Tuesday, November 09, 2004

With All Your Heart And Attention

Hello. I’m back at the desk, after a crazy October. I had plans of giving a blow-by-blow of what kept me so tied up, but I will save that for another post.

My 2 year old sister Olivia (she turns 3 in a few weeks) decided she wanted to hang out with me so I had a tiny office gnome today, running around and crawling over every piece of furniture at her disposal. To her credit, she did keep herself busy for a laudable amount of time, drawing with her pastels and going through her stash of books. After a while though she wanted to “read” something else, so I handed her a book on Degas (she looked at Magritte before, and Picasso – both kind of confused her). So here was this tiny human being sitting on my yellow couch in her knickers and pink tee, quietly flipping through Degas’ plates like an art critic. Then she declares, “I like this so much.”


As if the warm fuzzy feeling this gave me was not enough, a copy of a letter fell out of the book. It was written by a friend, a wonderful artist named Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Solina, who I had the pleasure of working with on a children’s art workshop back in 1999. The letter was addressed to the project organizer. In it are Bernie’s thoughts on art, its purposes, particularly in the context of our workshop, which was operating on a non-existent budget and was meant to reach city kids who could not afford lessons otherwise. We held our sessions Sunday mornings in a garden beside the Manila City Hall, and had limited (traditional art) materials that we had to spread out among an overwhelming number of eager participants. It was our own version of the Miracle of Loaves and Fishes, I tell you.

It is a wonderful letter which I would love to post here in its entirety, but I think I should ask her first. No, first, I have to find her, since we lost touch after my older sister got sick. (Bernie, if you somehow come across this drop me a line). I will quote this for now:

There is often this question to artists (and it may refer to anyone in particular): would you stop doing artwork if you were marooned on an island with nothing to work with (meaning art materials) and no one to appreciate it (meaning art gallery habitués)?

Art makes us co-creators of God. There really is nothing more natural and more sacred than doing art. Priests do it by praying, cooks do it by cooking, you may do it by nurturing your adopted children…it is basically something you do with all your heart and with all your attention.

I like this so much.


Blogger vcalanog said...

You have a 2 year old sister?

November 10, 2004 2:26 AM  
Blogger nini said...

..I never told you? I'm sure I did... Or did I?!

November 10, 2004 4:01 PM  
Blogger Tee said...

aaahhhh nins, we really should talk...
so much beautiful serendipitous things coming into my life right now.

i guess this is what it means by that movie line: "build and they will come"

and this post is another
(besides that it is just like deep thirst quenched seeing you have something new today =)

so meet you on the same axis this saturday,

November 10, 2004 9:19 PM  
Blogger vcalanog said...

No, you never told me. Now you really owe me an e-mail. :)

November 11, 2004 8:32 AM  
Blogger nini said...

Goodness..how could I have not told you this?
Yes definitely I owe you a looong email!

November 12, 2004 12:19 PM  
Blogger nini said...

Hey t!
Yes, it's ladies-who-dine on saturday! Looking forward to it.

November 12, 2004 12:47 PM  

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