Diwata: A sisterhood gathering

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The Divine Feminine emerges within us as this energy becomes amplified when women consciously come together. Somewhere in the middle of a sacred circle, something beyond us is created and birthed in the same energy. Words are not enough to describe its immense power, but language is here to plant in a subtle and sublime manner this wordless truth. It is us but also not us.

When they say that God is an all-seeing eye, I put my trust into the eyes of others, their journeys, their life experiences. The Eye/I is co-created as we evolve together in synchronicity and compassion.

To all the women who were with me this weekend, like the waxing and waning of the moon, I once again praise with the highest vibrations of love both your light and shadow. May we feel energetically connected even more — to ourselves and to one another, to our ancestors and spirit guides, to our Mother Gaia, and to the ultimate Source of all that is.

(Below is a photo of 20 women basking under the full moon in silent prayer, in a humble and quiet cove in Zambales. Thank you for capturing bare honesty in these photos Hannah and Ate Ann, for opening your home to us Cherry and for inviting me to hold space for a ritual Mara, as I also thank all the other moments that held this moment together as One. Presence was enough.)

 

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DALAWANG TULANG SALIN (Szymborska at Sexton)

PAGKAHAYAG

salin ni J. G. Dimaranan

ng salin sa Ingles mula Polish ni Joanna Trzeciak

 

para kay Banahaw

 

Naririto tayo, hubad na mga mangingibig,

 

maganda sa isa’t isa—at iyon ay sapat na.

 

Tanging dahon ng ating mga talukap ang saplot,

 

habang naglililim sa lalim ng gabi.

Ngunit alam nila ang tungkol sa atin, alam nila,

 

ang apat na sulok, at ang mga upuang malalapit.

 

Alam din ng mga nangingilalang anino,

 

kahit ang lamesa’y nananatiling tahimik.

Alam na alam ng ating mga tasa

 

kung bakit ang tsaa’y lumalamig.

 

At ang lumang Swift ang sadyang makapagsasabi

 

kung bakit ang libro niya’y isinantabi.

Kahit ang mga ibon ay batid:

 

Nakita ko silang isinusulat sa langit,

 

walang patitimpi’t pagpapatumanggi,

 

ang tanging ngalang itinatawag ko sa iyo.

Ang mga puno? Maaari mo bang ipaliwanag sa akin

 

ang kanilang walang humpay na pagbulong?

 

Marahil alam ng hangin, sabi mo sa akin,

 

ngunit kung paano lamang ito isang misteryo.

Isang mariposa ang sumurpresa sa atin sa pagitan ng bintana,

 

mahinhin ang wagayway ng mga pakpak.

 

Ang tahimik nitong paglipad—tingnan kung paano ito pumagaspas

 

sa isang sutil na disenyo.

Siguro’y nakikita nito ang mga bagay na di natin nakikita

 

gamit ang likas nitong pagkamatalas.

 

Hindi ko kailanman naramdaman, o iyong nalaman

 

na ang mga puso nati’y nagliliwanag sa kadiliman.

____________________

OPENNESS

by Wislawa Zsymborska

translated from Polish by Joanna Trzeciak

 

Here we are, naked lovers,

 

beautiful to each other—and that’s enough.

 

The leaves of our eyelids our only covers,

 

we’re lying amidst deep night.

But they know about us, they know,

 

the four corners, and the chairs nearby us.

 

Discerning shadows also know,

 

and even the table keeps quiet.

Our teacups know full well

 

why the tea is getting cold.

 

And old Swift can surely tell

 

that his book’s been put on hold.

Even the birds are in the know:

 

I saw them writing in the sky,

 

brazenly and openly,

 

the very name I call you by.

The trees? Could you explain to me

 

their unrelenting whispering?

 

The wind may know, you say to me,

 

but how is just a mystery.

A moth surprised us through the blinds,

 

its wings in fuzzy flutter.

 

Its silent path—see how it winds

 

in a stubborn holding pattern.

Maybe it sees where our eyes fail

 

with an insect’s inborn sharpness.

 

I never sensed, nor could you tell

 

that our hearts were aglow in the darkness.

____________________

MAKATA NG KAMANGMANGAN

salin ni J.G. Dimaranan

 

para kay Hannah

 

Marahil ang mundo’y lumulutang,

hindi ko batid.

Marahil ang mga bituin ay maliliit na papel

na ginupit ng dambuhalang gunting,

hindi ko batid.

Marahil ang buwan ay nanigas na luha,

hindi ko batid.

Marahil ang Diyos ay isa lamang malalim na boses,

na bingi lamang ang nakaririnig,

hindi ko batid.

 

Marahil ay walang ako.

Tunay, ako ay may katawan

at hindi ko ito matatakasan.

Nais ko sanang lumipad palabas sa aking isip

ngunit hindi na dapat ito tanungin pa.

Nakasulat na sa mga bato ng kapalarang

ako’y nakahugpong sa aking katawang-tao.

At dahil ito ang kaso,

gustong ko sanang tumawag ng atensiyon sa aking suliranin.

 

Mayroong hayop sa loob ko,

mabilis na nakasipit sa aking puso,

isang malaking talangka.

Ang mga doktor ng Boston

ay isinuko na ang husay ng kanilang mga kamay.

Sinubukan na nila ang scalpel,

karayom, lasong hangin at iba pa.

Nananatili pa rin ang talangka.

Napakabigat nito.

Sinusubukan kong kalimutan, gawin ang mga gawain,

lutuin ang broccoli, magbukas-sara ng libro,

magsipilyo ng ngipin at itali ang sintas ng sapatos.

Sinubukan ko ring magdasal

ngunit tuwing magdarasal ang talangka’y lalong ididiin ang sipit

at ang sakit ay lalala.

 

Minsan akong nanaginip,

siguro ay panaginip nga,

na ang talangka ay ang aking kamangmangan sa Diyos.

Ngunit sino ba ako upang maniwala sa panaginip?

____________________

POET OF IGNORANCE

by Anne Sexton

 

Perhaps the earth is floating,

I do not know.

Perhaps the stars are little paper cut-ups

made by some giant scissors,

I do not know.

Perhaps the moon is a frozen tear,

I do not know.

Perhaps God is only a deep voice,

heard by the deaf,

I do not know.

 

Perhaps I am no one.

True, I have a body

and I cannot escape from it.

I would like to fly out of my head,

but that is out of the question.

It is written on the tablet of destiny

that I am stuck here in this human form.

That being the case

I would like to call attention to my problem.

 

There is an animal inside me,

clutching fast to my heart,

a huge crab.

The doctors of Boston

have thrown up their hands.

They have tried scalpels,

needles, poison gases and the like.

The crab remains.

It is a great weight.

I try to forget it, go about my business,

cook the broccoli, open and shut books,

brush my teeth and tie my shoes.

I have tried prayer

but as I pray the crab grips hardens

and the pain enlarges.

 

I had a dream once,

perhaps it was a dream,

that the crab was my ignorance of God.

But who am I to believe in dreams?

###

Lessons at the Baguio Public Market: The water cycle

Yesterday, I was sold the worst bundle of mountain tea for 50php. A few years back lush bundles were being sold for 10-20php. But in my luck, the stalks I got were very old, top leaves are so dry they can no longer be boiled and drank. I opened the bundle to take out the bad ones and keep the good stuff, a familiar act. After weeding it, I had to throw almost half of the herbs. I felt cheated by the market lady. Observing my feeling of being cheated, it made my heart heavy sending a storm of thoughts in my head. Disappointment rained precipitating from all past swindles and deceit. I bathed in it for a while, acknowledging the truth of being under its atmosphere, but I also saw who is really soaked: The one seeing the seeing sees that seeing the emotion is not the emotion, the observer of the observance of thought is not the thought yet the observer is not separate from the observed.

My feelings evaporated, realizing I was lucky to have the bad bundle to be able to process something like this. An opportunity to master attention and presence.

After I bought the bundle, my friend bought another one. Seeing that her bundle was so much better than mine, I felt good. The bundle I had was really for me, that all the other bundles available after mine were good and all buyers after me get the better ones. It doesn’t change the fact that the market lady is an ass for selling bad bundles for a very high price (this economic cycle needs careful and strategic confrontation to end, hopefully creating a new one that gives justice to exchange), but receiving the bad bundle with purposeful attention taught me something deliberate. It lessened the probable birth of an angry customer shaming a saleslady which could have created judgments from nearby salesladies, further affecting all the other possible customers of the stall, all possible customers in the market. If there were more people buying from her (she is not selling something bad for your body, it’s a local cleansing herb disregarded because of Lipton), there will be less possibility of bundles turning bad.

Deception is converted to abundance. Water transformed.

Sayaw ni Daniw

ni J. G. Dimaranan

 

Sa isang iglap nagdiklap

ang isang unibersong pangalan ay Tula.

 

Mula sa sinapupunan niya pinanganak

ang kabuuang imahen ng galak;

sa puso niya tunay na tumibok

ang metapora ng tuldok;

at sa kaniyang noo lumiwanag

ang ibig sabihin ng talinghaga—

nakataling hiwaga.

 

Sa pagpikit ng Tula

ang isda’y naging unggoy, lumangoy

paakyat ng mga uri sa mundo.

 

Sa malalim niyang paghinga,

siyang ina’y naging dalaga,

na minsan noo’y

di marunong mag-alala

pagkat abala sa pag-alala

ng mga nakalimutang alaala.

 

Sa unang kumpas ng mga kamay,

bumalik siyang muli sa pagtanda.

Pagkatapos ay sumayaw-sayaw

bilang isang hangal na diwata:

 

Sa pag-ikot ng kaniyang balikat at tuhod,

ang giting ng mga bundok ay lumuhod

at sumamba sa kadakilaan ng pag-anod.

 

Ilan pang tapik sa baywang

ang karagatang katawan

ay nagka-uwang…

at doon bumulwak ang init

ng kaloobang pinagkaloob.

 

Sa paggalaw ng kaniyang daliri sa paa

nabuhay ang mga patay

at napatid naman ang hininga

ng napakatagal nang nagluluksa—

namahinga.

 

Ganito isinilang ng Tula

ang kabuuang danas sa isang iglap,

parang lang malikmata,

(mula sa mata bumalik sa mata)

kung saan niya tunay na nakita

ang tumitingin sa kaniyang

sariling pagtingin, paningin.

 

Walang kibo.

Landscaping the Dream: Tapping into the people of Marawi

In a night of exchange with some friends about entanglement and the generality and particularities of universal experience in the language of science, I rolled a few leaves of sambong (local sage) for smudging as it felt right to clean a friend’s external energetic field by releasing negative ions around him after sharing his recent journey during the super new moon. The sound of last night’s heavy rains aided in this cleansing, as well as the smell of the earth breathing out the day’s heat. I tied the herb with thin abaca strings from the dried lei of camia I bought a few days back.

Like any ritualistic act, the one who does the cleansing and the one being cleansed are inseparable. Both subjects partake in observance as the space is shared in communion and unity – the one overseeing the cleansing is also being cleansed. After swirling the herb to my friend’s head, chest, back and limbs I put the rest in the corner of the room to fill the space with smoke. I swept the ashes and disposed them in our small garden, leaving them on the soil, back into the earth, as a kind of respect.

And so to its attainment, the sambong late that night relaxed all my dimensional fields and really put me in deep sleep. I dreamt, not very vividly, but strong enough to wake me up in tears. In the dream I saw myself in our old house in San Pablo with another girl who felt like a good old friend. She didn’t have a name, and the features of her face were undefined. I was being chased by the authorities. A silver car and an armored van smashed down our gates but before anyone of them were able to go down their automobiles, me and my unfamiliarly familiar friend had already sneaked and ran away. In my dream I was thinking of either going to La Trinidad or Palawan, but as I was strategizing our escape, my unfamiliarly familiar friend stopped to talk to a shadow person (who felt like a man) a few blocks away from my house. I waited for her a bit, but as I felt that the shadow was actually part of the authorities (a kind of military intelligence, a spy) who was distracting us from where we were unknowingly headed, I immediately ran towards her and pulled her close to run with me. We ran fast, long and tiring. And as I was running I felt my heart thumping hard, then I started crying. I abruptly woke up in tears with my chest carrying the weight of the Realm of Symbols.

And so as I breathe deeply upon waking, I know in my heart that the panic, terror and fright I experienced in my dream wasn’t just my personal panic, terror and fright. It is the kind of panic, terror and fright that the rest of our brothers and sisters in Marawi are also experiencing as we silently sleep in our little humble homes. In the dream world we all meet in equal presence, and I was able to tap into the collective mind driven by the mutual unconscious we all share. The self was a mere vessel, a cask of an experiential process that of which is me and beyond me.

I feel so very deeply, this national and global obstruction of information in the series of aerial bombings, psychological and geographic displacements, and unwarranted arrests happening in Mindanao and the rest of the world. So what is it that fuels this strong desire to control and hold things down to its inert state? In the universal capitulary, it has always been the modern capital-forming human laws that are truly athwart to natural laws.

So before I fell asleep after smudging, I was once again reading Jung as an exercise of looking back to better see forward. And so this aligned occurrence of re-view was not only supported by my conscious mind. Only this morning that I realized that my subconscious and unconscious minds were both allowing and equipping me last night with the tools to decode the dream I was about to experience. And as I type these words I am kept still, existing only in breath, marveling at how beautiful our minds work when we are aware. I reckon: we sleep so we can be awake.

On the spirit of language

Much has been said about the nature of language as a matter of socio-political construction that humanizes what is perceived; or in short: what is. Implications of its impurity in the translation of thought is allowed to form more, serving as a subjective brick for culture and human-centric evolutionary processes. It often times distorts or carry out in utter lack what is really conveyed, putting primacy on an ideal world of silent energetic transmissions built on the unsaid and the godliness of the ineffable.

But what is bypassed and overlooked is its power to suggest, its ability to present a present with surprising pleasure — when words are used not to communicate an idea but as tools to plant a wordless truth.

Makiling

ni J. G. Dimaranan

Para kay Banahaw

 

Tinipon ko ang maliliit

na punung-kahoy

upang ipanggatong

sa nilulutong pananghalian:

pinakuluang okra at talong

at ilang gayat ng karne.

Sinibak mo naman ang malalaki

at isinalansan sa tabi,

upang gamiting pananggga

sa bantang lamig ng gabí.

 

Nakadarang ang aking mukha

sa usok at singaw ng palayok,

at sa di kalayua’y tanaw ko

ang kislap ng pawis sa iyong batok.

 

Ganito katahimik ang ating mga umaga

mula nang itirik natin ang munting kubo

sa bewang ng kabundukang ito.

 

At kung tapos na ang pagtatanim

ay nauubos ang maghapon natin

sa kapapanood ng mga malhokang

may kakatwang apoy na buhok.

Minsa’y kinakaibigan sila

ng ilang mga balicassiao

na tila malalim na dagat naman

ang mga mata, balahibo at buntot.

 

Kung ano ang kulay ng mga ibong

madalas nating pagmasdan,

ay gano’n din ang kulay

ng ating mga gabi—

sa ilalim ng malalim na asul na langit,

paandap-andap ang kinang

ng mga bituing umakit at gumuhit

sa ating dito manirahan at manatili.

Kumut-kumot ang bisig ng isa’t isa,

ang mga puso nati’y kawangis ng sigâ,

mainit, panatag, malamlam, pulang-pula,

nagliliwanag sa ihip ng hangin.

 

At alam nating tayo’y mahihimbing na

kung marinig na ng ating mga tainga

ang kalansing at kuliling

ng diwatang paparating

na siyang magtatawid sa atin

sa mga ulap ng pananaginip.