Saturday, January 10, 2015

I have an appointment with life

A Zen master I was reading today just reminded me that each of us has an appointment with life "in the present moment," not tomorrow but now. In meeting that appointment, may it be a journey of inner and outer peace.

The events since Wednesday have kept me engrossed with what's unfolding in France, the country that gave us the "natural, unalienable and sacred" Rights of Man and inspired members of our ilustrado class like Jose Rizal to question the legitimacy of the Spanish colonial government.

France's example in overthrowing the abusive aristocracy inspired similar revolutions elsewhere. Thoughts have been running through my head which tries to avoid complex political nuances. But the coldblooded murder of the Charlie Hebdo staff and a Muslim policeman doing his job made me sit up and cast aside my indifferent bystander stance.

One of the poignant images I saw and saved into my hard drive in recent days is this--pens and pencils shaped by mourners in France into the peace sign. I work with pen and pencil, too--seemingly harmless tools until they write, draw, shape ideas that can set other minds on fire. I've known what it was to work under an atmosphere of fear during the martial-law years. I marched with those who wanted the Marcos dictatorship unseated so democracy, especially free speech, could be restored.

So today, I say, even in my corner of the Eastern world, I am Charlie.

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