It’s easy to think and say “circumstances have been against me” when things don’t work for us. Easy to rationalize our actions and factor all the ifs and if onlys that contributed to our defeat. But, truth is, deep in our hearts we know that all these are nothing but just sugar-coated excuses.
Trust me, I learned it from experience. My recent climb to Mt. Madjaas taught me this.
“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”
Sharing this quote from Virginia Woolf, who was born on this day in 1882. This 20th century literary giant left us these words reminding us once again that “the whole world is a work of art” and all these little things, moments in time—even the most unbearable ones—form the tapestry of life.
It’s 5 A.M. when streaks of light start painting the sky with shades of pinks and purples. As we hike further, the sky turns from hazy burgundy to rose, then to rich yellow. Some of us pause to take that treasured snap; some just lovingly stare at the riot of colors. By the time we reach the peak, we are face to face with the sun. Everything the light touches turns golden — the grass, our skins, our hairs. And everything I do is stitched with its color.
Finally, I let go of my backpack and the worldly worries I have been carrying are no more. Money? Politics? Climate change? War? All gone. This is what I live for. To experience the feeling of returning home. Neither my labored breaths nor my shaky steps will hinder this renewal. I am one again with the gods.
Word count: 144
In response to dVerse’s Prosery hosted by Lisa, who asks us to write a prose of 144 words using a given line from a poem. Today’s line is Everything I do is stitched with its color taken from W.S. Merwin’s “Separation”.
This challenge immediately took me back to my 2019 climb at Mt. Wiji. Sunrise in this mountain is still — by far — the best one I have witnessed. The low quality photo above which I took from my old phone may not give it justice, but hopefully these words will do.
If somehow this blog post passed the algorithm and made it to your reader, I hope you are having a good day.
Truth is I don’t know where to start. A simple post won’t suffice to explain my long AWOL here. I tried to keep this site alive by sharing snippets of my life outdoors. It became the short wick keeping my candle aflame. But those who know me well knows that the soul of Doodles&Scribbles is poetry. And my muse is still in deep slumber.
Anyway, I am continuously learning the art of slowing down. Of not putting too much pressure on myself. It’s still a tedious daily task though, but we’ll get there one day.
The last time I wrote and completed a piece was March when I published Driftwood wishes and indigo dreams. It was a very personal entry triggered by anxiety and guilt, which I still carry to this day. Most days I am fine but, occasionally, emotions become too overwhelming. So I made myself scarce. We all have our inner battles and not everyone has the emotional bandwidth to help others with their burden. Hence, my silence.
Now back to this update. I’m taking the first steps to writing again — re-reading my old posts, reworking my old drafts. Hope to connect with you all again!
What goes up must come down, they say. So there we were, descending 740 meters from the summit of Mt. Apo to reach the iconic Lake Venado where we would encamp for the night. A short distance for many, but a challenging one nonetheless.
The trail to Lake Venado was evidently spoiled by time and people. It was steep and muddy and slippery. But for someone who prefers downhill over uphill terrain like me, it was honestly a little fun. Had we not been carrying our backpacks, we would surely enjoy running — even sliding — on the mire like kids. But nobody dared to take photos during those two hours of balancing our feet. Our minds and eyes were focused holding on to branches/roots/grass to avoid tumbling down.
It was 4pm when Shiela, Karl, James, Ate Sherlyn, Shandy and I finally reached the lake. The rest of our group went ahead and had already set up camp. For us, we took a quick breather and stared at our feat. We survived the Lake Venado trail!
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still for once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for a second, and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
Here is something that we all need in these heartbreaking times. May we find the much-needed pause from all the hate and greed.
Someplace else, I find myself mid-air. Suspended like a bewildered ghost; a half-read poem filled with hope. Here, there is no time or space. There are no relics of your presence leaving me disconcerted – breathless.
I am a a riot of color; a burst of light. I stomp my feet on pretentious laurels. I cut ties with sharpened tongue. Here, in the midst of the night, I am not a misplaced fragment. I am sought, not seeking.
But daybreak is such a jealous lover. It comes with ticking knives – stripping each layer of my disillusionment. I am back to my boring flaws. I plead for another second of peace; press my cheeks on the pillow. By no means. Reality struck me with all its hate.
And the stars weep.
I find myself on tiptoes. A danseuse on high relevé; the second half of a poem filled with woes. Here, there are no more tulips beneath my feet, and feelings don’t wilt as quickly as flowers do.
How do I marry dreams and reality? Can the laws of nature bend for a sappy miss who got courage as her only feat?
Today, I found myself scrolling through someone’s IG account. She’s been one of my closest girlfriends and it’s a wonder how our different personalities kept us binded for many years. As I look at her pictures and read its captions, I am reminded of how bad of a friend I have become. I hid behind lame excuses (time zones and distance) but truth is I got too caught up in the troubles of the world that I fail to see the troubles of those most important to me. I feel sad that the strong person that I know she is, is fighting the emotional and mental battle on her own. And I feel worse that I don’t have the best words to make things better. This one is inspired my some of her captions.
time may be a heinous thief this blood-washed land is filled with greed if mornings are without the song of birds and men and pigs march in herd
like the sun behind a thin cloud reappearing, warming them or the blue sea breathing in and out along the pebbled verge
like the green-cloaked trees after Odette drenched in fresh, comforting warmth or the butterflies and their dusted wings dancing to the yellow sun
so long as there are seven of the same moon and love roars and purrs with the same passion until happiness leaks out of your very soul begin again after each fall
Today, I woke up to a notification from WordPress celebrating my seventh anniversary of blogging. I would not call the last three years “good blogging” as I have been in and out of WP most of the time. But I will forever be grateful for this very day when a naïve girl decided to pour her heart out through words for the first time.