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"Post-Dramatic Stress"

A time will soon come when the tragic actors will think that their masks

and buskins and the long robes are . . . themselves.

There were times in the past that when I prepare and deliver lectures on certain topics and philosophers, I find myself so absorbed in the details and too caught up in the drama that the philosophy and the work would seep into my everyday life, preoccupy my mind, and even affect my body well beyond after the bell rings in class. It usually happens when I teach a philosopher I am fond of or admire. And these philosophers are no optimists, darlings or bedtime reads; most are atheists, existentialists and some are insane; and they offer less consolation and joy than perplexity and shudder of thought. It happens sometimes that I already memorize the lines (I'm fond of recalling lines). These lines would come back to visit me even when I do not invite them to: they can keep on marching to a dull yet steady beat or hold a recital inside my head--not only before going to class (when my mind is somewhat rehearsing on its own) but also after (like the actor who recalls lines he delivered beautifully). And it's not just the lines but also the performance itself. I cannot help but get too excited in certain lectures, and when that happens--when I suddenly catch a wave--the high that I go through, the sudden burst of energy from nowhere, and all those fireworks do not settle down or disappear as quickly as they arrived. Like stars or ghosts they would tail me and lead me to a corner where there awaits a party of one: drink in hand I extinguish the mad red flames that blessed me at noon and burn me tonight.


  1. Anonymous3/03/2010

    papugay sa iyo, isang tatak ng mahusay na guro at maestro.


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