, and each time, the security guard opened the door for me with a smile and said, “Good morning, Ma’am” (well, “mom” actually, if you know what I mean.) The young staff were just as courteous and smiling, and their smiles just made me feel like “Yeah, it’s a beautiful day!”

It’s amazing how people’s facial expressions can influence other people’s mood for the day. Having the habit of watching my emotions, I am always aware of how I cannot seem to get rid of a bad feeling just because somebody frowns at me (maybe the person is thinking of something else and just happens to look at me); conversely, I can be happy all day just because somebody smiles at me or greets me in the morning!

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime.” 
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

These words are so true. If I get a smile from this person, I’m sure I’d remember it for the rest of my life!

Bradley Cooper
A smile you can remember for a lifetime! (Photo source)

😍😍😍😍

Here are some of my favorite quotes about “Smiles” and “Smiling”. What are yours?

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ― Mother Teresa

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” – Martin Charnin

“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” – Tom Wilson

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Always remember to be happy because you never know who’s falling in love with your smile.” – Unknown

Writer’s Block (Or, Where’s Bradley Cooper when you need him?)

People inspire me. What they say and how they behave are ideas that get me writing. When they leave or just disappear from my life, I will be inspired to write some more for a week or two, and then there will only be silence.

No amount of free writing will make me come up with something I’d be happy with.

I can write a rant about a number of things, but I feel I am too old to be making my rants public. I’m supposed to have better self-control and calm that go with age.

At the moment I have zero inspiration for any creative thinking. It is too bad that one’s spouse can’t be an inspiration. My husband is a wonderful person, my best friend number 1. A witty, sometimes very funny and intelligent man. But he is so real to me. So real. And I say that with love.

What gives me inspiration is having people around me who can call forth my imagination, and right now my brain’s a desert.

Where’s Bradley Cooper when you need him?

Bradley Cooper

There he is! Got this pic from this site. 

On writing and inspiration

For as long as I can remember I have always said to myself I could never be a Writer. But, I can always be an aspiring writer. My uni professor  had my story, a tale I wrote for his Creative Writing class, published, and it was then I started to hope to become a writer.

To hope to become a writer.

That was over twenty years ago, and I am still hoping. I have had a few of my short stories published in literary journals back home, but having them published does not make me a writer. How do I know I am not a writer? I still depend on inspiration to make me write.

Recently I watched a movie called The Words. I would never have heard of this movie here if not for my best friend #3 who knows I’m crazy about Bradley Cooper (I know I’m 42 and married and have a child, so what?) And he was right about me liking the movie because gorgeous Bradley Cooper plays a writer in this movie (a gorgeous writer!)Bradley-Cooper1

(photo source)

I keep digressing.

Although the movie is about making mistakes, trying to correct them and redeeming oneself, what moved me most was a couple of lines uttered, not by gorgeous Bradley Cooper, but by Jeremy Irons.

The old man (Jeremy Irons) spoke about that period when he wrote the novel, how he forgot to eat, how the words just flowed from nowhere, and he just kept on writing. He was inspired. The muse came to visit him, but never came back after that. That’s my favorite scene.

When I watched that scene, I felt like it was I telling the story. I experienced those same feelings over twenty years ago when I wrote my very first short story –a love story– at two o’clock in the morning. Earlier that evening I saw a scene from a romantic movie, the silhouette of a man and a woman standing on the beach, watching the sunset. That scene stayed with me even after I fell asleep. Then in the middle of the night, I woke up and felt the need to write something. And I did. My hand shook as I was writing, and I was writing so quickly as the words just kept coming, flowing, and I was afraid I would lose them if I failed to write them right away, like sands slipping through the fingers. When I finished I felt exhausted but at the same time relieved that it was over. That was the first time the muse came to me. And it never came again.

Last week I could not write anything. Or I could have, but I did not and still do not want to write about anything  depressingly  sad  and those were all I encountered last week: a friend getting divorced, a friend thinking of breaking up with his girlfriend, a young person I know passed away (RIP). When I told my husband I could not write anything, he just said “Don’t force yourself to write or you will just write something that says nothing.”

And he’s right. I cannot will myself to write. I always need something to make me write. I am not a writer.

But I can always be an aspiring writer.