Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Three tasks by the tamarind tree

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I wore these two “outfits” last Saturday: the one with the gray tee before I went to the gym around noon and the black one when I went out again after going back home to eat and rest. It was early in the afternoon.


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You can guess for yourself the time of day each picture was taken by the way the shadows of branches and leaves cast themselves.


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I remember planting these tamarind trees in our backyard in 2003. I got the seeds from my grandmother’s ancestral house in Maragondon, Cavite. (Until now, I don’t think I’ve tasted the sweet, pasty rind that I enjoyed more than a decade ago from the pods of these trees – they grow so high that our neighbors keep on pruning the branches themselves.)


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I don’t know who said that to be fulfilled in life, one needs to do three things: to plant a tree, to write a book, and to raise a child. It doesn’t really matter if it came from the Talmud (which says marry a wife rather than raise a child) or if it is attributed to José Martí (or even Pablo Picasso). The proverb makes sense.


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By the way, this is me meowing (didn’t know before this picture how I looked “conversing” with our two cats).


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And this is me looking at one of them climbing our roof and gallivanting to our neighbor’s.


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But back to the proverb. At first, I couldn’t figure out the logic or the connection between the three “tasks” in life (I’ve already planted three tamarind, or sampaloc trees, and one palm.) Sure, one can think that planting a tree and raising a child can be self-serving: for eating fruit and ensuring that there will be children to take care of you in your old age.


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But every parent will tell you that not every child returns the favor, just as not every tree bears fruit that can be eaten. And what about writing a book? Is it for fame or for ensuring that you will not be forgotten?


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Tee and jeans, Bench
Belt from an Italian market
Sandals, Birkenstock
Backpack, Team Manila


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Tee, Chevignon, thrifted
Jeans, Bench


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Partyly true. I think the proverb is all about the future.


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All three: trees, children, and books have “lives” that live beyond us.


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That more can benefit from shade, fruit, and oxygen.


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That more people can hear about the stories waiting to be told by our own children. That more can share our joy and learn from our mistakes. 


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And thus I realize I have once again forgotten to write what I have set out to illustrate in this post (something about books and what I'm writing about), which sounds more like a sermon than a journal entry. 

But what the heck! There will be more time for that. Till then, happy Tuesday!


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