Writing

It is with the advice of my husband that I am writing now about my writing. As someone who acknowledges her difference in perspective about certain things in life-and who does not really bother to explain herself much-I would finally try to shed a light on some of the most misunderstood things about me and my writing.

Writing comes easily to me. I write about anything under the sun (or moon) and I get inspired by almost any word/phrase that speaks to me at certain moments. For example, I can get so inspired by a movie, a song or a dream that I compose pieces right away without much thought. Certain words trigger instant recollection of memories, even with just a mention of a favorite thought; and so writing, in a way, comes naturally and quickly to me. Thus, pieces accumulate fast in my personal notes and private files.

It is, however, highly important that only a few pieces will reach the public through my platforms. I use my name in things that I write and I only have one profile in each. If anyone “sounds” or as far as poses to be me, then they are either using a different account as an imitation of mine, or they hacked my own and posted in my name. I wonder why some people would do that but it is definitely done out of disrespect, at the very least.

I also want to make it clear that when I post in public about a person (especially if name-dropped), I do so with my name at the end as well, and all in my own public profile. I know how it is to be gossiped/talked about (my name dropped) at least once, by unknown persons, and made to appear worse than I already am through suggestive pieces/discussions. I say this because there had been assumptions that some public posts/topics that contain a certain name were all assumed to be written by me, even when some of them were done anonymously. I think it is a terrible mistake to assume that I am every one of those writers when, in fact, I was none. There are many writers out there, and I have a very specific style and reservations with regards to my writing. It is also presumptuous to judge my character through public posts, by people who do not know me.

Some of my private notes/letters written in confidence (even words in my own voice and style) were also exposed to an unintended audience, somehow. As I said earlier, I value my privacy (even when I have nothing much to hide since my soul is so transparent, and honesty has always been a personal policy). In fact, I take much longer than the process of writing itself to decide whether to post something or just leave them in my private notes, simply because I feel responsible for anything I say in public. I am paranoid, too, so that adds a bit of drama, usually. Moreover, I use metaphors and symbolism too often; any writing of mine can be easily taken out of context and misinterpreted. I know writers can relate to this. It matters to me to have a choice on what my audience see and hear about.

I am not totally a victim; I have made mistakes and committed wrongs that caused some of the horrible things that happened to me. Those are things I regret doing and was deeply humbled for. Some, but not all, are results of my own folly and recklessness. It is the reason why I had been in hiatus with regards to my public posts and activity. Though, of course, some things have been blown out of proportion, and I have seen face-to-face an ugly side of human nature. There had been some form of bullying and ruining of my reputation. I have been deeply damaged by that so I took a break in my online presence to reconsider my actions and to figure out how to get back to my normal routine without fear of being misread/misunderstood again; but then, in the end, it may be of no use. Some things cannot be amended but there is hope that some things can change as long as there is another day.

In all this, though, I do accept that there will always be people who would hate me and talk behind my back. I will also inevitably offend some people in things I write because of some of my opinions and views. It is part of giving and sharing to be rejected and judged.

Hopefully, I can really fully go back to writing as I have when I started. I write for so many people, because I get inspired by human behavior. Some love me for it, while others despise me. As long as I am being read, I guess, I am still making a difference.

I will continue writing because despite the evil I have seen (within me and without) these past few weeks, I think I can rightfully say that there is enough reason to still continue inspiring and encouraging people through words and expressed emotions. Even my sad pieces can make an impact in another person’s life. The Lord has been so gracious to me and it is with the same grace that I am going to endure the next writing challenges, come what may.

I write because I still believe in goodness and I am not easily giving up on people. Plus, deep inside, I know that I still believe the goodness of God in me. I am not giving up on myself either.

I hope I will be brave enough to put into practice what I have just written. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who continually support me.

Evelyn

Breaking The Silence

I typed quite a long essay just in time for a contest and to make up for the silence I practiced in almost a month but something happened when I was done writing (I think it may be intentional) so it was all erased. So much for the contest.

I might as well break the silence now.
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First, I would clarify that my silence has allowed for some time to rest and heal. I have been hurt, accused and insulted way beyond the norm. Yet in all that, I believe I am still not getting what I deserve. I deserve worse than what I am having now, for my betrayal and disobedience. By God’s grace, He has let me recover and even allowed me to speak on His behalf. What a great God.

The attacks I have received are the very things I have done to some people, maybe even worse. I hope my apologies, through this message, will reach those whom I have falsely accused, hurt and insulted. I know the feeling and I know how it is to be forgiven. I (same with Dale) forgive those who have mistreated me, intentionally or not.

There were things I wrote in anger, but because God instructed me to be silent, I was able to remain quiet and kept to my notes in private, painstakingly restraining myself from posting publicly. However, seeing that privacy is easily compromised, my words might have been read, after all. I am sorry again; I didn’t mean to be so careless, causing so much trouble. I know little in the reality but I feel the weight in the supernatural. I have finally accepted that God allowed it to happen, basically to humble and break my stubborn attitude. Not much of a matter now because I am out of the wilderness—redeemed and renewed both in mind and spirit. Thank God again. I am now at the mercy of Him whom I have offended—God Himself.

There is a message from God. Two actually. A warning first. Dale has been affected by the way I was treated. In his prayer, he spoke a curse, first in a foreign tongue and without an interpreter, we were only able to perceive the weight of it, so we couldn’t tell exactly, let alone rebuke it. This morning, (more than a month after), he said it again, this time in English. I asked whether I need to write it or not (writing it would set it in stone and I am frightened for the people involved) but he said yes. Everyone deserves to have a chance to ask for forgiveness. God will have mercy to whom He will have mercy.

“Our enemies will have their heads on the table,” Dale said. This refers to the ones responsible in harassing us day and night. At that moment, I saw the heads. There were many. It was a long table. Those who had ill-intent towards us. It was clear that it was not necessarily about death. It came with the figurative vision of those of us whose heads are on a plate ready to be served to these people. But God is saying to His people, “They put your heads on a plate, but their heads are already on the table.”

I have made a lot of mistakes in judgement, foolishness in my actions and unrighteousness, especially in using my skills. Along the way though, I believe I have made some friends with some strangers. Thank you to all who listened and did their best to protect me. I also have friends (even those who were more blind than I am of the situation) covering me in prayer, even now. Thank you.

Now I understand why some things should not be ventured into. If curiosity killed the cat, then I either have more than nine lives or I am not a cat. I also gained a valuable lesson that sometimes, withholding the truth from a person means protection, and prolonged silence sometimes calls for a state of trust. I was blindfolded with the good intention to be spared. The silence on my part, however, is a gesture of respect and breaking it is a way to honor my word.

In the end, I have learned that there is no shame when one is covered by the blood of Christ. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It does not matter what we did yesterday if we can look forward to tomorrow. The consequences come but nothing should hold us down. His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.

After the tumult, there is always the promise. After the storm, a rainbow is expected. Let us hold on to His power and might.

To my friends out there, I believe I should call all of us to rise up. I see artists, writers, intellectuals fading into depression and death day by day, weighed down by weaknesses, sometimes shame and oftentimes loss. Let us rise up against the glorification of misery and hopelessness; it is time to glorify the One whom glory is due. We should uphold instead the beautiful, the noble and the pure—Jesus Christ. We are, after all, the great minds of today and we should not be intimidated by fear. Let us stop looking down at ourselves and instead, let us look up to God, who will use the very weapons used against us to destroy the works of the enemy—the evil that lurks around to steal, kill and destroy.

Arise, my friends, for what is there to lose? They seek to divide us, have us fight against each other when we should be working in unity. Each one of us has a calling and a specific purpose. Let’s use them together to fight darkness as we all side with the Light. What’s the point of a long life, barely living, if we can live fully for a day? What is there to lose?

We all have our flaws. We all can be tricked to do something against our honor in our darkest moments. Whether we have been caught or not, we all are not immune to sin and temptation. It is the beauty of God’s grace which is sufficient in our weakness.

What else is there to lose? But in Christ we have everything to gain. Let us surrender to Christ. No one can stop us from serving His purpose. We are all unworthy and that gives more power to love. His love is even stronger as He calls us.

Arise, friends. I have documented and recorded the darkest parts of me and I am caught in the midst of the shame. What else is there to lose? God is making me stand on solid ground, on dry land, for my confidence is in Christ. I am being talked about and ridiculed, maybe at this moment. However, I do not live to please these people. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. God restores my heart everyday. He is that good. He is in control.

I invite you into the presence of a holy God who knows how to love. Encounter Him. Be empowered by Him. Embrace Him.

His love is everlasting. I have learned that after all the pain and destruction caused by and inflicted upon me, love triumphs. For nothing can force-spark the flame of love as much as nothing can force-snuff it out.

If we are going to risk our necks anyway, let us do it as free men who have a purpose. Let us find something worth throwing our life into.

Matthew 10:26-31
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 13:44-46
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

2 Tim 1:7
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Power of Love

My poem, Continuous is on Spillwords Press. It is about the ability of love to take over a whole being.

link:
http://spillwords.com/continuous/

The piece first appeared here July last year (2016). Hope you enjoy! Please remember to rate it. 

I wrote here a supposedly short description but somehow, my thoughts flowed all over the page. You may read it below.
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I have found myself in a most important journey of my life—in search for the meaning of love. As a writer, I looked everywhere including what people like to discuss the most, i.e., romantic love, and we have known that over the years in the lives of humans, romance has been the favorite subject of literature, poetry, art and even technological advances. Everything seems to be made in connection with beauty and romance and it is not easy to ignore. Everyone must have their own opinion and everyone has experienced it even for at least a moment in their life. Interestingly enough, I think the meaning of love in the context of romance remains elusive, for I believe when a topic is most discussed, it is left to be most misunderstood.

I pored over the Song of Solomon in this quest, since I believe Solomon himself had that zeal and passion (a hundredfold, perhaps) to search for the same thing— what with having experimented all his life with abundance of his riches and skills at his disposal—to acquire for himself 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines.‭‭ (1 Kings‬ ‭11:3‬) Surely an outstanding feat! The authorship of the book of Songs has always been attributed by Bible scholars to the king in the early days of his reign, so we keep that in mind.

The recurring verse(phrase) in the book of Songs, that I think is also most widely used is this: “Do not stir up nor awaken love until it is ready.”

The word love is a form that in other translations was noted to have an addition “[my] love” and is used several times in the book in the exchange of words between the lover and his beloved. It’s slightly different with the “love” used in referring to those of the other daughters of Jerusalem. The same form of (root of the word) love is God’s love for Israel (1 Ki 10:9, 2 Chron 2:11,9:8), Ephraim—his descendants (Hos 11:4), and the very love that Israel seeks (Jer 2:33); it is the love that covers a multitude of sins and keeps no record of wrong (Prov 10:12, 17:9); everlasting love of God (Jer. 31:3); it is also how Jonathan loved his own soul, as his love for David surpassed even those of women (1 Sam 20:17); and it’s the love of a bride to her groom in her youth (Jer 2:2) and Hosea’s love for his harlot wife (3:1). Love this good is poetically described to somehow season the food one eats (Prov 15:17).

I have only mentioned a few instances and we already see the power of this kind of love that gets knit to the soul. But in reference to the verse, there is a warning that is repeated even towards the end of the book (Songs 8) as a conclusion: “Do not stir up nor awaken love when it is ready.”(v.4) It is unquenchable, its bond stronger than death (vv.6-7) powerful enough that losing it (in the context of God’s love) is as good as being cursed and punished severely (Hos 9:15). There is power and hence a danger, that in the case of Solomon’s brother Amnon’s love for their sister Tamar, it resulted in rape and hatred greater than his love (2 Sam 13:15). It was the same love used as the emotional blackmail of Delilah to demand from Samson (Judges 16:15). The real danger of this love is found in Solomon’s life for it has led his heart astray from the love of God. It caused him to worship other gods and turn away from the LORD. (1 Ki 11:1-2).

In all this, I could only say that power in itself takes no side in good or bad, right or wrong, security or danger. Rather, it is us as humans and our flaws and vulnerability that can somehow transform the power. Love, as seen as the love of God, that is, devoid of human frailty can go so far it can heal, save, and conquer anything on its way. A pure love that is not corrupted by lust, greed or selfish ambition is the kind that should be celebrated and aimed for. Yet, we know that only a holy and righteous God is capable of it, so much that even His own jealousy is justified. For putting anyone above God offends His nature. Love like his can hurt but it does not harm, and is capable of a transformation that turns a heart of stone into flesh. So powerful.

It was displayed in His son Jesus and is seen in whose sacrifice was not only on that day on the cross but from the moment he was conceived, stripped off his glory as king of kings, born as the lowliest of lowlies, subjected to his parent’s and temple authority until he came of age and was not supposed to use any of his spiritual gifts until he was baptized (except in Cana which he clarified was before his time). He was challenged as he was tempted in the wilderness (showing his love was beyond lust, greed or selfish ambition). Shamed all throughout until his torment and death, all for the salvation of the people who persecuted him. Forsaken by his Father at the last moment and He went on. That is the power of love. There was once a book of fiction that opened a suggestion on how Christ must have married someone before (Magdalene), since his love would have been incomplete otherwise. They have overlooked one basic teaching of Christianity, i.e., the lovely bride of Christ, which actually exists and is being prepared even on this day for the grand wedding—the Church. The body of Christ. His people. Growing more loved and in her first love as the wedding day approaches.

“Do not…until it pleases” speaks of timing and preparedness. For love is like a seed that grows and the farmer needs to be patiently using time to till the soil, tending the plant, to be ready for the harvest. Love may come naturally to us as humans, but the fruits are unnatural. Kindness, patience, mercy, joy, forgiveness, etc. It takes time to develop these. A waiting before the appointed time and a hastening and discernment when it does come, for seasons change and the fruits should not be left rotting on the ground but enjoyed. Freshness of the fruit is important for as humans, the newness of something is significant, even in our love. Our love should imitate that of Christ—a covenant bond (Neh 1:5) that is everlasting, unquenchable, being renewed day by day until that hour approaches.

This is how I conclude, though not fully, for I am still starting in my quest, learning things the hard way. I believe anyone who has not loved at all must have been most unfortunate to be deprived of life’s greatest pleasures, but perhaps, fortunate enough to be spared from the greatest torment that a bond of longing for possesion can impose to an imperfect human being. There is much to see in this journey, but nothing more than looking at the life of Christ and imitating His love more than anything. Otherwise, the power of love will not be used best in His purpsose. We trust Him, even in our instinct to love and seek love. His will is good, pleasing and perfect, after all. Everything is beautiful in His time.

Evelyn

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Interesting points about God’s love for additional study:
Zeph 3:17 – the love that can quiet
Psalm 22:6- love that secures
Prov 27:5, Rev. 3:19 – love that rebukes/disciplines better than hidden love
1 Jn 4:18 – perfect love drives out fear
Ps 136 – God’s love that divided the red sea, struck down nations and armies, overthrew kings, empires and rulers is the same love that rescues, nourishes, builds, restores, preserves and heals. Love that is fierce and unrelenting is also merciful, gracious, generous towards His people.

Pawn Steps

There were five houses in that Boarding School I used to live in. I belonged to the house called Moor—the only one reserved for female boarders. We had strict rules, and we were expected to do specific things at a specific time; every bell sound meant we should stop at what we we were doing to proceed to the next activity. It was meant for protection and discipline in an angst-filled place that cared for teenagers. I had a hard time following the rules.

Those were the days when I learned valuable lessons about human nature, especially my own. I used to hang out with peers at least two years older, but I preferred spending time alone. I would wake up earliest and leave the latest; time management has always been a struggle even until now. So, at night, I would always welcome the final ring of the bell that signaled “lights out” as I escaped into sleep.

One night, before that anticipated bell (I so long waited for during the day), I was summoned at the lobby by one of the housemistresses. Sleepy-eyed, I trudged downstairs to know what was going on.

“Evelyn, we need you,” she said, “There’s no one else who is willing to do it.”

There were around a hundred boarders in that block and I said that maybe they should try to find someone else; I just wanted to sleep. I asked what it was (out of curiosity), and where the urgency was coming from.

“There’s a chess tournament in the dining hall now. Our house has no representative, yet, but they invited us to participate too. It would be rather impolite to decline. Please, we don’t have much time to find someone else.”

It was confusing for me then. Declining comes easy to me all the time, so that was new to me. Politeness. It was an act of politeness on our block’s part and it was beyond the idea of whether I was willing to or not to do it. I have always been self-centered and that was a confrontation to my attitude.

The game of chess has always been dominated by the male species, and the thrill of the game has an acquired taste. It was not surprising at all that the only female block had no representative.

“Sorry, I’m really sleepy,” I said. I was disgustingly angsty and proud. “I don’t want to do it.”

“Just one game,” she pleaded. “Please, they just need to know we’re not ignoring their invitation. Play one game. You don’t have to win.”

Playing the hero was, of course, tempting to say the least. An attendance without the pressure to win. Well, who was I kidding? I would always want to win.

“One game,” I declared as a final word.

I couldn’t remember if I had walked to the dining hall on my own, but it was clear that the burden was mine to bear alone. The huge door opened and I took a deep breath. What a sight to behold.

It was a room full of male teenagers, some of them still in their white uniforms and striped green neckties, whose eyes were focused on the boards in front of them. It wasn’t my first time to see that many chess players in a tournament, but being the only girl in a testosterone-saturated hall was definitely noteworthy—a first for me.

It was no mistake which house I came from, of course. I was ushered to my seat and I was aware of the eyes that turned to my direction. A girl. I returned the stares and they quickly looked away. Awkward, as always.

Only one game, I told myself, and comforted myself with the idea of sleep.

I did what my best chess coach taught me. “Shake hands before starting the game and do the same when you’re done,” he said when I was still a little girl. I asked why.

“As a gesture of sportmanship.” He sometimes says things without explaining.

I didn’t understand it then but I never failed to trust his word on the matter and I have always done it anyway.

I remember being sleepy as I was facing the lucky guy across the table. He was shaking hands with the only girl in the room, and he was only one of them for me. We played.

Just do it quickly and be done with it, I said to myself. I couldn’t read my opponent’s mind as I scrutinized him, but his moves showed he was looking at my moves as silly mistakes. Once in a while I would look at the boards beside mine. I thought they were all taking their games seriously with the amount of time they spent to move in the opening. I, on the other hand, was reckless and quick to move. I just wanted to go home.

I looked at our board. Mid-game. He had quite an opening and he castled early (which at the time was a good sign). He was too busy devouring my unprotected pieces to notice that his first two ranks were empty except for the king, a tower and a few pawns.

I positioned my queen for a sacrifice. Thinking I made a mistake, he did not hesitate to capture it. That was his last move. I captured the tower and said the magic word before I stood up and offered to shake hands. He did not expect it. I repeated the word. He still would not shake hands. I called the staff and the game was concluded. We finally shook hands.

My job was done and I walked home. He stayed there trying to figure out what happened. I was too selfish to care.

“You played chess last night,” my friend told me the next day while we were hanging out with our other friends. He was grinning. I asked how he found out.

“My roommate was crying all night because a filipino girl defeated him.” He chuckled. What a coincidence that my opponent was roomies with my friend. I did not know it was serious business to the guy and I could not even remember his face. My friend continued, “The poor guy’s heart was broken. It could only be you.” They all laughed. I was bothered.

It has always been bothersome for me when that happens. I hate it when a guy thinks a girl cannot play chess properly and that it was insulting for them to be defeated by one. A similar event happend a few months later in another venue. I hated it and I loved it at the same time because I got to prove that to every rule, one always finds an exception. A good suprise always makes for a good comeback.

Then I was back to being a little girl trained by the best coach in town—but he would only coach me.

“The most important lesson you should learn is this,” my old man said. “Never underestimate your opponent.”

Unfortunately, I have also made the very same mistakes by underestimating my opponents and ended up losing.

“Again. Never underestimate your opponent, and losing to anyone without making that mistake should always be your best games,” he said.

“And that will always be your advantage,” he smiled as he continued. “When they look at you, they will only see the face of a little girl—a helpless damsel in distress. What they will never see is the blood of champions running through your veins.”

Those weren’t his exact words but it was along those lines. I carry that with me.

That’s why every time I play in this game of life, I wear a gentler female version of his face, with his precious blood flowing through my veins.

Certainties

Hi all!

I absolutely believe that life is filled with certainties and uncertainties. Though I have a natural aversion to the existence of uncertainties, I have accepted the fact that it’s what makes life worthwhile, and that the inadequacy only shows us the beauty of what tomorrow may bring.

Here’s a haiku I wrote about my rather tormenting frustrations when it comes to the notions of uncertainty, entitled Stranded.

suspended in space
devastatingly cold, flat
cruel uncertainties

It still holds and the sting, though diminished a bit after the piece had been written, is still there.

But enough about uncertainties because there’s good news (for me anyway, yey!) Now, it’s time to talk about my poem called Certainties which now appears on Spillwords Press , together with my other pieces.

Here is an excerpt:

there is tonight, there is tomorrow
time to steal, time to borrow
secrets never sink too deep
truth is bright; it cannot sleep
but promises, true heart doth keep

This poem has a somewhat different feel from my other philosophical poems (see the contrast with the haiku above) because it’s meant to be calm and reassuring, as certainties are for me.

Below is the link to the rest of the poem.

http://spillwords.com/certainties/

Please don’t forget to rate it when you’re done. Enjoy!

Much love,

Evelyn

Evelyn(poeticasymptote) – Spillwords Press
@sanepoet – twitter/instagram
@poeticasymptoteThe Prose

Ask me to write a poem for you! See how.

On opinions

Everyone thinks their opinions matter more than anybody’s. The ones closest to the catastrophe view more things in detail and thus have a better idea of the root cause of the problem while the ones who view things from afar see the bigger picture and hence see better the extent of the damage and can plan better the extent of help needed. This difference in perspective should be beneficial in the overall contribution to the solution.

Unfortunately, people fight against each other based on this gap, building strong walls of defense to block the other side, always trying to be more relevant and valued than the other. Instead, they should be coming together, discuss things in the middle, and cooperate in building the complete picture. This is often overlooked. Therefore, the damage only gets worse and the ones close enough cry out as they struggle to find a solution while desperately seeking for help, some of them dying without being attended to or heard; and the ones far enough, unaffected and bent on making their own conclusions, supposedly capable of helping out tremendously, have become either overly aggressive or apathetic. There are also those who take advantage of the situation and relentlessly feed themselves with the spoils.

Time is wasted resulting from the stigma of this unnecessary strife—the primary cause of which is fear. Fear to be silenced, fear to be rejected, fear to be ridiculed, fear of inconvenience, fear of wrath, and fear of death. It is imperative then that one should overcome their own fears and start acting out of love. Love for their own people, love for their country, and their love for what is right. Whether we like it or not, love is indeed the answer; love that is alive, active and powerful. Love looks for wisdom while still doing what is right and just. Love goes beyond the differences, and therefore love should always rule.