Wednesday, October 26, 2011

peaceful and easy

there are moments in life when it is not enough to express one's jubilation and gratitude to the Infinite in written words.

one feels compelled to sing or dance or paint.  one needs to celebrate the feeling through the song or the movement or the image one hears or sees with the inner ear or the inner eye.  although one is not blessed with a voice for singing or the skill to paint or to dance, still, the actual act of singing or painting or twirling the body in exuberant movement brings completion to the moment of praise. thank you, o Infinite!

i cannot dance. i cannot paint.  i cannot sing.

yet, if only for this wonderful gift of feeling 

i will be brave enough to sing or paint or dance.

i see the Beauty of the Lord everyday
i feel the Power of the Lord in the way
the shining sun, the moon, the stars, in the sky
makes me feel easy,
peaceful and easy,
that i want to live my life for the Lord.

the gentle drops of rain fall down on my back
sweet, crystal pearls that simply roll down and burst
bringing the song that only leaves could have sung
makes me feel easy,
peaceful and easy,
that i want to live my life for the Lord.

let us not be afraid or ashamed.

let us dance.  let us paint.  let us sing.

for the One that makes us all and lets us be ....

Monday, October 24, 2011

a cold soup that warms

i wont forget this one way back during my college days.  a storm's been announced to be coming and we were advised to get home early.

after my last class rain's already pouring and wind's rather hard. by the time i reached the bus stop i was already soaking wet.  problem was,  it's difficult to get a ride.  two hours had passed and still i was there at the bus stop waiting.  storm's already beginning to lash.  scared, i decided i'll be better off passing the time away at the college until the storm's fury has subsided.  i went back but the security persons did not let me in despite my protestations and my explanation that it's really too difficult to get a ride home.  i even pleaded to them that i can stay just right there at the guardhouse.  yet, i just got an apology from them.  i understood.  they were just following orders.

i was frantic.  i cannot stay out in the streets.  i decided to return to the bus stop and brave the strong winds and the rains.  at the bus stop, i waited for a ride again. my patience was thinning but i can't do anything.  suddenly, i heard somebody call my name.  i turned around towards the direction of the voice.  i immediately recognized him as one of my classmates in my english class.  he was not a close acquaintance though.

"why are you still here?" he asked, "our classes have been dismissed almost three hours ago!"

"well, it's really difficult to get a ride home," i explained, "i've been waiting here for about two hours. i actually just came back here to wait further. i thought i could stay at the college but the guards did not let me in."

"oh i see. i think that's when i chanced to see you walking out of the gate. i decided to follow you and lend you an umbrella but you can't hear me over the wind and rain.  are you sure you can get a ride home at this time?" he asked with genuine concern.

"to tell you honestly," i answered, "i believe i won't be able to get a ride. the storm will start to get worse as i feel it."

"then stay with me for a while," he offered, "at least until the storm subsides."

i did not think twice when i heard this. "great!" i said, "thanks a lot."

we both hurried back to the dorm where he was staying. he talked to his landlady and explained my predicament.  the lady understood my situation and allowed me to stay.  my friend was actually renting a single occupant room and the dorm's rules were rather strict.  i was lucky.  i inwardly thanked the Infinite.

as i feared it, the storm did not subside immediately.  my friend and i holed up in that cramped room and passed the time discussing our assignments and then later, when the power was cut off and we can't read our notes and books, exchanged personal information so we'd know each other better.  we found out we have a lot in common most especially our love for books and information towards exploring the inner life, towards knowing the Inner Self.  by the light of a lone candle, we amused ourselves alternately playing his old guitar and singing our favorite songs and reciting stanzas from our favorite poems.

"i'm starved," he said.  he shoved the guitar to me, stood up and went out of the room.  after a few minutes he came back cupping a medium sized bowl in his hands. he handed me one of the spoons he was holding.

"this is soup. my leftover from this morning's breakfast." he explained.  "sorry, it's cold. i can't reheat it. we only have an electric stove at the common kitchen. let's eat!" he invited.  i smiled. i did not tell him while he was out i secretly counted my money hoping that i could give some to him so might be able to buy something. but alas! my money's just enough for my fare going home.

so we dug at that bowl of soup. honestly, if it was he who cooked it, it tasted terrible, especially since it was cold.  i did not dare ask though who cooked it.  his hospitality was more than enough.

the winds and rains finally subsided very late in the evening.  he offered to let me stay the night but i explained i  still have time to get home.  my parents were also waiting and since we don't have phone i was sure they were anxious for my return.  i thanked him for his help and much more for the newly forged friendship. i've known another kindred spirit.

on the bus on my way home, i suddenly burped.  i licked my lips.  there still was this awful aftertaste of that soup me and my friend had shared.  i smiled inwardly.  i again thanked the Infinite for the day's blessings.

my newfound friend's soup, it was cold, but, it was a cold soup that warms .. especially the heart.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the common road

i was not able to visit the internet for so many days.  i was so busy helping my daughter with preparations for her thesis.  we had to visit the home province of one of my folks. it's been more than twenty years since  i left that place.  when i returned there, floods of emotions overwhelmed me.  it was the province where i spent most of my early youth and i have had very fond memories of the place and the people.  many past experiences were refreshed in my mind. i am back to the city now and i am reliving the five days i spent there. maybe it will be later when i can write something about the experience.

i am now able to surf and two news greeted me --

1.  the death of steve jobs -- well, many things have already been said about his exceptional contribution to humankind, all i can say is: A TRULY GREAT JOB, STEVE! thanks a lot!

2. the closing of my friend christopher dos santos' blog, god i am = god you are (  -- brother chris is doing so for personal reasons.  to him, i'll say this, A TRULY INSPIRATIONAL JOB and thanks a lot!

i remember a song i was blessed enough to write many years ago about friends and leaving:

 it's hard to leave some friends you've had for long
 for in their company you've felt so strong
 but it's got to be this way
 we've got different roads to take
 and you know you've got your own road to tread on.

 yes, it's really hard to leave some friends behind
 but you can't help it just remember them in your mind
 for it's got to be this way
 we've got different roads to take
 and you know you've got your own road to tread on.

 for life is something we should learn
 life is something we should earn
 yes, life is something we should learn
 life is something we should earn .

 but don't you ever feel so disappointed
 for don't you know the roads all lead to One
 just keep on searching till you find
 the road that's in your mind
 the common road you and your friends will tread on

 for Life is something we should learn
 Life is something we should earn
 yes, Life is something we must learn
 Life is something we must earn....

Friday, October 07, 2011

amazing! down but not out ...

the wife got sick.  abused herself doing lots. trying to do so many things at the same time. multitasking so to speak, especially housework.  she might have thought she was as able as before.  well, she might have forgotten there was already a march of years and she's not that able-bodied as before.  our bodies can only allow so much.

now, this is what's commendable with mothers/housewives.  they always have this superhero mentality.  they think their husbands and children always need saving.  and so, they push themselves. they are always on the rescue mode.  they don't need to don a cape and a mask to assume their superhero persona.  they just manage to eke out a little more burst of energy from some hidden reservoir in their bodies to accomplish more than they need to.

it's amazing how they have this super vision where they see things that need attending to which us, husbands, daughters, and sons, fail to see.  where we see order, they see disorder and restore it.  where we declare as accomplished and done, they  insist unfinished and undone and  complete the doing.  99% of the time, they are proven right.

what's sad about this is that we often take these super efforts for granted.  it's probably because they're doing these regularly that we think these are not out of the ordinary.

so the wife got sick.  i have to tend to her.  high fever, almost 40 degrees C.  i have to administer a sponge bath to alleviate the fever.  well, i remember seeing her do this during the times when our daughter was having bouts with high fever.  hahaha, what's funny is, although she's down, she's still in her superhero rescue mode.  trying to teach me how to administer the sponge bath.  of course, my way is different.  despite her protestations, i did complete my own version of sponge bathing.  i think i managed to do it right since the fever somehow subsided and she said she actually felt better.  i don't know whether she said this just to humor me and make me feel good that i've helped her.  perhaps, this is another way of expressing her superhero mode.  trying to project that she's well and fine, when in truth she is inconvenienced.

mothers/housewives, i think, were designed this way -- always to project a strong, healthy image -- so that us husbands, sons, and daughters can go about doing our own business, without the least worry about them.

she was able to catch some sleep a short while later but i'm sure her face does not show a relaxed sleep. well, i told myself: this superhero needs help and i'll accompany her to a doctor first thing in the morning ...

Monday, October 03, 2011

in the face of death again

a friend had recently died. the wife and i visited him where the family was holding his wake. he's still young, in his early fifties, left behind his wife and three beautiful daughters. it turned out it was already the last night for the wake and his family and dearest, closest friends, recalled their fond memories of him. he had touched many lives and was able to enrich these lives with his presence.

i was silent during these recollections. death brings sadness, yes, but it also compels us to reevaluate relationships and yes, it compels us to see the true worth of our dear departed.  the question in my mind, though, was this -- why is it that it is only when somebody is no longer physically with us that we discover the person's true value?  most times, while the person is still around with us, we very rarely commend him or her for the service or for the camaraderie that he or she affords us. i am really rethinking this. i must in my own little way not forget, not waste time, to show my appreciation for friendship, for companionship, while the person is still physically with me.

i will not wait for death to remind me of a person's worth.

i remembered this poem i was able to write when another dear friend died many moons ago.  i had the same thought as i am having now.

why did i not write a poem for this dear friend while he was alive? why did i wait for death?

this poem may well be for all of our loved ones who have left us ...

november 1, 1982

the lights are brightly lit now
and they are all for you
over your head and by your feet
they glow, they glow, oh, how they glow!
and yet, you'll never know now
yes, you'll never know
that they have not their usual warmth
they are as cold as you,
who lies unfeeling, unmoving,
unmindful of the teary eyes staring,
hoping, praying, faintly hoping
that you would smile anew;
ah, but the flowers confirm it,
their mournful scents deny it not,
your Life's song's final note has come to pass,
and yet it is assured you'll linger on in us,
like the ever verdant, persevering grass....