I just made half the century mark yesterday and boy I feel old. Birthdays in my 20’s mean booze and jam heavily on guitar or chase a good tune and always past the legal limit. Now? A good book to read on until la-la land is better. Sighs.
Some people look better with age. The golden tinge of skin color and the crumpled lines in the corner of the eye made George Clooney appear in perpetual smile. How odd to be so crumpled and yet so good looking. And, leathery it may seem, the roughened skin around his face add to his manhood appeal. But I am no Clooney, and my furrows suggest more of a squint than a smile.
This is a share, a re-blog (not quite sure if that is the word for it) of a blog written by Joanne Guidoccio in a post she did two, three days ago. If you’re reading this, Joanne, thank you, again.
Two years ago, I participated in a series of Artist’s Way workshops facilitated by Lisa Browning of One Thousand Trees. During one of those sessions, I encountered an interesting task: Create an artist’s prayer. While reflecting and researching, I discovered the following Writer’s Prayer written by Sandy Tritt:
… … “You give your hand to me and then you say hello” … …
The hopeless romantics among you (me included) know this is not my line. It is from a composition entitled: “You Don’t Know Me”. This song was vastly popular back in the days, was rendered by various artists with big names enough to be set forth in glitzy neon lights.
Of them all I like the take of Michael Buble. He brings the tune off to a new plane with his talk-like manner of serenade and the folksy style with which he carried himself. And of the so many that covered the piece, Buble is the youngest, and, quite the bit unexpected to hang around to an old melody. But he did it. He breathes life into and made relevant what should have been a long-forgotten relic.
Long time ago, the oceans weren’t blue. They were as clear as your glass of drinking water. So, when people take to the beach or travel on it, they see through all the way down the deepest recesses, as clear as we see distant horizons. This unnerved the fisherfolks to see serpentine-like sea creatures slither through and disappear in the underwater chasm.
The sea god, Dagatan disliked this too. Dagatan felt that human encroachment into his watery world is already something; giving off privacy is too much. Something has got to be done. So, the sea god gathered his subjects to talk things through. They finally agreed to put up a five-foot thick layer of blue colored water screen. This veneer of blinder installed ten feet below ocean surface is to prevent prying eyes to filter through.
A chair is still a chair even if there is no one sitting there – so, goes a line of an old song. No doubt, yet even a chair may a have story worth telling if one only sees it with one’s heart.
Of all, I choose this chair. This because it’s old, made of wood and avow of old money – mounds of money, perhaps. And this in particular, because it seems to have it all. This woodwork is seasoned, imbued with character and craftsmanship that can only be described as a labor of love and the promise of stories of times past.
This chair is old and frayed with patches of thinning wood stains on some areas that lay bare its woodiness. The visible wood grains follow imaginary sinuous contours of alternating light and dark tracts that tell of its growth at diverse seasons. Although the grains follow a serpentine-like path, it is ultimately concentric and whose spider web appearance is permanently fossilized into the wood. At its center is a dark soft, corky wood matter. This Achilles is carved out and refilled with body filler and sealed.
Let me indulge you to a different kind of writing experience and hope you’ll join. I’ll bullet things I like doing. I’ll put it in a sentence that begins with “I like …” For example: “I like movies”. But instead of outright run-on sentences, I’ll expand the sentence, example: “I like movies”. I’ll expand this to, “I like watching scary movies at night over garlic flavored bag of tortilla chips”. Ready?
“I like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony”. Sorry, I can’t help it. Yes, this is a line from an old song
“I like the gut wrenching total abandon of downhill ride on mountain bike over twisty turns and devil-may-care drops”
“I like when things veer off to an exciting turn than meander on the mundane”
Afraid to scratch the tracks and ruin the record, I held my breath to steady my hands as I lifted the needle from the recording that played on the vinyl player. Abruptly, the music stopped and silence descended like the sword of Damocles. I replaced the vinyl record with a more upbeat “Manila Sounds” and chase it with syncopated dance steps.
You may be stunned at how we do things back in the days – quite understandably so. But each time we reminisce, the memory never fails to crack a smile into our faces. Especially when pictures are shared and talked upon – in real-time. Such is CLASSIC BAI, TITOS AND TITAS OF CEBU, a Facebook group page that features anything and everything old timer from 1960’s to 1990’s. And so, the past is a repertoire of memories good and bad, yet the mind tends to romanticize the past to make us feel bad of the present.
Did you know that Hitler had only one testicle? Not that the world gave a damn; hell, even Eva Braun his wife of two days never even complained for the lack of it upon discovery in one of their kinky intimacies.
This writing may have come about from scorn over a leader that the Deutsche people once thought would deliver them out of an embarrassing defeat in war and a repressive war treaty; but whose personality dysfunction marked humanity’s darkest hours. Record shows the German dictator caused a conflict that led to the greatest number of deaths in all the wars by far. Over sixty (60) million people died. Majority of these are civilian deaths at forty-five (45) million with battle wounded up to twenty-five (25) million. These numbers do not include those casualties related to famine and disease, torture, rape and crimes against humanity. If the numbers dizzy you, a million is one thousand times one thousand.
“Are we all set? … Let’s go”. We all took off early on wheels to northern part of Cebu. It is 5:00 AM and the amber glow of morning light washed up the sky, evaporating the last of the evening away.
The dawn didn’t seem to have any memory of the night before. It was a night of dark clouds, rain and thunder that boomed across the horizons. And, although still soggy, cold and damp, it appears to augur a beautiful day ahead. And what better way to celebrate that promise than a roadtrip, relish on some native food along the way, be flexible with the destination and enjoy each other’s company.
Waking up and starting a road trip at this hour, either you hear the distant crow of chicken trumpeting the arrival of a new day or you hear silence – the deafening sound of silence. I wonder if Paul Simon got the kick out of writing one of their classics in the foggy embrace of early morn. I tried to ignore the thought, but the song keeps repeating itself in my brain. With no particular destination in mind, we just thread where the road leads.
Roy Barnes, a US governor of the state of Georgia in 2003 said: “traffic is only one of the side effects of growth”. I disagree. I say failure of government’s foresight, lack of planning and negligent execution is the cause of traffic woes.
And what is true to Georgia, USA is also true to any congested city in the world – Cebu included. In particular, the horrendous rate of number of new vehicles pouring into our streets every year, government’s inability to build new alternate roads and interminable road repairs and the unrestrained self-indulgent drivers. All these collectively are the ones causing traffic woes in Cebu.
DOTr records as published in: www.dotr.gov.ph said that in 2011, Cebu registered 574,640 vehicles. The following year, vehicle registration reached 625,319. That is 50,679 additional new vehicles. That’s one vehicle every two seconds plying on the same road.