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.

love evolves

love evolves as eros errs

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

Above is a Neil Gaiman quote that I found on the web. And though it’s about the painful side of loving, I agree with it nonetheless and personally feel that it’s true because I had experienced the same kind of pain before. More so, the eros kind of love that seems to always expect something in return is a very fickle and insecure emotion. Even then, people still fall right into it. Ahh, but what can humans do about it? After all, it’s an alluring way to experience and appreciate the challenges in life as one grows and matures with time. Besides, feeling the hurt in a relationship may just teach one to learn by heart the selfless-giving kind of Christian love which is agape. In this kind of love, one offers his or her whole self unconditionally to others, exactly as Christ had done for humankind! If one can give till it hurts, then that person is just a heartbeat away from this ultimate, self-sacrificing kind of love! Yes, it’s attainable, of course! One only needs to live faithfully like so until he/she passes away from this world and into eternal life. Because in the end, this person would have proven well enough that the moment he/she decided to live like Christ, his/her life in effect became just one longer deed of Christian love– however trying along the way it might have been– and culminating with self-offering at the moment he/she returns to his/her Maker!
And in both retrospect and foresight, I somehow empathize with those who have experienced some terrible hurt caused by betrayal from their self-centered partners. Because only from these emotionally draining pains can one be tempered to forge ahead into becoming more resilient against the blows that invariably lie ahead! These are the kind of people who are capable of loving anyone selflessly! GOD Bless them all always!!!

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” –John 15:12-13 (New International Version)

love is laying down your life for others

i l♥ve y♥u !!!

clickonittoenlargeit

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!

For the broken-hearted underdog

i am broken and cold without you, 12"x9", pastel and graphite on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

i am broken and cold without you, 12"x9", pastel and graphite on Bienfang 70-lb white paper

If someone in the past hurt you by betraying your trust, who promised you a life of togetherness but left you for somebody else, then I wouldn’t blame you if you might have given up on love already. But what if– despite your ill-fated past– a good heart (a really good heart and not one who pretends to be) found its way to your broken heart and offered to share your grief for as long as it’d take until it mended, would you give love another chance??! If your answer is yes, then, “hooray!” to you! Because that would have proven that you are indeed truly alive and rightfully only hoping for the best! As such, I’m rooting for you!!! I will always root for the broken-hearted underdog! In my book, when you found love by way of a broken heart, you are one blessed soul. Because how else would you describe a foregone conclusion that just defied all odds and reversed misfortune? How else would you define a life that turned the tide by receiving a new lease on love? How else, but “blessed” indeed! Yes, one whose life was maligned through no fault of his/her own has got to be one blessed soul when a kindhearted spirit find its way to his/her heart.
Life is too short to dilly-dally on the most precious of emotions. If you are certain that you found love at last, go grab it with your whole being! Say a prayer (of gratitude and blessing) and take the leap of faith! Because at the end of the day, it’s your own life that is on the line here. And when joy is what you seek for, love is the only way through it![Waiter, isa pa ngang round ng beer dito, please! Paki-dagdagan na rin yung yelo..! Whew! Sarap talaga ng broken-hearted!!!]

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!!!

Love and happiness

love makes the world go 'round, 14"x11", graphite and marker on Strathmore Drawing 400-series, 80-lb paper

love makes the world go 'round, 14"x11", graphite and marker on Strathmore Drawing 400-series, 80-lb paper

Are love and happiness interchangeable? The answer of course is no. As love is a far superior emotion than happiness, they are not equal. Love, especially in its platonic state such as philia, stems from the heart while happiness– as my wise friend tells me– is more a state of mind. I agree with my friend’s reasoning. Love is ethereal and happiness is ephemeral. Love is spiritual and happiness is circumstantial. Happiness is what we feel when we receive our paycheck; love is what we feel when we kiss our parents or our children. And as John Lennon soundly put it, “love is feeling” while “happiness is a warm gun.” On the other hand, romantic love, or eros— with all its carnal connotation– is also rooted in the heart. The reason is because when we experience this intense longing, we get enamored more with the highest ideal or quality of that person we’re attracted to than in any other traits. As such, we become motivated by the best attribute we see in that person, which is usually his/her physical beauty. And as is often the case, this desire grows into passion which then gets ruled by the heart. Moreover, the sexual or erotic notion of eros brings this kind of earthly love down to its basic, primeval nature: lust. And as we all know, lust also resides in the heart (“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” –Matthew 15:19, NIV). As a virtue, love is the most powerful and rules above them all. It is not hard to believe that it actually is what keeps us all humans fully alive! Indeed, love makes the world go ’round! Conversely, happiness, elevated as a virtue, becomes joy which can only occur as a fruit of true love. This joy, not happiness, is what flows from our soul when God’s grace bathes our own spirit with His love. This divine love will always prove to be the ultimate, supreme kind that is like no other. It is called charity, or Christian love, or by its Greek equivalent, agape. It is the purest form of love. This is the same love referred to in the Bible in such verses as 1Corinthians 13:13 (“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” –NIV), and in John 15:13 (“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” –NIV), and in Luke 6:27-28 (“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” –NIV). This kind of love comes only through the spirit of God and is planted in our hearts by way of His grace. You have to be like Christ to live this love. To experience this kind of love is to truly know God. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (–1John 4:8, NIV).

shot through the ♥, 11"x8.5", graphite and pastel on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

shot through the ♥, 11"x8.5", graphite and pastel on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

love is feeling, 11"x8.5", graphite and pastel on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

love is feeling, 11"x8.5", graphite and pastel on Winsor & Newton 65-lb paper

Man:  Happy???
Woman:  Very!!!
Tree:  *sigh*
Bird:  Oh, please!!!

Me:  Get a room!!! LOL!