Blink

I clearly remember that bit of conversation with a former office mate about dinosaurs and how pointless their existence seemed to be. She said, 'Imagine, for millions of years, that was all they ever did—walk around, eat, reproduce,' to which I replied, 'Yeah, kinda like us.'

The Haiyan tragedy (the natural calamity and the nation's response to it) is yet to be tucked conveniently in history. Admittedly, I am less impassioned about the subject than my friends and other people in my circle are. While it happened in my country, the region is far from me. If I saw the images and heard the stories, I would most likely be sympathetic; but that kind of pain doesn't interest me, so I didn't bother keeping up-to-date with the news.

On the relief and rehabilitation efforts, I have nothing intelligent to say and no compulsion to add to the noise, not once convinced that I can do the government's job better than them.

As for those who died, death is death, what else can you do about it? All I know is that there is the living and what little life we have left to celebrate, we ought to celebrate.

Before the typhoon, I invited one of my best friends to watch the holiday fireworks at ATC. I was very excited, since I love fireworks, and more so when it is done during my favorite season. But then ATC canceled it, deciding to instead set the money aside for the typhoon victims. I understand, but I also was disappointed.

More recently, last Monday to be precise, a passenger bus fell off the Skyway because of an irresponsible driver. I was shocked, enraged, and moved to tears. Since college, when my parents stopped driving me to and from the school, I always thought that I'd die on the road—get ran over by a speeding truck, accidentally shot by men running amok, and so on. What happened to the people on that bus, I imagine so many times happening to me whenever I take the Skyway.

I told the same friend that at least those in Visayas were killed by nature. It is easier to accept than being killed by that which has consciousness and, presumably, conscience. Still, Death, like God, works in mysterious and always disagreeable ways. We humans are beasts at our core, after all. Even the kindest among us is capable of evil, if not serve as an unwitting agent of it.

...What I've shared above is a wisp in a frenzy of thoughts. Along with it are the usual points of rumination— the sad work environment, failures and the fear of it, falling in love, the last movie that blew my mind, books I will read, and finding the time for a million desires.

There is so much human activity in this world, all may very well be refined variations of the dinosaurs' habits. And just like them we go on until it is our time to expire. You live on because you have responsibilities. You live on because you simply want to see what will happen next. You live on because you have dreams and believe you can make things happen, because you have plans.

Two events are already calendared for January 2014: a lunch date with a friend whom I haven't seen for almost a decade, and an intriguing play. Friendship and literature. Enough to keep me going.

When I was considering titles for this blog, the poem, 'Why do you stay up so late' by Don Paterson crossed my mind. In it the persona collects 'the dull things of the day' and hopes that by looking closely, some will show its hidden truth ('sometimes one would blink the secret color').

That's pretty much how I approach life in general. I try to see things for what they are, with no intention to change or corrupt, and I do it patiently.

Because of my connection to the poem and its association with looking and seeing, I re-viewed the word blink:
  • to shine with a light that goes on and off
  • to show that you are surprised or upset
  • to look glancingly : peep
  • to look with half-shut eyes
  • to close and open the eyes involuntarily
  • to shine dimly or intermittently
  • to look with too little concern
  • to look with surprise or dismay
  • yield, give in
  • to remove (as tears) from the eye by blinking
  • to deny recognition to
  • glimmer, sparkle
  • — in the blink of an eye
    • in an instant
  • — on the blink
    • in or into a disabled or useless condition
and was pleased at its richness. How the word echoes everything I feel throughout the entire time I'm sitting here and writing.

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