Why I can’t write right now:

1. I am scared of achieving nothing significant, of having all my efforts wasted, of not being good enough, of being criticized, of failing.

2. It takes patience and dedication to search for the right words and to put them in the right order. I must admit that I do not have those.

Why I want to write:

1. I do this for me. To be honest, I do most things for me. I write because there was a time when people praised me for what I wrote and I loved that feeling of being read and appreciated. It is that that I want every time I write. I write because I want to be recognized.

2. There are many things that I do not know how to say so I write them down. I am the least eloquent person I know. I hope to make myself understood when I write.

3. There are things that I want to remember so I write them down. They say writing is one way of immortalizing. I write to let the things I love live even when they are gone. I write so as not to forget the things which have passed.

Why I don’t want to write:

1. Turning thoughts into words is so difficult. It frustrates me that I have not mastered this language and even if I do so, I can only express myself with it to a certain extent. Beyond that, there literally are no words.

2. There are obligations, certain considerations when one writes. Ideally, a writer writes to for those who can’t. A writer must be the voice of the voiceless. All these because he has the power of the word, which when wielded well enough can change people. I feel like I cannot carry such burden. It is struggle enough to speak for myself, what more for others.

These are words I cannot say to you

Dear Lolo,

These are words I cannot say to you:

I do not know you.

But I do know papa. And I trust that I see you in him.

I do not know how to grieve.

But I know this is loss: to have someone leave and never come back. And I know this is regret: to have someone leave and not realize that it is for the last time. And I know this is guilt: to have someone leave and not truly feel the loss.

These, I know, are what I should feel: sadness, sorrow, or even anger.

These are what I feel:

Gratitude: to you for giving us the man who is our father, for making him who he is.

Fear: for the family you have left behind, for the sons and daughters and the wife you’ve left fatherless, for my papa and his sorrow and the words he wishes he should have told you — perhaps we really are like this: you and I and papa, we hold on tightly to the words we most need to let go.

I am trying to let go now.

I know: the sound of your voice singing, your laughter, the way your eyes crinkled when you smiled your almost toothless smile, the way you breathed deeply when you held us close — I do not truly know why but I am almost certain that you did so to breathe in our scent, hoping that you could hold on to these little parts of us when we leave. You did so even when you knew these were quick to escape you. We do not linger much.

Perhaps you already know that much of the world doesn’t change with you gone; people walk on. But also know that there are those who walk on trying to learn how to live with the empty space you once filled.

In response to Sir Glen Mas’s question in class last Tuesday: how do you cope (with pain or loss or anything upsetting)?:

“…but words, always words, only words, which are my coward’s sword…” from Severance by Robert Olen Butler (which I read as a required reading in poetry class, saktong timing lang talaga)

I write to cope up with anything. I once wrote that we (writers–although I really don’t consider myself one (yet?)) go through life not to write about it; but instead, we write, to go through life. I don’t know if that makes much sense. That’s just me trying to be profound, I guess.

I think my point is, that writing is my therapy. I think that writing down something somehow lessens it’s grip on you. I think writing is trying to take control (perhaps even just temporarily) of things in life that are seemingly uncontrollable. Taking after my nonfiction prof last sem–maybe it’s “trying to put order, attempting to make sense” in the chaos that is life.

Three

For my fiction class this sem. I really think it’s less fiction and more poetry but whatever.

Grip

She thought the ceiling of the cathedral was so high, there was no way it could stay that way for long. She thought of how exhausted it must be to fight against the vicelike grip of gravity. Any minute, any second, it’s bound to give in.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sudden start of the keyboard playing the Wedding March. On cue, she started marching along.
In a space this wide, the walls so far apart, echoes are loudest. She thought of how amusing it would be if she had the chance to be alone in this cathedral, she would laugh as loud as she can, like a child shouting “hello” over and over in a wide vacant room—discovering an echo for the first time. She would laugh just to be laughed back at; she didn’t mind. To be laughed back at meant that someone was listening, even if it were just these cathedral walls.
Her father marched with her, his arms gripped around hers and his footsteps heavy against the cathedral tiles. She was afraid it looked so fragile, it might break under his father’s weight. She didn’t notice she was looking at the floor until her father put his hand under her chin and lightly raised her head. He didn’t say anything; he just raised his eyebrows and smiled. She knew the only right answer was for her to smile back.
They reached the end of the aisle, her father took his grip away from her only to be replaced by someone else’s. She looked from her father to the man whose barong sleeves were grazing, itchy on her bare skin. He looked at her with his eyebrows raised and for the first time she noticed how much he looked like her father.
Again, the only right answer was for her to smile. He smiled back and nodded, and they faced the altar where the priest stood with his arms wide open.
Any minute, any second now. She waited, she wished.

Hold

She can’t remember particularly when. She remembers though: they were sitting around a table. She remembers even more: how when she saw Him the voices around her seemed to dissipate, how she was suddenly aware of the grease sticking to her face, of the sweat on her forehead, of the feel of the table against her fingers as she tapped; trying to transcribe her rapid heartbeats like Morse code onto the wooden surface, believing that transcription gave her control (she thought, whenever emotions are written down, they loose their hold). It didn’t matter if the dots and dashes and the letters and words they formed didn’t make sense, because she never intended for anyone to read them. She never wanted anyone to read them. But He read them anyway.
Their eyes met. His, meeting her gaze. Her, meeting His. It was glaring. Like how you could look at the sun for half a second; the sunlight too intense, too much to bear, it would seem that half a second was a minute an hour a lifetime, too much. She looked away.
If you stared at the sun too long and you looked away, it stays in your eyes and tints your vision white. And even after you’ve stopped looking, you would know it is there, engulfing everything in light. Its presence unshakable like a persistent thought at the back of your head.

Release

She felt like a baby floating in a mother’s womb. She thought, if she was given the choice before she was born, she’d never leave her mother’s womb. She’d stay there where she’d be fed, lulled to sleep by her mother’s warmth.
Liquid pressure pressed on her body from all sides, but she had never felt so light. It was intoxicating, the water filling her up. If she could take in a bit more, she would. If only I could take in a bit more, she thought. It’s a shame that her body was a vessel already filled up to the brim.
She thought it felt like home there, underneath the currents. She thought it felt like home because she was coming back. She was only becoming, who she was at the beginning.
She floated there, at the belly of the sea, a baby in her mother’s womb.

Dear rain

Thank you for these past few days. I’ve been living the life, burrowed inside my apartment building, enjoying instant anythings (instant noodles, instant mac and cheese, etc), sipping warm coffee while I’m curled up in front of my laptop screen while watching a movie. This 4 day break has been productive. By that I mean I have downloaded three new movies, re-watched 3 other movies, downloaded three episodes of Orange is the New Black, and so on. But here’s the thing–I’m not dissing you in any way but there are people out there losing houses as I sit in here worrying about my belly fat and unburned calories from the instant whatevers I’m eating. I’d appreciate it if you’d stop. You’re my best friend in the whole world but I feel like a douche sitting here doing nothing while everybody else is being heroic, doing relief operations or something like that and so as an attempt to feel less like a douche, I sit here writing this letter to you hoping you’d hear me. Please stop; come back again another day.

Love,

your very best friend

Barf

It’s amazing how I’m now a year older than I was in my last post but I don’t feel like it in any way.

I just read my previous entries and felt this– I guess– what they call ‘critical distance’. I think I finally get what they mean when you have to let your piece sit for a while before calling it final. Every time I do this, reading back on old entries, I feel the urge to just delete the entire thing; I’ve done this countless times before but I’m fighting it off now. I tell myself they may sound stupid (they are stupid) but I have to keep it to see how much I’ve grown so far (if I’ve grown at all) and it’s good to take a look and laugh at yourself every once in a while; keep it as a constant reminder of how corny I can get and I will always have that emo part of me and there is no reason to be ashamed of the fact that I’ve gone through this feel-sy phase because I think everyone has gone through this at some point and it’s probably part of growing up. I guess it’s true that when you grow up you finally realize how overly emotional you were (not to mention corny and cheesy); not saying that I’ve finally grown up but my point is what you think is serious at the moment will seem stupid and trivial and foolish to you at some point in the future. At least cherish the moment as it comes, dwell in it (you know all that live in the moment stuff) because the moment may only come once in your life and be proud that you’ve gone through it once it’s over (that’s something you only have for yourself).

Yeah. Here’s to another year of rambling and emotional vomit.