Friday, August 6, 2010

A silent film is anything but silent

As a silent movie fan on the internet puts it quite eloquently: To accuse a silent movie of being silent makes about as much sense as accusing a mime f performing a theatre piece without speaking a single word - because to screen them without live musical accompaniment would be equivalent to screening the latest Hollywood blockbuster with the sound turned off.
-Goethe-Institut Press Release on the 4th Silent Film Festival

Among all the film festivals we have here in Manila, my absolute favorite is the annual International Silent Film Festival. The ironic thing is, out of all the film festivals, this is the hardest one to bring my friends to. One mention of Cinemalaya and I have a whole gang wanting to go with me. But when I say "Silent Film Festival", I mostly get "Are you serious?" or "I'll pass" as a response.

I guess I can't blame them for the hesitation. Many are afraid that they will be stuck in an extremely quiet theater for two solid hours. They conjure up this image of a theater so quiet that everyone can hear you crunch into your potato chip. (I've been to one of those new experimental silent films they show at the Angelika, and yes, you can hear everything. But no, this silent film festival doesn't show those types of films. They promote to good old 1800's type of silent film viewing.)

So this is my defense of the good old silent film. Not an expert's but a fan's POV :D

Back in the 1880's, the silent era of film began and it went on through 1929, even though the first "talkie" was introduced in 1927 - The Jazz Singer. That's about a good 30-something years. Now, you don't think people of the world spent that time sitting through perfectly quiet theaters just watching a bunch of moving pictures, do you? The truth is that there was actually musical accompaniment that came with the silent films.

While the films themselves were easily distributed to different theaters, the music had to be performed live. Bigger theaters had orchestras while smaller ones had solo pianists. So the experience already varied depending on what sort of theater you went to. Add to that the variety that comes in with the musical performances -- because while some of it came from pre-compiled photoplay music, there was plenty of room left for improvisation by the musicians.

I imagine it to be like the experience of watching a play or a musical -- although you know there is a general template, you're always in for a little bit of re-interpretation and variety at each performance. I loved the thought of it because I'm one of those people who do enjoy watching a play twice or thrice throughout a run (well, when I can afford it) just to see what surprises pop up at these different performances. Wouldn't it be interesting if you could watch the same movie twice and get a slightly different musical score the second time around? I'm still hoping to try that someday because the Silent Film Festival doesn't show silent films exactly like they did in the old days. And they only show each film once.

Nevertheless, what the Silent Film Festival brings is another interesting twist to the silent film experience -- foreign silent films matched with local Filipino musicians.

Take a Japanese film and have it scored by Radioactive Sago Project? Or an old German one scored by Out of Body Special? I can't imagine how it would turn out, and that's exactly why I go to these film screenings.

Last year I caught the German film "People on Sunday" scored live by Nyko Maca + Playground and it was awesome! So I'm looking forward to what combinations they have this year and how familiar musicians try their hand at interpreting old, black and white films from Italy, Japan, Spain and Germany.

I highly recommend you catch at least one of the films they're showing this weekend. Tickets are free! To be extra sure that you have a seat, you can call up the respective cultural institutions and reserve tickets for the films that you want.

Goethe-Institut: Nana Enerio l t: 817 09 78 l email:
Italian Embassy: Joseph Kalinga l t: 892 45 31-34 l e-mail:
Instituto Cervantes: Antonio Nartea l t: 526 14 82 x 115 l
Japan Foundation: Roland Samson l t: 8116155 - 58 l email:

Oh, and one last tip -- don't sit too close to the band because the lights in their area and their movements are too distracting!

- - - - - -

About the films:

Assunta Spina

Year: 1914
Directors: Francesca Bertini, Gustavo Serena from the play by Salvatore Di Giacomo
Cast:: Francesca Bertini, Gustavo Serena, Carlo Benetti, Luciano Albertini, Amelia Cipriani
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 62 min
Country: Italy

Italian silent screen goddess Francesca Bertini appears in her most famous role in Assunta Spina, an operatic tale of love and sacrifice. Based on the play by Italian poet and playwright Salvatore Di Giacomo (1909), Assunta Spina is a tragedy set in Naples at the beginning of the twentieth century. After being assaulted by her jealous lover Michele, Assunta becomes the mistress of a corrupt man called Federigo so that she can visit Michele while he is in prison.

When Michele is unexpectedly released, he discovers Assunta’s “betrayal”, setting the stage for
the film’s tragic finale.

By carefully preserving the regional customs, Salvatore di Giacomo captured the unique essence of Napolitanità: the ability of the Italian working class to maintain their dignity even as they struggle for survival. Assunta Spina was shot largely on location, capturing precious glimpses of life on the streets of Naples , and fortelling the rise of Italian Neorealism.

Kodakara Sodo (Kid Commotion)

Year: 1935 / Shochiku Kinema Kamata Film Studio
Director: Torajiro Saito
Cast: Shigeru Ogura, Yaeko Izumo, Shotaro Fujimatsu, Akio Nomura, Jun Yokoyama,
Teruko Kojima, Kazuko Kojima, Mutsu Soga, Reiko Tani, Eiko Takamatsu, Reiko
Takigawa, Nagamasa Yamada
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 34 min

The Fukudas are poor with several children to feed. They are soon to be blessed with their seventh child. However, Mr. Fukuda has no work and can hardly afford to pay basic utilities. Fortunately, they have a well, so it did not really matter when the water was turned off as they cook rice over an open fire.

But then, when Mrs. Fukuda was to deliver the baby, it created a lot of problems. Mr. Fukuda rushed off to find a midwife. However, there wasn't a midwife in town who could help since they all rushed over to attend to the birth of the rich baron's pig. Further, when he tried borrowing money from the local geisha house - by using his daughter as collateral, it was not even possible. Things were looking pretty glum when the wheel of fortune spins Fukuda's way… This film is a rare example of a silent Japanese slapstick film and the most celebrated film by Torajiro Saito (director) who was famous for his comedy movies. The influence of Charlie Chaplin is evident in the film, which showcased Saito's outstanding sense of humor. The benshi’s (motion picture narrators) use of humorous words is one of the film’s attractions.

La bodega Wine Cellars

Director: Benito Perojo
Screenwriter: Benito Perojo based on the novel of Vicente Blanco Ibanéz
Year: 1929
Runtime: 75 minutes
Production: Julio César S.A.-Compagnie
Générale de Productions Cinématographiques
Cast: Conchita Piquer, Valentín Parera, Gabriel Gabrio, Enrique Rivero, María Luz Callejo,
Regina Dalthy, Jean Coste, Colette Darfeuil, Joaquín Carrasco, Mme. Guillaume

La bodega (1929), directed by Benito Perojo and based on the novel of Vicente Blanco Ibanéz (1905), has for a plot the Andalusian wineries where there was an atmosphere of feudalism and clerical exploitation, coupled with a correlative misery and civil unrest. Also, during those times, the masters sexually harass their workers.

The film recounts the love affair of Rafael and María Luz, the daughter of Fermín who works at the wine cellars of Pablo Dupont in Jerez. When Rafael gets wounded in a smuggling operation, he was taken care of by María Luz. Now, Luis Dupont is known in Jerez for his scandalous festivities in which he is joined by her cousin Lola, called “the marchioness”. In one of these feasts, one farm employee is killed by a bull because of their jokes. With his licentious behaviour, Luis courts María Luz whom he knows since childhood before Rafael’s eyes, while the marchioness harasses Rafael continuously. One harvest time, María Luz gets drunk and gives herself up to Luis. Ashamed of what happened, she abandons Rafael without giving explanations.

Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großstadt

Year: 1927
Director: Walter Ruttman
Genre: Documetary, Avantgarde/
Runtime: 70 min
Country: Germany

This classic German silent film directed by Walter Ruttmann is a valentine to the "new" Berlin of the late 1920s, enjoying a renaissance after the dregs of the Depression. It is also a prominent example of the city symphony genre, which characteristic feature is to portray the life of a city, mainly through visual impressions in a semi-documentary style, without the narrative content of more mainstream films.

Berlin Symphony of a Great City is a cross section of the life and rhythm of a late spring day in Berlin, from dawn to midnight, a visual impression, created out of the millions of energies that comprise the life in a metropolis.

About the musicians:


Arvin Nogueras (a.k.a. Caliph8) directs his restless energies into another live film scoring project with Assunta Spina. He has assembled a new roster of collaborators such as Kakoy Legaspi on guitars, Il Primitivo on the sampler/ drum machine, Minister Zero on electro-acoustic manipulation and Khavn De La Cruz on the piano. In this one genre-defying session, they will bring into being off-kilter experimental music that involves hints of free jazz, psychedelia, electronica and classical music. This group of collaborators will explore the dynamics of baresequenced rhythmic railings while shaping it with live improvisations that range from stark minimalism to a rich amalgamation of aural elements.


The eight-piece ensemble from the suburbs of Quezon City, Philippines plays a critically acclaimed mix of spoken word poetry, jazz, punk, soul, afro-latin, metal, and a mad sundry of musical styles sprinkled with massive doses of humor and irony. The Radioactive Sago Project's perennially surprising stylistic excursions have earned them a cult following, from critics to art fans, even to discerning rock audiences.

The band is fronted by four-time Palanca Award-winning writer Lourd de Veyra, along with alumni from the UP College of Music (Francis de Veyra-bass, Jay Gapasin-drums, Junjie Lermaguitar, Rastem Eugenio-saxophone, Pards Tupas-trombone, Arwin Nava-percussions, and Wowie Anzano-trumpet). The Project first made waves performing in the literary circuit, eventually expanding their repertoire and personnel as they blasted their way into the Philippine rock scene, defying prevailing musical trends. Manila was unprepared for that sucker punch that was their self-titled 2000 major label debut, one that combined screaming horn sections with funky grooves, jazz chords suddenly morphing into heavy punk riffs, all topped of with absurdist, sarcastic spoken word vocals. Four years later, the band continues to chart hitherto unexplored musical terrains with their second effort Urban Gulaman. The independently produced album shows the band's technical and compositional confidence growing from strength to strength- and still defying expectations by adding more elements like cha-cha and bossa nova without turning down the decibel level.

The band's third album is the critically-acclaimed Tangina Mo, Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo, Fashionista Ka Pa Rin, which has gained praise from Pulp Magazine, Burn,,, among others. After being the first local album to earn Pulp Magazine's top rating, the album grabbed the coveted to spot on the FHM 100th issue's list of top 100 albums from 2000 until the issue's release in 2008.


The band Tanglaw was formed in 2007. Its music draws upon many different genres, most notably funk, various world music, jazz, hip hop, dub and ambient styles. Tanglaw explores different permutations with each performance not just relying on the purist approach. The aim is to express and to innovate, to entertain and to stimulate, and of course to have fun doing it. The band performed an “improvised and on the spot” musical score of a documentary shown during the 2009 Green Papaya Art Gallery for Biomodd Manila Exhibit and film showing. It also participated in the 2010 Genre Bar Cubao X World Music Event along with other bands from underground world/ethnic music scene.


Formed in 2004, Out of Body Special has come a long way with their own brand of Un-Rock, Hip-hop fusion music. The eclectic mix of each member's talents and influences, coupled with a healthy sense of groove, soul, and a trademark semi-serious disposition, has created nothing less than music that, true to their name, gives you a feeling of sweet disorientation, of both the sensual and sentimental sort. This should not be construed as something alien, bizarre or drug-induced; on the contrary, the songs touch upon familiar dimensions within all of us.

*All photos courtesy of Goethe-Institut press release

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Travel Light

Moving day reminded me once again that life should be an accumulation of experiences, not of junk.

"Travel light" is perhaps one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given -- whether it refers to actual traveling, or to life in general.

When you travel light, you get to go further, explore more and do more.

So I'm learning to travel light now and am constantly reminding myself that there is no room for excess baggage. :-)

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Just got back from my first trip to Singapore.

Found this guy in one of the Buddhist temples in Singapore's Chinatown. There were lots of deities and images in the temple, but I took a particular interest in this one - Avalokiteśvara - because he (or she, they invariably portray this deity as male or female) is supposedly the protector of those born in the year of the Rat, my year.

So I did a little bit more research on him, love it!

Avalokiteśvara is also known as "the sovereign beholder of the world". The Mahayana says that he chose to delay his own Buddhahood until he assisted every suffering being on earth in achieving nirvana.

Notice how he has a lot of heads and arms? Here's the story from Wikipedia --

"One prominent Buddhist story tells of Avalokiteśvara vowing never to rest until he had freed all sentient beings from samsara. Despite strenuous effort, he realizes that still many unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, his head splits into eleven pieces. Amitabha Buddha, seeing his plight, gives him eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Avalokiteśvara attempts to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that his two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha comes to his aid and invests him with a thousand arms with which to aid the suffering multitudes."

Beholder of the world, and a workaholic with a desire to help others... I like this guy already :D Now where do I find my own Amitabha to give me my own thousand sets of arms?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saying goodbye to 25

In three days, I am turning 26.

Well, that's according to my birth certificate. According to my friends, actually I'm 25 going on 50.

I don't blame them for thinking that. The past two years have been one loooong psycho-emotional ride - the effects of choosing to go on an eye-opening, life-changing (and slightly accidental) "gap year", then coming back home to that old routine and following that old blueprint for life, even though there was a part of you that knew you were no longer your old self.

It's a long and lonely road of cognitive dissonance when that happens.

You're still a little bit of the old you, but coming out is a little bit of the new you. Or is there no "old you" and "new you" - but just one "real you" that you slowly uncover as you go about living your life? Or a "real you" that you've sort of known all along, but just didn't have the courage to be - for any number of reasons.

The perfect formula for a quarterlife crisis. When mine started out, I was happy to come across a book that was written by a fellow quarter-lifer who gave us an honest peek into her own experience. Misery always loves company. And there is something re-assuring in the fact that you are not the only one going through this or asking these questions.

But as adolescence needed to end at some point, so does this season of quarter life drama. Fortunately for me, it's managed to set (and meet) its own deadline naturally.

Not that all the questions have been answered.

Or that whatever answers you managed to get are guaranteed to make life easier. Trust me, sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't.

And most of the time, the best advice is the one that sounds like it came from a bumbling loon --
Suddenly, silly lines are pregnant with meaning.

It's that mystery of how complicated things in this world are actually quite simple; and how a lot of the simple things have in them a beauty that is utterly profound.

So here's my little tip to fellow floundering twenty-somethings out there --
take some advice from a couple of little caterpillars called Stripe and Yellow.

Last night, as I was going through the final stages of moving out of our current apartment, I came across an old picture book lying on the floor along with other soon-to-be-abandoned junk. It was sort of familiar - I had a vague memory of enjoying it - but I'd forgotten exactly what was in it. So I picked up the book, plopped myself right there in the middle of all that mess, and turned page after page until I found my way to the very end.

It was a story that made me take in a deep breath,
and left a smile on my face as I went off to bed.

It was the story of two tiny caterpillars.

The best pre-birthday / post-crisis read, if I do say so myself :-)

"This is the tale
of a caterpillar

who has trouble

becoming what

he really is.

It's like myself - like us.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Perfect Sunday

Sometimes all it takes
is a good book and a nice cup of coffee
to make it a perfect Sunday :D


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Book Review: Rizal Without the Overcoat (Ambeth Ocampo)

Rizal Without the Overcoat (Expanded Edition) Rizal Without the Overcoat by Ambeth R. Ocampo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Between the covers of this book, Jose Rizal suddenly comes alive. You will not hear the usual textbook stories of the moth and the flame, or that old tale of Rizal throwing his remaining slipper into the river after the first one was swept away by the currents, so that whoever finds them will have the complete pair.

This is a book that will tell you that Rizal was kind of funny looking, with a small frame and a rather large head, that he had a lot of girlfriends, and that he even tried hashish 'for experimental purposes'. It gives you a peek into his insecurities and his frustrations, down to the little stories of how he hated tipping because he was so kuripot, or that while he was living abroad, he was too proud to let his landlady find out that he had no more money for food, so he would go out for a stroll every lunch time to give her an impression that he'd gone out to dine.

It's a whole bunch of little stories that show you how Rizal was "just like us".

And then Ocampo takes you through the story behind the "Mi Ultimo Adios", the politics behind the KKK, and a narration of what happened that morning of December 30, 1896.

You take a step back and remember that this is the man who influenced the course of our history and helped solidify our sense of nationhood.

That's when you see that heroes are people who were "just like us".

And it's these people who are more interesting to learn about and learn from, not the mythical heroes we hear about in school. You begin to relate to them, and to wonder what was going through their heads, the emotions raging in their hearts...

This curiosity lead me to read the "Mi Ultimo Adios" with fresh eyes, and I've never found it more beautiful. Now it's challenging me to take a second look at the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo.

If you read "Rizal Without the Overcoat", be prepared to go down the path of rediscovering our national hero, and in turn rediscovering our sense of being Filipino. Trust me, it's more fun this second time around :)

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cebuano Weltanschauung

There’s a long-running urban legend about how the Eskimos (actually, Inuits) have more than a hundred words to refer to “snow”, showing how involved their culture and life is with the stuff. It’s not actually true, research by linguists show there are only about seven distinct words.

In any case, there is some sense to this theory of Linguistic Relativism that claims that “the language we speak both affects and reflects our view of the world.”

My brother tells me that the Japanese are so involved with the craft of sword-making, that they apparently have distinct names to identify the origins of the particular sword, or the kind of the blade that has been used.

My friend Edgar and I also got a discussion about how in Filipino, we have different names for rice in its different stages –

Palay is for the unhusked grains.
Bigas when they’ve been turned into polished grains.
Kanin when cooked.
Tutong when burnt.

That’s not including variants of rice, such as malagkit, or ways of preparing rice – like sinangag or lugaw. Definitely not surprising, since we are a country that eats rice with every single meal, and sometimes even incorporate it into our snacks or dessert.

One thing that’s been puzzling me for a while now is how, in Cebuano (Bisaya), we have an unusual number of words to refer to people falling down. A long conversation over coffee with my brother got the count up to 10. There’s hagbong, hulog, pandol, sapid, dalin-as, dagma, umod, mo-mo, hapla and umpak.

Which begs the question – what is it about Cebuanos (or Visayans?) that has made our language around people “falling” so highly developed and descriptive?

You can even classify the words into two - the first set clearly defines a specific cause of the fall, while the second set gives you a pretty good idea of what happened as a result of the fall. (We’re not really linguists, so these are the words we know from our everyday use of the language.)

First of all, there are the generic words for “fall” – hagbong and hulog.

And here’s set one – words that clearly defines why the person fell:

Pandol: to fall due to a loss of coordination.
Sapid: to trip over an obstacle, as when your ankle gets caught in a rope
Dalin-as: to slip over a wet surface
Dagma / Dam-ag: to fall after running too fast

Then, there’s set two – words that define what happened after the person fell:

Umod: to fall face first
Mo-mo: to fall face-first, specifically with the nose and mouth receiving the impact
Hapla: to fall flat, with a large surface area touching the floor, but not face-first
Umpak: to fall on your behind

If you stretch it a little more, there’s a third group that describes how people fell. We figured it’s a bit too much of a stretch, and didn’t include it in the official count. But just for kicks, here they are:

Tulimbang: to flip over
Hagpa: to slam into something
Lagobo: to make a series of loud sounds while falling, the kind that makes you picture how many things the person banged into on the way down
Tagak: to fall from a higher level
Labay: to be thrown, as in motorcycle accidents
Labog: also refers to being thrown, but this word sounds more forceful than labay

Oh, and did I already mention that these are all words referring to people falling? There’s still a different set of words used when referring to objects that fall.

A guy named Wilhelm von Humboldt once said that "the diversity of languages is not a diversity of signs and sounds but a diversity of views of the world."

So again, the question is, why does Cebuano (Bisaya) have a very highly developed language around falling?

My brother’s theory is it’s because Cebu is a mountainous region, and so people fall a lot.

My theory is that Cebuanos just love a good laugh. And the clearer the image in our heads of someone falling, the better the story :D

What’s your theory?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ignite Manila 1

Was fortunate enough to get a seat reservation at the geek convention that is called Ignite Manila. 16 speakers, 5 minutes each. True to the event's tagline -- "Enlighten us, but make it quick!"

It was a night that held many delights for the geek within me. But let me just share two of the best thoughts I picked up that night:


Work with the given.
Work with the given.
Work. with. the. given.

Life is the co-director.

~Khavn de la Cruz, digital film maker


There is beauty all around Manila.
If you don't see it,
there is something wrong with you.
There is nothing wrong with Manila.

~Carlos Celdran


Roster of speakers at Ignite Manila 1:
  1. Nina Terol Zialcita (Communicator, Connector, Changemaker) A ball can change the world: Lessons from the 2009 Milan Homeless World Cup
  2. Paul Zialcita (percussionist, performance artist, social advocate) Recycle music. Recycle life.
  3. Alvin Gale Tan (entrepreneur; people-reader) 7107 Reasons
  4. Elizabeth Angsioco (National Chair, Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP)) Reproductive Health
  5. Mikong Galero (web developer, go player) Why Go is better than Chess
  6. Bill Shaw (Social entrepreneur) Jeepney Magazine: the first “street paper” in developing Asia
  7. Benj Espina (Backpacker) Visit Sagada
  8. Victor Asuncion lead (vocals, guitarist, songwriter of Indios band) On joining the national search for Rivermaya’s lead vocalist
  9. Bryan Bibat (UP AME alumnus) Saving a Dying Geek Community
  10. Frank Manuel (Software Developer, Astronomy geek) The coolest things in the universe
  11. Team New Slang (Overshare Advocates) Creative Nonfiction, Show-and-Tell, and Getting the Blog Out of Writing
  12. Norman Wilwayco (Novelist and Blogger) How I Created My Latest Book
  13. Khavn dela Cruz (Digital filmmaker) On digital films
  14. Dean Jorge Bocobo (Writer, commentator, atheist) Why Atheists Should Come Out Of The Closet
  15. Carlos Celdran (performer, visual artist) Myths and Legends for Filipinos
  16. Ana Santos (sexual health advocate / vagina warrior) Sexual Health Made Sexy and SASsy

General Emilio Aguinaldo - A Character Sketch

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I came across this wonderful article about Emilio Aguinaldo written by the eloquent American Diplomat, Edwin Wildman (United States Vice Consul General in Hong Kong) in a Harper's Weekly issue dating back to 1898.

I tried to look for it online. Although I found a lot of scholarly work referencing the article, I cannot find the actual piece itself. Maybe I'll go back to the Benpress Museum one day and copy it. Hmmm... When will I ever have the time?

But I managed to note down a bit of the introduction. See how Wildman can at once express his admiration for Aguinaldo, but at the same time throw him in a realistic, practical light:

"In the nineteenth century there has not been a more unique figure among the native races of earth than this Tagalo patriot - or rebel: call him what you will. Philosophers call silent men wise, superficial people call them ignorant. Aguinaldo is wise among his people, ignorant among Europeans. A man must be judged by his environments, his compatriots, his race. Aguinaldo is not a Napoleon nor a Washington, neither is he a Tecumseh or a Sitting Bull. He is Aguinaldo, and his name stands for no metaphor."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lonely Traveler

I kicked off my 2010 with a crazy travel schedule for work.

2 weeks, 5 cities, 9 plane rides, 2 long drives, 4 hotels, countless tricycle rides, loads of luggage and bitbit na pasalubong... all of which eventually earned me a bad case of lumbar strain.

Occupational hazard aside, I've found some time to collate reflections of my travel highs and lows...

Leaving home at 4am to catch flights
while the whole village is still asleep save for the
dawn street sweepers and nightshift guards.

It just being me, my suitcase, and I.
Traveling alone,
and not really knowing anyone at my next destination.

But then again there were lovely cafes by the boulevard,
where one can have long breakfasts alone.
Just me and my thoughts,
as I sip my morning coffee and watch the fishermen out at sea.

There were lovely strangers who welcomed me into their homes,
shared with me stories of their lives and their dreams.
Those moments when I find myself stepping out of my own shoes
to see what it's like being in theirs.
And the realization that the world is pretty neat from that vantage point, as well.
Different. But still beautiful.
A different kind of beautiful.

And then there were the lull times.
Waiting times. In between coming and going.
A chance to just sit and stay put.
To not do anything, not be headed anywhere.
And to not feel guilty about it.

And then the trip back home.
Home to my old house,
my old bed, my old office desk...
but not my old self.

Because I've had the chance to take a step back,
and have some time away from my own life.
To honestly take it all in,
and realize that I've chosen to live in such a way that simple pleasures -
like staying put, lingering over a nice morning cup of coffee,
and just staring out into nothingness,
leaving my thoughts free to wander wherever they wish -
have all become unfamiliar luxuries.

That was the trip back home where I decide that when I get back,
I'll make sure things aren't the same.

It's been a great January.
Now to make sure it'll be an amazing 2010.