If the Feeling is Gone

I remembered heading to the busy, noisy Carbon Market where the cheapest fruits and veggies are sold. With my grocery bag, lists of what to buy and a well-appropriated amount for a week’s consumption, and of course a countenance ready to charm the vendor ‘just to cut off the price tags’, I think I’m all set.

When I jumped off the jeepney, two men instantaneously arrested my attention. I noticed in my peripheral vision, the very vision I was capable of looking at in, they carried pots of bonsai plants.

Isn’t it true that when you like, say a person, an animal and a thing so much, it’s way easier to notice it once it’s there? Though so obscured from view, you can still locate it, feel it. Or maybe it’s just me who think this way. Or blame it to my spatial and melancholic sensibilities.

They ‘the 6-inch trees’ not the men, have a kind of charm that freezes my feminine blood. Will it be crazy to fall-in-love with a picture and upon seeing it surreal, likes it even more? Great emotions rushed within my system.

Now, I no longer have to watch the shadows, no longer surf the photos and grope on wishful thinking. It’s a surety as I was now willing to upset my already stretched budget or even go hungry for days just to covet my all time favorite. If that’s the price I have to pay, I don’t give it a care. Of course I didn’t go hungry the next day’s fortunately, ‘thank God I don’t have to’ as I was left at the mercy of my landlady who graciously saved my meals.

I hurriedly placed the ‘tiny tree’ in a corner, easily seen the moment I rise in the morning. I was so amused. It’s oh so cute. But this ecstasy was fleeting. It didn’t last as I was unprepared for the enormity of its responsibility. I was blind as to how to take care of it. I thought it’s just that easy, as easy as ABC. Just water it, get some sunshine then that’s it. I didn’t know it was too complicated much more complex than my melancholic personality.

bonsai

Much of my disappointment, few days later, I woke up with the image of death already in its leaves. It saddens me too see it dies every passing day and there’s nothing I can do to usher it to life. Paradoxical as it may seem, the more I save it, the more I lose it; the more I try to revive, the ‘amusing days’ are gone.

How could it be that a precious gift I wanted to have is to be lost before it bloomed?  How could a delight be turned to a yoke so tight? I deserved this disgrace and much more. If only I know better. The best thing that could have done is to leave it un-sold. If only I could give it back to the seller it would do me the world of good.

Oftentimes I would stop and wonder what it is that I fear the most, what it is that would make my soul sadder. clearly it is not the lack of money, as most people shrink from, for its absence frees me. It’s not being isolated for I always dance the chance if it’s at the precipice.

I was afraid of myself. I was my own devil. I was afraid of life full of regrets because of my wrong choices. I’m afraid to know that the theories I learned are just ink and paper and proved me all at sea. Scared to be confronted when what matters most to me doesn’t matter anymore because of what it demands ‘which I’m not able to sustain, to give.’

Somehow, somewhere in this dungy heart, an innate desire to possess, regardless of the consequence. A stubborn soul, even if it may require too much to the object of my affection; even at the stake of its own life. And I think it isn’t lovely, it’s selfish. Love does not corrupt, being possessive does. Perhaps being possessive in love.

My desire and my fascination that reached a climax is not a question. I was so sincere and so true to my claims. And the bonsai might have felt it. The question lies on my ability to delay my desire until I am ready; until I’m equipped with mature stamina to meet most of the emergencies, until my emotions are no longer the basis of what makes me happy.

Here I’d come for a specific purpose, to put an end to this bonsai craze. I had better end it quick or I could lose my nerve.

Disappointment, so with my un-met expectations, so with my achy heart.

Yet instead of having an ending, here I am making all these new beginnings. New reminiscing. New founding.

If my statistical instinct is right, billions of people are filled with remorse, miserable even because of the inability to deny the cry of their emotions, ‘ready to be tossed at every whim.’ They smile and smile but in their hearts I think it’s filled with contempt.

They simply didn’t know how to handle the pot of gold. In fact, it vanished rather quickly, as easily as it appeared before their eyes. They think it’s all about having and never enabling. The result?

Sadder. Lonelier. Scarier. Guiltier.

In this race of love, speed is less important than stamina, so as feelings than principle.

Everybody in the world is un-stoppable, ever on the rush, jumping from different people to the next, depending on the course of a roller-coaster emotion. And at every move, they carried their past baggage. Their past is still present in every present. So there’s no shock value there anymore, no shame in better living through fake faces as laughter hides the realest tenor. To live like this isn’t a life worth living. And I don’t want to love for the sake of having, for the sake of filling, but because it’s the principle of existence and its only end or it is no virtue at all.

While it’s a joy to be with the right person, possessing the right person is no better than being the right person yourself. A person who does not discipline his ‘come and go emotions’ has actually narrowed his freedom. He is confined to what he feels. If it feels good, deal. If it isn’t, call it quits. Always starting and never reaching. A quitter isn’t as worse as someone who’s afraid to begin ‘as he is at the mercy of fairy-tale stories always wishing for a happy ending.’

Living happily ever after is after all consistent on what you’re after. Is it a decisive feeling or a decisive principle? Is it about possessing or freeing? Is it self-pleasing or self-sacrificing? And then I wonder how pitiful it would be if I should lose sight of my inheritance because I’m too fearful ‘my time and chance’ is stolen away. Should I grab it? Or should I wait a little bit more?

But then again, what if the feeling’s gone?

Will love abide when feelings subside?

And will pretending ends and truth begins?

Oh the world needs a cure.

I can tell.

 

 

Crying in the Rain

It’s quite hard to switch from daydream to reality. Switch from ‘imagined reality to realest reality’. And I want to live to another reality. Not the present. I want better than this. Not better things. Better people. Better laughter. But better me. A better self. No longer confused. But self-possessed.

Then on the rooftop, I heard the pouring melody. Beyond the glassy windows, perfect rhythm and gallops of water.The rain seemed so natural but not this time. It’s hitting the ground like thousands of horse hooves.

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It’s perfect. I want to cry with the rain.

Just cry it all over again.

Perfectly.

Majestically.

Until it hurts no more.

But I will never let you see it. Not because of shame or fear of being misunderstood.Because whether you see it or not, perhaps you’ll just perceive the rain and not the pain.

Only Him will.

Then I banished them ‘the so-called rain in my eyes’. At least temporarily.Better yet, one day, all these rains will end and so with my tears. My God will wipe them all away. If not now, soon. How could it be that ‘rain is both a fading memory and a distant promise’?

It’s Time to Say Hello to Courtship

What makes my 27th birthday unique? Part of me, isn’t sure if this will persuade you though and at the end of the page you might conclude it the otherwise, that it isn’t after all unique. Somehow part of me as a writer is inspired to do everything except move your eyes back and forth and get you turn to next paragraph after paragraph. If not how much worth could there be in it? And if you don’t like it by then, if it isn’t worth the time it takes, put it aside.  Deal? So go and get your eyes rolling.

In this day and age, people equate love to the ‘road of forever’ but then later on turned to a fickle-minded bird that flies in and out of their life which is beyond their control. This is obvious in their expression. ‘I’ve fallen in love to I’ve fallen out of love.’

Fallen? Really? Like your pushed from a cliff down to the base of the valley? Was your head banged? Or did the gravity pull you down and when its force loses its strength, so you can get up and fallout from it? That means only one thing: you’re a vulnerable helpless VICTIM over your circumstance. I’m completely, totally allergic to all of this. Because I’m not a victim of my circumstances; they may come by chance but we are not left without a choice.

beach

 

It’s universally known that the heart is ever been deceitful, prowling for a chance to hijack the brain. This tug of war between them has been as equally old as earth. So how to know who rules? And who will submit? Who should win the game or lose? The heart or the brain? Questions like that calls for answer. Or is it even worth quenching?

The pen of inspiration says that not even one in a hundred of marriages end up harmoniously and happily. This isn’t an algebraic equation that is difficult to grasp. That blows my mind. That’s pathetic. I would never ride a car, a ship or an airplane if it has 99.99 percent chance of crashing; even if it’s 50-50. I simply wouldn’t. If I ever get to it, that’s pretty much it. Not to mention those who are still legally married but are practically divorced; a change of heart from love to hate, from twinkling eyes to crying-eyes, from sweet promises to bitter curses, from tender caresses to bruises. Sigh!

For me men are like speed bumps, distractions scattered along life’s otherwise pretty nice highway.  Too strong for me to say? Yes, they do in the highest sense. Why stick with one person in sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty, till death part your ways? What if that person is sugar-coated yet in marriage mantle a poisonous pill? Good luck! That to me echoes a suffocating misery!

And if I outgrow my clothing, don’t I just look for a fit and fab one? And please, I’m not at all an advocator of separation or adultery ‘just speaking from observation, just stating how relationships are these days’.

And then here comes the calamity they call kids. Please don’t misunderstand me. I so adore and love children.  But do I really want to interrupt my beauty rest in the middle of the night to attend a self-centered, bald, toothless ruler in diapers? Do I really want little hyperactive tyrants to break the peace and order in my solemn cave? Do I really need juvenile creatures in my lap?

It’s very impractical to go through the torture. To be wedded is the worst mistake anyone can ever make; the most ludicrous commitment, the most irrational decision any human being can fall into. As a psychiatric nurse, marriage is a mental disorder. Perhaps it’s now emphatically clear why I’m vexed when people are marrying and giving in to marriage. In this area there can be no mistaking, no fallen short. I’m very exacting. In fact, I used to be the board director of Single Ladies team, the woman behind the no boyfriend clan. And we did significant campaigns to the youth around and it made quite a noise. I bet if being single is a heinous crime, I will be sentenced with death.

So the kind of person that I am ‘who would rather eat a cockroach than change my status’ has dreamed to become the next Paul and gladly call myself Pauline. I would surely run if I saw Adam coming. Either I’ll be a runaway bride or long before that, long before he’ll express his tender affections that reached to the moon. I will intimidate him to the uttermost ‘which is a common defence for someone born in the year of snake’. I’ll even debate with him ‘with the stars as the witness’ that I was not from his rib but from dust, directly from dust. Adam is a name that didn’t amuse me in the slightest until much, much later.

Until I find myself— found myself—falling into their idiom. The law of womanhood written by the hand of my Creator I just can’t escape. Now I’m guilty of uttering the very same sentiment that used to make me grind my teeth. And you’d have to be brave to let people know that your previous ground is shaken after all. That’s what I think anyway. I never thought I will have a change of heart. When people change from love to un-love—me?

The sentiment to love and be loved back; the thought of sharing your deepest affection and celebrate it altogether; the desire to be given to someone as a gift, to be truly his; after all, it isn’t good for him to be alone; that thought has grown deep within my fragile heart. And it had become so vivid that this singleness that I used to hail, now, seemed false and drab. Please note, I’m not a starve-raving desperate here.

In fact, I’ve never been more excited of my future. Though at times I’m visited by loneliness, but my being lonely has nothing to do with being empty or even in need of void-filler. The opposite is true with me. I’m filled and delighting in the love of my Creator and yet there’s no one to share it with. I concur that Love is not designed to be monopolized or for self-existence ‘otherwise it will cease to be’ but will always have an object; an object to cherish and nurture.

Nevertheless while I’m now saying hello to the possibility of courtship ‘as I don’t know yet if Adam will come my way’, I should continually be friends with singleness until he is ready to meet me. Perhaps he’s still asleep in the garden of Eden, or maybe busy naming the animals ‘or maybe he’s content just being with the animals’. I don’t really know. But then again, I will wait. I will wait until I heard him declare the grandest declaration being his bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. And yes, there will be other Adams who’ll be more gorgeous, or more intelligent, or more this and that… but they’ll only be just that—- males— like trees in the forest of a million hectares. But not this Adam—- my Adam— the one amazing tree I personally planted in my yard, tilled, watered, pruned, and loved. Because of my love for him, there’s none like him.

But was my desire a dream about what I love or what I fear? or both? Anyway, it’s still a beautiful day and I have a terrific book to finish; but not as terrific when you send me your felicities after all it’s my 27th birthday 🙂

Reflection on My Mission Trip

In an age where value is often determined by the number of twitter followers and facebook likes, the idea of giving yourself seems about as outdated as the old world. And unless we find the antidote soon, we’ll live and die in our self deception.

What do people gain for all their torture under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth is still the same. The sun rises and then sets then rise again. The wind hustles south all the way to the north or even to the four corners of the earth. Excited rivers flow to the sea, but the sea was not made full, not even close to the brim. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is monotonous beyond description. No matter how much we get, how much we gain, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not persuaded.

We’re caught on the web to be something; anything other than nothing. History merely repeats itself. Everything has been done before. Nothing at present is truly new. Sometimes we exclaimed with enthusiasm having found something new! But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.

Thus, it is with some sense of irony, if not incoherence that I found solace in solitary or silent places, whether it is remote mountain, an unvisited island or cemetery even. It is in the threshold of silence that we can finally listen. Until I paused, was brought to this tree. I wonder what tree this is. Apple, mango, or maybe a durian tree—ahhh— whatever.

tree

tree1

The green leaves, a hundred shades were like a passing shadow, easily gone without a mark, no longer known; the bare branches, like long arms, leading heavenward, so that they seem to pray. They tossed ripened fruits with the wind. Death makes all of this beautiful. For even harvest season is an emblem of laying aside. This thought seemed like the sentences of the book I read that stop me cold.

Perhaps the apples or mangoes, whatever, were scattered all the way down while the seeds are buried under the layers of dampened soil; turning vain glorious somebodies into glorious nobodies. But why does my heart ache? It pierced my heart with the simple truth that I do not suffer from a lack of self-confidence but from an abundance of self importance. It is in dying that life is able to give birth.

These two thoughts – death and life – were knitted at the cross; exchanged by grace. Oh my God, if these are the edges of Your path, what must be the depths!

Why her and not me?

Keep It Chaste

abuse

In many cases the reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ un-interesting enough and it takes a skill to make people laugh. The story must begin in the writer’s imagination, but should end in the reader’s. I reckon terror as the fiercest emotion and so let me try terrorizing the reader. But if I find that I can’t terrify, I’ll try to horrify. Pardon me but I’m a story-teller who makes-up horrors to help us cope with the real ones. But let it be far though. I write not to enchant or to keep the ball rolling.  But to sing a scar that until now I so acutely understand and left me wondering…..

why!

She was sensible and clever, her disposition was affectionate.  Her feelings were filled with a sense of revenge but she knew how to govern them; it was knowledge or perhaps an attitude that I…

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Purposely Hidden

Should you call me to join a man in marriage, may in his leadership I can trust. And as I fall in love with him, may I fall more in love with You.

Keep It Chaste

If you purposed to write as transparent as you can, your days as a member of civilized society are numbered anyway. And you may share sentiments that cost you a price only to have people look at you in a funny way, not even understanding what you’ve said at all, or why it was thought to be so  important that you almost cried. That’s the crucial part, I think; when the secret stays locked at the heart of your own heart not for want of a teller but for an ear that understands.

I composed myself with quiet civility but can’t wait to lock up myself in privacy, in my very room that I may   cry like a river. It was such a sweet release when my hand finally gripped the door knob     and got inside; and in secrecy before my Lord, I sobbed.

Vexed. Confused. Scared.

Hearts can break. Yes…

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The Waiting Room: Waiting in Vain or Waiting in Gain?

wait

In this modern civilization, everything is getting instant. We don’t want to wait. We don’t want to delay gratification. We want everything right here and right now. I can relate with this too. For me, it’s the waiting that kills. And what’s difficult is when you’re waiting and you seem to see no change. And it gets boring and draining. Sometimes I find it unfair, a finite girl like me, waiting on the Lord’s timing, whose timetable is infinite. But then again we are told, ‘those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.’ ~ Isaiah 40:31

This can truly be so striking but isn’t intended to be a rehash of bible verse applied in a fault-finding spirit. The hasty spirit, impatience, hence walking out in the waiting room has become a common occurrence that it hardly arrest our attention or awaken surprise. If we compare people who go through the process sitting in the waiting room than those who don’t, would there be a difference? And what does that do to our hearts?

We worship the Lord for His long-suffering and yet when being asked to wait, we begrudge the chance with smugness. Do you see? The thing is, the Lord can show us the end from the beginning but won’t let us know the middle. You will try as may to weary Him with asking for a reply or perhaps a sign. Yes, a go ahead sign or even a no to which to resign.

It’s easy for the Lord to do that. He can answer to your every whim. He could shake the heavens and obscure the sun. Move the mountains to the other side and let it run. He can make your every dream come true as soon as you want it to. But at what a loss! Because you won’t know the depth of His heart. You’ll miss out many moments that bring deep satisfaction and instead be turned into a wasteland of me, myself and I.

The failure to realize, the failure to learn while on the process of waiting, this is our problem. Could it be that our Lord is kindly and yet firmly reminding us that to be put on hold is not about getting but becoming, not about gaining but losing, not about exalting but growing, not about gratifying but refining, not merely the destination but the journey. And to be in this process might involve trials and sacrifices as severe as fire-purging gold? That’s huge. Now do you feel the weight of that?