Thursday, February 21, 2013

celebrating valentine's day at a table for one ..

i really deferred writing this this till after some days had passed from february14.

feb. 14. valentine's day.  i'm pretty sure lots of fresh flowers, single ones and bouquets, have been bought and delivered to girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, mistresses, lovers.  lots of gifts, both cheap and expensive, have been exchanged.  i'm all too sure as well that, inexpensive or dearly-priced, the gifts have been rendered  precious and memorable by the very fact they were given on this special day of Love.

the wife was busy at work. needed to be there by her boss' side to assist.  i had to accept that i'll be passing this day celebrating at a table for one.  well, things happen. anyway, i never planned anything special.  she texted me on her mobile phone apologetically that it could be some hours before she can meet me at the mall.  no problem, i texted back.

i went down to the mall's food court to have my dinner.  the wife will be dining with the boss and her office mates.  then we'll just meet later to go home together. 

after my dinner, i noticed people were congregating at the center area of the food court.  there was a small elevated stage there and four people were on there sitting. there were four large loudspeakers and  four microphones. lots of electrical cables were snaking the very area. nice!,  i said to myself,  the mall is treating customers to a special valentine's day concert. 

soon, enough the four began their concert.  the lady singer and the guy singer complement each other. they sang love songs alternately and in duet.  they were only accompanied by a bespectacled gentleman with his portable electric piano/organ and a lady flutist.  this is what i like about love songs. don't need much musical instruments.  just two excellent voices, ten nimble fingers skillfully skip-hopping over white and dark piano keys, and two reliable air-filled lungs that can blow a steady gust of air to produce lilting notes from a pierced pipe. 

we all sat there beside the stage. allowing ourselves to be lost, mesmerized, amused by beautiful love songs.  at the far left corner where i sat, a girl and a boy, both in their early teens, were holding hands, seated, sharing a medium pack of french fries and a large coke float;  in front of me, a family of five were huddled together, the father and two young girls and their brother attentively listening to the mother who was seated on a wheeled chair obviously trying to tell them something about the dinner on their table;  the fat guy and his wife, seated just to my right, were discussing the title of the song currently being sung by the lady singer -- fat guy thought it was their special song, the wife not too sure;  to the right of the fat guy's table, another young couple was seated, the lady's tummy is bulging, probably nearing her term, she seemed not so well though, a bit teary-eyed, she had her head nestled in her husband's shoulder ... after the song, the two hurriedly got up and left.

a short while later, the lady singer announced they are accepting song requests.  several people immediately got up and handed paper scraps  to one of the ushers.  the guy singer read the song requests and announced which of the songs requested will be performed.  the piano guy looked at the bunch of requests the guy selected and consulted a large book, probably a songbook, beside him.  he whispered something to the lady flutist and again the four regaled us with lovely music.

 ahhh, love .. young love, middle-age love, old-age love ... but, Love is ageless ....

my mobile phone beeped in a short while. it was the wife. still apologetic. sorry, i am still with the boss and office mates, she texted.  no problem, don't worry about me, i texted back, i'm at a concert, i bragged to her, it's just unfortunate you're not here with me ..

i was almost done with my second cup of coffee when the wife texted again -- we're done, meet you at the cab parking lot.  ok, i texted back, but just one last song before i go there, if you arrive ahead, just wait for me.

i wrote my song request on a paper napkin and handed it to the usher.  the guy singer again read thru the bunch of song requests and announced -- we'll do this one first,  as time goes by, ....

great! that's my song.

when i met the wife at the cab park lot, i have this lightness in my heart .....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

eating apples ... boring

night. around 24 minutes before midnight. i was at the rendezvous point waiting for office mates to arrive.  this is where we get a cab for work. cheaper this way.  we chip in for the cab fare. as usual, i was early. arrived ahead of the rest.  well, i've learned to be patient. there are lots of reasons why people do not come early.  anyway, we are a full hour ahead.  shift begins at 1 am.

i sat by the cemented steps of the tile shop near our rendezvous point.  i held up the apple i brought for lunch later.  against the light of the streetlamp its skin is tight and glistened invitingly.  almost reddish all over except for the top and bottom which were still yellowish.  a pang of hunger suddenly welled up in me.  the apple looked so juicy.  i rubbed the palm of my left hand all over it to clean it off.  i examined it all over and decided it's clean enough. near the center of its bottom, though, i noticed a small, pin prick of a hole.

could not resist the apple's invitation any longer.  it's shouting, "EAT ME!" and i bit a chunk off near its top.  sweet juice flowed out of it and caressed my parched lips.  very good indeed!  i'm blessed.  i worked my way around the apple, devouring it bit-by-pleasant bit.  from time to time, i peek at the bottom to see if i'm near the small hole. i reserved that portion of the apple for the last.  gently, near the small hole, i placed a bite mark and broke off that portion with my fingers.  i used my mobile phone's flashlight to see better the separated pieces.

as i suspected, at the apple's core, near the seed, i found it.  the little worm.  faint yellowish as the color of the apple's flesh.  nestled confidently beside the black seed.  delicate.  soft.  a creature, minute, but still, like this red apple and i, bears the amazing handiwork of the One Creative Force.

i realized it is giving me a lesson in obedience as well. it knew instinctively.  although the apple's coat is red and gleaming and spotless it did not stay outside.  it did not succumb to the apple's enticing appearance.  the little one obeyed its nature and bore a pinhole at its bottom. and it kept on boring, boring, boring, going deeper until it reached the apple's inner core.  there it stayed beside the apple seed.  nestled itself.

the apple seed.  in it is Life.  in it is the promise of perpetuation.  inside it is a gamut of possibilities --

an apple seed falling
on fertile mother ground
then, sunlight and air and water and earth
conniving, nurturing;
the seed dies, but,
apple sprout breaks ground
and wins Life' struggles
becomes a robust  Apple Tree
where minute Worm will once again wait
for Apple Fruit..

the Old Sages and Masters always remind us --  Go Inside the Self, within lies Life and Truth.

be like the worm, keep on boring towards the Inner Core ...

O, little Worm, i bow before you!