Tuesday Blues

 

Wasn’t able to go on a photowalk this morning. Wasn’t planning on going either. I had a hunch someone might report me for leaving our dog’s poop in the village park yesterday. Haha! Talk about being paranoid.

Plus, it also started raining, so I wouldn’t have been able to shoot anyway. It’s been raining since 7 this morning and the sun hasn’t come out since.

Also, my throat hurts again which sucks, but I wasn’t going to let that bum me out, not when I’m listening to Celine Dion‘s “I’m Alive” on repeat mode! I’ve been singing that to every karaoke night/day at home and it just makes me feel like I’m up on the clouds every time. Such a powerful, feel-good zzzong, isn’t it? (Can you share some of your favorite upbeat, feel-good, banyo-worthy songs as well? Say, JT‘s Can’t Stop The Feeling, Yes?).

So I made another project today, sort of a mantra for the year, inspired by that precious song.

To make it extra fancy, I translated “I’m alive and so are you” to French, with the help of the handy dandy Google Translate and voila!

jesuisbwsmallwatermark

I always loved calligraphy in B&W, but I must admit, pink and black also look soooo good together, don’t you think?

jesuispinksmallwatermark

After having lunch, I had another light bulb moment and thought of making another project (ang daming time! Sorry na, sinusulit lang). This time, a short dramatic clip which was inspired by someone from Instagram. Note to self: find this talented human being after posting this! Apparently, I got the idea from his/her short clip of a pair of boots in the rain. It was brief, yet it was so beautiful and haunting at the same time, with the dramatic, natural lighting of course.

So I made a short clip myself and here it is. I’m glad I still have Ellie Goulding‘s cover of Kodaline‘s “All I Want” on my phone to listen to on days like this.

Glooooomy day

A post shared by M A R S M E D I N A (@marsymallows) on

 

P.S. Our Daily Bread’s reading for today emphasized on:

“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty

– Anne Herbert

mars2

Advertisements

Creative Block and Renewal

The latter part of my 2016 was so jam-packed, I forgot what RELAX even means anymore.

Seriously though, it was so chaotic that I even missed putting up a review for our host in HK during the 14-day period Airbnb provides for their users, which bothers me terribly, but will probably just save that for a separate post.

So going back, when all the trips, adventures and all the holiday hoopla finally died down, I realized my body must have missed bumming around, writing, playing with watercolors, brushes, GIMP and all that shizz. That’s because for the last 5 days (January 1st not included), I have been doing nothing but catching up on some blogging and tenenenenen…

Designing!

Yeah, well, no biggie right? Well, it is for me!

You see, there were times when I silently panic because I thought I’m losing touch with meee artsy soul. It gets worse because sometimes I feel like I don’t want anything to do with art altogether. Could it be what they call the dreaded Creative Block? I’m not so sure about that, but fortunately, I realized soon enough that I could never ever get tired of ART.

ART is one of the things on earth that makes me feel alive. When God brought me to life, He must have breathed a multitude of rainbows, unicorns and stars into me, much like the sparkly stuff you vomit on Snapchat, except that it’s the other way around. On a serious note, we all grew up surrounded by our Father’s majestic creations and I with my papa’s work, his passion and creativity, so I blame it all on those why art definitely runs through my veins now, and why I know I could never ever get tired of it.

So after climbing mountains, doing touristy stuff in a foreign land, downing heaps of Christmas sweets and then washing tons of holiday dishes, not to mention partying with the girlfriends and then mourning for a grandfather 2 days after, my body must have snapped because my hand just involuntarily grabbed a brush and started creating art once again!

If that was indeed creative block that I went through, then I’m glad I snapped out of it, all thanks to the inspiration I found throughout my [mis]adventures!

I looked it up and found out that creative block can be resolved by a change in the environment or a break from the routine, facts that aren’t new to us, and techniques that are undeniably effective. Two of the tips designer and writer, Tom May listed were (see the entire list HERE):

  • Don’t be afraid to step away
    • Completely open briefs can be the worst for causing creative block. Try to distance yourself from the project; take a break and come back to it with a clear head.
  • Look in unlikely places
    • Go and do something else entirely. You’d be amazed at where new ideas are hiding out. They’re often where you would least expect them to be.

He also mentioned exploring other creative disciplines which is why it would be helpful to have a hobby outside of your hobby (LOL), in my case, Photography.

I may have babbled more than I have to, again so before this goes entirely out of hand, I leave you with some of the stuff I have been doing lately to release the already overflowing creative juices I gratefully gained in the past months or so.

blog11

 

blog2smaller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was my favorite line from the latest Disney film, Moana, which reminded me so much of my own grandmother. I also made this for me to keep in mind that God is always with us. 🙂

Also made this odd-looking (and definitely one-of-a-kind) dreamcatcher for the bestie!

img_81wzw5l3avc

img_hmzcs5l3a3z

I must say that my year ended with a bang and even though it was overwhelming, I couldn’t have wished for anything better because it reignited my love for ART in more ways than one. Now, I’m back, feeling renewed and more than inspired to CREATE again, to spread optimism and of course God’s love through ART.

mars2

On Zombies, Putting DADs under the limelight and Lots of Other Important Stuff

With all the explosive events happening on the news lately, it’s quite hard to see the beauty of life anymore.

Sometimes, I find myself contemplating on the rampant killings (bombings included) in and out of the country, on the safety of my loved ones, their future and their emotional and psychological health and conditions because those things scare the heck out of me.

So how does anyone still see the beauty of living in a world as chaotic and seemingly as loveless as ours?

What bothers me now isn’t just our President’s campaign against drugs, which now also includes a battle against terrorism, but also the fact that the HiddleSwift hoopla has now ended. Taylor is indeed living up to her name, having swift, fleeting relationships with men I’ve lost count of. Kidding aside, no one can blame her, because it is her life after all and only she knows what she wants and who can make her happy. Relationships are cases of trial and error, for some. It just wouldn’t be right to settle with someone just to be safe because that wouldn’t be fair to both people involved. Anyway, apart from this slight segue to hollywood news, which isn’t really the whole point of this entry, I have also been affected enormously by the 2 movies I’ve seen over the weekend, the first one being, the well sensationalized, but not disappointing, “Train to Busan”.

So, how do all of these relate to one another? I’m guessing, I’m in the manic phase of my Bipolar disorder again, having these “flight of ideas”, jumping from one thought to another. 😛 On a serious note, all this thinking after watching the said movie, and another heartbreaking one in a span of 2 days made me realize that first, there is always hope, despite all the negativity in the world and second, dads are important in our lives too. 😛

I’m not doing a review of the movie because it came out weeks ago, or months even, and I probably might be the last one to have seen it, but I’m not saying that there won’t be any spoilers in this entry, so don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. ALSO, I’d like to say that the film had such an enormous impact on meh heart and brain, so huge and deep that I ended up writing this post. But why’d you even take my word for it? Even a Pixar movie can get me bawling like a baby. 😛 Well, maybe because, for one, and I know a lot would agree with me when I say that there is so much to learn from the film, underneath all the sudden awkward and stiff break-dancing (as what my sister loves to call it) and chaos in the train, and it had a good plot, cinematography and special effects, effective acting and musical score, stunts and a heart. 😥

To break it down for you, I’ve listed some of the important stuff I realized while watching the film. First of all, for sure, we all learned that most of the time, we bring this upon ourselves, and the “this” I’m talking about can be anything from drug-addiction to failing in an exam, or sometimes, even losing a loved one. Mankind has so much potential, talent, power and intelligence, but when used inappropriately, can lead to greed and eventually to all the other bad stuff I don’t need to tell you anymore. Somehow, we know that we made those things happen. We may not be the root of all evil, but we allowed ourselves to be instruments of evil, out of hunger for more fame, money or power. Later on in the movie, it was revealed through one of the main lead’s employees that the outbreak was caused by their company’s plant, which made him cry silently in the lavatory.

Another thing I liked about the movie is that we were reminded to look after one other, because like what they say, we are our brother’s keeper. In line with this, the priest kept on repeating himself on his Homily yesterday that “when we think about Jesus, we think about our neighbor/s“, which brings us back to the 2 main rules of God–which is to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It’s pretty simple, and I know that even though we’re from different nationalities, cultures and religions, we were all taught the same thing, to love one another. It was so hard for me to see the characters on the movie die because I get attached so easily, especially to the husband of the pregnant lady. I admired his character so much for his selflessness and concern for others. In everything he did on the movie, it’s like he always had the welfare of others in mind before his own. I could even say the same for the homeless guy, who saved the lead characters’ lives twice. So It wasn’t a surprise to see the lead guy’s change of heart in the middle of the film and of his prior plan to just look after themselves. Of course, I’d have to give credit to the little girl as well. We saw how she was brought up well by her mother for she always was concerned with the other passengers’ welfare. Amazing group of kind-hearted people. Isn’t it comforting that even at a time like that, you can see God in each of the people on that train? When some people say that they don’t feel God’s presence, this is a perfect example of how we can.

Sad to say, despite having a group of people who are willing to help, there’d still be people who will trample on others for their own sake, which brings me to my third realization, look out for people like them. I’m very lucky not to have met someone or at least not that I know of, who is as painfully-irritating as Yon-Suk who was apparently the COO of a train company. It isn’t such as surprise to see someone like him do what he did because desperate times call for desperate measures, but it is quite bothersome to think what people would do will there be such a similar catastrophe in the future.

Lastly, and should I say the thing that left the deepest dent in my heart was the fact that dads, even though they’re almost always on the sidelines and not always recognized, are important too. No, it wasn’t a joke when I said that earlier. I liked the scene when big-husband-of-preggy-lady called Sang-hwa, one baseball team member and the main lead, Seok-Woo came to rescue the ladies and the homeless guy in a lavatory and ended up waiting in the lavatory across theirs while waiting for the train to go into a tunnel. Sang-hwa had a small talk with Seok-woo on how dads often work hard for their kids and that he knows that when Soo-an grows older, she would understand and appreciate why he worked so hard. It was a brief exchange between them, but it somehow gave tribute to the fathers who aren’t always recognized for their part in raising their children. This is mostly obvious in families with stay-at-home, hands-on moms and working dads.

In the end, when Seok-woo got bitten by none other than the irritating COO whom I felt sorry for when he said he was just trying to get home to his mother, he had to bid a quick and not to mention, a very emotional goodbye to his daughter, Soo-an. I cried the hardest when I saw Soo-an holding on tightly to her dad’s shirt. It reminded me of that time in Tokyo when we lined up at this sushi restaurant. We broke into 2 groups because some (aka my mother and aunt) didn’t like to eat raw food. My father originally went with my mama and aunt and eventually went with us. We originally told the waiter we were 4, but when my father joined us, we had to tell him we want to add 1 to our group but he said it wasn’t possible to seat 5 in a table so 1 would have to sit alone on a counter seat. My brother agreed with the waiter and said he’ll be the one to sit on the counter seat, but my father probably thought he was intruding, so he said he’ll just stick with my mama and aunt. We were asking him to stay so I grabbed a hold of his sleeve as tight as I could with a desperately begging face like a kid, because I could see how he was being too selfless again. It was the worst case of non-intentional guilt trip that I almost couldn’t bear at that time and makes me break into tears when I remember it.

I also loved the part just before Seok-woo turned into a full-on zombie at the back of the train, the scene when he first held Soo-an as a baby flashed before his eyes and he suddenly stopped crying and just smiled. There was a soft piano music playing in the background and it gets me every time, even as I watch it now. I don’t know why, but as I watched that scene, I remembered this article my friend sent me to read. It just said that we should spend more time with our parents, because they’re not getting any younger. They used to be so strong when they were younger (cue the scene from the movie below when Seok-woo holds Soo-an in his arms), but as time passes by, they become older and weaker and before we know it, their time on earth will eventually come to an end.

seokwoo

I couldn’t find the article itself, but just the same, this article’s title alone says it all,

“Love your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.” – Amy Anderson

Read it, preferably while listening to the sad OST of the film below :P, you won’t regret it.

The day after I saw TTB, I also watched the dubbed version of “About Time” on tv, which I’m glad I did because it has been years since I first saw it and I almost forgot the most special parts of the movie with the lead guy’s dad on them. Again, it was another movie intended to break the viewers’ hearts and of course, to put dads under the limelight.

I myself have given little tributes to my own father on social media and even on this blog and on the other one countless times, and I remember a time being called a papa’s girl when I was young. They’d tell me stories of how I would go with my father when he would get his owner jeep fixed. Growing up, I would also eventually develop an inclination for the arts, influenced by my papa who is an artist. He taught us bits on how to paint, how to take photos, how to play the keyboard and a few songs that I know how to play until today, taught us how to play the guitar and one that I’m most proud of, how to use Photoshop back in high school, which I’m glad I’m still able to use today. He is so gifted passionate and I know wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him being supportive of my passions. Did I say he enrolled me in a photography workshop in an institute he loves?

papa.jpg

So going back, I feel like I know the answer to that question even before I came up with it. With all the realizations (including doing cardio exercises for when real zombies with effing kangaroofic and puma-ish abilities arise) I have now after watching the said films , I learned that we, the inhabitants of this world we’re gradually destroying are also the hope we have been praying for, for a better world. God has given us each a part of him when he created us, so that only means, we are all naturally good. And in the darkest times, when some fear that God has forsaken us, let us be the ones to shed some light on them and remind them that God IS ALWAYS WITH US.

A week ago, my papa and mama collided into another car in front of them when a reckless jeepney driver crashed on to them from behind. There were 8 vehicles involved in total and our car was one that got severely damaged. It was a good thing that there wasn’t a passenger at the back and that they were able to come home safely that day with just minor gashes and hurting backs. I couldn’t thank God enough for saving them and not to mention for the help and support of my relatives, friends and B. I have always believed that God is always around. We just have to keep the faith that despite the most difficult times, He remains with us, holding our hands, or carrying us through it all. 🙂

So indeed, the beauty of living in a world like ours comes not from living a luxurious, safe and comfortable life, but one that is at times, difficult, but undeniably colorful and meaningful and most importantly, should be centered on God and in love.

P.S. Apart from my sister, my Papa also encouraged me to watch the film, being a movie-buff himself. He commended the cinematography and the plot, the director and even the stunt men. I’m guessing it’s his first time to see a Korean film, but he wasn’t disappointed either.

So Kudos too to Yeon-Sang-ho (director), Park Joo-suk (writer), Lee Hyung-deok (cinematography), Lee Dong-ha (producer), Jang Young-gyu (music) and to the whole cast for making this film successful not only on the big screen but more importantly, in penetrating through the hearts of people from all over the world!

1002247091395102230616

30 Day Writing Challenge: DAY 11

Something you always think “What if…” about

I have 2 things in mind particularly for this topic and it may seem like there’s this huge regret as I ask myself these questions, but honestly, there isn’t, not even a tiny speck of it, well at least just for the first question.

First, there’s this “What if I stayed working as a staff nurse and pursued this career, would I be working overseas by now like my college batch mates and former colleagues?” question that I may not think about it all the time, but it certainly crosses my mind from time to time and when it does, it makes me look back at my life, not because I regret my decision, but because there’s this possibility that my life would’ve been different. Although, whenever this thought comes up, I also think of the reasons why I had to quit and they simply justify themselves automatically. One of those reasons being, it really felt like I was meant to do something different. Though, I can say that it also felt good to have given it a try because being a nurse is an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience that I would never want to forget. 🙂 So yes, I have no regrets over this one!

Though there might be for this “What if I had taken an art course in college instead, would I have been someone I dreamt of now?” question. I would’ve been really happier studying something I feel really passionate about. This, on the other hand, I always think about, or more often than the first question, at least.

Why I Blog

When I first created a blog, I think I was in grade school and I did it because my friends were doing it. It was a fad which I liked to be a part of. I also did it because I loved reading other people’s blogs and commenting on their issues and opinion and just dropping by to flood their tagboards. Yep, blogdrive probably was the only one that offered that feature and it was home to my first blog. 

When I created that blog, it was also for the fact that I wanted a place online where I could rant about my life, talk about my crushes and the “silay moments” we had back then. I don’t know if people from co-ed schools or kids these days still call it that too, but yeah, back in the day, in my all-girls’ Catholic school, we call it silay. It’s Filipino for “catching a glimpse of”, or something like that. And it’s what we do back then to our crushes and yep, I repeat, I’m from an all-girls’ school. 

We would all be excited during gatherings like first Friday Mass celebrations, or flag ceremonies, student council elections or during our school fairs because those were perfect opportunities for catching a glimpse of our crushes. Sometimes, we could also be stalking them, which only comes with great courage and crazy friends. 

So most of the time, my entries would circle around our crushes if not on classmates I used to hate.

Come high school, I was surprised I still kept one, and another one and another one. I learned about other blog hosting sites and tried them all. I found my first ever blog idol, Bianca G and her then college adventures and I kept mine trying to save all the memories I had, good or bad. I think it was also the time I started trying to write in English, but I thought that I was trying too hard so I just maintained it in a Taglish format. I also visited strangers’ blogs and had them visit mine. It helped me gain anonymous friends whom shared their opinion and sympathy, which I welcomed wholeheartedly.

Then came college when I still had a few Taglish entries, but thinking that this could help me practice my writing, I started writing in English. Looking back (since I still have them here), I realized how much I’ve changed and how much I haven’t. I found things I have completely forgotten and things that still haunt me to this day. 

So I realized, my purpose for keeping this blog is not to gain followers or readers, but to keep a journal where I can write the things I want to remember the most, or to have an escape from the real world. I also realized that I need this because it acts as my very own pensieve just like what Dumbledore kept in his office, to get all the excess thoughts and memories out of my head and into a written form which I can visit again whenever I want to. I love going back to the times I have written my entries every once in a while. It is like traveling back in time and remembering the sights, sounds and most importantly, the feeling. It truly is like a pensieve, isn’t it?

It is funny though that no matter how completely true and honest I am here, I never want anyone I know to find out about this blog, at least not those who would violently react to my opinion, issues and most importantly to my love story (which I do write about, a lot, no holds barred). This is my safe place and as ironic as it sounds, strangers are welcome here, but the people closest to me are not. Although somehow, I just wish that they’d find it and see how much I admire, respect and love them, which isn’t any less than I admire, respect and love another person in my life right now. 

In line with this, I’ve been thinking of keeping another journal, but this time, a real one. I’d still find time pouring my heart out here, but I’d like to take things to the next level (though I don’t exactly know how that is a step higher than blogging). Somewhere I can be more creative and personal in and somewhere I can truly “write” on. I started drooling on this idea when I saw Chynna Ortaleza‘s mixed media journal on tv and began looking up art journals online. 

Here are a few ones I loved:

tumblr_mfvuxgQdtv1qa2bljo1_500

tumblr_n84eeucqsj1qzms0qo1_400These first two I reblogged on tumblr and when I found his/her flickr page, there were so much more art to drool on! So beautiful.

tumblr_n7u6dt79301qzms0qo1_400This next art journalist I also found on tumblr, but when I saw her photostream on flickr as well, I knew, she was someone I would follow online from now on. She is like what it says there, a real craft junkie!

tumblr_n9r6kvbYaj1qzms0qo1_400I feel so pathetic not doing art journals early on in life. The next one is also a very creative art journalist named Tracy and her flickr page is a witness to that. 

cajj-1

This last one is also an art journalist I only found out about now, and I’m glad that he/she has a wordpress account too. He/she is Casey Nelson and I’m really excited to learn a lot about art journaling from her/him.

I can’t wait to get started. I found lots of tumblr accounts on art journaling and like learning about the snail mail revolution, my mind is blown.

Writing is not as easy for me as for the real writers. I guess I found it easier to keep a blog than a journal because it’s easier to edit and re-edit your entries. Unlike in blogging, real writing would be awfully tragic once you find the grammatical errors after. So good luck to me! Here’s to another artsy and crafty adventure!!