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by Zeny May

(He cannot be a friend to me right now, he said. And I don’t know when he can be and if I can wait. A few months prior, he said he hope we could meet again under kinder skies. But who could tell if I would be around by then? I am running out of time. I still imagine us, but if the way things turned out is any indicator, I don’t think it would’ve worked out. But I always hark back to the starting point, somewhere between moving from acquaintances to close friends… how good and comforting that was, not in a way that was headed to a comfort zone, but something more akin to possibility and potential. Finally, I thought I could be there for someone, to have someone need me and affirm my existence, to be useful and to love (no matter how sugary it sounds, I insist with my own earnestness). I do not wish to be great or famous, I simply need to be for someone. How can I make you understand? Perhaps you wouldn’t want to, it goes against your perception of me. Perhaps we are not meant to be. Something keeps us. And I feel like I have been swindled out or usurped of my chance at even a sliver of happiness. This might not be true and, again, I fall back to the thought that some things simply aren’t meant to be no matter how good they are, so good merely thinking about the possibilities move you to tears.)

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by Zeny May

(Though of course, these words, I have to admit, were somehow put into my mouth. I was made to think that some people were too complex for me to understand and my attempts to connect are slanted/ stilted, that I’m assuming and paranoid among other things. I think it’s the most dangerous thing to manage to antagonize a person to him/herself all the while saying that you do not mean to antagonize them.  It’s unsettling, to turn someone against themselves.  Lately, all I’ve been made to think and feel was that I’m worthless, mean, cruel, and unbearable. Merely saying it does the trick. And perhaps most disturbing is when one doesn’t realize that this is what they are doing— to think that it is just and right. It’s one thing to say and another to do. One thing to speak openly, to be glad of someone’s presence (conversely, to be glad of ones’ own absence), and another to act as if someone were the plague or an animal that would attack at random. One wouldn’t retaliate if a line was not crossed in the first place… This cat just needs to be out of the bag before I proceed and I believe this doesn’t reveal any identities. However, if someone wants to question or protest, please feel free to reply to this post or contact me in some way— assuming you know me personally to be able to make contact.)

Between May and Now

by Zeny May

Technically the last post was in May 13, 2014 and so many things have happened I can’t even recognize who I was last year. Let alone, who I was when this blog began (about a year or two ago).

Like a lot of the creative work that I do for myself (that is, not for freelancing or related to my 9-to-6 job), this blog doesn’t have an explicit project to follow or fulfill… So I suppose, I’ll just let it all out for a little catch up and see where this mind-meandering takes me.

Around June of last year, I held my first job. I lasted for about seven months until, on the day I left, I was called up by a company and three weeks later, voila! Here we are on my second week on the second job. Easy as childhood.

And although writing is, more or less, my actual source of bread and butter (and Lucky Me! Instant Chicken Noodles), I’d still be far more inclined to talk about my personal curiosities and interests, and the writing for which I earn little but far outweighs other things on the cosmic scale of Things-That-Truly-Matter.

I’ve begun a Picture Diary. Or rather, a Drawing Diary. And I’m trying to see how it pans out: the act of chronicling your day not with words but with images. And sometimes images that just come to you at a particular moment, even if it is unrelated to what happened.

I’m still very much into Lovecraftian themes and am moving on to interests in Kubrick’s films and the horror genre in Chinese literature. It’s as if my goth girl past has come back to haunt me in semi-adulthood.

I’m still looking for closure regarding Joe’s broken neck (an inside gag that only two people will understand, provided they can be bothered to remember) and might actually come and make something out of that random story.

Lastly, plans for a book (future) and grad school (near future).

 

Perhaps, since we are bogged down by the futility of life, I’ll provide you readers something to look forward to. And so, for next time’s post, I’ll be writing about That Time I Went to Quiapo on a Whim and Irresponsibly Spent One Hundred Pesos on a Fortuneteller Who Eerily “Read” My Current Situation and Predicted My Immediate Future (After Which I Bought a Succulent). 

 

Stay tuned.

Returning Soon

by Zeny May

It’s been a while since I published here and while I don’t have any perky-hyper ways of announcing my come-back (kind of already worn out from a day’s worth of thinking and writing), heyheyhowdyhey, I am coming back to avoidfameliketheplague.

For the time being, see my reblogs, photos, and GIF sets on this site. It’s not much but maybe too much.

See you soon…

Some Sundry

by Zeny May

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It’s been five months since I last wrote here. And, admittedly, my last post was rather… angry and convoluted. I wonder what had prompted me to write that. Well, everyday used to be a Sunday night for me, which means “used to be strange, unstable, with me angry over everything and nothing.” I like to think I’ve gone past that now. Though I haven’t transcended it yet because waves of anger still return to me during moments of carelessness in restraining the memories that slip into my mind. I was depressed and disliked how some people put down depressed individuals and mocked their grief.

In the rare instances that I look back, it comes as a surprise how I accomplished so much despite my inconvenient disposition (my mother often complained about my negativity, she didn’t get that it was my way of keeping myself in check, so I was merely being cynical). It helped to have to do things that I love and to write what I truly cared about. Some say that it’s the discipline and time alone that makes good writing, and I can’t find any situation or statement to say otherwise.

A lot of things have happened in five months. It was revealed to me that I apparently did, by my standards at least, very well in college (which, to me, was unexpected). Then again, I would’ve done those things with as much gusto for almost nothing. It may be hard to believe but I love to work because it makes me forget whatever it is that is hurting or worrying me, it suspends time. There was a lull post-graduation and a week of utter panic and fear that I may never find a job. Acts which proved to be stupid because after that, the projects came in and now I’ll probably have enough to see me through to next year.

People came and went. But I mostly had to say goodbye and burn bridges. New things came and I’m opening my metaphorical door once more.

The picture up there expresses my anticipation for change or for something good to come my way. I think. Not that nothing good has come yet, but, yes, I still dream and hope that I’ll be better. No matter how dark the place you’re in, you have to hope.

The Unimportance of “Shape-Shifting”

by Zeny May

I admit that I don’t really understand what it means when people refer to artists (of all sorts and colors) as “shape-shifters”. It’s true that an artist can cross genres, they most certainly take on a variety of issues and subject matters, use all sorts of media, and move back and forth from one art-form to another, but essentially they remain the same, at least corporeally and, to an extent, temperamentally.

I understand the expression that the artist wears many hats, but the expression and idea of shape-shifting, particularly as a term associated with artists and craft or practice, come across as something that an artist does to keep him/herself relevant and to keep his/her works bankable. And the thing is, if you have something to say, whether it be personal or some grand narrative on the spirit of our times, then that something will matter whether the market laps up your opus or not. It will matter across cultures and generations. I think that besides creating an impressive work, what is more important is that people (viewers and readers) of different orientations will find companionship in your works, that they can and will identify with it. A work that reminds you of a certain period without mentioning or showing it blatantly, that does not only show you back but takes you there and makes you feel it. And that time past echoes on the time present (not literally)— companionship.

Shape-shifting is unimportant as an act, a term, even as a concept, because it merely follows changes through time without recognizing its past (which it might identify as dated and irrelevant) in an attempt to relate to its audience. The works it produces are dry and sterile. It cares not for continuity, producing works that more often than not do not last, and content only with temporary relevance (perhaps profit, but who am I to speak of that). Here, I think that the emergence of this concept is also symptomatic of the kind of people we have today, how their minds are not cultivated but contrived, spoon-fed.

What is more important, I think, is to be a constant voice while trying to touch upon certain things, this and that. To try to be less gimmicky, to be more stately. Sometimes, I dream of singular stone monuments instead of glass-and-light towers; to be unwavering in the dark is more of freedom to me than flight and transformations.

2013: the Year of Intoxicated Love Letters

by Zeny May

This is my first time to actually look back and reflect on a year about to pass. I haven’t given much thought to something like this before, and it’s harder than it seems to be. 

2013 has been a rough year but a lot of good things happened too. Though I wasn’t able to publish in any of the journals I submitted to, I had the motivation and opportunity to print and sell my own works.

I realized that my cynical outlook and pessimistic attitude was not a characteristic but a problem. Couple that with the youthful folly of exaggerating a moment of pain against many, small moments of happiness.

That said, I’m really happy and thankful to have kind and good friends. This year I really think that our bonds have strengthened. I’m especially thankful to D.S. who assured me that if I wanted to talk he’d always be there. Also, this year my cat and I have reached a deeper level of friendship. Before, he was just a stray who slept in our storage and whom I fed some left overs. This year, we have accepted him as pet and part of the family, complete with his own food bowls, litter box, bell collar, and the same storage space where he still sleeps. Sometimes, we allow him inside the house to cuddle on the couch, but he never learned how to bathe so we keep that minimal. I like to pet him a lot, though, and he seems to like it too.

It goes without saying that my family is a blessing. I don’t get along with them sometimes, but they continue to tolerate my miserable moods and sour episodes. Also, my nephew, secret agent cool boy.

I’m also thankful for the person who tried to help me and who has helped me in countless ways before. I know I refused the help, perhaps a bad decision, as some teachings— Jewish and Confucian— have suggested. But I hope that he understands that I want to be independent and help myself first. I know I have the strength and ability to do it on my own. While it’s true that “to love at all is to be vulnerable”, says C.S. Lewis, I don’t think vulnerability is the only way to love, true or otherwise. If he, for some miraculous reason reads this: I’m sorry for the intoxicated love letters, my lewdness and my pride, my wash-pish attitude, and the confusion I caused (granted, you paid attention and still remember. If not, then well…good!).  

Finally, this year really tested my belief that being kind is the most important thing. I’ve encountered people who really got into my nerves, people who felt a strong sense of entitlement, who were rude and didn’t deserve my being polite to them let alone my respect. I tried very hard and I’m still at awe when I think about those times I was about to snap but didn’t. I suppose I should give myself a pat on the back for great restraint in terms of rage management.  

I think that each passing year and life as a whole is simply one great variation piece, music that plays upon repetition and symmetrical inversions. And I think that this turn, from 2013 to 2014 (what is time but a construct, too), will be significant in my growth as a person. I’m really looking forward on to the coming year, especially because big things will be happening.

Updates from the Work-Shelf

by Zeny May

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And I suppose this is my Achilles Heel (or Crotch?): even when I say “work”, I still can’t help but incorporate aspects of my personal life.

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, letting those two seemingly separate worlds (work life and personal life) overlap and intertwine. Then again, a lot of aspects in my life aren’t hard-set. Rather, they’re fluid— subject to abrupt change, and constantly moving.

But I just remembered what my good friend Enzo had remarked (we were talking about a different person, though): for some people work is life and work is personal. So, let’s work with that.

1. As I’ve previously mentioned in my post “Haul Out”, I’ve begun a new page which serves as a repository/gallery called May Dy. If the things I’ve posted tickles your fancy or you simply like what I’m doing (well, what are the odds?), a “Like” would be most appreciated. If things go well in the long shot, I might also begin accepting commissions for photographs and writings. (I’m working on some illustrations too. But seeing that I’m a bit rusty, that might take some eight weeks more to work on.) Aside from the Facebook page, my working “portfolio” published at Asian Cha“Government Office Topography”, might interest you too.  As you will notice, I have a proclivity for black&white (it is easier to work with and produces dramatic effects). Thanks in advance for the view/appreciation/Like. :-)

2. I Googled my name, and while my computer didn’t melt (not like in M.G. Martin’s poem, ‘casserole of the sensual parts’), I did find a review of Eastern Heathens where my short story “The Great Disappearing Act” appeared.

3. It’s also pleasant news that besides working for The Manila Review, I also just found out that I had been accepted at the Roberto M. Lopez Conservation Center at the Lopez Museum. At the same time, I do have these jitters especially when I try to calculate the odds of me becoming exhausted by graduation time. I do have a lot on my plate right now: thesis, (trying to look nice just because), two jobs, and an ongoing application to two universities for graduate studies (with scholarship applications to boot). But I suppose that I deserve to suffer an academic surfeit, especially with what I made myself go through months and years before. Not that my work-life wasn’t fantastic before, but it seems that the things I want work-wise are easier to achieve than, say, getting a smile or some affirmative words from someone who matters a lot to me. (Who matters so much, I am fooled into “love”.)

Sigh.

I suppose that’s all for now.

Haul Out

by Zeny May

It just might be that I’m restless or I can say that I’m trying to streamline my online output. But I decided to open up a page for my photos and short writings. It’s so easy to say that this is a brand building exercise but I don’t mind if I just have 30 people who like the page (and all of them know me personally already). Also, I’m seeking a minimalistic way to present my thoughts (plus photos, because I like taking them as much as the next guy or gal). In my two blogs, I tend to write very long winded things. I suppose, so far, what’s really working for me is the FB page and twitter. (But I tend to become very silly in twitter.)

Hah, okay, so what I’m trying to say after all that is, if you’re interested and find the page pleasant enough, please “like” it.

I’ll still be posting here on WordPress (and RedRoom) from time to time. So I suppose, nothing will be deleted or abandoned. These blogs are, after all, personal archives and part of a continuing personal history.

(Whether all this will be of significance in the future, I suppose the point of writing so much is to assert the significance of the things I believe in and what I can put out here.)

by Zeny May

undas2011 008

The leaves of plants reflected in the glass are imposed upon my nephew’s face looking out the window. (Magnus Amadeo, 2y/o; Undas 2011; Iba, Zambales)

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