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Posts Tagged ‘generation’

His muffled voice breaks

the long stretches of silence

while his hand guided

young and untrained hands

practicing calligraphy.

 

Watchful and demanding precision

of copied texts exacting translation.

As he unbuckles the leathery tome

of secrets in a wooden chest.

Tradition, theology and religion.

Diaries, recipes, scientific notations.

 

Inventories, census, receipts.

Readings of narratives and poetry,

astrology, proverbs and magic spells.

The volumes of letters, last wills,

songs and words of blessings.

 

Spending hours and hours sitting

among the piles of pages digging

for clues and answers to mysteries.

The labyrinth of a culture. A treasure.

Each of the fragile pages a wealth

weightier than silver and the gold.

 

Piecing each fragment in a mosaic

mapping an ancient civilization

long forgotten. He believed, it was

here  in his hands lies the fiber, sinew

and muscle of generations of man-

the society is ought to remember.

 

So he became a warrior, obsessed

with the written word wielding

weapons of passion and wisdom.

With his small army of juvenile scholars

continuing an unpopular legacy.

 

Waging the classic battle against time,

earth bugs, heat, rot and decay

slowly finding its way like marauders

pillaging the essence of our humanity

into oblivion and brink of extinction.

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The walls are coarse to touch, hard and steely,

it was a challenge not to see but to feel with our fingers

sharp points that will prick a skin and bleed. By then

the grave of the earth has avenged its loss. The stair

is a winding wonder of wooden realm. Forest scent

permeates like sweat staining musk to the olfactory.

Curtains we plucked from the fibers of the grass

that exist  in some temperate savannah, polished

and handwoven by the nomads of Siberia.

The glass came from the silicates we scoured

from the rivers of Babylon, coal-fired in a furnace

by a hundred men impoverished with ten cents an hour.

And the floor is a polished limestone quarried

from some majestic mountains of the Far East. White,

cold slab, for our feeble feet resting on a tombstone. The chairs

are fabricated in hides separated from the meat of animals

domesticated and cultured for a trade in an African jungle.

We commercialized the organic in the will of the greedy generation

crazy for the avant garde. We are fond of collecting. Prized.

Natural. Unique. All, for the sake of a want  that cannot be satiated.

And at a cost, we hunger for more as we build our little kingdoms,

looking for some definition. Until we find that there is no more left

of the skin of the earth, we have stripped of its clothing

to cover our shelters.  Unless we travel to the moon

digging kryptonites to embellish facades of our own vanities.

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I left the world as it is

Not a tear has been shed,

Only the mist forming

faint breath of dying-

wisps of memory

of the world when

I first found it.

The womb of the earth

gave birth, a wound won’t heal.

A fading montage

I watched. I witnessed.

A cycle of suffering.

A continuous decay.

People lying lifeless

of hunger, alienation,

war and hate.

Dog eats dog, surviving 

like savages

inflicting pain.  Aimless

generation killing

one another.

Of bombs and guns.

I left the world as it is.

No heroes funeral.

I exited, unnoticed

in blood and death. 

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Two nights ago, I tossed left and right in my bed , restless and not knowing what I have been missing these past few days.  Isolation takes a toll and there are days that I can’t bear  the reclusivity.  Those were the days when I felt that I don’t differ to the things you can find in my room. A regular fixture, as if I am resembling to some  breathing machine with a pair of eyes traveling the whiteness of the ceiling.  I imagine the freedom of my mortal being mixing in the crowd around the city.  A stranger with an imaginary wall, like the others.

A study says that there is a silent epidemic  affecting millions of people, slowly killing and obliterates their very existence.  A persistent loneliness, that leads to severe depression due to non-interaction as a result of a person’s self-imposed isolation.  

People need inter-personal relationship with others.  In the world with the advancement of science and technology and the quick fix of web-based communication, people are making way to get connected, through multiple virtual identities impersonally.  Social networking groups in the Internet replaces actual person to person interaction and thus making the present generation  accustomed to getting glued to their computer screens, 24/7.

I admit that if I will not take steps to get out and mingle with others, I might succumb to the ill effects of my being passive and recluse.  That is why, it was a blessing that I have brought home something new in my life.  A living thing, but not a pet, since the landlord would not approve of any pets in the house.  It was a plant given to me by a friend, which has a life, and could share my space and can introduce me to first steps of rejuvenation.

If I can be able to take care for the plant and make it grow through constant watering, nourishment and exposure to sun and wind,  it can become a litmus test.  Wherein each new leaf that might sprang out of it signifies the measure of the heart ready to forge new meaningful relationship with people. A confidence that I can be able to nurture worthy life connection with them, in love and compassion.

The plant, will ever be a constant reminder, that people are not just things. People are people, who is capable of loving and be loved in return.

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Traffic. The car stops. This one will be longer, I guess. So I just fielded my gaze travelling into the vastness of the Arabian soil.  My mind just wander. And wander still. Back. Five years ago.

It’s early morning, I am walking along the streets of Mabini glossing over overseas employment prospects in the Middle East.  I can’t remember how many copies of CV’s did I send to those recruiters.  I sweat it out and inching my way towards the front desk, hoping and wishing that I can score an interview that day.  Nervous as I was, I would wait  and rehearse the words that I have to say.  Like a salesman trading myself for a price.

I can’t remember how many recruitment agencies I have tried my luck with.  Most often than not, a thumbs-down sign.  I don’t know, what drives me to go Middle East.  Though, I am filled with worries about the inconveniences of being away from home.  I just wonder how others have survived the heat, the barrenness and the loneliness of the Arab lands.

Those were the days.  Here from where I was, a palm tree struck a memory.  Yeah, I remember that too, when I was waiting in the hallway of a recruitment agency back in Manila.  The posters of the Arab boom cities lined up with palm trees. 

I remember my uncles who had the chance to work in Saudi Arabia. Year after year, they come home bedraggled from the harsh climate of the desert. I remember them talking about the expatriate’s life in an Arabian land.  It is not an easy life. 

But now, I am here as one of another generation of  Filipino expatriates trying to make a living. Accustomed to a unique culture of restraint and unimaginable patience.  Accustomed to the extreme hot weather and the abstinence to pork meat.  

I know why thousands and thousands of Filipinos are flocking there at the recruitment agencies back home. I know that most of them have the same visions I had before.  And the persistence that  they have to keep going and make their lives better.  

For me it will always be a risky bargain. You may win some or you may lose some.  It is a choice that one has to make but if things go rightly, it is worth an adventure.

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The world is one big classroom, I must say.  And we are all the students learning how to figure out life’s great lessons.  Just as we are looking at that big greenboard of countless possibilities of reading, of thinking, of testing ideas, of talking and of course, communicating.

We all sit there in our own chairs and desks doing what is required by our society. Taking up life roles quite unique to us and doing what is expected of us to do. And the challenge, is for us to contribute. To open up. To understand. To question. To clarify. To accept.  To be better.

And like most of the students, we have varied approaches to learning. Some diligent, some irresponsible, some bookish, some drifters, some enthusiasts etc. Same as true as how we do in our lives. No one in the class can contend who did well or who did not, but only the teacher, who had the lesson plan. The teacher who has the pen to write down the grades.  The teacher who is in the front like a mighty warrior quelling ignorance among us. 

They say, a teacher is a great influence to your well-being, second to your parents.  If the teacher has inspired you, there you’ll get inspired.  If the teacher has empowered you, then you’ll be of power.  And if the teacher make you see wider than you are used to, I bet, you will go a long way than you could ever imagine.

And the success of the teacher is not on how many doctors, lawyers, CEO’s and government officials they had produced.  But teachers who produce another set of responsible teachers and mentors in other fields enriching and nourishing.  The workplace. The community. The church.  The government.  The society.

Even after university life, we all have mentors in our workplaces. We have elders in our churches to encourage us.  We have community leaders who prod us to be responsible. We have fathers and mothers, whose voices are still relevant. In this life, no one survives on his own. We need teachers, who can tell us the difference between right and wrong.  We need teachers, who had a definite view of what is acceptable or not. We need teachers, who have a strong moral ethic and can’t be compromised.
That is the worth of a teacher.  That was how their profession is simply the noblest.  You might say, that it seems like forever their turf is in the classroom.  Staying there as long as they have the energy to teach. But can you imagine, how their ideals travelled the world, among their students?  Can you imagine how the society at large being built by their minds among the movers and shakers of this generation?

The world may boast of its many achievements.  But these rest upon the shoulders of the teachers whose influence help shape it.  The teacher whose idea fire an imagination.  The teacher whose life becomes a beacon of hope between the present and the future. 
 

 

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