Friday, September 30, 2011

a white sheet of paper and a baby fly

two days ago, we were again visited by another typhoon. as forewarned by the weather bureau this typhoon had strong winds and lots of rain.  it of course brought lots of inconveniences. flooding. damage to properties in areas where it hit most. well, people have learned from previous experiences and we were able to find ways to soften the impact of this weather disturbance.

at our place power was cut off for about two days. we have to use candles for lighting. i could not brew some coffee since what i have is an electric coffeemaker. i just boiled some water and mimicked the action of the coffeemaker by pouring the hot water gently and slowly over the ground coffee wrapped in filter paper. nothing beats sweet smelling coffee when it comes to whiling the time away after the heavy onslaught of wind and rain.

power was off. so, no computer use, no internet, no surfing.

i sat by myself at the dining table. i pulled a sheet of bond paper and laid it on the table. despite the yellow glow of the lighted candles the fresh sheet of paper still looked very immaculate and inviting to write on. i gathered my thoughts. surely this typhoon that had just passed should prompt me to write something. long minutes had passed and still i am not able to compose anything. my brewed coffee had turned cold. i tried twirling the pen between the first and middle fingers of my right hand. i stared fixedly at the white sheet of paper. it's there waiting for my pen to touch and glide over its surface and then form words. i tried listening to the familiar drip, drip, drip of rainwater dropping from the ceiling leaks to the catch pails below.  my lighted candle had already cried melted wax towards the holder and the wax had formed an interesting puddle. still nothing. no thoughts to write about.

suddenly, a baby fly came out from nowhere and sat on my paper. perhaps the warmth and the light of the candle had attracted it. i looked at the tiny creature. its blackness was in very sharp contrast against the whiteness of my sheet. i felt this was not right. i flicked it with my finger and it flew off. by and by, it came again and sat in the middle of  the paper. somehow its blackness disturbed me, seeing it against the immaculate sheet.  i had this feeling it sort of "dirtied" the sheet. i twirled my pen near it and it flew off again. after a short minute, it came again and sat on the paper. without much further thought, i hit it with the palm of my right hand. there it laid, flat and dead, right near the middle of my paper. a black blot of squeezed insect.  now my white paper is no longer immaculate. realizing this, i hurried to rub it off while it had not dried yet.  well, this actually made matters worse. rubbing it off made the fresh blot to spread over to a bigger area. no more immaculate sheet to write on. i set my pen aside and crumpled the paper.

after a short while, using my mobile phone text editor, i composed a post for this leafdropper blog. i titled it -- a white sheet of paper and a baby fly.

most times we see ourselves as that sheet of bond paper. clean, immaculate, near perfect. we are so proud about this status and we take great pains to keep this reputation.  yet, being human, there comes a time when we commit a small mistake, an error, a trifle, that resulted to a " black blot" in that "white" image that we see.  we panic, and fearing that this trifle, this "baby fly",  will tarnish our clean image, we hurriedly take action to "rub out" or correct the mistake. yet, haste makes waste, as they say, and we end up covering the small mistake by an even bigger mistake.

we end up like the crumpled paper.and rue the time when we swatted the baby fly . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2011

a friend is one

you're asking me what is a friend?
have you forgotten what it means?
it's easy to know, easy to tell,
perhaps you should listen well
perhaps you should listen well.

a friend is one who makes you see
the opposite of things,
who pulls you up when you are down
and nursing broken wings,
and nursing broken wings;

a friend is one who knows you're not
always beautiful and good,
but ever tries to make you feel
always beautiful and good,
always beautiful and good.

a friend is one who cherishes
your body, mind, and soul,
in tears and laughter a friend is one
who'll always make you whole
who'll always make you whole.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

becoming thin

this might seem outrageous but i'll tell anyway.

i think i've found an effective way to become thin and people will be able to save lots of hard earned money.  nowadays, many are conned into enrolling in different weight-reducing programs.  after many months of valiant effort they regrettably realize that it was only the wallets that thinned not their bodies.

this was how i discovered my method:

"you're so thin now," the wife observed, "are you on a diet?"
"nope, did you see me eat less or take some special food?" i answered.
"no, you're eating as well as before. of course, it's still vegetarian, but you're still that voracious! but, why are you thin?" she had this concerned look in her face.

i looked at myself in the mirror when i was alone. i admit, i indeed might be looking thin or slim.  i think slim is the more socially accepted word or the fashionista word.  so i sat down and pondered, my chin propped up on my right hand the way a deep thinker does. i kept on turning the question over in my mind -- why are you thin?  in a short while, the answer popped in my mind.

worry. or, worrying.

this is what's caused my thinness. i always thought what i was doing was some thinking. now, i realized it's not thinking that i'm doing.  it is worrying. i worry a lot these days. about many things.  the leaky roof. the peeling paintwork of the house walls. the planned renovation of this humble abode.  expenses.  bills to pay.  even my daughter's ongoing work with her thesis prior to graduation from the university.  my neglect of my spiritual practices and endeavors. my planned meditations that had become unplanned. my guitar playing that got stuck on the amateur level. my unpublished poems.  and more recently, this ache in my back which the doctor said might be the onset of arthritis.  hah, getting old has its own disadvantages. oh, and so many other things.

so, here goes, here's my advice to people who'd want to be thin or slim without spending anything:

worry, and worry lots.  worry all the time if you can.  you're guaranteed to find in so short a time you've worried yourself thin.  when you're satisfied with your new size, stop worrying and resume the normal life mode.

hahaha...  outrageous?  absurd?  funny?  a joke, you say?  i'd say worth a try for those really dying to be thin.  or, slim.

or, you can just tell me -- leafdropper, stop worrying! your mind's giving you such crazy ideas now, your post  is just making me laugh.

now if this is the case, then good as well, for as they often say: laughter is the best medicine.

i'm actually trying hard now to laugh a lot these days.

might help with the painful back.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

for 9/11

death need not be feared as all of us are marching towards this end.  yet, when death comes unexpectedly and horribly, we are dumbfounded, especially when it is caused by an unreasonable struggle for power or blind faith.  this little poem is to remember that tragic date in world history --

two towers, two faiths,
each one seeking dominance --
thus, innocents died.

i will not say anything else except to quote the late great poet, john lennon:

life is very short and there's no time for fussin' and fightin' , my friend.

and this haunting song from him as well.

let us offer a moment of silence and remember ... and hope,  this will never happen,

ever again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

madonna and child

they were unmistakably happy, the three of them: the baby girl, barely a year old, comfortably seated in her father's lap; the young dad, his left arm securely wrapped around baby's waist; and the young mom, sitting opposite them, eyeing both lovingly.

mom was trying to amuse baby so she won't fall asleep. mom was making funny faces at her. baby laughed her toothless laugh, saliva escaping from her tiny mouth. mom was quick to catch it on her handkerchief. baby was surely enjoying mom's antics. 

what she loved the most was when mom resorted to the peek-a-boo. mom covers her face with both hands so baby can't see her. baby waits patiently, anticipation quietly building up on her cherubic face.  when she least expected it, mom opens up her hands exposing a funny face. baby gets startled, her tiny eyes twinkle at this surprise. her eyebrows rise.  when she realizes, the funny face was mom's, she breaks into a loud guffaw.  she could not contain her glee.  she had to stand up on dad's thigh. dad was alert enough to steady her.  she struggles to reach mom, stretching her chubby arms forward.  dad carefully hands her over to mom.  mother and child squeezes into a warm, tight embrace.  baby's saliva once more escapes her pink lips as she plants a wet kiss on mom.  mom's eyes lighten up and winks at me when she caught me staring.  she's so proud of baby's show of affection.

while having lunch at the office, i replayed this scene in my mind.  i realized, the Infinite, the Mother Beloved, often is like this with us. playing peek-a-boo. and yet, not like the baby girl who recognizes her mom's playful intentions and awaits with bated breath her eventual showing up, we tend to become impatient.  we pout, we whimper,  we wear a frown, and we ruin the moment when Beloved Mother appears to us again.  there is no elation, no welcoming back, no reaching out, to enfold the Infinite in our warm, tight embrace.

instead, we accuse, we question -- why'd you leave? why'd you hide? why'd you forsake me?

thus, by doing so, we fail, at the chance to show we are the Infinite's loving child.

Monday, September 05, 2011


i'm supposed to have written this several  weeks ago but i just can't make out the words to write. 

she's back, the wife, after several months of sojourn  in a foreign land. although she is not saying it, i suppose she is equally sad and happy to be back.  sad, because she had left exciting places where she was able to live wonderful moments that only a few people in our country were able to get the chance to experience; happy, because, well, she's back with us again.

there is this old filipino adage -- "ang ina ang ilaw ng tahanan" (the mother is the light of the home).  well, she's only been with us for some weeks and already this adage is once again proving to be so true. i always thought that i am doing well in terms of keeping the house in order. i am wrong. a woman's way, a mother's touch, is really sooo different.

where i found order, she found disorder and fixed it.
where i found comfort, she found discomfort and fixed it.
where i found light, she  found gloom, and brightened it.
the inconvenient spots in the house i am not able to see,  she saw them and made them convenient.

she came back to the same small house she left behind for me to tend. well, all i can say is i did the best i could.

it is the same small house the three of us, my wife, my daughter, and i, calls home -- the peeling paintwork on the walls, the old tiled flooring, the leaky ceiling, the tv set that sometimes work but most times wouldn't --  yet, i must admit, it feels so much different now that she's the one tending it.

our home. it is so much cozier. it is so much brighter. it is so much warmer.

it is, "homier"!

the food tastes better. the coffee is superb (it's the same coffee brand, the same old coffeemaker).  my daughter's smiles and mine are genuine proof. even the old guitar sounds much more melodious.

i agree. a woman's, wife's, mother's touch is way, way, of a different class.

Friday, September 02, 2011

the comfort of moss

here i go again, visited the wife's place in the province. whew! the stubborn grass is high again, so green and vibrant. challenging me to sit down on the sandy ground and start plucking them away, roots and all. i was told if you would like to get rid of the grass once and for all, you'd have to pluck 'em up and be sure you'd be able to unearth up to the roots.  well, i did that last time, but, as i can see, they are there again, carpeting the lawn unevenly. i guess, this is going to be a perennial battle. i know, grass will win. they have lasted for eons. the sand on my hourglass, on the other hand, is steadily flowing down.

and yet, i must admit, it is fun to pit my patience against the stubbornness of the grass. so, i sat on the sandy ground and plucked away. after an hour or so, i have several little mounds of plucked grass lined up like miniature mountains.

as i walked about admiring my handiwork and the devastation i wrought on the grass, my gaze landed on other little green things that had somehow managed to populate.

moss!  i have not noticed these before, but now that they have considerably grown and overpopulated, i decided i needed to remove them as well. they mostly stuck and sprouted on the lower portion of the cemented walls, in between crevices and cracks especially where the portion of the wall is rather damp. well, my reckoning is, when the walls were erected they were not there, so they have to be removed.

so i sat beside the spot where the moss had grown. they were beautiful, green, tiny plants. delicate. primeval. i have this feeling, they were older than me. they existed before me. like the grass. they were ancient. they were soft against my fingers and cold. they have their own peculiar scent different from the grass but equally pleasing to my nose. i kept on pulling at the clumps of moss. after i pulled  a handful from the crevice between the wall and the cement flooring, these wriggly, two-inch worms, pink and soft and delicate also, were revealed. they were hiding behind or beneath the tiny plants.

they were agitated at the sudden exposure to light and blindly crawled to where their instincts say coldness and dampness beckons. i watched them as they sought protection from the nearest clump of moss i have not touched yet.

i had this tinge of shame in my mind, having intruded in these little creatures' privacy. i felt they have sought the comfort of moss because they were just finding their niche in the Infinite's great scheme of creation. the grass, the moss, the wriggly worms, they were just finding their niche, their little spot, in this never-ending play of the Infinite. i realized, i, like them, am trying to establish my niche as well.

i am trying to find my own comfort of moss, well, maybe perhaps, a different kind of moss, but,

i am trying to find comfort.