November 30 to December 6 Edition
Jonathan Aquino's Journals
September 14, 2013
The girl was sprawled face down in the middle of the street.
She was dead.
The jeep I was riding this morning on the way downtown passed by so close I could have touched her. It seemed she had been jogging and got hit. Her right leg was crossed over the other. One of her sneakers lay about two meters from her body.
Just when I had moved on from my own emotional traumas and now had begun a new life, I get a numbing reminder of just how fragile life really is.
"Every man's death diminishes me," goes the poem by John Donne that leapt into my head. "Therefore, ask not for whom the bells tolls. It tolls for thee."
September 15, 2013
Today my article "The Art of Solving Problems" got published in Manila Bulletin, I read Paulo Coehlo's Aleph and I did the Smashwords interview for my eBooks.
My first eBook novel, Jukebox, went live last Thursday. Also on that day, I posted the new and improved Huggybear Tab on my blog, which is my photos and personal videos "Greatest Hits" collection.
Because of that, I saw my entire life flash before my eyes, kinda like a near-death experience, a subject that's really meaningful to me. I had an article about NDEs, published in Philippine Star in 2009. Here's an excerpt from the original cover letter:
Death is a rite of passage, a normal part of life like puberty. It is the beginning of something new. This special feature, What Happens At the Hour of Our Death? is an in-depth study of the phenomena of near-death experiences. It presents NDEs in the most rational and objective perspective. It is also meant to serve as a source of comfort for the bereaved that is life in the hereafter.
I now focus only on things that matters to me, avoiding the superficial. Having a diary is like a mystical experience: my senses are heightened so I'm living more in the Moment, yet I am detached.
"Place your feelings outside yourself," says Yao, the aikido master in Aleph, explaining the meaning of the Tao Te Ching, "and you will be renewed."
September 28, 2013
9:37 p.m., Saturday
Our character and experiences make us who we are. It's been quite radical for the past couple of weeks. I got the blues because I forgot to achieve detachment. I've also taken my own achievements for granted, and I've also let myself get sidetracked from what matters most in my life.
I never expect more than I can give. Friendship is sacred to me. I would have taken a bullet for a friend, like the line from a movie. N and J, two of my closest friends, have given me the same counsel: I shouldn't expect others to be like me. I don't. It's just that I can't understand why some people don't even care about doing what is only right and fair.
I'm getting my groove again. I had let go of the mirages. I need to drill into my thick skull that my journey will end in its own time. The things that are meant to be will happen. Time will reveal if the beautiful thing that came into my life will still be here through the years. There is a Higher Power that is taking me to where I'm meant to be. I've almost forgotten about that too.
"Safe and sound," I texted to my buddy Nick when I got home last night from a team-building party with some of our office colleagues in a bar in Cebu's Mango Avenue. "Angels brought me here." Angels are on my mind. They're all around me too. If my soul needs to learn a lesson for my enlightenment, they will be there to give me wisdom and strength. Always.
No harm will come to me. Ever.
"Let me be empty, oh and weightless and maybe I'll find some peace tonight..."
[Theme from City of Angels]
"You are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie;
you're in the arms of the angel,
may you find some comfort here..."
September 29, 2013
I made my way to the package counter to get a go-signal to bring my knapsack inside the supermarket. On the other side, I saw a former work colleague, whom I'll call Dexter to protect his privacy, getting seven large grocery bags. He was with a woman I haven't met, and I guessed correctly it was his wife who, according to him, is extremely violent. Dexter had claimed to be a battered husband.
"Dexter!" I said cheerfully, sliding up behind them and leaning on the shiny stainless steel railings that separates the check-out lanes.
The sight of his face was priceless. He literally froze. We haven't seen each other since last April, when he disappeared with my digital camera.
The wife was the first to recover. She spoke to him in Visaya, asking if I'm the owner of the camera. I was enjoying that scene on many levels. I'm happy that my emotions are under my complete control, proving to myself that my act of forgiving him has been genuine.
The wife told me that they had sold my camera but they spent the money. She promised they'll pay on Dexter's next salary, asking if it's alright if they can pay it in two installments. Me, I'm just playing along, not believing a word. Their reason was that Dexter's phone got lost so they weren't able to contact me. But I was able to talk to him on that same number even after that. Still, we went through the motions of exchanging numbers and them promising to get in touch.
"It's not about the money, it's about trust," I told them, knowing they'll nod their heads but not expecting them to understand its significance. He began to explain, you know, this and that, he doesn't have any money to pay me, blah blah. My only emotion is amusement. I don't even care about the money. I know he won't pay. Sure as watermelons are round, he'll find a reason not to, with the firm conviction that it's justified. Of course he made a promise, and of course he would: they all do.