Posts

Showing posts from June, 2017

I’m your audience for ever

Image
The title of the play along with its entire story escape me now, but here's what I remember: onstage is a round wooden bath tub where two men are talking. Naturally they are naked, or at least the bare torsos and the show's daring mood suggest nudity all the way down there. One of them says, "Aalis na ako" as he gestures to leave. Behind me a male voice, hushed but panicked: "Huwag!" Then a snigger of relief — from him and his companion, I assume, when the scene ends with neither actor getting up.

That was in college, when watching stage productions was a course requirement. That was also my first experience of a pleasure unique to live performances. Whatever transpires in the audience section is, for better or worse, part of the entertainment. When I saw A little night music, people were singing A weekend in the country to themselves as they wait for Act 2 (Great, the song is stuck in their heads as well). In an attempt to acquaint myself with opera, I acc…

A stranger who’s a friend

Image
No one is supposed to live in this world friendless. I know the good that friendship does for me but I can’t quite define what a friend is. And the concept grows nebulous — as with all things growing complex — the older you get.

Others have pointed this out. We have no qualifiers for friends the way we’re ever stringent about romantic partners or spouses. A formal declaration must be made for the latter two; guidelines are laid down and regularly revised.

We apply the label to an acquaintance after a warm exchange and maybe laughter over cold beer. Even so, the affection is often one-way, thus we get disappointed or hurt when, in the succeeding days, the other doesn’t assume the shape of our friend mould. The lack of rules negates our right to be mad.

I am interested in the pull that’s felt upon meeting someone for the first time. That connection or the strong desire to connect, even to care deeply. Sometimes we’re happy to be with the same people at a distance. Like the waitress who …

Retrograde

Today I was honest when a friend asked, How are you? I said things are moving so slow. With the certainty of a mother whose job it is to trick her child into calmness (silence) he blurted, It'll pick up. Am no child so my sincere response was, How did you know?

"Coz we're in retrograde." Again the certitude.

Now I'm one of those who has no clue, except for its negative connotation, what a retrograde is — even if I do read my sun, moon, and rising signs forecast — but at this point he was really convincing.

"So it's okay for me to be sad?"

"Embrace it."

Peak of perfection

Image
Bring me flowers. It'll make my day. Perfect gifts, they are: highly symbolic and practical. A bouquet of flowers is a burst of emotions. It's alive and real at the moment — it'll die soon. And so like feelings it must be renewed, reasserted over and over. And so bring me flowers again, and again.

Trinkets are tacky, food is messy, but flowers, you can assign any meaning to them and they unburden the receiver of clutter. Flowers discard themselves by wilting.



Teaching myself the art of arranging flowers, I came across this tip, which makes me think of a princess locked in a castle:
Sometimes people think they should set their vase of flowers in a sunny windowsill since that is where a plant would be happiest. However, cut flowers are actually the opposite of potted plants. They are at their peak of perfection. Sun and heat will encourage them to "mature" and thus quicken their demise. Instead, keep your cut flowers in a cool dark spot if you would like them to las…