His Name is Clint

In all his essence,  Robert Kincaid let the irreverent rain absorb his entirety as he waited for Francesca Johnson to decide, will she run to him? Or give him something that will define what they had for four days, I guess we will never know, but he waited under the rain long enough to know he had to go. It was time to go. Francesca Johnson overcame the painful grip she has been sustaining and chose to stay in the car, as she watched Robert Kincaid disappear in his shabby truck. She chose to do the right thing in the end.

 That was the infamous

P Train

“Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?”

­I will never be able to talk about M Train and share my review about my whole reading experience without being overly sentimental. I will probably just stick to what the cowpoke breathed at the last part of the book- “Some things, we save for ourselves”. The book’s limpid style will hook you to the reverence Patti Smith used in writing about attachments, loss, grief, acceptance and love for the dead and her fixation with cafés. If she calls the book her mental train, I call it my peace or peaceful train. I’ve never had a friend opening up to reveal herself to me in a long time and I boldly felt her intention to be one as she wrote her daily discourses. There was pure bliss in her everydayness, perhaps I saw a lot of myself in her and what I can do and just be when I’m back to the confinement of  living a solitary life. I have always envisioned my retirement years living in a cottage and earning the freedom and luxury to write without the worry of time.

Read it, read it-  is all I can say. A rite of passage. I have appreciated more the time to pay  attention to everything, then to nothing.

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What Our Mirrors Show

A church leader once asked me in an interview what happiness means to me. He gave me a few minutes, allowed me to improvise an imaginary vessel that can hold my heart, where I could clearly see what’s inside it. I would have to literally look at everything that my heart holds, places, things, dreams and people. I do not have to use my mind. He interrupted me from my thoughts when he may have noticed I was not in the room with him anymore. He said, “those you see in the vessel, that’s your happiness”.

“Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?” Harry shook his head.

“Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help.”

Harry thought. Then he said slowly, “It shows us what we want… whatever we want…”

“Yes and no,” said Dumbledore quietly.

“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.

“The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don’t you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.”

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Snippets

“And we are back to being strangers. To being bell towers of our own churches.

I think we have this peculiar pattern of being okay with each other then abhorring  each other the next minute. The sad truth is, I may be the only one noticing and you are oblivious of everything that has something to do with me. I do not exist. Why do I have a talent in collecting misfits? I was in love with somebody for seven years who was a complete misfit. But you are a labyrinth of complexities. Which is redundant.” 

An excerpt from my old journal. Excessively sentimental. This strengthens the truth that pain is always ephemeral which is both a comfort and  a misery. I have been meaning to start The Winter Of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck but I still feel the pull of finishing Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m okay with reading multiple books at the same time, one for “work break book”, another one for leisure which is “anytime book”, then another one when traveling but I’m preparing myself for Steinbeck’s last work and I’ll give it an exclusive time and attention. Those who know me somehow may have been too tired of hearing me talk about this book I have not even read. Everything Is Illuminated  has become too taxing to finish, I guess I anticipated too much and have worn myself out in always waiting for the “big parts”. Again, forgetting to be in the present and to just enjoy what I am reading and to stop having too many images. Carpe Diem.

I used to think the saddest word ever created on earth is “alone” but I realized it’s “estrangement”.

Do You Know How To Forgive?

I’m certain of one thing, that it is not easy to be Christlike, we all know that, but if we are aiming for divine condition, we have zero percentage of allowable coherence to harbor hatred or grudges, useless anger and to indulge ourselves into endless blaming and provocations. We are not entitled to anything, albeit difficult to accept. We all know how complex of a smorgasbord our world is when we talk of people hurting people. We have propensity for delaying forgiveness to people just because something means more when we hold on to it. I means nothing, holding on to those pain. It’s a joust of choices out there. To forgive or not to forgive. The choice is ours. May we be wise.

A colleague, as she passed by my station before going home, noticed that I have been working on this article for weeks now. I thought everybody was oblivious of what the other does after work so I never thought somebody was paying attention.

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Starting Everything Is Illuminated

After owning this book for eight months now, I have finally decided to read it. I learned that reading is all about timing. I bought my second copy online and it looks way better than my movie tie-in edition and this encouraged me to finally put my hands on it a la up-a-daisy. I discovered Jonathan Safran Foer through a friend I used to share great conversations with. That person and I are no longer friends, it was the kind of estrangement written in heaven and for a time, I considered forsaking anything about this author just because he is his favorite writer. One would shun from anything that would remind of her past but I cannot bring myself to giving JSF’s books away. So, all’s good and in the end I still feel grateful that there were a lot of good things that came out of that friendship. One is Foer, for crying out loud, he is somebody that should be included in our life syllabus because everything that comes out of his mouth illuminates. You have to read his works to know what I’m talking about (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eating Animals and Here I Am, his first novel in ten years which will come out in September 2016). He has the similar amalgam of tenderness, at the same time, roughness as Isaiah, known for his double-edged sword scriptural verses that people would either dig or not get at all. JSF is the layman’s term for the prophet in the old testament. Not everybody will like him but it’s impossible not to notice his novels, they’re difficult to digest, even passing as snob sometimes. But he is worth the study and the experience. There are great things thriving in that man.

 

Our Third Place

I still shiver, shake and shrink around people but I will continue to go out, pay attention to my surroundings, just like what J.K. Rowling used to do, I will not cease to look for names of the people I can possibly know and involve as my characters for this book I’m working on called my life.

When J.K. Rowling was writing her first two Harry Potter books, she found it cheaper to buy a cup of coffee and sometimes, even ask for a glass of water. She would write longhand in this cafe called “The Elephant House” the whole day, rather than paying for her heating bill at home as she was a struggling single mother at that time. Every day, she would sit on the third floor and stare out of the window. The cafe made a little sanctuary for her in this location– after the books got enormously famous, of course.

I have always wondered, what did she see from that window?

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