Category: Pen Thoughts

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.

Everything Calligraphy’s Write3C

Last Sunday, my husband and I packed up my pens, journals and other art stuff and made our way to The North. Everything Calligraphy’s 3rd anniversary event, Write3C was held at Ella and the Blackbird. I have not been in that area since my college days (waaaaay back in 2000). The area has changed a lot since I last visited, I almost didn’t recognize it.

I wish I took more photos of the event but I was really busy. The photo above was taken by my brother. These are my nephews and niece having fun at the ink bar. It’s never too early (or too late) to encourage anyone to discover the joy of writing. The kuya manning the table was so patient and accommodating, especially with my niece who wanted to try all of the colors. It’s one of the things I really love about Everything Calligraphy, the service is friendly and they are invested in nurturing curiosity and interest about the hobby.

I enjoyed the ink buffet too, there were a lot of inks that I haven’t tried before. It was fun to write on the fountain pen-friendly paper. I wish I took a photo of what the table looked like after it was filled with scribbles. There were awesome calligraphy, colorful inks, interesting handwriting, beautiful doodles…

It was also fun being around people who are painstakingly comparing different shades of red/blue/green/purple/black because one doesn’t just buy any shade of color! What do you mean you don’t see the difference between all these black inks?!

It’s honestly so refreshing to just have fun and be with people who understand what you’re talking about when you gush about the beauty of nibs and inks, etc etc etc. I loved listening to what they have to say, and taking a peek at their collection of pens and journals. I loved being able to hold up an ink bottle and ask “have you tried this shade of red? Is it more like scorched-earth red or does it lean more towards pink?”

I have to admit that I dove right into the ink bottles before they even laid everything down on the table. Haha. It was a lot of fun. I wanted to buy what I needed before things got busy, and they got really busy later in the day.

Lorraine (of Calligraphy Spot) and I gave a series of 15-minute long demos and lessons throughout the event. She taught about calligraphy and beautiful writing, I taught about Baybayin and art journaling. It was a unique pleasure being able to share the things that I love with people who are interested in the same things. Maryanne Moll and Chloe Arun handled the Saturday classes. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it on that day.

It was pretty hectic and (being an introvert of the feral cat variety) I felt exhausted by the end of it, but it was a happy kind of exhaustion. The pen-loving community has always been generous and welcoming towards me, and I was glad to give back and share whatever I could.

My sister-in-law and little niece also had fun learning about calligraphy. I think my little niece had the most fun of them all. It’s so cute that she was carrying around her little bag filled with her own collection of different pens while clutching her little pink Pilot Petite in one hand. Time will come when I can bring her with me to pen meets and she can be around people who are as crazy about writing as she is.

Overall, the event was well-organized and attended. Kudos to the Everything Calligraphy team for pulling it off. The discounts were awesome. I also loved the food at Ella and the Blackbird. There were slushies a-plenty, and the food was delicious and affordable.

After the event, I went to the Fountain Pen Network Philippines’ group page and had a lot of fun looking through everyone’s loots for the day. Mine are pretty modest, I just bought things that I have been thinking of buying but couldn’t decide on buying. It was, after all, my birthday. I allowed myself to splurge a little bit. I got a box of J. Herbin Rouge Hematite, Diamine Carnival, Rohrer and Klingner Sketch Ink Emma, Rohrer and Klingner glass pen, a brown, passport-sized Traveler’s Notebook, and Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen with an M nib (Polycarbonate body with bronze finial and grip).

Happy 3rd anniversary to Everything Calligraphy! Here’s to more years of penabling. 🙂 More chocnuts to come!

 

 

El Roi, The God Who Sees Me

I’m reading this book about the different names of God in the Bible. Today I learned about God’s name El Roi. I learned that it was only used once, by Hagar who had just fled from the mistreatment of her mistress, Sarai. As a servant, she must be so used to being invisible, virtually unseen and unimportant to the people around her. She called God “El Roi”, the God who sees who she is, who sees the circumstances of her life.

 

30 Inks in 30 Days: (Day 2) Akkerman Hopjesbruin

Day 2’s ink for #30inks30days is Akkerman Hopjesbruin. It’s one of my favorite inks because it reminds me of the color of yummy caramel syrup. I use it only with my Kaweco Cognac, not just because the color suits perfectly, but because the ink flows best in this pen. I have never filled this pen with any other ink, I think they’re MFEO. ^_^ Here’s a review of the ink if you’re interested in reading more about it.

“I think love is caramel. Sweet and fragant; always welcome. It is the gentle golden colour of a setting harvest sun; the warmth of a squeezed embrace; the easy melting of two souls into one and a taste that lingers even when everything else has melted away. Once tasted it is never forgotten.” – Jenny Colgan

30 Inks in 30 Days: (Day 1) Organics Studio Foggy Bottom

Honestly, I’m no good at all with daily challenges. I can’t remember ever completing one of those before, but that never stopped me from joining. It is fun to try and see it through to the end. I liked the idea behind Ink Journal’s 30 Inks in 30 Days challenge. Being an ink hoarder, I often compulsively buy colors that I like and then forget about them after a few fills. I tend to gravitate towards my few favorites, only venturing out once in a while to dig around my ink stash. I thought I’d give this challenge a try.

Since it’s June 1st, I guess it’s a good time to start the challenge. For day 1, I am going to use Organics Studio’s Foggy Bottom.

This is my first (and only Organics Studio ink). It’s an interesting color of brown  because it starts out as watery and light, then it becomes darker and more opaque as it dries. It’s a little dry so I use it with my wet nibs. It’s a warm color of brown, but it tends to have a greenish tinge sometimes, in some spots.

For this #30inks30days challenge, I’m going to use my Franklin Christoph Model 02 with a medium nib.

Write Until You Meet Yourself

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I was very young when I started writing in journals. My mother, being an introvert herself, bought me my first diary, and I took to it quite naturally. I was extremely uncommunicative with people, very rarely raising my voice to talk or make conversation, but I was expressive in my writings. On paper, my thoughts were easy to pour out.

Much of writing is unpacking ourselves from the tightly-wound package of public perception and social pressures. The deliberate act of putting words on paper requires a certain measure of introspection and openness.

Perhaps more importantly, when I write, I am brave. I open doors that I never opened before. I confront my ignorance and willingly accept self-correction. I ask myself those very difficult questions, and I am able to write down and face the answers, painstakingly thought out and laid down, letter by letter. I write honestly, without trying to cover anything up, without trying to make me look better. Without judgment.

In writing, I meet a version of myself. One that’s inaccessible outside the pages of my journals. Through the years, it has  been my safe space, helping me understand and love the person I meet through introspection and quiet meditation.

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” – Natalie Goldberg

Olds & Milner’s Rat No. 34

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I’m currently reading “Irresistible” by Adam Alter and the first part talks about the biology of addiction. Though the book is about addictive behaviors, the first part touches on addiction to substance. It’s a pretty interesting read, I’m looking forward to really getting into it in the coming days.

I often stop and write down things that I want to remember while I’m reading. Or things that I want to chew on and understand better. I find that writing helps me sort out my thoughts, like they fall into order as I write. I remember things better this way too.