Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking stock

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 11 months and 24 days ago, on December 10, 2010. It is being delivered from the past through

Dear FutureMe,
I am writing this today, it's Dec 10, 2010.
Ano na nangyayari sa'yo ngayon? Ano na ang plans mo?
Are you in a relationship? Are you happy?
Well at least try be for this day :-)
Good luck!

Dear PastMe,

Nagulat ako sa email mo, nakalimutan ko na 'to totally. Nakiliti ako nung nung pagbukas ko ng email ko at andyan yung sulat mo, para kasi akong nakatanggap ng isang napakagandang balita.

Ni hindi nga ako makapaniwala halos isang taon na pala ang nakalipas. 2011 has been a year of metamorphosis, actually. And you know what? It started unfolding the day after you wrote that letter. Just one day, truly, sabi nga nila: what a difference a day makes. All I did was to open myself.

Or, maybe to put it better, to finally break down all the walls I've built to challenge myself with. It was a labyrinth I am no longer in need of. I thought I needed to triumph over some Minotaur at the heart of it, but there was none after all. I admit there was some dark pleasure in being haunted, even by your self.  And all these years, I had a hard time knowing where the maze actually stops, and where the real world begins.

But then you sneak in some light little by little. Watch how new shapes are limned out of the familiar darkness you knew only by touch, and discover the usual doors and windows that comes with a usual home, a bit unkempt and musty, but yours altogether.

There is room for others here, too, if only you welcome yourself to stay.

Pastme, I've met a lot of new people, and together with the old, all of them have made this past year the landmark in a man's life that it has become. And then there's also this one who wandered just by my door, I happened to have let him in despite the dishes waiting in the sink. He said he doesn't mind and I hope to high heavens he really really meant it so. Because in my room, I pinned this oddly-fitting photograph of two people sharing the same smile. Outside the frame, you can't see it, but he holds him in his hands. The pronouns pertaining to which person does which make for bad grammar, but this is not about grammar.

I am now getting back to those remaining dishes.

There are days to sit out under the sun and sky. Search yourself and make plans. And again when some don't work. Take walks when it hurts. Clean your desk once in a while. Kiss inside the movies. Say stupid things, write badly, fail to meet deadlines. Breathe deeply and take the world in, isn't it all there? Don't you just have to will it and choose?

Uncertain as ever the future is, you go on and meet it nonetheless. And is there any other way? But remember to carry always a space in your heart and a bigger one on your head. Hold not yourself back, but take anchorage in what you hold dear. Let your hands them remember well.