whynot: Once Upon a Time in Mexico: malaguena salerosa (up in lights)
 1. retirement for my dad isn't relaxation. that doesn't seem to be his dream. the dreams he is realizing, the ones he's pursuing now that he has the time and funds to, is to serve. in his twilight years, he seems to be getting his internal ducks in a row. finding order, finding peace in this way. he's working on a panel that approves climate change grants in southeast asia. he gives workshops to university students on how to improve their grant proposals for future projects. he's donating our old house to an orphanage and naming it for my mom, in honor of my grandparents. this moves me. i didn't get along with my mom, but i predict my dad will go through the rest of his life naming every good and beautiful thing in his life for her. our house, the stars, the sea - he'll call them by her name just so she is still in this world with him. the stars come back every night. the waters rise. he knows this. that's why he persists.

2. and then me. and then my love, and all the things i'd name for him. isn't it rude to want to measure joy? i'm curious yet content. a handful of secret names and a collection of habits curated over the course of almost half a life. the habit of constant and casual intimacy. my hand sliding along his forearm as i pass by. eye contact across a room then we kiss the air at each other at the exact same time because that's what muscle memory does. a certain angle of the head means kiss me. a casual kiss on the forehead as we carry dirty glasses to the kitchen is a thoughtless throwaway thing, too ubiquitous to be high in value. but we value it, which is the same as how we have it, which is the same thing as years of learning how to do this, knowing we'll never get it perfect but too deeply a part of one another to care. the bedroom is a mess. i like to hold him when the sun flickers gold on our white walls. i like to hold him when i can hear the rain outside. all my favorite stories are now rooted in this. a long-learned guilt says it's arrogance, that one day i'll pay for all this happiness. everyone who ever resented me will rejoice when i am hurt. i can't stop it; it leaks through in my beliefs. it leaks through in the stories i tell. i love you, i'm home. i love you i love you i love you and i'm home. if i keep this at arm's length for fear of losing it, i'll regret it. i know i'll regret it. he wakes up to kiss me, then burrows into my neck and goes back to sleep. this is what i use to remind me that life goes on, that it waits for me no matter what. and that's why i persist.

sup mom

May. 3rd, 2017 08:08 pm
whynot: SPN: surprise!Indonesia (all in the family)
 the mother’s day promos are out in full swing. i have been carrying around in my head the simple fact that most tangible way my mom is still in my life is through makeup. she bought me a clinique lipstick in ‘blushing nude’. it’s my perfect everyday shade. i bought a backup ‘cos i thought the first was about to run out, but it never seems to run out.

other things she gave me that i still have:

neutrogena healthy skin compact foundation in classic ivory - i don’t wear foundation, so i’ve only just begun to play around with this guy. maybe in the future i’ll start using foundation regularly, but rn i use it as a pore-filling primer ‘cos i’m usually too lazy to do a whole face

neutrogena healthy skin pressed powder in fair - used it to set concealer when i wear it, but i just bought a palette that has banana powder in it so we’ll see. both neutrogena products were for my wedding, which was very simple and very small. she probably bought them at target, which she loved and i think found novel because there are no targets back in the philippines & indonesia. 

- discontinued revlon blush. the mirror's broken. i should probably toss this, but i won't.

- skymall-exclusive lancome face palette. most of the pressed powders and eye stuff are kinda bad, except maybe the blush. the lipsticks are fine, but the palette sits in the bottom of the pile and i forget to use it


things she didn't give me but that i'll probably associate with her forever:

- that trendy shimmery lip color that's red with some blue in it. it looked good on her no matter what she wore. i want to pull off this color but i have nowhere to wear this kind of color to. mom didn't care, she'd just wear it everywhere and rocked it

- estee lauder's pleasures - floral, so not really my thing, but pretty. my mom smelled like this going to events

- davidoff's cool water - i love love LOVE how this smells. fresh aqua vibes. i probably would never wear it, though. too much association with mom.


i don't know why i wrote this, except that i've been getting into makeup and skin care, which my mom probably would've appreciated if she were still alive or if i had developed this interest at a younger age. i didn't give a shit about that kind of stuff when i was a kid, which i think irked her somewhat. she and i didn't have the best relationship, but she's dead now and it's gonna be mother's day soon, and for some reason this is what came out. remembering my mom through my new hobby.

whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
should be going to bed but i'm probably going to finish this episode of peaky blinders, this last one, 'cos it's a half day tomorrow anyway. pulling a joe, haha; he justifies late nights thusly. just gonna sit here and ponder death. joe and i joke about "haha i'm going to die before you do, then YOU'LL have to be sad instead of me haha!" and i've been in that headspace from a darker slant. i think my mom's dying. my friend gave me a book, that ny best seller comic that's a memoir about the artist's parents aging and dying. the artist's senile mother talks about conversing with her dead brother , and her caretaker says, "every time i hear her talking to her dead brother, i see a shadow on the bed."

my parents tell me these stories. a week before my grandmother died, she insisted she saw my grandfather in the yard. my grandmother's friend explained that he had come to pick her up, to see her safe passage. forty days after my grandfather died, my dad kept smelling the scent of a particular flower. it was no flower near where he was. it was the scent of the flowers that grew in the cemetery where his father was buried. forty days after someone's death is important in his religion. there is a ceremony; there are prayers. that night my dad dreamed that he walked through a garden with his father. the next day he told his friends and family this dream and they all said the same thing: his father had come to visit him, to make sure he was okay.

i don't have strong beliefs about the afterlife out of a deep-seated anxiety about being wrong about it. but i am moved by how death can push love to the forefront. death as a reminder of love. i will be irritated by anyone dismissing my family's grief through empiricism and rationalism, even though i cannot say whether i agree 100% to the exact alignment of my family's beliefs. i don't know. my grandmother was widowed at 21 with three children. her husband died in battle. his portrait hung in the first house i ever lived in and i have memorized his face, black and white and somber and young. my grandmother had to wait a long time to see him again. i hope they're happy, i think. i don't know.
whynot: SPN: all hail (veins and arteries)
I reckon I should be organizing my data sets, but then I listened to Chimamanda Adichie talk about the dangers of a single story (via [livejournal.com profile] heather11483 and [livejournal.com profile] deepad) and my heart just swelled. I was originally going to flock this post because it has a lot of personal information in it, but then I realized that would be kind of defeating the point. So, here it is.

thoughts on my own stories: the ones I couldn't own, the ones I didn't want to own, the ones I had to fight for, the ones I still have to fight for )

So in the spirit of this, I'm gonna do new twist on an old meme. I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away. And I will answer in autobiographical narrative form.

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whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
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