Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things Put In Perspective

I've moaned and groaned about the difficulties of being a thirtysomething career girl from Manila used to a fast-paced city life moving to a sleepy village in the south of France where opportunities for editors in English are almost nonexistent; and then I watched Va, Vis et Deviens and realized I've had it easy.

It's the story of a young Christian boy from Ethiopia who, to escape the misery of a Sudanese refugee camp, had to leave his mother behind, pretend to be some other woman's son, go to Israel, and once there pretend to be Jewish, a black Falasha, the adopted son of a white Leftist family. It's a complex and wonderfully unpredictable film. And one of my favorite things about it is that though the subject matter may be heavy, the treatment of it was not. The film made me smile as many times as it bothered me.

You don't have to have uprooted yourself to enjoy this film, I swear. If you're a little tired of you-so-know-how-it's-going-to-turn-out-just-thirty-minutes-in Hollywood movies, watch this. By director Radu Mihaileanu (how do you pronounce that?). English title, Live and Become.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Random Thought

I'm so far away, but the Internet always makes me feel so close to home--sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it's really bad. I read this blog that I shouldn't really be reading because it just makes me feel I want to take a shower. (Think violated girl in a Pinoy film scrubbing herself while sobbing, "Ang dumi ko... ang dumi-dumi...") I feel for the blog author, really I do; and I swear I hardly know the people involved, but let me just say that, Hey, come on now, who Mr. Yap chooses to fornicate with and where he chooses to do it is absolutely none of our business.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Life Happening


I'm here. I'm writing, sewing, gardening, launching a couple of new business ventures. The feelings I hinted at in this post showed to me very clearly that the adjustment pains are over. I am a foreigner in France -- I will always be, and it's a fact I actually relish -- but here I have managed to make for myself the creative and independent, low-impact but high-satisfaction life that I was unable to have in Manila, largely because the city was young and volatile, and so was I.

When I moved here for good in 2005, I was often overwhelmed by new sensations and very strong emotions. And because words have always helped me make sense of the world, language the filter I use to clean up messy sentiments, I began this blog. Provenciana was meant to be a tool to help me regain control, and it has served its purpose very well.

This blog helped me understand the shock of cultural adjustment that I was going through. In the process it helped me win that most coveted of writer's prizes in the Philippines. In the near future, it will also put me where all writers want to be -- on the bookshelves. Provenciana, the blog, will become Provenciana, the book. I will post details here at a later date.

Having the book published will be a wonderful farewell to this piece of cyberspace.

Yes, I am closing the blog down. I was already talking about it in this post from July of last year. Maya told me that I would know when to do it, and I know that it is now. Taking the idea from little birds handmade, it will be a month-long farewell. Beginning this coming week, I will be posting very regularly, talking about the details of my daily life, to find out where exactly all the adjustment angst has taken me. Then sometime in mid-April, I will stop posting.

It has been a wonderfully productive two years and a half. Thank you all for keeping me company!