Skip to main content

A Love Letter Unread

What if truth were a woman--what then?

You will never know that you saved me.

I was about to leave when you arrived. The story of my life. The trouble with hello is goodbye.

And, oh, how I wanted to stay. I asked the God if it were proper--if it were not too rash or too childish if I stay. I do not do such things, you see; I am as shy as a rose that does not want to be seen smiling. But too long have I waited, too long. And caution neither makes a hero nor a lover.

I admit: I stayed around because of you. I do not wish to say that I followed you as you gracefully walked past every shelf or turned corners like an angel--did you touch the ground? I cannot remember.

A vision--an eclipse of my heart. I stayed because my absent heart sought your silent presence. My despair yearned for the possibility of hope that you bring.

'Tis no matter to explain or to apologize. Some events change us not because they fall into place but because they displace everything: a mind set aside, an overwhelmed heart, a life revived.

I know that I could have been, um, more creative when I first spoke and bridged our silence. But such first words will always have to be humorous because they are always tentative and a gamble. I remember how you thought it unusual to be talked to about biographies midday in an empty bookstore amid the absurd Christmas carols that played.

Forgive me: a desperate man does desperate things. It was the only way for me to hear your voice.

And I can speak forever about your voice--how it was both humble yet strong, both soft yet sure, a silent power, a voice like no other. I heard your voice and I did not need to hear any more: I found out who you are.

For your voice spoke of a wisdom that can only be attained after much difficulty and pain. Your voice signaled a beloved silence that you have grown to nurture, to master and to enjoy. No longer do I hear silent hearts speak: but you, you spoke volumes with your tenderness, with your soothing calm.

Do I just imagine to hear such things? I hope not. But it was the deafening despair in my heart which made it possible for me to hear your peace. That's it: you spoke words of peace.

I never got to show you what was inside the plastic bag I towed in hand as I made those funny gestures trying to appear confident before your bedazzling beauty. It was a book by Sylvia Plath.

It was the book she left on her desk before she trapped herself in the kitchen, opened the gas valves, and killed herself. It was Ariel--a book of poems written in blood and composed under the black sun of despair. My plan was to read it not to languish further in my emptiness but to learn how to turn the daggers of the mind away from myself and put them unto a page, to deliver myself from the nameless pain and give it a name, to see in my departed sister my face--so i may discern it.

In a word, I sought hope in the poetry of a suicide. And that was when you came.

You--you were the opposite of suicide.

It is no longer important that you know how my heart leaped from the grave or how blood once again ran through my veins when I saw you, when I heard you. It is no longer the matter that you forget my name or if I never get to see you again.

But do remember this: that you saved me, I will remember you.



  1. Anonymous12/03/2007

    Nice start. Now pick up the phone!


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…