Skip to main content

Open Page

2009 rode roughshod over a lot of people. I had a miscarriage in January 2009 and with that baby, who waved at me in the ultrasound with ten fingers and ten toes and a face I could almost recognize, I buried a dream. Even so, I had imagined a seed was planted in that grave and that it would sprout from the earth, grow into a towering tree of love, and spread it's shade above us. Months later I was desperately drowning my sorrow in all the wrong waters. I found myself at the dead-end of a wonderful relationship that had lasted eight and a half years. Hundreds of people were left reeling from the aftermath of Ondoy and Pepeng. I didn't get the giant tree of love I wanted but in it's place a beautiful, lush, disorderly garden was thriving and teeming with untamed life, and death, and life. I only had to see it for what it was.

Also last year, my family mourned the death of a grand aunt whose love for all of us was greater than the sum of all parts of the clan, and whose parting words of advice were, "Enjoy life."

So I began 2010 by wishing my friends hundreds of little heavens and the gift of sight to see and know them in every small instance. Honing this gift of discernment is turning out to be harder than I expected. To get better at it I'm registering, as much as I can, all the little moments of recognition, when I know I am standing in a little bit of heaven on earth. Here is one such moment.

The other day one of my sukis in the market gave -- yes, GAVE! -- me these two delicious pieces of tinapa. She sells chicken but early last year she diversified and she and her husband began making their own tinapa. When I said I wanted to buy only one piece she put two in the bag and said she was just giving them both to me. She thrust the fish into my basket and waved me away as I protested. I thanked her profusely and walked through the rest of my market route with a big smile plastered on my face. She's one of the reasons I still love our good old market more than I could ever care for the new, antiseptic supermarket chains sprouting all over Baguio.

It's amazing how such a simple gift and brief exchange can outweigh a whole year's misery -- that is, if one has learned how to let go of misery. I'm still learning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lola of Maipon

It's all too easy to fall asleep under the blanket of everyday life and to smother dreams with the mundane things I surround myself with. But once in a while, along comes a sparkling vision that jolts me out of my daily sleep and reminds me of the existence of convictions and worlds so different from my own. "Our beloved LOLA of Guinubatan, Maipon, Albay is the last true messenger of God. So, let us follow her holy teachings so that we will gain TRUE SALVATION without sufferings and without death." In another story I, the intrepid heroine, the adventurer seduced by mysteries, the pilgrim in search of truth, would follow them back to Guinubatan from Session Road, thirsting to see and hear their Lola for myself. However, it's all too easy -- much safer! -- to fall back asleep under the blanket of everyday life, and to smother dreams with the mundane things I surround myself with. Then along comes 9 a.m., and really, it's time to down the dregs of coffee at the bott

Cordillera Folktales and Story-telling

It was cold and wet outside on the day of the launching of The Golden Arrow of Mt. Makilkilang and other Cordillera Folktales . But inside Mt. Cloud Bookshop we were warmed by stories read and performed by the Aanak di Kabiligan community theater group. Storytelling on a stormy afternoon. Paco Paco. A Benguet story from the book, published by the Cordillera Green Network. Aanak di Kabiligan means children of the mountains. The theater group was born out of the Cordillera Green Network's eleven years of conducting workshops in which children transform their grandparents' stories into theater productions. Here they perform the title story of the Golden Arrow of Mt. Makilkilang and Other Cordillera Folktales.

Birds of Baguio and Benguet

The Little Boss and I went to see the Birds of Baguio and Benguet Photo Exhibit at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary . I carried her so she could see them up close and she pointed to each and every photo demanding, "What's that? What about that? What about this one?" I dutifully read out the name of every single bird featured in the exhibit: Scale-feathered Malkoha, Luzon Sunbird, Citrine Canary Flycatcher, and so on.We discussed the colors of their feathers and the shapes of their beaks. Some of the birds were already familiar to her. The crow and the shrike are frequent visitors in our garden. Shrike in the hands of the Artist-in-Residence, with the Little Boss' first hesitant touch. Taken October 2013. Once a young shrike in flight crashed into our picture window and lay on the ground, stunned. The Little Boss and the Artist-in-Residence held it lovingly in their hands and as soon as it pushed against their palms they gently released it. That was The Littl