Saturday, February 28, 2004

From the Skies to the Center Stage

Star. That word is one of the most abused words there is. Say one of the most abused metaphors as well.

Starstruck. Star Circle. Search for a Star. Star in a Million. Star for a Night. Star Search. The susurrous and sibilance in these phrases really tickles the ear. Haven't we all dreamt about our fifteen minutes of fame, that moment in time, of our glory? Who among us would deny of ever wanting to become a rock star, a drama queen, a Nobel Prize Awardee, cum laude? Haven't you desired going to the moon? Or farther there in Jupiter?

I just finished watching one of those TV shows with thousands of hopefuls vying for the title: STAR. As an outsider, I pity those who, at first glance, I know will never make it--or have not yet reached their "time." I also cringe not only at the sight and sound of horrendous singing and the foolhardiness to do it, but with talks of "my family is poor," "I've got to help my sick mother," et cetera. Judgmental? Maybe. Is this really showbizness in the Philippines? Personalan to the core? For all its worth, it is in watching these kinds of shows that I get to train my eyes back to myself and figure what is the difference between courage and foolishness, between arrogance and confidence.

I believe that "stars" are "real" people (what are real people, anyway?), capable of nobility, humility and service. If there is one thing I truly admire about them, that is their honesty in asserting their need for fame. A need for judgment that is acknowledgement. This is what poets and showbiz stars have in common, they thrive in relation to their audience.

Funny whenever I think of Margaret Atwood's little verse (forgive me if I won't be able to present it in its proper versification, I'm all relaying this from memory): "I'd like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only, I'd like to be that unnoticed and that necessary." Beautiful and breath-taking, isn't it? But would you really like to be unnoticed? And only necessary in the meantime? In these instances I get quite convinced lies are more beautiful than facts. Romanticized reality sells. While we like to serve and are willing to sacrifice, some recognition would have to be required.

You are a star when there are so many stars. What separates one star from the others? Your brand of light from theirs? Your breath of life from the rest? What have you got to offer? To whom will you give? What would you demand in return?

Friday, February 13, 2004

Going Solo On A Meal For Two

As usual, I went solo on an eating escapade. California Pizza Kitchen. I can't get enough Italian in my stomach.

How can they do that? How can they not have a meal for one person? Why is it that all servings are good for two to three people? They have no consideration for introverts and loners like me.

I ate anyway. Marinara something. Good for two. Bottomless iced tea. Takaw.

I stuffed everything in my belly, the plate was clean afterwards. My palate, satisfied. I was proud of myself, because I didn't force myself to finish everything, as I had the option to have half of it wrapped. It so happened that when I started chewing, I went on and on. I felt good, for suddenly I envisioned myself into this fluffy world of fiction. Suddenly I thought of myself as Nathan in David Leavitt's "A Place I've Never Been." I felt I was beeing seen, watched and admired, because of my "boyish hunger for food" that is "so perpetual, so faithful in [its] daily revival." The exhibitionist in me came out.

Monday, February 9, 2004

The Weight of Fields

Every day I take a walk at the baseball and polo field to wander, move myself and think. If I'm lucky, I'd get to catch a baseball game, even if I don't understand it, at least I see action, spirit and cute boys.

There is always a heaviness that comes with my walks. It is the consciousness of my limits, that I am meandering in the meads of a prison. In the midst of silence, apprehension.

This afternoon, I got to catch a softball game between Ateneo and Northfield. I took a seat beside 2 kids--perhaps in grade three. One is wearing the Northfield shirt and the other, an Ateneo cap. They seem to be very good buds. It is in flashes of innocence that my gut wrenches. How I wish I could immerse myself in play. Be a kid devoid of tomorrow.

I always start my walk thinking of the things I will return to: Responsibilities; Possibilities. I cannot enjoy my walks. I cannot enjoy the vast field, the bounties of the sky and time.

I wanna be a child at play.

I want to delve into Santa's gift and not his truth.

Monday, February 2, 2004

"I Hate Quotations. Tell Me What You Know." *

A co-employee whom I rarely speak with, told me something very intelligent, so intelligent that it got me irritated.

I asked him, "do you love your job?" As if I said something out of context. As if I did something wild. And indeed I did. "Yeah"... with a sigh of disbelief... "Why did you ask?"
I don't know. "Buti ka pa."
"Why, you?"
"Honestly?... Honestly... No."
"Then why are you still here?"


(*Ralph Waldo Emerson)