Some quotes I’m thinking on

“I use the term Indigenous to refer to the self that has found its place, its home in the world. Emptied of projections of “inferiority”, “third world”, “underdeveloped”, “uncivilized”, “exotic and primitive”, and “modernizing”, it is the self capable of conjuring one’s place and growing roots through the work of imagination, re-framing history, and re-telling the Filipino story that centers our history of resistance, survival and re-generation.”   -Indigenous Filipino Knowledge as defined by Leny M. Strobel-

“Unlike the English word ‘Other’, Kapwa is not used in opposition to the self and does not recognize the self as a separate identity. Rather, Kapwa is the unity of self and others, and hence implies a shared identity or inner self. From this arises the sense of fellow being that underlies Filipino social interaction.” – Leny M. Strobel –

“In the way I experienced Kapwa, I found that people would seek acknowledgement of a shared bond by trying to find a connection that ultimately widened the sphere of the self.”  – Margarita Certeza Garcia, Towards a “Kapwa” Theory of Art, Working towards Wholeness in Contemporary Practice

And then, this Tony Hall quote that I picked up from Nalo Hopkinson’s twitter feed: “The arts are really oxygen for the community, creating breathing space. If we don’t breathe, we die. We need oxygen.”

I am thinking of oxygen–the need to breathe–the need for connections–the need for air and how we need each other in creating space so we can breathe. I’m thinking of community and I am thinking of love. I am thinking of the importance of dialogue and conversation, the necessity of keeping lines and doors open. I am thinking of how this thing is true, that we are always at risk, that we put ourselves constantly at risk. That trust is hard and pain is inevitable.

I remember my Father reminding me that what matters is not how others see me or how others judge me–I remember him saying: “what matters is how you respond to others. Your actions–what you do next–that’s what you’re accountable for.”

It is a risk to remain vulnerable, but if that’s what it takes to help build a stronger community, I’m ready.

Something fun to keep me going

Every now and then I groan out loud on twitter about how long it’s taking me to finish the novel. Well, that and I have other work that I also want to finish. But my ultimate goal is to complete work on the Body Cartographer’s novel. 

One of my former students has been a great inspiration to me. I’ve been following his progress and I check in on him from time to time. ( His parents are my godparents, so even if we’re not blood-related, we are family.) Anyway, I’ve been pleased to see that he’s taken the encouragement to keep up with his art and to witness his growth as an artist. His determination in the face of obstacles inspires me and I asked him if he would make me some art to keep me going while I write the novel.

You can read EJ’s story and see some of his artwork here.

Anyway, I sent him some snippets and he sent me his interpretation of those snippets. Here’s one of the characters from the Cartographer’s world. A warrior woman of the gods, named Gunn.  🙂


**I’m posting this picture as a thank you to my Clarion West Write-a-thon sponsors. I didn’t make my fundraising goal, but I did get more than halfway there, thanks for your support and encouragement.