Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Need For Victory





I decided to delay the Masters early last year. Fearing that I am ill-equipped to face the challenges of writing the thesis, I didn't submit the final requirement in a Creative Writing subject resulting to an incomplete grade. During the second semester, I took the subject again and its facilitator, Butch Dalisay welcomed my return with open arms.

Now Butch Dalisay is a highly respected writer. His mere presence is enough for my muses to tremble in fear. What more if its the esteemed man of letters the one judging my works? Capitulating from shame, it is also one of the reasons I didn't deliver my revised essays.

Truth was, I felt inferior in his class. It's like all knowledge gathered from the three years of honing my craft meant nothing. A mediocre student will be forced to do some soul searching before he could complete his subject. Just like me, I spent an entire year in self-exile discovering new words and new styles of writing so it would worth his time reading my works.

But don't get me wrong, Dalisay is one of the best mentors a budding writer could cross path. His self-effacing and gentle nature makes him one of the most approachable legend, even to those who only knew him by name. His wisdom is treasured, his humility deserves exaltation. I was deeply touched when he remembered an article I submitted last year. Who knew he notices me despite my self-perceived insignificance in class.

"Hey he made reference to your Sims article when you were absent. Sayang nga eh, he wanted you to explain your work." A classmate said while walking along University Avenue one evening.

I was speechless and on the verge of writing a blog entry about it.

Another semester will come to an end and the days of revising the essays have already started. Revising is more difficult than writing, for it is in the realization of flaws and the need to breathe new life to an already finished work a writer refines his craft.

And it is painful to accept imperfections.

Time is running out and it is impossible to ignore the urgency of fulfilling a goal. The money set for the academic project is already gone and I still have a language exam to pass. With life heading towards a different direction and with frustrations over family already mounting, to finally get a grade this semester is a victory I desperate need just to remind myself -

- not everything is lost.




9 comments:

COLORBLIND said...

nothing is lost, indeed, in the grand scheme of things. they are hovering, waiting for us when we are ready. however, time is not always on our side. the longer we postpone things the harder it will be to start, time permitting still, that is.

i would like to believe that great men with fertile minds have such great insecurities haha. but then again, me thinks, the same insecurities help these me achieve greatness. for as long as they keep plodding on, their efforts at overcoming their perceived inadequacies are actually, unwittingly, helping them polish their craft along the way.

kung dumarating ang panahon na pinanghihinaan ka ng loob at nawawalan ng tiwala sa iyong kakayanan, slowdown if you must but think about the people who never doubted your talent.

isa kang talentadong pinoy, kaibigan. :)

thecuriouscat said...

kaya mo yan J, kaw pa. it's up to you to make it through. Concentrate ka this time at tyak makakatapos ka na din :)

gauxves said...

hi j, baka magkita pa tayo this coming summer/semester :D see you!

gauxves said...

hi j, baka magkita pa tayo this coming summer/semester :D see you!

odin hood said...

true! revising is more difficult. despite the flaws and imperfections you cant help loving that work just the way it is. parang anak mo na kasi un, you created it.

f. jordan said...

Sir Butch is a gentle critique. His words are carefully chosen before saying the pro’s and con’s of a work. A very humble man, really, even with his long list of successes.

[And about revisions, I have never touched my stories after that workshop two years ago. It is not easy.]

red the mod said...

For some reason, I find it entertaining editing my own work. I would read and reread it numerous times, each passing a new failure surfaces to be corrected, a better word, a more appropriate device. I get obsessed with perfection that often to write becomes painful, and cathartic. My list of drafts would be a testament to this.

It pains me not to edit my own work. Because I feel that my words are my ownership, and must be cauterized, sutured up, bled, and pieced the same way I have with my existence. If I do not do it, it is not worth writing.

If I must ridicule my own to establish my standards, I will. If only to gain the confidence that what I wrote is enough. Not for anyone else, but enough for myself.

~Carrie~ said...

Joms, is it the feeling of intimadation that keeps you from revising your essays or the fear that the revised may come out inferior to the original draft? I'm no guru in confidence, but you are lucky to have a man of letters as a mentor. And having acknowledged your piece should give you the boost to continue what you're doing. And to echo, not everything is lost, lost lost...

(Ganito pala ang magpakalalim - nakakaloka. Balik na nga ako sa pagiging mababaw at makamundo...)

Anonymous said...

you never lost any battle naman, kuya j.

this is just a phase,...a phase wherein you need to reaffirm to your batallion that you have what it takes to win the war.

the challenge now is to make them feel and believe that , yes, you can really make it

btw, i never doubted your ability in everything that you do..lalo na sa pagsusulat.

alam mo na po kuya j kung sino ako.

quiet ka na lang. hehehe. god bless