Saturday, December 24, 2011

Year-end reflections

Finally - a quiet day of reflection...after working in the garden - harvesting the last of the tomatoes and kalamansi and amused by the sight of newly-planted lettuce eaten by the birds who didn't touch the ornamental cabbage nearby. The autumn leaves have been cleaned up; the bulbs need to be re-planted soon.

In the kitchen, am using up the leftovers from our early Christmas parties - thanks to all of you who came to celebrate with us -- faculty from SSU, the women from Bioneers, my dear SSU mentors, our Fil Am community friends (who love karaoke!).

Last night I was reviewing this blog and felt thankful for the record of 2011 events that made the year memorable and life transforming. Here goes...

In January, Lane and Virgil both published their books and I was able to write a review for each of their opus. We hear that both are now writing the sequels because, as we found out, they've amassed so much research materials over decades. It is also in January when the core group of CFBS holds their annual retreat. This year we were able to plan and then offer a retreat/symposium in August with about 40 people.

In April, Lizae and other CFBS volunteers gifted us with Spirit Breath, A Healing Concert, at her beautiful home in the Oakland hills. For the first time, I was able to offer a Kapampangan chant, thanks to Mike Pangilinan.

In June, I attended the Bioneers' Cultivating Women's Leadership Retreat held at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma. I've been lurking around Bioneers for years and this time I felt that I needed to get my feet wet to see what the Bioneers experience is all about. With twenty women leaders together for six days, the experience was indeed transformative. But what was surprising to me were the exchanges I would later have with Nina Simons after she read A Book of Her Own and me reading  her book, Moonrise, and using it as a text in one of my courses...which led to her visit to my classes in November. Prior to this, I was able to attend the Bioneers conference for the first time with the added bonus of having a booksigning and meeting several Pinays including the wonderful Gemma Bulos, as a result. I also got invited to be part of  Bioneers' Education for Action Network.

Eileen Tabios' prompt to poets about the global recession resulted in this essay. Thank you, Eileen!

This Fall, it was great collaborating with Jurgen Kremer in one of my courses. Having him test-drive the workbook on Ethnoautobiography with my students is definitely an outside-the-box exercise in this setting but it was well worth it.

I also visited Napa Valley College for the first time. Thanks to the invitation of Janet Stickmon.

In November, Singgalot came to Sonoma County Museum as its last stop.

Lastly, there is the dossier for full professorship that went forward.

I look forward to giving the Virgilio Enriquez Memorial Lecture at the Kapwa 3 conference at UP Baguio next year.

On the vanity side: I have given up hair color. I am going gray. I embrace the elder in me.

It was a year of many "firsts" and perhaps this is why I feel as if I am on the cusp of something new...again.

Time is an artificial construct. As I watched Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams last night, I realize that this habit of painting word pictures connects me to the painter at Chauvet cave 35,000 years ago. This impulse to tell a story is the same across time and space. My story connects me to you which connects us to a larger community which connects us to everything and everyone beyond time and space.

For this a big thank you. I Loob you!

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