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Tag: Beyond Brushstrokes
The whole world has been rushing forward at a dizzying speed for decades. There was a mad rush to meet deadlines, to accomplish goals, to achieve. A year ago, the spinning suddenly slowed down due to extreme natural disasters and the pandemic. The frenetic movement forward shifted. It became a confusing downward spiral. Every day has been hazy, uncertain and anxiety-ridden. Confinement and a loss of activity stretched from weeks to months. And during the downtime, there is quiet time for reflection and evaluation.
We have been living in a liminal space, a continuum for the past nine months. We are at the threshold between the familiar past and the unknown future. The uncertainty, anxiety, and fear have grown as the world experiences the pandemic and economic recession. It is like being in a World War but the enemy is unseen and deadly.
The highlight of the Ako Para Sa Bata Conference was the participation of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (UN SRSG) on Violence against Children (VAC). Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid had a virtual dialogue with the panel of articulate youth delegates from the provinces of the three clusters of Luzon-Oriental Mindoro, Visayas-Capiz, and Mindanao-Davao.
This year, the pandemic has drastically disrupted and changed the lives of millions of children all over the world. It has threatened their well-being, health, safety, education. Family life and income, school closures, quarantine measures, and child protection systems have been severely affected. Children now face the long-term socio-economic and mental health impact brought by COVID-19.
“The characteristics of a spiritual crisis are nearly identical to that of clinical depression… except that the cause is a crisis of the soul,” remarked five-time best-selling author Caroline Myss in a brief excerpt from her workshop. It is a timely topic during this pandemic and how it affects society.
May is the month we celebrate National Heritage. But this year is unusual and haunting in our lifetime. People will have to strive hard, survive and find the means to fight the unseen enemy. The traditional festivals that happen around the country have been canceled. Due to the pandemic lockdown, National Heritage Month’s promotions, announcements, events, conferences, competitions and all programs, events and activities are online.
We are living in uncertain, challenging times. We are not in control of our lives. Our set patterns have changed. What was once familiar no longer feels or looks the same. The inexplicable situation is beyond the theories, statistics, reports, charts, analyses of the medical experts and scientists, task force and the instant know-it-all pseudo-writers.
April has been a totally different experience. Instead of the Semana Santa tradition and rites, all churches were closed. The quarantine and surprise lockdown forced people to stay home for several weeks. Those who live in the city have to follow the protocol and strict security restrictions for health reasons.
The imagination is a creative fountain, a source of inspiration and ideas. Occasionally, it is overworked and it runs dry. Artists, writers, composers, architects, designers, professors and scientists experience the disconcerting, disturbing phenomenon called a “mental block.”
In literature and history, the heroes Othello and Antony were noble, brave, and ingenious. However, their virtues were the cause of envy among their colleagues. In modern times, the outstanding individuals who excel in the fields of science, art, business, law, academe, and public service trigger pinpricks or gnawing pangs of jealousy.
“Art is long but life is short. In the long history of art, from the time man painted on the caves up to the present, this is the first time that art was created by two men in the manner of the HOCUS paintings,” historian-curator Gemma Cruz Araneta remarked.
“Words are windows that open us to mystery. Visual art that accompanies those words deepens the colors we see and brings us even closer to the wonder of it all,” remarked Father Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin, SJ, on his new book, Siya Nga! This is a Filipino expression of wonder, of openness to possibilities. It is an epiphany and eureka!
The beloved and much admired president Ramon Magsaysay was a man of greatness of spirit who exemplified the highest type of democratic leadership. He has been an inspiration, a source of strength that gave confidence to people who care about the well being of their fellow citizens.
One’s perspective and attitude determines the way things appear. A glass of water is either half-full or half-empty. The donut is a pastry with a hole. The pessimist looks at the hole instead of the whole sweet treat. On another level, a persistent problem could be a situation -- according to the optimist. It can be solved. It’s matter of perception.
Traditional people think of time as a linear subject in a limited or given space. Using the chronological calendar, we aware of day one, day two, day three and so forth. We count the days, the hours and minutes. The clock follows a fixed pattern in minutes of 12 morning hours and 12 (afternoon and) night hours. Military time uses the 24-hour system. It is precise to the last second.
Man has been obsessed with the search for the mythical fountain of eternal youth. It exists only in the imagination. There are projected and contrived cravings for rejuvenation procedures, cosmetic surgery, oxygen baths, hormonal injections, experiments with gene therapy. Some procedures and medicines are FDA-approved and safe to use. Other elixirs and treatments are still waiting for approval. While there are many successful results of retouching, revitalizing enhancements, there have been some tragic results too. Thus, one occasionally reads about cosmetic disasters: failed and fatal experiments and deadly diet pills. There are botched jobs because of allergic reactions to anesthesia and other complications.
The habit of postponing a difficult task is one of exasperating traits of the mañana or tomorrow syndrome. It can stretch from the day after to the month or the year after. Somehow, it seems to be a maddening cultural glitch that some people probably picked up during the long colonial era.