Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Was It Real?

(A Poem, A Play)


He was looking straight at me,
Trying to catch my gaze.
What was in that stare?
Was he trying to tell me something?
Was he searching for answers?
But I couldn’t return his look.
I don’t know why.
Was I confused?
Was I afraid?
From the corner of my eyes,
I saw him turn away.
No expression at all
Or at least nothing I could read.


He was beside me,
Not speaking a single word.
It was heart-breaking
Being too close with somebody
And yet feeling he was drifting away.

I couldn’t contain th
e sadness I felt.
I was filled with confusion,


The list goes on…

Then suddenly,
All the havoc within me was interrupted
When he held my hand.
It was the first time.
And again, it was as if
There was oblivion on everything else,
Even on my own heartbeat.
Simply, I was stunned.

I didn’t dare look,
Nor did I ask anything.
I remained still,
Trying to identify what feeling it brought me.


I was looking at him,
Trying to catch his gaze.
But he looked away.
I tried to hold his hand,
But even before I could reach for them,
He locked them inside his pocket.

I tried to speak a word.
Something he never did.
But his eyes weren’t fixed on me.
Was he searching for something else?

It was my turn to look away.
Not to escape his gaze,
But to hide my tears.

I knew it was time.
But I couldn’t get into my feet.
Instead, I waited.
For him to look right over his shoulders.
And give me that look

I thought I once had.

Time was ticking.
I saw the leaves falling from the trees.
And before I knew it

There he was…
A shadow from afar…
An image I barely know…
Nothing but

A ghost who passed by…

It was when I wished the rolling of the curtains would end the scene.

ABOUT THE PLAY: It’s been almost a year since I played a lead role in a theater where I had no audience. It was a story which I personally produced, believing in its substance. It was a play whose script I, myself, wrote, choosing the plot, the climax and whose end still hangs. It was a play which I starred with no reservations at all. But eventually I realized it was a play I got myself involved with alone.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Only A Dot There

We all go through certain kinds of misery in our life. The feeling of being alone, abandoned, worthless, and hopeless is not uncommon. We think we’ve gone through all possible troubles anyone could ever imagine. We think we’ve just had enough.

Is this all there is in this life? Nothing but pure hardships? We struggle for more than 20 years of our life trying to learn everything needed in order to live. We struggle for another 20 to 30 years finding life’s meaning, trying to jail ourselves in the world we created- work, all sorts of relationships, goals. For the remaining 20 to, luckily, 30 years of our life, we hope to see ourselves content with the fruits of hard work in all those years. It’s funny how we saved up and prepared for these last years of our life, only to spend it trying to struggle from an illness and a new batch of pure hardships. We struggle from another phase of seeking for answers. Have I lived my life well? And in the process, we still end up frustrated, incomplete, empty.

Truly, life is all about sufferings. We live in this sinful world where comfort and happiness are always backed with distress and anguish. We have our own difficulties. We’re not in a battle of comparison of who has endured more of life’s setbacks. We don’t compete for a prize for life’s sufferings that whoever has the most would be rewarded in the end. If so, everybody would pray not for blessings but sufferings.

Consequently, we grumble. We all think we’re not worthy of all the bad things that happen to us. We believe that we’re innocent enough to have to go through life’s challenges. And most often than not, we don’t even consider it a challenge. We deem it a curse inflicted on us only to make us suffer. We complain that life is truly unfair.

Indeed it is. Nobody promised that living this life would be easy. Nobody claimed that the 70, 80 years of our lifetime would be a bed of roses. Yes we have our own difficulties- lost jobs, material insufficiencies, physical disabilities, health concerns, broken relationships- and we find ourselves having all these familiar feeling: alone, abandoned, worthless, hopeless.

If life is nothing but pure misery, what is there to be hopeful for?

We may be experiencing the most terrible agony in life. We may be born with physical handicap, we may have lost our loved ones from a tragic accident, or we may have suffered abuse from other people. In spite of all the seemingly bad luck that happens to us, it can only affect us to the extent that we allow it to. Zooming in to every suffering makes us blind from everything else- things that we ought to be thankful for. It may be a special skill, love and support from friends and family, the fact that we’re still breathing, the fact that each day, we’re given a chance to make our life better.

It’s not the suffering that matters; it’s how we triumph from it. How, then, do we succeed? Can we make it through if we cling on to something of this world? Certainly not. Only if we learn to fully submit ourselves to that someone greater than all of us that we will be able to embrace life’s miseries. God assured us that no matter what happens, He will never abandon us nor forsake us. Our God is the maker of heaven and earth. He is all powerful and almighty. No problem is big enough for God. He hears us, He listens. He deeply cares for us. Knowing that God is our fortress, would there still be a room for doubt? Would there still be a room for worry? Would there still be a room for fear? Not a chance.

Despite all the bad things happening to us, as if being done to us in purpose, we still have something to rejoice for, to be hopeful for, because in the end of it all, whoever remains in Him, will be welcomed in His kingdom. Isn’t it a great promise? Should we still bug ourselves with the 70, 80 years of our life knowing that as we go to our final sleep, we have a reward that’s far greater than we can ever imagine?

Let us not lose ourselves on our sufferings. In God’s eyes, the bigger picture is far more important than the most depressing thing that we felt, the gravest thing that we endure. Those are in all sense, nothing. Life on earth is no doubt only a dot in eternity. All the pain in this world is nothing but a dust blown away by the loving care of our Father.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just Another Story

There were few people near the cinemas where they agreed to meet after another 2 long years. There were sounds of arcade games nearby, people chatting near the popcorn stand, a crew calling out orders on a fastfood chain. Somebody called out her name. She didn’t know if it was said loud enough, or the voice was just familiar that she instantly turned her head in his direction. When she saw a guy in red shirt with a camera hanging around his neck, she automatically grinned.

“Heeeeey!” she exclaimed, almost running towards him, arms stretched as if she were ready for a huge birthday present. They hugged that they almost fell. She imagined how foolish they must have seemed if they weren’t able to keep their balance. But that could have added up to the excitement of that “reunion.” They laughed at their clumsiness and at that point, she remembered how great it felt to be with him once again.

There was nothing extraordinary on that meeting. They spent what, four, five hours together, had lunch, did some live performances singing and laughed like crazy. Probably that was the best part of it. Yeah it was a bit odd. Every time he said something, she automatically burst into laughter no matter how stupid it was about. You two are weird, his brother even commented. She could’ve probably spent an entire day with him just listening to his “concert” and watching him concentrate on his pasta, as if trying to figure out how the entire plate can fit into his mouth. Who am I with, a five-year old? She teasingly thought.

Before they knew it, the day was over. He walked her to the train, where they would leave the last traces of that day. For the third time in nearly 5 years of knowing each other, they said good bye. They hugged. Still, she managed to tease him but then, she felt strange. Nobody has hugged her that way, as if telling her how much she was missed, how much he didn’t want to let her go or that he didn’t want it to end. Or maybe, it was just her mind playing tricks on her…coz maybe she was the one feeling that way.

She slowly walked away, giving him a last look. She smiled and even tried to reach out for him while she was being carried away by the line towards the train. They would probably meet in another year or so, and at the thought of it, she sighed.

And… she sighed. That was all. It was as if there was nothing more she could add. She held a pencil on her right hand, slightly tapped it on her head, lost in oblivion on what to write next. On the corner of the table was a trash bin, half-full of crumpled papers. She’d been trying to do the story for weeks, but all she could do was to stare blankly at her nth sheet of paper, with drawings of circles and twirls. Of course she could’ve used her computer in front of her, but she felt more of a writer with the pencil. Besides, saving the trees was not her top priority at that moment.

She let another sigh. She decided to get herself a cup of tea, the one with flower contents and that said: “a soothing drink to aid relaxation.” She held the back of her head and realized she badly needed it.

She threw herself on her bed and reached for a Mitch Albom’s. Maybe she needed some inspiring thoughts that would disguise the sadness she felt. She flipped the pages but the words barely registered to her mind. Unconsciously her thoughts slowly drifted from the time she tried to sense the relaxed feeling from her tea, to the time she didn’t even have to exert any effort to feel complete, just months ago.

Shaking her head, she tried to push away what had been haunting her. She got up and went back to drawing circles and twirls on the paper…

A month after, they accidentally saw each other in messenger. They chatted as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. It was the continuation of the … of the day they met, if there really were a … on it. And she actually didn’t think there could be anything else besides their usual senseless conversation that only they could understand. One thing led to the next. She was more puzzled on how things were going. He would call her on special occasions, chat with her everyday, not failing to be extra thoughtful. He would plan up a getaway with her, telling her it was his first time to really plan on something. Now, what was that about?

She crumpled the paper again, frustrated. She felt it was useless telling a story that was as unreal as Cinderella’s tale. What then is real?

They’ve known each other for 5 years now, 11 hours of it were spent together, the remaining practically as strangers, trying to know each other behind their monitors and phones. And all these time, they claimed to have known each other well. They spent these 11 hours comfortably that made her think that what they had was something special.

She knew what they had shared in 5 long years was the exact definition of oddness. She could’ve looked up in Webster and found its meaning as: an invisible friendship that started as a joke, shared apart, deepened despite the distance, continued to infinity.

She could’ve been contented on their friendship, but the 4, 5 hours of it changed it all. And the invisibility that came after ruined her dreams…coz she could never believe it could, at any point, be real.

She smirked at herself. Was there really a point that any of these things became real? Looking back, nothing seemed to make sense. Probably it was only her that laid an imaginative sense on everything. And now reality had finally found its way to bang her head and cruelly say that it was him that existed, not the one she had in mind. And it kicked her unmercifully. Who was she trying to convince that the story is convertible to reality, when it was her denying what’s already in front of her?

Hey, it’s been a long time since I last heard from you.

She wanted to ask why it did take him that long. She was damn bedazzled on what really happened. A ghost... She already pushed that idea away. She couldn’t believe that after all this time, he’d only been a ghost in her life. She wanted to tell him but then, she chose to say it plain: Yeah, nothing much has changed.

They say dreams do come true. But you’ve got to distinguish a dream that is plausible from something that you’re stuck with, just because you can’t let it go.

She sighed… She crumpled the paper once again, paused, and decided to keep that page. Some stories are better left untold. Indeed, it was just another story that would add up to her collection. The realization was already gazing at her, waiting for her to claim it, and yet she was reluctant to even give it a glance, coz she knew that when she got a hold of it, that signified the end of her story.

Did she want it to end?

She tried to sense any possible sign of anything at all. But she couldn’t discern a thing. Lost in that situation, she felt helpless. But then again, she chose to let things be.

Was it a mistake?

I’m coming back this year. Maybe I’ll see you then.

And…she sighed…

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm Insane

(Yeah, this may be a weird way of starting a new blog)

I stared at the ceiling of the small corner of my room one Sunday evening after a long day of being with friends and being alone all at the same time. I noticed the shadow on one of the glow-in-the-dark stickers near the fluorescent light, which led me to the thought: an object’s shadow is formed when the object blocks the light. And even if I dig deeper on how else can it possibly have a mark in my life, there’s just nothing more to it. Nothing more to ponder on. It’s just how you define a shadow. And some things just remain as they are.

I laughed at myself. Isn’t it funny how you get all these crazy ideas right after indulging yourself in a separate world of your own? At this very minute, I’m even having second thoughts with all these things going through my mind, but when I look closely, what the heck. I don’t need to explain my thoughts, more so myself to anyone.

Don’t we experience, at some point in our life, a certain degree of absurdity? Those who are insane enough are the ones who bravely face their insanity by contradicting what the society dictates them to do. And most of us, even with the continuous battle of sanity and madness within us, choose to live by the standards than be labeled “insane.”

Yeah, I am really caught up with this book that made me consciously think about crazy stuffs, and once and for all, realize that I had been insane, but refused to acknowledge that fact because of fear of what others might think of me.

So there’s the culprit: fear and vanity. I had been constantly reviewing my existence and life in its profound meaning. Some may immediately blurt out: that it in itself is crazy. Why waste time on useless thoughts? I can just accept things as they are. Why do I have to look at details so closely? Why can’t I just let things be? Should there always be a reason for everything? A hidden meaning for all that’s happening? And I never dared to open up to anyone just because I don’t want them to think that I’m not like them. And the sense of being the same with all others, the sense of belonging has got its place in the hierarchy of human’s needs, right Freud?

I’ve heard countless remarks to not overthink things, to do something more productive, to just live. And what exactly do we mean by living? We spend 20 or so years of our life studying math, science, literature and much of it are not even valuable to us right now, except for some conversations that would make us feel we’re smart enough to know all these stuffs. And why did we have to study all the way to college and get a degree? Coz that’s what everybody else does. Unless we get to college and graduate from a good university, we’re gonna be left behind. And so we did as what we were told to do. Then what? We fill ourselves with enthusiasm on the next chapter of our life – not having to seek support from our parents (financially, I mean), and be individuals of our own, earning our own money, preferably living on our own, doing things that pleasure us.

And in that stage, most people tend to get lost. We hear lots of people complaining how each day passes exactly the same way as the other. People drag themselves to work, because they have bills to pay, groceries to do, or children to send to the same prestigious schools.

Then we begin to think, is this all there is? Is life merely about breathing, getting up everyday doing the same thing, fulfilling responsibilities, building a dream and then accomplishing it?

I take time planning almost everything. I love the idea of doing things. I get pleasure in anticipating something to happen. That’s what keeps me going. Sometimes, plans do happen. And the feeling is just rewarding. But now that nearly everything has been laid upon me, there’s nothing more to wait for. Nothing more to be thrilled about. The waiting for the graduation, complete with hearing your name with some latin honors have already passed. No more big day to look forward to, so I make big fuss over little things – waiting for a phone call, anticipating a vacation with a friend, doing endless studies, doing marketing plans. And where will all these things lead me?

I hate being told what to do with my life. But sometimes I tend to just let them take the steering wheel, just to avoid any more arguments. Boy, I hate conflicts. So they tell me to work, I work. They tell me to be responsible and take care of tasks much larger than I think I can handle, I still give it a shot anyhow.

If I suddenly move out of “this life of mine” will people understand? Won’t they think I’m crazy enough to throw away a practically convenient life with nothing else to worry? Won’t they think I’m stupid to search for something else when everything I need is right in front of me? I don’t expect anybody to understand. What do they know? Is everything I need really just at the palm of my hands?

Some things are just nothing more than what they really are. But life is too vast for me to understand by just looking at a glow-in-the-dark sticker at my ceiling. When they tell me to just live, how am I supposed to do that if I’m just getting my light on the fluorescent and the only time I can shine is when the lights are already turned off?

Was I the one talking when I heard there’s nothing more to ponder on while staring at my ceiling? Insanity creeps in and it has found its way to surface!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Are all feelings valid?

You woke up one morning, feeling the day is so right (good for you), but it turned out you’d just get upset for the rest of the day. You had it all planned, from what you’d wear down to what chapter you should reach on the book you’ve been reading before going to bed.

Don’t you hate it when you get everything planned up and just get disappointed somewhere along the way because something didn’t go with what you expected? Don’t you have the right to be upset when you’re looking forward to something but you have no control if it’s ever gonna happen at all?

When a circumstance got in your way and had the most unwanted effect on you, no matter how petty it could be, and no matter how much you try to rationalize that it’s just nothing, don’t you still get the most annoying feeling you could ever have trying to debate with yourself?

The point is, if you get happy because of a promotion, or just because someone gave you a gift, it’s still happiness. If you get frustrated redoing your thesis paper, or just because you’ve been waiting for someone for hours at the movie house, we still have the same label for it: frustration, irritation, disappointment.

No matter how biggie or plain it may sound, wouldn’t you agree that your feelings is all yours? Can anybody question or judge what you feel or tell you what you should or should not feel at all? The only thing you have control with is how you deal with your own chaos inside you (isn’t it the hardest part of it? ugh!) Coz believe me, as nonsense as it may seem, you still have to deal with it.