A Country Cried
THE RAIN, THE SEA, AND NINOY
She took everything she could carry when she left Japan
She didn’t know where she would find it
But she knew where she was going
On her way back to the islands
It had been a rich experience living in Japan
Lots of experiences
Too many to think about
She keeps flashing on the image of Junji
She said good bye
She had become very Japanese after four years
Living outside Kobe
In a small fishing village
She reached the islands
Came looking for a some brand new music
Something was out there
She could feel it drawing her there
This country and the people had become part of her
It was hot in Manila
Everyday it was hot
She was still living in Japan when he was killed
He was returning home
He was going to run for President
Democracy would return at long last
They really did believe in our democracy
The people embraced our values
They were thankful to us for saving them
She read about it one morning in Suma-ku
He was gunned down as he was leaving the plane
By some lone gunman
The gunman was seen in all the newspapers
Laying on the tarmac
Laying in the hot sun
For 12 hours
No one moved the body
But she knows that is not the truth
She was her way back to the island
He was walking down her dream path
When she saw him walking by
He walked on
She took her dreams
Down to sea
And she dove in to the water
Her skin turned to bronze
Her hair turned golden blond
But he walked on
She saw his silhouette
As he sat beside the cave
His flute carried his feelings on the wind
And as his eyes secretly watched her
She took off all her covering
And she dove down
Into the sea of dreams
The girls began to gather around the fire
But still he avoided her
Until they told him of her music
Then the pain began
She watched his defenses grow
But on that first night
After the moon was full
They walked on down along the sea
They both lacked the strength
To leave it alone
And in their hearts
They pledged to all the stars above
That the music was their way
Of turning all that love on
They dove down
Into the sea of dreams
She brought the music back to the city
A Country Cried
When Ninoy Died
He was just trying
To right what was wrong
Put his people back on track
To where they once belonged
To where they once belonged
But they wouldn’t accept the changes
So they quickly rearranged it
When they killed this man
They thought it would
Oh what a shame
Tell me brother
Who’s to blame?
A Country Cried
When Ninoy died
The recording was done in a studio in Manila
Upstairs the producer was meeting with the
Of the Supreme Court
To discuss the truth
Around Ninoy’s death
He would prove
That it was not Galman
Who shot Ninoy
But rather Galman
Had been killed the night before
In a refrigerated truck
Then he was thrown out
Onto the tarmac
Who killed Ninoy?
For 12 hours Galman lay there
After Ninoy’s death
To allow him
To thaw out
It was surreal
All of it
The song was banned on government radio
But they played it on opposition radio
She had to leave the country
She was passionate
About his death
About the people
About the fact that
We were about to send
In military aid
To Ninoy’s country
She came back to her country
Everybody looked at her
Like she had already died
No one wanted to listen
She heard they were going to try and defeat him
So many candidates running
It was a circus
And in the end
It was Ninoy’s wife
Who was elected
She left not of her own choice, but because it was the safer choice.
Following the movement of the people after Ninoy’s death, there was an effort by the govenrnment to frighten the people. Each individual or group of individuals that participated in this People Power Movement, was subject to their homes and businesses being burned down.
The oppressed rose up, fought back and won their country back.
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.
ATTENDING TO THE SOUND
The day begins
I crawl through the opening
A barrier between this plane and this reality,
Into the dense images produced through
Listening for the portal, I jump through
Allowing my body to become the tool
Automatically stretching the sound in my ear,
To the touch of my fingers, through the pen
I am in my body
I imagine space
A dark background, the stars like smoke or fog, so dense, so thick, almost cloud like
Pushing and pulling sound
Like a Hoffman painting, thick with color
Meant to open the channels of inner space
That one low range
Always the lower chakra
Hitting and stirring sensations
Moving now into a spiral form
Each note expanding
The waters are receding
The Bees are dying
The Last Black Rhino stands alone
Looking back into my memory of a gentler time
A time when Evolutionary Dead End was not such a possible idea
The soldiers gather
They are so very young, not yet 13, with seething anger
They pick up their Russian made weapons
They scream threats to us as we drive through the throng of children Eyes red with tears
Parents laying dead on the ground
Family no more