my arms brush calmly, yet wildly
against a whimsical cerulean canvas
my body glides artlessly along the opalesque horizon
my heart beats to the strumming of elders
who waltz in whirls atop blessingsful billows


The possibility of everything

Strange how I spent some years of my life working to transform Filipino/Asian American communities, and in the past eight years, I've focused on transforming from within.  Instead of working to bring others on a journey of identity through community and activism, I am taking the journey inside of me. 

"To become quiet to hear the beyond. To become patient to receive the beyond. To become open to invite the beyond and be grateful to allow the beyond. Be in the present moment to live in the beyond." - from Beyond, Buddhist & Christian Prayers by Tina Turner, Dechen Shak-Dagsay, & Regula Curti

No easy task, of course.  Embarking on an inner journey requires much discipline and a hopefulness for the possibility of everything.  

We were graced to have been invited to a family friend's son's two-year-old birthday party this weekend.  These occasions remind me about the possibility of everything as I eagerly watched toddler V.'s observations of friends and family there to celebrate his life.  A delighted and sheepish smile as he fingered his half vanilla and half chocolate sheet cake, V. is the elder son of a longtime family friend, whom I've known since I was four.  G.'s parents were old friends of my folks, so I was heartened to visit with Auntie F. and Uncle B. as I miss my Dad so much, and it's comforting to spend time with people who knew him, most especially in the summer as I remember the last few months of his life and our time together.   

A. & I had a most lovely Saturday afternoon, care of G., C., and their boys, V. and newborn Z. (A most heartfelt thank you to G. & C.!)  While our conversations were short, so too they were meaningful.  I appreciated that C. & I were able to connect a few moments. A yoga instructor and inspirer, C.'s aura is immediately inviting as her presence soothes anyone in her company.  Interestingly enough, C. & I seem to be drawn to each other the way women just sense when they can relate to each other.  While we don't see each other often, I am thankful that our spirits had an opportunity to meet again, if only for a short time because I am reminded how inspired moments can deeply move me.

Happy birthday month, VK!

For VK
dog days' sun beats down.
birthday's magic dazzles him
like the glimmer of a summer's bath.


Inspired by Hawaiian 'mana'

show me, Spirit
show me, Spirit
by the Sun's time
to search and discover the moment of being
be my course, be my mana
be my star, oh Spirit,
and show me, Spirit, now . . . 
Sunset stares at me lovingly
with Her sultry violaceous eyes
i cannot help but return the gaze longingly
with pono in my heart
as ambrosial as hawaiian poi


Still afloat

Adoption update: Still waiting.  In addition to having requested an extension to our immigration application as we continue to wait for our child match, we now have to redo our USCIS fingerprints (because our documents are more than a year old). For me, that's a challenge as my fingerprints seem to be unreadable.  USCIS says I must work too hard, that my fingers are worn out which is why my prints are unsuccessful.  More frustrating than amusingly comforting.  If my fingerprints don't show up once again, I'll have to yet again chase down criminal background clearances and pay additional fees.  Oh joy! In the meantime, we continue to appreciate our time B.C. (Before Child).  

At work, my pregnant colleague, M., glows more expectantly with every passing week.  I am genuinely excited for her (it's her first) and remind myself that choice along with Fate has brought us on our adoption journey.  Friends and family post their newborn snapshots competing for Gerber's attention or share snippets of their talented toddlers, the next American Idols, on facebook.  We'll get wind of cousins' kids' parties in which we weren't included (perhaps because we are currently childless), and yet we receive invites to family friends' little ones' milestone birthdays.  

When I least expect, thoughts of patiently waiting for someone to die float past thoughts of patiently waiting for someone to join (or be born into) our family.

And I chant encouragingly, Appreciate our time B.C.

Floating with July
mid-morning Lenora greets us 
with her usual homemade brunchfare  
Como esta?  How are you?
my poached eggs chuckle bright-eyed
as they lay against their buttered wheat blanket
after dropping in on Lenora y familia
we head over with gear in hand
to visit with Saturday's Sun
She welcomes us graciously 
as we sit for a spell on her berth
and chat about Future's fancies
Her weekly company inspires us --
to be charmed 
like the baby snapper 
who grabs onto the tiny squidbait 
at the end of my pole 
to be Sunstruck
like the exact instant 
captured in a moment's photo



Modern Filipino family.  Complete with siblings and a dozen other first cousins and their families, titos and titas who've married into the family, and of course, can't forget the lolas and lolos who hosted family gatherings some thirty plus years ago the way second generation-ers are now.  

The summer season's always a busy one what with christenings, anniversaries and birthdays. Milestone ones like N.'s sweet 16. N. is the oldest child on A.'s side of the family and his beloved niece, his brother's oldest daughter.  Instead of a good ol' Filipino American glam debut, N. chose to have a family barbecue.  My brother-in-law, E., purchased a smoker grill for the occasion.  And grill master A. now looks forward to finding any family occasion to celebrate with E. and family.  (Next month, E.'s 42nd birthday.  Only if E.'s agreeable, of course!)

While my side of the extended family boasts around 130 first cousins (my Mom is one of twelve, and my Dad was the youngest of seven), they are spread throughout the globe -- up and down the West Coast stateside, a few of us on the East Coast, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, East Asia and the Philippines.  Other than trips to the homeland, my experience of big family occasions is on A.'s side.  

Usually I'm overly anxious immediately before a family event, though I've gotten better through the years as I've become more familiar with the varying personalities across A.'s immediate and extended families.  No modern Filipino American family is without its polite small talk and drama, some of it serious, some of it unaddressed, and some of it you just can't make your own.  Whatever communication challenges, I've learned to welcome every family event as an invitation to practice authenticity.  

A couple of supersized, colorful party cups of homemade sangria doesn't hurt either.

halik halik 
(kiss kiss)
paano ka?
(how are you?)
kaya kaibig-ibig upang makita ang sa iyo!
(so lovely to see you!)
kumain ng kumain
(eat eat) 
lahat sa!
(all in!) 
tulad ay ang modernong kamag-anak
(such is kin today)