Remembering Home

5 04 2008

Thinking about home and all that I’ve left behind. These are the typical things I see when I would commute home everyday in the Philippines. These photographs are from the Filipino Photographer, Alan Dejecacion. I think his photographs speak more than I can ever put into words.

Manila Street Kids in Jail

In this photo, a group of street kids are photographed in jail. Sometimes, they are jailed for loitering or petty theft, but are just left in these harsh conditions even without arraignment. The kids are often abused by the police when in custody.

Street Kids in Abandoned Building

The kids often find refuge in abandoned buildings. During the day, you find many begging on the streets or selling flowers, joking, laughing, playing, as kids do. I miss home. Sometimes I wonder what is it that I am meant to do. Sometimes I feel that what I have experienced throughout my life goes beyond theory. Must I find a Western philosopher to prove what it is that I have felt and seen all my life? Must I use their words to speak for me? Or should I just not speak?

Funny thing is, no matter where you are and what your circumstances, we all feel the same, we all desire the same thing, which is a better life for those we love, our families, our children, ourselves. In a way, this photograph could represent us all. His dreams are my dreams too.

Sometimes, I must also constantly remind myself of how lucky I am as well. Plus the responsibility of having this gift of being here. What do I use this for? For whom? How?

Above is a picture of a 16 year old girl in jail. Seeing it, I wonder how much of a choice she really had. And I wonder why am I being given choices that were not open to her. And I realize that there is so much work to be done. How I am going to do it, God knows. Heck, I don’t even know what this has to do with my project, or what kind of impact it would have if any. I wonder, will I just let this be a thought? An entry? A post? Or will I allow these memories to change me?

Kids are kids and despite all the hardships they experience, they remain kids. Happy. I would always watch them as I would sit in a jeep. They would play tag on the concrete islands between the busy traffic. The laughing, the joking, the hugging, I miss that. The simplicity that they know. The simplicity I seek to remember. I have been privileged enough to have never experienced the hardships of their day to day, and I wonder about the responsibility this privilege brings. How do I do this? That is the question.


1W8-4 The Wisdom of Emptiness

4 11 2007


Hannya Shingyo is the shortest of all Sutras, but it teaches the most basic philosophy in Buddhism, which is KU or Emptiness.

Ultimate wisdom (jñana in Sanskrit) refers to a direct realisation which is non-dualistic, and contradicts the way in which we ordinarily perceive the world. The experience of ultimate truth or emptiness is beyond duality.

It is important to remember that emptiness here does not refer to nothingness or some kind of nihilistic view. Emptiness refers to the fact that ultimately, our day-to-day experience of reality is wrong, and is ’empty’ of many qualities that we normally assign to it.

Describing this non-dual experience in words is not really possible, as language is based on duality and contrasts. Trying to explain this experience – which contradicts our normal perception – is a bit like explaining colours to someone who is born blind; difficult to say the least.

(From “The Wisdom of Emptiness”


Sound, thought, image flow together to create the Zen Mind and body.
“Form is emptiness , emptiness is form”
“Shiki soku ze ku, ku soku ze shiki”

Was thinking that this is where our work can go. The non-duality of things. Since the film will be about parallel realities, it could end up saying the opposite. Much to think about.

1W8-2 The Level of Discourse Has Been Raised

1 11 2007

Today was the first critique, and they discussed our work for 2 hours. The rest went fairly quickly, with maybe 10-20 minutes per person. (The meeting was a total of 4 hours.)

There was a great level of debate about content, the idea of our personal relationship, and even about the organic methodology that we are planning to do and the way in which we are going to assess our own work. A big part of me thinks this is saying that we are on the right track.

I do not want to make a piece of art that people will agree with and say “oh that’s nice” and “oh its like this artist or other”.  I have found that the most radical pieces of art are the hardest to swallow. Those that make people think. The last thing I want is a lukewarm piece of work that will be forgotten.

So let’s bring up the level of discourse.

Bring it on.

1W7-2 Honestly…

25 10 2007


Going to follow Andy’s advice and will begin to use this as my online journal.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve touched the tip of the iceberg, but there is still so much more to do underneath.

I must trust the process…process…process…

1W1-1 Continuance

14 09 2007

Again, endless beginnings. Like the diaries I never complete. Pages and pages of opening words leading to more openings. The ending does not exist.

A new place to continue.  Where do private and public worlds meet? Here, I suppose. There is a first time for everything.

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