You Talk Too Much

I just came off an excruciating phone conversation with a potential tenant. On paper she was ok. A “kasimanwa” lawyer with common friends working for a foreign NGO who travels a lot. 

But talking to her .. oh boy. I wouldn’t want a repeat. She talks too much and she does not listen. She asked me a question and before I could reply and say yes I agree with you, she goes on and on with all the reasons why what she is proposing is necessary and how it won’t cost that much and so forth and so on. I patiently waited for her to stop talking. It must have been 3 or 4 minutes of her blabbering. Wasted minutes that could have been skipped because there was no need to convince me if she had simply waited 2 seconds for me to reply. I managed to say “why don’t you summarise the proposal of what you really have in mind and we can discuss in details since I am open to what you are suggesting”. And then she goes on for another minute or two about the need to do what she is proposing. And I kept quiet again while thoughts run through my mind = Did you even hear what I replied? Geez, is she even effective in her work? Does she even listen to the victims she is supposedly helping? And what do you really want from me with all your talking? 

Then she stops talking probably to take a deep breath and I repeat what I said earlier and told her, you know I agree with you because I have seen the place and I do want what you want. And then I don’t know if my reply sinks in because she goes on and on again how it will look nice after the work is done and she talks about her future plans. So on the next occasion that I was able to say something, I asked her if she was in sales because she talks too much and she doesn’t listen. I told her I agreed with her and I have long wanted to do what she is proposing and there was no need to convince me because I was on the same wavelength. “but abridged” I mentally added. And she laughs, she probably finally got it. She said she will talk to her uncle and give me her proposal tomorrow.

 

All Worth It

Our scholarship program “Second Wind Program” specifically for those struggling to finish their secondary studies is on its 7th year. Seems like only yesterday when O and I decide to pool the money we would have spent on our birthday celebration and support a scholar. We started with only one full scholarship shared by 2 students who decided to split the scholarship instead of a winner take all thing that year. It became 2 full scholarship the second year and reached its peak at 5 scholars (2 full and 3 half) on the third. On the fourth year, I was disheartened with the students in my alma mater. You offer opportunities and you still had to be the one to feed them. So on the fourth year I just posted signs and did not actively campaign for applicants. We were able to get the resourceful students, the ones who really wanted the scholarship badly. It continued that way until now. We are down to 2 full scholars this year.

Today one of our scholars from the 2nd year of operations graduated from university and came to thank me personally. We had helped her finish high school and after her, her sister too. We extended our help even through her college years.

I cried when I read her letter after she left. And I know all our efforts were well worth it. I too am thankful to her that she gave me the strength and energy to continue with the Second Wind Program.

If we changed the life of even just one person for the better, it is worth it. 

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All is Well for Today

It is a rather good end to an otherwise glum day. 

I woke up with my anaemia rearing its ugly head. The ongoing negotiations with a business entity was not going well either with the other party stalling. It was a slightly depressing day. And yet I could not escape. To do so would aggravate the situation. 

I kept to my schedule despite being rushed and all. And I am glad I did. 

Today was the last day of our flamenco practise before we have the general rehearsals. Today Tita Angie was around to give pointers. Today I got lost in the music and the dance. She is a great motivator. She made us feel, she made our dance complete. Today I was a Malaguena. I was suplada, arrogant. At times suffering and in pain and finally jubilant and devil may care. And the worries were left behind.

I did not feel faint. My muscles did not burn. Thank you my body for cooperating.

This afternoon the other party in the negotiations made some encouraging comments. Little steps. I do not need the big victories. The little advancements are enough for me because of the dance.

Truly, dance energizes me. I love my life.

Glum

I sure could use some good news today. What with some medical issues and negotiations in business hitting a wall, i am a bit depressed.

It would be nice to play hooky but that would just make tomorrow even worse if today’s work does not get done.

*Buntong hininga*

Passion

One writer I follow here at WordPress famously does not write about religion or politics. Two topics that people can be very passionate about.

This is not so much about politics as my take on passion.

It is election time in the Philippines and many people have already chosen the candidates they would support. Staunch supporters they are. Very passionate about the qualities about their candidates. Much like O’s friend who is a staunchly religious and who O loves to tease by throwing spanners into his well ordered theological beliefs by telling him that God came from darkness while Lucifer came from light. Remember … There was darkness and God said “Let there be light” ? 

Passion is messy. It does give you a high for a few moments or even for a few days but when I go back to reality, it feels empty. I  have been there and the few times I allowed passion free rein in my life was not to my liking. Too many toes are stepped on, too many people ignored, it was not worth it. I do not plan to live in a vacuum and I necessarily have to deal with other people. So I have to adjust. I realised I want harmony in my life. I want balance. I am past the phase where passion tempted me. I tried and got singed. It was a good experience. It was a learning experience. But it is not for me.

But I am still passionate about dance. The difference though is that I have incorporated this passion with the Buddhist teachings of finding your balance. I do not breathe dance. I do not depend on dance to make me come alive. It is a passion in that it energizes me but never controls my emotions. I have not allowed it to take over my life because I know that when one allows any one of the heart-soul-mind trinity sole control, nothing good comes out. Precisely it is a trinity and they should work in tandem.

Passion humanises us and the few times I tried it out, it was heady. You throw caution to the wind. You begin to think it could last forever. But it never does. Even the disappointment that follows , the frustration of people not understanding or the anger that materialises as an adjunct to passion keep one alive. But oh so divisive.

And so, in this election period in our country, division will again rise among the populace. They have forgotten that tolerance should also be practiced. It is always the case whether in politics or religion. When will people learn to leave the non-protestants or the non-catholics be. Some of us do not believe in heaven you know and do not want to be “saved”. 

As in the much maligned quote “Can’t we all get along?”

 

Marien

You came to me in my dream

Your face was glowing like an angel of the realm.

With the grace of a sylph

and the smile of a nymph.

Your voice was lyrical

and it felt magical.

You passed away too soon maestra

But your dream lives on with your gitanas.

With love in our hearts

with passion in our souls

you will live on our beautiful Mayen.

Last night I dreamt of Mayen. As with most dreams involving people long gone, I am always surprised by the ethereal quality of their being. It was soothing, it was inspiring. I know you were trying to show us that you approved of what we were doing. And it felt good seeing you again.

This dance is for you.