Tuesday, September 29, 2009

hopelessly holding up hope

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There, then, he sat, holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair.

- Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851

Monday, September 28, 2009

Self-righteous

Monday, September 28, 2009

What happened last weekend was truly horrifying; but what horrifies me more is the proliferation of self-righteous status updates, posts and tweets on the Internet. This is not really a good time for finger-pointing and moralizing, is it? Nobody deserved what happened, but, sadly, all of us are at fault.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Devouring Passion to Cold Indifference

Friday, September 25, 2009

I wonder how some people could move from devouring passion to cold indifference in just the blink of an eye. They are so into you one moment then treat you like a stranger the next. They lavish you with attention then suddenly forget that you exist. Is this the key to easily get over a person?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

an earlier, passionately earnest self

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This reminds me so much of myself:
The apartment was entirely, was only, for her: a wall of books, both read and unread, all of them dear to her not only in themselves, their tender spines, but in the moments or periods they evoked. She had kept some books since college that she acquired for courses but never read--Friedrich Jameson, for example, and Kant's Critique of Judgment--but which suggested to her that she was, or might be, a person of seriousness, a thinker in some seeping, ubiquitous way; and she had kept, too, a handful of children's books taken from her now-dismantled girlhood room, like Charlotte's Web and the Harriet the Spy novels, that conjured for her an earlier, passionately earnest self, the sober child who read constantly in the back of her parents' Buick, oblivious to her brother punching her knee, oblivious to her parents' squabbling, oblivious to the traffic and landscapes pressing upon her from outside the window.

- Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children, 2006

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Would you vote for him?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To indulge my curiosity, I began a presumptuous inquiry on how people around me--friends, family and colleagues--perceive one of the country’s presidential aspirants, Senator Noynoy Aquino, the one person who supposedly could bring renewed hope for the nation. I asked whether or not they would vote for him and why. Surprisingly, most said that they won’t for various reasons: his mediocre performance as a senator and his inexperience in governance; his feudalistic heritage highlighted by the Hacienda Luisita issue--the albatross around his neck--that has tainted him despite his good intention, sound platform and what they say as his capability to unite the nation; that he is merely a passing fancy made fashionable by the weight of his parents’ name and the showbiz glitz of his kid sister; his “messianic posturing” and “indecisiveness”, gleaned from his need to go on a weeklong retreat to seek divine guidance on whether or not to run for the presidency.

I, too, am not yet convinced. They say that the 2010 elections would be a battle between Good and Evil. It would probably be more like choosing the least of several evils.

the annihilation of all you know


Does overwhelming change, the annihilation of all you know, create an intensity of memory that would not have existed otherwise? When all you know is lost and gone forever, does it become sweeter in the mind? Does it make you want to let go or hold on even tighter?

- Charles Frazier, Thirteen Moons, 2006

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sting, Stink and Disarray

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The lusty wind blasting from the bus's windows, which stung her eyes and whipped her hair to disarray, carried the salty tang of the bay. Inhaling softly, she welcomed the sting, the stink and the disarray. This is what life is all about, she told herself.

As the bus plodded along the congested highway--stopping every few minutes to allow passengers in and out—she realized that the entire trip was an exercise in concentration. She focused, as much as she could, on the book she’s reading, relishing the narrative and letting it fill her with pleasure as books always do. Keeping to this simple joy, she endured the cacophony of horns and screeching tires, the indecipherable dialogue blaring from the overhead television set, the swelter of the vehicle packed with people jostling towards the exit or for that vacant seat. She knew not to let awful things consume her let alone distract her from enjoying life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

one grand hooded phantom

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and tow there flooded into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like snow hill in the air.

- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 1851

Monday, September 14, 2009

Habit of Prayer

Monday, September 14, 2009

During that twilight stage between wakefulness and sleep I catch myself uttering the first few words to a prayer. Always vigilant of these lapses, my mind rudely jolts me to consciousness. Stop. You do not do that anymore, it says. Long untethered from any religious entanglement, I still find myself--without my logic’s permission--going back to this lifelong habit of prayer during my most unguarded moments. Is it out of pure habit? I ask myself. Or is it out of a deep desire, a lingering belief that my prayer would somehow be answered?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

As long as they're happy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

She must be very busy. Though hurt, we readily make excuses for friends who seem to ignore all our efforts to keep in touch. Oh, you know her work. She probably doesn’t have time to check her e-mail or return our calls. We shrug our shoulders and keep silent, with only a sigh of disappointment escaping our lips. We try to understand, and we learn to accept that things aren’t as they were before. Our lives have gone towards different directions—and against our wishes--making the friendship almost a thing of the past.

Stress, depression, preoccupation, disinterest - whatever the reason is, it is okay. As long as they’re happy, it is perfectly all right even if we rarely hear from them. As long as they're happy, we are willing to be ignored and forgotten for a while.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Luxuriating in Solitude

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

As soon as I heard the announcement of another long weekend, I felt a wave of joy surge through my body. Three days in complete solitude and idleness - what a luxury, I thought. The forecast of incessant rains that would undoubtedly accompany the weekend did not dampen my spirit as the promise of an extra day of quiescence glimmered in the leaden sky.

Much has been said about the sadness that lurks at the edges of a single person’s life, and what lies at its center is often taken for granted. The luxury of solitude. The utter freedom that goes with living alone. 31, single and independent, I can be who I want; I can do what I want and when I want it. I can spend my days in idleness and boredom or in extreme preoccupation and overcaffeinated enthusiasm, whichever way I want it, without having to worry about anything or anybody else.

Everywhere I hear whispered, yet still disparaging, allusions to the emptiness of a life spent alone. Society’s assiduous concern with motherhood and marriage as the true essence of womanhood is, sadly, anachronistic and limiting. Seen as an incomplete person waiting to be made whole by that one person out there, am I just a fragment of who I am? Why can’t people stop asking me when am I going to get married? Does it make me a lesser person if I do not ache to hold an infant in my arms? Apart from the glint of a wedding ring on my finger or the presence of a stroller in my house, there are other things that give substance to my existence.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A passion that strong, that early

Monday, September 7, 2009

Most people have never felt a passion that strong, that early. If so, they remember it with a smile, dismiss it as a crush that shriveled in time and on time. It’s hard to think of it any other way when real life shows up with its list of other people, its swarm of other thoughts…. One thing is true—it bears watching, if you can stand to look at it. Heed and Christine were the kind of children who can’t take back love, or park it. When that’s the case, separation cuts to the bone. And if the breakup is plundered, too, squeezed for a glimpse of blood, shed for the child’s own good, then it can ruin a mind. And if, on top of that, they are made to hate each other, it can kill a life before it tries to live.

By Toni Morrison, Love, 2003

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Acceleration of Life

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September has come and my desolation had passed. As I sense that crisp chill sneak into the air, I felt a sudden acceleration of life. With Mondays leaping to Fridays, it will not be long until the start of a new year, a new hope, a new life. A delicious thrill coursed through me, and I wondered where it came from. I then realized that it came from within.

A Ritualized Mating Dance


I’ve danced this dance so many times that I’ve memorized each step without a clue to how the dance would end:

While talking of another Brooklyn laureate, Walt Whitman, I found it easy not to pay perfect attention to what Leslie was saying. At college and elsewhere I had played out this solemn cultural charade too many times to be unaware that it was a prelude, a preliminary feeling-out of mental sensibilities in which the substance of what one said was less important than the putative authority with which one’s words were spoken. In reality a ritualized mating dance, it allowed one’s mind to wander…to a perception of what was being uttered in the background.

- William Styron, Sophie’s Choice, 1976

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I need help

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I have a theory: the more I spend time in the pool, the easier I will learn how to swim. After five consecutive nights of willing my body to float, I realized that it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Clearly, I am not the plankton I thought I was. The other unit owners must have been bemused at the nightly sight of that lone young lady treading water in an unheated pool, who cannot even dare to let go of the rails for fear of drowning in chest-deep water.

I realized that unlike other skills that I can learn on my own, swimming is something that I desperately need help on. The more I analyze what I should do and how I should do it, the more my body refuses to do the things it has to do.
 
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