I will be a living testament that people can live with pain and still be happy.
To live is to hurt and to hurt is to live. And that is completely fine.
No, she doesn’t need to be an “artist”
She could be the one who shares good reads from Thought Catalog.
He could be the travel buddy who is brave enough
to say that he felt loved by you.
Or a dance buddy who risked losing his identity on the dancefloor,
and make you rethink the alignment of stars.
She could be the eccentric who loves great films.
After encounters, you’d find yourself pregnant with words
that fly away too quickly so you need to grab a pen.
They’re all good for your soul, for your art.
Four months out of the dark days, I feel like walking on an old, wooden bridge, careful with every step and aware that I could fall off and into the abyss again where there is only confusion and victim-mindedness. A kind of darkness that wraps like a bubble where the only source of hope is optimism and matter-of-fact knowledge that everything will pass, like anything else.
The Universe led me to this municipality, Liloan, with its tagline Live.Love.Liloan. Oh! I almost forgot that it birthed me here. I remember travelling to the countryside and breathing deep into my lungs when I see province-living. Now I’m convinced that I’ve been called here.
The past four months have been quiet and simple, with a lot of smiles to give, friends to make, unarmed with my big ideals. Last night I missed those big intelligent/culture/big-picture talks, but as soon as I read economic/political/progress discussions, I was a kermit retracting to its shell. Do you remember my post Living a Monk’s Life? I wanted such kind of detachment and never knew it was possible in the social world.
But tadah! What makes this downfall and restoration sweet is a new strength gained from knowing thy weaknesses and accepting thy human flaws. Maybe Fergie’s song is for me, “The love bug crawls right back up, bites me and I’m back.”
So I guess I’m just gonna cross them bridges and spooky trees. The Universe always covers my ass anyway. Trust. Live. Love. Liloan.
**I feel sorry that I get back to blogging at long intervals. Writing this piece felt like the first day of work especially with the new WordPress layout. How long has it been?
I get excited about trails off the regular path. I’ve noticed that my friends are less adventurous than I am (on the average), thus a bit of frustration on why no one brings me to hop along his adventures.
Recently, adventure found me. I never expected work to be as exciting as this. It was the closest I got to the “peace process.”
I’m not sure how much information I can share. Though the former rebels always say, “It’s fine, we’re not hiding anything anyway.” Well, there are some things, which are not really my official concern.
I don’t know why they disclosed things that might ruin how the whole process. Never mind, I went there as myself, not as an intel.
Here in the hotel room, charging our body batteries, we’re still trying to digest the rocky road to peace. I’m physically exhausted and my brain has used up its reserves. All I’ll have are short naps in 30 long hours. The most I can give now is a weak, grateful smile (and a few words).
We’re leaving to Zamboanga Sibugay in a few minutes. This is by far the southernmost that I’m experiencing the Philippines. I am not on vacation. And for security reasons, we’re advised not to wander around, especially in Basilan.
Try Googling these places in Mindanao, if you want to know what I’m saying (unless, Google filters our search results differently). At least for metro-Filipinos and the international community who hears news, these places are quickly linked with terrorism, kidnapping, bombing, rebels, massacre, ambush, family feuds… Plus these are Muslim areas so I might/would have to strictly observe a different set of norms.
What am I trying to say?
At this point none, I know nothing about these places (news and travel advisories aside), more so the people and how they live. At some point, I’m thinking of getting a tattoo to the effect of As-Salāmu `Alaykum, dreaming that it would save me especially from naked hostility and forthcoming death. And how staring into the eyes, into the soul, of another would prove that humans are essentially good.
Wish me luck, as I unravel how to bring peace to the consciousness of my people. And how we could see “we-are-all-connected” in a brighter light.
I’m not trying to be a hero, I’m just one of the curious lot.