Resolution

There is a sadness that can’t be healed away, while in this world

 

There are wounds that will always reopen…

Always, always…no matter how much you put into something, to some…to many, what and how you are will not always be enough.

 

And always, always…there will be people ahead of you in their journey, as there will always be people who need time longer than you needed to make theirs.

 

There will be times that souls from afar will be able to give your own the solace it needs, better than those closest to you…

And there will be times that those closest to you will hold you with great doubt…

 

This is life.

 

This is what it’s like to be on a journey. The path is not always pleasing, and never free from any level of struggle.

I resolved to remind myself of these. No matter what.

For I found it my utmost responsibility – my fate.

 

To find peace despite the struggle, and accepting that I will always have to ’til my last breath, in different forms; rest coming only in moments – that is what I’ve learnt in my journey in Faith.

 

Faith…Islam, it what has always kept me going. The only “force” that has kept me from putting down my hands and letting the void take me whole.

 

I have done a crappy job in living out it’s principles…but I cannot give up.

 

 

Even when I am lacking to the entire world to see…

 

“If I stop, and give in to hopelessness…

 

Then what is left of me?”

 

When I am buried, and the angels write down the final lines to my story…I hope, with all my soul is this:

 

“She failed countless times; she had carelessly fell and tainted her own pages; she never gave up Hope, and gave her last breath for that Hope.”

My own wish that I have resolved to strive for, is this…

Advertisements

She’s Dreaming: A VERY Short Story

 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who dreamed to become a writer of inspiring stories.

Everyday, as she grew up, the little girl’s world revolved around the stories she wrote in her little notebook. But she was never confident enough to share her stories, and so she kept them to herself.

One day, on her thirteenth birthday, the girl had a dream she could never forget. It was about a world, she never knew she would want to help build until that night. She could remember not only the shiny buildings but, even more, the people who shone even brighter.

Because of that, she realized the story she wanted to write. In time, she would learn that this story, would take a lifetime to complete.

Because of that, she realized that to write this story, she needed to live beyond the world inside her little notebook.

Until finally, when she felt she could finally rest from writing, she shared the story that she had lived and that started with a dream.

 

Recharge

I’ve been wanting to write again here.

But honestly, it has been difficult even to write a simple journal for me.

It’s been difficult to write at work where I’m expected to craft speeches for the head of the office, in a field heavy with technicality.

How is a person, who writes from thoughts, emotions, philosophies and experiences aught to adjust to such requirements?

And so I had to set aside how I conduct myself as a writer, for what worked in the office.

But now that what worked isn’t doing so anymore, I find myself floating in a void.

Like a lost prisoner fumbling in the absolute darkness, I flounder about in murky waters for the familiar rope that could guide me back to the familiar riverbanks of home. Trying to sight once again the spark that enabled me to do what I loved, and shared that love.

This blog was meant to be one of the many places where healthy discourse to the many things about life can take place. Where reflections shared could hopefully give light to many who have chosen to read it. Where those searching for hope could find at least a spark of here.

I guess, I have been failing a whole lot.

If anyone still reads this blog, and finds worth in it, I pray that you bear with me. And I apologize for the awful quality of content found here. The lack direction and spirit. I never had been the one who could write without reflecting the state of what is real within me.

But who am I to stop and quit completely? We all have our own struggles, don’t we? We all have our battles and monsters to deal with, yes?

And no matter our failures, we owe it to ourselves not to lose the one thing the darkness of this world seeks to rob us of –  Hope. Purpose.

 

And I pray to the Giver of Life that no matter, what we find it and never lose it.

This is For You

For you who have now stepped out of confines of university…

From the classroom made of four walls, now you step into the greater classroom of Life

I only pray that you won’t let go of the strength that has taken you this far…

It wasn’t easy, right? It really wasn’t, but with faith and perseverance you made it here.

You who did not give up: do not give up in the future.

I will not promise it will get easier. Life, especially today, has never been without difficulty.

Always remember you are not without purpose. And though it may not be clear to you today…

To give up, will only mean to lose the chance to see everything clearly someday…

And that day will come. All that is asked of us is that we persevere.

 

Dedicated to my dear friend Denise, and all of the graduates of this year. Also a reminder I guess for those like me who have also passed that time.
I apologize for the lack of content. I must say that I cannot have imagined the number of email subscribers that I got notified of. Things have been convoluted on my part, and I had withheld most from writing because…writing is the best thing I feel I could give back. And I am in no state to write what should be a gift for all who get to read whatever post I have here. Soon, I hope to give direction and purpose that this blog was intended to have. Thank you for reading.

 

 

G.T.

Fallen Leaves: Of Time and Memories

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

-snippet from Be Lost in the Call, Rumi

“I’m so sad….How can I be happy?” my dear friend asked.

“Remember the good things that has happened despite the bad,” was my reply.

It must be prospect of a huge challenge that kept me in spirits of anticipation. Maybe the coffee too.

My friend let out another sad sigh. “Memories. It all just ends up in memories.”

I don’t know what hit me, but my body flew into action. No.

“Memories are carried on to create anew. They aren’t the end,” was all I could say in that moment, collecting myself as my mother’s words days ago began to sink into me.

My mother had called our attention that late afternoon, as she segregated the peelings and cuttings of various fruits and vegetables that she prepared. She was very enthusiastic and commanded our attention.

She said she was just astounded how much learning about permaculture and composting has taught her so much.

“Can you imagine? We eat these fruits and vegetables. Then we return them to the soil. And from the plants that grow from the soil, we eat. We put them back inside our bodies. What we give the soil, it gives us back. But nowadays, most  of us plant for the sake of a huge harvest or money, using chemicals forgetting that we eat what we harvest. It made me think about life. What does that tell you two? Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”

I guiltily remember how I was slow to catch on the depth of what she was trying to say.

We are prisoners of time.

The moments of happiness, the moments of sadness pass by us. Time does not stay still. They leave us but not without leaving a mark on us, in form of memories. And with Time, even these memories become cloudy until, most, fade into nothingness.

But do they really?

A leaf, full of color once, dries up and falls to the ground. Time passes, there’s no more of the leaf. All that is left is the soil or dust. If we think of it that way, then surely…it is all for naught…depressing.

But! But! It doesn’t happen that way!

The “dead leaves” along with another “depressing” thing called rain,  actually nurture life into the soil. They are, with proper care in special cases like in cities (for example), what bear the healthy ground that is healthy enough for new plants to spring. And with a extra effort, those new plants can even be healthier than the “plants or leaves that came before them.”

 

Just like memories.

5678517-Autumnal-texture-fallen-leaves-Stock-Photo

G.T.

Flawed.

Amanda-Mason-Falling-Jurors-Selection

“flawed | an instant film exhibition”
Danny Sanchez / Mission Accomplished / Director’s Selection

 

Have you ever looked in the mirror, and not recognize the person staring back?

Not because you look too different,

but because something inside you is amiss?

 

Like the continuously unpredictable weather, life- for anyone today,- is nothing but a continuous, strenuous struggle.

It’s as if we cannot go past the “rebellious teenage years” when we are either stuck in our box of how we see ourselves and others, or we are so without a solid foundation of who we truly are, that we let ourselves just go with the raging current of the times.

Realizing each of our individuality, we often lose our sense of community.

Realizing the sheer power of our limited free will, we often burn ourselves with the consequences we refuse to respect. Until there’s nothing of us that is left.

We are curious to learn of the other, but are often too afraid of the change knowing them would bring upon us.

We hate being boxed, but at the same time we hate the prospect of having to change.

We are so confident in what we know through our limited means and limited senses, that we forget and hate the word “limited.” Though,  that will be always a part of being us. Being human.

We know how limited our time is. “YOLO!”, so we rush through it, instead of cherishing the little seconds of it. Forgetting the little seconds, our little movements may have rippled across generations to come after us.

And in the struggle we find ourselves in, we can’t seem to escape the growing pains of the times.

Well, we aren’t perfect.

You, and I. Flawed.

Maybe if when we learn to accept that fact, and stop making gods of our intellect, our physical beauties, our talents, our achievements…

Maybe if when we learn to accept that fact, and searching for gods in each other…

Then we can learn to live life the way we are meant to. No matter the flaws.

 

G.T.

The Stories that Matter

Untitled I came across Alex Tizon’s article unintentionally. I had never heard about him before. But the notion of someone speaking out about the atrocities committed within his own family made me click the link anyway. What I found was beyond anything I expected to find (though I’m not entirely sure what that was in the first place.)

For starters, the story was by a Filipino-American. I got even more curious. But the crime was not committed by him but by his parents. Who were both “full-blooded” Filipinos.  I was even more shocked.

You see, ever since you start learning history in school up until college,- as a Filipino,- you learn one thing. We were a colony. We were a people enslaved. So the farthest thing that one could ever think of (at least for the naive me) is the enslaved being no better than the oppressors who ruled centuries ago.

But Lola’s story was not a soap opera played on TV or in the theatres. It was real.

Today we wail for the lost native culture of the Philippines due to centuries of colonization and oppression. Something, I believe, is warranted. But that grief has also given place to some form of pride that has also blocked the less reflective part of ourselves as to failing to scrutinize the flaws of a glorious past. A pride that makes us neglect what Mr. Tizon had so clearly and honestly written in the article:

Slavery has a long history on the islands. Before the Spanish came, islanders enslaved other islanders, usually war captives, criminals, or debtors. Slaves came in different varieties, from warriors who could earn their freedom through valor to household servants who were regarded as property and could be bought and sold or traded. High-status slaves could own low-status slaves, and the low could own the lowliest. Some chose to enter servitude simply to survive: In exchange for their labor, they might be given food, shelter, and protection. (article)

 

 

Stories are powerful in themselves. They make us think what we normally would not on a daily basis. They make us feel what we probably never have.

The manner of how we value and learn from them, is what makes one story special than the other. But the value isn’t always in the date of an event, or the dress that the subject of the story wore, or the time and place. In fact, I believe it’s the memorization of these facts or data that has made the study of history a subject most of the kids find “boring”  or “tiring.”

Stories gain their impact through the relevance of the experience to the reader or listener. Relevance, meaning: “How does this impact my life? How could I possibly improve the way I think and act throughout my life, from learning this story?” I believe those questions rang through every student whenever they had to learn all about the Stone Age or the World War 3.

However, lot of us nowadays easily know the names of the likes of Clark Kent/Superman, Tony Stark/Ironman and Thor. Fictional characters, nonetheless, their names resonate with a lot of us (who wouldn’t probably excel in highschool/college history) mainly because of how “awesomely” went through their struggles- the impact of which, the audience felt they understood.  (Need I mention how obsessed a scary lot of us with the lives of celebrities?)

Some would remember and willingly go through lengths to learn more details about their characters of interest. But what makes “studying about the details of these characters so easy, but the history of our own and very real people, a drag?

Possibly, because we first focus (and put more weight) on the (trivial?) data like dates, numbers, and places before we try to connect to the story of the humanity  that is within the stories of other people in different times and in different places.

We fail to value it, as we fail to value reflection.

 

Somehow, as I absorbed the impact of Lola’s story a I thought back to all the historical dramas I’ve watched both from Asia and the West. I recalled the condition of Age of Ignorance/Jahilliya in Arabia. All of them had tales of oppression and rising above it.

I thought about how despite our stark differences across continents and even across time, the themes of our stories (our history), as individuals or as a people, were always the same.

Which brings me to one of my favorite verse from the Noble Qur’an:

1.png

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). [13]

Makes me think…

 

Mr. Alex Tizon, the writer who shared Lola’s story that inspired the writing of this entry, was known to be an exceptional journalist whose life’s work involved forgotten people, people on the margins, people who had never before been asked for their stories. He believed that all people had within them an epic story, and he wanted to hear those epic stories—and then help tell them to the world.

I share in that belief.

Maybe if we value the story of the farmer, the maid or the garbage boy as we do with Angelina Jolie’s or the next trending celebrity…

Maybe if we start listening to stories for their actual value rather than gossip…

We can learn to truly grow together.

 

(PS For the record, I really liked studying history. I flunked…just once. But that was because I’d had enough of how the teacher was treating the students. Dumb move. Haha)

 

G.T.