“Someday, in the mist of time,
When they ask me if I knew you,
I’d smile and say you were a friend of mine.
And the sadness will be lifted from my eyes.
Oh, when I’m old and wise.”
–“Old and Wise,” The Alan Parsons Project
If you want to feel life at its fullest, attend a high school graduation. Look into graduates’ beaming faces and you’ll see it—their eyes glow like stars. Youth at its pinnacle. Adulthood on its first day. Freedom personified.
For a few hours, the adults called to witness this passage feel what it’s like to be young again. We remember. But we are only visitors now. We passed this way once, but we can’t stay long. We feel time’s march and our place in it. No matter how much we influenced these golden children, we have moved into the past now. Just a few paragraphs…
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I have always looked for the ordinary conversation about the depths of one’s soul. Over time, the discussions have changed from infatuation, lost loves, medical conditions and, now, love’s expressions… Life is great and mysterious. Still.
One lovely afternoon, I began chatting to my grandpa. I was completely unaware he was about to say something that would change my view of happiness forever.
In the middle of our conversation, I felt a lull so I pulled out the classic question. “If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?” I couldn’t wait to talk about my long list of dead presidents, dead Beatles, dead scientists, and a really cute living movie star. But I was also really eager to hear what he’d say.
Then he simply answered, “My wife.”
I immediately assured him it’s not necessary for him to answer like that. We all knew he loves his wife, whom he eats dinner with every night and was currently over in the other room…
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And that way, too.
I remember the silent second
Before you burst out laughing
At whatever joke
I throw out there.
You were my biggest fan
Making everyone believe
In my vision, in my dreams
And I love you for that.
I remember your graceful
Walk, exuding the confidence
And strength of a woman
Ready for the world, ready
For her love and for her life.
I loved you with all
I can muster
You were my rock.
I remember you for your love,
For all the good things
Life can offer
You taught me,
You taught me
And I love you for that
And I remember you…
40 days has passed
But my grief has not
It has stayed, and stayed,
I will remember you,
Know my name, in heaven.
I promise, I will be brave,
And stronger than I think
…because I knew you,
I have been changed
I remember you
This way and that.
I will forebear,
In my heart.
I remember you…
I am 47 years old. My house is built beside that of my parents, which means I have lived in the same village for 34 years.
Last Monday, I embarked on an adventure, to travel Europe alone. I will eventually meet my friends but, going there, I will be alone. Many of you know I travel whenever I can but I have never travelled alone and never outside Asia. Well, these are circumstantial matters since most of my travels are work related. Some are for vacation but never was I ever alone, unless it’s inside the Philippines and less than 200 kms. away from home. So, I have never been far from home. I have always been tied and connected to my household. I am the youngest, child anyhow. Am I not entitled to that? Hahaha!
Which brings me to my realization. It seems my family still cherish the fact that I am still a child in their eyes. An hour before my departure, my family gathered in my living room taking about everything and nothing. From my baggage, how I packed it, things to remember, my flight schedule, how early I should be in the airport to check-in, blah, blah, blah and to all things in between. It was in incredible. I do not remember one single event in our lives, well, except for my Father’s heart surgery, when we all sat down to chat. Thus, my conclusion: My family was either anxious about my trip, or they were really excited to see me go! Hahaha! Nah. If I know my family, they were scared about their wits!
While I knew that, it touched me. Departures and changes, though temporary, bring families and teams together — that is, to touch before the fleeting moment is gone, especially when the outcome is certainly beyond one’a control. We are such creature of habits… and uncertainties can bring out the best in us.
After all these years, I am still the youngest. In their eyes, I was still the babe that they cradled well into dawn. Well, I just assume that. (Hehe!)
So, before I left for my great, big lakwatsa (or stroll), they were there, gathered in my small, simple living room, absent of interior decor, buy enriched by my family’s touch. They sent me off into Spain creating another great memory for me.
One can never have enough of family.
What do clouds see? Where do they go?
During daily school flag ceremony in the 70’s, my eyes would follow the flag as it is hoisted over the school grounds, but my eyes would wander to the clouds, moving slowly, white and fluffy, so graceful as they float and hover above. What could clouds see below? Do they see me gaping at them in wonder? What do they see about me?
Flying to Spain last Monday, I feasted on the sight of clouds whenever it was possible. This time, though, I looked either down or straight at them through the plane’s window. I realize my eyes have been focused on the ground for the longest time.
I have forgotten to look up and witness the wonder of cloud’s grace. I have not asked in wonder and awe. I have forgotten to look up, imagine and dream. I have been moving, hurriedly and purposefully to live meaningfully, but I have forgotten to stop. Be still. Listen.
My heart pounds, now, demanding me to the calmness of grace. Thus, today, I go to find. What? I am not sure. Perhaps, for serenity or something else, but surely, I go where I hope ground reaches the clouds, where man seems to fly as the eagles, where I am free to imagine, to create, to be.