I had to take my Mother’s wine glass away from her last night at the party, and my brother, leaned back in his chair lackadaisically, watched me do so with a smirk on his face. As I recoil my torso back over the table and into my seat, she tells two college aged boys (with great enthusiasm) that I can outdrink full grown men; not wine, she says - pointing to the glass that is now by my elbow - but gin!
She also brings up my ex-boyfriend once or twice. It is a laughable evening! (I force smiles on more than one occasion.)
But as I step away from the table and people trickle towards her to listen in, I realize that for as hell-bent on solitude my Mother is (as my brother is, as I am), the magnanimous spirit and spit-fire personality she had always been known for, had not died with her self-imposed homebody confinement, but simply been quelled. She had not socialized like this in a long time, I thought to myself, looking back at her. She was pouring herself another glass of wine. I let her be.
A woman asks me where my Father is. I am saved by someone asking to take a picture. I see Mother, from the corner of my eye, step in and hear her say, “You were asking about Sarah’s Dad?”
I do not stick around to hear the rest of the conversation.
I used to be so proud of this empty Absolut Vodka bottle I had in my room in the ninth grade. Like it was some sort of trophy. I stuffed it with confetti, and had the colorful streaming strips of paper spilling out the top; placed the bottle in an enclave in my bedroom wall with a pin-light shining down on it (where I am assuming my parents had intended an altar be situated when they constructed our house). Which is pretty fucking ridiculous, because nobody ever talked about God in our family until my Dad had a brief interconnectedness with Born Again Christians sometime half-way between my parents’ divorce and him being diagnosed with cancer.
He brought me to Bible Study. I met a few cool girls there and we walked to San Mig in Alabang Town Center and ordered salpicao while our parents prayed.
We went that one time.
He pretty much shelved Christianity next to the books on Taoism, Buddhism, and Kama Sutra in our home library afterwards. Oh, and there was Somerset Maugham there too! I always wondered if that was done on purpose - religion, sex, and English poetry, all filed together like that.
I ended up running away from home towards the end of high school. After some bouncing around, one of the girls I met at Bible Study spoke to her family, and they graciously took me in.
Perhaps there is a metaphorical lesson in that story that I am too stubborn to realize at this moment in time.
Twelve hour shoot today; one hour nap. Now I’m about to pull an all-nighter for research, but have to be up by 5:30am to get the little one ready for school, make it to my internship at the ad agency by 7:30, and be out to attend and host a wedding at 3pm.
I’m grateful, but just want to interject that I get amazing work done at the beach. You know. Just in case anybody can weave that into my pre-winter in New York agenda. I would love to rock a tan in the snow. That’s that rich people shit.
My incurable melancholy says hello as well. I feel I’ve become very attached to it, and legitimately fear the advent of letting the cyan tinged grayness go, and so it follows me around like a mopey little puppy that I want to pick up every 6.3 seconds of the day and cuddle back to enthusiasm. (Side note: I have this newfangled obsession with Trinidad James’ puppy. This is an obscure reference that only a few of you will understand, but if you do, I totally just hugged you.)
» A quick greeting to Luis Katigbak, whom I saw at Platform the other day! I promise you my book has a touch more decisiveness and direction than my blog entries. It will be a horror to edit nonetheless.
Speaking of blog entries, I’m beginning to feel the effects of coming back on television - seeing the change in the nature of my followers, and I’m trying to remain unfazed but find myself (in a very Doomsday Prepper manner) devising back up plans for if/when my happy internet place gets discovered by masses of people. I want to write without editing. I want some people to read it. I don’t want to have to explain myself should one not understand my sense of humor, or music references, or whatever other non-digestible non-niceties I dish out. But having just typed that, I figure I might as well stick to pen and paper, or these little bedtime stories I’ve been writing June Bug out in Texas. Or…*mental rolodexes forgotten secret blogs*…
Oh, and I accepted a job offer.
It took a lot for me to put my own business vision on the back burner and go with another group’s flow, but I prayed on it, and it felt right. Maybe one day in the future, I’ll get the chance to let you in more on my whys and whats. Maybe that goes in the book too. I’d rather it didn’t have to. It just feels more like a hot tea in the twilight conversation.
Your positive energy, support, and prayers would mean the world to me as always. I’m unable to add elements to the hues you’re used to because I’m rather swan-like in my momentum-building to hold onto gold. And by swan-like, I mean seemingly gliding with grace through the water from where you sit, but paddling like a ferocious mutha under it all.
I ask for your patience, and to be gentle but honest with me in these times.
This writing seems to be working for me. Perhaps I’ll continue.
|Sarah:||So, why the resistance?|
|Sarah:||I thought you were going to say resilience. Damn.|
|Sarah:||Ah, denial. This is going to be fun.|
|Sarah:||I'll be waiting.|
Faith isn’t about having it all figured out.
It isn’t about being more superior,
or less educated,
better raised, poorly led, over enthusiastic
Faith isn’t knowledge, is not justifiable,
nor is it comprehending at all.
Faith in itself is not certainty;
But the certainty is often;
that faith is all you’ve got.
in so many ways,
and on so many days,
all i’ve got.
I had the pleasure of spending the last six weeks listening to up to ten incredible speakers a day share the trajectory of their careers; their failures, and their successes. And now, on a rainy twenty-sixth of July, everything has come to an anti-climactic halt, like a car that has run out of gas on a trip with no destination. My insides match the weather - stormy, crying, purple, warm - but the flashes of lightning are reminders that there runs a current that cannot be dulled, dimmed, contained.
I am not yet ready to leave New York, but need to be with my family desperately. What I hope to bring back home to them is the spirit of ability and possibility - something I have been surrounded by in my time here.
Some things I have learned:
- It is possible to be extremely rich and overflowing with peace and happiness. The nice suit and car look incredible with a happy family to match.
- Continue to fall in love with what you love, even if it is many things and people say you are unfocused. Make it work.
- We are all storytellers.
- Sometimes in life we have to use the first person in recounting experiences, but in truth, nothing we do is accomplished alone.
- Hire your boss.
- Follow your curiosity.
- Advance cultural conversation.
- Show, don’t tell.
- It is ever so important to write handwritten thank you notes.
- You need to know why it matters, why it is you do what you do.
- If you’re offered “a great something”, say yes - figure out the rest later.
- If it’s not from inside you, it will not be alive. Don’t do it.
Thank you to everyone that helped me find my way here. For those that don’t know the story, I made my way into graduate school without having been an undergrad - and am told it is the first time this has been done in the program’s Columbia University history.
I would not be here had I not been loved thoroughly, and though in our lives it sometimes takes piecing types of attention together to feel complete - a lover, a mentor, a student, a best friend, a parent, a coach, sibling, stranger, admirer - I am overflowing with gratitude that somehow I have been able to hoist upwards on all of your shoulders to reach my best me, today.
To the people I have spent my Summer with, I wish you all Kristin Kliemann buckets of success. From twinkling eyes and heart-swelling laughter, mind-blowing lunch conversations and irreverent side comments, picklebacks and toddler-sized pizza slices, to the strange unifying feeling of being both completely in and out of control of our lives all at the same time - I pray you all recognize and constantly remember your value, and set the world on fire with it.
And maybe that way, years from now, we’ll be as happy and fulfilled as Christopher Cerf, as well-dressed as Chris Mitchell, and have a better grasp of what, indeed, Gottlieb would do.
It’s been a blast.
On to the real World Room.
It’s 2012 and I’ve become an emoji whore, responding to resounding questions and genuine comments with wide-eyed, kiss blowing smiley faces and double-heart icons, which (for a writer) is not only ironic - it is a travesty. But the truth is, i don’t have the words at times to encapsulate what I’m feeling. Can’t quite say where I am, or where I’m at in a manner any more impressive than a peace sign (that untowardly used to register to me as a Playboy bunny).
But today I was asked what color I was seeing. “Orange and lavender”, I replied. And though it may not have been enough to give anyone a clear sense of positive or negative, of stability or mobility, peace or transition - the profundity of color has always been what sound has been for me; a universe in which nobody is ever absolutely wrong, where nature inspires technology, and technology mobilizes by adhering to human nature. But what struck me as interesting was that when I said “orange and lavender”, my visual plane split into two. On the left, the picture of a sunset bleeding from my first to second color, bottom up. On the right? A screen. On the top, a solid block in Pantone 1645 C. On the bottom, a block in Pantone 264 C.
The computer. Has it taken over my brain?
Your concept of what works visually has been summarized from the days of basic HTML on MySpace pages, in the outfits you put together, and the way you’ve organized your room. It is your avatar, and your Twitter page background - the balance of the aesthetic on your Tumblr page. Nobody in this generation landscapes gardens anymore. I don’t know anyone that paints sunsets, or plates food, or knits sweaters. Everyone Instagrams them with conviction, me included, but the question that that poses really, is - how long until we forget?
Because as much as I use emojis, and find validation and expression in the assortment of little apps on my iPhone, I don’t want to forget.
The feeling of anticipating when the tape in your cassette is about to snag. The contentment knowing you have a pencil on standby. Pulling the tape out. Reeling it back in.
Dropping off a cartridge of film, not knowing what to expect. Hopefulness. Surprise. Disappointment. Learning how to do better next time. The process.
Getting paint all over everything. Your jeans, your shoes, under your fingernails, in your hair. Not having a “clear all” button to press. The weight and significance of every stroke, angling of the wrist, how your feet were planted on the floor, even.
The clacking of a typewriter. The glorious swooshing sound of starting a new line. Deliberate and intense focus on the letters. Finding flow. You needed conviction to press those keys. Not like these.
It’s a rundown topic, this whole new digital age thing is, but I had a moment today and wanted to share. So that maybe you too can stop and notice how you are evolving, changing, and you can step on the brakes or the gas - whichever seems more appropriate.
And I’m typing my little daily everythings all here today, hoping my computerized blog won’t let me forget.
I’m back in the city, and though I’ve landed at New York’s various airports many times, this touchdown felt like a touch down. I’m talking touch down in the sense of becoming planted, destined, on mark, points to be scored.
Correlation: this is also the first time I’ve flown away to go to school.
And while many of my former classmates have long left college life, I am sitting here running through concepts of doing laundry, having suite-mates, and seriously bracing myself for emergency brake action if I somehow succumb to the temptation that is the “Freshman Fifteen”. Lord knows my stress eating capabilities are more advanced than my exercising ones, and the only fifteen pounds I really should be adding to my being are in the form of weights, welded to my wrists for the offhanded urge to do spontaneous bicep curls.
That being said, I slept in a fresh set of workout clothes last night. Theory is that I will be compelled to wake from slumber, and immediately put on shoes and go running. (Theory is also what I consider the opposite of practice.)
And so I’m in bed with my laptop (*low whistles*), writing the one thing that I DON’T have a deadline for.
(You will notice I posted about 600 hundred messages on Twitter this morning. I am trying to deduce whether I am flailing or purging, both of which are equally unattractive to do in front of an audience of 60 thousand.)
<Side note: America is fat.>
Anyhow, the sun is shining, I hear a kids baseball team named “Holy Cow!” winning a game on the field across the street at St. Rita’s, and I’m almost certain my running shoes are rolling their eyes at me (from where they are stuffed, deep, deep in my suitcase). That’s my cue to stop writing…
…and fix a massive bowl of cereal that I can enjoy while thinking about how to make Manila illa.
Sometimes you need to step away from the very thing you are committed to helping.
— it is a difficult city to verbally nerd out in. Niche and often misinterpreted, it has often been much easier to play to the tune of glamorous fashion sprite with a hint of a rebellious streak, than to get oblivion clouded masses to appreciate the beat of a geek.
Always been a bit of an oddity.
I look forward to being a student of an industry in a city that embraces that.
Can’t quit wit.
I am taking this short break from writing my mildly overdue newspaper column to write something else completely - an outpouring of sorts likely, that has no final destination. And like many things with no particular place to go, chances are it’ll amble its way to you and you will be kind enough to entertain it until you realize it has overstayed its welcome.
I write this with clumps of mascara in my almost bald set of eyelashes; which nobody warns you is a possible side-effect of being in the modeling industry, just like they forget to tell you early on that you are in the business of professional rejection. Jolly good thing I got a head start on that when I moved to Manila as a pre-teen. Shutting shit down without just cause. Closing the door before even trying.
And though this is an attitude that gracefully committed suicide as the years progressed, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it, what that Graveyard of Potential holds. Crumpled pieces of paper with the beginnings of a genius blueprint. The cure for Cancer, maybe. A new color. A vital proponent of peace.
And so I have felt about music, on many days. What of collaborations gone awry? Lyrics lost to the grapplings of frustration, beats abandoned because of a sample that was just too much effort to clear?
Ah, well. Here is a story about what was able to both breathe, and give breath.
I first met Miles’ voice when it punched me in the groin.
There I was, alone, thankfully. Buckled over, slow to straighten, lingering in the confusion of palpable unfamiliarity, but feeling indescribably…safe.
Unable to pinpoint a place or a time on his music, giddy with the newness of this thing I had no name for. Something I could not, would not, attempt to thumb through folders to file. Something I wanted to run to Momma with, to slap my ex-boyfriend in the face with, to wrap up like I did my newborn and hold like nothing else mattered.
Miles Bonny, I soon realized, made sense between anything my iTunes shuffle could have possibly tried to sandwich him in - from Gangstarr to Jackson Browne, Sade to Jai Paul.
It was ‘Lumberjack Soul’ that made it’s way to my phone as a ring tone, in an effort to balance the frivolity and transience of an electronic ringer with as much mead as possible; timeless, honey-laced, balance-altering, thirst-quenching, truth serum.
But it was ‘J.Birly’ that had me horizontal.
A voice that lays me out, meets beats that —
…frankly, make me want to do things I am not at liberty to describe to you in detail here.
Jesus, B. Lewis
Deftly able to take listeners on journeys that make you try to remember whether or not he was actually there. The one that got away.The one you haven’t found yet.
Lacing cosmically deranged beauty with a gutter-morphed Pharcyde lyric on one beat, to wordlessly describing a crisp sock-footed spring morning in pristine sheets on the next; B.Lewis is the dude that waits for you to appreciate your perfect sunny side up before scrambling the f*ck out of it.
(Then he drops a calling card on your breakfast table that says, “Yin and Yang: Matchmaker”, and nonchalantly walks away with a piece of your toast in his mouth.)
From the gate of the Graveyard of Potential, with love.
With the fleeting acknowledgment the internet bestows new music, and the improbability of predicting the impact of this collaboration, the 7-tracks on Egg Black might have been lost to you. But even as an individual that is violently territorial about music that moves me, I am quick to recognize that not sharing this would be detrimental to everything I stand for.
So consider this the first time I let you in. Let you stay.
The first time I offered to make you breakfast, in nothing but everything I was born with, because that is what this deserves.
Together, Miles Bonny and B.Lewis have me laid out and scrambled.
Partake. Sustenance. Egg Black.
Laughing because journalists were allegedly flown to LA to interview Penshoppe’s newest endorser this week. Probably having had to sign a waiver of non-disclosure, which meant if they spilled any secrets they would be liable for millions of dollars in potential damages, the bunch has kept their mouths clamped shut about any details of their trip. Meanwhile, on Twitter…the whole world seems to have gotten wind of who the face of the season might be. Zac Efron it is? I wonder if he’s coming to Philippine Fashion Week? (As of this point, my journalist friends are still pretending they don’t know what I’m talking about. Awesome.)
Love and Basketball.
In other news, congratulations to my hubby Banj Billions (@banjbillions) on the new job - he’s coming in to run the plays for SLAM Magazine Philippines’ as their marketing go to guy. Which means my life can finally go back to normal, and your life as basketball and culture fans, is about to get unreal.
Don’t forget to check out co posturaproject.com blogger David Guison’s exhibit tomorrow (aka later) at Podium 6pm.
It’s officially FRIDAY!
If you’re not doing anything at night, swing by KYSS. Jeri Lee is in town and she’s always fun to watch dance.
Photo - Rey Trajano | Makeup - Rachelle Llanes
That’s it for now.
Excited about work I’m doing to keep building thebridgefiles.com. Slow and steady. Forward and upward.
I’ve made a little commitment to myself to put a little more energy into my blog, so tell me if there’s anything in particular you want to see. Ideas for writing are welcome as well - it’s been a minute since I sat down and just freehanded some prose.
Did you know he’s a visual artist too?
Bookmark him please. Sarah says.
Miguel - Adorn
Love the vibe. Hard to find good R&B these days.
Dear (some) Politicians,
The reason the public mourns the death of musicians
to a different degree and intensity than they do practically any other professional
is because musicians spend their lives
bearing all the risk
of telling the absolute truth.
- The way Kendrick Lamar’s voice breaks in his verse on “His Pain” - a track by BJ the Chicago Kid. “I don’t know why you keep blessing me…”
- The smell of tinola cooking in my kitchen.
- How many major brands are taking interest in our Platform event.
- The love note my 6 year old daughter just gave me (and how she’s unflinching in her desire to come watch a J.Dilla tribute documentary showing with me while her Dad plays basketball tonight).
- My brother’s unhindered genius in words and music.
- The work that has been flowing in and making quality of life just…superb.
- That I woke up this morning.
- That my “Stay Gold” tattoo is permanent.
- The amazing things I’m able to do for Philippine fashion and independent designers in the next few weeks with both Platform and The Postura Project.
- For the burn in my triceps and thighs after a painful first visit to my trainer in 3 years.
- Everyone that takes the time to tell me little things that moved them, or that they appreciated, on Tumblr, on Twitter, in person - even though they know I’m weird and shy about replying or taking compliments like that.
- That my eyes are green, my skin is brown, and my hair is black.
- Assistance, in the form of assistants, and team mates, and friends, and family.
- My iPhone. No joke.
- Skin Science offering to be my dermatologist sponsor, and Alex Carbonell at Studio Fix finally coming back into the picture to take care of my hair.
- The Fernando sisters - listeners of our radio show that turned into two of the biggest supporters I’ve ever known. Regular box deliveries of homemade pandesal and cupcakes, banana chips, pastillas…you name it. Texts and DMs that you were remembered at Mass. So consistent.
- MY SQUAD. Teamwork makes the dream work, and I think I’ve finally found my magic links for the chain I need to haul this vision into reality. #TheBridge
- Sago’t Gulaman. Yun lang.
- And this amazing art installation by Claire Morgan:
“Now I know why He keeps blessing me…
…so I can bless you.”
- Kendrick Lamar
Just if you have 19 minutes. Or if you were wondering what I happened to do for 19 minutes today.
Just if you happen to see what elicited the little smile in connecting a picture I took of a book on Sunday, with a video I watched on Thursday.
If not, then that’s cool too.
And at this particular moment in time, everything makes a little more sense than it has in months. Which is nice.
But I am still laboring to get everything under control.
(Control. Do we even like that word?)