Brief note: solitude 

Yesterday and today, I have been making plans to go on retreat. I have been meaning to for some time now, as I had not gone on one for five years. It will be longer as a result, and this will mean a huge radio silence from here.

The choice of date I had made reflected the desire to learn something I will need in the time to come. But most of all, I wanted to learn how to experience solitude, to be at peace with myself and with everything else. I also feel that the monastic in me would be better off being separated from all in order to be united to all, as the Desert Fathers and Mothers taught and lived. There is no fear of missing out when one believes that.

I have yet to get a final schedule for the retreat, so for now, we wait.


Coda to a long story

A year ago today, three videos were launched at Route 196, and here’s one of them:

Unstable – Autotelic from Alter The Native on Vimeo.

I will have more to say about the experience of making these videos and how it did force me to confront some things, but here’s a coda to this whole story.

Autotelic just released a music video for its single “Gising,” and it was launched nearly a year after the video posted above. It was a happy coincidence that the female lead in “Gising” happened to be a former member of Ballet Philippines and was in the same batch as the female lead in “Unstable,” Denise Parungao. When I told her about our role in the project, she told me that she had seen the video a large number of times. And when Autotelic, which happened to be playing at the time, broke into “Unstable,” we were trying to do our favorite steps from the first part of the video.

I’m actually glad someone watched this for the dancing.


One thing we must put out there was that part of this reason the project came about was to let people know that, at the least, they need to understand the needs and concerns of loved ones confronting mental illness. Not long after we wrapped production, I saw that it hit close to home.

It is hard to talk about it publicly now, but I think it is safe to say that I discovered something about myself, found out how I could be helped, and more importantly, in fits and starts, discovered that there were a whole number of people who are ready to care, and yes, love, and that I can love and care for them too as I am able.

That’s all for now.

Brief note: a music video non-review 

I am glad that a band we know has run the gamut in terms of music video genres. They had the plain performance video, the concert footage video, the high concept video (which was a modern ballet) and now a narrative video centered on a romance.

The video is an interesting one to watch if one is familiar with the contours of one part of the music landscape. It is a good game to figure out the cameos in it, and the way the cameos go, they are much more fun than I anticipated. But I’ll say that the reason I am calling this note is a non-review is because the familiar, these days, is not worth commenting upon, if only for now.

The last thing I have to say is, thank you Karnabal Festival for introducing me to the comforting charms of Flying House.

Sliding doors and tribes

There is one film I barely remember for three things. It had a good concept that resonated with me at the time, it had the only Aqua song that was not utterly frivolous, and it had a homage to Monty Python that I first found cute and now find tiresome. I am talking about Sliding Doors. 

Late last night, that film came to mind as I was figuring out something, about what would happen if I chose one thing over the other. In an alternate universe, would I have been willing to give into my worst impulse and not be here typing this? Or would I have walked away, sad, probably learning a certain lesson in a painful way and becoming more bitter? Right now, I am here typing this, and making up my mind about where to go next. Earlier that day I realized that one step I would make, one choice, would literally take me in two different directions.

Just like the film.

I was brought to mind too of another more recent British import, Constellations, which Red Turnip Theater staged earlier this year. I wrote a review of it for a local website, but a few months on, the more interesting parts of it resonate with me. What interested me was not how the play tried to enact the premise that in the multiverse each line had an alternate version, but that in the end a few key points of decision mattered.

On a less weighty note, and because, pace a couple of old friends, I really do not have clones, I am about to make up my mind about a minor scheduling concern. It oddly enough concerns two different spheres, and, well, I do need to think about it again. Perhaps though a play about a deaf kid in a hearing family might shed as much, if not more insight into the nexus between art and friendships than the other option would. This, too, makes it more weighty than it seemed. This is, of course, overthinking.