When we were there, the national motto for the Philippines seemed to be “please bear with us.” There were handwritten signs at the resort with that line, asking us to have patience with certain doors that weren’t functioning correctly or credit card machines that were on the fritz. The currency exchange booths – which were essentially refrigerator boxes manned by a young woman with a folding chair, a cash box, and a calculator – also had these signs. You had to wonder whether they were ever taken down. Perhaps most disturbing were the “Please bear with us” signs at the ticketing desks at the airport. At one point, a woman in a polo shirt bearing the insignia of Cebu Air came out to the line of mostly Korean passengers and started collecting everyone’s passports. We handed ours over, the woman disappeared, and immediately we started wondering why the heck we had just done that. Oh, but there was a sign that asked for our patience. That’s reassuring.
Lately I’ve been feeling like the Philippines. I’m trying my hardest to be a better version of myself and to get things started, namely this supposed book that I’ve set out to write. Since last Wednesday, I’ve written about 2,500 words. When I step away from my computer, I’m pleased with what I’ve written, and then the next day when I reread it, I’m dissatisfied with it. The problem is that from one day to the next, I shift from being a beautiful place where everyone is friendly and the beer is cheap, to an island rife with violence and people getting their heads chopped off.
Neither are “bad,” as long as it’s not my head and the beer is mine. Both are interesting and make for good reading.
But which one do I want to be? Which one will this book be?
The answer is that it will be both, but the real challenge is creating something that isn’t completely disjointed and random.
So bear with me. I’m going to be trying out some new-for-me styles on the blog just so I can feel my way through them and see what works best for a long format piece. Your comments, as always, are heartily appreciated and extremely helpful. Have I told you all lately that I love you? Because I do.