Wednesday, May 25, 2011

lost in the mall

i saw her. she was standing right by the foot of the mall's escalator. this little girl, about 5 years old, was obviously confused. she was in a pretty pink dress and her hair was pony-tailed with a white ribbon. she was looking to her left and right, also upwards the escalator. there was apprehension on her face. near tears. i immediately knew what was happening. she's lost.

i watched her. she was biding her time. looking left. right, upwards at the escalator. she's hoping her companions would come back for her. from the time i first glimpsed her i believed about 6 minutes had passed. no one came to fetch  her back. those 6 minutes were of course frighteningly long for a little girl lost. she was crying now. a few people stopped by to talk to her, to comfort her, to cajole, but she was bawling now. she was stomping her feet madly in desperation over not being able to be with her companions. finally, one of the ladies who were talking to her walked towards where the mall's security persons were stationed. she came back with one of the lady mall-guards in tow.

it's amusing how a uniform can easily project authority and trust. when the little girl saw the lady mall-guard, she immediately stopped bawling. the guard knelt down beside her and spoke with her. i saw the little one nod a few times as the guard explained something to her, then there was that relieved smile on her face. the lady guard took the girl by the hand and ushered her upwards to the escalator. i know what will happen. the mall has standard procedure for lost children. she will be taken to a waiting or claim area. her  name and her companion's name, if she can provide it, will be announced via the public address system. the announcement will include a description of her. this will be periodically repeated until she is reunited with her fellows.

i thought the  most probable reason she got separated is because she and her companions got distracted by the sights and sounds in the mall that nobody noticed she had wandered far or that she was no longer walking with them.

ah, the mall. it's really very easy for one's attention to be diverted by it's various forms of entertainment. food shops, clothing stores, jewelry displays, electronics gadgets, game shops .. one is easily entertained just by merely window shopping. you don't need to buy anything at the moment. just look and imagine that in the very near future your home will be showcasing these latest trends in entertainment. 45-inch flat screen high definition tv complete with its own set of high-tech accessories. then, this small electronics tablet of course which you can use to socialize over the web. the 200-meter diver's watch in titanium alloy dangling heavily by your right wrist ... oh, surely a lot of things to occupy the mind and senses.

of course the little girl did not think of these but her mind also got regaled by her own little girl's fantasies when she visited the mall.

we are all somehow like the little girl. sidetracked by the "glamour of the outer life". by the entertainment of the material pleasures. for some period of time, we will be regaled, and then we will come to a point where we will realize we are lost. that this earth mall is not home. it's natural to cry, to be upset, to be apprehensive, that we are not where we should be. what is important is to realize we are lost and to find somebody to bring us to our companions.

to find the way back home.

Friday, May 20, 2011


photography by neysa saguid copyright@2011

taglay ka ng tibok ng puso
ng kampay ng bagwis ng ibon
ng iyak ng musmos na sanggol
saan man sumuling
ikaw ay naroon.

you are within heart's beatings
within the flapping of bird's wings
within the cry of a newborn child
everywhere i turn
you are there.

Monday, May 16, 2011

the ant dream

i always dream
i am an ant
and wish that i could be
for seeing it leads a simple life
it seems fulfilled and free.

then one day, i met a man
who said, "your wish is my command,
for i can turn you into anything
with just a wave of this mighty wand!"

now, at last, my wish was heard
i am Ant, no more a man,
combing the corners of the earth
for bits of food whenever i can.

one day i saw a dead spider
lying on the track
yet seeing its awesome heaviness
i was reluctant to carry it on my back,

but then, i heard the powerful voice
of the Queen Ant on the hill,
"you, lazy fool!
 you carry that food back here!"

now, i dream
i am a Man
and wish that i could be
for now i know that big or small
we have heavy loads to carry.

Friday, May 13, 2011

my hero

i intently looked at them, an unlikely pair. the old man, probably about 70 years old, was grandly dressed but he sat decrepit in his gleaming wheelchair. the younger man, about 15 or 16 years old, was just wearing a white t-shirt and worn out denims. it's not hard to guess that the old man was the young man's ward. they were sitting a few tables farther from me in the mall's fastfood center. it was after my work shift and i was passing the time away drinking some hot, strong coffee while awaiting my daughter to show up so we can do some groceries. hot, strong coffee always revitalizes me after a draining day at work, but hot, strong coffee is very dear for my pocket.

both were silent. not conversing with each other. the young man was watching a small group of teenagers animatedly debating what they will be ordering at that sandwich kiosk where they stopped. the guys and the gals were having a difficult time deciding. at one point, one of the young girls collected the money from her companions and counted them. they were laughing loudly, occasionally slapping each other's palms in high fives, just generally having a good time over their problem of which meals to buy with the money they have. i assumed they have other plans later for that afternoon in the mall.

a few minutes later, with two trays full of the food they ordered, the young people sat beside the table where the young man and the old man were sitting. they ate amid bursts of laughter and merriment. they were having lots of fun.  the young man was keeping his eyes on them. especially on the young girls. i saw him flash a wide grin, a soft, shy laugh even, as he overheard a joke or a story being shared by the group. in my mind, he was in silent connection with this group. his peers. he is not physically with them, but he was sharing in their youthful mirth.  ah, the glee, the energy of youth!

the old man was just sitting there in his wheelchair. it seemed to me he was staring at his young companion. his eyes were fixed on him. i later realized his eyes were physically at him but he was not seeing him. he was looking past him. old, tired eyes that stare but never see. never watch. that probably see things differently now. probably seeing events unfolding not at the mall but already beyond the mall. other places perhaps, or other worlds, realms that he sees only with his mind's eyes? i thought, how come he was brought to this mall by his family, when he can no longer enjoy it? what is the purpose?  ah, the loneliness  of old age!

this is unfair for this young man. he should be like those young people beside him enjoying the time of their lives. he should not be here sitting immobile like this decrepit, old man in his gleaming wheelchair. for all i know, this old man surely has also had the time of his life before, where he enjoyed his life in youthful abandon. in merriment, in frolic.

soon, the group of young people was done eating and left. they walked towards where the elevators were. i know the day is not over for them yet. they might be short of money now but the mall is a good place to have fun and young people are very creative. this day will not be wasted for them. the young man watched them leave. he could only follow them with his eyes. i know he will again contend with the silence between him and the old man who was looking at him but was not seeing him. was this day getting wasted for him? he is young but he was immobile, he might just have been the one sitting in that expensive wheelchair.

a few minutes later, the old man's family came. lots of shopping bags were hanging from their arms. there were wide smiles on their faces, obviously contented with their shopping spree. they gathered around the old man, kissed him on the forehead, hugged him, tried to start a conversation with him. i saw the old man smile, conversed feebly with them. the young man stood up and walked behind the old man's wheelchair.

he is ready to wheel the old man to where they can sit again and stare at each other in silence while the old man's family uses his youthful time that day to enjoy themselves. he is the one bearing their burden. i know he is getting paid for doing this. i just hope the pay fully compensates for the quality of time he is losing.

i'd like to see a large Y emblazoned in his shirt. a symbol for SuperYouth.

my hero.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

mosely pacquiao, who else?

yes, he did it again. another win. another glorious feather in the cap of our great champion, manny "pacman" pacquiao. his dominance of his opponent made the fight a little bit on the hohum side.

pardon the pun, but, mosely pacquiao wins.

they say his secret is his passion for this sport he embraced. it never wanes. every time a fight is arranged for him, right at the first minute of his training his warrior heart, mind, and soul gets focused. he becomes one-pointed for a win. he discards every distraction especially doubt and fear.

in short, he becomes what he has chosen to be, a warrior.

during the fight, he performs his duty to the best of his abilities. he is a warrior so he gives his opponents war.

the Old Sages say in our quest for our True Selves one-pointedness is a must.  if we want to know who we truly are, we have to wholeheartedly go on the path of self-knowledge. we must not waver. like manny, we must leave every distraction by the wayside.

especially doubt and fear.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

obama, osama

obama, osama. almost sounding alike. almost spelled alike. yet, there is a world of a difference between the letters b and s.

obama is of course barack obama, the 44th and current president of united states of america, the first african american to hold that office, and probably one of the most well-liked persons in the world, a great many americans also had thought him to be something like a messiah who will lead the country out of its dire economic situation. osama is of course osama bin laden, the world's most wanted terrorist and probably it's most hated man. the man who perpetrated that horrible 9/11 terrorist attack, a very depressing note in the world's history.  he got  killed in a special operation just recently.

of course, this is all relative. the recognition depends upon which side of the fence one is on.

obama, osama.
yin, yang.

it was said, one cannot exist without the other. the positive and the negative need both to be there to keep the balance. yin and yang are equal and opposite qualities. the imbalance between these create new unfoldings,  will trigger activities that will hope to restore the balance.

the death of osama will result to an imbalance. the scale has been tipped. this death will surely result to a transformation. yin and yang transform each other. if this is an advance, there should be a corresponding retreat. if this death will sprout a seed, then this seed will soon grow until the plant reaches its full potential and restores the balance.

the 9/11 event sprouted a seed and it is hoped that the death of the man who planted that seed is the mark that the plant that grew from that seed will soon reach its full potential, its full flowering,  its fruition, and restore the balance.

osama's death has also planted another seed. another plant will sprout. the cycle begins again  ..

Sunday, May 01, 2011

newspaper hurting

what with the news that had hugged the headlines lately-- those devastating tornadoes that hit the u.s., the japan tsunami, filipinos executed in china, the unrest in the middle east --i can't help but leaf back to one of my old poetry notebooks. i remembered having scribbled something there about events that bring pain and inconveniences and uncertainties.

august 28, 1994

alien pains these are,
unrecognized, unremembered,
to things past
without connections.

and so, the hurting is strange
what is its source?
where is its source?

how come tears fall
when the moment should not call
for tears to flow?
i am just reading news
done it before!
how come tears fall?
or, does it, this reading moment,
it calls for tears, now?

the sheets spread wide
the news, not uncommon now:

a child's rape,
a beheading,
Africa's skeleton people
slowly dying,
and princess diana photographed
in leotards revealing.

most times, i dread to look at news. most times now, they hurt.

the royal wedding, the show of opulence, somehow has distracted from the negative news.

i feel, we need fairytales to forget. even for just a couple of hours.