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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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mental health

Book Talk: Meeting Grendel up close

I’m taking my bookmark off Grendel — for now.

Grendel, the murderous monster in Beowulf, tells his side of the story in this John Gardner book. The first few pages speak of Grendel’s anger. He was angry at his mother, humans, their living condition. He was angry at life. I would have continued if he only haunted the moors, went on rampage and made hell on Earth. But by Chapter 2, Grendel’s anger turned into nihilistic ramblings. He began thinking, exploring and questioning the meaninglessness of life.

Then, I was worried.

Knowing my fragile mental and emotional state, I knew I wasn’t ready to take in Grendel’s troubles. I have my own existential crisis to manage. It’s the healthier choice. Me first. Perhaps one day, when life gets a little kinder, I’ll have a better reaction to Grendel’s view that “the world is nothing but a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears” other than nod.

Have you tried switching books? Did you feel guilty for not being mentally/emotionally ready for a certain read? 🥺

Monday Musings: Hey… I love you

She bask in the honey-tinted sunshine. Her hands carefree, her heart light.

Today, I want to tell this beautiful soul that I love her. Not through poetry or paperbacks. Not through comfort food or a good sleep. Not through self-care. Not through deep breaths. I want to hug her and hand these three bold words: I LOVE YOU.

For fighting the battles from within and without. Even if some wounds are self-inflicted.
For trying to figure out the unknown. Even if answers seem nowhere to be found.
For keeping the faith in life. Even if sometimes hope is eclipsed by doubt.

I want to kiss this unsung heroine — gather all the many selves that reside in her little body and give her a hero’s welcome. Because she made it through. Day after day. Night after night.


Today, my country celebrates National Heroes Day. As I commend the great men and women of the past and present, I would also like to take this time to thank the one constant hero in my life. Love you, self. 🥺

Monday Musings: Let me count the ways

How do you rebuild yourself? Let me count the ways.

You rebuild yourself from the depths of pain and suffering and emptiness — making each a foothold to lift you up to a new height. Your tear-stained pillow, now dry, finds warmth at your bosom, and your hug is as tight as your resolve. You rebuild yourself from bricks of memories that you hold on to when life hits you hard on the face. From every day’s mundane simple things. A cat’s purr. A child’s smile. The smell of coffee. The sunrise. You rebuild yourself with care, as a woman putting cream on her face so gently. You rebuild yourself with care, as a man buying a pair of jeans after a long time. You rebuild yourself from doing things that you love. And from doing nothing at all.

It’s okay if you don’t have the right mind to read or write. If you don’t have the drive to sing or dance. You see, rebuilding yourself is not just about saying YES to life every time. It is saying YES to you first and foremost. So take things slow if you must. Rebuild yourself with patience and forgiveness. With smiles and tears and sighs.


Sharing this Monday musing on a Tuesday. Yesterday, I flung myself into the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I specifically went back and forth to her sonnet, How Do I Love Thee? This one question and its five words kept repeating on my mind — not in a romantic way but in an introspective one. How do I love myself? Lately, I’ve been giving myself a hard time by weighing her down with unmanaged emotions, good and bad. Handling depressive episodes, anxiety and overthinking is becoming harder. And I know I’m not alone. We are all struggling here.

So, today I’m forgiving myself for thinking that trying is pointless. It’s a battle, a long and arduous one, but I’m reminding myself that it’s worth the fight. May this personal reminder inspire those who are feeling the same way as I have.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – A plea

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“It’s easy to tell the toiler
How best he can carry his pack
But no one can rate a burden’s weight
Until it has been on his back”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sharing this quote from Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poem titled PREACHING VS. PRACTICE.

I know it’s scary and tiresome to live in these troubled times. We all have suffered physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. We all have our personal burdens and, at times, we tend to carry those that are not ours.

I hope we find it in our hearts to help each other. Please be kind and sensitive to each other’s pains. 😦

Pakigbisog by James Glendon

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

Gikapoy naka.
ayaw’g hunahunaa nga
kaya ra nimo tanang problema.
kay
di ka kusgan sa tanang panahon
ug sayop sila sa ilang giingong
dili ka masulub-on
kay ang tinuod
nag-inusara ra ka.
Ayaw isipa nga
kanimo adunay mutabang
kay
hakug  ang kalibutan.
Dili tinuod na
kini pagsulay lang
tuho-i na
magpabalin ang problema sa hangtud.
Undang na sa pagtoo nga
may igo kang katakos
hinumdumi nga
Ang kalampusan lisud makab-ot
sayop ang ideya nga
layo ka’g maabtan
kay ang tinuod
dinha ra ka kutob.
Hunong na sa pagtoo nga         
Makigbisog ka.

P.S. Now read the lines from the bottom to the top.


So, I’ve decided to continue this project of sharing poetry — written and spoken — that I believe deserve to be read, heard and felt. May this collection quench our thirst for inspiration and awaken our sleeping muse.

This piece is written by James Glendon, a Cebuano wanderer and wonderer who has a penchant for reverse poetry. The poem addresses anxiety and depression which are prevalent in today’s society. If only I could translate it to any language without jeopardizing its meaning and depth. Sigh.


Also, check out Home by Warsan Shire and The Prisoner of Chillon by Lord Byron for previous featured pieces. 😀

The Witching Hour

It’s 3 am.

I wake up to the monotonous sound of the fan. An unpleasant feeling starts to claw its way out of my chest and I begin to understand why they call this time of the day ‘the witching hour’.

Perhaps because here, in the quiet, we get to sit side by side with the unknown. That feeling of being sad, anxious, drained and lost for no apparent reason. Or maybe we simply just can’t pinpoint.

Many times I have put my heart out only to end up more dejected. You see, when you have all the reasons to be happy, people think you can’t feel otherwise. When you do, they ask you why. As if I am not as equally frustrated finding out the reason myself.

Somebody once told me that perhaps I’m being ungrateful. I have caring friends and family. A stable job. A pile of books. A passion in writing and exploring the outdoors. I have found love and life. So why would I not be okay?

I look to my left hoping that the bare wall knows the answer. It does not. An hour has passed yet there is still a clamor in my head. I want to go out for a long walk. But I fear they might burn me like they did to witches.

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