The Sorrows and Triumphs of Writing

The Sorrows and Triumphs of Writing

Writing a book is never easy. It’s probably the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. You will lose much and you will suffer greatly.

There would be days you’d want to just throw your laptop away and scream, “To hell with it!”. There would be days you’d want to eat your own arm out of frustration. There would be days your friends and family would tell you that they’ve forgotten how you look because they haven’t seen you in a long time, because you spend every waking moment writing your book. And even when you are asleep, you dream of it.

In the dark of the night, you would hear faint, fearful whispers: “What if I’m not good enough?” or “What if no one would buy my book?”, or “What if I’m writing the wrong metaphors?” And then, because you are afraid of not being enough, you would turn on the lights and then you would turn back to writing your book. In fear, instead of love.

There a thousand different sorrows you will experience when you decide to write your book, yes, but there is that ONE powerful reason why you will continue, anyway.

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General Cleaning

Mama always said
that I never really learned
how to clean
I’ve always hated it–
Scrubbing, polishing, sweeping, then
taking out, lifting, and moving things
just so you can wipe and sweep and take away
all the dirt, all the mess,
even the ones hidden away

Ever since I was a little girl
I would always find ways to
get out of that bothersome task,
I would scamper away
at the mere mention of the term
“General cleaning”,
find other things to do–
Cook dinner, wash dishes, do homework,
comfort a friend,
save the world–
Anything, so long as I don’t get to
hold a broom or a rag in my hands,
so long as I don’t get to lift things
or reach into the deepest corners
to find things
(dirt, mess, buried and forgotten
things)
only to throw them away

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The Open Room

My mind is a spacious room with three concrete walls,
a curtainless window, and a glass door that never closes:

All over the floor, random trinkets lay about-
Half of a heart
Whiteboard markers
Fancy letters
Yellow book pages
Dried up flowers
Concert tickets
Torn up pictures
Bended forks
Post-its
And even a
dismissal notice parading as
a ‘Thank You’ letter.

I never put them away,
so oftentimes when I’m not
watching my step,
I would trip over an item.
Pausing from my walk, I would
pick it up
sit down
and remember
for a while.
Sometimes I’d smile.
Other times I’d frown.

For the ‘smiles’
I would put it back where
I got them from
(just laying about on the floor,
ready to prick my foot the next
time I don’t watch my step).
For the ‘frowns’
I would walk to one corner
of the room where boxes
are piled on top of another,
if not side by side.

In those boxes,
I keep the things I do not
want laying about:
Things I do not
want to see,
things I do not
want to remember,
but
things I do not
want to throw away.

I sort them out sometimes,
the ‘smiles’ and the ‘frowns’.
I would sit down on the floor
and look at them
one after another,
(remembering, always
remembering
sometimes
forgetting)
before deciding whether
they belong to
the floor
or in one of the
boxes.

Sometimes, though,
a stray, unwelcome trinket comes
flying in from out the window
or the open glass door
then I would have to
immediately stuff it inside a box
so I won’t trip
and remember
or forget.

It might sound cold,
and cruel,
and calculating,
but this is how I function.
This mere act of sorting
and deciding
I call ‘compartmentalizing’.
It is how I can operate
and walk
and laugh
and stand strong
amidst the presence of
random trinkets
and the onslaught of
memories they hold.

My mind is a spacious room with three concrete walls,
a curtainless window, and a glass door that never closes.

Athena

Athena

Was it because
Paris chose Aphrodite
that your heart became brittle
and your soul, once radiating
with all the colors of the rainbow
slowly bled into black?
Was it because
you weren’t chosen,
that you exchanged your
wisdom and strength
for bloodlust and revenge?

But Athena,
it wasn’t your fault
that your sister was cunning enough
to tempt a virile young man with
a face that launched
a thousand ships.
Aphrodite used lust
to win,
and your gifts
of wisdom and warfare
cannot really win
against the call
of the loins.

Does it
make you powerful
to see us toiling,
cramping,
bleeding
in battle,
while you sit on your
high horse,
and polish your blade
as we die?

I’m sorry that you
weren’t chosen,
I’m sorry that you
lost.
But
punish us not,
Athena.
It wasn’t our fault
as well,
that you think
you can compensate
your loss
with the misery
of your
people.

Athena,
was it because you
weren’t chosen,
weren’t loved?

I pity you,
Athena,
for even though
Troy has fallen
beneath your
vengeful sword,
and burned with the
flames of your
furious heart,
we died as
free men,
hearts strong,
minds pure,
souls intact.

Quite unlike
you
who lived
and reigned
and lorded
over all.
Unchosen.
Unloved.

[Poem/Verse] Checkmate (To the Next One Who’d Make My Heart Beat) Version 1 & 2

Idle time breeds dangerous thoughts.

When at times I am left with nothing to do, my mind would run amok. I am even more dangerous when I have a pen in my hand and /a paper in my desk. It would be as if I would fall into a trance, and my mind would suddenly have full command of my hands.

Words spill onto paper, unbidden, uncontrolled.

Sometimes, I talk to God through writing. Other times I would just let the words flow, and would just be surprised at what I had written. Often times I would reflect on whatever’s happening to me at the time.

When I feel like it, I would write to an imaginary ‘someone’; the ‘Next One’ I keep waiting for. I would often ask him where he is, what he’s doing, who he’s with, when is he going to find me. Sometimes I’d tell him of how happy I am with my life- my job, my students, my friends, my family-, and would later on come to the conclusion that maybe the reason why he hasn’t arrived yet is because we are both enjoying our separate lives.

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Kunwa-Kunwariang Deep: A Time for Everything

Matapos ang halos isang buwang katahimikan, isa na namang kunwa-kunwariang deep na post mula sa kaisa-isang TENSAI ng Bayan. HAHA. OO, magsusulat ako tungkol sa mga bata (eztudyamoz ko). OO, magsusulat ako tungkol sa bertday ko (kahit lipas na), at OO, magsusulat ako tungkol sa FAKULTEH SHOW.

Per0 sa ngayon, isang handog para sa inyo.

Dahil merong panahon para sa lahat ng bagay.

——–

There is a time for everything.
a time for passion
a time to cool off
a time to celebrate
a time to mourn
a time to obsess
a time to let go
The cycle never ends.

there is a time for togetherness
and a time for separation
there is a time for fondness
and a time for apathy
There is indeed a time for everything.

a time for you
a time for me
and a time for us both
There is a time for everything.

all must give way for another to come in

yet through it all
the one thing that never loses place
never loses significance
the one thing that is, was, and will be
that thing outside of time —

my love for you

——–
Nakuha ko sa baul. Nais kong ipaskil dahil may mga bagets akong nagsasaya isang minuto, at nagluluksa sa susunod. Naalala niyo yung sinabi ko sa inyo dati? Na wala sa mundong ito ang permanente. Pero ang pagmamahal, kahit mawala man, maaaring ibalik. Hindi man sa parehong tao, pagmamahal parin. 🙂 Kaya gorabels lang. 🙂

Loving You

Loving You…

is not tying you down
nor being tied down by you.
It is being free-
free to do anything I want,
when I want it, where I want to,
knowing that you would be there
to support me, and
trusting that you would know
when I’ve reached the limits
I would not often acknowledge for myself.
Loving you
is not a weakness,
nor is it giving into weakness.
It is being strong.
It is having the strength
to stand up to any challenge,
believing that you are right beside me
in spirit and in heart,
if not in person.
It is not being helpless,
nor is it being powerless.
It is having the power
to conquer any land,
any place, any world, any universe,
having faith that you are fighting
every battle with me, and being
assured that you will be there with me
to celebrate every victory,
mourn every loss,
and to replenish what courage and strength
I’ve lost somewhere along the journey.

Loving you
is not losing myself to you,
nor is it claiming all of you for myself.
It is about helpin each other grow
into two strong individuals, who may have
different dreams, different thoughts, and
different opinions,
but are looking forward
to one future. A future together.
It is not about shaping you
into what I want you to be,
nor being shaped into something that
would suit your every whim.
It is about being who we are,
realizing truths about ourselves that
we would be able to accept and appreciate.

Loving you
is not wanting to steal you away
from what it is yours,
nor is it thrusting everything I own to you.
It is about being our own person,
enjoying our own things,
all the while looking forward
to creating moments
where we share ourselves and
what we have with each other
without losing what we have for ourselves.
It is never about taking,
never about demanding.
It is about sharing, compromise,
balance, favors, small and big,
given and granted only with a full heart.

Loving you
is not changing myself
to seek your approval.
It is about wanting to be a better person,
maybe not perfect,
but perfect enough
to stand by you as long as I can,
and perfect enough to be a person
worthy to claim my dreams.

Loving you
is never about losing.
It is about gaining.
It is about having the strength to wait,
about stretching what little patience I have,
into something much more understanding.
It is not just about pointing out the wrong,
but accepting it, righting it.

Loving you
is many things.
And if I keep going,
the pages would not be enough.
All I know is that loving you
is something that I want to do
every day,
one day at a time,
one sunrise after another,
until all the days pile up
into what everybody calls
forever.

-Loving You
Karren Sena
2010

Tula ng Pag-ibig: Basag

Paano mo bubuuhin ang
Nawasak kong puso?
Paano mo pupulutin
Ang bawat piraso,
Kung nakasaboy ito sa lupa
Na parang bubog ng nabasag
Na salamin?

Dadamputin mo ba ang
Ang bawat matalim na bubog,
Kahit alam mong maaari ka ding
Masugatan?
Ididikit mo ba ang bawat piraso
Kahit alam mong maaaring
Matagal
Bago mo ito mabuo ulit?
Handa ka bang mabubog
Habang isa-isa mong
Pinupulot at dinidikit
Ang bawat dumudugong butil?

Kung sa dulo ng mahaba
At matagal na pagbubuo,
Ay nagawa mong buuhin ang
Basag kong puso,
Paano mo ulit ito bubuhayin?
Paano mo muling bubuksan
Ang mga ugat na matagal nang
Nabarahan ng galit at duda?
Paano mo papadaluyin ang dugo
Para muli itong mabuhay
At tumibok
Para sa iyo?

Kung sa dulo ay nagawa mong
Buhayin at patibukin ang
Namatay kong puso,
Paano mo mapanatiling buo ito?
Paano mo mapapanatiling
Malinis ang mga ugat?
Paano mo mapapanatiling
Umaagos ang dugo?
Paano mo mapapanatiling
Tumitibok pa ito?

Kung sa dulo ay nagawa mong
Panatilihing buhay ang
Muling napatibok kong puso,
Wari din lang na bigyan kita
Ng gantimpala:
Na ikaw na ang magmamay-ari nito
Haggang sa huli kong hininga;
Na ang pangalan mo ang
Natatanging isisigaw nito
Mula pagsikat ng araw
Hanggang paglubog ng buwan;
At ang pangako
Na ang bawat pintig,
At bawat tibok nito’y
Para sa iyo lamang,
Magpasawalang-hanggan.

-Para sa Susunod

Ang Musika Para sa Balahura

Ano kasi eh… Ganito yun…

Nagtuturo ako ng ‘music’ kanina sa mga klase ko. Mangyari lang na nagkakatanungan kami kung ano ang depinisyon ng musika para sa kanila. Mga chever ba, para sa lesson. Siyempre natuwa naman ako sa mga sagot ng mga bagets ko.. At pagkatapos nila mag-share ng mga saloobin nila, eh nag-flash ako sa screen ng isang mumunting kemer tungkol sa musika.

Sinulat ko para sa you know who noon, bakit ba.

Pinapaskil ko dito dahil special request ng mga bagetz. Naman kasi ang balahurang ito, kung hindi pa ire-request, hindi ipapaskil dito ang mga sinusulat. Kaya eto…

Ang Musika Para sa Balahura…

Music for me is the gentle sound
of small waves rolling along the shore,
as the late October breeze whispers against
the surface of the still waters;
It is for me, the steady patter of the rain
against my windowpane,
and the howling wind rustling against
the leaves of the giant mango tree.
Music is the quiet yawn of a newborn baby,
the chirping birds saying hello to each other outside my window,
and the soothing voice of my mom as she
appeases my sister’s first heartbreak.
Music for me is your crisp laughter that follows
something stupid I said or did, and
your soft breathing as you succumb to the beckons
of slumber.
And of all the music the world has ever produced,
there is but one that is most precious, most grand,
most magical, most magnificent:
It is the music of your heart,
quietly, steadily beating in time with mine.

–untitled
Karren Renz Sena

Maikling Kwento (na wala yatang kwenta): Ang Pakikipagsapalaran ng (Wanna-be) Makatang si Kristina

Ang Pakikipagsapalaran ng (Wanna-be) Makatang si Kristina

Ni Karren Renz Seña

I. Balakin

Gusto ko sanang maging makata.

Yung tumula ba. Parang ang sarap kasing bumuo ng isang maikling talain na naglalaman ng isang buong mundo. Hindi man yung mundong sumasaklob sa buong sangkatauhan, at least, yung mundo para sa iyo, ayon sa sandaling iyon –

Yung sandaling gusto mong ibalot sa init ng palad mo, pagkatapos, itatago mo ito sa bulsa ng diwa mo, para maaari mo itong balik-balikan kailan mo man gustuhin. Ito yung sandaling nagmimistulang isang alitaptap na kay hirap huliin; unti-unting lumilipad papalayo sa iyo, magiging isang tuldok, hanggang sa tuluyan na itong mawawala sa iyong paningin. Gusto mong hulihin yung alitaptap, pero butas yung net mo. Ang naiwan lang sa iyo ay yung alaala ng munting liwanag.

At ang liwanag na ito ang mag-uudyok sa iyo na bumuo ng isang panibagong mundo.

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