I am starting the week on a happy note. My nephew, my younger sister's son, graduated from university this weekend. I am so happy and so proud of my nephew and proud of my younger sister who was widowed at an early age and raised her two young children with the help of my sisters and brothers. I love them so much. My family is my first and most important joyful blessing and every day, gratitude fills my mind.
I wake up, seized with passion, knowing I am surrounded by a loving husband and wonderful children who I adore so much. In my heart, I feel the loving warmth of my sisters and brothers and their children. Although they live in distant states and countries, they are close and with me.
Two happy dogs block my way me as they stretch and moan their greetings when I get up from bed. I saunter into the family room. They patiently wait beside me with their wagging tails as I pause in prayer and offer my devotion. Soon the subtle glow of the candles fill the room. This is the time my heart somersaults with joy from the memories of my parents and lingering sadness of missing my sister Leah. I let Daisy and Wheezy out into our private yard. Wheezy is always eager, Daisy, not so much. I have to fetch her and gently coax her and she looks at me as if telling me "I changed my mind, I want to go back to my warm bed". Outside I gauge the temperature to determine what I will later wear for work. It is still dark and I look up, my first glimpse of the sky.
My favorite time of the day is when everyone is still asleep and it is so quiet that I can actually hear the silence. I draw while I drink my coffee. Drawing is such a life affirming activity. I am still awed by the wonder of ink, the technology of fine pen points and how squiggles and scratch marks form images. Sometimes the radio is on, set on the lowest volume on a default station. I don't know the station identification. Most often it seems like white noise, like the quiet soothing sound of air hitting circulating ceiling fan blades.
Lately, Daisy and Wheezy have been very happy going for long walks and exercises with us. I think Wheezy may have overheated last Saturday. I did. I started shaking and had to eat a slice of banana bread. Uhm… yes, I pack water bottles, apples, bananas, sliced grapefruit and grapes. I baked banana bread last week. Yesterday, I took some dog cookies for Wheezy and Daisy. My husband tells me they do not need them but after the walk and drinking water, I think it is nice to give them a treat before we drive home. Anyway, Wheezy lost control of his bowels one early morning and he vomited twice, making us very worried. We kept both of them in air-conditioning most of the day. Last night they slept well without incident. My son called the veterinarian yesterday just to let them know. I hope Wheezy feels better. I think he over-exerts himself; he gets so excited, sniffs everything along the way and mark every tree. I know when it is time for him to drink based on his marking stream. He is very strong. Only my husband and son can walk him. Daisy, on the other hand, is very poised and calm. All she wants is to be ahead. She knows how to conserve her energy and therefore does not get adversely affected by the humidity.
This morning, my commute to work was marked by the sad news of the death of my first IT vice president who hired me twenty-two years ago. She had an aggressive form of cancer that took her life away on Saturday, a few days from her birthday tomorrow. Many of us in our department are filled with sadness for her passing. She was young, she was my age. She was a good vice president, may she rest in peace.
Life is a roller coaster of events and emotions. Everywhere good and bad things happen. Work provides a nice distraction from many of the miserable things happening in our country and the way our leaders have eroded America’s significance in the world. There is a pervasive sense of hopelessness, detachment and antagonism. If I choose to count the bad, my time will be filled with them. I am grateful I have a job, many do not. I admire those who do not let adversity overcome them and destroy their faith. They are my inspiration. One of those who did not let adversity destroy his faith was Pope John Paul II. He and Pope John XXIII were canonized as saints last week by Pope Francis and Pope Benedict. I feel a strong connection with Pope John Paul II. In 1981, I felt blessed when he touched my outreached hands as he walked towards the stage to hold mass on his first visit to the Philippines. Now I can say that I was truly touched by a saint.
As for my drawing, I am not channeling some unconscious thought or deep-seated emotions. Sometimes the images are just what they are. Most are symbols of ideas and I want to express, rather being subtle with my bluntness. As for symbols, here is one :)