Skip to main content

Shadow Boxing

How many days have I lost?

A hundred or more already. A few recently. The thing with it is that when the bell rings you have no way of winning but by lasting the fight. No sense in becoming the aggressor and belting out your strongest punches hoping for a quick knockout. The enemy expects you to pour it out in the opening and so he slides back and dances around waiting to exhaust you. But he is ready to go the distance and see you drop in the end. These bouts are never four-rounders. They come in sprints and they wear you down.

But I've been learning. I've been learning not to force the issue and try to win them all. It's humbling you know -- to admit that you can't even control your self much more your own body. I've learned that the more you try to fight back, the more harm it can cause you. Lose this battle so that you can win the war. We are each given our own battles and the victory starts by claiming this battle as my own. It can't be too bad; the difficulty is in the beginning and we get through the sleepless nights. Come, I shan't do so badly.

Other people have it easy. What they strive to reach or what they long to gain are outside them or even beyond them. It's a matter of getting there and lasting the unforgiving days. It cannot be too far. What they need is an object in front of them, clear, distinct and known. And we all know that once it is known, it shall always be there for the taking. Yet my battle has long ceased to be a battle from without; it is a struggle that has the labyrinth of the mind as its playground and the abyss of the self as the opponent. It slips your fingers whenever you try to grasp it, it hides in the dark recesses whenever you try to see it. You can never catch yourself just as the dog can never catch its own tail. You can only be patient and bear those terrible days and dead nights. You can only throw the towel and hope for another chance.

What am I saying here? No, this is not an apology or a request to be understood. I did not lose those days with the intention of seeking pity or care. I lost them intentionally and I wouldn't have done it any other way. Those days bare the soul open and you see that there is nothing inside. That is comfort enough, a comfort that most will never experience and thus never enjoy.


  1. this is the most personal entry you've ever posted. it's good to finally hear you bare out your heart in your blog.

    labas tayo minsan. kwentuhan. inuman. text lang.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Fields of Amorsolo

The first National Artist in Philippine history, referred to warmly as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art,” Fernando Amorsolo (1892–1972) still stands today as a looming figure in Philippine art responsible for being one of the artists who helped define what we up to now visually imagine as essentially Filipino. The images of rural life, of golden fields below clear blue, blue skies; the smiles of farmers which diminish their weariness as they plant, harvest, and winnow rice;most especially the iconic figure of the Filipina maiden working in the fields—the beloved dalagang bukid--; these, I believe, even after generations of Filipino painters since Amorsolo, have remained in our hearts and memory. Amorsolo did what great masters do for their country: bestow upon it its own icons, represent its native beauty, that is, to give its people and lands an identity and a face. There are, however, as many intentions for art as there are works of art. And these intentions will always remain in…

Without Why (The Rose) II

Lifetime is a child at play; moving pieces in a game.
Kingship belongs to the child.

Heraclitus, Fragment 52

The child at play never asks itself why it plays. The child just plays; and if it could, it will play as long as possible, it will play throughout its life. See its delight and witness its smile.

If it would never go hungry or if the sun would never set it too will never leave its playmates and playthings. Time flies at play because it stops or suspends time. Time -- as we grownups only know too well -- is the culprit for order, schedules and priorities; yet for the child, there is no time, there is only bottomless play. It is we who impose that this or that should be done at this or that time. We stop the absurd and supposedly endless play ("He does nothing but play") because we insist that discipline, order and priorities be instilled in the child at an early age ("He needs to learn other things beside playing"). So that the child will become like us one da…

A Love Sooner than Later

BROWN PENNY William Butler YeatsI whispered, 'I am too young,' And then, 'I am old enough'; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. 'Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.' Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O love is the crooked thing, There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it, For he would be thinking of love Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, One cannot begin it too soon.

One cannot begin to love too soon--conversely, one should not love too late or in life's demise. That waiting for the "right time," or the "right person" to love, what are these but the cries or sighs of an unready, even tired, heart? One becomes ready only when one begins to understand love slowly (or again), and one understands love progressively when one, simply, performs the act of love. Love, like mos…