We all say things we mean and we don’t mean when we are drenched in pain and hatred. As the pain numbs us and the hatred becomes too familiar, we weave a new thread of hope that things will get better in time and the horror that pain and hatred have made us confront can just be treated as another bad dream. Yet, bad dreams always haunt us no matter the time and distance. I am still haunted by the face of stranger I meet in you whom I thought I have known all my life. I am scared of ever seeing that stranger again. When you finally said you were sorry, I did not intend to accept it, but I did. People might call it cowardice when I did not do what I was supposed to when you ate all your despise of me the moment you said you were sorry. I want to call it a shot for a clean slate. I never want to remember nor be reminded of how awful it had been to amount our feelings to hatred. Neither do I want to fake my true feelings at the moment and make you feel that I have strong regard for you when the truth is, I cannot even bring myself to force a smile feeling threatened of what could trigger again the horror I never want to face once more. The truth is, I cannot afford to be loving at the moment. I just want it to be over and start anew and in starting anew I mean having no feelings at all. No love. No hate. But you will never know that. It is a thread I shall weave for myself not knowing what happens next. You will continue to believe what I offered you was a chance although to me that chance has erased all memories of the past, good and bad. You have turned me into a stranger. I hope it shall be nice to meet you again. I hope we shall find the love we have lost somewhere. But we really do not know…
What is it with 7 and luck?
I’d rather be grateful than lucky.
Yes, I talk to the universe and all, especially when an awful fist of luck knocks me out like a domino falling, hitting me hard one blow after the other…or when nothing seems to be going my way no matter which way I go…or even when everything is dead blank and pitch dark yet and still the stars are too flicker on me…mostly, during the times I have to have something to blame and I could no longer force the blame on myself or to anyone. Yes, I do talk to the universe when I feel that I am the unluckiest earthling alive. It would seem like I am believer of luck. I may seem to be. But luck has never been kind to me. I even doubt if it ever exists.
Maybe when the universe is being less of a bitch and is starting to force a ray of good luck upon me, I am really not lucky at all.
Luck is too random to believe in and the universe is too bitchy to be nice to a random and insignificant earthling like me. But there is a stronger force, greater force behind the universe that makes me feel grateful instead. I am ever grateful, oh yes, I am, that as days fall off, I may falter but I don’t end with them.
Today marks the 7th day of my new year. With or without luck, I am grateful. With or without stars, I am grateful. I am grateful because I am alive to count up to this day that is about to end.
Tomorrow is another shot at winning fist fights with the universe.
Bring it on.
“A hospital alone shows what war is.” -Erich Maria Remarque
I was the watcher. I was supposed to watch over my patient. But I did more than that. Actually, my patient did not need much of my ‘watching’ because he slept through the entire waiting time. So what I did was quite a retaliation on my part because I did not want to be there. I did not put on a fancy black dress to pace back and forth on the tiled floors of the emergency room. All I wanted was to have a peaceful Sunday morning, have a quiet breakfast, hear mass and sleep through the entire afternoon. But I was there. I had too. I did not have a choice. That was my choice though. To be there. And so I had to make myself productive. I watched then. I watched every single drama in the emergency room. I was bored, but I was being moved by the things I was seeing out of watching.
I could not imagine to be in that mother’s shoe: being blamed by her husband and her mother-in-law for missing a wink of watching over her son, and just like that, her son got hit by a tricycle and bled on the ground. She was trembling as she was trying to explain how everything that fast could happen, convincing her family, but more so herself, that she did not mean for the accident to happen. Of course, it was an accident. I saw the blood on the poor boy’s forehead. It was a sight that would have had me unconscious if that boy were my son. What a torture it is indeed to feel blameful for something you did not intend to happen. I mean the last thing you wanted to do is to hurt the one you love, but it happens and it breaks your heart why it should happen. Is it really beyond your control? You begin to question yourself. That is the thing about accidents I guess. My heart goes out to that poor mother.
I saw half a dozen sick babies at the Paediatrics today. They were just babies, and yet they were there, crying, but not entirely understood what was causing their pain. Many times we want other’s attention for the pain we feel and yet they don’t seem to understand, and really, all we can do is cry. Like babies, we cry. And these mothers? They kept on explaining to every doctor, every nurse, every random staff attending to them, what had started the pain their babies were enduring, and yet, no one could really pinpoint what was wrong. They could only guess. Yes, guess. This pain guessing game is really complicated, right? Why can’t we just admit where and why and how we are hurt. It is not like we are babies who could not speak for ourselves. But then we are all like babies sometimes. We let other people second guess our pains, and all we receive are second-rate antidotes for our pains. Babies continued to cry. One stared back at me for a moment, stopped crying, and then started crying again. The crying might never stop.
She looked like one of my teachers before. I smiled at her, waiting for a recognition, but maybe she just resembled her because she smiled back without the recognition I was waiting for. She was out of breath while seated on her wheel chair. She did not have anyone with her. It might have been terrible to catch your breath, alone, without a hand to hold as you try to fill your lungs with air. When we are out of breath sometimes, we yearn for somebody to breathe with us, to remind us that life goes on. But sometimes we are too busy worrying where else we can get a breath of new air and fail to notice that we have been on life-support all along by another person’s breath of air. Why do we worry so much? A sigh itself is a waste of breath, but we let go of it in despair, and complain of being out of breath. I did not know much of the lady’s case. I did not have time to talk to her. She barely had enough air to spare for herself than to engage herself with a casual conversation with a bored stranger like me.
Three stories. I have more actually. But I am too overwhelmed by all these realizations and yet, for a moment there, I thought I would really break down.
I was bleeding, crying and barely-breathing. But I must be lucky I was not on a hospital bed.
I guess I would last another day.
Life is like the end of a day.
Life is a red blot on the computer screen about to go off…
Life is a familiar cushion consuming your weight into its center so soft…
Life is the country rhythm of your favorite rock band taking you away…
Face life even if doesn’t seem to want to face you.
Embrace life knowing it will end eventually even if it has to torment you.
Live life for even a thousand years can only happen and end in a day.
For life, in truth, is but a day in your life.
This is the poetry prompt I gave to my students as periodic examination after a unit on poetry. Sometimes, I make it a point to do prompts my way, especially when it is in poetry that people are at the peak of realizations of what life truly means. Then I am surprised of myself each time…
As Miss Joy, my colleague, had written at the end of the examination paper: “Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” -Cassandra Clare
Grade 7 Science has opened my eyes to many things I have taken for granted about relationships. I never had this kind of connection with Science until I attended a class as part of my functions as supervisor of teacher performance.
Miss Lyn opened the lesson on “Interactions in the Ecosystem” with the question: what do you do in order to interact with the other members of the class? what do animals do if in their own environment? Answers ranged from talking, listening to protecting and killing. Then, the parade of concepts about how organisms interact in the ecosystem proceeded. From the the leading questions, to the concept-forming questions and the synthesizing and valuing questions, I gathered my own thoughts about a few of these interactions:
Mutualism, the art of “give and take”
Being with someone-sharing innermost thoughts and feelings, contributing to the the other’s emotional and spiritual growth, nurturing passions and whims- is not a one-way street. However, living and keeping up with giving when taking is bliss, sometimes clouds the connection. When a person graces you with attention, concern and care, sometimes you feel overwhelmed that you forget that you have the obligation to make the other person feel the same, not exactly the same way but in the way you know how. Sharing mutual feelings allows us to be inventive and imaginative as to how we can reciprocate joy whenever we get the feeling from someone’s efforts to amuse us. Mutual understanding also breeds respect and trains us to be sensitive, in a way that we avoid words and actions that we know shall cause us pain and dissatisfaction if we were given the same treatment. Mutual understanding values connection even without words spoken, making love more heartfelt because you may be able to make someone feel precious even if you don’t need to say anything or more.
Parasitism, putting up with the users
What kind of relationship makes a parasite out of us? It might be the relationship when you make someone believe you care but that is only because you derive benefits from the relationship. Casual favors are tolerable, but making another person sacrifice his or her own happiness just so you can enjoy your capriciousness is a painful thing for the host, and a shame for the parasite. The sad reality is, we tolerate parasites. Our home crumbles, our skin itches, our society is infested, because we do not do anything about the parasites. We are too kind to parasites and look past their schemes. Hosts should never be applauded for their martyrdom, knowing they are being used, complain but give in to the users. Is this even something we can call relationship if we love parasites so much we can’t let them go? Hosts, unlike preys, actually have a choice not be aggravated but they choose to be undermined. Their idea of a relationship is controlled by their over eagerness to be selfless even if this would mean stripping them of their dignity and freedom. Could we blame them?
Predation, antagonism at its finest
It seems that when we care for someone, when we are in a relationship that secures us with the satisfaction of belonging, predators are not a thing to be scared of. How many of us have been victims of this kind of interaction-hunted, eyed on, grasped and struggles to be consumed? We know that sometimes making a commitment entails risk and dangers, especially when our oblivious heart yearns nothing but to be cuddled and cared for, but we continue to make ourselves open to be preyed on. Then, when others hurt us, we can’t do anything else but bleed. Do we curse the predators for being mean? Well if we force ourselves to be in a relationship that has taken parasitism for granted and evolved into an interaction that has made the parasite a heartless predator hurting the host that has turned into a weak prey, then maybe we should rethink how we see relationships. Pain is inevitable, but allowing yourself to be devoured is a different story. Nobody has the right to hurt you if you don’t give them the power to. But sometimes we choose to be hurt. Endless why’s flood our senses, but we refuse to give them answers.
So what kind of relationship do we have? Are we enjoying cloud 9 with mutualism? Are we enduring the sense of sacrifice that comes with parasitism? Are we resistant to pain caused by predation? Or maybe it is mutualism reduced to parasitism and evolving to predation?
Everything I need to learn about relationships I learned in Science for the 7th grade.
Come oh Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful.
I should have gotten it the first time, but it took me ten years to really embrace the purpose of starting the academic year by invoking the holy spirit.
More than the aspiration for a fruitful academic year, for the prayer for blessings and guidance as the quest goes on for academic excellence, for the desire for successful steps towards earnest goals for self and others in the academe, I finally figured out what it is I really yearn for in taking in the gifts of the holy spirit after I had a close encounter with myself during two eucharistic celebrations I attended. When it finally hit me, the realization was warm and strong that truly I have been having a weak spirit all along.
Maybe it was not until I opened my wounded and weary heart when I finally realized why the holy spirit has to be upon me, with me, in me. I have been to busy with iron works on the twists and curves of my existence that I went on pretending to be grateful and blessed but the reality is, my heart has not been full. The holy spirit came in like stray tears falling from my eyes unnoticed by everyone else except by my restless heart. When the holy spirit hit like that, I seemed to be searching for something, scanning for a hint, envisioning a clue.
The surge of the close encounter with the holy spirit was like a sudden strange feeling of weariness translating to a racing anticipation for something better felt.
The truth is, I really do not know what I am talking about. But God knows how I feel right now is beyond ordinary. I am not saying that I am a renewed Christian now, or a more faithful kind. Because truthfully again, I am not up to change whatever it is that I or other people expect me to change. But something stirs. And it is good. It has to be something good.
Whatever it is, I think a new quest has just started.