Friday, 23 November 2012

As promised ...

Hi Grade 7s. 

I have been reading your lists of ten things (you are grateful for or things you know to be true) and first thing I want to say is thank you.  A lot of you took the task seriously and shared a lot of meaningful bits --big and small; from what makes you laugh, what makes you feel loved, what makes you think, consider, wonder, trust, what you value, to what scares you, what makes you vulnerable, what makes you feel free, feel like yourself...everything that makes you who you are - as friend, sister, son, daughter, brother, music lover, techie, artist, pet owner, reader, clown.  Thank you for that.  Second thing is, I have been reading the poetry that came of that (and also from sitting with a lot of you to talk about it) and in a word, wow.  Whether you were inspired by the material on your lists or not, your putting your heart on to the work and the page is the essence and foundation of poetry that moves, inspires and changes.  Amazing work, guys.  I can't wait to sit down and conference with the rest of you.  :)  

Now I know I have been silent for awhile and there is a reason for that (which will be explained in a post coming up soon after this).  But as promised, here is my list of ten things I know to be true.  

Thanks Sarah Kay, for a great idea and for putting us on a journey into ourselves that surprised us all.  Here goes ...  

Self Portrait

1. Everything happens for a reason — no matter how wonderful, painful or traumatic.  Even when I catch myself scratching my head or waving my fist in the air asking WHY?!?!!?..#$@%#!??, I quickly remember to let the worry go because if I trust enough, it all works out and mostly makes sense in the end anyway.  

2. My tattoos tell my stories, stories that make up a narrative of vulnerability, survival, life lessons, redemption, forgiveness and love gained, lost and found again.  One thing they never fail to remind me of is that pain, it always ends. (For further explanation on pain ending, please refer to number 1)

Meet Mr. Marsellus

3. Envy is poison.  Locking your gaze on someone better or worse off than you is like warm venom slowly seeping through your veins.  Soon, it'll reach your throat and close it for good.  
Slow and sure
4. Spirituality and a strong relationship with God has nothing to do with religion or blind ritual.  It's  about conversation, investment and concentrated time with Him.   

God's creation
5.  We teach others how to treat us and we define our own self worth.   
My brother and I: Happy feet

6.  I need to be that thing I am looking for before I find it, demand it, attract it and marry it. 

Joyful with a heart of gratitude
7. Everything in the dark that we bring into the light will turn into light, and gray is more fun than black and white. 

Light heals us all

Black and white is overrated 
8. There is beauty in contradiction, complexity, and diversity.  We are individuals separated by what makes us the same, connected by what makes us different. 

New Year's Day Smog in Manila 
9. I need to be alone sometimes even if I don't want to be alone sometimes.  
Ah, being alone. There's a certain dignity to it. - Singles

10. Poetry and photography heal the broken, soothe the troubled, notice everybody and everything. They have taught me to pay close attention and tell my truth/s.

Snaps of the truth
Thanks for reading. Really loved everyone's lists. Leave a comment if there's something on here that you'd like to ask me about. :) Would love to hear from you.


  1. Mrs. Paula, your list is amazing. I can tell that everything on the list came from your heart. The list to me is more than just a list. They are our thought, feelings, values and the things that we believe and trust. I can connect to your 'list' and relate really well. Thank you for sharing this.

    Sam <3

    1. Thank you, Sam. Your heart, your sincerity, your talent, your poetry and your kindness surprise and move me. Thank you.

      Ms. P

  2. I really liked this list. I really found it amazing how you spoke your own opinion and gave out your own perspective of the world.
    I liked the pictures. Did you take all of them on Instagram? They went really well with the list. I liked how the points where like pieces of advice, I also enjoyed how they where metaphorical.
    - Georgina

    1. Thanks, G. The pictures were all taken by my iPhone and I used some filters from Instagram. Thank you for your lovely comment. Writing it really made me think (which is why it took awhile for me to post it). It's not the first time I've composed a list of ten things I know to be true though. What was interesting was how some parts of my list never change, while others bits found its way there this time around. :) Keep on writing your beautiful poetry. You have a gift. :)

      Ms. P

  3. Great list. Thank you for reminding me to write my list too. I am overwhelmed with words and thoughts and feelings to say much else in these comments. Sorry, I know my comment on this list deserves more depth, but I will try and dig deeper soon elsewhere. Thanks again for modeling for us all.

  4. Dear Mrs Paula,
    These pictures you took inspire me because of the way you took them and the way they talk to me when I see them.
    They are beautiful and I really think you should ask to have them framed at school!!!
    I would love to see the different photos you take!!
    Thank you for posting them,
    Love Celia

    1. I agree! We should have more framed Photos from Ms. G and our entire community up on the walls of our spaces. Perhaps your Chiang Mai stories could be a start.

    2. Thanks Mr. R and Celia,

      For the kind words and appreciation for a new love. :)
      Yes! Chiang Mai photography / media project...lots of opportunities to play around with images and develop that eye. :)

      Ms. P