We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken…
prostitute, and decades later a woman
married the Berlin Wall because she
got too tired of leaving men. A couple
somewhere got surgery to look identical,
and in Florida, a man dug out his dead lover’s
body from the grave. But the prostitute flung
the ear in disgust, and the wall crumbled.
The surgery reminded her too much of his flaws,
and the corpse stank while it lay on the bed.
When I first met you, we talked about
how Sylvia Plath placed her head in the oven.
You laughed and said people do terrible
things when they think it’s for love.
And it reminds me of every time
I scraped wounds because it felt like intimacy.
How I squeezed tears out of those big, pale
eyes and called it vulnerability. When Antony died,
Cleopatra kept a snake on her chest and waited
for its bite. Maybe that’s how it ends: the venom
passing through the veins with slow movements,
dissolving everything with pleasure. Maybe that’s
how it should be: I wonder if the prostitute ever
realized that Van Gogh loved her.
~honest musing via Facebook
I’m always on time, contrary to what the world says about our sense of punctuality. We are so famous for our habit of tardiness (along with equally famous mañana habit also known as the love of procrastinating) that we’ve been given a term for it — Filipino Time. Americans coined the phrase in the 1900’s because they were annoyed by our lack of respect when it comes to honoring appointments by coming on time. Tardiness is widely practiced in our country in all walks of life and generally accepted as part of our culture. I, myself don’t understand it and cannot tolerate it from others but what is my wish compared to those of the majority.
Besides, I can’t say that patience is really one of my virtues. I even have trouble waiting for the bathtub to be filled with hot water I rather take a shower.
When it comes to appointments or even a simple family visit (their places or mine) I will have a difficulty sleeping the night before, thinking all sorts of scenarios, all about what could go wrong. Meetings stress me out to the max sometimes I really believe it would cause me a heart attack. Funny thing is, you can’t detect any of those inner turmoils the moment itself. I’m cool as a cucumber (and I’m not pretending) being an extroverted introvert – I know how confusing it is for people so to give you some idea what I’m talking about allow me to directly quote an article I’ve read on the net: Everyone expects an introvert to be shy and reclusive. And we can be, but extroverted introverts also like to get out there and mix ‘n mingle. When we’re “on”, we are sociable and friendly. When we’re “off”, we hurry home to recharge in solitude. Even though we spend way more time introverting than following the crowd, people only see our outgoing side. They don’t realize that our social batteries are drained very quickly and so forth and so on – I manage social gatherings pretty well and can enjoy them up to a certain degree. Beyond that, lights off for me.
But like I said, detest it or not, I’m always on time. And if something happened in between that hinders me to be punctual, I see to it that I let those who are involved know that I will be late or will not show up at all plenty of time beforehand.
What about you? What are your views about punctuality?
In my country of birth, we have a folklore that goes like this:
One day God was feeling lonely he decided to create something in his own likeness so he set up a fire and started fashioning humans from clay. Satisfied with what he had made he proceeded to bake them in the fire. While cooking, some urgent matter called his attention back to heaven and he forgot all about them. When he finally remembered it was too late, his first batch of images was burned. He decided to keep them anyway and that’s how the black people were born.
Not giving up easily, God decided to try again. This time out of fear he removed his group of new sculptures from the fire a lot earlier than he supposed to do so he ended up with underdone figures that were barely colored. Again like the first group he keeps them. And that’s how Caucasian people came into being.
A firm believer of the saying third time’s the charm, God decided to try once more. This time he stayed close to the fire eyeing his creations like a hawk, turning them around ever so often so it baked evenly on all sides. When he was satisfied with his work and thought he could not do more or better, he took them off from the fire. And there it was, a batch of perfectly baked golden brown likeness of him. And that’s how we, Asians came to exist.
What do you think folks? Isn’t it a brilliant story? Take it with a grain (a bucketful if necessary) of salt. It’s only a folklore. I bet each country has their own version of it.
…that’s how people look like here, sad, detached, hurried and morose. Big cars and even bigger houses, stable jobs, families and so many chances and choices gleaming future and opportunities, and yet all failed to put smiles on their faces. I am not looking at it from the outside, I live here long enough (even longer than where I came from) to know that whatever they don’t have is nothing compared to what most of the world population has to suffer and make do. And what is it that lacking in their lives? Predominantly warmth and affections, motivations and inspirations, gratitude and contentment, (all the things money cannot buy) and the incapabilities to carpe diem and enjoy little things or merely enjoy. Unless intoxicated. They need so much to laugh and be merry. Lots of alcohol, lots of food, lots of people, clothes, accessories, gadgets trips, anything excess. They do it or pretend to be doing it only occasionally. For the rest of the time, they walk like forlorn figures around they will put those in poor disaster areas in shame. Sometimes I would like to walk to them hold them by the shoulders and shake them hard until their teeth rattled shouting at their faces “Wake up! Don’t you know how lucky you are?”
When I opened the nearest book which happened to be Villette by Charlotte Brontë; this paragraph on page 82 was the first that caught my eyes. Luckily enough it was the third full sentence on the page, which was required for this challenge. It says:
“Not that true contentment dignified this infatuated resignation: my work had neither charm for my taste, nor hold on my interest, but it seemed to me a great thing to be without heavy anxiety, and relieved from intimate trial: the negation of severe suffering was the nearest approach to happiness I expected to know. Besides, I seemed to hold two lives- the life of thought and that of reality; and provided the former was nourished with a sufficiency of the strange necromantic joys of fancy, the privileges of the latter might remain limited to daily bread, hourly work, and a roof of shelter.”
And I thought: how many of us are in this situation? How many are living inadventurous lives, unstirred by impulses of practical ambition? Many, I guess.
We open dream of other vocation, different lives; in some cases, different family and spouses. But not so many are brave enough to chase our dreams for the fear of unknown. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
But we all envy the Steve Jobs and Richard Branson of this world who dared to defy the norm and go their own way. I know that the road to success isn’t paved with gold and us writers cannot be all J.K. Rowling, and there are those priorities and duties towards what we hold dear, but mostly what stopping us is fear. Fear of failing, of not making it and finding that we burn the bridges in the process and we cannot go back to what it was. Fear of creating mayhem to otherwise smooth sailing lives we have. Fear of creating troubles that will dig us deeper into the abyss of more uncertainties and financial difficulties. And I understand all these because I am one of you.
I am one of those many who let me chained to the pillar of mediocre, boring, smooth sailing secure (as secure as you can get in this life) existence (and to quote Ms. Brontë directly) with my usual base habit of cowardice I shrink into my sloth-like a snail into a shell, and alleged incapacity and impracticability as a pretext to escape action.
Is it too late to escape? To change course? To throw overboard all that I have worked for all these years just to chase a fantasy? My father will turn in his grave. He who was an avid supporter of secure income and smooth sailing lives. Ironically he never experienced such because he dared to passed away before I could realize everything he envisioned me doing when he married me off to someone I despise.
All water under the bridge now. Better to move on than to linger in the distant past. Perhaps one of these days I will have the courage to break free and chase those fantasy of mine so, I will not lie there in my death bed regretting all the things I never dare to do…
“No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.” ― Charles Dickens,
Or you can also say: put lipstick on a pig, put rouge on the corpse, making a purse out of a swine’s ear, putting a racing stripe on a … am I allowed to say it here? Probably not. Better leave it at that.
I think basically what Dickens wanted to say is: you can’t hide someone’s true nature. And I believe him. One’s genetic makeup is very hard to alter. Sure, surroundings, upbringing, experience and all those things could have an effect on someone’s innate nature but only on the surface, it cannot change what lies beneath. One’s inner essential nature will always come through sooner or later.
I’m not saying someone can be born a saint or evil and who can say what makes those people act a certain way. A basically good person can commit a grave offense out of desperation, necessity, passion, anger or whatever valid for that moment reason she or he might have but it doesn’t make them a bad human being automatically. You can almost see the genetic makeup of a person by his actions, the nature of their crimes, and how they react to a certain situation. Unplanned circumstances always provoke spontaneous reactions. And that’s when you can see how people truly are, by the way they handle crisis and surprises.
I remember breaking up with someone after accidentally observing his behavior towards others. It was a simple occurrence. We were aboard a public vehicle and the driver stopped to let an elderly passenger in. The person had a difficulty ascending the steps and my then boyfriend was sitting by the door. He could have easily extended his hand and help but he never did nor offered his seat to that person who was clearly having troubles to remain standing during that treacherous ride because of his advanced age. In the end, I gave up my place so the person could sit.
What happened was a revelation to me. My boyfriend was a gentleman. Caring, solicitous, respectful and sweet. To me he was. But to others, he could not care less. And that is something I cannot possibly accept. God knows what he gonna do later in the relationship when the cloak and dagger aspect of courtship is over. I decided I’ve seen enough and dropped him just like that. I believe I made the right decision.
What about you? Do you think I made the right decision?
I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of genetic makeup in general if you care to impart your knowledge. Nothing too fancy or complicated, just your own truth and beliefs. It is always nice to hear other people’s input. I have learned so much that way.
The truth hurts. Especially when it hits close to home like this one does. But what do you prefer, a truth that hurts or a lie that kills?
Daily Prompt: Zoo
“I cannot be part of a world where men dress their wives as prostitutes by showing everything that should be cherished. Where there is no concept of honor and dignity, and one can only rely on those when they say “I promise”.
Where women do not want children, and men don’t want a family.
Where the suckers believe themselves to be successful behind the wheel of their fathers` cars, and a father who has a little bit of power is trying to prove to you that you’re a nobody.
Where people falsely declare that they believe in God with a shot of alcohol in their hand, and the lack of any understanding of their religion.
Where the concept of jealousy is considered shameful, and modesty is a disadvantage.
Where people forgot about love, but are simply looking for the best partner.
Where people repair every rustle of their car, not sparing any money or time, and themselves, they look so poor that only an expensive car can hide it.
Where the boys waste their parents’ money in nightclubs, aping under the primitive sounds, and girls fall in love with them for this.
Where men and women are no longer identifiable and where all this together is called freedom of choice, but for those who choose a different path-get branded as retarded despots.
I choose my path, but it’s a pity that I did not find similar understanding in the people among whom I wished to find it most of all … “ -Keanu Reeves
“If I could reach for something brilliant, that would be the home which been denied to me and the presence of the peace I’ve never known.”
I put this phrase on the right sidebar of my homepage. I yada-yada-ya countless times about my roots being pulled out before they can even have a chance to settle and get hold and never having a contingency to grow and flourish in a familiar soil. I teared up when I heard someone on TV said: “A tree without roots is just a piece of wood.” Why? Because the subject of home and family are two major sensitive issues for me. Always been always will be.
I have experienced countless betrayal by blood and like I already said before, that is the most painful deception somebody could experience in a lifetime. The wounds never heal and continue bleeding. It is not easy to get over it. It hurts.
As you probably have already guessed by now, I am living on a foreign soil. I arrived here 30 years ago and I’m still here. Let’s face it, skin colour matters no matter what others say and want to believe. I can never be white and that brings circumstances. I will not bore you with the details. Besides, this post is not about that topic. It’s about hanging in a limbo, not here nor there. I don’t feel at home in my own country, I live here for too long I don’t belong there anymore. I don’t understand a lot of things and at times I find that their views in life are narrow and limited and like here people are prejudiced and judgmental. They can’t look beyond their beliefs and fixed ideas. I feel like a stranger in my own country. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I expect too much. Forgetting that cultures will always clash. But then again, what happened to open minds? I told you, I expect too much.
When I was still living with my ex-husband I had a constant feeling of being in a transit. I knew I had a final destination but where? Other times I felt that I was having a nightmare (and really it was) and going to wake up eventually but when? I did manage to escape but it doesn’t mean I found a home. I’m still searching for it. In the process, I lost my children. They become estranged from me. The last time I have spoken to my daughter was almost two years ago. Again, it hurts. I am still trying to reconcile with the fact.
I often wonder if I will ever find a place I truly belong. A home which I can call my own and feel secure. Maybe what they say is true. That home is not a place but like hell is a state of mind. I don’t know.
I learned to be cautious when dealing with people. Coming from an isolated background with only my immediate family for companions in an environment where no one had to lie and deceive to impress, we grew up as naive honest individuals with no boundaries; thinking that everyone is like us: strong yet vulnerable, what you see is what you get.
I (we) learned the hard way. The experience turned my siblings into one of them and they never look back. Somehow I managed to escape. Don’t ask me how. All I know is I turned inward and in that way protected my core from contamination. I am still struggling to survive in this world where hypocrisy and falseness are greatly rewarded.
I did try to belong. God knows I did. But being a copy of the majority doing the things I loathe and finding myself further and further away from the person I really am is a too high price to pay. I have chosen isolation once more. I’m still living there.
Daily Prompt: Gingerly
The best way undoubtedly of seeing a country is on foot. It is the safest, and most suited to every variety of road; it will often enable you to take a shorter track, and visit scenes (the finest perhaps) not otherwise accessible; it is healthy, and, with a little practice, easy; it is economical: a pedestrian is content with almost any accommodations; he, of all travellers, wants but little, ‘Nor wants that little long’. And last, though not least, it is perfectly independent.
― Robin Jarvis,
Queen Bee And Wannabe
Why (some) people have to stand on someone else’s shoulders to look tall? And the worst part is: they believe they have the right. But I’m sure deep down inside, they know they are outclassed. Must be very difficult to accept (that’s why) well… too bad.
•Queen Bee – her friends do what she wants them to do, she feels in power and in control of her environment, but this can define her friendships.
•Sidekick – she’s the girl who is closest to the Queen Bee and will back her no matter what. They commonly bully and silence other girls to further their own agenda.
•Banker – She creates chaos by banking information about other girls and dispersing it at strategic intervals, because she knows it’s going to cause conflict. It doesn’t even seem like she’s trying to gossip because she masks it as ‘I’m just trying to be there for you’
•Messenger – She trades information and gossip about others, but differs from the Banker in that her motivation is to reconcile the parties in conflict, hoping to gain social power from doing so.
•Pleaser/Wannabe – She will do almost anything to be in the group, and is always imitating the behaviour of the Queen Bee and the Sidekick
•Torn Bystander – She doesn’t want to go against the more powerful people in the group and convinces herself not to challenge them.
•Target – She’s the girl who is humiliated, made fun of or excluded. Girls in the clique can become targets if they’ve challenged someone higher on the totem pole and need to be put in their place.