Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Still points, then some movement

Although you had turned off the bedside lamp, faint light kept streaming through the slats of the louvre windows. You got up and, on bare feet, padded towards the sliding doors  and slowly opened them wider, careful again not to wake anyone. You had kept those doors half open the night before so the breeze from the bay could cool the night further. Plus, of course, you wanted the repetitive sound of waves as they crested and fell to cradle and lullabye you. So there you were in the dark balcony, at almost 5 a.m., and on your left was a tree all lit up with capiz lanterns. Yes, you remembered, the third Sunday of Advent was approaching. You returned to the room to fetch the camera.

It was the kind of darkness that you had, many times in your life, wanted to walk straight into. Nay, march into without turning back! But always someone, something, some interfering noise (not even music) pulled you back. But this darkness had a speck of light in the distance. Lighthouse? Fishing boat? Briefly, you remembered the misty lighthouse from where you still dispatched cards and short notes that now and then got a reply. Most of the time, there was silence at the other end. Meanwhile, you went back to the room and put on your wristwatch to time the taking of shots while your elbows remained solidly braced on the balcony railing.

The light became lighter, the clouds were coming out to play. So what must you call this kind of blue then? In The Little Book of Colour Healing, Catherine Cumming and Deborah Italiano cited electric blue for its "jewel-like intensity." With that still light in the distance to stand for a diamond, an electric but unmoving body of blue water was a good spot to put it on top of.

Was that the sun? It could not be because it was too early for this time of the year, the month when darkness was long. What was that orb on the left then? It distracted you from the original still point. Whatever it was, it changed the light. The outlines of the rocks and boulders became more pronounced. Beyond them was the airy blue of the waters. You were tempted to describe them a Nordic blue, but this was the tropics that always kept the promise of pale pale summer skies, yes, so even in December some hearts could remember.

The clouds were coming out to add their cotton-like texture to the brightening sky. Hark hark the lark. You were tired from stooping and peering through a lens. But that state of anticipation enabled you to wait it out. Hmmm…Carly Simon on your mind again.

Framing the still point, framing it--this was the point of your own utterly still posture. It was windless, thus, there was no blurring of the image.
The context, where you stooped to watch
The still lighted point disappeared. After all, it was morning already, and the artificial light must've been extinguished. Beyond you was Filipino blue, not Mediterranean, certainly not Moroccan, blue but your type of blue that spoke of moons in June, jazz in time, the feelings trapped in an indescribable abyss.
And then it was full morning. You stretched on your back on the bed and waited for stirrings of life below, the host calling you down for the promised walk. There was air, pure air, rare air but not enough of it for a wind. The call came.

The meals were spartan, the swim refreshing. It was the perfect mix before the Baudelairean feasting and drinking to follow in the weeks ahead.

Before it was time to clear the room and pack your stuff in your backpack, you leafed once again through your journal, a random turning of pages, until you eyes fell on a verse by the Sufi poet Rumi, the one you had forwarded by SMS to a recuperating friend somewhere in Cavite after his return from a hometown visit to Antique

Not only was it apt but it captured the turmoil, the anger you had gone through. Yes, all that was done and gone. You were heady and ready for the future.

It may be that the satisfaction
I need depends on my going
away, so that when I've gone
and come back, I'll find it
at home.
Before sundown on a Friday, you were back in the boat, near the prow, bidding goodbye to all that. You shut your eyes as you neared the shore and hastily threw an imaginary  pebble into the water packed with great intention to return.
Photos by Babeth Lolarga
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