When Did You Decide To Live?


There have been many “Becoming-Rain” moments in my life that could be referred to as “deciding to live” moments.

My first memory as a very small child was noticing the first bud on a tree branch in the very early Spring in the backyard.

It is an indelible memory that triggers each year after the winter solstice.

I think I decided that I was living and knew that I was a part of something bigger than me.

I began to live when I first saw the lights of a theatrical stage, and danced my first ballet.

I decided to live when dance became my language as young girl.

I began to live when I stepped on an airplane at the ripe age of 18 years old and headed out west in the middle of my senior year of high school. I stepped away from a male dominated family, and culture, and began the journey I am still traveling today.

I decided to live when I remained there, and in the end, attended University of California, Berkeley; priceless years, most of the great artists and scholars I studied with have passed on, but they were some of the ground breakers in Modern Art.

I began to live when I stood up for the rights of the Filipino people under the dictatorship of Marcos…as an ex-peace corps volunteer using my voice to speak through my music…

People Power followed that movement…

I began to live when I walked into the studio of Peter Voulkos,

His energy and huge personality filling my senses with the possibility of Art as a life…

And I decided to live as an artist in the darkened art history auditoriums of the great art historian Peter Seltz. Wild haired and magical, he transformed my vision of how it was possible to transform the world through Art.

I decided to live when I committed my life to Art, through teaching, through creating, by exploring many mediums, and continuing in the search for meaning in my art making, no matter the medium.

I decidcd to live when I gave Bob Dylan a painting, and he thanked me from the stage.

I bought a guitar and began my musical journey.

I decided to live when I took the stage for the first time at The Earl of Old Town in Chicago and became Patti Rain.

I decided to live when I married Rio.

I decide to live when we committed to the Wicker Park house and created a beautiful home out of rubble.

I decided to live when I took on two adopted children, both special needs amidst teaching 1200 kids a year

I decided to live when I retired from CPS, and chose to focus on my Art.

I decide to live when I accepted the LRMFA program’s invitation…

I keep on Living ….through the pain, and the memories…and the joys…

I continue to make the decision to live.

Making the decision to live for me, happens each time I make the choice that will allow me to continue to grow as an artist. There is always the dilemma of time and place, there is never enough time. But when deciding to live you accept the inevitable that time requires and try to use and bend time. The artist clock is an eternal and internal clock connected to nature and the seasons, connected to the pulse of humanity, each time we choose to live, we expand our possibilities as humans and the possibilities of what can contribute to the other humans on the planet.

Deciding to Live is a decision to BE.

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