lovely high


faces&facadesoflove, 14"x11", graphite and pastel on Strathmore Drawing 400-series, 80-lb paper

This is my most favorite Stevie Wonder song! I first heard it almost a lifetime ago, when I was still in my elementary years. I had no idea then what the song was really all about. But its bittersweet, poignant melody, evoking melancholy, was what caught the interest of my impressionable, young ears.

Fast forward to the present time and now my adult mind could somehow understand already what Stevie was trying to say with his song. In my opinion, he’s just simply stating the obvious that when one falls in love, that person can either gain someone’s unconditional devotion or lose his/her very own heart altogether. Fate visits every single soul– sometimes, befalling even the best of us with misfortune while at the same time even showering the unheralded ones with blessings.
Yes, people do a lot of crazy things in the name of love. Some defy their relatives to be with the ones they love. And some even renounce their personal beliefs to marry the persons their hearts desire. Still, some will go to great lengths to keep the ones they love from leaving the bond, even if there was infidelity involved. Whatever the case may be, love is so powerful that one will do anything just to make it last. In more ways than one, this proves the scientific studies that have already been done about, and related to, this subject: that love, indeed, can be addicting like a drug. As such, it can cause obsession and depression in some people, especially when it concerns unrequited love. A study by Dr. Helen Fisher from Rutgers University has shown that by using a combination of MRI scans and other tests, the connection between love and addiction is evident through analyses of changes in brain activity while in the state of feeling love. It confirms the fact that love can be classified as an addiction because “the same chemical changes occur in the brain with love as they do with drug use.” Furthermore, during the first stages of love, risk-taking is heightened as a result of a “high” brought about by euphoria which, in turn, overpowers the two individuals involved as they are completely absorbed in each other. This behavior is the result of the brain’s limbic system affecting the neurotransmitter levels. Under ideal conditions, this part of the brain helps control behavior by preventing obsession and impulses. And yet, as stated earlier, the overpowering drive of love can easily alter this normal behavior. As one can see, love has the power to control reason. It can be a most majestic feeling that is worth experiencing and fighting for. However, the reality of losing it, sadly, is also just as real. As Stevie sang it, “All is fair in love…”
The irony about love is not in its shortcoming when two people fall out of it, for love is inherently good. The failing lies in the couple partaking it. In short, one of them (or both) failed to live up to love’s biblical promises as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13 and Mark 10:8-9. I believe that when these sacrosanct verses are practiced, no pride or temptation or wickedness can overpower the love shared by every couple.

u 'n' i, 11"x8.5", graphite, pastel and crayon on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” –Author unknown.

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to cheat not, or not to cheat: that is the answer

i don't cheat. i pollinate!, 12"x9", ink and acrylic on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper

The recent news of Tiger Woods’ dilemma regarding his marital infidelity made me think about how the complication of cheating on one’s spouse has become trivial nowadays, particularly the notion that since most celebrities do it, then it shouldn’t be considered big deal anymore. While that may be true, most people still believe it is not an excuse to hop in on the bandwagon and join in the fun. “To cheat or not to cheat,” yes, that is the only nagging question in a person’s conscience when he or she is suddenly presented with a beautiful and attractive “opportunity.” Would I pass up on that thrill myself if I were in these celebrities’ shoes? I probably wouldn’t. And while I’m not condoning this offense, I’m also not condemning the person involved. Sin happens, but the sinner matters more.
Tiger’s recent apology on his website clearly indicates that he is sorry for what he has done. And since it is an extramarital affair, the issue of forgiveness would be best left between the concerned spouses. If the wife forgives the husband’s infidelity, end of the story. But boy, it would take a whole lotta lovin’ to look the other way and still keep on trusting the person who has repeatedly betrayed your trust! Well, he’s only human so I’m certain he deserves forgiveness if he asks for it sincerely and with the resolve not to be unfaithful anymore. However bitter a personal sin is, it can be forgiven. His reputation as a squeaky-clean individual may have been tarnished already but if he manages to keep his family intact, then well and good! After all, that’s all that really matters! So I hope the Woods couple will get over this ordeal through forgiveness and save their marriage and family!
On a side note, it’s baffling that I can never quite tell just by looking at someone’s physical appearance if that person will or will not cheat on his or her spouse. Maybe because it’s largely a matter of character. It’s something that is inside one’s heart– or the lack thereof– and not manifested on how good- or bad-looking a person is, or even how well or lousy he/she dresses up.
Still, I consider marriage a very sacred vow that must not be defiled by infidelity. I believe it is a blessed union between two loving souls, so holy that “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [Mark 10:9, KJV]” And when it comes to committing oneself to a lifetime of marital faithfulness, I am often reminded of a line I read elsewhere– and it goes something like this: If you can’t settle down, then don’t get married!

counter-corporeal control

withering away in arduous toil, 11"x9", pen and ink on medium-weight white paper, colors inverted

I wonder what would happen if the world was just one big happy place where there were no more crimes, poverty and injustice and the only thing that I would be worrying about is how to live longer. Hmm, sounds a bit familiar? Yes. And I think it’s because I actually ought to be living my time on earth like so: by behaving well without a covetous heart. Wow, that’s a pretty good thought, considering that if this were to happen, that would mean I’d be well-off in the wealth department and that I could buy anything I wanted just like everyone else. Plus I didn’t have to worry about getting mugged or killed for my money because there just wouldn’t be any crime around as everyone is– unbelievably– materially contented! Except for one thing: I’m still mortal and I could die anytime from any health-related cause just like everyone else. Ah, the case of so much money yet too little time! And the kind of life that imitates the line, “Let’s eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!” In the end, it’s just pretty much like having a very special, loving someone in my life without consciously knowing what gem I had in that person until I lost her. That said, could I have been so unjust thinking only of my own gain and pleasure by getting involved with yet another woman, or was it an outright terrible crime to just let her leave without me doing much effort on my part to save our relationship? Surely, life must not be perfect if it has to end at some random time, eh? After all, I beg to differ and say otherwise that all good things should not really end if they are indeed truly good! Sigh…I guess I’m just being totally avaricious! But in any case, if I gravely offended a good heart, then I must pay the price and suffer the consequence!
And that’s how I died the first time. When the virus of pride entered my heart and I got sick out of my senses! Long story short, I didn’t value a love so precious! I was convicted of the crime of stupidity, injustice of indifference, and relegated to poverty in heart from a love lost imprudently! I was found guilty on all counts beyond reasonable doubt! In the end it came as no surprise to me: I was sentenced to die by lethal rejection, withering away alone in utter misery! 😦
Now on to my umpteenth chance, I believe I have clearly achieved complete control over myself. Which is, every time I’m happy and I know it, I clap my hands! That way, I’m sure I’m keeping my hands just to myself! Imagine if I weren’t a changed man yet, and I’m happy and I know it, I would have been all over the place again! Now that’s a bad thing. As I’ve learned my lesson the hard way: too much of a good thing is…well, you get my point, don’t ya?

Life’s a maze

heartsamaze, 9"x12", marker on Aquabee Super Deluxe 93-lb Sketch paper

heartsamaze, 9"x12", marker on Aquabee Super Deluxe 93-lb Sketch paper

Life is complicated, no doubt about it! And love? Oh, boy, even more so! Which perhaps explains why when someone is heartbroken, his/her life as a whole gets affected, too, in the process.
I see love relationships in particular as somewhat akin to mazes. At times I can see clearly the path ahead, while in some instances I get turned back by an immovable wall! But whatever challenges or obstructions lie ahead, my objective is to find a way to move forward toward a prized goal! I am motivated by the belief that there is always a way to make wrong things right. And this is exactly “the way”– the one and only correct path– upon which I set out to take. Life is a labyrinth of hits and misses, successes and failures. But if I learn consistently from my mistakes, I’m hopeful I’ll make my life easier by growing up wiser.
I like to think that I am Sam, Robert De Niro’s character in the 1998 movie, Ronin. In one scene, Deirdre (the character played by Natascha McElhone), upon seeing Sam retrieving his gun which he previously hid behind some crates, asked him, “What exactly were you doin’ back here?” To which Sam replied, “Lady, I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.” (Yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!) 😀
Well, I drew the maze above in the form of a heart. Partly because whenever I think of relationships, I also think about confusion. 🙂 But mostly, I used the symbolism of a heart to affirm that while love may be a mystery to some, it is also, without a shadow of a doubt, a miracle to most!

The maze is very simple. I drew it rather easily, so it shouldn’t prove any more puzzling than what it appears to be. All you have to do is choose which entrance, in your opinion, will take you from one side of the heart to the other side and then back! The important thing is you must complete your chosen route– without doubling back and, of course, uninterrupted– by also coming out of the entry point from which you came in before. And, you have to be able to read the message spelled out along the route. Good luck!

The devil thinks he’s always HOT

the devil covets a naked soul, 11"x8.5", graphite and color pencil on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

the devil covets a naked soul, 11"x8.5", graphite and color pencil on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

Earthly woman: OMG!!! He’s so handsome as hell! I’ve always wanted to meet a hot guy with a bad-boy image!

Heavenly angel: Luka-luka! Bad talaga ‘yan! (You’re nuts! He really is bad news!)

Handsome as hell: No coaching please!

♀ ☻ ♂

Physical beauty is only skin deep. But true beauty can only radiate from within. For those who judge a book by its cover, they will most likely get frustrated more often than those who understand the contents of a book first and then keep it for what it’s worth. Good looks can be deceiving. A person’s countenance fades degradingly as he/she ages. But his/her character remains intact through the years. A good-looking person with a kind heart is indeed a truly beautiful soul. Merely looking at a person’s physical appearance will not give you the real worth of his/her being. In most instances, you don’t even have to do anything; you will feel his/her true character when he/she reaches out to touch you with his/her love.

Way too late

too late too soon too much, 12"x9", acrylic ink on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

too late too soon too much, 12"x9", acrylic ink on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

This is my friend, Indianero. He is wanted by a lot of people, women mostly, for standing them up. So I asked him why he couldn’t keep up with his appointments or dates. And he told me bluntly, but rather warily, that the reason for his lateness is because he couldn’t grasp the concept of time! To him, time seems to fly by so swiftly that he just couldn’t keep up with it! He claims, though, that on most occasions, he can almost see time literally passing by so fast before his very eyes– before he even gets the chance to act on it timely! But to his defense, he argued that he was always there on each and every meeting– only, he was way too late. So as a friend, I told him what I always tell every “late bloomer” I happen to meet: “Better late than never!” And as a parting reminder to him, I suggested that he ought to think like a warrior every time he feels pressed for time; that is, to be swift like the wind.
I guess he heeded my advice. He now rides a much faster horse.

Why, oh, why

Kung Ikaw Ay Nag-aalinlangan, Nagsusumamo Ako, 12"x9", acrylic ink on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper

Kung Ikaw Ay Nag-aalinlangan, Nagsusumamo Ako, 12"x9", acrylic ink on Canson 70-lb white Drawing paper

Oh, dear! Talk about life’s predicament. And love, for that matter.
The poem below (at least, that’s what it’s trying to be) is my vain attempt in translating Ogie Alcasid‘s beautiful song, “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang,” into English (the music video below was performed by Freestyle band). I know it’s not a straight and strict poem in its metrical sense, but, who cares? I want to do it! Hehe. Just kidding. Anyways, a dear friend sent it to me and asked for my reaction to it. So I thought of just translating it in poetic form in my own way. If you do not understand the song because it is in Tagalog and you already read my translation, then you know that what it means is basically this: “right love at the wrong time.” In short: Back off!  (ouch!)

›─♥♥──›

Y. O. Y. (you’re in my life just now)

Why, oh, why is it just now
that you came into my heart,
when there’s already someone
who fulfills the tender part?
How I wish I’d known before
that you’d be here soon enough;
then I would have waited long
’til you are my better half.
I wish it were always you
locked in my warm embraces,
and your hand I hold on to
and not just someone else’s.
But why walk into my life
and rouse my heart in feeling
that it’s you I must be with
and none else is worth keeping?
Please, oh, please I need to know
why you’re in my life just now–
when I am no longer free
and bound in one’s loving vow?

›─♥♥──›

Much thanks, 5378!!!