soaked

Yesterday was a cloudy Saturday and I found myself disoriented. After a lengthy phone conversation with my brother about complicated family issues, I felt I needed to think and regroup. For a few minutes, I just paced around the apartment (I do this a lot when panicky or in deep thought, and that time I was both.) I knew I needed to pray but words won’t form, neither in my mouth nor my mind. But somehow I knew heaven was hearing me loud and clear despite the wordlessness. I absentmindedly hunched in front of my computer; if only I could Google the answers to the half-formed questions in my mind. Oh, Lord… I need to breathe.

Looking out the window, I saw that dark clouds had eclipsed the noonday sun. Then it started to rain. Not a drizzle, but a downpour with thunder and lightning to boot. A thought crossed my mind… Why not. I had to act fast before the rational part of me kicked in. I hurriedly put on the shirt lying on my bed, grabbed my house keys, and slipped into my tsinelas. Taking a deep breath at the red gate, I stepped into the pouring rain, arms crossed and sometimes looking up to feel the rain on my face.

I brisk-walked towards the University Avenue, avoiding the gaze of the people (one or two of whom were my neighbors) huddled under the shade of a sari-sari store. I passed a lady effectively shielded from the rain by her huge red umbrella. She looked at me with puzzlement, or so I thought. This is silly, Aleks. But there was no backing out now.

Soon the discomfort wore off as rain drenched my entire body, shirt clinging to skin and shorts weighed down by rainwater. Kids frolicked with abandon under the natural shower as if it was the grandest thing in the world. I was half-expecting some of them to shoot an odd glance at this tall, overaged (relative to them) figure in the rain. Nothing of the sort happened. Either they were too busy having fun to notice me, or maybe, just maybe, in the summer rain everyone, regardless of age or height, is nothing but a kid. Whatever reason each of us had for abandoning the comforts of a roof above our heads that day, the rain gladly blessed us with its refreshing touch.

In the driving rain, I sang on top of my lungs; spread my arms and looked up until I could no longer keep my eyes open; stood still and watched the leaves of a fire tree tremble with the slapping of raindrops; uttered prayers to God, the rainmaker, and wondered whether the mighty sound of the wind carried His answers…

For at least one person in that summer downpour, rain seeped through to the soul — soothing and rejuvenating an anxious spirit.

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isang tula

HUWAG KA SANANG MAGAGALIT
ni Ramon C. Sunico

Huwag ka sanang magagalit
kung sasabihin ko
na hanap-hanap ka
ng aking mga tula.

Huwag ka sanang maiilang
kung tuwing umuulan
isip-isip ko ang init
ng ating katawan.

Ngayon, butas lamang
sa langit ang lahat ng bituin,
Ngayon, sukatan lamang ang buwan
ng layo mo sa akin.

Anumang kuwento
ang simulan ko’y
sa iyo rin nauuwi.
Sa bawat aklat
na aking buklatin
naroroon ang iyong tingin

Alam ko:
may sarili kang tanong
na dapat sagutin;
may sarili kang misteryo
na dapat harapin.
Huwag magmadali: panahon ngayon
ng liwanag at sari-saring dilim;
Oras ng sugat at lamig
at ng paurong-sulong na pagpapaumanhin.

Ngunit Tess, mahal,
pinakamatalik kong kaibigan,
huwag ka sanang magagalit
huwag ka sanang maiilang
kung aking sasabihin

na tuwing humihinga ako
naaamoy kita,
na tuwing pumipikit ako,
ikaw ang nagiging umaga.

__________
Bee-YOO-ti-pol! If that isn’t heartwarmingI could almost feel the pinchI don’t know what is! Found this beautiful poem buried in the “Quotes” folder in my computer (along with assorted foods for thought gleaned from articles, books, blogs I have come across). I may have lifted this affecting poem from a blog somewhere. Just for fun, I tried to record my voice reading the poem 😉 Too bad (or is it good?) I don’t know how to post audio on Blogger. I’m still struggling to regain my blogging momentum after more than a month of hiatus, so it might take a while for anything original and current to be posted. Meantime, enjoy the poem, as I have. Oh to be a poet… 😉

straining to listen

“Listen to your life,” wrote the preacher and novelist Frederick Buechner. If you were to pay close attention to the murmurs and moans, cheers and chuckles, sighs and songs of your life the way it is right now, what would their collective message be? Are you ready to hear it?

At night when you lie down the ambient silence amplifies the inner sounds. Then you have hardly any option but to listen. Pain that has never found its way to becoming an outward tear, wail, or whimper etches itself on the walls of the heart. In the still of night you hear the scratching sound of the etching most loudly (sometimes the sting is almost physical). Thoughts and emotions that were crowded out by the day’s demands now lace your solitude like scents: some pungent, some perfume-like—but all linked to certain memories and feelings (if only making sense of them were as easy as the child’s game of connecting the dots). But the engagement doesn’t last for long. Soon the eyes droop in sleep and the whole body is anesthetized. Then it is time for dreams, the cacophony of the subconscious, to sound off and be heard.

You open a book and some words leap off the pages, piercing the heart or setting the wheels of the mind in motion. Listen—for the resonance is rarely coincidental or meaningless. The personal reflections and thoughts of some distant writer can very well be your own. “That which is most personal is most universal,” observes Henri Nouwen. Bits of literature, music, or any art form that suddenly grips you are likely to bear a message you most need to hear—and heed—at that particular season of your life.

_________________

Random thoughts excavated from my computer files. Written during the blog dry spell of over one month.