Life in Colour, May Challenge: PURPLE

Read about the Life in Colour Photo Challenge, here.

This month’s color is PURPLE.

Purple is “a secondary colour made from red and blue, though you can find many different shades of purple. Stay clear of violet though as that will be making its own appearance. Although found in nature in shades of crocuses, lilacs, and irises, look for the bruised colours in a sunrise or sunset, an indigo sea, a full moon in an inky sky.”

Here are a gallery of self’s purples:

Some may be questionably purple, lol. Nevertheless.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

One Word Sunday Challenge: TOUCH

There are so many challenges to explore!

Travel with Intent hosts the One Word Sunday Challenge. The current theme is TOUCH.

Self’s gallery:

  1. Elevator attendant, Manuel Benavides Library, University of Santo Tomas, Manila
  2. Jollibee attendant, Manila – Self asked the driver to stop by Jollibee on her way home from the airport. First stop! It was in the pre-dawn hours. Manila is a city that never sleeps.
  3. Self, Andrew, and nephew Chris Blackett in the very long ago, at an amusement park in California
  4. Self with an umbrella in Tokyo, also in the very long ago

Stay safe, dear log readers. Stay safe.

The System

The system is broken. When you have adult children hustling parents off into “assisted living,” and giving up the home they’ve lived in for four and a half decades.

The parents give in because, at the end of life, we all become children again. We become helpless. It makes me angry.

3/4 of I’ll Be Seeing You is about what is past. The past is very pretty. The present isn’t. And the future doesn’t even bear contemplating.

Me thinking as I read: Why would anyone want to look at a bunch of total strangers and do crafts? What is so damn delightful about living in a place where you have the crafts option? Who cares about keeping busy? Why doesn’t “assisted living” have a library?

At the same time, the parents are such a burden to the author. She has meals with them, every gesture delicately described.

To me, the parents are functional. Childish, but functional. In the home, they become truly lost, not themselves. They have to adhere to meals at set times, and talking to people. Isn’t the fun of growing old the fact that you can do whatever you like? Because you’ve earned it, right?

And then the big end-of-life talk. Which comes, deadeningly, at the end. It’s so predictable, and really sad.

This is the third week that my mother has been in hospital in Manila. She got COVID. No one in the family has seen her. No one can visit because COVID is raging through the Philippines. She has a trach.

But she is a fighter to the very core. She is somehow hanging on, and a few days ago they transferred her out of the “critical” section of COVID patients. What I think I am trying to say is: Don’t count the very old out. Never, ever count them out. Give them that last shred of dignity, and don’t count them out.

I am nearly through with this book. On p. 171, author states she hopes her 90-year-old father “will find a friend.” His “assisted living” place offers the author a partial schedule of the father’s daily activities:

  • current events
  • exercise
  • lunch

The children auction off of all their parents’ precious things: “the auctioneer arrives promptly” and offers them five hundred dollars.

I am outraged by the author’s nostalgia for all the events that happened in her parents’ house. How dare she indulge in touchy-feely emotions while her parents aren’t allowed to have them. She expects them to be “objective,” to accept that what is happening is inevitable.

REALLY?????

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): TEXTURES

Self loves whenever she can participate in one of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges.

This week’s topic is TEXTURES. The first thing self thought of was a native mat (called a banig), that she brought all the way from the Philippines. It’s now on the floor of her bedroom.

Then there’s her collection of woven handbags, also from the Philippines.

This post also applies to today’s BRIGHT SQUARES, hosted byThe Life of B.

Challenge Your Camera # 11: Still Life

Discovered another Photo Challenge! This one’s from Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar, and it’s called Challenge Your Camera.

This week’s Challenge Your Camera (# 11) is STILL LIFE.

Here are a few pointers for the Challenge:

  • What is a Still Life? A still life is a work of art that focuses on inanimate objects. Usually commonplace objects which can include both man made objects (vases, items of clothing, and consumer products) and natural objects (plants, food, rocks, shells) as examples.

So, here are self’s still lifes, all of which she pulled from her archives. They’re mostly food-related.

Still Life # 1: Self loves farmers markets. The ones in her area are held on Sundays. She bought these mushrooms at the Menlo Park Farmers Market. This picture’s from a few weeks ago. The farmers markets stayed open throughout the pandemic, and self went regularly (of course masked). Her last COVID test was ten days ago, and that was negative.

Still Life # 2: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019. She doesn’t think she’ll be able to get back to London until late 2022, at the very soonest. In the meantime, she has a huge trove of photographs from her last visit. Someone with a sense of humor left this on a window ledge.

Still Life # 3: Her last visit home was September 2019. She spent her time in Dear Departed Dad’s hometown of Bacolod, and spent a few nights in a city close by: Silay. And ate herself into a food coma. All the variety of food made from rice! These are just two examples, and they’re from the public market.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: Doreen G. Fernandez

Every year for the last seven years or so, I have written one piece in March or April — the beginning of its traditional season — on the mango, feeling that it is one of the best fruits in the world, and that all of the folklore, songs, sarswelas and recipes do not even begin to do it justice.

— from Fruits of Memory, the Introduction to Fruits of the Philippines, by Doreen G. Fernandez

Personal Bookshelf: Eman Lacaba

He was from my school.

A poet.

Took to the mountains, joined the rebels.

Was shot — “salvaged” is what they called it back then.

The military says they did it in self-defense.

I still remember the whispers: “Did you hear? Eman Lacaba was shot!”

His funeral mass was held in my school.

Legend.

Sentence of the Day: CAMAROTE DE MARINERO

  • If only our pilot had not found the current that led us to the shining archipelago! — p. 15, Camarote de Marinero, self’s (experimental, 16th century, mostly epistolary) novel of the Philippines

Now to Write a Synopsis

There was the glaring sand, and the fringe of coconut trees.  Hovering above the trees was the spine of a mountain. And beyond? Only a profound and mysterious silence.

— self’s novel of 16th century Philippines, Camarote de Marinero

One Last Read-Through: CAMAROTE DE MARINERO

“But,” the Archbishop continued, looking carefully at Matias, “you need not concern yourself with that. Mindanao is the Governor General’s problem. These are the matters that you must report on: number of baptisms; deaths, of officials and clergy; fires; condition of the ports; salaries, especially if there are upward adjustments; arrivals and departures; conflicts; fiscal status; the foundation of hospitals; prices of commodities and goods; taxes; tributes; profits; ordinary expenses; relations with the Sangleys (that is what they call the Chinese); the influence of local healers.”

Camarote de Marinero, Part I, Extranjero

Self is quite proud of that little passage.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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