12.29.2013

Let It End And Let Me Start All Over Again


A few days before the New Year and the wind blew rather harshly, disturbing the stillness of the cold advent sky.

It is unusual to be windy at this time of the year. Perhaps it is nature’s way of summoning 2013 to hasten to leave. And I thought, Maybe all the bad omen will be gone with it, too.

The wind’s unexpected presence was haunting; it was as if it carried flashbacks from the days and months that passed; flashbacks that I long to forget and yet they seemed to be engraved in my memory for the rest of my life. I found my emotions still bursting like fireworks as I vividly recall those moments. And if only I could skip past those parts and spare myself tears and agony. But I guess some things are really meant to happen and inevitably, some of life’s chapters had to be written that way.

It is a few days before the New Year and I wait… The wind managed to sneak into my bedroom window; I peacefully fell asleep as it gently caressed my skin and took away some of the pain that I was willing to let go.


12.18.2013

Broken Hymn


Night was stealing the scene from daylight when mom and I were walking down the old market sidewalk one late afternoon. There was still so much commotion here and there despite the fall of darkness, but they all seemed invisible with me immersed in my own thoughts.

My reverie was interrupted by the voices of children singing Christmas carols in front of one open business stall; they grew with more clarity as mom and I approached. Christmas is in the air, I told myself, my thoughts still floating as if I was walking half-asleep.

There is something in the melody of Christmas songs that puts me in a melancholic mood. These days the skies have been gloomy at daytime seemingly reflecting the brokenness of this world; they probably must have sensed my brokenness, too. And I wonder year after year why loneliness fills my atmosphere everytime the 25th of December draws near.

But isn’t that what He came here for? To make the broken whole, the wounded healed, and the lonely joyful? Somehow it’s all starting to make sense to me.

The children’s voices gradually faded as mom and I slowly walked away, until all that’s left of them was a memory.




12.14.2013

Starlight


Grandpa’s house, the family house of my mom’s side of the family, is like our second home, its doors always open for us in laughter or in sorrow.

One night I and my sister came for our regular visit; we were greeted at the doorstep by Christmas lights shaped like a miniature tree, flickering in the dark like stars of varying colors. Aunt M did a pretty good job decorating the house – the Christmas Spirit was very much alive.

We stepped into the well-lit living room to find grandpa sitting on a black leather sofa chair, his cheerful disposition, a light on its own, brightening up the place even more. My cousin then tells me that he walked all the way from his room, a mere few steps away, to where he was seated with the supervision of his caregiver. Aunt L’s ecstatic Facebook comment from a month ago as we showed her a photo of grandpa standing upright with a cane echoed in my mind: “Papa can walk again! Praise the Lord!”

My thoughts brought me back to the time when he got ill, bedridden, and helpless a few months ago, memories of which I’d rather forget. But after all those days and nights I secretly cried to God, He finally showed me that there is indeed redemption. I smiled an incandescent smile as I carried an inexplicable joy in my heart that has been scarred countless times.

The noise grew faint and my mind fell into silence as my gaze was fixed on the Christmas lights flamboyantly changing in colors; they reminded me of life.


12.10.2013

Sparkle


Somewhere in the darkness of your world, God sends a firefly along the way.

I was told to buy dinner at Jollibee that night. The lady who took my order was smiling from ear to ear as she saw me approach the counter, her eyes glinting with glee, her teeth sparkly white. Her cheerful disposition was highly contagious; I felt the burden in my chest lighten and found myself smiling back. The positive vibe accompanied me until I left, her face full of life playfully flashing in my mind like Christmas lights.

I somehow lost the ability to smile out of pure joy, with loneliness always hanging around and tugging me away from it. I am surprised by how a flux of negative circumstances can kill the sweetness in a person; at some point I felt like I didn’t have enough strength left to fight it anymore. But in my heart I feel there is a flicker of hope that helps me through the darkest days; that hope keeps me alive.

I know the sun will shine again; it always does.



Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Sparkle-196569

12.06.2013

Escape


The city never sleeps it seems.

Vehicles raged unceasingly as if they owned the streets day in and day out; I am not used to their noise anymore, having stayed in the province for quite some time now. The city knew me better, though, its rebelling symphony mirroring my thoughts during the last couple of days.

Every little corner was filled with people and yet it felt like I was all by myself; sometimes I prefer it that way, to be surrounded by people I don’t know, especially when I want to hide and run away from it all. Strangers let me be, while familiar faces may ask too many questions; I am afraid I might not know all the answers… that I might not be able to give them the answers they would like to hear.

I lay in bed that night listening to the chaos that seemed to come from afar. But when I closed my eyes the maddening turmoil from within sprang forth in the dark.


12.01.2013

Winter Of The Heart


The bus sped smoothly down the highway late that afternoon, taking me and my thoughts from place to place.

My mom was seated right next to me, playing Christmas songs stored in her cellular phone; the voice of Karen Carpenter as she sang Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire was a melodious mix of joy and melancholy, but the song failed to move me in any way; I hardly felt any emotion and I wondered if that was a good thing.

Barely noticing the passing of time, I watched as the scenes from the window swiftly changed. A few minutes later the skies sent a downpour, the raindrops on the glass window distorting the view from the outside; moist began to form as the air grew colder until I could no longer see clearly through the window pane.

I checked the time and we were still a few hours away from our destination. My eyes felt heavy and soon I found myself sleeping my way through empty feelings.




Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Winter-Of-The-Heart-186659

11.24.2013

Quieted


I began the series of questioning again.

God took in all the queries I threw at Him, me being His frantic interviewer. Most of them weren’t new; I ask a lot of things over and over again, common ones being “Why?” and “When will this ever end?”; provoked by my utmost impatience, I always demanded Him for an answer. I do most of the talking until I run out of things to say.

And yet no thunder or ray of light would appear from the sky, just like how the miracle stories were written in the Scriptures by our forefathers; not even a voice would speak to me to let me know I was conversing with someone. God would remain silent, calm and stillness being His nature. And only the mute walls and the lingering silence of the room and my emotions coming to a demise seemed to keep me company.

There was no one else around, but I knew I wasn’t alone. I never was.



Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Quieted-181309

11.20.2013

Nothingness


I lay in bed but could not sleep, my mind like one huge bag of air.

Thoughts, albeit overflowing, are in a whirl, wandering like a hermit lost in the desert. For a moment, I would gain the strength to silence them; but after a while they resurface, meaningless as ever, like a stranger insisting that I get to know her better. I must have been that out of sync with myself. I often am.

I hear multiple muffled sounds coming from outside: random people conversing on the street, women nearby laughing with abandon, the neighbor’s dog’s frenzied yapping, a small vehicle swiftly passing by; the noise making me realize that I was still in touch with reality. But there was something more than just the four walls enclosing this room like a box that kept that distance between me and the rest of the world; the barriers that only an aloof mind can build.

The crickets began to sing in the dark; suddenly all that made sense was the restless beating of my heart.


Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Nothingness-179091

11.17.2013

Sleeping Through November


The house remains bare of anything Christmas.

The walls white with specks of dust and empty promises; cobwebs hanging in random corners with their own story to tell; the breeze mysteriously creeping indoors through half-opened jalousie windows. The air a little colder; the cold as defined by the Philippine weather; the cold not cold enough to make me want to wrap even a thin blanket around myself. And yet it is November. Or at least my calendar tells me so.

In my country, the Christmas season begins in September. The sunny tropics is unmindful of the magical transition from summer to fall in the western world; I can only take a peek of it through Facebook pictures and the blogs of those who get to bathe in those autumn leaves. Not even Halloween and Thanksgiving are part of the Filipino culture, although some are free to join the fun should they wish to do so; and All Saints’ Day isn’t even a time for celebration. All that we look forward to during these months is Christmas. But here we are in mid-November and my senses have not awakened from their August slumber.

“You should hang these,” my mom told me as she showed me two of the medium-sized lanterns she bought recently. I smiled at her gesture of finally letting the Christmas Spirit enter our home. But the smile did not last; it was slowly washed away by the bittersweet realization that things are never the same.



Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Sleeping-Through-November-173761

11.14.2013

Trails Of A Nightmare


Silence screamed like a million voices wanting to be heard.

The audible hustle and bustle of life seemed to fade in the background. People move on; life goes on. And yet you could tell that a drastic change took place. They may not say a word about it but you could read it in their faces.

We were not physically affected by the killer typhoon Haiyan; but our hearts were, its aftermath piercing us like a thousand knives. My uncle and his wife used to live in Tacloban, the city hit the hardest by this monster storm; he thought of the people he knew there and wondered if they survived. My mom was grateful that they moved back here years ago; she could not begin to fathom their fate should they have stayed there and experienced the wrath of Haiyan. The news on tv and the photos in the internet linger in my mind like a restless soul; I am terrified by the thought that Mother Nature can mercilessly sweep an entire city off the face of the earth.

“Why is it so quiet?” I asked my aunt. “We grieve…” she said, her voice an echoed melancholy in the commanding stillness of the night.


Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Trails-Of-A-Nightmare-A-173090

11.11.2013

Roar


Nighttime fell and there was a commotion on the street.

Horns were honked furiously and passersby turned their heads out of sheer curiosity. I, my sister, and my mom inevitably approached the scene as we were headed towards the opposite side of the road. There stood a black van which crushed the front wheel of a motorcycle. Another collision, I thought. How many of them have I seen this year? It was rather common. But that was the first time I had to walk right past through it.

Cops were investigating the accident causing traffic on one lane. The three of us stayed in the middle of the road in the meantime as vehicles busily advanced on the opposite lane; it almost felt like being in the middle of everything. The roaring engines drowned my thoughts; drivers and passengers bickering out of frustration nearly made me lose my patience; I couldn’t wait to get away from there at last.

A motorcycle swerved right behind me and I overheard the driver complain of how people crossing the street were blocking his way. His rudeness fueled my rage; but thank goodness vehicles gave way for people to finally pass through and the intense emotion died down.

Madness does not last. Anger is passing. Everything is.



Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Roar-A-171284

11.08.2013

Little Girl

7 Little Girl 1 700 copy

What her story is all about I can barely recall.

I usually come up with these stories in my head and then put them on paper through drawing. But right now, all I can remember is that I got discouraged along the way for a reason I choose not to divulge. And this along with other unfinished pieces were kept untouched inside a shiny brown envelope for months.

For one moment, I decided to play around and be a child once again. That little girl inside me has gone missing for a while. Real life must have terrified her; it always does; her heart is much too frail. Threatened to grow up far beyond her years by the challenges of this world, she crawled underneath the covers where she always felt safe.

I saw her slowly walking towards me. Her questioning eyes met mine, a trace of apprehension on her once innocent face. I did not say a word but she knew I wasn’t capable of giving her comfort.

7 Little Girl 2 700 copy7 Little Girl 3 700 copy

Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Little-Girl-A-168749

11.06.2013

Feelings Are Not Dead



Maybe I should totally skip the coffee at night.

My bed isn’t a friendly place for thoughts. Closing my eyes brought out events that I’d rather not write about. But then I guess laying in the dark does that. I eventually retreated to the dimly lit living room, made myself comfortable on the wooden rocking chair, and cuddled with my dogs; their licks on my face like a child’s sweet kisses and the touch of their fur on my skin as good as a much-needed embrace.

The emptiness is slowly fading away but the feelings are not quite there. Smiling felt forced; although I have a lot of reasons to laugh and be happy about, my heart is devoid of glee and remains a space filled with nothing but air. Melancholy is far more enticing I suppose. I noticed my irritation towards the slightest shortcomings of the people around me; I’m not really as sweet as I may seem to be.

For now, I’ll watch how the fleeting nature of my emotions unfolds.



Originally posted at http://www.teckler.com/en/Irenewrites/Feelings-Are-Not-Dead-A-167254