Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Blue and Waiting to be Let In

In the shadows of the hallway, I saw a lonely blue paperclip by the front door of the office. It seemed sad, like it had been waiting to be let in. Like it was knocking and no one heard it. I wonder how long it has been there? Did it knock or was it just quietly waiting to be noticed and to be let in?

When we want something, should we knock loudly and announce to the world "I'm here!"? Or just quietly and patiently wait for the door to open when people notice we're there? We can knock but risk rejection if we're not wanted or welcome. We can also wait but risk lost opportunities. Choices, choices. The best thing to do is to trust one's gut and just go for it.

Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened to you. I think I'll knock. Or better yet, maybe I ought to ring the doorbell. Or make a phone call first. Or send an email. At least I'll know if I'm wanted or welcome. I don't want to be blue with all that waiting and wondering. I want to go through a wide-open door.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Out-of-Place... like a Tourist

I saw an old dusty pink one in between the cobblestones of Intramuros as I walked to the entrance of the Ilustrado restaurant. Weird. Again, it was nice to see a paperclip in odd places. I tugged on Carlo's sleeve: "See?! I really see them everywhere!" (I show people the paperclips I see as much as possible just so I have witnesses.) It was really out-of-place.

Kind of like a tourist. Carlo and I were like tourists for the afternoon. I had to check out Intramuros for an upcoming visit of one of our big bosses. Ilustrado is a nice old restaurant in the middle of the Walled City of Manila. Old world charm. Cobblestones. Old staircases that creek. Musty hallways. Dark walls and floors and calesa wheel chandeliers. Sampaguita ice cream and kesong puti pandesal and hot chocolate.We walked to Barbara's (too bad it was closed) and Patio Victoria (perfect for those frilly/cheesy weddings and debuts!). A stone well. A stone fountain. Old houses with capiz windows. I also finally got to go inside the San Agustin Church. It was timely because it's St. Augustine's Feast Day today. It was good to be a tourist in my own country, even for an afternoon.

I passed by Fort Santiago, the National Museum, Luneta, the Manila Cathedral, Baywalk, the dungeon-turned-Starbucks, the streets of Malate. I'll need to schedule more time to be a tourist. Manila has a lot to offer... if only we take the time to appreciate what we have.

I know wherever I go, I'll see paperclips there. And maybe I won't feel so out-of-place.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

One Red Paperclip from Montreal to Manila

Thanks to Kyle, red paperclips will never be the same again. I saw one red paperclip on the way to work this morning. Was it a coincidence? Was it the same red one I saw the other day?

But seeing a red one is now more significant after hearing Kyle's amazing adventure with One Red Paperclip. Could it be the same red paperclip he traded for a fish pen with his friends in Vancouver? Perhaps his friends Rawnie and Corinna visited the Philippines or are friends with Filipinos who came home to visit. Perhaps they traded it for something else which, in turn, got traded for something that ended up here in Manila. Whatever happened, one red paperclip has created a strange link between me and Kyle who is halfway across the world in Montreal.

Thanks to some friends, I've been hearing and thinking and dreaming about Montreal these last few months. In the bigger scheme of things, what is Montreal to my life? We'll see. Perhaps that's another adventure waiting to happen.

Yellow and Yellow

I saw two yellow paperclips today. I seem to be seeing more yellow ones than any other color. I love it! I seriously feel that they're following me around. I saw one by the automatic doors of the office building, and the other under the glass table at the reception area. Both bright yellow. Both screaming to be noticed.

Two yellow paperclips. Two good paperclip stories to share. One: I'll have a book signing at the 26th Manila International Book Fair on September 3 for The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots. Two: If I have Full Moon Friends, looks like I can have Paperclip Friends, such as Kyle who posted a comment. Check out his creatively crazy and amazing adventure with one red paperclip.

Looks like the adventures keep coming.

Monday, August 22, 2005

And the Next Day, I Saw... Red

A red one today. On the walkway from the parking lot to the street. A little bent out of shape but still shiney and new. It was a welcome sight after a day without a paperclip sighting (yes, I admit... there are some days when I actually don't see one).

At a time when I was so blindly infatuated, I once challenged the Universe (inspired by "A Very Long Engagement"): "If I see a paperclip today, he loves me." And I saw three that day. But he doesn't love me. I don't even know what he feels or thinks. So paperclips have nothing to do with love. But... that's another story.

So I saw one today and I stopped myself from linking it with anything. It was just nice to see. Just like it was nice to get a "good morning" message from him again.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Recycled Paperclips

A paperclip story sent by one of my favorite uncles based in California... Thanks, Tito Boboy!

Just to let you know that the first copy of The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots is now in circulation here in Milpitas - thanks to you. Let me share with you my own personal story about paperclips.

When I was still working, I would pick up paperclips laying around the office floors and work premises whenever I see them. My boss, the president of the company, saw me one day and asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was saving him money and that if all these seemingly worthless, curled, silver wires would be connected together, it could go around the world twice (that's how much I was able to gather so far). He just looked at me thinking maybe that I might be going crazy picking up all these paperclips. He left without saying a word.

The following morning, when I opened my office computer, I found an inter-office email from the boss which read: "Effective immediately, everybody is enjoined to recycle the paperclips used for office memos and documents. If you need some more of these clips, just go to the office of Mr. Dy-Liacco and you will find tons of them."

Until the day I retired, they are still recycling paperclips and who knows, there might be a Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots lying around.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Orange and Hopeful

I saw an orange paperclip on the road in BF this morning. Considering I haven't been there in a long time and it's not part of my daily routine, I was pleasantly surprised to see an orange one today. (I actually also saw an orange one in Pasig yesterday too!) Meron din pala dito. Sinusundan pa rin ako. It made me hopeful and a little happy in a weird sort of way. I hope it's a small "glimmer of hope" to confirm how hopeful I've been feeling this last week. We'll see. I'll just keep strolling along the park.