The following untitled piece is my first piece of writing. I’m not sure but I think I wrote it when I was about two years old. With this blog post, I am humbled to offer the world release of this historic work:
The grass is green.
The sun is out shining.
The sun burnt the grass.
I know—so young, and already I had a dark side! Anyway, this piece of writing is also the text to my first book! Entonces, I thought to make a mini-book replicating this first book, a 1/1 edition which I’m sure no longer exists—it was left behind in Baguio City, Philippines where I grew up as a youngster.
By the way, I know of my first book not because I remember writing it. I just grew up hearing my mom’s recollection of the incident. After I read my words to her, my mother apparently played along with much enthusiastic encouragement. She even helped me fashion bookshelves from shoe boxes for more books!
So, this mini-book, My First Book, is the first replication of what I created when I was a toddler. When I began SitWithMoi, I thought I would create such a book, but only was moved finally to do so when I received a card announcement of an exhibition of Larry Poons paintings at Danese, New York. I thought the reproduced painting was so gorgeous that I wanted to use it as the cover to My First Book:
The card was large enough to be folded into front and back covers as well as the verso cover pages to a 2” x 1.5” book:
You would open the book to see the title page
You then would turn the page to a page with a green highlighter scrawl (I didn't have crayons around so used highlighters instead) at the bottom of the page. That’s right—I didn’t use words to write my first book. I don’t think I knew how to write then. But I obviously could conceptualize. So I scribbled green across the page and would interpret it to Mom as “The grass is green”
You’d turn the page to see similar treatment—yellow highlighter blob atop page—that I would interpret as “The sun is out shining”
And you’d turn the page to see brown crayola (I did find a brown crayon) on the bottom of the page for my interpretation, “The sun burnt the grass”
The colors unfortunately bleed through the slim pages – but that’s okay as that allowed me to create a summary of the story:
Having gotten this far in making this book, I was feeling so pleased with it that I decided it deserves an author photo! And so I went through my mother’s stuff because I knew she had childhood photos of me. I decided on this one—I was at elementary school:
I chose that photo because of what Mom wrote on its back, which so displayed the love and pride she felt for me … not just for me but for all her children; she was a very encouraging parent:
Eileen, on their promotional program. The little rolled paper is her “diploma”. It is a paper with 3 sentences bearing the best wishes of her teachers and the principal. I think she is almost 5 feet tall now.
I remember those white shoes in the photo (white shoes! How retro!). I was so happy Mom got me the pair, and so pleased with moiself for having them J
Anyway, as I would say in an Author's Note in the book, I dedicate the book to my mother, Beatriz Tilan Tabios, for all of her encouragement to me.
So, where shall we “shelve” my first book? I think on a white chair to match those white shoes! Let’s shelve it on Eero Saarinen’s “Pedestal Chair”! Place it on a pedestal, indeed!
I’m delighted I can share this project now. I’ve been relatively silent on blogs recently as I got caught up in both an autobiography-in-progress as well as finishing a new short story that, respectively, are on and inspired by Mom. I really miss her.