The curtain of the night drops.
The howling of the wind
That echoes in the canyon
Cloaked the silence of closure.
Heaven sends its final greeting
In the form of raindrops
Where do I start, or
Did it ever end?
Words left me, or
Should I pick up from where I left, or
Simply move by?
Had I left the palette black, or
Was it white, or
Simply the absence of colors ~
A temporary recluse,
A self-exile from
My drawing board,
My writing table.
The easel put away,
As I lament
A closure of the page.
A quiet epilogue
Amidst the fading light
And sound Of the rain
The heart begins to pound.
A sign of life
Among the rabbles
Like walking dead
With no direction
(In the dark streets to nowhere)
Signs of the bread crumbs
As the sun breaks
Through the ridges;
Tapering the edges of the shadow.
The sweet mist of last night’s rain
Kissed the deserted page
Where words will begin to form again
Like spring sprouts
That would bring splashes
And rapturous sounds
To a heart coming back to life.
Where things end,
And where they begin is undefined.
Where I stopped
And when I begin is not known to me.
Everyday I awake,
That’s what I know.
Please Click sound button for the soundtrack >>>
Eyes lie in wait ~
Day and night ~
Skies in surveillance
Waiting for the sign
That might be sent
From the future,
As the gentle streams of life,
And the rough currents
That ever oppose
Mold the pebbles
In the bed of stones
By the river
Adorned by some weeds
Awaiting for some hands
To pick them up.
Awaiting for some great minds
To give them names.
Unaccounted for ~
Remaining like a worthless bead
In the infinities ~
Awaiting for some gifted hands
To weave him
In the precious thread
Of chance, to adorn
Like a pendant
To rest forever
Closest to your chest.
Pick me from the infinities
And carve my fingers
With marks to define my distiction.
Paint my blank facade
With a face
And buy me a name.
Find me in the dunes.
You’d easily recognize me
Among the pebbles.
And find in my eyes
Your own reflection:
Waiting for the sign.
Please Click sound button for the soundtrack >>>
The snow fall frenzy of yesterday rolled to a halt. The clouds reduced to thin layers partially covering the sun; the morning after promises a clear day. The weather seem to illustrate my present state of mind. Yesterday, I presented myself, my works and everything that I dreamed about since I was three to the right audience that understands the artist Jeques and share my passion. Yesterday was an overload of activities I tried to digest – fast-paced – clogging my system and clouding my thoughts unabsorbed but are now starting to make sense. As I gather myself together today, there are things I wanted to write to right things about what I said yesterday, to bring my thoughts to clarity on the page.
Introduction and Art Presentation
About the “Waif”
Let me invite you to a place where a waif resides, in the land that gives his artworks a sense of place.
I am Jesus B. Jamora. My Artist name is Jeques, I am the “Waif.”
This painting best represents me as an artist. The image is a self-portrait of a kid from memory, back in my country where he continue to hover giving this painting a sense of home. The image may look peculiar to most of you, so let me tell you the story behind the painting.
If you’ve ever been to the Philippines or read about it, you would know that my country is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands. We are literally embraced by the sea. During summer, many tourists flock to our beautiful islands where you would see these children waiting in the ports for foreigners to drop some coins from the ships and they would dive in the waters to claim their prize. I haven’t done that exactly, but I felt a certain connection to these children as an artist, for just like them, I’ve also been waiting, longing, seeking for somebody to give me a chance, for a prize of home like an orphan waiting for his adoption.
Why do I feel like a waif?
I was an artist before I became a seminarian at 12, a nurse at 20, a pharmaceutical medical representative at 22, a boutique manager at 28, and an immigrant nurse at 34. I was an artist, I am. But circumstances left me lost, and strayed. I’ve been to many different fields working many different jobs but I’ve not really had the chance to do the one thing that my heart have always been longing to do. It is my faith that guided me to this path. It is my tenacity that brought me here knocking, hoping The School of the Art Institute of Chicago would open me the door of the chance I seek, to welcome me home so I could finally claim the prize I searched and offer my sense of purpose as an artist.
If I as a nurse could care for physically ill people back to health, I believe the Artist and would-be Art Therapist Jeques could touch lives to bring the tired spirits back to life.
And like a desolate soul, a lonely waif,
I wait for you to find me.
May your travels not take you long,
Come fast and love me.
It was wonderful to have the chance to mingle with many artists of differents ages, coming from different backgrounds, and races and culture; expressing arts in different forms to be one with them, to breath the same air and be a kindred spirit to other beautiful souls wanting to make the difference through our gifts. Each one of us have our individual stories we brought to tell and are our contribution as artists that created the bigger than life work of art event that was. How wonderful it was to have the opportunity to belong, like a single thread with my own unique contribution to the whole creating the colorful tapestry of the moment. For a day, I was home.
Two of the SAIC students made a sample thesis presentation and posted a question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the other asked, : What is your dream. In silence, in my corner of the 122 S Michigan ballroom, my heart answered in whisper:
“THIS IS WHAT I’VE WANTED TO BE AND I’VE ALWAYS DREAMED ABOUT.”
I wish you well, everyone.
Please click sound button for the soundtrack >>>
To Dream is one thing, to do something for the fruition of a dream is another.
The day after tomorrow, I shall wake up and be able to tell myself I did something. And for whatever this dream may come, I shall not grow old and regret for not trying. I could face my creator head high and tell Him I never wasted the gift for I tried.
An Attempt will be made.
I am ready.
I received a text message from my mother early this morning from the Philippines. The ever warm concern in her voice is evident as I read her message half awake, asking me if I’m OK, if it’s safe where I live because if not, she would rather want me home.
What happened to the voice that ever propels me to move forward, why so sudden it calls my retreat? She must have been watching the news lately about some overseas Filipino workers in Libya trying to flee the country in siege and the worsening insurgency situation where many Filipinos are trapped and some are even held hostage in their work place calling for help. But more than that, I understand where the sudden fear of my mother coming: The recent earthquake in New Zealand left our family in deep sadness with my cousin still missing among the rubbles of the CTV building that collapsed during the February 22 Christchurch, New Zealand Earthquake. We are in agony after days of waiting and still with no official confirmation if she’s been found. I feel for my Aunt. I feel for my mother who must be so scared back home thinking of my safety being away from home and alone, which made her send that message calling my retreat to return home.
I replied reassuring her I’m OK and not to worry, and rather asked her to pray that I would do well on the very important event in my journey as an artist on March 5 that would mark my first attempt in trying my chances in the Art field with my scheduled whole day appointment at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a group interview. My mother never made me feel she ever doubted what I’m capable of doing even as I was just starting to draw at 3 when she taught me my first art lessons at home drawing flowers. She made me believe at such a young age that my gift could send me somewhere to some doors that would open great opportunities for me. She is the voice that continue to propel me in my journey.
But today, when I read her text message, I am turned between listening to her voice that once fueled my young imagination to reach this doorstep where I am waiting for some hand to open the door for me, and the voice calling my retreat to come home. My will is being tested to move forward or withdraw from the journey I started to trod long ago when she first handed me a pencil and a paper that made me draw my way to this chance within reach.
My mother’s message shows to prove her unconditional love. Love that is not measured by how much accomplishment I take home, for more than anything, she’s more concern of my safety.
The voice of my mother remains a powerful propeller of my journey – it is the voice that sends me to distances trying every chances. But it’s also the voice that could call my retreat to return home.
I wrote this piece to understand the depth of her message. I wrote this piece to reassure my mother I am safe.
You are always ripples away,
The tides ever
Series of hurdles
As it appears in the surface
That this meek soul
Secretly transcends beneath;
Away from the prying eyes
You are designed
For cruel intentions,
That is how the world sees you.
But for the many years
That I followed your lead,
I learned to give your purpose
A different meaning.
I am grateful
To the hands that keep my safety
Disguised in undulation ~
Of the sudden swell of waves between us.
Oftentimes your absence disheartens me,
Scared of losing you to the crest of tides,
But reassured to see you still there
When the morning after
Calms the bubbling surfs,
That in many occasions pushed us apart.
I praise the hands that hold
The mysterious fishing pole
And for chosing you the bait,
And thank time, too,
For helping me understand.
You are the reason
Why I swim the extra laps;
Take another stroke,
No matter how helpless
My frail attempts ~
Against the raging currents ~
Just to be near you.
Reason that I doubt,
The world’s shallow definition
Of predator and prey
Would ever come to comprehend.
Your lead brought me to the deeps,
You are the pivot that draws me to the blue;
A hope that keeps my buoyancy,
And not sink in the ocean,
In the heart of possibilities.
When are you going to consume me?
(Follow the lead of your dream, trust the hands that hold the fishing pole and His design where the bait is going to take you. ~ Jeques)
The dragonfly is always been my metaphor in following the lead of my dreams. I used to chase them in the green fileds when I was a kid, like my dreams that I continue to chase as grown up.
Jeques. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection
I advance onwards
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
A search for, an escape from.
To chase, or to run away.
Deeper, deeper into the woods
To try to understand. Perhaps.
I leave the familiar landscapes
Of my every day roads ~
The street signs,
The white marks, and yellow.
The lamp posts in the corner of the street,
The structures that lined my way
Like the waving of your hands
That used to beacon me home
In my every day travels,
Now fading in the background
After I let go of your grip
That changed gestures driving me away.
Tears clouded my vision
But I need to move forth
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
No turning back.
I left the compass, and the map behind,
Safe in a chest where I keep the memories.
I brought only, an empty pouch
To stock things I would collect
From places unknown,
And strings to bind together
The twigs, and pieces of woods
I come to gather,
As I journey to the territories untamed
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
I am here to forget,
And also to find a place to re-call the past clearly.
To connect the fragmented pieces
Of the quilt of the story
And to toss away what’s not needed.
To find time to sew the vignettes together.
To find out how the complete picture appears
With new eyes, how the story goes
From a different perspective. Perhaps.
Here I am, a woodsman in a modern world,
A hermit in the jungle of people,
Wandering around the untamed highways;
Lost in the towering reeds of concrete and steel
Finding refuge in the man-made caves
That cost me my savings
To pay an over-night stay ~
Even the kindly service tagged with a price. Sigh.
The discomforts I paid to purchase comfort
In my entry to the lush forest of new discoveries
Where some keys are scattered
That would open me new doors of understanding
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
In the grounds of the forest are small packages
Of seeds that encapsule wisdom.
They are gifts of the towering trees
From their fruits that mellowed with time.
They have seen both
The wider view of the lowlands,
And the best view of the heavens.
I am here to collect the seeds
To fill the pouch I carried for that purpose.
From these seeds I wanted to grow another forest
Where another wanderer from onother time
Would collect and sow them again, on and on
I trod deeper,
Deeper into the woods
Picking remnants of beauty of the past
Blending with the modern aesthetics,
Like an architecture
Built along the shore.
The reflection of its glass structure
Captured by the placid lake
At noon time
Create such a lovely contrast ~
Like a bird perched on a metal pole,
The blooms against the skyline,
A fountain in the middle of a busy street,
Like me, a waif in this streets away from home
Trying to blend in the landscape
Gathering woods in the not so common place
For a woodgatherer,
But I have used up my strings
In the bundles of woods of ideas
I gathered, enough to fuel my creations
It is time to return home.
Jeques, Milwaukee. July 30 to August 1, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.
My state of mind for some time now is like that of a woodgatherer which I mentioned earlier in my previous post. I thought of my recent travels as going to the woods gathering inspiration to fuel my works as I go forth from here.
Last weekend is one of my trips to the woods when I travelled to Milwaukee for the weekend to celebrate my birthday filling my cup with everything that the place has to offer.
Here’s the highlight of my trip . . .
Milwaukee City, over-looking my hotel window (Day 1)
Days Inn Hotel and Suites – the place I stayed is popularly known as Milwaukee’s Hotel of the arts.
Miller Park – Baseball field and sports arena where some of USA olympiads are trained.
Funky Friday boat ride around Milwaukee river and Michigan lake to view Milwaukee’s skyline by the boat. Nice music, great food and refreshing Rhum and cocktails!
The breath-taking view of the Milwaukee Art Museum from the lake – the architect who designed the museum is the same man behind the Sydney, Australia landmark. Notice the similarity.
July 31, my birthday. Bouquet of flowers, why not?!
Breakfast by the lake in Milwaukee Art Museum compound.
The stunning architectural interior design of Milwaukee Art Museum. Notice the details.
View from the outside.
There’s no ugly angle to this building. Every side is picture perfect.
I found an art work that’s parallel to my present state of mind – The Woodgatherer.
A stroll around the museum.
Becoming part of the Arts.
Tour-break in the popular river-walk restaurant. Time to sit back and feed the stomach.
Late afternoon stroll.
Back to the hotel.
Last february and march, I bathed in the sweetest summer sunshine in my country during my home-coming. It was the beginning of summer in the Philippines and my way of cutting short – to escape – the Chicago winter. When I came back last April, it was springtime and the flowers were in bloom.
This year’s seasons came in such a peculiar cycle for me. I had a short cut of winter, had an early summer that came before springtime and now, it’s summer, again! The precious gift of travelling: it could alter time and the seasons. It did for me.
I am spending most of my summer time outdoors. I’m like a beaver gathering woods building dams to enrich myself with the tools I need for my next writings and paintings or like the old adage said, saving for the rainydays. I thought I need a change of landscape in my works. I need to widen my perspective in both my writing and art and the best way to do that is to spend more time outdoors exploring, gathering woods to build new forms in my creations.
I am afflicted once more of the itch to travel. I don’t really need to go far. A simple walk in the lakeshore, or go further in some corners of the park I have not seen, or discovering some green patch in the city where the fresh air is free, or picking wild flowers along the railroad, or driving through the narrow alleys of the city, or going to exotic markets of other immigrants like me, or driving interstate, or exploring and viewing the city from a different angle like I did yesterday going for the breath-taking River and Lake architectural tour of Chicago.
We can’t just sit and write poetry or create arts all the time, sometimes we need to go out and live it, too.
Breath-taking river and lake architectural tour of Chicago.
(formerly)Sears Tower, now Willis Tower.
Closer view of the Willis Tower
The bridges we see in movies that give way to ships.
Water gateway to the great Lake Michigan
Short break at the boat’s cafeteria
The Trump tower and hotel
Jeques, July 26, 2010. Wendella River and Lake Architectural Tour of Chicago.