Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tulang wala lang

Nagbabago na ang ihip ng hangin.
Tila hindi na maganda ang mga nangyayari. 
Maaaring signos
o maaaring kathang-isip lamang.

Napakaraming bagay
Ngunit sa mga bagay na lilipas 

na lumilipad sa isip.
Maraming katanungan
na gustong sagutin.
Maraming takot
na gustong harapin.
At maraming bagay
na gusto na lamang palipasin.

mayroong ayaw pakawalan
ngunit mayroon din namang
mga hahayaan na lamang.

Sa pagpikit ng mga mata
tanging dalangin
ang mawala ang masaming hanging
nagdadala ng hindi magandang himig.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Questions. And Answers.

We came with questions in mind ready to be imparted to one another. As to the level of honesty to self and others, however, I could not exactly assess. I have my own biases and reasons to keep certain truths to myself. Yet one thing I'm sure of: we were all carrying something in us. A burden, a challenge, angst, anxiety, guilt-feel. We had questions we ought to answer.

The ball began to roll. What makes you wake up each morning?

Family. Dreams. Beloved, special someone. Upcoming events.

Megan shared a story about a colleague who passed away due to a blood clot in the brain. She said it was so sudden, that her friend's death hugely impacted her more than that of her mom's. She lost her mom to cancer earlier this year. Like any other stories in cancer books, they knew they had to face a day when they had to bid goodbye to her mom who fought the Big C very badly after remission. But her friend's death was, indeed, a thief in the night. "Kausap ko pa siya last week lang. Tapos biglang, wala na. Ambilis." It came to her that a life could get away in a blink of an eye.

Which led her to the second question for the night. What would you like to ask: yourself.

Am I ready to die? The question seemed to have unleashed a ball of fire directed at each one of us that we couldn't help but look down and utter an "aw" altogether aloud. It struck one of our friends most: Patty, who is now fighting cancer on her own.

After a nearly perfect and very blissful summer of travels and getaways, she found herself suffering from a dysmenorrhea-kind-of-pain which, after a quick check-up, was found to be the Big C. Like death, cancer was like a thief in the night which could hack your joy, hope, and love for the world.

But Patty was a different kind of cancer story. She admitted breaking down after learning from her parents that the mass taken from one of her ovaries -- which grew terribly big that we wondered how it fit her system -- was malignant. Nevertheless, her larger-than-life faith overpowered her fears and pains. Instead of sulking in the corner to wallow in misery, she sat with God in prayer and spoke with Him in silence. She asked Him, "Why me?" With which, she also answered herself, "Why not?" And that made all the difference.

How are you? It was what Patty would always hear from people, with which, she would respond with, "I'm OK." She admitted, however, that it was a question very hard to answer, because she wasn't sure if answering with an "OK" will spell the truth, or giving an "I'm in pain" would just make people bend with pity and sympathy. She said she's not in pain. But she was not completely fine. She said she was just happy with the overwhelming love pouring in from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.

Where am I headed? Are we prepared? Uncertainty is one of the spices of life, yet if it was a taste-booster, it would probably be a bitter gourd, sea salt, or pepper. It was a query Ate Lissy asked herself -- bearing in mind that she and her boyfriend are now headed for the altar sometime next year. Good thing, though, she had already ironed out issues with her mom. The issues became matters-of-the-heart that her mom was completely unaware of. She and her mom have begun with a clean slate for another mother-daughter drama etched in the book of human history.
Tabula rasa.

How bad do I want this? I asked myself as I prepare to knock on a door I've been wanting to hardly pound on for the past years. I couldn't quite express my thoughts downright. At that moment, I couldn't find the right words to say: I've seen myself doing that all these years, that's what I'm born to do (or has been shaped to do).

Will you fight for it? Ate Lissy spotted the confusion in my heart.

And at that moment, I became honest. I knew all along, I wanted it badly.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Catch-ups and truths

I haven't seen my CG (caring group) friends for quite a while, and tomorrow I will be spending a night with them for a monthly sharing and meet.

There's a lot of catching up to do. From my last session with them, everyone was healthy, happy, and hopeful. As of Facebook news, text blast, and brief hi-hello-how-are-you, Patty - who has been a mighty, committed servant of God along with her family - is now fighting cancer. Ate Lissy and her boyfriend have stepped up for another level of lifetime companionship, willingly taking part in the Discovery Weekend. Gigi has joined a group of Bible-lovers who studies the Holy Bible in depth. The others, uhm, I barely know anything about them anymore.

Me? Let me put it this way.

Ate Lissy has given us a homework. 

Write down your own reflection answers then share natin:
1. What makes you wake up each morning?
2. What's your one big question to: yourself, others (identify to whom), God. Why?

If I have to answer these with no holds barred, I would straightforwardly share my current state of love and life and how this has been bringing light to my daily struggles and chores. I would tell them who I am committed to, who I love, and with whom I want to share my infinity. I would tell them what I want to ask her, and what I would also ask myself in relation to her, which I guess, in the end, I will still be unable to answer myself. 

But I know, everything will put a frown on their faces. Their blank stares will eat me up like a lion preying on a snake in the jungle. They will treat whatever I have right now as a disease that has to be cured.

Only a few people will understand. Even among my closest friends -- not all of them do. 

So I will probably give them answers that won't touch on what -- I believe -- they are unprepared for and will never want to hear. But I will still be real and true in sharing-- in other life aspects, at that.

But if you ask me right now.

Yes, I am in love. I am loving. And I am holding on.

Never letting go.

The boy who sang alms

He clung to the end of the jeepney. He sat on the platform where people rest their feet for a second before finally ascending into the vehicle for a convenient ride. For him, however, the way in is his couch -- a pleasing resting place where he can sit down for a while and heave a sigh of relief.

He mumbled words with a rather eerie melody. Oh, no. He sang. He was singing. He hummed notes that seemed to be going nowhere after giving away white, dilapidated envelopes. His friend alighted soon after he finished distributing his own set of envelopes. But this boy stayed and waited for strangers to slip even a penny into the crumbling pieces of paper.

A man seated on the edge portion of the jeepney alighted. The boy wasted no time to take his place for a brief comfortable ride. I caught a clearer, closer glimpse of him: he donned in brown shirt with gray neckline and sleeves. His shorts were white with stains of grease -- or whatever dirt it is. His slippers seemed to have chased pavements of a thousand miles. His feet were dark; his nails were long, jagged, and dirty. 

His collarbone vividly peeked into the open, while his shoulders held his shirt very loosely -- as if trying to mimic a hanger where an unwashed piece of clothing dangle freely. His brown skin seemed to have been made tanner by noontime sun washing his youthfulness away. If the eyes were indeed windows to one's soul, his soul was speaking of restlessness, grief, pity, and disgust. He looked hungry and tired. Yet helpless.

He got up to take back his white, dilapidated envelopes. He flattened every piece to check if anyone cared enough to slip a penny for a slice of loaf or a piece of pan de sal.

Yet no one did.

I carry your heart with me (E. E. Cummings)

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in 
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)