Six words to tell a story
Six words to tell a story
The battle between good and bad is not as difficult as the battle between better and best. Because more often than not, our satisfaction stops at good, and we slow down to getting better, that makes it almost next to impossible to be the best. One word: mediocrity.
The choice between easy-going and challenge is and will always be an, well, easy choice. Because no one wants the challenge. At the end of the day, we feel satisfied with ourselves, feeling we’ve worked so hard to get to the success that we aimed for, only to find out it wasn’t the success we’re looking for in life. Only to realise we have failed ourselves all this time. We realise that what we were doing was nothing but gliding through the surface of the ice, never really seeing what we really ought to pursue beneath the ice.
Oh, it scares us, to realise that we’ve been running in the wrong race. But it also scares us to find out what it takes to get to the right race. To graduate with honours, but not to learn. To pursue a degree, but not to make an impact. To not hurt anybody, but neither do any good. Of course it’s not a fork in the road, but a pyramid we must realise that we’re only touching the tip but never getting to the base where it matters.
Reposting this because I need to remind myself once in a while that some things will remain constant in my life. And that’s you, Dad.
I need to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing right now. Why I want to pursue them and who taught me to be persevering. Big days coming ahead, Dad. Please be with me, and pray for me.
They say there are no coincidences, that the amusing circumstances where two events take place at the same time or one after another is a meaningful design. It may not be easily understood, but it’s something one could appreciate after some thought.
Today is Easter Sunday, and so is my Dad’s 2nd death anniversary. It’s not very easy for me to integrate these two important events of the day in a blog entry, but here goes…
Soon as the visitors left, I went to sit on your bed. I got my exam reviewers back, and had a futile attempt to review. I could not understand anything from what I was reading because it had already been a tiring night. But I held on to my review materials as I also held on to your hand. It was the perfect excuse to stay up late. Truth was, I had no intention of sleeping that night. But my exhaustion got the better of me, my eyes grew heavy, and I fell asleep still holding your hand.
That was our last moment together. I would have wanted my memory to end there, but like in most instances in life, we wait to experience some bitterness in order to let a beautiful end to flourish.
I was awakened by your hand shaking. You were already having seizure and were in respiratory distress. I looked at the time, and it was around 4 in the morning. And from that time on, your vital signs slowly declined. Your eyes were closed, and still having seizure, when I saw tears fell from your eyes. Then your head tilted as if to give in to sleep, and soon enough you were no longer struggling, but looked very much like a child peacefully sleeping. Songs of prayers resounded in the room. It was around 8am when you finally bid goodbye. The beautiful end was to see you die in peace. You made it, Dad.
I have tried understanding the meaning of death, and I have gone through the process of acceptance. But this understanding and acceptance has not exempted me from helplessly missing you, Dad. I still find myself asking from time to time, ‘Are you still here, Dad? Or are you just at work seeing patients, and that very soon I will welcome you by the door as you get home?’ But the resounding silence to that question reminds me of the truth. I can only go as far as missing you and keeping you in my heart.
The bitter part is already done, and the beautiful end has already unfolded. God had not died only to end things in bitter grief. He has resurrected in order to give Life, and this is the very reason why each of us has a chance to have our own beautiful end.
I was told there was going to be a meteor shower tonight at 11:30. I did some stargazing but I wasn’t patient enough to see any shooting star. None of those celestial surprise for me tonight.
But there were some things I was able to appreciate in that span of impatience.
1. It’s been a while since I looked up and gazed at the stars. I almost forgot how I marveled at those diamonds in the sky as a kid. AND it was pretty hard to shush the song in my head as I was gazing, shine bright like a diamond… we’re like diamonds in the sky. It was hard enough to see any shooting star, much more make the night a little serene with that song in my head.
2. I liked how I shared the experience with my mom. As I was impatient, she was, too.
I don’t remember when I last saw a shooting star. But I remember wishing on the sun upon waking up. This was when I first learned that the sun was simply a morning star. And I thought, how special it is to be the only star visible during the day. That’s of course before I learned that Venus is also a morning star. (But it’s a planet, so the sun remains to be my morning star)
I’d probably check a little later, maybe catch one shooting star. I was told meteor shower is to last until 4:30 am.
Standing on the corner
Plastic cup in her hand
Standing on the corner
Saving for some gin
You don’t need to ask where she’s been or what’s up
She’ll gladly tell you all about the life she had
Before she had the cup
Standing by the window
Glass of milk in his hand
What could I have done what could I have said
Broken glass spilled milk lying on the floor looking dead
Cutting through the rain looks so easy
Frame by frame
Looking for a name to claim on a breezy afternoon
And the ends coming soon
So many people hold a cup
So many die drinking milk in front of a window
I once knew a woman who got in the way
Of the intentions of a windy day
Don’t hold a cup in any season
Don’t make me choose between rhyme or reason
Don’t drink that milk in front of that window
You might as well blame it on the will that the wind chose
This song, isn’t about that superstition of wishing when you see the time to be 11:11 or 12:12, 10:01. According to Andrew Bird, “it’s about chance tragic events.” It’s about different occasions of tragic death like that of a boy who saw his brother get shot while he was drinking a glass of milk by an open window. And also about a woman who, as she was just walking by the street, was hit by a piece of glass from a broken windowpane, blown out because of a windstorm.
There are some things in life (or death) that happen with not enough reason to console the one in mourning. And we try to put reason to it, or we try to put meaning to it, but they all fall short. There is no escaping grief, but we try to befriend it and then soon let it go, until another death comes.
Death is never something you get used to. Even when you’ve lived your whole life in the hospital, witnessing one death after another, a personal experience of facing a loved one’s death will always be different.
I’ve never been good with sadness. I thought intellect is more superior than feelings, and that I would only feel whatever I allow myself to feel. But these weeks have tested me and showed me how emotions can hardly be suppressed by mere thought or distraction.
My good friend told me that whenever i feel sad, I should befriend it. Welcome it, and befriend it, because then I’ll know to experience being real, being human. And this is the very reason why I try to write about it. It’s my way of acknowledging its presence, and then hopefully be able to befriend it in the process.
I’ve done a little experiment on my sadness. I watched a movie I was so sure I’ll be crying to (My Sister’s Keeper), and found it interesting to feel a different kind of pain. I wasn’t sure anymore if it were from the movie or my own. And then, the movie ended, left some trails of sadness, until I was left with my own sadness again. Immediately I’m back to my own reality. That’s when I decided, might as well greet it this time.
Hello, sadness. I’m not going to ask you to go away, because you seem to be persistent. But at least give a bit color to my life and inspire me to be creative. Find a little outlet so you can be expressed, not just in crying or in this nonsense blog entry. Be useful, and make way for me to connect to more people, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person to feel this at this moment. Be a little more creative than just by making me feel every song I hear. And then, be my motivation to be happy again. Because it’s just not… happy.
Right. I might have taken my friend’s advice literally, but it helped a bit. It amused me somehow. And it got me thinking, feeling it is not so bad after all. It’s just a matter of knowing how to go about it — giving way for a bit of function, for some happiness and a lot of room for hope.
What is light without the shadows, right?
The world outside has so much to tell us and it can get very confusing. The opposing ideas and differences around us can lead to many doubts and crumbling principles. But these differences do align at one point in time, it’s a kind of unity among differences where respect is the unifying idea. Respect and not relativism.
Wouldn’t it be easier if people enjoyed more the diversity rather than debate about the strength of their differences? Wouldn’t it be more pleasant if people thought simply but not simplistic?