Sunday, May 4, 2014

Flagged and flagrant

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This is what I wore last Thursday, on the first of May. With fire and incendiary thoughts on my mind on Labor Day. Writing this on a Sunday, what remains is burnt wood and the light of the golden hour slowly losing its battle against shadows.


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A temporary truce, of course. As afternoon turned to dusk, a light summer breeze blew through my tasseled scarf.


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If you’d noticed, I made a theme out of wearing blue for the past week, with one last post remaining for what I wore last Friday. This time I meant to place red head to head against the hue.


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As if their collision was meant to produce a spark to light up dried wood.


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Pardon the paunch (again!). Damn you, BFF fries consumed solo!


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But back to the topic. I remember way back in 1999, I spent May first in Paris. My father made a big fuss out of the crowds marching through the streets.


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Back then, I hadn’t read anything written by Marx, nor could I have foretold that years after, I would have my day through the boulevards of Manila.


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How could I have known? We must have been between a visit to the Louvre and a stroll through Champs-Élysées.


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I wouldn’t have been able to predict that later on, there would  be flames to be fanned. And that water cannons would try to douse the resulting fire.


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How could I when the only things that occupied my mind were shopping, eating ice cream, and gazing at the works of the Impressionists?


Polo shirt, 5cm
Fisherman's pants from Aldevinco
Scarf and sandals, thrifted
Bag, Dior, thrifted


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But that didn’t mean, that looking down from our hotel window and watching the merry crowd, I didn’t feel interested or even, admittedly, even a bit excited, about the possibility of so many people taking to the streets inspired by the seed of a single idea.


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Though it was of course just a fleeting feeling. Or maybe even an after-the-fact premonition of things to come.


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You see, I had just graduated from high school. The angst of those teenage years still fresh, though I wouldn’t say as raw.


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By then, I must have already set aside my juvenile poetry. But the bittersweet aftertaste of creativity expressed through the theater (I was part of a group for three years) still lingered in my mouth.


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Let’s just say, I was ready to move on and leave certain things behind. Exactly what was needed before entering university, and vital on retrospect when I stepped into the museums filled by the Renaissance.


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The fire that I thought had blazed so fiercely set its blue eye on inquiry.


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Needless to say, travel and the art of centuries past inspired me to look forward.


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It was during those travels that the seed of the very first decent poem I wrote was planted.


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Only much later was I to confirm that this sort of rebellion (the act of writing) was not only more potent, but also more lasting.


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Heck, it’s nearly been 15 years since those travels, and I still refer to that poem as a marker.


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Even as I entered university, that seed of rebellion forced me to make my own way.


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It didn’t help, of course, that I had such good Philosophy and other Humanities instructors.


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Who, with my stubbornness, pushed me to the edge.


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But to their credit, also given me such patience and forbearance to even afford to be this long-winded.


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Of course, coffee helps, haha. But seriously though, I don’t think I have ever left school.


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From my place behind textbooks to the streets and to all the other meanderings before arriving at my present predisposition, I don’t think I have ever let go of my love for conflict – even if sometimes entirely of my own doing and needlessly self-destructive.


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What can I say, besides maintaining that things will always be red and blue (with blue over red at certain times). To be hungry is to be lit by fire and to let water be an untameable force rather than something to extinguish thirst.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After years have passed, I'm still in awe of your writing. Feels refreshing. Your perspective and ideas are just captivating. Please keep on writing! And when you do decide to do a book, I sure will be first to read it.