22 July 2013

of mats and neutral vulnerabilities

If there's one thought that will profoundly "hound" me in the next few days, it may be this: never mind if the devil is in the details, for there will always be the god of small things.

A mishmash thought from a myriad of thoughts harvested in the last two weeks, particularly this past one, coming from many points of view. Caught up with two good friends that framed my weekdays last week: the Monday debriefing helped me analyze and break down the necessary elements of a recent event that made me see things beyond my lenses could reach; and the Friday recap also made me realize the multiplicities of personalities and the relevance of my dipping into different gene pools, so to speak. In between, online chitchats with a good friend overseas also helped me solidify some wobbly thoughts in reference to my history, something the Friday soul-defrag session also provided. It was quite interesting for me to learn something that I rarely see of myself, and for that, I am grateful to these friends of mine who are willing to hold up this mirror in front of my face from time to time. Thank you.

Saturday brunch was also a blessing. Nauna na ang "Sunday sermon" ko from my lezzie pastora friend hehe, a session we often do anyway for each other, depending on who needs it. Since she also knows my recent history, I loved how she was able to lay out things in a more, let's just say, omniscient perspective. In particular, I also like how she references familiar stories from the Bible, this time featuring the story of that sick person who was always lying on his mat beside this magical pool that's supposed to heal people each time an angel descends on it from time to time. Since he always misses the chance to dip into the pool, he remains in his mat, waiting for his turn to be healed. That is, until Jesus approached him and ordered him, just ordered him, to get up, pick up his mat, and walk away. Which he did, just like that. A miracle, if it's going to be read in that holy manner. Maybe it's a sensible miracle, you know, because it also has something to do with us recognizing that we could also help heal ourselves without relying on outside divine interventions too much.

I like that story, particularly how my friend pointed out to me that some people are just way too comfortable and too attached to our mats that we don't recognize other ways of being healed, or being helped. Because help comes in different shapes, in different forms, in different circumstances, that we don't have to rely on huge-ass grand production-level types of help arriving our way. For wherever there is goodness, justice and all things nice as my friend said, God will always be there, too. The god of small things nga daw eh, to borrow Arundhati Roy's famous book title. Indeed, God is in the small things. And if people don't realize that, then it truly is their loss, for they like remaining in their mats. And I happen to believe that, as well. Wherever there's beauty, goodness, justice, equality, there is a benevolent supreme being of a kind out there. I just don't like associating the supreme being to just the god of the Christian/Catholic context perhaps, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in a supreme being, because I do -- that's the universe for me. You say towmaytow, I say tohmahtoh, c'est tout. You say god, I say universe. Capiche? D'accord.

Well, theological discourses aside, I just like how the soul-defragging sessions went. To see that in each of us, there is a kind of neutral vulnerability also happening, as my friend pointed out, is something that I had to be reminded of, time and again, maybe more so now since I am older. Like you're open and hurt, but also, you're feeling okay and on the brink of being healed, but maybe energies are low that you just tend to succumb to the negative side of things instead of holding onto the positive outcomes the catalyst might bring. Something to that effect. Parang nasa gitna ka pa ng pagpapagpag ng mga nega kaya para kang vulnerable sa marami pang bagay na puwedeng itapon sa iyo, na masasaktan ka pero alam mong hindi na dapat, or something. I don't know if I'm explaining it right, but the concept caught me, and I like it. Neutral vulnerability. Like you're weak, yes, but you're still not down and out, or something. I guess this is also akin to being thrown a curve ball by life, only to find yourself struggling with the bat and how best to hit the darn ball -- if you decide to hit it at all, that is. Something like that. 

Because love is not blind. 
Woe to those who ignore to see it, though.

Not to label one's self as messianic, or having a hero complex, or superhero complex pa nga sabi ni isang friend, pero it's not really about trying to rescue someone in need, as my friends also surfaced. That's just the superficial level. It's more of being there for a person in need, because you love her. And you do whatever it takes to show this love, to help her when she needs it, and all those things that make up those vows couples recite in holy unions. It was just all about love, and loving. I guess it's also about how this love is manifested, which then leads to the characterization of being messianic or hero-like. But frankly, it's just not really about that. Characterizations are made by others about a particular character. It's not the character per se that defines himself or herself, most of the time. But as the philosophy major of a friend pointed it out as well, of course we have this tendency to help because we get something out of it -- we feel good about ourselves when we help, and we feel good when we help those we love. And sometimes, it's really just that simple. But I guess some people tend to misread that kind of help as well, which is also actually typical, given the type of thought-processing each individual has. So okay, to be labeled as such -- messianic, having a superhero complex -- that I could take. But of course, deep down, I know it's just all about loving, that's all. That's how I love, and as a friend pointed out, minsan ang sarap ko na nga daw batukan dahil masyado akong mabait, pero alam niyang kailangan at kinailangan ko namang gawin ang mga ginawa ko. So ganun lang kasimple, I guess. Kinailangan, at ginusto. 

'Yan lang naman yata lagi ang bottomline. Love, but don't let pride make iral your life. 
Something. Salamat sa rainbow pasalubong beks.

Kumplikado talaga minsan pag-usapan ang buhay, ugali at pag-ibig. Kaya suwerte ko at marami rin akong kausap sa buhay na introspective in this manner, na may capacity to read between the lines and to dissect that which needs to be dissected, and no sugarcoating of results and feedback given back to me. A friend I haven't seen in ages also told me this observation: na baka kailangan, ang love life ay supplementary lang sa main life mo. Of course that's coming from a super-busy with her business kind of person, but it also goes beyond being just plainly workaholic. We've always had this stance naman ever since na if it's there, it's there and if it's not, then it's not. At okay lang to go on with life without having that love aspect lord over you all the time. Especially now that I just stepped into a major intersection of my life -- turning 40 -- and coupling that with leaving an old career -- careers pa nga -- in order to find other things to do in life, or more importantly, focus more on that thing that you love doing the most, which is writing for me. At isa pa nga daw iyan, sabi ni pastora. We all have different ways of "praying" daw, and me recording life the way I do -- writing, journaling -- is also a form of prayer, because not everyone could do everything everyone does. In short, lahat tayo may specialty, at kung may ino-offer kang goodness sa mundo sa pamamagitan ng talento mo o kakayahan -- pagtuturo, pagkanta, o anupaman -- then it could also be a form of "prayer" daw. Again, God being in the "small" things we do in life. Lahat tayo may roles sa buhay, at walang may monopolya lang kung paano tayo magko-contribute ng kabutihan sa mundo kumbaga. Kaya we don't really believe much in the righteous, in those groups that say sila lang ang may all-access pass papuntang langit, na sila lang ang papasok sa pearly gates. Na iba pang diskurso nga yan, na napagchikahan din namin ni pastora, na humaba pa ulit hahaha. Ganyan kami mag-usap, patalun-talon, kung saan may akma, reference lang ng reference hehe.  

Ever-grateful for nuggets na nagets from pastora, 
aside from these pasalubongs from her faith-based trip.

But still, the point is there, and very well taken. Pastora also reminded me na 40 pala ang audition age to become a babaylan. Kaya baka itong purging of things in my life daw ngayon ay may pagka-babaylanic in nature. Not to say na magiging high priestess moda ako, but maybe more of trying to realign myself to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound chever, taking my life in a totally new direction where I've never been, never did, never thought of. Ito na 'yung tunay na hit reset life button kumbaga, sabi nga niya, with a dash of eat pray love subplot na puwedeng sundan/gawin. Ilan na rin ang nagsabi sa akin niyan recently, and nararamdaman ko rin naman nga iyan, na paparating na, mula last year pa. Siguro, ang pagkakamali ko nga lang ay may mishmash lang ako ng dalawang myths na sinubukan ko lately: that I shouldn't have tried to design a picket fence around the fortress of solitude, for the myths don't match. Maybe the concept of having a family has to take a back seat for now, until I find someone who's willing to become part of that family, wholeheartedly and sincerely. And I have to be on this fortress more in order to harness whatever it is that I need to still harness in this lifetime. Something like that. Nakakatuwang kausap ang mga kaibigan ko, malawak ang referencing namin, mula bibliya patungong pilosopiya hanggang hagingan ng pop culture, ano? Biyaya talaga sila sa akin, sa totoo lang. Muli, maraming salamat. Yakap sa inyong lahat. 

And to cap last week, I also went to my cousin's despedida party. It's her family's real reset life button activating already, for they will up and leave Pinas to partake in a European life naman. And to talk to this cousin of mine, one of my kindred spirits in the family (which is rare, mind you), and discuss life changes and just moving on and taking chances and crossing fingers and praying for callbacks and such, that just rejuvenated me more, man. In an awesome, awesome, awesome way. Excited din to talk of plans of maybe visiting them there soon, so that's another adventure that needs to be bookmarked. For sure!

Bidding bon voyage to my cousin's fam, sume-selfie with my niece. 
Also happy to interact with kids. Always makes me happy.

Oo, tila maraming pinaparamdam at pinapadalang signposts ang kalawakan sa akin lately. Minsan nga, marami na masyado kaya overwhelming to face them all at the same time. Pero as always, we still take things one thing at a time, one day at a time, one thought at a time. Kaya more than fear and doubt, excitement is around the corner. Because this is already life, at 40, rewriting things for me. And I only have one thing to say to that: more ink, please!

Tipa lang ng tipa beks. Arriba! Or should I say allez! :)

Let's drink to life. As always. Kampai!


  1. nice to see you writing again--- wishing you well.

  2. We love, we hurt, we give, we suffer because we choose to. Pain affirms life, suffering validates relevance, though most may deny it! So too you who feels pain hoorah, that means you're far from being dead. - Glen

    1. thanks. yes, i feel more alive than ever in these trying times.