My musings and random thoughts!

Writing on Air

online prescription solutions
online discount medstore
pills online
buy lorazepam without prescription
xanax for sale
buy xanax without prescription
buy ambien without prescription
ambien for sale
buy modafinil without prescription
buy phentermine without prescription
modafinil for sale
phentermine for sale
lorazepam for sale
buy lexotan without prescription
bromazepam for sale
xenical for sale
buy stilnox without prescription
valium for sale
buy prosom without prescription
buy mefenorex without prescription
buy sildenafil citrate without prescription
buy adipex-p without prescription
librium for sale
buy restoril without prescription
buy halazepam without prescription
cephalexin for sale
buy zoloft without prescription
buy renova without prescription
renova for sale
terbinafine for sale
dalmane for sale
buy lormetazepam without prescription
nobrium for sale
buy klonopin without prescription
priligy dapoxetine for sale
buy prednisone without prescription
buy aleram without prescription
buy flomax without prescription
imovane for sale
adipex-p for sale
buy niravam without prescription
seroquel for sale
carisoprodol for sale
buy deltasone without prescription
buy diazepam without prescription
zopiclone for sale
buy imitrex without prescription
testosterone anadoil for sale
buy provigil without prescription
sonata for sale
nimetazepam for sale
buy temazepam without prescription
buy xenical without prescription
buy famvir without prescription
buy seroquel without prescription
rivotril for sale
acyclovir for sale
loprazolam for sale
buy nimetazepam without prescription
buy prozac without prescription
mogadon for sale
viagra for sale
buy valium without prescription
lamisil for sale
camazepam for sale
zithromax for sale
buy clobazam without prescription
buy diflucan without prescription
modalert for sale
diflucan for sale
buy alertec without prescription
buy zyban without prescription
buy serax without prescription
buy medazepam without prescription
buy imovane without prescription
mefenorex for sale
lormetazepam for sale
prednisone for sale
ativan for sale
buy alprazolam without prescription
buy camazepam without prescription
buy nobrium without prescription
mazindol for sale
buy mazindol without prescription
buy mogadon without prescription
buy terbinafine without prescription
diazepam for sale
buy topamax without prescription
cialis for sale
buy tafil-xanor without prescription
buy librium without prescription
buy zithromax without prescription
retin-a for sale
buy lunesta without prescription
serax for sale
restoril for sale
stilnox for sale
lamotrigine for sale

Family stories

Posted on February 26, 2012 by jimparedes

Humming in my Universe
By Jim Paredes

Last weekend, I spent time at my brother’s Batangas beach house with most of my siblings. Two, who are US based came home to attend class reunions and it was a good reason to get together and talk about old times, our current situations, and just about everything and everyone.

It’s amazing how years spent apart are instantly bridged by memories and shared histories. We talked about our relatives who had passed away, the narratives their lives took and the color they added to our family heritage. There were heroic exploits, noble deeds, principled stands and interesting twists and turns in their lives. And then there were the peccadillos and the full-blown scandals surrounding some of our elders.

We must have gotten tired of retelling the good things our elders did since we have recounted them so many times in the past, because last weekend, we spent much time discussing their indiscretions. Each of us shared what we knew about certain incidents concerning certain relatives, surprising and shocking some of us who were hearing some of the stories for the first time (though admittedly with great relish).
We realized that the primary sources of family stories were mostly our mother and some uncles and aunts. However, they never told any of us the complete narratives. The stories were parsed, the details spread out among us, perhaps unintentionally. If it was intentional, I do not know what made them do it. One sister, for example, would know the general story of an indiscretion but another would know the juicier details.

Listening to the sordid and torrid goings-on that some of our relatives were involved in, I somehow felt a strange sense of comfort, more than shock. It was actually a relief to know that behind the larger-than-life principled acts they did for personal or family honor or for country and people, were human beings with human frailties. It somehow makes me feel better about my own imperfections and weaknesses. Perhaps, my last comforting insight is that my family is like many other families in the sense that it is capable of great deeds as well as despicable ones. Thank God, we are not special.

It is always educational and enriching to look at one’s family history and see one’s relatives in the contexts in which they lived. On my mother’s side, there was a strong moral impulse to reject immorality and corruption. My grandfather was the most beloved prison director Muntinlupa ever had. He did not just discipline criminals, he rehabilitated them. My grandmother’s roots were in the rebellious Basque region in Spain. She was a strong-headed and very moral woman who passed the tests of faith, love and charity when the situations presented themselves. I see these traits in my mom and my siblings.

On my father’s side, my grandfather was an Ilokano lawyer who was a man of the world, open-minded and more understanding of a person’s weaknesses. My grandmother was a homebody who doted on their children and grandchildren. Although my mom’s side was not more morally upright than my dad’s family, they set a higher bar for themselves and so were also more strict and unforgiving of themselves when they failed.

There were both the heroes and scoundrels on both sides of my family. But hero or scoundrel, they were mostly lovable. Maybe I am casting a sympathetic eye on them because they are my relatives. But really, for a large part of them, the balance is tilted in their favor because of their redeeming qualities such as compassion, a true sense of charity, intellectual probity, a strong sense of social justice, and courage.
When I look at the lives of the people I love, I take into account what Carl Jung said that every person has a dark side. His basic message is that every man casts a shadow, and the greater the man, the bigger the shadow. It is foolish and naïve to expect people to live lives of perfection. The so-called perfect person, the one without a shadow, is probably a one-dimensional, uninteresting and soul-less being, a caricature, or a stock character. And I even doubt he or she really exists.

We are all capable of good and evil deeds. And there is not one of any of us who comes from a so-called “pure” source. Thomas Jefferson, one of the drafters of the US Constitution which guaranteed the rights of every person, was himself a slave owner. Contradiction exists in every man and woman.

Shakespeare, in his play “Julius Caesar”, had Brutus speak these words upon the death of Caesar: ‘The evil that men do live after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” I often wonder about this. On some days, I fear it is true. But from our family stories where good and bad deeds are re-told objectively, almost matter-of-factly, I know it is not.

In a cynical but funny and true way, the novelist Kendall Hailey wrote, ‘The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.”

To the members of my large clan who have gone before me, what will determine the perspective I will take when I look at my family history, or any person or event for that matter, is whether I have the capacity to go beyond judging simplistically, unlike the wooden one-dimensional shadow-less people Jung described. But that shouldn’t be that difficult because I am getting more and more accepting of my own shadow as I learn more and more about my relatives. And I thank God there isn’t a relative I know of who was and is not real enough to share not just his or her light but also his or her shadow with the rest of us.


For the first time, I am offering an Advanced Photo Workshop on March 10, 2012. This will be in a location where we will shoot under different sets of lighting conditions with a model. For details, Email or call 4265375 or 09168554303 to reserve.

1 to “Family stories”

  1. A beautiful post Jim, and this could apply to many families. I have done it once with all of mine. I am number 14 of 15 with 13 of us remaining. A mixed bag indeed. Yes we all cast a shadow, and I have come to terms with mine.

Leave a Reply

↑ Top