A Seaman’s Wife Speaks Up

I rave, rant, speak, sigh…. letting the world know the thoughts that run loose inside my mind. This seaman’s wife just wants to speak up!

Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full? June 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 10:58 am

Life could be likened to a glass filled halfway with whatever.  Some would look at it as “half-full; others would say it’s ‘half-empty”. How one looks at the glass would literally spell out his personality. The one who sees the glass half-full is the one who is optimistic, the one who finds reasons to be happy,  the one who is always thankful to God for the blessings he receives no matter how small.  The one who sees the glass half-empty obviously wallows in pessimism.  He has kept a blind eye to the blessings God has endowed him with since birth and spends all his days whining and complaining, looking for minute matters to fuss about.



The optimist looks for the good in every bad situation; choosing to believe that God’s hand is behind everything that is happening.  The pessimist looks for the bad in even the seemingly perfect situation and feeling a sense of selfish gratification each time he can point out a minor fault because it makes him feel better.



The optimist can laugh at himself knowing that like everyone else, he is bound to make booboos — after all, despite the immaculate aura he exudes, he isn’t too full of himself. The pessimist hates being laughed at, but has the loudest voice when laughing at the failures of others. He really isn’t happy about what he does.  He just wants others to think that he is.



The optimist recognizes the challenge in every hardship.  He knows it is an avenue for him to become better.  The pessimist only sees hardship in even the most mundane challenge.  He knows he can do it if he tries harder enough, but he doesn’t do it because for him, to complain is much better than lifting a finger.



So, how do you see your glass, is it half – empty or half -full?




Rough Waters, Placid Shores

Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 10:56 am

Judging by the clear clouds yesterday and the steady zephyr that made the leaves rustle in the early afternoon sun, I decided it was a safe day for travel.  And indeed it was. The shallow water was placid, rippled once in a while by the the steady blowing of the breeze. My daughter and I boarded the fast craft that would take us to Dunaguete City with the notion that it would be a smooth journey. Halfway through, the waters started to get rough with the small craft tossed from side to side as it struggled to remain upright.  Looking beyond the glass window, I can only see white foams all around us and I could feel the clammy hands of my daughter right beside me.  I knew she was frightened so I held her hand tight and assured her we were going to reach our destination in one piece because God is with us. I didn’t feel apprehensive or fearful because I had been through situations more frightening than yesterday. If anything, I was more concerned that my daughter would ave another anaphylactic reaction due to rise in temperature brought about by fear than of the dancing sea craft I was on.  



The chaos around us started to wane as we neared Negros island.  When we reached Dumaguete, the shore was as unruffled as the one we left at Siquijor. If someone looked across the sea to the island we left less than an hour earlier, no one would guess the storm brewing along the way.  



Leads me to reflect on me and of the people I see. 



Most of us go around pretending that everything is in its neat place. We project an image of perfection, that nothing could possibly ruffle our feathers.  We let others think that we aren’t afraid of anything, but in reality, there’s a storm raging right within each of us.  There’s a storm that most of us do not know how to calm.  



I experience these raging storms from time to time.  I come to moments when I find it difficult to calm the storm that rage within myself.  But everytime, nothing and no one ever came close to calming the storm in my soul than the one who calms the sea: JESUS. 



No one calms my raging heart except JESUS.




The Enigma That Is Myself

Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 10:55 am

How well do I know myself? I sometimes find  myself pondering on this question. Much as I want to believe that since this is myself and my life,  I should be the expert as to what makes me tick, what makes me lose my cool, my dreams, my everything.  However, no matter the level of expertise about myself that I brag about, this fact still rings true: I KNOW MYSELF CONSIDERABLY WELL, BUT I HAVEN’T QUITE ATTAINED THAT LEVEL OF EXPERTISE ABOUT THE ENIGMA THAT IS ME.



There have been moments when I was baffled at things I said and did.  When I look in the mirror, I see the familiar reflection gazing back at me, yet I couldn’t help but wonder if the heart that has guided me all through these years is the same heart that beats deep within because I feel differently. A big part of me says I haven’t changed, but I feel it just isn’t so anymore.  Although I may appear the same on the outside, so much has changed deep within.



Do I still know myself?  I am a bit doubtful as to the sincerity of my answer.  Much as I would like to readily answer with a YES, nagging doubts tug at my being that make me look deeper within myself if the affirmation that lay at the tip of my tongue is accurate.  How could the answer be yes when the warrior who had always been braced for retaliation at the first sign of attack is no longer there?  The fencer who was always poised for the lunge has taken in a neutral position — the need for self-defense has become a less-compelling motivation.  While I always appeared like the feline gladiatress who messed with just any catfight, finally, I have found the control nub within myself that enables me to turn off the desire to fight back when provoked.  I get hurt, yes, but my response at being hurt has changed.  The ego has ceased to matter little by little.  Perhaps, I owe this transformation at having aged.  I have learned that not everything is worth fighting for — that I need to be choosy of the wars I invest my passion and energy on. Having achieved such, perhaps it’s not too ambitious to claim I have been displaying signs of aging gracefully.



In my heyday, I prided myself of my fearless defense of principles which I thought mattered to everyone.  I held the silly idea that I can single-handedly change the world with my idealism.  The years, and a few ego-shattering bruises — taught me one important thing: I CAN ONLY CHANGE MYSELF; NEVER THE WORLD. This realization may have been the turning point that put an end to my impulsive persona and idealistic demeanor — the realization that I can only alter that which I have control over — MYSELF — and leave those that aren’t within my control as they are.  Some things may brush my skin some time, ruffle my feathers at some points, but that’s all they ever do.  They can never make me lose my grip on the nub of control that I have just found within reach because it sure took me longer than necessary to be at peace with the realization that although I may not know everything in this world, I know enough to get me by.



Though I don’t know everything about myself, I know enough to keep me going in my desire to know myself better.





Glimpses of My Youth

Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 10:53 am

Fresh faces all reflecting myriad expressions browse over questionnaires for a subject I am handling.  Each crease of the brows tells the depth of concentration.  Each knowing glint of the eyes  suggests of answers being found — of the thirst for knowledge being quenched.  All heads are bowed down, not for reasons of adoration or for giving respect where its due — but to fully give attention to the questions printed on the sheet of paper they are holding.



Contrary to the ruckus just minutes before the start of test, when these same young men and women hurled banters to and fro, the room is now so quiet.  Each one appears intent on answering each of the items correctly.  Some are hunched over their papers, others have hoisted both their legs up their seats — each one apparently trying to be as comfortable as they can bee.  While there may be some who are not really a hundred percent ready and eager to take the test, they also know they have no choice.  It’s a dead end, so the saying goes.  When you are faced with the concrete wall, only two options are available: to walk back or climb right over.



I remember my own high school years.  I remember moments when I’d cram minutes before exams started because I didn’t have notes to read.  I had always been a pathetic note-taker.  I’d rather listen intently during discussions than write facts and figures down on my notebook.   I remember pretending to sit next to a classmate who had complete notes so I can do last minute review.  I remember getting low scores on objective tests yet almost always score perfectly on essay types.  While I couldn’t claim excellence at memorization, what became clear was the fact that I had a special bond with words.  Numbers offered only confusion to me, but a single opinion question would open doors in my mind and vivid images had been conjured. 



A little more than twenty years later, who have thought I’d be a teacher watching over students taking my test and reminiscing my own youth?  I can relate with the quiet, reserved and covertly curious because that was the person I was in high school.  I can empathize with the openly rebellious because it is a mirror of myself way back then.  It is ironic for this teacher to see herself in these vibrant, fresh-faced youth when she didn’t even dream to be a teacher when she was in high school.  All she ever wanted was to form a stronger bond with the words she had come to love through Journalism.



I look up and catch a glimpse at some stray eyes — apparently tying to fish for forbidden answers on a seatmate’s answer sheet.  I hear the unmistakable hush hush of whispers — and I find it funny to think how these young people could think I know nothing of what is going on and what they have been doing. Of course, I know the forbidden rituals during exams because although I have always been honest in the exams I took in the past (preferring a zero to a cheated perfect score in identification tests), I have been watching classmates doing such. What I witnessed then may have been worse than what they are doing now, yet I look at them and I can’t help but smile — my, their confidence just oozes!  They think they can get away with anything even when in reality, they couldn’t be more wrong. 



I smile to myself at the images I conjure in my head.  Had I been the same overly confident youth who thought I could get away with anything? Without any other passport but confidence and faith in myself ,or to be honest enough,  the conceit fueled by the impulsiveness of youth?



Today is a day unlike any other apparently for it brought with it glimpses of what I used to be.  It opened closed doors to my past which I find both funny and nostalgic.



I couldn’t relive my youth.  But by looking at the fresh faces right in front of me, I get to feel how it is to be young all over again.





Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 10:51 am

I long to run these fingers

Over the contours of that beloved face

To feel the velvety softness

Of grey-black hair

Caught within the palms of my hands

I grasp at it like a lifeline

Knowing all I have is borrowed time

For all too soon the miles will intervene

And once again we are both left with the longing

To run our fingers

Over the familiar contours of each others’ faces


I long for the touch

That ignites the passion deep within

I long to feel once more

How it is to lay suspended

Amid the wondrous neon sky

To be one with the stars

Even for a moment

For all too soon the miles will intervene

And once again we are left with the longing

To feel those fleeting touches

Igniting both our passions


I long to quench this thirst

Of devouring your presence

With these eyes of mine

To satiate my inner craving

Of waking up next to you each morning

I long for the comfort —

For the safety found

Right within the beating of your heart

For all too soon the miles will intervene

And once again we are left with the longing

To be in each others’ arms again

To wake up next to each other each morning


I long for the day

When longings aren’t longings anymore

I long for the feel of your skin

As these arms reach out to touch you

I long for the moment when once again

I could feel the velvety grey-black hair

Running through my fingers

I long for the security

Brought about by clasped hands

And of fingers intertwined

I long for you, my love … only you

For no one else can make me shoot up

Like fireworks — the way you do.



Written: August 3, 2012

             10:23 AM




The Change That Propels Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 10:46 am

It is indeed true that life is a series of changes. Nothing stays the same no matter how we try so hard to keep the status quo.  We live life each day as though we are treading on eggshells.  We try to be as careful as we should be, try to take the lightest step we can in order not to break the fragile situations we get to meet each day; yet, no matter how hard we try, some things just are meant to be shattered — like eggshells scattered along a worn path to somewhere. 



Do we try to repair those that have been shattered or simply leave them there to mend all by themselves? Do we need to bother picking up the shattered pieces bit by single bit and have them glued together to create another whole? Well, we can.  If we choose to we can.  But no matter how we try to seamlessly stick each piece to where it originally was before it was broken, we can no longer bring the same broken piece to its previous untarnished façade.  The cracks would be constantly reminding us of perfection lost.  Each ugly crack would be a silent recapitulation of things we would rather choose to forget.



Is anyone to blame for the shattering of fragile relationships?  For the wounded emotions? For the fragmented egos?



I guess no one. Situations can have their funny ways of unfolding themselves when they so want it. We humans, though we claim to be creations  gifted with reason and intellect, can sometimes find ourselves in a funny tangle of emotions and twisted thoughts dictated by situations that are created by people who aren’t supposed to matter to us.  We find ourselves reduced to helpless, hopeless and hapless persons curled up like fetuses deep within our own shell — retreating within ourselves and pretending nothing has affected us even when in reality we have been shattered.



We change inevitably though we dread change.  While we want to hold on to the predictability and the false stability of the status quo we feel and see all around us, changes blowing off from everywhere always catches us off guard in moments when we think everything runs in rhythm with each ticking of the clock.  We sometimes fall to the ground scathed and bruised, but we always manage to crawl somewhere to lick our wounds, hoist ourselves upright from our fallen position and stand upright all over again —



I have hoisted myself up all over again and I am setting my sight farther ahead.  I am changing, though I don’t want to.  I have to change because nothing else on earth is constant, but change.  There is no other choice but to reinvent myself over and over again as I keep getting broken and shattered over and over again.  I will place molten gold over the cracks of my broken self so that no one can see just how broken I am.  When they look at me from a distance, they will see seamless, dazzling patterns of shimmering gold all over the porcelain exterior.  When they look at me, I will always be what I have always been meant to be: a winner in my own right, a conqueror, a slayer of enemies — because my Maker has not created me to wallow in despair and defeat.



Nothing is constant but change.



I will be a boring constant without change.


This is the change I have been waiting for to propel me forward. No looking back, no more sidesteps and nostalgic backward glances.  The future beckons and it shines brighter.  My Father has prepared my rightful place.  I claim that place with thankfulness in my heart for the CHANGE that made me see I need to live for myself and for the people who matter most.




Learning From Blades of Grass June 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — islander0413 @ 11:51 am

Somewhere among the pile of rocks a few steps from my classroom door, a little grass fights to be freed from all the weight.  It struggles to raise its little green blades from under the stones and expose itself to the sunlight. Everyday, the green sprout grows a teeny bit larger than it was the day before; and everyday, it continues to bear the weight of stone upon itself.  Regardless of the miserable circumstances it appears to be in, the little sprout grows taller, proudly standing amid the rocks.  Its primary motive is to survive the impossible circumstance it was placed into.  It wasn’t given the choice to place itself amid the blades where the grasses abound.  It wasn’t meant to be lost among the taller blades. It was meant to grow where it shouldn’t — perhaps because I needed it — because if anything, I needed to learn what life and living is all about just by looking at it.



At certain points, life throws rocks at us. Some choose to catch those rocks and throws it back to whoever hurled it first. Some others gather the rocks and make pillars out of those so they can lift themselves up higher. The little green grass, however,  wasn’t given the choice to catch the rocks and make a decision whether to shrink into oblivion or to hold its tattered blades high until the end.  It was placed where the rock pile had already been. It didn’t have any choice to make, but had to live according to the situation it was placed into if it ever wanted to survive. At first glance, the fate of the grass can appear pathetic, but if I were to think of the situation with a different train of thought, the situation isn’t pathetic at all.  Though its fate may have suggested an image of helplessness and hopelessness, I realize there’s nothing hopeless and helpless in a tiny creature that is making the best out of the hopeless situation it has been made to endure.  With every graceful sway of its tiny blades, it seems to taunt me saying,” Look at me. I am small and my situation appears impossible.  But I persisted and I survived.”



Though all alone along that rocky path, I felt a tinge of shame at the thought.  Here I am, created with the power to move any roadblock along my way, yet I am stuck in this limbo of emotions, unable to break free from emotional rocks hurled my way.  Here I am endowed with the faculties needed for me to live life in relative ease and comfort, and yet today I waste my time gazing blankly at unseen horizons wondering when the haze and the fog would lift so I can see clearly.  Here I am blindly groping for answers to questions I’d rather not say out loud. 


For the umpteenth time,  I look down at the blades of grass below me; and I learn all over again.



It’s not the situation that dictates whether I live or die.  It’s what I make of whatever circumstance life throws my way that makes the difference.





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