I know you’d say this is such a boring picture. That you’ve seen this before and that I could have done this better; maybe, find another angle to give larger space for the ripples in the water, so that maybe, it could bring about the catharsis that we need.
You know, you might be right. I took this picture towards the sunset in early 2006 when things were equally foreboding as they are now. I remember staring at the dark clouds looming over the estuary of Davao Gulf and thinking I should not take such kind of pictures in the beginning of the year--!
But who could resist? I clicked away the shutters, discarding the symbol and, as my pagan soul seems to warn me, a thousand and one repercussions. In the face of such irresistible beauty who would still care for meanings? Isn’t that how cruel our impulses are?
This morning, I was crying at the dining table because Jamil told me I was not cut out for running stories, I often get left behind. But I was not cut out for slow moving stories either because I had not written anything of the sort for a long time.
I did not have anything against Jamil. He is the kind of man who would push you down when you’re down and push you up when you’re up.
In fairness to Jamil, he cried the first time he saw my first fiction in a magazine. That year, we still lived in a garage. He used to treat me like that woman in VS Naipaul’s “The House of Mr. Biswas” but the day he read that story, he came up to the room in a daze and taking a long, hard look at me, said, “Ma, you made it, Ma.” If you’d known Jamil for a long time, you wouldn’t believe he would do it—come to the room in a daze and say, “Ma, you made it, Ma.” I wanted to ask him, made what? But I merely stared at him and kept quiet because I knew how lousy that story was. I kept a copy of it in my drawer to take a look at it once in a while but over the years, my belief only strengthened that it was really such a lousy piece. So, I hid it again in the drawers hoping that someday, I will have the courage to burn it. I was not crying because Jamil told me I was not cut out for running stories because I believe he was right. I was crying because I remembered something that Rainier Maria Rilke wrote in his “Letters to the Young Poet.”
Things are getting so dark for me these days that I began rummaging my files to search for meanings.