WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

When self hears the word “Carefree” she always thinks of summer.


Oh how self loves these Wednesday evenings in the park!

Oh how self loves these Wednesday evenings in the park!


Geraniums in Bloom Beneath the Dining Room Windows

Geraniums in Bloom Beneath the Dining Room Windows


Sitting on the deck

Sitting on the deck

Self loves how colors always seem more vibrant in summer!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Memory and Nostalgia: “Sutil” in The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review, Fall 1995

The Threepenny Review, Fall 1995

Still one of self’s favorite pieces.  It begins:

I was last home for my father’s funeral.  I say “home” even though I am an American citizen now, sworn in with a twenty-piece Navy band in the grand ballroom of the Marriott Hotel on Fourth and Mission in San Francisco.  Yet, “home” for me was always that other place, that city James Hamilton-Patterson describes as “a parody of the grimmer parts of Milwaukee.”

I’ve never been to Milwaukee, so I can’t tell whether this is true or not, whether Manila really is like a parody of a city in the far north of this country (or at least what I imagine to be the far north, in a general region of the country I associate with heavy snow and Laverne and Shirley).  But that it is different from here, of course.  It is the differences I loved.

When I was last home, which was for my father’s funeral, I slept with my mother in the big wooden four-poster in my parents’ bedroom.  This bed, handed down from my grandfather, was familiar and reassuring.  It was of heavy wood, a wood that doesn’t exist today in any Philippine forest, having been cut to extinction.  It may have been called “molave.”  I am not sure of this, as I am not sure of so many things about my culture, which I think I received very young, too young really to understand context or value.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reading, Third Thursday of August (2013): “The Music Child” by Krip Yuson

Self is 3/5 of the way through Wolf Hall!  With any luck, she’ll finish in a week or so.  She hates to rush, but the book is overdue:  she’s already renewed it the maximum two times (six weeks)

She’s begun “The Music Child,” by Krip Yuson, in The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century.  The beginning is very enthralling.  It’s taken her 10 years to get to this point of the anthology because she’s lingered over each story.  She would really like to thank Isagani Cruz for the masterful job he’s done, assembling these.

Krip’s story is by no means a new story: she first read it about 20 years ago.  But reading it this evening, the writing seems very fresh.  Even more fresh is the fact that this is the first Filipino short story she’s read that’s narrated by an American:

I was in Southern Philippines for a follow-up story on muro-ami fishing, having already sent a report on the Manila end of the ecologically ruinous operations.

I had interviewed the big bosses of the Frebel Fishing Corporation, as well as a few legislators involved in a committee on natural resources.  Easy enough to get into these high offices when one represents Western media.

It was a dying issue as far as the local papers went.  Officials had upheld the ban on boy divers pounding the reefs with iron balls to drive fish into giant nets.  All that the greedy operators could do was take it on the chin and shrug.

But for the Examiner back home, the triumph of environmental concern would always rate a banner story in the features section.  So had my editor assured me as soon as I faxed Part One of the series.

Ecology couldn’t die as a cause in the world’s leading democracy.  And where better to flush out tales of horror than in Third World enclaves run by petty politicians?

Cebu City was a smaller Manila, just as dense, dustier, hotter, more humid, except at the seafront where I found the usual spot of calm amid the chaos, by sitting over cold San Miguel beer in a small restaurant.

Self finds herself thoroughly engrossed by the voice.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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