Posts tagged ‘everyday life’

October 24, 2012

Back in the Philippines

by Melissa

Cultivating freedom in the world means experiencing the pain of choice, the limits of actually knowing what makes us free.

This is my newest mantra.  A clear thought towards letting good things go-  despite love, despite a shared future dreamed over many years and many beautiful moments…

It’s posted now on the wall on a square of green paper beside the last one:

What you are loving together is truth: everything real has to be shared; everything else has to be dismantled (this is William Pennell Rock care of Eric Francis, astrologer extraordinaire)

Long distance love relationships, anyone??

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The last couple of weeks have been about readjusting to the pace of life here in the Philippines.  The traffic and the sexual tension (gendered curiousity?) (ok, I know that’s pretty presumptuous but still…)

So much happening.  My thesis defense! Going to Saskatoon! My sister is pregnant! And coming back to the Philippines, on a more indefinite timeframe, ‘for work’.  And I live here too! Of course so much is happening politically too.  The cybercrime bill, the US election, the beginnings of electoral politics in the Philippines (oh I have a lot to learn), the plastic bag ban in QC, the amazing street demos in Europe….       How does it all fit together?  How does it make a common sense?

I don’t have all the answers or even all the questions.  Focus, Melissa!  A friend at UP has invited me to participate in a reading group on Graeber’s Debt.  Yes! I hope we can manifest theory and make at least some connections between current crises affecting the Global North and the state of the Philippine nation- call centers, unemployment, massive migration…    And what to do?!

I struggle with patience and endurance.  This blog, for example.  But I suppose fits and starts is better than silence.  A friend told me I should write about the everyday too, not just the politics.  I should, I’ll try.  I guess it’s about trying to be honest about my everyday too-  my embodied living (rather than being an abstract theorist commenting on ‘life’ as an object).

Today I feel… vulnerable.  I have to steady myself to go into the world.  I ride my bike along the same roads most days.  It’s hot and I’m sweating all the time.  Its somehow important to me though.  Carving out the space to bike here, even though its not necessary or normal.  I do it because I love to bike.  Because I believe in biking.

I think the endurance question also applies to the theme of this blog. risklove.  Risk is something of a commitment.  Its not just invoked in the moment.  Its something we cultivate for a possible future.  Being here in the Philippines is a kind of risk for me, based on a shared future.  I want her development like I want my own.  I know I should write about this.  About why I want to be in the Philippines.

Next time…   😉

Picture care of Rexy (my second cousin)

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