Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


flowing at the speed of life

Posted on June 05, 2005 by jimparedes

It’s good to sleep. The body really needs it to recuperate and feel whole again. My last 4 days in the US before the tour ended was crazy. We were in 4 separate places (LA, Vegas, Atlanta and Houston) in a span of 5 days. Now I am back at home in Manila sleeping on my bed and it feels good. I just hope I can get a decent amount of sleep before I leave again for the Middle East in 3 days!

Life for me has been hectic the past months. Home is where I put down and open my baggage. My solitude is a hotel room that keeps changing every so often. Inside it, I can write, enjoy some quiet, catch some rest or simply look out the window and watch life go by. When I am not in my room, I am around people, and more people and frenzied activities. Such is what life has been lately. And to all this, I am thankful even if sometimes, I complain. I try and flow at the speed of life.

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‘Home in Houston’

In contrast, the past two days have been wonderfully slow and undemanding. I wake up when I wake up. There are schedules to do but I am not stressed out. Maybe I have just learned to deal with greater amounts of pressure and not be too bothered by them. But I know it helps that I have again been doing my zen sits which are hard to do on a regular basis when I am traveling.

Things that need to be done seem to fall into place easily. Two nights ago, I wrote a song that has to be submitted in study form by monday. Yesterday morning, I went to Ateneo to check on my new teaching schedule for this coming semester and fix a few kinks. In the afternoon, APO finished a recording for a UN project. Last night, I did some writing for my still-to-be-finished book. This morning, I awoke to Ananda’s delightful voice as she was trying to converse with her yaya during breakfast. When she saw me, she shouted ‘wowo’ (her attempt at saying ‘lolo’, I suppose) much to my immense delight. Everything seems to be in its right place and unfolding at the right time.

I have learned through years of meditation (off and on) that the world accommodates me best when I am centered. Or perhaps, it is the other way around and it is I who accommodates the world. Maybe doing one begets the other. I am not too sure. By accommodating, I mean an acceptance of whatever shows up–a conscious affirmation or saying of “yes” to life and its attendant excitement, surprises, routines, pain and pleasures. I am awake to all of it. Life is good, and when it is, it’s an easy thing to experience. And sometimes, I can say the same thing even when it’s bad.

But when I feel centered, I am comfortable with the simple reality that life is as it is, unqualified, neither good nor bad and not needing any labels or spin to be appreciated. As Desiderata puts it, “no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”.

Simply put, when I am accepting of myself, the world seems to reciprocate the gesture. It’s like there is no separate world and no separate ‘I’. Maybe, the song is correct. We are the world!

22 to “flowing at the speed of life”

  1. jonjoaquin says:

    hi jim. this isn’t about flowing at the speed of life. i don’t know if you remember me, but i’m the journalist in davao city who interviewed you a few years ago at the mandaya hotel (there were other reporters but i was kinda hogging the press con).

    anyway, last friday was my fledgling duet’s debut of sorts here in davao city, and we sang at a small benefit dinner for a colleague who suffered a stroke. our last song for the night was “doobidoo” and as we were nearing the end the lights went out! good thing i was playing an acoustic guitar, and without missing a beat we continued and even had some participation from the now captive audience, who soon enough turned on their phones for some illumination. it was a great ending to a great song.

    and if you remember, that happened to you also here in davao city. you and the other apo were singing “batang-bata” when the lights went out towards the ending, but you continued singing and had the audience sing do the la-la-la with you. awesome ending.

  2. Jim says:

    ha ha! Yes, I remember you and the Davao incident with batang-bata. Believe it or not it also happened to us in Oregon and in Switzerland! Glad to know you were singing our songs!

  3. balikbayan_box says:

    welkam home neyburhud!

  4. Evelyn Estibar says:

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you so much for coming to Portland, Oregon-we enjoyed your show very much! It was so nice to hear songs that I grew up listening to. My favorites are Batang-bata Ka Pa, Pumapatak Na Naman ang Ulan (how appropriate for Oregon where it rains most of the time!)and others that I do not know the titles but sure know how to sing them when I hear them! I wish you, Boboy and Danny continued success in your upcoming shows. We miss you and we feel kind of sad when you guys left..weird, huh?:) Hope to see you sometime soon!

    Evelyn, Sam, Nico & Trixie

  5. jey says:

    as always, you never fail to write something beautiful and inspiring.

    very true, the universe is unfolding as it should and we really should not be worried because everything will eventually fall into place. in perfect time. in the meantime, life is meant to be lived and enjoyed to the fullest.

    btw, changed url from the dating spoonfuls.

  6. jed says:

    medyo mahirap to i-connect pero na miss ko ang mom ko dahil sa sinulat mo. hehehe…

  7. slim whale says:

    Sickeningly optimistic as this may seem, knowing how to affirm life whatever shit it brings you is a sign that you have moved on from the stage of merely “existing” to that of “living.” i believe that to live is to go through everything life has to offer, good or bad. That is living, and that, in my own terms, is how one can transcend the realm of the temporal and step up on a higher level of spirituality (I do not refer to religiosity here). This post reminds me of Paulo coehlo’s take on how the universe conspires to be on your side, or something to that effect. Nice post!

  8. Marem Pavia says:

    Hi Tito Jim,

    Welcome home! Nice to know you’re safe and sound. =) I must admit, I haven’t been around here in awhile-summer was hectic-but I still love your entries.

    I was hoping you’d have the time to read and comment on a song I wrote last week.

    I placed a direct link to the entry on my blog with the song in it on this, so if you click my name you’ll go directly to that entry in my blog.

    Thanks, love you and God bless! =)

  9. rj reyes says:

    greetings jim. i really enjoy reading your thoughts(blogs). i just wanted to share with you my enriching experience. i attended a pastoral retreat last saturday. we learned about 2 forms of prayers: centering prayer and lectio divina. all the participants felt energized and spiritually nourished at the end of the end. all of us felt the flow of positive energy. a senior member told me the following day that he could not go to sleep the previous night because he was so high with the experience.
    keep up the good job and take it easy.
    god bless.
    rj

  10. Jim says:

    I’m off today to Bahrain and will be back before two weeks. To everyone who wrote, salamat.

    Evelyn, Portland is one of my favorite places. So many wonderful people there and that includes you guys!

    Jey, thanks too.
    Balikbayan–thanks for the welcomeand now it’s good bye again.
    Jed—interesting! This article is like a three point shot in the way it got you, huh?

    slim whale–I can tell you and I can sit down and have a long, enjoyable talk.

    marem–so sorry. Too busy now. when I get back I wil do it.

    rj reyes–yes, centering does the same for me. It gives me a deep calm and as if nothing can stand in the way of being joyful.

    I hope I have internet access wherever I go. See you guys soon.

  11. jed says:

    three points swack is more like it. hehehe…

  12. Marem Pavia says:

    no prob Tito =)

  13. razielle says:

    Hi, I am a writer for a newspaper targetting OFWs, jobseekers and their families. My editor is interested in interviewing you. How do I make arrangements for the interview? I know you’re often out of the country these days but I hope we can catch you one time when you’re in Manila.

    Here is my e-mail: raz_hb@yahoo.com

  14. rmacapobre says:

    my mothers mothers father was a paredes. we know nothing about that part of the family except that he came from ilocos or somewhere north.

    do we know how many paredes’es are there in the philippines?

  15. Teena says:

    Hi Tito/Ninong Jim!
    I got an e-mail from my highschool batchmate who now serves the US army and it showed a very recent picture of him with you. He said kakanta daw kayo nun malapit sa base nila. Where was that? Anyway, he was not aware that you’re my ninong sa kasal. He just sent the picture to our high school batch’s Yahoo group ‘coz he was proud of having a souvenir photo with the Jim Paredes. :)
    Did you perform in London recently as well? I was there last March ‘coz Reuters Foundation selected me to participate in its journalism training program for developing world journalists. My classmates there were from Bulgaria, Iraq, Macedonia, Sudan, Rwanda, Malaysia, Georgia and Uruguay. It was winter when I arrived there and spring has sprung when I left. Martin Nievera had a concert there, but I didn’t go as I’ve seen him perform countless times…in ABS’ ASAP studio…HAHA!

    My cousin-in-law Mitzi attended one of your workshops nga po pala and she was very pleased with the outcome. Inggit ako. :)

    I super enjoy reading your ‘musings’ so keep ’em coming wherever you are. God bless you!

    Nap and our kids Yuan and Andrienne are sending their regards.

  16. Jim says:

    rmacapobre–If you can trace your roots to Bangued, Abra then we are related. There are many Paredeses including non-Abra ones.

    teena–great to hear that you’ve taken your writing to another level. Galing! Yes, we were in London in November for a show. Regrads to Nap, Yuan and adrienne.

    Th picture your friend is refering to is bahrain. We were there last week. Am still in Kuwait now.

    Jim

  17. BabyPink says:

    hello po. it has been a while since i last visited. and, now, finally i can and i read one of the best entries i’ve read in days. very inspiring.:)

    take care po.:)

  18. dee says:

    hi tito jim –
    i’ve never posted on here before but i do stop by when i can. it’s the best way for me to remember living in QC :)
    i dunno if you’ve already done this, but have you thought of recodring your books on audio? that would be great. with your soothing voice, and thoughts on life, it’d be awesome. just a thought.
    if your ever in DC again, let me know. olivia can’t wait to meet Lolo. :)

    dee.

  19. balikbayan_box says:

    Isang pagpupugay kamay sa iyo bilang Ama!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Happy Father’s Day, dakilang Filipino, Ama at Lolo!

    Liz

  21. sachiko says:

    Happy Father’s Day, Jim! Where are you now? Flowing at the speed of life? That is what I am doing now..flowing,flowing..

    I’ve got a pic in my blog that might just send you into a senti mood..hehe.. drop by when you can! Cheers!

  22. kaye says:

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!



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