- A compliment
- A story
- Why you follow me
- If you met me what would you do
- A cute message
- One thing you want to tell me
- One thing you want to know about me
what if someone wrote a book and the plot was basically amazing and the characters were awesome and at the end of the book, you’re dying to know what happens, all you see is a ripped page and the author actually did it on purpose and you’ll never know what happens because all the other published copies are like that too
calm down satan
cruel and unusual punishment
I love it when Tumblr folk find new ways to explore this wonderful site lol.
wtf did I just do?
Holy fuck that’s amazing!! O.O
i don’t… i don’t know what happened.
“An ordinary man—that’s the most important thing in all creation.”
-The Doctor, Doctor Who
I’ve often observed, in my daily life, how much we take a lot of things for granted. We look up at the trees of the earth and the birds of the air, and we say, “Just so.” We have this ability to walk down our streets and sidewalks thoroughly absorbed in our own affairs, without even acknowledging the mystery that hides behind every wall and lamp post. I’m betting that right now, dear readers, you’ve even forgotten that you are here now. That you exist, and that you are alive.
That shouldn’t be the case. Not at all.
One day, I was at the MRT station, coming home from a day at the Ateneo, when I heard a blind busker playing his guitar. You know the one: the blind man with the battered electric guitar and microphone sitting at the stairs of the station with a donation box. Normally, I just drop a few pesos into their boxes and continue on. Not this time, though.
This particular man, see, was playing First Circle’s song, Ako’y Sa ‘Yo at Ika’y Akin Lamang. I’ve always liked that song ever since I heard it when I was a kid listening to the radio. Being a complete Cloudcuckoolander who spends half his days—okay, more than half—with his head in the clouds, instead of moving on and hustling along, I simply sat down on the station stairs, with a closing time crowd rushing off home around me, and listened to the busker and his song.
I can’t seem to find the right words to describe that man’s voice. I think he was at least in his early or late fifties, with the callused hands of a man who makes his living playing a guitar. His voice, though, was what struck me most. It was a curious mix of strength and fragility, and I could hear it break with emotion as he sang his song.
Sitting here right now, weeks after that encounter, I can still remember that sense of isolation that I felt at that time. Here I was, sitting on the station stairs, simply listening to that busker, and all around me, people were rushing off elsewhere with purpose. I was the crazy person in the station who wasn’t going elsewhere, but simply sitting there and listening to the busker and his song.
It wasn’t the busker himself that I was there for. . I can’t count how many times I just ignored these buskers or put a few pesos in their boxes before simply wandering away. I don’t know why I chose that particular moment in time to just stop and pause for a while to listen to a song at the station. It was as if I was being given a glimpse of the sublime in an everyday event. I must have looked ridiculous at the time, but I know, through some strange way that I can’t explain, that that was where I should have been at that point in time.
I realize that in some circumstances, doing what I did and simply stopping in the middle of what you’re doing can be dangerous. I could have been held up and had my money and cell phone stolen, and gotten stuck in Quezon City with no way to get back to Laguna short of walking all the way there. Or I could have been reported as a suspicious person and detained by Security. I’m not saying that we should all stop and listen if we meet a busker at the station or the streets. I’m simply saying that we should learn to see the beauty in everyday things.
Has it ever occurred to you, dear readers, while you’re walking down the street, that years ago, things weren’t like this? That the lamp post on the corner or the asphalt beneath your feet weren’t always there? That you haven’t always been here in the world?
There will come a time, dear readers, when you and I will not be here on this world. When we think about it, doesn’t it seem to render our existence meaningless? What’s the point of all our decisions, trials, heartbreaks and triumphs, if one day it will all end?
Being a foolish dreamer, I hold that there’s a point to it all. We aren’t here merely to suffer and experience pain. Suffering, death, and pain are all realities of human existence, but so are beauty, friendship, and love. We aren’t made merely to suffer and die, but to experience beauty, friendship, love—the spice of life. And the beauty and goodness we see here will be like a shadow, a reflection of the joys of the Home we all long for.
The modern slogan is YOLO—you only live once. But this shouldn’t be an excuse to do crazy, stupid things. It should be an exhortation to take our lives seriously, because we don’t return eternally. We’re only here once, so why don’t we make the most of it? Live meaningfully, and fill your lives with beauty and love. Not tomorrow or the day after next.
You are here now.
In another note, I wrote about Love (they tell me I’m always talking about Love!). I can’t summarize everything I said about Love in a short space like this, but I did say that for me, Love is not merely romance; it is service, sacrifice, and a promise: Love is for always.
One of my kind readers asked me to write more about the idea of Always. By saying that Love is for always, I suppose that I meant something by it. Being a lover of stories and poems who has been guilty of a few of them as well, I always say—there’s that word again—that we mustn’t misuse words or simply throw them around. No word is merely a word. Every word is a symbol that points not to itself, but to a reality outside of itself. The word “always” is not Always itself, only the word we use to express that idea.
So what’s the reality that this word points to?
The dictionary points me to two words related to “always”: “invariable” and “forever”; the former deals with change, and the latter with time. To me, dear friends, this brings to mind a common expression: for the time being.
When something is there “for the time being,” it means that it’s only there for now, and won’t be there forever. A good example of this would be the road rehabilitation projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, or the escalator at the Ayala MRT station in Makati City that seems to regularly break down and require maintenance. They are like that for now, but they will not remain so forever—and in the case of those road rehabilitation projects, I should certainly hope they don’t. Love is for always, but road rehabilitation projects aren’t and shouldn’t be.
“For the time being” says that though this is how things are right now, they won’t always be that way. The road will get fixed, the escalator will run again, some relationships will end, even if we don’t want them to, and that will break our hearts, though not irreparably. It seems to me, then, that the state of humanity isn’t Always, but For the Time Being. In his 1923 poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” Robert Frost writes,
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.”
By now, dear friends, perhaps you might be saying that this renders the idea of Always absurd. If this world and we aren’t permanent, then, perhaps, there is no Always. If nothing gold can stay, then perhaps nothing else can, either.
But then, perhaps we haven’t yet understood it completely. Earlier, I mentioned two words in connection with “always”: those were “invariable” and “forever.” Invariable implies that something doesn’t change, and forever means that it will be so for all of time. Perhaps Always is more connected to time and change than we thought.
I once played a word association game with my friend Kristine, which involved saying one word and replying with the first thing that came to mind upon hearing it. One of the words I gave her was “Always,” to which she replied, “Forever”; another word was “Permanent,” and her reply? “Nothing.”
There is such a thing as forever, though nothing is permanent. And as my wise friend Kristine taught me through that simple game, the two aren’t necessarily exclusive.
If we look through photo albums—both the physical and social network kind—we can see pictures of ourselves as we looked before. Looking in the mirror now, we notice that we’ve changed quite a lot since those pictures were taken. We may also look back with a sigh, remembering past regrets, and say, “If only I knew then … ,” or smile at the memory of a joke or a special moment. True, we change both physically and in the way we view and relate to the world and the people around us. Of course we would, but why on earth should that mean that we are no longer ourselves? We are still ourselves, even if we change, and we will always be ourselves.
Always doesn’t mean that time will stand still, though we sometimes wish it might, just so we could keep dancing with that special person or share that moment with her. Time, fortunately or unfortunately depending on who you ask, doesn’t stand still, for you, me, or anyone else. It continues to move whether you’re ready to go or not, though it’s still up to you to decide whether you’re ready or not. Yet even though time keeps moving, it doesn’t mean that there is no Always. Admittedly, it would be boring if Always meant a dance that would never end, or a moment that is always an eternal present.
Always means that though the dance has ended, you will meet again; though the moment is gone, you are still connected by a mystery that has no name, form, shape or dimension, only light and warmth, and a bond that will always bring you back to her through time and space.
Roads, escalators, and hearts indeed break, but they do not remain broken. When that which is whole has come, that which is in part shall be done away with. Roads, escalators, and hearts weren’t made to be broken; roads will be fixed, escalators will run again, and hearts will mend and learn to love again. We are not made merely for the time being, but for always.
This, I think, is what Always means: that things and time change, and yet that which is most pure and good does not; that I can hold a person’s hand, look into her eyes and promise to cherish her, and I can and will do as I have promised.
Love pushes us to make promises and fulfill them, for no other reason than that we love that person we made the promise to. Maybe this is why people who love know what Always means. Love, as I said before, is for always, but maybe, just maybe, Always is for lovers as well.