reverse, reset, retry

I’ve more than a hundred tasks on my to-do list that might take a hundred years as well to cross out. Why? Because there are a few worlds I keep wishing to step into every now and then without the plague of time and authenticity.

Mind, although in awe of my guiding lights who had shown me how a certain shake, flow and tie-up of words could mount to levels of eminence, I also suffer from an absence of inspiration. Not to mention a periodic review of my pitiful attempts at poetry has persistently been a frightful shudder. 

But I am not shamed by my many simple thoughts… for they make me feel still alive.

Lack of imagination and talent won’t ever qualify me to become a pro, yet I figured if this is something I’d be doing fifteen years from now I’d better take steps that could someday culminate in telling myself “you’ve come a long way, baby.”

Admittedly, I’ve been accused of one or two things in my several years of residence on WordPress. And maybe I should’ve pressed that there had never been any inconsiderate intent on my part. I wouldn’t have pushed some connection buttons if that weren’t the case. I am a social being after all, too; granting they’re willing to excuse my extreme fondness toward adverbs, conjunctions, and adjectives which interminably calls for harsh intervention.

That’s faint hope reaching for the kind center of somebody’s wisdom, despite my repeated tumble over shadows and cracks gone wrong.

Mistakes mistakes — with plenty of remorse in its course. That’s the rain falling over this summer’s sadness. For the realm of reading and writing reminds us of our hearts still beating. It’s all or nothing. Bleeding but striving. Breaking yet burning.

While I keep rubbing on such memory; understanding how nothing will ever be mine to keep.

****

A favorite from my teen-age era:

Well there’s too many windows in this old hotel
And rooms filled with reckless pride
And the walls have grown sturdy
And the halls have borne well
But there is nobody living inside. Nobody living inside.

Heart Hotels – Dan Fogelberg

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She Should Have Slept Around

My elder sister and I with the whole family are having lunch in a restaurant. She’s narrating her recent trip to Germany where she underwent stem cell treatment — something she goes through every year (partly as an aftermath of her choco addiction) with my brother-in-law, her husband. While the conversation progresses, he stands up and goes out to take a phone call. My sister turns to me.

She (with eagerness): My German doctor. He’s cute and I think he likes me.

Me: He is? He does?

She: He’s been sweet and extremely attentive to me. And I believe I’m the only female patient he kissed on both cheeks when we said our goodbyes.

Me: Ooh… (nodding). Inner Me: Of course he’s that nice. You’re a customer! No, I can’t say that to her; I won’t dare refute the giddiest hunch of someone who allows me to live in one of their apartments nearly rent-free.

Me: Aren’t you happily married? I teasingly remind her. Because she unmistakably is.

She: Yes, very much, but I watched the movie “Same Time Next Year.” Interesting to be in that two-timing couple’s situation, I imagine. My sister’s smiling.

My eyes secretly widen in bewilderment; I need a drink quick as I search for any server passing by. “Uh, Waiter, a can of Coke Zero please!”

Is he single?” I proceed to ask her.

She: Well, no. But blah blah blah…

Inner Me: Excuse me, sis. If he’s married, there’s no but. There can never be a but. (Sorry, though, to confess I previously broke that rule twice in my life. Don’t worry, Karma already made sure I paid the heaviest price.) I go on listening to my sis and keep nodding dumbly while she rattles on how maybe her doctor is gonna welcome some sort of fling with her regardless of both their connubial status.

She: The part where he injected (the goat, I mean sheep cells) bulged a bit so that became an excuse for me to email him. I had to ask about the swell…

Me: What did he say?

She: Well, he didn’t reply at first. So I had to email him again. He responded then. I think he’s just being cool and cautious because Joey (my sister’s husband) is his patient, too. But I can sense my doctor does like me as much as I like him.

Now I’m resisting the urge to dip my fingers in my glass of cold H20 and sprinkle some on her face.

Dear dear sister of mine, you’re telling me he has seen your 50-year-old butt (the needle went there, btw) and now he helplessly finds himself having a crush on you. Listen, a good-looking well-moneyed medical practitioner like that will get carnal only with the best-looking female  WHO’S HALF HIS AGE. Get real!” Again, no, I couldn’t tell her that. She’s paying for the whole meal.

My sister, in sudden mild reflection, continues: In our earlier years, Joey fooled around. Those were very stressful periods for me. Maybe he doesn’t anymore but I’m not quite certain. Now I realize I should have “hanged around” with other guys in the past.

I understand. I look at my sister keenly and start pondering as well. This is what happens when a woman has bedded only one man her entire life. I’ve gathered she’s just had the same discussion with our mother; how she feels sorry for herself for lacking “substantial experience” with men. I remember when she and I were in our earliest teens, our parents would lecture us till midnight not only about prioritizing our studies but more on the value of preserving our “innocence.” Our mother went so far as to insist our first boyfriend should end up as our husband, too, and should be the only male we’ll ever sleep with. Sister took it to heart (She and our mom have always been soulmates). Me? Inside I was like “Yuck!” The rebel in me at the time had already been emerging so my stance was “One dude in a whole lifespan? Not on your life.”

Anyway, my zany brother who’s been partially listening to our sisterly chat strongly butts in: Ho ho, jumping to conclusions! Too much chocolate again in your system, sister. The three of us laugh. My brother-in-law walks back to our table.

What is the moral of this blog piece? Sister should have slept around and all women should do so during their unwedded era. Unequivocally. And it matters little whether the men were fucking dickheads or not.

Wait, did I just say that? Give me two weeks of good night sleep to take it back.

******

++my brother, bro-in-law, sister and me in that most recent outing++

******

Yep, another old favorite love song (ad nauseum, I know) from way way back. This Dionne W’s deeper gentle version I surprisingly unearthed on YT as it was rarely played on the radio.

 

An Unforgettable Kind

His aura spelled of a bracing formidable substance and he was possessed of strong muscles. But he had always sat on his wheelchair. He was a paraplegic.

He in his white cotton shirt running on his wheelchair amidst the various vehicles on the busy Kalayaan Avenue of the city had become a regular fixture of my rhythmic existence for a number of years. During walks from my son’s school to my house as part of my workout, I would catch sight of him and witness with awe and some concern the routine plus the perils he’d undergo while completing his daily mission.

No idea of his history. His aloof stance denoted zero probability you’d ever catch him smiling or look at faces or acknowledge anyone around him. With his head partially inclined downward – perhaps to avoid any interaction — his gaze seemed focused only on the floors of the lanes ahead.

Several summers rolled by, I spotted him one day sweeping past our school building while on my way to work. He looked very much the same. Just like before, his eyes were solely fixed on the ground. I decided to cross the street to meet his direction.

Good morning!” I greeted with zest.

He didn’t respond; neither did his head move. He could have been surprised by my deed although he showed no signs of it and simply kept spinning the wheels of his chair. I watched him continue his way down the road.

Surely many others who encountered the man had felt the same way I did. Pity, yes, I couldn’t deny. But it was my admiration for his spirit that won out; I had resolved to let him know one more soul had been recognizing his being.

Weeks had passed when I saw him again from a distance at the same spot. Once more, I aimed to navigate along his path and proceeded to repeat the gesture of greeting him. To my delight, that time around he made a quick glance with an amenable face to say “good morning” to me too. The day indeed turned brighter; a pleasant instance which duplicated two or three more times subsequently.

Through periods when my infrastructure gets questioned by no other than me, or through spans when I get besieged by the thorny events of life, he enters my mind. It’s then that I have to second guess myself for feeling defeated when in battle against the stuffs of survival. With his kind that gets out in the world to show us (luckier ones) that you needn’t lose a sense of purpose despite the odds, how many are there who’ll be able to match such amazing display of strength and perseverance?

Thus it’s become a blessing what he (like my dearest one) has embodied in my life. No chance will I run into him again as I won’t be going to those areas of the city anymore; yet recollections of his image and determination linger every so often.

I don’t think I’ll be forgetting him anytime soon.

 

stock-photo-back-view-of-young-woman-in-wheelchair-during-walk-in-park-in-sunny-day-275636621

 

I am a bundle of…what?

There exists an unforgettable dear blogging buddy from my past. Why unforgettable, you might ask? He had gone reading and commenting over many of my oldest posts and subsequently dropped this bomb of an observation, in a friendly manner…maybe: 

geena, you’re a bundle of contradictions.”

Hmm.

My preliminary internal reaction was like “oh okay.” But after a day or two of deep cogitation, it was: “wait, I am a … whaaat?”

Listen, bundle sounds like bungle. So how can this turn good.

It was the first time somebody made such an assessment of me – considering my more than 40 long years of existence on our planet. He’s introspective and a blogging icon so his every input had been meaningful for me. I wanted to knock-knock on his blog and politely question him as to what he meant exactly by his remark. Of course I chickened out because he’d be then quite convinced how lacking I am in comprehension. I couldn’t risk losing the camaraderie.

I tried googling it. Not much luck. The precise meaning of “a bundle of contradictions” and its aptness to my essence as a living entity remains nebulous. Diaphonous. Amorphous.

It’s been three years. The ex-buddy had since dropped off from the face of blogearth when he found a job and got busier. Yet I’m still wondering and scratching my head as to how many or which of my posts led him to believe I’m a “wad of mismatch and variance” (Darn, I really should stop using this lousy thesaurus of mine).

To be continued……. (don’t ask me when)

*************************

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Last-Minute Solemn Thoughts and Revelations Before Setting Off

*I am not religious, even though there’s an intermittent need in me to somehow believe in a most august force. I’ve often pondered, however, on the dictum that God is Love. For everything that is beautiful in our world is tended by it; nothing seems to matter when there’s no love in our hearts. Our true sufferings are purely outcomes of lack of love and not loving each other enough.

*I don’t even know what to make of the lessons I’ve learned so far. No clearness still as to what my life has amounted to. Even so, I look forward to coming back here soon because I still have stories to tell, thoughts and feelings that must search for their precision through words — before an inescapable juncture starts fogging away everything including the memories.

My hope is also for this blog to be a main testament of my love for animals and the dearest people to me.

*I end up being alone most of the time because I’ve preferred living by my own rules; doing my own thing; standing by my own convictions. Besides, my rich inner life keeps me going. Being on my own isn’t as sad as what the majority would want me to believe. I’ve felt a lot lonelier belonging in a group and as part of a couple.

*Letting go of youth is an advice we should all abide by although it’s been a struggle for me because I just don’t feel old. My 15-year-old self from some 30 years ago is still very much around, yet the woman that reflects back whenever I face the mirror is getting to be a stranger. In my recurring dreams at night, I’d also be running in a field with the beloved pet dogs I had had, hugging and loving them dearly. Then I’d open my eyes in the morning and be brought back to the stinging reality they aren’t with me anymore…and that an immense part of my youth has already been spent.

*My life has been largely devoured by unnecessary pride, the farce of others, and inconsequential stuff. How I’ve paid the most penal price for the passions of this earth. It feels like forever trudging through a valley of regrets.

*Since I’ve lost my father, whenever he dawns on my mind, tears just flow – like rain from the sky that falls unbidden. Tears which flow from a well of pain inside me that harrow deeper with each passing time. It’s the secret of my soul my physical world need not perceive any more. But every song has its end. I’m carrying this pain with me, until my life yields to an absolute silence.

With a love stronger than time and death, my heart could only speak of two people my mind would be embracing in my last breaths – my father and my son. The dearest ones I’ve ever had.

Reflections Upon What Brought Me To The World Of The Classics

No matter what my place of discontent, this is how I envision myself in a few years’ time: An okay-looking gal carrying ample experiences and some writing dexterity that will enable her to write competently about life, love, her self-willed sentiments, and diverse meditations on Jane Doe’s quotidian existence.

There’s no hunger within me to turn in a best-selling novel someday or become a prolifically accomplished writer in the future; my imagination isn’t that fecund, my creativity too run-of-the-mill. An Arcadian repository of my narratives, thoughts, and sensations is everything I intend to leave behind.

Lumbering through WordPress for a little more than three years now, I’ve had interesting encounters with a small number of bloggers here because, you know, I just don’t follow blogs, I really read them. I sometimes happily convert myself into a devoted fan of the blogwriters that got me hooked, yet things don’t go heavenly smooth all the time. Let me cite an example:

The past year I’ve got a sudden hankering for perusing The Classics. Why? Now there’s a story I’m obliged to tell my readers – in which one or two lessons can be gleaned from – before it gets lost in the mists of time.

Several months ago in my blog universe, there was this blogger who quixotically alluded to unicorns that could save mountains, and to the beautiful flowers that secretly bloom in darkness. Moreover, he could easily whip up admiration with his amorous verses and incisive discourse about life’s crossroads in the abstract. He’s, for the most part, a dreamer. He made certain, however, his real identity would remain a well-guarded secret, unless you seek him out privately. Which meant that other than this Mister Romantic Poet’s splendid writings, there was nothing else you could find attractive about him: One more kind of co-blogger best kept at arms’ length.

Enter this Canadian lady who introduced herself to me during my most difficult times early last year: A new divorcee who had been feeling out of sorts by reason of her new status. She seemed to be extending her blogger hand to me in goodwill – which engendered my fondness for her because she was being nice and understanding. She always looked pretty good in her gravatar photos. And oh, she has a distinctive narrative style to boot and writes like a true pro. Amazing woman, I believe.

Most of my blogger pals have been male. During that time each of them seemed to have checked her out by clicking her comment link on my blog, as substantiated by My Stats page. Did I mind? A bit – to be perfectly honest with you. Call it a woman thing on my part.

Mister Romantic Poet started Liking her entries. Much to my astonishment, he even went back to her maiden post where an interlocution manifesting of lucid flirtation took place. Ah ok, it’s a free world in here – no ground for me to feel slighted; although to reiterate once more, it’s a (Filipino) woman thing. Bear in mind the fact Mister Romantic Poet wasn’t even my crush then. Did my favourite (another) blogger pal – the one I liked the most – check her out and officially visit her site, too? Yes, he did…to my heartbreak (Silly silly me from time to time 🙂 ); which brought about the abrupt end of my association with her. Something that, in retrospect, I kind of regret…because men are never a good reason enough for the extinction of any female connection.

Back to Mister Romantic Poet who had profusely praised my lady commenter in the course of their inceptive conversation: Honestly, my consternation upon reading the exchange between them couldn’t bring me to regard him in the same manner afterwards. As if an infection had penetrated deep into whatever sterling estimation I had consigned to his persona before. Despite that, it paved the way for his revealing question to her which would subsequently refuse to fall from my memory: “Did you happen to read a lot of classics in your past that made you write this good?”

Aha, Bingo.

I’ve already forgotten my lady pal’s answer. But that particular query has stayed prominent on my mind for ages. Yeah yeah, it’s too late for me to catch up on the classics for the refinement of my writing skill. It won’t change the fact my literature in my younger years had been limited to Mills&Boons, idiotic women’s magazines and sundry articles on Hollywood gossip. Still, whenever I go to a bookstore these days, I can’t prevent myself from dropping by the Classics Section to browse. The books occasionally go on sale. My growing collection has aggregated to ten now and I have finished reading most of them. It’s worth engrossing oneself in a world where the likes of Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo, George Eliot, Hermann Hesse and the Bronte sisters are in preponderance. How I wish I had started much earlier.

Perhaps I ought to thank Mr. Romantic Poet for all this. Unfortunately, he has long closed down his lovely blog.

library
One of my ideal libraries. Charming…

 

All Feelings and Nothing Else

In person I’m not a major talker. I never was and I guess I never will be. I’ve no problem being viewed as taciturn anymore. In my younger years, some relatives and acquaintances had even ridiculed me for my innate reticence. Painfully shy since childhood, I concede to being one of those people who have come to live inside their heads with ease.

As the main avenue I can now turn to for consummate expression, the world of blogging has become a saving grace for me; in hopes it’ll constantly be the crucial place where I can strip my soul and be completely ingenuous in narrating the yarns of my existence.

But I don’t want to feel like I need to apologize for things that get uncovered in these pages. Or that I’ve got to prove anything about myself. We live in a world where each one of us is defined either by the material things we possess or by the relationship we should preserve with our fellow beings. I confess to not giving much of a darn to either. And that could mean I will continually have to pay the price for my unconventional perspectives and uncensored prose.

Yet the decision to face up to the consequences is a done deal.

My son is the driving force behind the set up of this blog. Perhaps in his future he’d want to know what his mother was all about, warts and all. He may want to read the things I wrote here someday (or not). If ever that time comes, my hope is that this site will still be around – even after I’m long gone.

You may ask: Why don’t I journalize in the privacy of my notebook instead? Exposing my writing, in contrast to keeping a confidential diary, prompts an effort on my part to check on my syntax and punctuation – a peripheral activity I find pleasurable in the process. It’s not a total win-win all the time, though. The impulse to convey my admiration or add my two cents in recognition of some co-blogger’s outstanding post makes me forget the invariable upshot of drawing attention to my own site – which shamelessly houses the contents of my mind and heart. Never was my intention to invite anyone to become a follower. Being misunderstood plus the misconception of my warmth are among the inevitable ramifications, too. These days it makes me wonder if it would have been wiser had I stayed an undisclosed fan or reader to them all.

My writing boldness is propped up by the fact I am thousands of miles away from all of you. I basically feel safe. A morsel of discomfort pinches me, however, whenever I see the country Philippines on my Stats. Except for one very young female co-blogger, I anticipate of no other reader from this side of my hemisphere.

Conversations with people around me in my physical world are mundane and unfulfilling. Colleagues and family members would seek my attention and companionship just so they could babble to their hearts’ content. They knew I would be listening. Not a tangible spirit in my actual realm has been aware that deep inside, there exists a long-standing discontent for not having enough people close by who are on the same wavelength with me.

In moments when I get tired of my own reflections, the need to dip myself in other people’s words come to me. Trapped by my circumstances, the blogging world arrives to the rescue. It’s a comfort allowing my own thoughts and concerns be buried under the voices and contemplation of others from time to time. Which brings me to mention more than a couple of fellow bloggers I’m fortunate to have known for their enviable psyche and superb skills of expression:

One of them has just written a beautiful piece about his parents who are on the brink of slipping away (his folks are probably the most beautiful elderly couple I’ve seen online). I wish I had the right words to say to him. But all I can reckon with certainty is – compared to me – he’ll be much stronger in dealing with it all when the zero hour comes, and that he’ll be able to carry on in a finer demeanor than I do.

And there’s this other long-time blog buddy whose father has just been confined in the hospital. Thankfully, it was nothing serious. Me and this bro pal of mine: we’ve always been like children in our online conversations; although I haven’t been an awesome friend or elder sis to him lately and most probably had sounded like a jaded twerp during our recent chats. Yet he surprisingly put up with me and has been quite patient. You haven’t lost me, dear brother. That’s all I can assure for now.

There’s also this phenomenal woman from a lovely island in Canada – who currently works in a rehab center – I’ve been itching to send a fan message and at the same time extend my apology to; for the reason I had misjudged her posts, at first impression, on the subject of men and love. In truth, she has been a true source of inspiration to me for her splendid works which are – on the whole – funny, intelligent, enlightening, touching. I still have to figure out how to get through to her without feeling like a bonehead.

My writings have been deemed melodramatic, cynical, and emotional; by individuals who, I realized in the end, hold nary an interest to get to know who I essentially am. The embarrassment I had felt then from their conjectures led to my attempts to alter the manner of my articulation here, until it seems I’ve begun writing like a man. But I’m a woman… which means that, yes, sometimes I am all feelings and nothing else.

This words I penned for my gravatar profile many moons ago:

Allow me this freedom; that I may find closure to my quest for endless new beginnings.”  It had been true then… It still holds true to this very day.