Ink Stains and Photos

A story lover's memoirs and photo blog. :-) #Dumaguete #Manila #StreetPhotography #Psychiatry #PopCulture


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Newest book acquisition: “The View from the Cheap Seats”, by Neil Gaiman. My delight at the words could not be contained. 🙂

“I was always aware, reading Chesterton, that there was someone writing this who rejoiced in words, who deployed them on the page as an artist deploys paint upon his palette. Behind every Chesterton sentence, there was someone painting with words, and it seemed to me that at the end of any particular good sentence or any perfectly-put paradox, you could hear the author, somewhere behind the scenes, giggling with delight. ”

  • Neil Gaiman, “The View From The Cheap Seats”


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Photos: Intramuros morning

My friend Arla was entertaining her friends from France while they were in town for a few days. She asked me to join them for breakfast in Intramuros, before they would leave on a flight later that same day.

Intramuros was one of my favorite touristy spots to shoot in, when in Manila, and I was free for the morning so I went. Nico and Mickael were friends of hers from when she did her clerkship rotation in France, while she was in medical school. They had been touring spots around the country for a couple of weeks and were just winding down.

They were great, a couple of good-natured guys were very nice and fun to talk to. They gamely tried Binignit, Champorado, as well as Halo-halo, when we were in Ilustrado for breakfast.

Being in Intramuros, the walled city, is always a good excuse for me to take photos and walk around. So much so, that Arla was amused enough to laughingly comment that I was almost more touristy than her friends. 🙂

Oh well, it simply could not be helped.

There are always plenty of colors and textures that pique my interest every time in this place.

I called this one, “Frenchman in Manila”, actually, this was Nico having a quiet moment looking on at the architecture and me noticing that the bougainvillea-laden floors made for a good contrast point.

Mickael had a small Canon point and shoot, which gave me the idea to shift to smaller cameras with a better sensor than my iphone. Also, I like taking photos of people taking photos. 🙂

Flowy skirts. March 2017.

Going up the rise. March 2017.


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The Silver Lining

For the longest time, I had feared having my days die out slowly… softly into oblivion.

That wasn’t the way I had wanted to go,  of course.

Anything; with a bang, with drama, was a better ending that dying, forgotten.

Keeping a blog was one of those things I considered doing long-term so I could assuage myself of the fear of possibly dying without ever sharing anything of use to the world. Now, the world will not suffer from the lack of my sharing anything, but it is essential to my heart and well-being that I do something about this.

Many times I have little blasts of interest and frissons of passion which bring me here to type again, and share my life. It has been a struggle lately. My day job has been taking up a lot of my time, so that when I get home at night, I am overwhelmed and would much rather just work out a little and go to bed.

Perhaps it is different, nowadays. I have the desire to write, of course, and I am not at a lack for stories. However, the part where one sits down to actually write is actually the hard part. I am so easily distracted, because there are more things happening than I can accommodate salience…

Today, I received some hallelujah signs… My friend Mandy posted a link to a John Steinbeck gem of an article, and @dragonflylogic101’s comeback piece. 🙂 Both of them contributed to the gentle “push” to get on and write my life out again.

Thank you, Ladies!

——

“…where the silver lining starts to show…”

I had a good day at work today…

I can’t go into detail about my work, but it would suffice it to say, that at the end of the day, I am so glad I put in the work for these people that I’m helping. Today was a good day for them to check on them, because I was reminded once again that although I only get to help people one at a time, the hard work we both put in made a huge difference in their lives and in that of their families.

It is times like these that I feel extremely grateful that I get to do what I do for people.

Time, effort and dedication brought this into fruition, and I am always grateful.

—-

And thus ends today’s bid not to drift off unnoticed into oblivion… You will be seeing me more frequently here, starting today. 🙂

 

Photo: the full moon

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The full moon on a sunset plane ride. The Philippines, July 21, 2016.

 When one looks really hard, and is patient enough, one sees colors and light in the way one wants to see it.

I took this photo while in the plane to a city a couple of hours away from where I live in order to attend the conference. Traveling alone, I was able to enjoy my precious few hours of silence and not being bothered by anyone for conversation. (I love my solitude when I want it.)

What I love about this picture is the ethereal quality of the vivid pinkish hues in the sky, in stark contrast to the dark blues and blacks of the ground and the sea below, punctuated by a silvery white full coin of a moon.

Ah, but it was love!

~ S.

 


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On Writing (and paper and pens)

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Hello.

For someone who doesn’t really love self-help books or instruction manuals (most of the time anyway), I do get interested in reading things about writing. Things like, “How to write a short story”, or “writing a narrative” or “Why we write” or “The Elements of Style” have a considerably large space in my bookshelves.

I suppose I have always loved writing…but lately, I’ve been finding more reason to “absorb” what other people have written or said on the art of writing itself. It is a soothing balm to my soul, that stops and starts ever so frequently, when it comes to writing.

(There are times when we just lose perspective, or get lazy, or just plain feel less passionate than usual.)

I can’t NOT write…and whenever I leave for long periods, I always feel out of focus. I am not in touch with myself. Be it here on the blog, or on my private journal, I always find the activity something that grounds me.

My usual outlet is a notebook, which I use as a journal, and use only black ink. There is no special reason, but I just like plenty of white space and black script…it is very minimalist and clean. And simple. And tidy. And makes me feel like I’ve sorted my thoughts out enough.

The paper is tricky, because it has to be thick enough, but not too thick, and of a substance that is in the middle of “slippery” and grainy (if you know what I mean). 🙂 I like the pen to glide on the paper, with the ink flowing smoothly from within the chamber, sans blots and splashes.

Most of shopping time has been devoted to window-shopping in pen stores and finding that “perfect” pen for writing. I have spent countless hours trying out and discovering which pens work for me.

For example: Cheap ballpoint: Faber Castell, Mid-range ballpoint: Parker, nibs from speedball, and most recently, I bought a fountain pen that is turning out the be “The One” for me. I bought it very recently at Scribe, which is a store in Cebu City, one that I would usually troop miles (and brave heavy traffic) for, whenever I get the chance to, in Manila.

It is a combination of all the elements of writing; passion, paper and pen…that gets the juices flowing. 🙂

(What’s your writing story/habit?)

~ S.