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Showing posts from July, 2008

Ricochet

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It's beginning to bother me, that is, what's happening to those close to me and around me. Why this pain?--why now?

And of course it's not about me (never was, never will be); but precisely so, because I am not the sun around which the constellation of their suffering orbits--because they do not gravitate toward me but I toward them--I crash into their silent deserts. They attract me: the lonely visitor of wastelands.

Thus I remember the nights.

It's never about me: but because of me, I know. I've read those stories and know them by heart. I've gone and died and have come back though not whole or in one piece but still celebrated a glorious return. I know. But they still do not know these tranquil waters. They still do not know the depths beneath.

They have not learned how to befriend the night.

My friends, you are never alone. What poisons you can only make me weaker.



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Balatkayo

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Balatkayo
Joey de Leon

Balatkayo lahat
Ang buhay sa mundo
Nakangiti kahit hindi totoo
Magandang bulaklak
Ang s'yang katulad mo
Nguni't paglapit ko'y walang bango

Balatkayo pala ang pag-ibig mo
Na natubog lang sa ginto
O kay-sakit naman
Nasayang lang ang pag-ibig ko

Balatkayo lahat
Ang buhay sa mundo
Nakangiti kahit hindi totoo
Magandang pangarap ang s'yang katulad mo
Nguni't sa isip lang ang lahat ng ito

Balatkayo pala ang pag-ibig mo
Na natubog lang sa ginto
O kay-sakit naman
Nasayang lang ang pag-ibig ko
Kaya ang buhay ko ngayo'y balatkayo

Balatkayo pala ang pag-ibig mo
Na natubog lang sa ginto
O kay-sakit naman
Nasayang lang ang pag-ibig ko
Kaya ang buhay ko ngayo'y balatkayo
Kaya ang buhay ko ngayo'y balatkayo...


***


Matakot sa mga babaeng may maskara. Mga dalagang kay ganda ng ngiti ngunit kay bagsik ng kamay. Sisirain nila ang iyong buhay.

Ngunit hindi malalamang maskara ang maskara sa simula't madalas. Papaano pa? kung ito mismo ang tanging …

Walls

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So the walls crumbled again. Why am I so weak? Why can't this decision hold the fort or stay its ground?--or just protect me, this king in the kingdom of woes, and make me sane finally.

Because decisions to hold yourself back are counterintuitive. Love cannot be held back. That's asking too much from yourself. Like wanting to look without wanting to see.

Yes, that's it then. It's because I see her. Very well. Let's not see her!

Double trouble: in hiding, in stealing away from her, you only fan the flames instead of extinguishing it. Because that's when they become perfect: idealized far beyond the necessary flaws which you conveniently miss in daydreams. Is not love more fantastic when she's ideal and perfect? That is, when she is the perfect idol?

How to shatter this beautiful idol? What hammer can I use when I verily cannot even touch her and break my distance? What tuning fork could sound out the hollowness of her silence? Of course I can just ruin her imag…
I remember.

What good is remembering for? I always remember without knowing what it is for.

Why commemorate--live back, live again--what killed me? When there is neither malice nor resentment anymore; we all learn how to forgive. Is it forgiveness then that we relive?

No. I remember to feel pain again. The body remembers pain best: the mind forgets, gets distracted easily, too quickly. Thoughts heal themselves. All they do is heal themselves--for the mind is judge and jury, victim and murderer. Flesh wounds need time. Time decides, but it never decides what you make of the wounds that shall mark you forever. We all never heal: look at my wrists.

***


It's never a question about learning something from our mistakes, or learning something about ourselves. That's too easy.

What is remembering for? To be sure, it is never a consolation: as if the present has to be better because it is present. What happened happened not so that what is happening now would happen now. What happened happen…
A




They say that death and taxes are the only certain things on this earth. But while that may be true, they are not the great equalizers: men die differently (some happily, some too early, some pathetically) and we pay different amounts of money (some too much, some too little, some none at all). Yesterday I discovered what makes all of us equals. It's somewhere between money and mortality: sickness.

The hospital is neutral ground. No king or pauper or no will to power here as all are patients--in the strong sense of the word that beyond the virtue of patience there is only helplessness.

And those around patients are survivors--in the weak sense of the word that we support the weakened mortality of those we love and try to carry it or buttress its weight whether they live or die. Derrida said that we are all survivors of those who have passed on. And like any survivor, guilt will forever mark our lives, again making us equals--as equal as the mother, the friend, the acquaintance, the…

Grief

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"Of what is great, one must either be silent or speak with greatness," said Friedrich Nietzsche. And now is not the time to speak greatly.


"What can be shown cannot be said," said Ludwig Wittgenstein. Stay in the image, dwell--even if impossible. Guard your eyes--for the eyes of the mind are eclipsed with such a holy sight.


"The poet's only prayer is a prayer of deafness," said the poet Marina Tsvetayeva. Do not listen, do not easily believe. Do not wish to understand--now. All explanations are explanations for others; they are not for him, never for this.


Silence, blindness, deafness--in a word, grief.



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