Tuesday, September 28

Tomorrow is Another Day

My brother recently visited a mutual friend whose wife just gave birth. I passed on my best to them, but with the kudos came the feeling of deep compassion for these first-time parents. They have probably marveled every minute of their nine months pregnancy, anticipating how their little baby would come out. Who will she/he take after--—mom or dad? Dad after all was a handsome chap in his days, and still is.

The precious little angel finally came out, but was carrying a rare genetic condition. He has Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is caused by excess gene from the 21st chromosome, aside from the ones the child has inherited from his parents. This condition may mean that the child may have some degree of mental retardation and other developmental stagnation. Certain physical traits are common to them too—folds over the eyes, flat nose, flabby body, and a soft tissue jutting out of their nape that extends to the shoulder.

My heart goes out to the little angel, not so much because of his looks, but how he would fare, if indeed his impediment would deprive him of the many warranties in life—learning, recognizing, and interacting. I have not in the past personally known a Down person, but I think they can be very vulnerable to illnesses, thus cutting their life expectancy to almost half. Can they be cured, or schooled, I don’t know…but if I were a parent to one, I would definitely do everything to make him a well child.

I have lost my first baby when he was four months in my womb, not a happy thought really. I went down, deep into the recesses of my guilt, asking myself where I had gone wrong. Did I neglect him and myself? Was I abusive and indiscreet with what I ate? How on earth did I lose this child that I have tried so resolutely to protect and nurture inside me? I badly wanted to be a mother to this boy.

As Miriam once said, what can be more important than a child?
My answer is...if anything, a little life that once came from you is the mirror of what you and your progenitors have been, and is the self-same life that will carry on the person you are now---your character, your achievements, your memories, your dreams, your love. You can only want to shield it from any tragic waste. It is that important.

I suppose Glenn Doman’s theory of teaching a brain-injured child to read comes to the fore again. It may not be as easy as it sounds, because I am not this child's mother or father. But I can share with what they feel—their anxiety, their fears and apprehensions, maybe even their attempt to rebuff the painful truth and question God of his motive in giving them this child.

Only time can placate them from their doubtful and fragile state of mind, and strengthen them to move on from there. And I believe that with infinite love, untiring dedication and persistence for the precious one, tomorrow may just be another day.

Monday, September 27

From Hell to Eternity

Have you noticed how certain people get into you; hit a raw nerve even if they are not aware of it? Or maybe they are, but they choose to be on the dense side and slight you anyway? Because I could never believe that everyday I go to work with these kinds of creatures that most definitely come from hell. And I am eternally sorry that I am in this kind of rut that pulls me deeper and deeper into emotional insolvency.

Oftentimes, when I recount my miseries to my husband, he would off-handedly tell me to quit my job and look for brighter, if not greener, pastures. I know what he means by that, although sometimes it appears to me that he doesn’t care one bit about what I’m going through. I should know, he has his own corporate hell to grapple and listening to mine is too much to deal with, although he admits that he, like me, finds it easier to gripe than to leave his job for his own peace. We are not at a stage of our lives to take things with nonchalance and impulsiveness, we have a kid now and everything focuses on rearing him and providing for him materially.

The same goes with these people I am ranting about. They have kids, and sisters and brothers and friends. So, to co-habituate with one another, we need to give up certain prejudices and self-importance, right? Wrong These people only put their pretty asses on your shoulder, and you, the whiner, have to do as they say.

Believe it or not, I have made the most stupid mistake of befriending him once, and now he sees me as a boil in his ass that he’s trying so hard to get rid of. Or at least that’s how it seems to me. He has this annoying habit of bossing me around, which aggravates my situation all the more because I hate being pushed to do things. It’s not that I am almighty and all. How do you deal with people who abuse office rules, make lunch a whole afternoon siesta, and yet have the gall to demand things from you, and impose themselves on you as if you are subordinate to them? I have not the audacity to confront people of what annoys me about them, but can they be too opaque as that? Whatever happened to consideration and sensitivity?

Once or twice in my life, I have experienced a situation that totally put me off, and however inconsequential it seemed, made me lose my faith in the person who put me into that. People who cheat on you, in spite of your well meaning, and who make you feel you owe them for something. I am not inclined to talk what happened, but let’s just say that I was used and abused. My abuser saw the opportunity to drop me off a cliff of embarrassment and self-loathing as to why, why, why I was incredibly na├»ve and stupid to have trusted them in the first place. And that’s where my hell came from.

My only regret is that I have not learned to just leave them shit and move on….

Odyssey

I have just put down the Dan Brown bestseller The Da Vinci Code which I took pain to finish, having just borrowed it from an officemate who expected me to return it ASAP. I admit, even on my beading foray to Quiapo last weekend, I had the impetuosity to take the book with me and cram through the last few pages while waiting for my bus stop. Everyone I know, this blogger friend included, said it was superlative read. Sure, it was. Or maybe, I have missed the whole point.

Undeniably a fun read, replete with all the ingredients of a bestselling thriller, I devoured everything I saw . It was so easy to give way into one’s indiscretion and accept what the book said as gospel truth. Hell what do I know of the gospels, to pun that (since The Bible has just been put in a very damaging light here). I have been nowhere near criticizing the papal nuncio in the Vatican, although I absolutely feel the Catholic domain needs a lot of washing down to do to remedy the bad jinx they've recently ran into.
Would you believe that one local broadsheet even ran a quarter-page commentary by a Catholic bishop, about the veracity of the author’s claims on the clandestine brotherhood and Jesus’ bloodline and the Vatican's real identity? Is everything real or theoretical in the first place? This book was eliciting both raves and rants, and I bet a lot of paranoia and defensiveness, from the four corners of the literary or literate world.
Who could not have wanted to read it?

Momentarily though I had to go back over my previous conclusions about the book, weed out those that I didn't find plausible. And, trusting my isms, this is what, an ordinary reader like me, have discerned:

It’s all just FICTION which, however too good, the writer simply fiddled with in his mind. And whatever historical congruence it may have to the past, I am loathe to leave it to the experts. It was nothing more than an odyssey for me that fell right smack to a category that I would call “highly entertaining”. I am Catholic, and given that I have issues myself, this one doesn’t make me rethink about my spiritual viewpoint, or the limits of it.

It’s great that I have seen the other side of the travesty, although that piece about the smiling Mona Lisa most certainly got me off. However storybound that part may appear, I think that my heart can rest well and not ever wonder why SHe’s forever smiling that beguiling half-mocking smile. What a secret she keeps...
Even Sappho would have acquiesced.

Friday, September 17

To Envisage Belledejour

A picture of the unflappable Belle in my mind...reminds me of the beautiful Malena.

Thursday, September 16

French Leave

It's a sad day for bloggers who have made belledejour's journal a staple in their daily literary breakfast. For me particularly, she's become a ritual, that an almost-dependence has been created between my coffee and her diary, she being on top of my "daily fix" of favorite blogs. A lot of things were going on there for a while. But just today, I got there and read her goodbye-abrupt, albeit announced.
I feel I'm losing much. Like having just put a good Louise Brooks biography down.

Belle's blogspot is a non-descript layout which she never bothered to change in spite of Blogger's recent offering of eyecandy templates. But the moment you walk past her, you will be intrigued by the words "Diary of a London Call Girl". Who would have thought anyway that women who give pleasure for money like her can keep an online diary, much less write a very good one? She, or He, might indeed be a writer who poses as, she calls it, "the whore without portfolio". But I choose to see her with a simplistic eye--not the pedants she detests--and believe she really is someone who holds the world's oldest profession.

Belle speaks (or is it spoke already?) in a cryptic yet very confident tone about her sexual encounters with "clients" and, pardonnez, "fuck buddies", but hints every so often of her personal life and her true relationships. Yes, the lady is real and does get bitten by the lovebug.

What makes her even more intriguing is that she doesn't leave an online comment feature on her blog, but links her email address with--
"Write me. Who knows, I might even answer..."
Written I have once out of naivete, but what do I know, I am simply one of those who did not make any impression in her terribly inundated mailbox. Why, there must be a thousand letters from fans and men who are dying to know her real identity and would be offering to pay pounds and euros just to have a glimpse of her, if not exactly enjoy the pleasure of her services.....So what is a married obscure woman like me doing in her mailbox, gushing like an awestruck fan, raving about how I fancy her? Or her blog at least.

I admit I got titillated with the prospect of her meeting up with someone who has been for ages haunting her blogspot and email. Belle always seems to me like a beautiful lady ready to pleasure a stranger, and yet has the quotient to discourse politics and highbrow subjects at any given day.

There is nothing substandard to read in Belle's blog, although at times her encounters may be too salacious for a mother like me to indulge....i'm not just cut out for the really spicy stuff, see?
There has been a book and television deal, and from the looks of it she's going fulltime with her newfound enterprise, thus the sudden unexpected goodbye. But I will grudgingly let this good one go, while hoping that one day she'd come back and write for herself and the exclusive us again.

Thursday, September 9

Sex and the City

I must admit husband and I are big fans of Sex and the City. We stay up and cuddle together on late Saturday nights to watch SATC on HBO, I because of the clothes, and he because of the steamy scenes, usually between Samantha and her lover/s. But now that the last episode of the last season was aired, it feels rather sad that we find ourselves not having anything to look forward to in the coming nocturnal sessions of tv marathon on weekends. There's Alias for sure, but it's beginning to get more incomprehensible than it ever already is. And again, Jennifer Garner mania is starting to wear off on me. Anyway, I digress. It's understandable that SATC has decided to retire at the peak of their success. I for one wouldn't want to remember Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie in their decrepit state still battling to find Mr. Right and the real meaning of sex. They are alright in the icons that they already have become these past 6 years, and the ending, which husband and I openly wondered was really the last, snapped in true fashion of the SATC atmosphere. Fast and explicit.

Sex and the City, despite its shallowness and materialism, teems with urbane complexity and humor that shallow people like me indulge into. It's like watching a fashion show all the time and yet appreciating the fact that the four main characters have flaws like real people. Like me.

Carrie Bradshaw, who prefers to see her paycheck up her closet by splurging on clothes and Manolo Blahniks has a physique that is not even close to gorgeous. And yet, when she struts her stuff around, it's just totally hers. And so with the other girls. I think thus they all make equally unforgettable characters that will linger in the consciousness of thirty-year old single women who find themselves thrown in similar situations and dreaming of their eventual pas de deux.

My husband would never understand how my eyes get bigger and the asides I make when I see a beautiful dress Charlotte wears, or the interesting bag or bangle on Samantha's arms. Yes, I am a sucker for fashion too, but I have no qualms about acquiring my Pedro Garcias from ukay-ukay. They say a fashionista will fend her stand just to be on top of everyone else's mediocrity until it hurts. But I'm no fashionista. I am just someone who appreciates good clothes. A lot.

Apart from the clothes though, the funny-ness that every girl can be subjected to in her elusive search for a perfect partner in life, and Carrie's instrospections on their daily struggle to achieve this, is what I will sorely miss. My husband's sentiments are a totally different story.

Photos in my Blog

Decided to put some life in my blog today, thanks to one of my favourite bloggers Ruth whose humorous and insightful posts I don't only enjoy imbibing daily, but makes me appreciate the use of our mother tongue better. Now my blog has some rather old but personal snapshots by Flickr, and a referrer's tool (not that I really need one since nobody ever walks past my spot anyway). Just the same they are there for a little trimming to make everything just a wee bit better than the usual. Zilch.

Monday, September 6

The Little Guy

Amidst my beading preoccupation nowadays, I've had a few moments to look over my shoulder and see how Gabby is. You know that worrisome feeling that your child doesn't seem to grow an inch taller or bigger? Maybe it's because he's right under your very nose all the time that his physique doesn't spell the littlest bit of difference than from the last time you noticed. But try to be busy about other things, and you'll realize how fast your little stork grows in a matter of days.

Proof of that is the number of times I've bought him clothes in a matter of 20 months.

Last weekend, I had to get my little guy a few sets of houseclothes because he can't manage to snuggle into his old ones anymore. His kiddie closet has seen stuff come and go, and now that he's definitely past the layette and over-alls stage, we've had to rethink about getting him new clothes, or recycling. He has plenty of those long-sleeved shirts that I made him wear when he was teeny child during the cold season, but now that it's sweltering hot, it would be useless to stash them away inside the closet and buy new clothes that he would wear for what, three-four months. See, I have this partiality for big clothes. I will not have Gabby wear clothes that are way too big for him that he would look like Dopey, or too small for him that he would like Pooh. I just want it right and snugly.

So anyway, about the old shirts, that recycling idea never really left me. I took a pair of shears, cut the sleeves short, and voila! New old houseclothes for Gabby. However, I saved the special and nice ones for when I'm going to carry another stork again. I type that with fingers crossed. You never know, if God remembers my address ( to borrow Mr. Goldenblatt's phrase in SATC) and send us a beautiful daughter that I will definitely name ISABELA BEATRIZ MORENO.

Hmmm....daydreaming again....

Back to Gabby, I read today from BabyCenter.com that he may be in the phase of being called the TT- Terrible Two's. I should agree that most of the things he does nowadays are within normal and expected behaviour from an 20-month old. His tantrums, which used to be few and far in between, are now becoming a daily scene in my household. Without warning, he would throw himself to the floor and bawl his soul out, with one eye keeping watch whether he's getting anyone's attention. If not, then he's all systems go for another bout of whimpering. I just let him be until he's rasp and exhausted. Which normally begins after three minutes.

Sometimes, it gets into my nerves---but more often I experience a sense of calm and feeling of love and understanding for one person. Did I say person? Yes, I think my little son has a mind of his own now, although his inability to express himself in proper words may impede him from getting his message across clearly. But he charms me impossibly that I would forget these little failings between us. It more than makes up for everything.

What mother wouldn't soften up when she hears her child sing, videoke style, with relish. And I have a big suspicion that he's learning to read words by following through the highlights in the song's lyrics. He gets excited when it's time for George Benson's song he knows just by looking at the title, and that he doesn't forget there are beautiful fishes in that video. I think Glenn Doman's theory is actually right! We haven't been regularly doing the bedtime stories, but I see that words, letters and pictures fascinate him, and makes him a bit obsessive about his books that they are now frayed and tattered.

It's only a matter of time that Gabby and Mom and Dad will be sitting and talking, and maybe even singing, around the same table. That I'm sure of.

Friday, September 3

Thursday, September 2

The Closure

Do you ever find yourself musing about the past and what-could-have-beens at times? Especially if you're a married, middle-aged woman who seem to be in a cul-de-sac, longing for some warmth in your relationship, in the midst of everyday things that ground you to what is truly real? Because I am. My marriage is a-okay if you care to ask, but I have often felt that in spite the hustle and bustle of my household--you know, caring for the kid and the husband---deep down is an abyss of vacuous feelings, where I am entirely on my own, and no amount of nostalgia can ever justify. I have often felt the inclination to get in touch with old friends, or past loves long dismissed to oblivion. Hang on, don't get me wrong, I do not contemplate on making any intimate connection at all. No bridges of madison county for me. Just maybe, a closure. Sadly, this is not an easy task. Especially with a person who left too much damage in my life.

Today, I found this letter from among the trash that I have intended to get rid of. Written some three tearjerking years ago. I wonder how we would have fared, had I sent this to him. It is truly a hateful missive for a someone I gave too much for, but now has become only a speck of shadow in my periphery. A goodbye I have never said and have never truly meant....

FOR G

I don't know what happened between us, but I just would like to say, before you finally disappear (again), that I am thankful for the times we've shared together. God gave me another chance to be with you, and in those few times, I realized that you are someone I can never really own. Despite our lofty claims about fitting so cunningly into each other, I sense the ambivalence and isolation. You were there but away, and a lot has ruminated in our hearts and mind. I must admit that I find it difficult to simply take things as they come. You have no idea how badly I need to be your friend. And that's probably the root of all these unfounded pains. You just touch too many aspect of myself that I find it hard to believe why things couldn't be better between us than they are now. why you come into my life without warning and leave just when I am ready to bask in the thought of you being close by. In so many unspoken words, you make me think about my worth in this world---and it scares me that I am nothing.

How unfair can your existence in my life get. And sadly, it's not something that you've thought of deliberately. It's no fault of your own, because no matter how we relinquish the truth, we both exist in a cusp of fiction--everything happens in surreal dimensions, and you are merely a mirage I have been doggedly trying to convince myself of as reality. Strange that when we were together I could never really relish you as something human like me--feeling ennui, suffering love, tasting death. I only thought of how perfect it was to be with someone whose actuation, whose intentions, whose being I could never really comprehend nor take for granted. You were pretty much holding my heart in your cold, unfeeling hands. But how should have I known? How naive indeed can love make the most erudite and jaded person. In knowing you, only the consequent pain seemed undeniable. That's what strikes me now as reality. That wasn't so then...

I'll probably never be content knowing that you walked up the beaten track and did not even know you have trampled on a hapless flower. All these times that I had been listening to your angst about poverty and disenfranchisement, I was only wishing I could let you see how beautiful the world is, if only you would put a little of that empathy you fervently hold for these so-called destitute ones, for the person who sits beside you and relishes the importance of your thoughts and your philosophies. How can you possibly be so unappreciative of what is being given you and hold so much gripe in your head as though it would explode if you don't medicate it with yearnings of something inhuman like miracles and magic? I wish I could tell you we are the magic because we are special. But then again, your freedom to walk the beaten track and trample upon the useless flower and think that being with someone is mundane and of no significance to the salvation of the world--is something I have no clout over. I simply am at a loss.

If you told me you were gay, I would have understood....
Just two words though....fuck you!

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