Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

Essay

Transient Anonymity

Chicago. 15th October, 2009

 

When I’m absent minded, please remind me. I’m sorry that I’m here but my mind is somewhere hovering in a place never known to you. Forgive me for not making you feel my presence, or if you’re ever aware I arrived. Perhaps to you, I’m just another head to add number to your  dwellers. In case you don’t, it’s been three years now.

Three years of traversing your grounds trying to belong, but still get that same cold look in the eyes of your locals, like when I arrived, every time I try to find familiarity – still but a stranger struggling to blend to your intricacy, too complex for someone like me who grew up in a place where everyone I meet in the streets are relatives or at least somebody else’s I would surely know. But if you live that life too long, it’s tiring. It’s easier to get to know other people, than to delve with the person that resides in the confines of your ribs. I longed for anonymity, but when you gave it to me, I’m not sure if I would have still wanted it.

Here I am a dweller in your patch of the earth taking you in, but like the air, I just breath you to exhale again, unable to entirely assimilate you into my system. Every day remains to be like fast-moving scenes just passing, slipping my hands leaving me detached no matter how hard I try to take hold of the moment. I’m like a guest attending an event but not formally introduced to the host, if you would ever understand my kind of uneasiness being here. But I have to admit I should take much of the blame for our estrangement. You took me as a tenant, but still  think of myself just a transient tourist taking snapshots that I would eventually bring home. I have to confess, I didn’t find the home I look for in your manicured fields. Your towering reeds of spires are just too much for me, I shrink to a muted element that would not fit to your structured collage and forever scares to be left out in the fast lanes of your speeding races, like a peculiar yarn in a loom afraid that your unforgiving modern living would soon prey on me and isolate me from the weave. This fear comes from my job caring for the casualties and losers in the races of your city. I can sense raw defeat in their eyes every day. I don’t want to be counted when I’m useless in a shelter awaiting for your mercy, God forbid I would be wheeled there one day against my will, like a dotard with nothing to share about my past and forgotten, leaving no signs – not even a frass – to prove that one time I walked this path to conclude my story. I asked for anonymity, but not that kind of ending.  I need this brief anonymous moment to cast off some misleading marks I allowed time to grow like moss in my fecade so I could resurface defined and genuine like a gem from the dunes of myth. In that way you will not count me as just another head to add number to your dwellers, but a valued yarn in your loom that would add an interesting pattern to the elaborate colors of your city.

"child-like" oil on canvas, 30x40 by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

I have issues I need to come to terms with for my hesitance to permanently rest my anchor in your celebrated grounds, for I remain a dreamy oar sailing  above your surface finding my way like in the misty lake in the morning. I think about another place. Soon I will sing to you his songs, tell you his stories. I will be showing you his doodled images I bind in the pages of my heart while I was awaiting for that day when I have to leave the same arms that pushed my frail vessel that brought me here. But for the moment, let me enjoy this while I prepare the things that I brought from home that I wanted you to see. My maker is aware I longed for anonymity, he searched a place for me and find you to conspire with – this is the fruition from that conspiracy. Forgive my torpid response when you fold your cold arms around me on my arrival, I faked my smile for I was overwhelmed, even thought of sailing back and retreat. But I am here. I should be here.  

When I’m absent minded, please remind me. Forgive my shortcomings, I take the blame for my willful alienation that kept me withdrawn this past three years. I didn’t really gave you the chance. I stayed remote for my need to reconcile my past with the present to resolve internal turbulence for a dreamt smooth sailing  journey ahead. I need this moment to delve with the person that resides within my ribs that took many masks imposed for him to wear to please people that made him altogether forget who he really is. I need to peel the layered superficialities accumulated over the years to uncover and pick myself out of the half-truth heaps, if I have to start it right with you.

And when I’m done with this transient anonymity, I will wear my true skin, flaws included, walk your streets and find kindred spirits in the eyes of your people I meet, because I belong. 

 

This piece marks my 3rd year in America, my 3rd year struggling as a foreigner trying to fit in the molds of Chicago and not forgetting my roots.

 

Jeques, 2009. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” collection.

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Biennial

2nd Year of Taming This Tyke’s Voice

August 16, 2009

Jeques Web Nook, Year 2

"prologue" oil on canvas 48x48 by Jeques B. Jamora

"Prologue" oil on canvas 48x48 the finale to Jeques's recent painting collection and the prologue to the next.

Today marks the second year of taming my voice as a writer and as an artist in general, in public. My web nook serves as my creative venue where I synthesize life’s inspirations, my journey, random thoughts, dreams, desperations, my share of pains in living, simple joys, bliss, life’s mirths, ponderings ~

My every day celebration for knowing that I breath and my existense is in tune with the universe’s rhymes.

It’s been two years and this nook gifted me with rich produce that I never realized I have inside me, had I not listen closely to the fragile voice that told me stories, recited me poetry, painted my life with colors.

In commemoration with Jeques web nook biennial celebration, I am proud to formally launch my bountiful harvest as an artist in My Art Portfolio. This is the produce from my continuous reconnaissance of my gift.

Follow the tracks of the waif’s journey. And may you whisper a prayer in every turn and  trail, for the waif to find his home.

Through my works, I would like to represent the displaced artists in different fields for some reasons, becoming like waifs, that I am, searching for home. I share the sentiments of artists unable to do their arts, caged in the jobs that are far from what their hearts purely desire to do. I aim as an artist to speak to that audience, to inspire them through my works and to make a statement that it is possible. Every art piece I finish is a struggle, but each is a step closer to home.  (an excerpt from “Self Portrait Of The Artist In Words” by Jeques. Complete story is found in the last page of the of the portfolio). 

PLEASE CLICK IMAGE TO FOLLOW THE TRAILS OF THE WAIF >>>

 

"waif" oil on canvas 30x30(close up view) by Jeques B. Jamora


Morning Panes(tanka/painting series)

  “Morning Panes”(Tanka and painting) series #1 of 3
   
Dreams sojourn ~
 Whimsy reflections
 On morning panes ~
 
Coquetting the mind
Crooning dormant soul.
 
"morning panes" #1 oil on canvas 30x40, by Jeques B. Jamora “morning panes” #1 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora

 

"morning panes" series #1 to 3 “morning panes” series #1 to 3
“Morning Panes” (Tanka and Painting) series #2 of 3 
  
Dormant soul
Hatching, awaiting
Dawn’s misty kiss ~
 
Artist awakens
Broods nestle on trees.
 
"morning panes" #2 oil on canvas 30x40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009 “morning panes” #2 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

 

 
morning panes
 
“Morning Panes” (Tanka and Painting) series #3 of 3
 
  
Courage ingrained
Inside broken soul’s
Callus chest ~
  
Anticipating sunrise
Awaiting to exhale.
"morning panes" #3 oil on canvas 38x48, by Jeques B. Jamora “morning panes” #3 oil on canvas 38×48, by Jeques B. Jamora
.
I have paintings conceived from poems.
 
The images of these paintings initially presented themselves to me in words. Morning Panes, a painting series of 3(at least for now, there is more to it) is one of them. It first came to me in a poem I composed in 2003. The poem visited me in a peculiar dream of a dream within a dream. I believe many of us had experienced that, dreaming in our dream, waking up still asleep. Or is it only me?
 
That dream is a tiny drop of inspiration that created ripples of poetry series. I used to write a lot, I had the freedom of time back home and I can afford to really sit down and study my thougths and dreams in my morning pages. In 2003 I wrote the poem, Images Of You. . . 

 
In my dream
I watch you in your sleep.
My heart feels glad,
My heart leaps.
  
Images of you haunt me ~
  
From the time I wake,
‘Til my sleep.

 

That dream was so vivid I immediately wrote a poem when I awake. The imagery from the dream and the words in the poem lingered in my thoughts which I first expressed visually in a drawing, My Morning Pane, Februay, 2005. It is a self-sketch of myself on bed in my room back home in the Philippines which is the original setting of the dream, the poem, the painting.
"my morning panes" pencil on paper by Jeques, 2005 
“my morning panes” pencil on paper by Jeques, 2005
 
In 2006, I wrote another poem from the same inspiration, Evanescent Romance, this poem fits well in series #2 of the painting. Note the change of the window from the previous, it represents the many rooms we sleep and the multitude of window panes we wake up with in our lifetime yet dreaming the same dreams. Here’s the poem: 
 

We are joined by our hearts’ seeking radars.
 Our souls converge at midnight’s deep blue skies.
 We talk, our words are the infinite stars.
 We feel so intimate with our closed eyes.
 Our unions are chronicled by my pen.
 The winds’ soft whistles signal your presence.
 Your image flickers through my window pane ~
 Silhouette of my dream-lover’s essence.
 In my mind I touch the face of heaven,
 When you croon to me lovesongs of silence.
   Bliss is what my thoughts of you has given.
 You illumined my lonely existence. 
Romance confined in shadows of the night. 
 ‘Tis evanescent with the morning light.

 

These are some of the few poems I wrote that ended up on canvas, in visual form, in paintings.
 
But there are also inspirations that presented themselves to me first in visual arts. They become drawings, or sketches, or paintings instantly. In these instances, my brushstrokes are my words to create imageries that frequent my thoughts.
  
To complete the circle of poems becoming paintings and paintings becoming poems, I used the painting series, “Morning Panes” as subject and inspiration to my poems for this week’s workshop on the ancient poetry form: the Tanka. It dates back to the 7th century. A poem of five lines of 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count respectively. I strictly followed this rules in the previous Tanka’s I composed but in the workshop I attend, I learned the freedom from the Tanka minimalists, and the modern american tanka which is less restricting as to the syllable count and rather focusing on the importance of expressing an emotion or deep thought in a concise manner in the five lines which is the true beauty of writing a Tanka. Shorter syllable count in each line when achieved in 19-24 or even shorter in 15 counts at the very least instead of 31 is preferred in the modern tanka.
  
Using the Tanka structure, I took out pictures of my paintings and from the deepest recesses of my core extract words that would best express the brushstrokes. Series #3 of the painting fully express my sentiments as a dormant artist awaiting to exhale, an egg hatching, a seed awaiting for springtime, a child awaiting to be born.
And when I come to think of it, this circle of paintings becoming poems, and the poems’ metamorphosis becoming paintings, I come to realize that there’s really no single strand or line that separates them. When I paint, the brushstrokes are my words. When I write, the words are my brushstrokes to create imageries. Sketches and drawings are my scribbles, my drafts.
  
It is my commitment to my craft to achieve such seamless fusion of my paintings and poetry for both are conceived and born from my heart.
 
  
 *For more of my paintings, please click image to navigate to my art portfolio >>> 
 
 waif

  


Where Hearts Converge

Where Hearts Converge 

 

This sad ending would be our beginning ~

Face to face, you and me, aboard the train.

Together, albeit our roads parting:

Mine bounds north, yours south. Then it starts to rain.

Would time and space bring us happy ending?

Would we converge in this station again?

 

 

 

"where hearts converge" pencil, pen and ink on drawing paper by Jeques

"where hearts converge" pencil, pen and ink on drawing paper by Jeques

 

 

 

And just like that, we’re on our own again ~

Watching the blankness of our beginning

Through the panes of an uncertain ending

Like errant souls on board the express train

Listening to the sad notes of the rain

Heaven’s soundtrack to our fateful parting.

 

Time slips our palms like the daylights parting ~

‘Tis dark, and gloom embraces us again.

But our sorrows will be washed by the rain.

This railroads meet to a fresh beginning.

We will get there, let us allow the train.

And then we’ll entomb these woes to ending.

 

We travel through this passage’s ending ~

The railroads fork and we see hearts parting.

Tons of broken souls carried by the train.

But rails would weave them together again.

To debark in frontiers of beginning,

Like seed sprouting, bathed by the springtime rain.

 

As pains’ dusts settle soaked by the rain,

The turmoil alights to a graceful ending.

The heart learns to hum tunes of beginning,

And understands that even the parting

Is part of it all, then we smile again ~

As we weave our stories inside the train.

 

I get off, now enlightened, from the train ~

Mind’s pellucid like skies after the rain.

Heart’s calm awaiting to see you again.

May you look forward to the same ending,

May your thoughts not be hazed by this parting.

‘Til we reach our station of beginning.

 

Last night’s rain crooned our sorrows to ending.

Trains meet again in our point of parting ~

Where hearts converge to a new beginning.

 

(Where Hearts Converge  a Sestina I wrote for the poetry workshop I attend every wednesday. Jeques, 2009)

Have I told you I started attending a weekly poetry workshop last wednesday? I think not. The workshop will run for 6 weeks this summer. I chanced upon the Ad when I got me some books for my painting studies in Evanston, IL public libruary. I missed one session but I was able to submit a poem for the first poetry form : Cento, a poetry made up of lines borrowed from a combination of established authors, usually resulting in a change in meaning. For me, the beauty of composing a Cento is it makes you read poetry and appreciate more the lines. This poetry would be very helpful to beginners, it could be a starting point because to write poetry, a poet needs and should read first the works of other poets and Cento just  help you do that, it makes you appreaciate the work of others, makes you compose from their inspirations and perhaps help you find your voice along the way.

I was cramming when I put this cento poem together. I called tuesday(July 7) afternoon if it was possible for me to catch up since I missed the first week. Joshua, the moderator, said yes and told me about the Cento which was discussed the previous week and that I have to bring a piece the next day if I’m interested to attend. I work night shift, but I brought with me one of my favorite poetry books to work that night, and during dead hours read poems of great authors and line by line composed a Cento. The first line I got from the song, “Eversince the world begun,” the soundtrack of the 1989 movie: Lock up.  Here is the piece I put together and I read during the first session(July 8).

 

This Wanting

 

I never knew what brought me here

You entered my life in a casual way.

The dream we dream together here,

All paths lead to you where e’er I stray.

 

There is nothing that last, not one.

Yet still the story and the meaning stay.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done.

Yet it well might be that never for me.

 

I need so much the quiet of your love.

A love like this can know no death.

I need your calm all other things above.

Your precious presence is the air I breath.

 

I want you through every changing season

If not, then let me live this life alone.

~

(This Wanting a Cento poem. Here are the poems and the authors I got the lines of this poem from: line #2 TO A FRIEND by Grace Stricker Dawson, #3 IN THE ROSE GARDEN byJohn Bennett, #4 ALL PATHS LEAD TO YOU by Blanch Shoemaker Wagrooff, #5 HER ANSWER by John Bennett, #6 THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE by Edwin Markham, #7 SOMEBODY SAID THAT IT COULDN’T BE DONE by Edgar Guest, #8 OUR OWN by Margaret Sangster, #9 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #10 AD FINEM by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, #11 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #13 I WANT YOU by Arthur L. Gillom. Lines #12 and 14 are my original)

Last wednesday(July 8), we discussed the poetry form: Sestina. I have been always interested to try writing a poem in this form but the structure is too demanding thereby forbidding, so I always end up throwing first drafts. The reason why I’ve always longed to get myself into a workshop is to get the chance to be crafty again with poetry, and this just works that way for me. Since I’m now slowing down with painting nearing the completion of my collection, I find time to write again and the poem included here is my first produce when I finally got myself sitted again to study poetry structures and working the craft. The sentina we compose this week will be read and discussed on our next workshop this coming wednesday(July 15).

Let me share with you sestina’s definition from the Academy of American Poets

The sestina is a complex form that achieves its often spectacular effects through intricate repetition. The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the provencal troubador of the 12th century. The name “troubadour” like comes from trobar, which means to invent or compose verse. The troubadours sang their verses accompanied by music and were quite competitive, each trying to top the next in wit, as well as complexity and difficulty of style.

The sestina follows a strict pattern of the repetition of the initial 6 end-words of the first stanza throught the remaining five six-line stanzas, culminating in a three-line envoi. The lines may be of any length, though in its initial incarnation, the sestina followed a syllabic restriction.

Note: I followed a 10-syllabic count in each line respectively in my poem.

The form is as follows, where each numeral indicates the stanza position and the letters represent end-words:

1. ABCDEF

2. FAEBDC

3. CFDABE

4. ECBFAD

5. DEACFB

6. BDFECA

7 (envoi) ECA or ACE ( I used ECA, please note that I also used all the 6 end-words in the last three lines)

The envoi, sometimes known as the tornada, must also include the remaining three-end words, BDF, in the course of the three lines so that all six recurring words appear in the final three lines. In place of a rhyme scheme, the sestina relies on end-word repetition to effect a sort of rhyme.

The poetry idea using the train and the train station as backdrop have been chasing me and been resurfacing my mind for more than a year now. I first got the idea when one time we took the subway here in chicago(hence, the reference to the north and south bound directions of the train), The place just poured me such an overwhelming poetry inspiration, but I did not act on it instantly for many reasons, and one of them is I’m still finding the right structure to give the poetry idea a body that it would need. Last year, I wrote the poem Summer, Gone. The poem contains some of the ideas that are infused in Where Hearts Converge. Here’s the poem Summer gone:

You came to bring me summer sunshine,

You left to leave me autumn gloom.

Like a speeding train,

Summer came

And Gone.

What happened to the vibrant days,

Where have my sunshine gone?

Why do the clouds just suddenly

Hid you?

My smile, don’t fade away

Please no!

Why do you have to give up

Your sunny yellow ~

Have I not brought

Your life some bright lights,

Why do we have to go apart

In blue?

Would the evening light

Sustain us

In this changing season,

Would it ease

The growing yearning

With its subdued

Glow?

I rest my heart

In this lonely season.

But I would keep our paths

Clear

Of grass growths.

May the railroad

That took you away

Would lead you

Back.

And when you’re tired

Chasing the changing seasons,

You could always return

To an endless

Summer ~

Here in my resolute

Heart.

I think it is also important to mention here that the heart of this poem and the sentiment I expressed here was originally conceived in the poem One Heart which I composed in 2003.

 

Two different people

 Living separate lives

Wanting different dreams

Going to opposite directions.

 

  But then they met.

 

And they become one

One heart in two different people

One in their thoughts

Going towards the same direction ~

 

  

Living the same dreams.

 

Where Hearts Converge is one of the poems I’ve written that really went through a very long process. The idea, the sentiments and the heart of the poem came and present itself  to me in fragments, but I believe I was able to gather the elements in a piece which I put together here and give it the perfect body in the sestina structure.

I already have a painting idea in mind for this poem which I conceived some few months back. The title is “Convergence,” a painting series of 4 pieces and I will be using the Kois and the elements of the railroads in the painting which I will post here when I finish the series. Until then, but for now, I included an illustration of the poem in pencil, pen and ink sketches on drawing paper.


My Oasis

There are times when we need to leave the safety of the harbor and answer the beaconing of the future in the horizon where the skies kiss the seas ~

The unfamiliar arched skies and the daunting blue of the ocean may appear uncertain, and there may be no written guarantee accross the seas but we take out our anchors from our sunctuaries, take the chance and sail anyway.

memories-from-home-008

"Our Sunctuary" oil on canvas 20x24 by : Jeques B. Jamora

There are moments in life when we have to leave the roads that are very familiar.

It is our human nature to explore uncharted terrietories.

There’s that part in us that needs and longs for the change of landscapes.

And so we leave the paths that are safe and take a detour, stray away from our every day roads, throw the maps and just go ahead and get thrilled with things new.

We all need to face our fates at a certain point and take that arduous trek in the desert to fulfill the only obligation we have in this life to reach our destinations.

2009-paintings-015

"Our Fate" oil on canvas, 18x18 by : Jeques B. Jamora

Such things happen many times in our lifetime. Sometimes we do it awake and aware, but often it just happens and we wake up one day in the middle of the desert, or in a new road, or sailing in the ocean’s uncertain blues like we are inside a dark hole and that only our presence could fill that void.

I chose to be aware and awake when I take a detour or sail – I don’t want to be thrown in the grounds unguarded. We can all control our destiny. We can all choose the kind of battle and our kind of journey.

Now for those who are wondering where I’ve been?

I’ve gone painting!

I feel like I need to leave the familiar roads, the safety of my harbor in writing and take a plunge into the uncertainty of the blue horizon that’s been beaconing me for the longest time. So I left the safety and the happy company of the language, of the friendly words that coquet my thoughts and the pages to answer another call of traveling alone in my journey with my art. 

It is important that even how far the distances we reach in our travels, we need to be in touch with the isles that once became our harbor, and the trails that would lead us back to the roads that we once took that brought us where we are at the moment.

"our trail" oil on canvas, 24x30 by : Jeques B. Jamora

"Our Trail" oil on canvas 24x30 by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

No matter how long we travelled in the deserts of this life, we need to be in touch with things and people that once became our oasis. Poetry and writing are the oasis of my soul. And I will always be back here, now and again, to drink and dine in the bounty of their  inspiration.

~

You are my daily dose of life,

My daily drop of hope.

You are the reason I’m moving on,

And why I need to cope.

~

You are my oasis

In this life’s desert

So I can stand up

And walk.

~

My love,  you are the oasis of my heart, and I will always be back in your sunctuary, in the comfort and warmth of your presence for it is you who makes my journey worthwhile. 

 


A Prelude To A Million Dreams

My creative muse prompts me to begin writing on a fresh page as I start a new process of knowing. This is the time of my life when I do things because I feel like doing them. Like, I write because I would like to read my thoughts tangible in words taking form written on pages, so I would get a better grasp of them.

to-the-deeps-0151

Like the damselflies of my childhood, I don’t chase my thoughts anymore now that I’m grown up. My mind, like my palms to the damdelflies, I will open so dreams and thoughts could freely alight to show me their beauty. I will befriend this elusive guests instead of running after them like I did during my reckless youth. Perhaps this way, I could encourage their frequent visits.

"to the deeps" #1, oil on canvas by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

To The Deeps

At midnight

When half the world is asleep,

The prying eyes of the nocturnal owl

Stay alert for mice dozing undergrownds.

."to the deeps" #2, oil on canvas by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

A turtle slowly prowls in a swamp

Disturbing the resting fishes

On the shallow waters.

."to the deeps" #3, oil on canvas, 20x20 by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

Somewhere, you are confined

Asleep in your room dreaming.

While I stay awake questioning.

.#to the deeps" #4, oil on canvas, 20x20, by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

Am I part of your dreams tonight?

Would I take part in your life

When you awake in the morning?

.to-the-deeps-010

The night ends

With the owl catching no mice.

The fishes has gone to The deeps,

But the turtle hasn’t reach where ’tis going.

Just like me with my doubts never fading.

."to-the-deeps" #2 and 3

But nevertheless always wishing

That one day I’d stop questioning

And to The deeps I’d just let the fishes

Swim.

"to-the-deeps" #3 and 4

Unhurried thoughts and dreams come pellucid like the reflection of the summer skies on a placid river. I aim to write my thoughts that way: to achieve such clarity. These thoughts, my dreams reflected on pages as I allow the readers to grasp them like viewing the river and the skies on a clear summer day.

But sometimes, words are just ain’t enough. There are thoughts and dreams conceived that come in defined shapes, definite forms and rich colors. So I capture them in sketches. Such thoughts and dreams come alive on pads as my pen and pencil give them skin and the ink give them blood and the images from my mind come throbbing alive in sketches.

But then again, oftentimes, I am haunted by vivid dreams and thoughts that not my pen and the pencil nor the ink are enough to breath them life, to bring them the colors like the coquettish fishes flirting my mind with their exotic dance moves in the river where my mind often hovers. They demand to be born and inhabit the canvas, and only my brush strokes could give them soul, only the pallette could bring to life their hued reflections flickering in my imagination ~

Conspicuous in light and shadows.

This is the time of my life when I am fully in touched with my creative muse and the river of my mind is on its calmest state, where any minute movements are reflected that could stir ripples of dreams, and rapture of colors like the blossoms in springtime. The pages and the pads and the canvas are like the verdant fields where my dreams bloom. They are like the river in my mind where the fishes swim to the deeps in their coquettish dance moves that preludes to a million dreams.

The damselfly is within reach – I am taking time to appreciate his beauty as he hovers and I, motionless wishing the damselfly would soon alight in my palms.

Who says that dreams are black and white?

oil on canvas 20X20 by : Jeques B. Jamora


Ingrained

memories-from-home-022

"Childhood" oil on canvas, 24x30 by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

“Childhood” oil on canvas, 24×30 by :  Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

 

Art museums and galleries are the places I often visit, and the Art Institute of Chicago is my favorite. It is like the secluded dusty paths I used to trod when I was a child pulling my carts to endless directions in circles that my young mind then imagined.

I am naturally solitary.

There are things that I grew up doing alone, and they are what I really love to do. Against all odds, I silently fought for these things and from where I stand now, I look back to claim my rewards from my little triumphs.

In one of my quiet strolls in the museum communing with the spirits of the artists gone and living, I observed young students in a group sketch session. I was deeply moved, I felt envious and sad. Some thoughts dawned in me: I always do my arts alone, closed doors, dettached from the world. My father was highly critical of my early works, he is the first battle I fought to shield my natural gift from the many forces that discouraged me and my early pursuits in finding my voice as an artist and my soul in my works. 

Watching this young students brought me back to my sketching sessions as a kid. Any empty paper and writing tools are my art materials then – give me anything I could sketch on and I could survive long hours alone away from people. I envy these kids doing there arts in the company of their classmates, enjoying art moments with their friends. When they are my age years from now, and they would stroll through this quiet room, these paintings in the wall would remind them of this moment, but more than that, the walls would echo their whispered giggles that would bring back happy memories. 

As they weave their memories unaware, I went back to my own. I visited my solitary self struggling to find meaning in what seemed to be senseless dots and lines I put together to create images that was so insignificant then. Little did I know that those dots and lines would bring me to this point, to look back and find the trails I left to guide me back to how and where my journey started.

I started sketching when I was about 3 years old before I learned how to write, when my grip was strong enough to control a pencil or a pen. The moment I first held a pencil, I knew it in my heart that this is something that I would love to do for a lifetime. And that is how my romance with the arts started, like a-love-at-first-grip kind of thing. I remember my mother was my first teacher and our first subject were flowers. She stopped teaching me when my flower sketches look nicer than the ones she taught me. I outgrew the art lessons my mother gave me quick. And then she became my first admirer, my first fan, my first follower and collector of my works. My first art exhibit was in her store as she show my drawings in the pages of her record notebook to friends. That was my version of an art institute.

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“flowers” #1 pen and pencil on paper by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

But there was a negative energy, too, my first critic: my father. He thought my works were insignificant and told me to do other things. I think the hardest thing he did was when he forced me to use my right hand ~ I was born left handed ~ and at 16, when I was so sure of my decission to take up fine arts, he put me to a nursing school.

I was caught in the middle trying to keep my balance early on: between my encouraging, nourishing, consenting mother and my highly critical, discouraging, tormenting father.

I never had formal education in the arts. The gift is ingrained, I was born with the passion, not even my father was able to control from florishing. So in my room, close doors, alone, I had my sketching session as a kid. It was lonely. There was only one person I would seek every time I finish a piece: my mother. Her sincere appreciation of my works nourished me to keep going. But I have to admit all these years, I seek for the approval of my father which he never gave. After my father died in 2008, I thought I’m free now. I always was!

“The mind and the heart and the soul, like the birds, are meant to soar, set it free. Allow your spirit to fly!”

I walk fast many more group of young kids in drawing sessions while I brouse through the paintings on the walls that flood me with mulititude of thoughts from the past, present and future. Nothing has changed in me much, I still am the kid and art is still a solitary life for me and perhaps I would spend it that way for the rest of my life. I have come to terms with myself and solitude has become a bliss.

I, too, am still that kid who would seek my mother’s appreciation everytime I finish an art piece to get her nod and nourishing words of encouragement for me to go on. Only now I seek that appreciation from people who would chance upon my works, like my mother’s friend in the store she would show my drawings of flowers as a kid.

I still am that kid who fear the criticism of my father that made me rip many pages of my sketches, and toss away many works unfinished. Deep in my heart, I have to admit I still seek for his approval that he was so selfish to give.

I see my father’s image in people who thought my works are insignificant, I find courage in people who tell me otherwise. I still am struggling to find that balance from this opposing forces.

Deep inside this heart, ingrained, is a gift that I’m entrusted to nurture alone, close doors, away from people. I remain that waif inside my room as a child connecting senseless dots and lines to create images hoping that people would find them significant, so I could finally find my grown up version of an art institute, my home, your heart.

and like a desolate soul a lonely waif

I await for you to find me.

May your travels not take you long,

Come fast and love me ~

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“Waif” oil on canvas 18×18 by : Jeques B. Jamora


My Contribution To The Future

My eldest sister, Maritez, called me the previous day asking me to write a valedictory address for her second child, Gigi, who will be graduating Valedictorian from grade school. It was such a great moment for me. Suddenly I was a proud uncle, I believe she feels double the joy and pride I felt. Hearing my nephews’ and nieces’ accomplishments and achievements are always inspiring. It feels like I’m showered with so much positive energies, and I feel a certain feeling of high every time.

And then, I begun the composition of the speech in my mind that brought me back to the sweet memories of my early education from elementary days. It all became fresh again. All the elements came back, and I was there when it happened and the speech I wrote should have been the message I told my classmates back then, only I was not the valedictorian.

 

My Education: My Contribution To The Future

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A Valedictory Address : Angelie Jamora Escrupulo

 

I arrive today to this moment, standing facing a new frontier. Before this moment pass me by, let me take each detail, each piece of memories, each body of thoughts, the knowledge, the wisdom, the important life’s lessons, all the gifts and blessings that this moment is giving me so I could take them with me to my travel to the future. 

My dear classmates, are you taking the memories like me?

Do you still remember the first time we stepped to the grounds of this school, the Elementary School we will forever carry wherever the future takes us from here. Did you keep our shared laughters? The laughter forever sweet in our memories. Engrave them in your hearts, they are the laughter so pure we could always go back whenever we face the bitter taste of life that we are sure to stumble upon as we face the consequences of growing. Value the friendship we built here, they hold the purest elements of camaraderie and partnership that we need as we befriend the world.

Feel the comfort of the chairs where you are seated now, the floor where your feet are rested, breath the air, the scent of our dear school ~ 

If you could hold the hands of our classmates beside you, feel that gentle yet strong grip .  .  .  . 

(Note : Invite everybody at this point to hold hands and please allow some time for seatmates to enjoy the moment)

The memory of their grips will remind us that we will be forever safe wherever our futures would take us when we leave this grounds and get out of the gates of this campus that will forever hold the moments when we took our baby steps taking in the knowledge that helped form the young muscles of our minds so we would be ready.

Listen to the sounds of triumph that we all hear at this moment.

Capture all the elements that we could possibly get from here –

The scents of our notepads and erasers, of our bags, of the pencils and scented pens, when we were just learning to form the first letters, write our first words and draw our first flowers.

The many rains that showered us in our way to school and back home, and its sound as the rainfalls hit the roof of our classroom when we were just learning to count and pronounce our ABC’s

The sunlights that lit our faces, the sunshine that’s forever bright in our memories, and will forever remind us of the first exercise and dance steps we learn from our PE.

The feel of our desk, the colors of our classroom, the taste of the hundred snacks we shared.

Memorize the faces that helped pave the way for us to arrive to this victory, that made our first triumphs possible :

Our parents ~ God’s angels that built our homes and sent us to school.

Our families that supported us so we learn the basic lessons of how it is to stand and to take steps in our first walk in our journeys with life.

Our classmates and friends, who made us feel for the first time that we belong outside our homes in the safety of their company.

Our dear Teachers, our second parents in school, who fed us with all the knowledge every step of the way, from kindergarten, to grade one, to grade six, and now that this journey is about to end, as we are about to take a leap to next stage. We fear not because we are ready, they prepared us for this, to face the many battles we will face as we step to the roads to our future. Remember their voices that equipped us with the weapons and armour, these are the voices that will remind us of the power of knowledge they ingrained our young minds.  

Remember our dear Principal, who helped us build our backbones in education, wherever the paths of the academe will take us, we would always trace back our beginnings from here. We should always be grateful to our principal for designing and sending us the most basic and complete, yet non-complicated map so we would not get lost no matter how blurry the visibilities of the terrains  in the forest, and deserts, and jungles, and ocean, and prairies, and mountains, and skyscrapers of the cities of whatever profession that we will fly in our pursuits for knowledge to make the difference and make our corners of the world a better place to live.

We hold in our minds that map and if we uphold what we have learned, we will be sure to reach our destinations safe.

Remember that our parents, our teachers, our principal are once like you and I, too. They have arrived to where they are right now, and we their children, their pupils and the knowledge that they nourished us are their contribution to the the future they only thought about when they were our age dreaming about this very moment where we are now. Our triumphs and our achievements are their victories, too.

Let us thank them with our prayers, may our little voices would reach God’s ears to bless them. Let us pay them tribute and pass on their kindness by becoming the best versions of ourselves that they wanted all of us to become, nothing less. Wherever our journeys will take us, we will always trace our roots in this grounds, we are always anchored in their arms, in their hearts. Like kites we are safe in our flights because our strings are in the safety of their caring hands.

Let me read to you a poem written by my uncle, let this poem be my message to everybody who once were children, too. 

Child Once, Too

Let the child run free, uphills or down plains

Like a gazelle that gallops in prairies.

Let him swim in lakes, bathe in rains

And coquette like the mystical fairies.

Censor him not for he is free from stains

Trust not the filthy mind of the gentries.

Free the child from the restraining chains

And from the customs’ narrow boundaries.

Let him be for his generations’ gains ~

Allow the children to weave their stories.

 

And now, as we celebrate this milestones in our young life, let us celebrate this moment with grateful hearts. Our graduation today is our contribution to the future – from the seeds that we are now, will spring bright citizens of our country that will help sustain and make the difference. We will be taking different highways from this little road, we will explore the wide skies from this runway as we take off, we will reach distant shores as we leave this harbour of our elementary school as proud graduates ready to help build the future for the generations to come. 

For our friends, until we meet again.

For our guest of honor, thank you for the inspiration, may our little victory will serve as an inspiration for you, too, that you could take and share the next time you are invited to speak for a graduation ceremony.

For our Teachers and Principal, this is not goodbye, this is just asking your permission, and for your blessings as we take off – please wish us well.

For our parents and family, we offer to you our first accomplishment of the many triumphs and honors we will bring home from now.

For my dear classmates, let us open our minds and our hearts for growth. The future promises unlimited possibilities that are in our hands and are for us to seize and to hold. Always take the bright routes to the future, when the roads are seem dark in some days, take refuge and find the guidance of the little lamp post of the memories from this moment and we will never  get lost.

Let us thank God for this moment. Let us thank Him for all the people, the extension of His love, His angels that He sent to make sure all that we have now and our future will happen. It is written.

And when we reach our destinations please let us not forget to look back and send signals to our dear school, that we have reached our destinations and that we have arrived.

 


While You Are Away

Suddenly, a dike that held the ideas I searched for more than a year now, just burst open and flooded me with inspirations I was caught by the current of the gentle streams, and found myself stranded in front my easel painting again.

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(“Our Eden” Oil On Canvas 24X30 By: Jeques B. Jamora, 022709)

I stopped painting in November, 2007. That was when my father was hospitalized for the last and the longest time before he died in January, 2008.  My painting with the working title,”Pending Life,” is still unfinished and I decided to just leave it that way. When I went home to the Philippines for his funeral, I have planned in my head that when I return to Chicago, I will continue where I have left off but things didn’t turn out easy for me. There was a long drought of ideas, and I was just demotivated returning in front my easel.

I came back with a heap of image materials I collected from home I planned to use for my paintings, but I let them sleep in my computer. It was a year of dormancy, of distance from my arts, but I have written rich poetry and prose. The leave of absence of one passion, the working season for the other.

And then it returned, images suddenly haunt me. I tried to capture them in words at first mistaking them for poetry but they are so vivid they are tangible, I can almost touch the colors. Winter was the season of courtship with the ideas. One by one I befriend them, I tried to capture the hue, the contrasts, the idea, the images that formed in the canvas of my imagination and I listened to what it is telling me.

And then came the title, WHILE YOU ARE AWAY: Memories From Home. This is a collection of painting ideas I conceived since I was a kid, but didn’t have the resources to put them on canvas. The collection is the union of the rich ideas from childhood with my present state of mind. They use to be just dreams, and time had given me power to give them forms and shapes and colors.

This is my journey, a walk back to my art path I strayed many times.

This is the new beginning, my new frontier to my passion that appears to be new, but the road is strangely familiar like I have been here before, in my dreams, as a lost young artist, before you found me.

Have I finally stepped into our eden that I created long ago?  

For us ~

While you are away.


200 Picks From My Fecund Heart

Jeques’s  Web Nook, the corner that opens my heart to the public for reading and viewing is 1 year and a half today. And to celebrate this landmark to my writing life is my 200th post.

I lost count of the number of poetry I posted but it’s over 200.

My favorite remains to be the sonnet poem I wrote: A Walk Around The Oval

 

Once more I walk the oval track today,
And ponder yet again, “What is my role?”
Am I just making circles every day
In life’s arena, like an errant soul?
I walk around the never ending trail:
A fallen leaf caught in a swirling stream;
Or like an army, ever locked in drill.
I am engrossed and walk in my own dream.
Some strangers share my lane but not my muse.
You’re far, and yet, our thoughts are much the same;
I’m not alone then in the road I choose;
Beyond the oval someone shares my lane.

                    In you my lonesome soul finds home to stay,
                    For in my heart you’re near, you’re here with me.

 

This poem tells so much of myself, the loner that I am, the waif who is at peace with his solitude, forever contemplating his role in this life, ever hopeful finding that one person to share his thoughts, his soul, the other half of his tenacious heart.

I can not be in this life for no reason, there must be something in each moment that I have to take in as I breath, and there must something in me that I could offer as I exhale my soul in anything that I do. Perhaps  my poetry, my arts, my thoughts, my memories, the landscape of my mind, the language of my heart, the sweetest juice of my soul is my cotribution that I willingly offer, hoping that somebody would take and breath them into their hearts.

It’s been 200 posts of fresh picks from my fecund heart in many different forms. It is amazing how my web nook became not only a corner for me to display my works, but it had also become my working table to untangle my thoughts, to disect my heart, to trace the map of the alianated corners of my mind, to lay my soul on that table and to try to understand for myself the language that it wanted to speak.

I have told you about the seasons and how they affect me, the country where I came and I call home, about my family, about my dreams.

I shared with you my journeys, my childhood, why I write, the books I read, my artworks, photographs, some produce of my expirements with the lenses.

I laid open my heart writing about love, of fantasied romance, of heartbreaks, of failures and defeats and rejections, of rising, of bouncing back, and of triumphs.

I told you stories about friends, about a singer I admire, about my pets, about my plants and bonsai, about the space I live and its corners.

I wrote about my pen, the paper, the roads, the garden, the pond and it’s inhabitants, I brought you to the places I traveled, about my job, my wishes, and dreams.

I have revealed to you few of my secrets,

I have walked in your presence naked, for in all the 200 posts that I placed here, I wrote them with so much honesty and they are my truth. 

After 200 posts, I thought I still have so much to tell, I still have a lot in my notebooks that I have not shared, there are still many thoughts inside my head nugging me to give them life in writing, I still have heap of drafts that need to be finished,  my heart streams hasn’t ceased flowing and each drop are stories, and poetry and artworks that is mine to offer.

There are still secrets I keep in my heart, and I know time would make me reveal them.

There are still so much joy and sorrows, and mirths to look forward to.

The seasons will continue their cycles.

I still view life, like a child with his nose pressed up against the window watching the world with wide-eyed wonder of a grown up tyke. 

Their are places I still have to travel and see, awaiting like blank canvas beaconing for my brush strokes to give them colors and tangible forms.

Like a clean slate and pristine white pages longing for the ink from my heart that would bring them to life

And give them wings to fly like birds to find their homes to your hearts.

Thank you for reading.

I wish you well.

 

~ Jeques