The Day I Met Sarah Kay and Why the Scarecrow Got Invited to TED

During latter years in College, the love for words and poetry grown in me quite dramatically. It was, in my graduating year, that I’ve ventured on writing poems, particularly about admiration, fascination, hurt, pain, but above all, love. I never ever thought that I could possibly render a part of me – my heart, and then, my soul – on to writing. I never expected myself to find joy in that. Although I only have poems that you can count by your fingertips and you could notice how shallow, how girly and dreamy they are, I’ll still continue to write them if I need to until I can find another shades of greens or maroons or yellows and teals that could add another abstract of colors in my life.

Over the past few years, I have learned that writing is an art of the emotion. And it’s different too, with each and everyone of us – because of what we’ve gone through and what we’ve haven’t gone through. When I go about blogs after blogs after blogs, books after books after books, person after person after person and study how they are able to come up with a certain article, I always discover that each of them got different styles and that although they’re in the same topic, they would still all fall in the Distinct-From-Each-Other Department.

Writing is also similar to a kaleidoscope that transforms the many shapes and colors and sizes of where we fit in on what we call, life, into something more beautiful and entertaining and captivating. That although we think a candy wrapper or afternoon coffee or stuttering in front of someone altogether is not worthy of a poem, a short story or an essay, we’ll know that we’ve got it all wrong. Because in writing, life can’t be boring. You can always make sense of life when you actually got to write it. You figure out things, like, what does a candy wrapper really means when a candy was given by someone you deeply admire who bumped on you when you’re about to take your afternoon coffee in the pantry of the 39th floor of your office who, when you talk to, you all the more can’t help but stutter in every word you’re about to say.

And yes, writing is never meant for every audience in cyber space. I mean, some people dig what you say and some don’t mind at all. Don’t lose heart, though, because even when you think no one wanted to read you, there’ll be someone who always wanted to. When you didn’t write what you’re suppose to, you’ll lose these people who also hangs on strings of hope when you just keep doing what you do when you write. It’s like representing them – tapping them at the back when tides didn’t go the way it should; kissing their tears from their eyes after a broken heart; giving the biggest bear hug and telling them “It’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna be fine.” when they most specially need to. You cannot be there in person because maybe they’re from another part of the world but because of what you have written, they’ll know that they’re not alone. That Life is the same for everybody: unfair. It is, as much as it also bears the name Wonderful and Lovely.

And so, what is the connection of all that I’ve said to meeting Sarah Kay? I don’t know. Haha! I’m still trying to figure that out and let’s all see when I come to the end of my thoughts.

As I said, I read blogs – from friends to total strangers. Reading them became one of my mentors in how I attack or play with something I want to write. Isabel Garcia is one of those writer-blogger who I follow and I made sure that I’ve read her new posts everyday (also re-tracking what she had written all the way from when she was just starting). She is one talented writer. She is very open with all her cracks, broken pieces and all. She is open and when you do write, I think you have to be like that. Plus, one thing I like about her is I can quote her. For all the love I have for quoting people. :) She has these vast statements where you can go right ahead and quote it because you grasped it and felt it and connected with it. She’s ohhh-some like that.

One day when I was browsing her new post Love Will Be, I was drawn to the video she posted about this girl (Sarah Kay) and a boy (Phil Kaye) who are performing something-I-can’t-explain entitled When Love Arrives. They were good at it (read: SUPER good). I was tracing back where I have read the name of the girl at the video. I remember reading it somewhere Isabel’s blog, but anyway, I googled her and found some interesting things about her.

Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet where she performs poems that she had written to entertain, educate or simply inspire (I wonder if I can do that to my poems too). Phil Kaye is someone who she encountered in College and who is sharing the same art of spoken word poetry as hers. As I’m doing my research on her, I found out that she also had an opportunity to showcase her two cents worth on TED Talks.

After watching this, I was determined on searching for her other performances of spoken word poetry! And I did. I watched a lot more of her performances and there were a few I kept on my iPod (Worst Poetry, An Origin Story, Jellyfish, Toothbrush to a Bicycle Tire – and yes – When Love Arrives and her TED Talks talk).

She’s writing poems and performing them in a way where she can be the best when she’s the one doing it. It’s about her pursuance of what she loves and is passionate about. It’s about going to life open-handed even when everything around you just blows out of proportions. Sarah Kay is so inspiring in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin praising. And it’s true what she said about the scarecrow being invited to TED, because she’s out-standing in her field. (read: Sarah Kay’s mastery of spoken word poetry)

There will be times that you got to follow your dreams even if the current takes you to the opposite side of the sea. It might be scary and you might think that you can’t do it, like Sarah. But she took her first step, she said I can. And you know, we can too. And yes, I say I can to writing because I realized this has been my dream – to shed bliss and inspiration to people through art form. And I think spoken word poetry would be another dream to chase like a kite running free in a windy day of May. I wonder if I could, like the way I did in writing, find it within myself and do it. :)

Ten Things I Know To Be True

This list is inspired by Sarah Kay. I promise to write about her amazingness soon! :) For now let’s go over my list…

1. I can over think things.
When I found out that one should not think too hard and just go ahead and enlist their answers to this question, my mind kept wallowing on what I think could be a good idea to put on this list. I just kept doing that until I am quite dizzy and not knowing what to put in anymore. So, I’ll just made a rule to let myself be myself and not complicate things when I do not become myself. Over thinking can sometimes spoil the broth. I shall let myself relax.

2. We all got Faith.
In just about everything we do, we exercise our faith, we have it inside each of us – when sitting on a chair, riding in the car, talking to someone on our mobile phones, cooking our favorite meals, believing in what we can do, believing on what God can do, and many more. We all got faith, it’s the object of our faith that differs. And although we may be totally sincere in our faith, sometimes, we can get all rumbled up in a wrong one which could lead us to a tragic end. So that’s why it’s of great importance to know where you place your faith and if it really is sincerely on the right track of the road.

3. I felt a bit sad when Pluto got voted off the nine planets in the Solar System.
After years of research, they found out that Pluto is not really a planet, it’s just a comet or something else that is part of the space. It reminded me how certain things in life don’t stay the same and that you had to let it go, let it be and accept it with all your heart and understanding. Though there may be confusion and refusal and pain, nothing ever really stays the same. Believe that there’s gonna be a light at the end of the tunnel someday.

4. You are only as strongest as your weakest point.
I believe that blisters, wounds and scars are not designed just to give us throes, tingles and twinges. It’s meant for something more that’s why we go through it sunny bright or chilly winter night. How else can we value successes if not for failures? How else can we appreciate victory without defeat? How else can we be grateful for mercy and grace and love when we know we don’t deserve any of it because of all we’ve done wrong? How else can hope mean something more when we haven’t gone through desperations and tough times? The world may be made out of sugar and it crumbles down, but, don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out in the air and taste it.

Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in having never been broken.. But in the courage required to grow stronger in the broken places.

5. Hope is fluffy and whole lot of lovely.
Somebody once said, we see the impossible everyday. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold on to others when things blow up around you. Hope is a fireball of doing the impossible, believing the unbelievable, loving the unlovable. It teaches us to swim the depths of the ocean as if we can gasp air in any minute. It is a mustard seed and a very close relative of Faith.

To have Faith is to be stubborn, to know the happy endings exist, to believe the story is not over even though it feels like it is. It is for the crazy and the brave.

-Isabel Garcia

It even move mountains. It’s the smile in the frown, the courage in the fear, the tranquility in anxiousness. It’s the many oxymorons. It’s hope and it’s beautiful.

6. Practice makes permanent.
Jeff Goins once said, If you want to be something – anything – a good place to start is with doing it, regardless of how you feel.

When I started blogging/writing, I never knew how this would all turn around over time. I was never born a writer and I believe writers are born and not made. It is innate in them, you know, it’s like writing comes out naturally like a hug or kiss you voluntarily give to someone who is very close to you. It’s like their best stature – their moment of writing. And there I was one day, trying to squeeze myself in that same kind of art where your experience makes a lot more fun and confusion takes a toll on your understanding when it’s all written down. And now, my secret love affair with words and poetry are all out an open field. I’m quite happy reaping its harvest. And yes, it’s true what they say about practice. Do it. Be it.

7. You are beautiful.
No matter what the television says nor the magazine’s latest issue nor the radio’s nonsense advertisements. The heck with the world! You are still beautiful.

Wearing your retainers and big dark glasses with all your sweatpants even when you’re twenty-two doesn’t make you less interesting. Your mocha toned skin just suits you right. When they say that boys don’t cry and you, on the other, do when you were happy because your baby sister received her valedictory award at school or when you got your heart broken from the wrong girl, that’s reasonable.

People in this world sometimes can be discouraging and they will peel you off the sunbeam you’re radiating. As long as you got love sprinkled with faith and hope and grace, you are beautiful. Rise above the situation and hand them flyers on bravery, strength and courage because you are beautiful.

8. Unlike Superman, Batman can’t fly.
Even in that situation, Batman didn’t stop helping, he didn’t stop caring, he didn’t stop being a hero. We are our own heroes even if we don’t get to fly and have our own superpowers. The only thing we can bring forth as a weapon in this course of life is the courage and hope and faith to the One who can empower us. Offering our service to others need not to be grand, in our own little ways, our random act of kindness to a friend or a stranger can make a difference.

9. Fear is a friend that’s misunderstood.
We all have fears. It creeps in every night in the dark. Fear is a natural emotion designed by God, however, fearfulness is living in a state of fear and is not designed by God. Sometimes we don’t wanna face our giants and we just wanna run. But if you do and you bring with you the voice of Truth, you’ll see that the stone is just the right size to put your giants on the ground. The waves don’t seem so high when you’re on top of them looking down. You will soar with the wings of eagle when you listen to the sound of Jesus’ singing over you.

10. I go to seek the Great Perhaps.
We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. Our own Great Perhaps is out there somewhere in the woods across the sea in the dark forest. We may encounter thorns and bushes and labyrinths on our way but never fret and never worry. Choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows but choose it.

There’ll be days like these, my mama said, when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing in your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment. And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say ‘thank You’ ‘coz there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shorelines no matter how many times it’s sent away.

-Sarah Kay

We can face our own Great Perhaps with our backpacks full of sunshine and pixie dust of courage and never giving up. It will be scary but remember the numbers 2 – 9 of this list. Plus, know that everything happens for a reason. The Big Guy doesn’t roll a dice so don’t be afraid. He’s in control.

With that, I shall give you my (on-time, finally!) Moodboard for June: Seek the Great Perhaps. :)

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Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come.

Btw, have you counted how many times I said the word courage, faith and hope in the list? Yes, I said it all too many times so that we’ll never forget it. Above all these, Love is still the greatest! :)

Be blessed! Cheers! :D

That Groovy Kind of Thing

Earlier this week, I got to watch one of the sweetest proposal made in mankind ever. I can exaggerate on that statement, and you may have a different opinion, and I still won’t care. HAHA! For me, when Paolo Valenciano pops the proposal question to his girlfriend Sam Godinez, I felt like Is there somebody in the room who wants to give me an equally genuine proposal too? Lo and behold, there was none, only crickets saying kru kru kru and move on, will you! HAHA!

This is my evidence of a bucketful of sugary-flavored feelings. : )

And because I wanted to capture the beauty and sincerity of Paolo’s words, I jotted it down for you (actually for me). Here’s what Paolo said all throughout the nerve-wracking proposal to a long-time girlfriend.

There’s somebody very special here with me tonight.

I wanna talk about somebody who gave me the best six years of my life. She always complains that I never talk, I don’t care, I never tell her how I feel. Well tonight, I wanna let everybody here now know how I feel – she’s given me the best six years of my life and it changed me a lot.

Sam, you know, I wanna wake up every morning seeing your face; and you know, I want you to nag me every night to ask me where I am. I want to make lots of little Paolos and little Sams.

So, uh, I wanna take care of you for the rest of my life and I was just wondering if, you know, will you marry me?

I wanted to include all the filters in the transcript because I totally find it cute – especially when Pao (wow, close lang kame!) is stuttering and almost never finish the whole sentence because he isn’t suppose to cry, but he did– but then I didn’t na lang. Nevertheless, I think the sweetest thing a man can do to her lady is to cry for her, not only in pain, but also in times when he recalls how much he loved and valued her. It’s all sorts of wonderful.

Going back, Pao did not end with a question (to which Sam and I answered Yes), but with a song Ikaw Lamang. He started singing the lines…

Ang puso ko’y ibibigay lamang sa’yo
Ito ang aking pangako
Mula ngayon hanggang magpakailan pa man
Ikaw lamang

In English, I promise that my heart only belongs to you from now until forever. It’s you I will only love. I don’t know if I gave justice translating what the song means because it’s just very beautiful and deep and heartfelt when it is in Tagalog. That’s the power of our language, folks! It stirs you inside out. There’s no amount of translation can equate to what it means. And I love it like that.

See, for all the guys out there, that’s the way you do it. Haha! Never mind your disposition, never mind your nerves, never mind letting other people, or a lot of people, see you cry just to declare a love that you know and felt will last for a lifetime. I always admired guys who can cry when they need to, I find sincerity and vulnerability and comfort in that.

Even when others see love as over-rated, I’m convinced that it’s not. It’s the fire that keeps you going, the inspiration that keeps you fighting, the magic that keeps you flying, the masterpiece that keeps you and your heart shining. Love, love is just about the one thing you could keep and well, love, in this world. It is made for us, each and one of us.

I am twenty and turning twenty-one before the year ends and unlike most of the kids my age, or less than my age, I haven’t gone through any relationship. In Filipino culture, we call that NBSB a.k.a “no boyfriend since birth”. I was never bothered by that thought, though; I was never pressured to have or to be in a relationship. My mother, I know, she wanted me to finish studies before I go through all that boyfriend-girlfriend thing. College is done for me and I still don’t intend to go valley high and find the love of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted, I really do, to find the perfect match for me. I belong to the group of I-believe-in-fairytales-and-happy-endings-true-love-pixie-dust-shooting-stars. I got a lot of crushes (and one or two which I keep in my heart) just like every female specie alive.

I know when love arrives, it’ll keep me awake until the wee hours of the morning with non-stop chatting and ear to ear churning. It’ll be my umbrella in the rain or the shade in the sunlight. It’ll be a shoulder to rely on when things numb and break and crush that fragile beating called heart. It’ll be the wings beneath my gilded wings as Kimmy Go Donghae said it. It’ll know no difference in falling stars and shooting stars, but it’ll keep my wishes.

I know when love arrives, it can be scary, it can be lost, it can end. But you know, in fear, you’ll find trust; in losing, you’ll get found; in ending, you’ll be starting a new beginning. Love as it is, love is all sorts of wonderful.

I don’t know when will love arrive to me. But when it does, I’ll know it, I’ll know it in my heart – just like Primrose Squarp – without any reason. I might not be prepared and it may caught me off guard, like Sam when Paolo proposed, but that love, that groovy kind of thing will take you and let you go places in a roller coaster ride of emotions – even in pain, you trust; even in the laughter, there are tears dripping of your face; even in darkness, you can see; even in doubt, you can trust and hope and keep on loving. :)