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I couldn’t write continuously because I couldn’t read continuously. I couldn’t read continuously because I couldn’t sit still. I’m needed in so many places. It’s like waking up with hiccups from the previous day. And it’s not helping that I am reading Proust. Old man Marcel writes in sprawling prose and tolerates, even patronizes, my lack of structure. He does these things to me. Dead. What do I expect from a man who makes words waltz with each other?

But I am writing now. Here at the dinner table. I am writing now while waiting for my food. I don’t understand why they are still giving me the menu when they already know what I’m having. I don’t know why I’m still reading the menu when I’m still going to order the same thing. Am I slowing down or zoning out? I don’t know.

And so I’m writing now. Hoping to make sense of my here and now, and my tomorrow, and then my history. I’m writing when I couldn’t. Like how a child gulps cough syrup. Or a diver swims his way up even after breaking an eardrum. Or how a heartbroken musician plays a song he wrote from a distant past when he was in love.

In the occasion of a slump, you still show up. There at the dinner table. Sit up only to slouch after a while. Writing and writing and writing. The Frenchman goes to you and tells you bon appetit! And asks you why you look specially beautiful today. (I don’t know.) A little girl shows up to say a shy hello. Then she goes to the pianist who, in the middle of singing Yesterday, she interrupts so she hears Twinkle Twinkle Little Star instead.

Life right now is not knowing. Or maybe it is not knowing at all. Not knowing why there is such a thing as a Proustian lure. Not knowing why you’re still reading the menu when all you want is the same blue marlin with the same herbed butter. Not knowing why you look specially beautiful. It is what it is. Life. It is not what you make it. Not yet. It is what happens to it. And it is how you make sense of the ruins that ceremoniously fall into place. When they do, play some music. Or have it changed to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

 

 

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This shall not be written in the same tradition that 2015 and 2016 had been written. The usuals, the highlights, and the breaks all took the same road. The ordinariness of life, the big things, and the deep plummets brought me to the same place. A place where contemplation is possible. This might put off some but they are the least of my concerns. This contemplation is one that’s never brought to a conclusion. For it is impossible to fully contemplate what is beyond – God.

The possibility of living in and through the mundane, the affluent, and the dips became so clear because of this very infinite force. My finiteness and everything that came with it became bearable and unexpectedly beautiful. It is a very special connection yet very painfully common.

It is not placebo. It is faith. One may be with me in the struggle of learning about it the hard way but there is indeed light that no amount of darkness can overcome.

Whether from the perspective of theology or not, you’ll know it when it lifts you up from a fall that was never destined to be yours to begin with. Wings, as a woman philosopher would call it. Grace, to simplify.

Take this pair of wings and rise against gravity for the years to come.

 

Happy new year,

Kim

Metaphysically speaking, the ephemeral nature of things proves that joy is not for always and so is pain. As the Earth rotates on its axis, its face sheds yesterday’s skin.

It gets better.

Nothing is permanent.

These are words that we often hear as a tired consolation.

If such is the case, what, then, is so great about all this transience?

Joy leaves.

Pain goes away.

What is left to feel? Will there be a void as the two shifts for the tango? What to do with this void?

Grab a pair of scissors.

Get some lace.

The only way to fill a void is through adorning it. Joy, cherish it. In its passing, remember it. Pain, feel it. In its passing, contemplate on it.

While nothing seems to last, we remain. In joy and in pain.

As sixteen year-olds, we lit red candles at the old cathedral because we were told that they were for love. We did not even clearly know what it was about love that we wanted.

Eight years after, he knocked on my car window and asked me to roll it down. He stuck his  head, almost in a cartoon-like manner, and asked for a kiss that I was always ready to give. “I have read that when couples kiss before they separate ways, car accidents are less likely to happen.”, he said walking backwards as if shying away.

In the impossibility of hindsight, love thrives. As it needs no warning signs to be. In defiance to warning or advice, love takes form. You don’t have to see it in its totality before deciding whether or not, it is worth the foolishness. You just find yourself levitating in a trance. It’s insane that in love, even superstitions make perfect sense.

No amount of axioms can put into perfect logic how one really loves. For it is the language of the heart and not of the mind. This is not to be confused with intoxication, where one is ecstatic and impulsive. In fact, it is the opposite of that. Here, nobody is enslaved by impulses.

I love you.

There is only certainty and commitment.

It is I who loves you.

It is you that I love.

It is love.

I live in a tiny room in my parents’ house. I have a bed that can only fit one person. Beside it is a table with balms, books, and devotionals. I also have a study. It occupies the same amount of space as my bed. My study is blank except that there are books stacked on one side. Beside it is a bookshelf with titles that went through careful discernment. I take pride in my Didions. I needed more space for my books that’s why I don’t have a cabinet for my clothes. I don’t even read that much.

My room is known to be the cleanest and the quietest. Mostly because it is only occupied with a cat that creates no mess and no sound. But in different days, I play smooth 70s music or romantic comedy soundtracks. I love pretending I’m Julia Roberts. I am my mother’s daughter.

I’ve always lived in my parents’ house. But it wasn’t until university (where I studied philosophy) that I’ve lived beyond the house. This became more pronounced when I left law school. I just knew I had to stand up for myself. It is tough specially with a hazy self-image. The problem which used to be just one doubled and I only have one hand for each. One, I had to stand up for my decisions. Two, I didn’t know who I was. Perhaps, all I knew was if there is one person that I should fight for, it shall be me. In decisions, good or bad. Indecision, in general.

I’ll be here until I marry. The difference though is that I am now capable of happiness beyond the house. It is a constant uprising. Too much commitment but I’d say, unlike before, I now know who I am. The only thing that I can get a good grip of when things become turbulent.

Then again, this woman is not one-dimensional. She is a tesseract. This confession is only the beginning. Here, let me quote something that brought tears to my eyes this morning:

The father wants his daughter to be a weather girl on television, or to marry and have babies. She doesn’t want to be a TV weather girl. Nor does she want to marry and have babies. Not yet. Maybe later, but there are so many other things she must do in her lifetime first. Travel. Learn how to dance tango. Publish a book. Live in other cities. Win a National Endowment for the Arts awards. See the Northern Lights. Jump out of a cake. – Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

I’ve been down with the magnificent combination of flu and lady pains. I was feeling like a doormat for a couple days. So I put on my bell bottoms and bright orange tassel earrings and threw some Carly Simon. Next time with a proper lace body suit (I’m thinking old rose oohlala), maybe! Just trying to dance it out. Making life work when it seems to be buried by layers of responsib******* (censoring it because I don’t want to summon more of it).

Times-a-changin’. I realized no one can really get me out of bed when I don’t wanna. It’s a cool and terrifying reality of Life. You have your shit together and you don’t. Some people chase trains, deal with morning sickness, and fulfill other people’s dreams. And here I am.

Here I am living the life I chose for myself. I’m both cool and terrified about it. Yet again, what’s not to love? It’s the freakin 20somethins! I’m supposed to not figure my shit out. I’m supposed to be in communion with the vast majority of sad. My people! It’s funny that we all are facing levels of sad. Nobody is really doing better. There is no point in checking what others are up to because they are as fucked.

Dancing outside the lines of the in between,

Kim

Things are pretty undone lately. A montage I can’t finish, a song I can’t finish, a book I can’t finish.

I don’t know if this is correct. But the statement above is from my drafts and, according to my computer, from two years ago. Which is crazy because I still feel the same way today. It’s good to know that I am still here. Hit by a wall that I do not know what to do with.

Earlier today I judged a debate finals. I sat on a panel with a friend who just got back from New York. I missed him a lot. We left as soon as possible. We just didn’t know what to do with all of our energy that we do not want to waste on petty, small talk. Pfft. I know the difference between speaking out because you have something important to say and speaking out because you love the sound of your own voice when you talk. The latter is the bullshit we inhibit ourselves from. An outward full circle.

We went to buy this book that I need for my class. Luckily, the bookstore was on sale so that means I scored 20% off my René Descartes book purchase. My Girl was playing and we just can’t help but dance. My friend learned to party. I still don’t know how. I just know how to dance to my feelings. Anywhere that might be. In this case, the bookstore. The song just matched my overall mood. I was wearing a tan and black breton boat-neck, wide-legged Japanese denim, shoes with square heels that click against the floor, and red lips.

We had Coke with our lunch. It has been a long time since I ordered a can of Coke for myself. Maybe it was the caffeine, maybe we had some serious ego throwdown. I told him I am looking for my voice. He told me it would take a lifetime to find a voice. Well, it could be not the final voice but the present voice and that voice that I am craving for right now must come from somewhere soft, and real, and deep. I don’t want to write what everybody else writes. Even if I go hungry.

I guess.

The car ride home was painful. He started talking about the medical condition of a loved one. It sucks that I cannot do anything significant about it. I felt my stomach twisting as how someone would twist a wet t-shirt after being caught by rain. Everyone has it rough. From wherever you are standing in life. Be it in New York City or in your small town. No pain ever goes unreciprocated. I don’t know if I should feel better by that. I can feel my ego deflate now and perhaps I’d say it does not make me feel any better. At all.

So that’s it. I went home to my dog Charles.