Thursday, December 29, 2005

Travel advisory

1.
Horoscope for week of December 29, 2005 from Rob Brezsny:
In his book The Disappearance of the Universe, Gary Renard quotes the counsel of his teacher: "A jet airliner is always going off course, but through constant correction it arrives at its destination. So will you arrive at yours." Remember that advice throughout 2006... My analysis of the astrological omens suggests that you will be frequently straying from the path of your highest destiny, and yet that's exactly what needs to happen in order for you to reach your highest destiny. Forced to keep making regular adjustments, you will tone and strengthen your willpower, which is essential to you achieving the goals that really matter.
But how to distinguish the highest destiny and therefore notice if one has strayed?

2.
Travel
Edna St Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn't a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing;
Yet there isn't a train I'd rather take,
No matter where it's going.
Oh the friends I make and the better friends I'll not be knowing!

And them who will never know me.

3.
From the introduction of my current reading, The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois:
There are two kinds of travel. The usual way is to take the fastest imaginable conveyance along the shortest road. The other way is not to care particularly where you are going or how long it will take you, or whether you will get there or not. These two methods of travel are perhaps easiest to be seen by watching hunting hounds. One hound will follow his nose directly to his prey. Another will follow his nose in a roundabout way to molehills, empty rabbit holes, garbage cans, and trees; and perhaps not pay any attention to his prey even when he happens upon it. This second way of getting around has always been pointed out as the nicest for, as you can see in the case of the slower hunting hound, you are able to see more of what is going on in the world and also how nature is getting along.
4.
'I shot an error into the air,' said Irene Warsaw.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dressed in light

I just received my 13th month pay yesterday. I love money, because it is so concrete, so useful and manageable. I know exactly what to do with it.

I bought the gifts for people whom I feel like giving something to. (I like the bows, nightglitters and untying. I like opening, ripping, finding. And despite dedication and signature, a trace of anonymity. That piece of self ungiven—because unresolved—in the present, beyond touch and thought.)

Since late Obtober, when I come home from work, I pass by the line of trees dressed in light along Ayala Avenue. And every time, I keep hearing Yourcenar's words about stars whose brilliance dazzle but keep you cold. Like knowledge, like gold.

And so my wish for everyone is the same wish I've constantly been wishing for people I care about. That we may be blessed with light that both clarifies and warms.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I Try To Say--But Words Get In The Way*

I.
It is not that surprises are sudden. It is that the more important it is, the more belated it comes.


II.
Yesterday, I had one of the most overwhelming days of my life. It was too striking, you cannot expect me to be exact.

I started it a 6:30 in the morning. I promised my brother breakfast at Figaro and then I'd watch his recital. Being too early, I almost dismissed my promise. I still wanted to sleep. "Gumising ka na, ihahatid ko kayo... Gustong-gusto kang makasama ng kaptid mo, tapos" the aposiopesis voiced by my mother was enough to wake me up.

I'd been promising my brother breakfast at this place and that, but kept on cancelling, because I was too lazy to wake up. I knew he gets frustrated every time and I also knew that that frustration thaws at the end of the day. But the point was I promised, and I had him hope in excitement every time.

Yes, yes, I cherish breakfasts. I guess the reason why I value it so much is because I rarely have it.

¤

Russel Sherman: "No grammar, no drama!"

¤

The afternoon was spent watching "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros," which conflicts, story and characters I loved. (I don't know about the other elements that make a good film good.)

Besides, it had a happy, intelligent ending. (If art were to improve--on--life,) I knew that Maxi would just walk on.

¤

And the night, oh, the night! We had a Christmas party at Heidi's house. I realized I missed that crowd. Those friends whom when they kiss in greeting or goodbye, they kiss with their lips resting seconds on your cheek. Whom when they hug, they squeeze. Their weight and warmth tarry.

The food was delicious and overflowing, to say the least. The rooftop was blessed by Mama Mary, because she was there! Her statue, I mean.

And because all of us carried fresh problems, defeats and disappointments with us, we didn't talk through the morning. We sang, thanks to Heidi's Magic Singalong Microphone.

We danced too. Dancing, something I should do more often.


III.
It is most amazing for me when I find people articulate ideas that have been figuring in my mind for so long. They say it and then there it is: formed. Even final. And then comes the poem that strips its own finality.

¤

I was talking to an 8 year old Korean girl three days ago and I asked her what she thought a good teacher should be. Her consideration took long, till she said, "friendly." She was still catching her breath when she mouthed, "and a little angry."


IV.
What's in a "thank you"?

In everyday life, or at least in mine, the import of how words are meant becomes more important than what is said or how, even when, especially when you cannot see clearly the cause of its utterance. As in the conditions of a "thank you" without warning.

It's 4 days before Christmas and how nice it would feel hearing and saying that "thank you" and "thanks for you." Nicer, of course, when unexpected, in contexts of who and when it's said.


* Gloria Estefan, "Words Get In The Way"

Thursday, December 1, 2005

December Discontent

Harsh

Shuttle service from BF McDo to Landmark. The song "Born in the USA" playing.

The driver turns the stereo off. Silence tells me a bad song has been played. A horrible tune's entered me without my permission.


Harsher
A Mandarin fell in love with a courtesan. She told him, "if you spend a hundred nights waiting for me, sitting on a stool, in the garden by my window, I will be yours." And the Mandarin placed a stool outside her window. Waited, sat for 99 days, whereupon he got up, picked up the stool, and left.
In the ideal, when I'm faced with the chance of rape of my beloved, I'd turn away. (Respect a requisite of love.)

But as in the real, I could never have my beloved, I'd take the rape, if the chance, presented. (Fortune knocking and never returning.)

Having some and having none.