Those Unexpected Encounters

I have been blogging for 18-19 years now— having started when blogs started to blossom. I had an “online journal” before the blog and I think I managed to move some of my earlier posts to my new space. I did start on another platform, and I eventually moved a majority of my blog.com posts to WordPress when I made my home here.

Through the years, I’ve “met” people who bumped into my corner of the blogosphere and said hello. I have received countless emails from the lawyer wannabes with their questions and reactions to my posts here. (That’s the reason those posts have their own page in the navigation bar on top.). Some have since become lawyers, thanking me after many years and telling me they made it. My heart is full.

There are those whose blogs became favorite stops for me — and who, although we have not met, feel like old friends as we follow each other on social media. (Paging the Two Jeromes)

I know I’m not killing it readership-wise, but I’m happy having my space here, being able to write what I want. No pressure. Full artistic freedom. The interaction with my readers being an added and very heartwarming plus.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet some of the people who have read my blabbering here. Thrice. And I count those three readers now as friends.

The first was Jeanne who I bumped into in my then PinayFRANCOPHILE blog which no longer exists. She was a Filipina living in Paris with her son, and we managed to meet in Paris during my second visit there in 2004. We lost touch for a bit but reconnected on Instagram a few years ago and manage to take a peek into each other’s lives through our posts. (Thank you, social media!)

Second was Lou from the Midwest who used to have a blog on Multiply where I maintained a mirror site. We met each other when she visited New York, and then again when Angelo and I were in Chicago for a cousin’s wedding. She and I and have tried to keep in touch via email. I have a standing invitation to see her next time in Baguio where she now lives. Knowing how she’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from my pledge of a pilgrimage to Manaoag each time I’m in the Philippines, I can’t wait for the next time I get to fly home and maybe sit down for a quick lunch with her, even if I have a standing invitation to stay a night or two. I am aiming low to keep expectations at bay, but can’t wait.

The third is Elaine, a fellow New Yorker who I first met when she was pregnant with her first child 7 years ago, and who is a very dear friend now even if we don’t get to see each other often. She originally found me by doing a random search for Filipinos in New York — and the results point to my spot right here. (Go and try..) Sure, life does get in the way and sometimes there are long silences in between our almost everyday connecting when we do manage — but like I told her this weekend when we finally got to grab lunch and spend a few hours together, friendships take a lot of work, and I appreciate that she’s been there through all these years.

With Elaine last Friday

I don’t really think aboutwho is reading when I write the words that make up the posts I publish. I do know there is someone reading — and it’s a conversation between the writer and the reader, even if I don’t hear your reaction to the things I write. And when I do get a comment which is few and far between, I get the affirmation that there is someone out there who somehow was able to relate to what I said. And there, the conversation begins.

Those who have been reading my posts here from way back have a sense of how my life has changed through the years. I have always worked hard to be truthful and honest, without giving too much away. (You will hardly see a photo of me in my posts, for one..) As someone told me, the stories bring them “there” — wherever it is I’m at.

I am grateful for the friends I have found. From what started as just my ramblings, I have reaped the rewards of friends who have stepped out of the imaginary pages of my space here, giving more than I would have ever thought possible just by putting my thoughts and feelings into words. Unexpected encounters in a most unexpected space — for which I am eternally grateful. Who would have thought..

There are several others who had floated in and drifted away just as quietly as they walked in. Those encounters, no matter how brief, validated my presence here. Just like in real life where we meet people and see some of them leave — some for good, and some for a brief spell only to come back again, ready to give us that hug when we meet up. Those who have found my world in words here have done the same. Some continue to read no matter how far apart my posts may be, and some have moved on — and that’s okay. I enjoy and cherish what’s here now — and I am always grateful for whatever I had, but never regretting that which I don’t have anymore.

So if you have the time to send me a note, you can either leave a comment here, or drop me a line at pinaynewyorker @ gmail dot com. Let’s get a conversation going..

Feedback on Feedback : Feeling the love

Felling the loveI used to respond to all comments here individually — back when I could focus and give ample time to write a blog post.  At the moment, I think I’m around 5 to 10 comments behind, but I think I have to start and try to catch up somehow, if only because I’ve been swamped with a lot of much-needed love pats lately.  I know I don’t hear from most of the people who read my posts — and I am grateful to each and every one of the 35 of you.  (Okay, maybe 40.. LOL)  You can see that I haven’t lost my knack for self-deprecating humor when it comes to my readership.

But let me just say I am thankful, and truly grateful that there is that small portion of my ever tiny readership who write and let me know that some of the things I thought made sense only to me actually make sense to others as well.  Not everyone leaves a comment, and there are one or two who e-mail me directly at pinaynewyorker at gmail dot com — and while I don’t get to respond to that in a timely fashion either, reading your questions and notes are a warm hug to my heart.

I hope the others won’t feel bad if I focus on two particular comments received very recently, but I have to start somewhere.  (Kim, I haven’t forgotten about you.)

Tita Clarita wrote:

Hello Dinna,

I read your blog and sorry that I rarely leave a comment but this time your to do list for 2016 inspired me to restart “decluttering/downsizing” my “stuff” so to speak. I am a Lola (73 years old) and I feel this is a good time to seriously start cleaning-up. I did some crafty things (cross stitching, crocheting, knitting, jewelry making) but not expertly, I’d say the result of my efforts doing a project is very basic, passable to a certain point. I have already given away some and now I am going to sort my beads (seed beads, stones, etc) and let go or donate some of them.

I will also “try” to read books to help sharpen my ageing brain, enroll in an aquatic class to gently relieve me of my knee pains, and possibly do a little bit of domestic or overseas travel.

I am not getting any younger so I will try to do my best to reach some of my goals this year or the next.

I hope this New Year and the next ones will bring good health to you and Angelo, achieve your goals, and most of all feel content about your life which I think will in turn bring happiness. You take care.

Fondly,
Clarita

To which the Pinay New Yorker says:  I am glad to hear that people of all ages find some sense in the things I write — and always happy to contribute to your self improvement.  I’m sorry I never directly responded via a blog post to your earlier comment (or I might have), but I do remember.

I am most grateful for your well wishes and your sage advise about contentment.  I am trying very hard to be happy with what I have, because it has helped me to appreciate how blessed I am.  The past few years have been a big challenge, and I know that I have quite a journey ahead, but I think life has been kind with its lessons, and I have been fortunate to have the discernment to know my strengths and weaknesses.  The former have kept me up on my feet, and the latter have continued to keep me grounded and humble.  I keep hearing the universe and the big Guy upstairs reassuring me all will be well — from the way the sunshine feels so differently when it touches my skin, to how words of encouragement come from the most unexpected people like you.

If you are ever in my neck of the woods, please let me know.  I’d love to have coffee or even lunch or dinner with you.  Keep reading!

—–

And an old “friend” from Etsy and here, brought my way by another blogfriend who I have already met in real life (Lou), pops back in.  Cora writes:

Hi Pinay New Yorker,(Dinna)

I was cleaning my computer and saw my old bookmarks with Pinay New Yorker on it. I clicked the link and found your site. It’s amazing to find you are still blogging. Do you remember when I used to order your hand made jewelries thru Etsy?

Well, so many years have gone by, I have a 2 yr. old granddaughter now and will be a grandmother again this coming May. My daughter and her family lives in Brooklyn and I frequently travel back and forth to NY and Chicago to help out with the kid. I was in NY last week during the big snow storm .

Hope things are well with you. God bless and keep on blogging.

Cora 

To which the Pinay New Yorker writes:  Okay, Cora, you owe me a date!  LOL  (I have written her separately to ask that she contact me next time she’s in town.)  A faithful customer of my Etsy Shop (when it’s open, and right now it is!) — from way back.  People must think I’m nuts when I say they can ring me up if they’re in town — and I would be more than happy to make time unless my world is totally turning upside down.  (Half the time, it’s close to that!)  But that is a sincere invitation and I am hoping more will take me up on the offer.

Yes, I’m still blogging and hope to keep blogging, Cora.. there is so much more that I want to write about but hardly have the time to sit here and compose my thoughts.

It has  been such a perk to actually meet strangers who become friends because of this corner of the web.  I had started this blog with the sole thought of being able to do an online journal for my own personal benefit, and that hasn’t changed.  While I have grown in other directions, I have made a very conscious effort to keep this space the same way it’s been through the years.  Other writing ventures — if there are any — are in another space separate from this personal corner.

I have always enjoyed the conversations in this space both on the blog and offline.  Your comments and notes have made such a big difference in keeping me writing, through the challenges the past 11 years this blog has been in existence.

Yes, I’m feeling the love.

Desiderata in my Art Journal

I knew I had written about this poem before and you can click here for the original post written in 2006 where the full text of the poem appears.

Sometimes, one of the problems that stump art journalers (is there even such a word?) is what to write on something you had drawn or done.  I’ve been into trees lately (again, thanks to the folks at IUOMA) and although I’ve only done two postcards so far (and not feeling confident enough to trade away as it is), I decided I’d do a tree on one of my existing watercolor backgrounds.  But what to write?

I don’t know why after days and days of trying to decide on an apt quote to use, I finally decided I would do Desiderata on the piece.  I’ll write about that separately when it’s all done, but I rendered the poem in plain block print with certain phrases/sentences in bolder, bigger letters.  I feel like I did accomplish something in finally getting that done.  Now I’m trying to decide if I will do the journaling on the side or within the leaves of the tree.  (Decisions, decisions.)  So it isn’t quite done just yet.

ALTERED BOOK MULTI PAGE Meanwhile, I did something different with my altered book which was an idea that came to me after I painted another tw0-page layout.  I executed it last night and can’t wait to do what I intend to do with the cut up pages, but I’ve decided to lay the groundwork for the backgrounds first and then work on individual entries and prompts from there.  I wanted to create a multi-page layout which ends up with four sections on the right side of the page.  It would contain a four-section or four-letter word which would be spelled out on each “quarter” of the right side.  (I’ve started a new page on MY ALTERED BOOK where I will talk more about what I’ve been doing with the book in detail.) I’m quite happy with how things turned out and have moved on to my next experiment which is painting watercolor on book paper.    It just feels like I’m making strides..  You would have thought I was some crazy woman caressing the acrylic painted leaves of the altered book this morning on the bus.  The pages that have been painted or coated with acrylic paint on both sides have an almost fabric/thin tarp feel.  I almost don’t want to write on it for fear of ruining it! HA!

Scribblings and Cling stampWell, almost.  I did start on the page behind the cover and started to just scribble things after using a cling stamp.  No pressure in filling the blank squares up.  I’m just writing this way and that, scribbling the first thing that comes to mind about this altered book.

The day started rather gloomily with rain, but it did a complete turnaround by noon.  It became scorching hot outside so I opted to stay indoors.  I did come wearing my rain boots this morning and I’m thinking I’m better off going home with regular shoes.  (I hope I am not speaking too soon!)  It looks like the skies have cleared.

Can you believe August officially ends by Friday?  Where did the year go?  Before you know it, autumn will be here.  That didn’t quite hit me until I visited one of the blogs I bumped into because of Art Journal Every Day links on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s page.  Go visit gingerblue and get to know the art of Chel.  I don’t usually blog hop these days, and when I do, I have a set of younger bloggers I go and visit, but I am continually awed by the talent that oozes from the inspiring art journal entries that submit links to Julie’s page.  So once in a while I’ll leave a comment, and sometimes I get a note back.  (I totally don’t mind if I don’t.  I know how busy life gets.)  So Chel wrote back and I wrote another comment.  (This is going to be an ongoing thing, I am sure.)  But it is always good to acknowledge inspiration from those who give it to you.

I won’t be able to do it today but she’s definitely landing in my BLOG TRAILS.