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Showing posts from June, 2009

The Blue Sands of Boracay

Love as Suffering


Love need not be all bliss and happiness. Every lover knows that to love initially and for the most part means to suffer.

To suffer in love, or because of love: this means first to live with the daily torment of being uncertain, or suffering as doubt. I doubt whether the beloved shall love me back if still not won or shall continue to stay with me when already won. And since uncertainty breeds fear and anxiety, see how the lover is tormented by his mind and, most cruelly, by his imagination--that most wicked of man's gifts when used against himself, that herald of insomnia, that great tranquilizer.

That he loves the beloved, this is his only certainty. But the unknowable without remainder is the mind of the beloved: for even if she speaks or shows love--once or always, no matter--you still shall never know. (What if I am deceived? What if she were a great actress? What if they are all in "it"?)

Living with the certitude of his love and not knowing if it will be reciprocate…

Those who leave

When someone who you were supposed to be with together in an endeavor, for example, your classmate, suddenly calls it quits, says "it was no longer worth the trouble," and then drops out, one could not but feel a sense of betrayal. Aside from the sadness that his absence may bring (yesterday he was just here beside me); beyond the uncertainty of seeing him again; and, worst of all, more than the puzzle which he leaves on his trail (why did he go? what were his reasons?)--what his departure ultimately means for you is the realization that it is possible to quit and leave, that you too can go.

We get caught up in the details of everyday life usually forgetting why things are done and why they are done in such and such a way. The student forgets what education is for: he only knows that everyone is studying, that it would make him different from his friends if he did not (work already, study at home, etc.); and that the only truth you hear about it is that they say you will get …

The Heat Lightning of a New Beginning

Only human beings have the ability to begin. All other beings persist: they go through the motions of existence by weathering it out, from its inception to its decay and perish. There can be nothing new under the sun for these beings. All is routine, which, absurdly, is not recognized as routine; it may be said that their existence is one endless sleepless night without the hope of a new day--the promise of a new beginning. This is so because non-sentient beings do not have awareness of themselves and of time.

We, in contrast, have the ability to reflect on ourselves. Such reflexivity or self-consciousness enables us to see ourselves in a way that we see an image of ourselves in the mirror or picture ourselves as in a dream or hope. This space, opened up not only by reason but more so by the imagination, allows us to see ourselves otherwise than what we already are. That I see myself now as a student with no idea of what I am doing in my present course, and if I am honest, allows me to…

The next post will be better

I write with neither plan nor direction. I just know that writing helps me sustain these difficult mornings.


My friend, the Poet, said rightly that writing was his weapon. It is a matter of profound indifference who or what is the enemy (one's self, an other, life). Precisely: writing is addressed to all things living and dead, past and present, with a form or nameless. It is climbing at the peak of the mountain and shouting with no care. I can only respect irreverence in a writer. To write too softly, too consciously would be too easy and safe. Like a weapon: you do not yield it with trembling hands but with a grip that holds onto life itself.


It doesn't matter what I write as long as I write when I need to. Hence the sporadic and convulsive writing as of late. Focus is difficult: though I'm used to pushing a point gradually and patiently, like Sisyphus who is in no hurry with carrying his burden to the peak, I have found out that both the writer and the reader gets bored…


Before I report to work next week I would have . . .

done my syllabi and the proofs of the new readings I've gathered.finished the meds that I have been taking (to drink again or to drink no more?)transferred my things (just a cup, a coaster, a poster and readings) from my old space to my new cubicle.gotten a tan. (I can almost see Boracay from here.)finally said goodbye to someone I almost thought I could love.

On why trust is so difficult to give

1. You've been hurt before and you're afraid it will happen again.

2. You make yourself exposed. Like giving the keys to your house, making the other a cosignatory to your account, sharing secrets somebody else can blackmail you with, leaving your girlfriend to the care of your buddy, etc.

3. Trust is impossible to earn. Come to think of it, by what standards do we measure someone who we want to trust. How do we know if it's time to trust someone? And is it solely through time? If so, what length of time is required? The answer could only be arbitrary. A father might not trust his son with the car; a brother his secrets with his sister; a friend can show his true colors only after decades; and the wife can learn about her husband's transgressions after the fifth child. Perhaps trust is given until further notice, making it for the meantime, momentary, "for now I trust you, maybe later no longer"--or again arbitrary. If trust is momentary and arbitrary--can we s…

The Convalescent

Carolus-Duran, Le convalescent 1860

1. The worst thing about being sick is that you feel so terribly alone. Not existential solitude or anything dramatic or profound like that; but just literally alone. Take this past weekend (and possibly till tomorrow by the looks of it): I've grounded myself; have been unable to join my family for dinner out on Saturday, Mass and lunch yesterday; couldn't go out with a friend; cancelled a date. I've basically limited myself to bed or to the sofa (tired of rest, my back hurts already) watching television or DVDs (can't concentrate enough to be able to read), though was able to respond to a friend's article yesterday (see below) in a spurt of energy, but generally I feel like an invalid. If only I were with other invalids too! Now you know why they bunch up the sick together: not only to deliver the healthy from them but to deliver them from the healthy toward whom they only have resentment. Thus the exile of sickness, one without …

Being Single

On a friend's article

Hi, Cecile!How have you been? I hope all is well with you. I miss our class so much!Your recent piece in “FOURTyFIED” (yes, of course, I’m a follower) caught my attention and got me thinking—especially about your question at the end, on who has more integrity among those who stay single, those who divorce their wives or those who have extramarital affairs. I hope you don’t mind me sharing some thoughts that, I have to declare straightaway, neither come from an expert on such matters nor someone who has “moral authority.”If by integrity we mean having sound “moral” or “ethical” principles, or in short, being fair and honest, we certainly cannot call the man who cheats on his wife or partner as having integrity. Now this does not necessarily mean that such a man is “bad” or “evil” (as Nietzsche says we live in a time beyond both good and evil); let’s say that at the very least cheaters are just weak: weak to avoid temptations and unable to keep it in their pant…