23 October 2006

Such A Fan

My friend's choir group, Hangad, had a concert Saturday night. 15 years, 15 songs. Greenbelt church was unexpectedly full right after the anticipated mass.

The concert was great, as usual. I'm not just saying so because my friend's in the choir. Hangad really inspires you to pray. When they sing, you feel connected to God.

I was blown away though, when my friend sang her solo. We never know when she'll have her own song. She never tells us because she doesn't want anyone to expect. I totally get that. And it's always a pleasant surprise to find her standing in the middle of the stage, eyes closed, channeling her inner pop diva that we only get to see occassionally.

We never seem to get over how good she is. I looked like an idiot with a semi smile on my face the whole time she was singing. Her performance was so moving. If I felt like a proud mom watching her kid perform for the first time, I wonder how her parents and her sister felt? They must have been bursting with pride.

She was great, as ever. But she seems to be getting better with every performance. She'll probably kill me if she sees this blog. Done deal, brah! Published already. Hehe. We're so proud of you! We are forever your entourage.

Orange Git at 3:50 PM

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16 October 2006

On Mush Mode


A good friend asked me to help her put together a wedding photo collage. I’ve been downloading tons of wedding photos last week and seeing all those poignant photos of couples getting married made me think of love and commitment. Yes, mushy stuff that I don’t normally bother thinking of, or block from my mind.

While I was looking at photos, I declared that I wanted to pose for wedding photos, just pose. Look for a handsome groom just for the sake of taking photos and looking pretty in a white gown and a veil. I was kidding, of course. But as the day came to an end, another Friday night walking home alone, I started thinking seriously about love.

My friends were actually surprised at my statement when we got together later that night. I finally admitted that I wanted to be in love. Not just fall but BE. I’ve never actually verbalized this love business. I’ve always exuded the “I don’t care, I’m not bothered, I can wait” attitude towards love.

But now more than ever, I feel the need for it, for that one person I can finally see as my “true love.” Someone other than my family or girl friends who can make me happy, who I can just be myself without being judged.

My recent miserable attempt at some semblance of falling for someone was disastrous. Thank goodness it didn’t progress further or I would have ended up being even more troubled and hurt. It stopped at disappointing and sad. That’s all I’ll take from that one.

I hate this phase. I see couples everywhere and I feel nostalgic. I suddenly want to go on the “active search for THE ONE” ride again, go on dates. But just thinking about it gives me a headache. All the effort put into going out with one person after another, putting up an idealized version of myself. It’s all too tiring.

Maybe this is my clock ticking again. I’m turning a new leaf soon. My quarter life mark has already expired almost two years ago. Yet I still feel like I’m on perpetual quarter life crisis mode.

Orange Git at 2:18 PM

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12 October 2006

The Eloquent Sounds of Silence

I remembered this from my college days. One of my favorite teachers read this to us in class.

The Eloquent Sounds of Silence
by Pico Iyer

Every one of us knows the sensation of going up, on retreat, to a high place and feeling ourselves so lifted up that we can hardly imagine the circumstances of our usual lives, or all the things that make us fret. In such a place, in such a state, we start to recite the standard litany: that silence is sunshine, where company is clouds; that silence is rapture, where company is doubt; that silence is golden, where company is brass.

But silence is not so easily won. And before we race off to go prospecting in those hills, we might usefully recall that fool's gold is much more common and that gold has to be panned for, dug out from other substances. "All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by Silence," wrote Herman Melville, one of the loftiest and most eloquent of souls. Working himself up to an ever more thunderous cry of affirmation, he went on, "Silence is the general consecration of the universe. Silence is the invisible laying on of the Divine Pontiff's hands upon the world. Silence is the only Voice of our God.'' For Melville, though, silence finally meant darkness and hopelessness and self-annihilation. Devastated by the silence that greeted his heartfelt novels, he retired into a public silence from which he did not emerge for more than 30 years. Then, just before his death, he came forth with his final utterance -- the luminous tale of Billy Budd -- and showed that silence is only as worthy as what we can bring back from it.

We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion. Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say, we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thought allows. In silence, we might better say, we can hear someone else think.

Or simply breathe. For silence is responsiveness, and in silence we can listen to something behind the clamor of the world. "A man who loves God, necessarily loves silence,'' wrote Thomas Merton, who was, as a Trappist, a connoisseur, a caretaker of silences. It is no coincidence that places of worship are places of silence: if idleness is the devil's playground, silence may be the angels'. It is no surprise that silence is an anagram of license. And it is only right that Quakers all but worship silence, for it is the place where everyone finds his God, however he may express it. Silence is an ecumenical state, beyond the doctrines and divisions created by the mind. If everyone has a spiritual story to tell of his life, everyone has a spiritual silence to preserve.

So it is that we might almost say silence is the tribute we pay to holiness; we slip off words when we enter a sacred space, just as we slip off shoes. A "moment of silence'' is the highest honor we can pay someone; it is the point at which the mind stops and something else takes over (words run out when feelings rush in). A "vow of silence'' is for holy men the highest devotional act. We hold our breath, we hold our words; we suspend our chattering selves and let ourselves "fall silent,'' and fall into the highest place of all.

It often seems that the world is getting noisier these days: in Japan, which may be a model of our future, cars and buses have voices, doors and elevators speak. The answering machine talks to us, and for us, somewhere above the din of the TV; the Walkman preserves a public silence but ensures that we need never -- in the bathtub, on a mountaintop, even at our desks -- be without the clangor of the world. White noise becomes the aural equivalent of the clash of images, the nonstop blast of fragments that increasingly agitates our minds. As Ben Okri, the young Nigerian novelist, puts it, "When chaos is the god of an era, clamorous music is the deity's chief instrument.''
There is, of course, a place for noise, as there is for daily lives. There is a place for roaring, for the shouting exultation of a baseball game, for hymns and spoken prayers, for orchestras and cries of pleasure. Silence, like all the best things, is best appreciated in its absence: if noise is the signature tune of the world, silence is the music of the other world, the closest thing we know to the harmony of the spheres. But the greatest charm of noise is when it ceases. In silence, suddenly, it seems as if all the windows of the world are thrown open and everything is as clear as on a morning after rain. Silence, ideally, hums. It charges the air. In Tibet, where the silence has a tragic cause, it is still quickened by the fluttering of prayer flags, the tolling of temple bells, the roar of wind across the plains, the memory of chant.

Silence, then, could be said to be the ultimate province of trust: it is the place where we trust ourselves to be alone; where we trust others to understand the things we do not say; where we trust a higher harmony to assert itself. We all know how treacherous are words, and how often we use them to paper over embarrassment, or emptiness, or fear of the larger spaces that silence brings. "Words, words, words'' commit us to positions we do not really hold, the imperatives of chatter; words are what we use for lies, false promises and gossip. We babble with strangers; with intimates we can be silent. We "make conversation'' when we are at a loss; we unmake it when we are alone, or with those so close to us that we can afford to be alone with them.
In love, we are speechless; in awe, we say, words fail us.

Orange Git at 10:21 AM

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09 October 2006

Weakling!

I hate it. I can never stay angry when I want to be. I've been practicing my spiel over the weekend. I was only able to say ten percent of it, and I even had a semi smile on my face. How utterly pathetic!!

I conceded, gave forgiveness easily. I want to hit my head against the wall. But as my friend said, forgive but never forget. Such a cliche but true. Anger is debilitating, not good for the pores either. I shall be the ever cool, unaffected chic.

Tomorrow's another day. I don't know what's going to happen. But I certainly will try to be less available. No more extremely nice git. if it's friends you want, it's friends you'll get.

Orange Git at 6:13 PM

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The Zuma Therapy

I thought the week would be uneventful, same as usual. How wrong I was. I still can’t retell what happened. Just thinking about that day brings back the anger, disappointment, hurt and sadness that I felt. I’ve realized that blocking certain events temporarily helps me deal with things.

The weekend was a reprieve from this never ending roller coaster. Wallowing was on top of my to do list since I was alone for most of the weekend. But there was one thing that saved me from being shit-faced and pathetic… ZUMA!

My friend has been addicted to this downloaded game for months now. And now, like her, I am hooked. It certainly took my mind off the recent “complications” of my life and helped release my anger. Shooting balls in every direction felt great. I even imagined I was throwing the balls at the very person causing me all these distress. Shouting and screaming at my laptop’s screen when I shot out a wrong colored ball in the wrong area helped me vent out my frustrations, even if it was to an inanimate object.

I’m still not recovered. But I feel less angry now, which is good. I don’t want to be a raging lunatic when I finally get confronted about this. I’ve always been calm, collected and level-headed. I hate being angry. It’s so draining!

Orange Git at 6:09 PM

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05 October 2006

Back To Being "Normal"

It’s been a week since the nightmare typhoon hit both my homes in the province and in the city. Given the intensity of that storm, I was very lucky that I was spared from floods, mishaps and tragedies. A lot of people were less fortunate, some including my friends, suffering major loss in properties and possessions.

Coming back to work was a different experience. The damage to the trees everywhere was the tangible proof of how strong the winds were last week. The once shady park where we had our Valentine’s Day picnic lunches and occasional lunch poetry readings is long gone. We mourn the loss of the trees, the loss of memories.

Clean up and recovery has been slow. It’s been a week and I still can’t walk on the sidewalks. Branches and debris are still there. My friend can’t move into their house, it’s still uninhabitable. We still experience long periods of brown outs, wires and electric poles still being reconnected and fixed. My office has no electricity as I post and we're running on generator. I hope I don't have to go down 18 flights of stairs again like I did yesterday.


We all go on with our everyday routine, hoping that all the mess will just disappear in time. But going back to normal is taking too long.

Orange Git at 12:30 PM

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