… we don’t realize that the astonishing linguistic capacity of the human brain did not evolve in relation to the computer, nor even in relation to written texts. Rather, it evolved in relation to stories that were passed down orally. For countless millennia, stories and story-telling were the way we humans learned our language. Spoken stories are something that we enter into with our bodies. We feel our way around inside a story.
I think children really need to experience stories and to hear their parents and their uncles and their aunts telling them stories. And I don’t mean reading stories to them, but simply improvising stories face-to-face with a child. Or stepping outside and pointing to the forest edge and saying, “Do you know what happens inside that forest every full moon?” Or, “Look at the river. Do you know how the river feels whenever the salmon returns to its waters? It feels this way, and this is the story that tells why.”
Musings while with a full stomach
Some people don’t know how to be by themselves. They see others eating alone or walking alone and perhaps think: “How sad”.
I’ve been going out by myself for years. In highschool, I’d go to Ayala, a mall in a different city just to window shop and walk around. In college, I walked around campus on the weekends when UPLB turned into a ghost town. I’d sit on a bench for awhile and think or draw or read or peoplewatch. Even as a kid, I enjoyed playing by myself and only had ‘real people’ playmates when I was seven, I think. (Imaginary friends and classmates I only see in school don’t count.) Sure, going out with friends is fun, but there’s a certain kind of calm, dare I say a joy in doing things alone.
I do mean alone with not even music as company. It becomes a sort of active meditation. You are left alone with your thoughts and dreams and fears and plans. Whether or not you confront them or even acknowledge them is all up to you.
Going around unplugged by yourself, try it once in awhile. Excuse me for now. I’ve some things I need to discover about myself.
You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.
Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.
- Papa: Min? Ganahan ka mo-exercise? ("Want to exercise?")
- Me: Why man, Pa?
- Papa: Kwaa akong iPad. It's downstairs.
- Oh, male parental unit. Laziness is genetic. Haha
Florence Nightingale was never called “The Lady with the Lamp” but ”The Lady with the Hammer,” an image deftly readjusted by the war reporter of the Times since it was far too coarse for the folks back home. Far from gliding about the hospital with her lamp aloft, Nightingale earned her nickname through a ferocious attack on a locked storeroom when a military commander refused to give her the medical supplies she needed.