Thursday, April 9, 2015

Staying hungry and foolish for life

The title of today's blog is inspired by a article, written by Shavawn M. Berry, on taking a fool's leap into the world.

Leaps of faith have been what my late teacher Nieves B. Epistola called the "style markers" of my life. Especially as far as a checkered employment career is concerned. Especially as I am about to arrive at the big six zero that will give me certain privileges as a senior citizen, but I never know what will happen within the span of a day, no matter how well laid out my plans are.

It's really up to some divine source and my own determination to begin something (whether an article, a poem, a painting, volunteer work) and end it either with a flourish, a deafening slam of the door or a gentle tap of a computer key. This progressive learning of how to live from moment to moment lets me stay hungry (not entirely the physical pangs of hunger) and stay foolish. The fool is me, the one who even in almost late adulthood chooses to look at the world like a child.

One time a former editor told me how the longest service record she ever had in a publication was five years. Another former boss, also with a journalism background, said media life is one of musical chairs. But it was the tone with which they said what they said that grabbed me. There was no tinge of regret.

And so is the living of my life...on a wing and a prayer but with dignified desperation because I know that at the end of it, at the closing of a chapter, perhaps, perhaps and maybe I shall be rewarded with the face of He/She I call my God.

Meanwhile, let me close this latest outburst of kinder angst with some lines of a poem shared by a friend this morning. He said this Seamus Heaney poem was voted in Ireland as the best-loved poem written in the past 100 years, It's about a quiet moment when he and his mother peeled potatoes: "I remember her head bent towards my head, / Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives -- / Never closer the whole rest of our lives."

I am suddenly missing my lola who helped make my young happy Baguio memories possible, Dad whose silence was always "more than words", Mrs. Epistola who showed both her cerebral and emotional sides when there was just the two of us. They're gone from this world, but Mom is still around although I'm far away from her now. She has always been that pillar of strength made of the finest steel in our family. I wish her more years.

Self-portraits with enlarging shadows. Shot in Baguio, 2014.
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