I was born in the Year of the Sheep so this new lunar year is supposed to be a good one for me. I'm not taking a chance on leaving it all to fate. So certain decisions I am firm about, more firm than usual. My January surgery and the prognosis that the tumor removed from me was benign prodded me to value my family and friends double their worth in my life. They are my true riches, indeed.
So when a friend invites me over and my calendar is empty, especially on a new holiday like yesterday's Chinese New Year, I go without hesitation. If the visit is over and there's time and no appointments for the next day that require my turning in early, I inquire from other friends living nearby if I may visit. "Oh do not ask 'What is it? Let us go and make our visit." Thanks for the line, T.S. Eliot. I seem to be living it!
And at lost last, someone took a picture of me and Gilda in a pose I've always wanted to do with her: my hugging her from behind. She has this extremely instructive essay on how to calibrate a hug so that it's sincere and not uncomfortable or showing emotional neediness. She's aware I've always been an awkward hugger so where best to learn the rules than from the master herself?
It was a good way to end an early evening together so I could move to the next visit at nearby Fisher Mall where I met up with Bobbie Malay and Satur Ocampo. I always run into them at book launches or similar events, but we never get to go beyond the surface greetings. This time it was just the three of us talking about our families, children and grandkids, what true fulfillment is like over a light meal at Kokoro Ramenya. You never get to talk about these subjects at length in a noisy party.
Earlier, we browsed through a pile of books on sale at P10 pesos each and up. I brought home four; the couple brought home their own stash of Filipino-authored titles.
Like old folks with little time left, we promised to do it again, and they said they would also visit their almost next-door neighbor Gilda who has an injury on her dominant right hand and temporarily can't write or paint.