A time will soon come when the tragic actors will think that their masks and buskins and the long robes are . . . themselves. Epictetus
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.
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…
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…
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…