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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Inspiration comes from anywhere!

As an artist, I have been asked the question, "Where do you get your inspiration?" As if there is a formula for such a thing. That all one has to do is to look in that direction and the muse will guide you right on.

You know what? I, too, did not have a single clue where I get mine. I jsut go about doing my own business and suddenly, someone, a thing, or an event would spark my curiosity, and I will start building a painting or a poem, or even a story - although I have not really explored writing a story that much. Well, I've finished one short story, though. Mostly, it would be a painting with colors interwoven in my head, or a poem starting with a phrase or just a bunch of words. b From there, I would stop thinking about any other thing but this or that work, my head spinning and trying to organize and making a complete whole out of these thoughts. This is the reason why when I put my thoughts on paper, or a canvass, whatever the case may be, it would really be fast. This is also the reason why my wife thinks I am lazy, not doing anything in the house for some time. hahaha

My interactions with my mother, who was then suffering from alzheimer's and probably everything that comes with old age, gave me many poems. One time, it was just a light pat on my head while she looked at me and words came flying and voila, a poem.

To answer the question where I get my inspiration, it is all around me. Take this poem, for example. On October 21, I took my family to the cemetery as it was my FIL's birthday. On our way, we were shocked to see a woman, dirty as she was, in just her panties and loose bra. She had her back to us but she stood there in a pose as if her picture was being taken. It was a very fleeting moment as I was driving a car. And yet, it sparked an idea in me and this is how it went:

Child of God


I looked at her and wondered
maybe she was someone's cute little darling once.
She must have been for who did not adore a child's
roving eyes wondering at everything she saw,
all happening for the very first time,
rosy cheeks like they had been chilled inside a fridge,
short black hair swaying to the wind with every move,
fragile body fragrant with talc and oil after a steamy bath

Who knew?

Maybe she was unwanted even then.
She might have been a mistake, an accident
to forgetful teens who had nothing better to do one night-
succumbed to carnal desires which was over
in five seconds or less. It must be quick for the homeless.
Nothing was private. They have to share everything to the world,
even the most secret of all human undertakings.

Who could explain what happened?

She wore nothing that day. Just her soiled, torn red panties,
browned bra as old as time with one strap dangling on her arm.
Her face, expressionless, numbed of all the pain,
oblivious to the world that continues to spin no matter what,
her unkempt hair hardened by smog and dirt- even lice
would not dare live there. They would not survive anyway
for she could not offer any nutrients.
She had not eaten for a very long time.

She convulsed, dropped on the road shaking wildly.
Her eyes rolled upwards, one last thrust and it was all over.
The world spun and every man continued to work
on a dream, every woman weaving her own private tale.
She was nothing to them. She could have been a dead bug
or a rat and they just didn't care.
Her carcass would soon be fodder to worms and gnats.

Maybe, just maybe, she was loved once for surely
she was someone's cute little child.

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12 Comments:

Blogger watson said...

Some people bring a notepad and pen with them so that when inspiration strikes, their tool to capture the moment is handy. Inspiration does indeed come unheeded.

That is a touching poem, a fleeting glimpse that produced a significant pondering of that moment.

4:09 PM  
Blogger gilbert yap tan said...

rolly, pinaiyak mo ako.

9:28 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

watson I've always tried to do that one. But often, it is during the time I am driving that something comes to me and I would dictate this to my daughter. Of course, she couldn't make head or tail what she's writing about. hehehe

Thank you.

gilbert Talaga? That is a very nice compliment coming from a distinguished writer like you.

3:26 PM  
Blogger R Panaderos said...

That poem was indeed very touching, Kuya Rolly. (I won't use "Tito" since hindi tayo nagkakalayo ng edad. Haha) Anyway, your poem also evoked feelings of anger in me, especially towards the Philippine Catholic Church and the politicians who seem to have forgotten the principle of separation of church and state. GMA's family planning program is but a joke, meant to please the Catholic Church Hierarchy. Isn't it the height of irony that the country's going to economic hell, courtesy of the Church.

2:09 AM  
Blogger ipanema said...

your post title is very true. since i have moods in writing [sensible one i mean :)], I can always go back to anything that fancies at some certain points in time. But there are some inspirations that would just evaporate in thin air. when i want to write, i just couldn't. i don't know but suddenly it wasn't meant to be written, perhaps something to be remembered or appreciated in that particular moment.

that's a lovely poem rolly. very original!

4:49 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

R. panaderos thank you. I am happy that the poem evoked a strong feeling in you as it was truly my intention. :-)

ipanema That's true. I've lost a lot because I failed to write my thoughts down. As you said, they're probably not meant to be written.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous bayi said...

Inspiration can be found anywhere for those sensitive to the intricacies of the moment, of the situation, of the dynamics of an interaction. The mind is finely tuned to see the small things where others miss and to listen to your inner voice that only you can tune in to.

How else can anyone else see the half naked old lady as a Child of God who was once the cute little darling of another?

You have your heart in the right place too, Rolly.

7:17 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi I guess that is my artist eye that makes me see things differently. Surprisingly, while it can be a gift, sometimes, it becomes a burden when you cannot make people relate to what you can see.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous bayi said...

That's why the life of an artist is often a lonely one. Who else can see meaning in a half naked old lady?

I think the frustration not only lies in trying to make an incident such as this as meaningful to the others as it has been to you. It is also at times the frustration of not being able to right a wrong.

2:07 PM  
Blogger cbs said...

ika nga, artists have a greater sensitivity to beauty and madness. kaya nga di nakakapagtaka na ang isang magaling na pintor, magaling ding makata. kudos!

8:26 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

bayi Right on!

cbs Marami pa kong gatas na kakainin. But thanks a lot.

9:36 PM  
Blogger cbs said...

o baka naman kanin na iinumin. bossing, punta ako ngayon ng book fair, ihanap kita ng matinding libro, ha.

9:55 PM  

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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