Surprise!

Self loves blogging because each new day presents a clean slate of things to write about, and she never knows which subject will strike her fancy.  What she actually ends up posting is as much of a surprise to self as it is to her readers.

In today’s San Francisco Chronicle, she reads about the latest criminal activity of a notorious gang of kidnappers called the Abu Sayyaf.  The Abu Sayyaf last week abducted three aid workers in the province of Sulu, in the southern Philippines.  The aid workers were eventually released because the Philippine government “withheld the cash grants to thousands of poor families” in Talipao, a town in the province of Sulu. “More than 4 million families across the Philippines have received cash under a government program that requires the poorest of the poor to get regular medical check-ups and ensure their children attend school classes in exchange for financial aid.”  The possibility of not receiving the funds dismayed Talipao town officials so much that they put pressure on the kidnappers, who eventually “freed their hostages this week without any ransom payment.”

Good one, Philippine government!  Self’s feeling is that the town officials knew the identity of the kidnappers all along and thus were able to put pressure on, not just the kidnappers themselves, but also their family and friends (Everyone must have known each other in that small town).

She remembers hearing a story, long long ago, of how a kidnapping ring was foiled in the southern island of Basilan.  A man wearing t-shirt, shorts, and rubber slippers attempted to deposit 3 million US dollars in cash at the small bank in Basilan’s capital.  Self wonders what item of clothing constituted the last straw.  She thinks probably the rubber slippers.  In any case, the bank became mighty suspicious of this scruffy millionaire and called the police. End of story.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Poem, Today, 4th Thursday of July (2014)

I wander down streets losing
things I gather up again:
parts of my life
that have turned up from far away.

— excerpt from “Everything is Filled With You”, by Miguel Hernandez (1910 – 1942), in a translation by Don Share

* * * *

Self loves this poem.  She stumbled across it in The New York Review of Books. Hernandez wrote it from prison. He was sentenced to 30 years for his role as a cultural ambassador for the Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War.

The translation is by Don Share.

She’s quoted from it on this blog before, but this morning the section above seemed especially moving.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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