closing 2013: a visual diary

***Warning : long and self-indulgent post.  Sharing for you, friends, to bear witness.  To those that do, thank you.***

The new year always starts early for me.  I mark it on my birthday, the 15th of December.

Yolanda has made it a struggle to welcome the coming year with joy, and on top of that, am so feeling the birthday blues.

Today, twenty days before the next turn, I followed an inner prodding to re-collect the past year.

Here’s to closing 2013 in understanding and healing:

Backtrack for context: September 2012 I moved into a new home that took me two years to build. Much, much love went into that house and it was my intent to start planting seeds of all kinds there.

Montalut Doodles 2012 (1)

December 2012 saw me more settled in, but already braving new questions, among them, “What now?”
Montalut - You

It was an exercise in trusting that I was exactly where I needed to be:
Montalut Doodles 2012 (3)

A new home meant new energy, and many days were spent welcoming friends and family into that space.
Montalut Doodles 2012 (4)

With the stress of homebuilding behind me, I could also relax more.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (3)

There were silly days…
Montalut Doodles 2013 (19)


…and foony nights!
Montalut Doodles 2013 (1)

…and lots of sun, sand, and sea time:
Montalut Doodles 2013 (4)

February 2013 I started to bike and I also joined a painting group.  Learned that serious and play do mix — I had so much fun! Parang laro lang.  Araw-araw, laro lang.

The next few months were also open-ended: I had a moment of clarity in January to dedicate my life to painting — that yes, this is it for me.

Montalut Doodles 2013 (5)

…but the how of it was still not known to me:

Montalut Doodles 2013 (7)

There was the call of NY and Florence, and a trip to hop, hop, hop around Europe for a while, or maybe just paint on my own…
Montalut Doodles 2013 (12)

In the end, it was the call of Pinoy grounding and community that prevailed:
Montalut Doodles 2013 (6)

I gave my application to the state university’s painting program in February and didn’t hear from them for two months.  I had no idea what it meant when I got a text to come in for a portfolio review and talent test.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (10)

It was a case of jumping right in.  Lundag lang.  All I had were the heart and dedication of a person with nothing to lose.  And I needed to put myself out there.  It was time.

Montalut Doodles 2013 (11)

The dream of putting up an art community was still there…
Montalut Doodles 2013 (16)

And Tagaytay seemed perfect for a “flying” school.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (15)

But so many questions were still up and about.
Sino ba ako?
Montalut Doodles 2013 (21)
Saan ako papunta?
Montalut Doodles 2013 (20)

Sigurado ba ako dyan?
It was a time to listen.

Montalut Doodles 2013 (17)

…and move forward.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (22)

…to add myself into the mix:
Montalut Doodles 2013 (13)

The first semester came and went, away from my new home, with no time for doodling, and no time for the art house.

One of the drawbacks of jumping right in: no time to anticipate what’s ahead.  On many days and nights, I struggled to trust that I chose correctly.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (23)

I missed my old life.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (24)

I missed being mad and free:
Montalut Doodles 2013 (26)

But always, we just find ourselves exactly where we are supposed to be.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (27)

Everything happens as it should.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (29)

Even horrors that go beyond understanding:
Montalut Doodles 2013 (30)

We continue to move forward, and cross the threshold:
Montalut Doodles 2013 (31)

…to swim, sometimes with our eyes closed, but always with our hearts open.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (32)

Because what’s to come will surprise us, in awe and in love.
Montalut Doodles 2013 (28)

Always in love.

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