My painter friend, Corazon Patarata, who has retired from the foreign service, reminded me in an SMS yesterday, after she learned that I was recovering from surgery, to "go easy muna. There is a time for writing with passion again. Let it wait awhile, you will have new perspectives."
I surmise this is why we have friends apart from blood kin. We can ignore the kin's reminders to guard our health but not our friends'. I noticed many changes after the surgery to remove a tumor that turned out to be benign. Since the incision cut through the leftmost side of my face and neck (that brought about jokes before my hospital confinement that I was disappearing from the world temporarily for a face-lift or cosmetic surgery), there is still numbness and a dull, throbbing ache.
I can't chew without exerting much effort so I now prefer soups, soupy oatmeal, soupy champorado, soft breads with melted butter and cheese, viands that have broth like sinigang with veggies softened. Crunchy stuff like tortilla chips cause great discomfort and a loud ringing in my left ear, no matter how I crave for salty and meaty food. I can no longer, hope this is temporary, put the entire spoon in my mouth. Suddenly, I have to eat daintily!
My way of coping--which is what I do with my other ailments--is to keep my mind, heart and fingers busy. Just what Pope Francis recommended: use our minds, hearts and hands, think, feel and do. For God's glory.
Well, Cora, if I stop, I feel the spirit that moves me to write even a blog entry will be the one to take leave of me. I do appreciate friends' concerns.
But February is looking to be a busy month for this cultural worker. On Feb. 6, the Baguio Writers Group is mounting a pre-Valentine dinner concert, "Fever: A Night of Love Songs and Poetry," at Hill Station, Casa Vallejo, Baguio City. Featured are Lissa Romero de Guia and jazz-blues guitarist Ian Paolo Acosta, all Baguio-based talents, apart from our resident poets who'll outdo one another in passionately reading or performing their love poems.
As if pushing a concert ain't enough alongside selling tickets (only P850 each inclusive of a full-course dinner with a Moroccan theme plus a drink), the BWG "think tank" also thought of a sidelight (side show?) to our concert: a booth for "Love (Letters) for Sale."
To paraphrase new member Nash Tysmans, the BWG members blessed with good to fine penmanship will serve as Cyrano de Bergeracs to help the timid, receding or inarticulate to express their feelings for real Roxanes. But these letters can also be love letters to parents, children, pets. We can't guarantee a "Yes" to romantic proposals, and we won't accept break-up letters.
The letters don't end there. They come with a heart-shaped rum cake with semi-fondant icing baked and packaged by everyone's favorite mamita and BWG senior member, Toottee Chanco-Pacis. We know her for her to-die-for brownies, lemon squares and now, rum cake!
A Google document form has already been set up where those keen on tapping the services of eloquent love letter writers can write their specifications. Just copy and paste to another tab or window the link that follows:
Truly, the world I live in will not slow down to wait for the full restoration of my senses. I'm off antibiotics and pain-killers, the doctor pronounced me fit to work (does that include "to socialize", too?). Since my outer ear is numb and only parts of it will recover feeling in due time, I was told by him, half-kiddingly, that I can have it pierced in several spots and wear all the studs and earrings I want. Which may be the right accessories for a Moroccan pre-Valentine party!