Category: Journal Art

Enmity of Biblical Proportions

Today’s journal entry is about rape culture. I’ve been following the case of a woman who was a fellow in a national writing workshop claiming that she was raped by one of the panelists. I’m glad that writers and professors have spoken out about this, but it really showed me how issues like this can tear apart a community. If the accused is well-liked, successful, beloved by the people around him, it makes it that much harder to even imagine that maybe he made a terrible mistake. Of course everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but what’s more telling for me is the attitude towards the woman involved. Society has never been kind towards girls who don’t present as anything like the rape victims of noontime telenovelas. When women come out with their stories of sexual abuse, there’s always the attitude that implies they need to prove they didn’t want it in the first place. What were they wearing? What were they drinking? What time of the day is it? Who were they drinking with? Did she struggle enough? The way some people think, only chaste women get raped.

At church, how many sermons have I heard about Dinah making trouble for her family by walking by herself in a foreign land and getting herself raped? A lot. How many sermons have I heard teaching men NOT to rape? Zero. Literally, zero.

Looking at the attitude of some people towards the victim, I wonder why people can’t believe that more often than not, there’s not much to be gained by coming out with their accusations. This is emotionally exhausting for them, to be retraumatized and revictimized, and now in a very public way. With everything that women have to put up with when they come out with their terrible stories of sexual assault, the least you can do is truly listen.

Vietnamese Ca Phe Da

Today’s journal entry is about discovering Vietnamese ice coffee. It’s pretty easy to make, as long as you have the right coffee drip filter and beans. Everyday Coffee’s Vietnamese Lam Dong Espresso beans are the bomb. Ca Phe Da is quite different from the usual kind of cup that I enjoy, but I liked it a lot. It’s like cafe mocha, but stronger. Like coffee and dark chocolate. I didn’t like using the beans for latte, but for iced coffee, it’s perfect.

I’m glad I had some time to write this morning, I haven’t been able to sit and collect my thoughts for a while and I missed it a lot. Hopefully I can get back to my usual routine again.

The Far Pavilions

Last weekend’s journal entry is about The Far Pavilions. The book kind is a sweeping saga. It reminded me of Gone with the Wind. It felt like going on a long vacation, or watching a telenovela. It’s very engaging, and touches on how difficult it is to find true tolerance among people. I enjoyed this book. Will probably review this soon, when I find the time.

Not About Breakfast

Last  night’s journal entry is about how inaccessible proper nutrition and affordable healthcare is in Manila. I was also craving for tuyosilog because I can smell the  neighbor cooking some. ^_^ I wanted to paint a whole page of rice grains but decided to make it a background of rice-like shadows instead. I really love how Tomoe River crinkles up with watercolors. There’s slight warping on it, but I like the texture after it dries up.

An Escape Portal

I wrote these journal entries a few weeks ago. It’s about a book I was reading at that time, Out of Africa  by Isak Dinesen. It reminded me of what I love most about reading–being whisked away completely to another place and time. I was an extremely introverted child and books were my escape portal. My reading material may have changed a lot through the years, but it’s still a singular pleasure to pick up a book and find yourself immersed in a place you wouldn’t have known about, surrounded by people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Heaven

I forgot to post this journal entry from April. It’s about a book I was reading at the time, Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Different religions have different beliefs about the afterlife, and being a Christian, I believe that there is a heaven and hell. After reading this book, I realized how I honestly didn’t really spend a lot of time thinking about it. I took for granted that heaven is just…heaven. More to be desired for what’s NOT in it than for what it is. The book explored the Biblical descriptions of heaven, and it paints a partial picture of what is to come.

Screaming in a Closet

Today’s journal entry is about a book I just started reading. It’s “The Valedictorian to Being Dead” by Heather Armstrong. Heather is the blogger behind dooce.com, one of my favorite blogs which I’ve been following since 2007. I love her acerbic wit, her marvelous photos, and her irreverent but sensible views on a lot of things. It was one of the first blogs that I followed, being new to the idea of blogs at the time. She was also the first blogger I read who openly wrote about her depression. It was there, woven into her life, in between humorous and heartwarming entries about her family, her work, her world. She was the first to help me understand what having depression and anxiety feels like. Though I don’t believe that we can ever fully understand what it’s like, learning about it and learning how we can support family and friends who are suffering can make such a huge difference. The book had me teary-eyed even while reading the Prologue. Can’t wait to finish it.

Sunday Routine

Yesterday’s journal entry was about our typical Sunday. After months of disruptions (some of them heartbreaking), we’ve begun to slip back to our normal daily routine. My husband and I would eat out, talk about our week, what we’re currently reading, what we’re currently watching, news, our cat…we would just spend hours talking. I would read, he would read or play his games on his phone, and we would talk in between. We take our time before we buy groceries and head back home. This is comforting. Even the luxury of not being in a hurry is comforting. Happy Sunday, indeed.

Self-Care

Today’s journal entry is about self-care. I suppose we all have our way of taking care of ourselves after a week of working. Personally, I believe that self-care needs to happen every day, not just on weekends or on vacations. It’s about creating a routine that isn’t toxic so that you won’t feel completely spent by the end of the week.

I work from home so it’s a lot easier for me to do that, since I can create a work environment that minimizes the stress for me. In my case, it means really, really quiet. Like a library. I don’t play music when I work, I don’t talk, I even have my phone on vibrate. That, for me, is the most conducive work environment. I also log in a few hours earlier so that I can finish my daily tasks even before my colleagues log in. So I work on the daily to-do list uninterrupted, without new emails or chat messages popping in. I look forward to the long stretches of relaxing quiet while I putter on my computer, tap-tap-tapping away through the night (yes, I work at night). This works for me. This means that I am not completely exhausted by work, and that I have a lot more of me to share with my husband (and the cat) every day.

My typical weekend is more of less the same–I spend lots of reading and writing, lots of satisfying conversations and a few hours watching TV with my husband, cat cuddles. It’s quite predictable, but I feel better prepared to face the coming week when I’ve had this kind of predictable, restful weekend.