There were moments in my life where I let liquefied emotions, lukewarm faith, easily burned thoughts, lightheartedness and trifling decisions ruled over. Those moments were too easy to label as everything that made me stand on the ground of this present world I am in. All the broken and irreparable pieces of what I was before could be gathered to solidify my today’s being. I don’t want to be eaten by pretense, so here’s the truth; there were moments, minutes, hours, even a fleeting second, I would feel the need to be lost. I was craving for the satisfaction to end everything that keeps on gripping my heart in such agonizing way. I would crave the need to feel numb, un-weary of the howls and cries that could be heard in the midst of a busy street and looking forward to the sound of silence in the core of oblivion and solitude. I would gratifyingly feel the need to be a lonely land, full of mysteries and quietness, full of withered flowers and brown thin branch of trees, health which the drought took. I would feel the need to be in the darkness, letting it all surmount my space, until I could no longer breathe, until it travel its way to every part of me, to my entirety. Even up to now; some days, I would feel the need to stop fighting, to just give up and to just let go. I would look in front of me and see how everyone’s doing fine and I am here, still behind, doing well at watching others retreat to their happiness while I am still stuck with my frowns and tears. I was once a flower, expected to jubilantly bloom under the brightly shining sun. How could I? When I was long too withered? Because the society’s says were my constant reminders that I am nothing but a failed experiment to this mutation.
Then, every time that certain need would eagerly want to overpower me, a Man would call with softness in His voice. That’s where the light came in; that was the exact moment where I would feel solid, like an indestructible piece of gem that was hardened by Him. Yet, I answered Him with doubts, and still answering Him with doubts. I thought He would leave. Just like what a lot of people did but He stayed, He stays. As for my heart keep searching restlessly, and the resonating sound of nothingness zealously ignite the desire of wanting to stop, He would gladly hold my hands and would whisper through my ears; “Do not be afraid.” Such words started touching my heart. “Be still.” He would add. “I love you.” And with those uttered words, my being would travel to the age of calmness—where there’s nothing but rest.
He is the rest.
i used to love coffee
the way I love writing
but i grew tired,
not the sleep-deprived notion,
not the writer’s-block kind,
it was something
i was fatigued,
whacked by this existence,
the coffee of grief
was running in the interior
of my delicate veins,
the rose-colored life
became dark words
written in blue
i was at the
when He saw me,
i, i was
tainted by dirt;
painted by sorrow;
kissed by shame;
embraced by misery
never at my best
—constantly at worst
“and I still love(d) you”
He gently said
out of my reverie
with the cup of
creamy coffee on the table,
a pen within my grasp,
He is the only One worth writing about.
“Do you love me more than these?” each of them asked.
And without any doubt you answered, “Yes”, full of conviction and assurance to give your all—and so you did.
You offered them the moon with the glistening dust in the vastly night skies. They became your poem, your prose and every word in your vocabulary. You sing them to sleep even when your throat can’t function well anymore; you endlessly played the guitar even when your hands were already full of blisters due to too much use of it. Every good morning text and wake up call, every good night sigh and write-up song, every blissful hi and ecstatic let’s-go-out, everything… everything was devoted and only for them.
You gave too much, and that’s the entry point for hollowness.
You found yourself, in the midst of nowhere—alone and finding no comfort in solitude—enduring the heat of the sun on your bare skin, the roughness of the road on your bare feet, tasting the salty water of grief coming from your beautiful eyes—covered up with your smudge mascara—and barely breathing, walking with no direction at all.
“Do you love me more than these?” each of them asked, for the nth time.
And without any doubt you answered, “Yes”.
You answered “Yes”, the “yes” felt like the last coin in your pocket, the last piece of pizza in the box, the last strawberry flavored cake in the counter, the last butternut—the last breathe of serenity; the last hope you have; the last sigh of relief and the last smile your face could display.
“Do you love me more than these?” It was your turn to ask.
But you heard nothing. You heard nothing but the sound of footsteps intending to walk away from you. You were standing in the core of darkness with not a single soul to stand beside you. The entire yes’s you gave led you to all the no’s this world could offer.
“Do you love Me more than these?” Someone asked. The voice was different from the others, so soothing and so calm. But the familiarity of it faded, as for the last time you heard the question, emptiness found you.
It hit you. “These” sounds massive, big and wholly, as if it would take your life, the totality of what makes you, all your possessions, all that you could breathe and all that you could give—all your all.
You have decided to be selfish. You have decided to give none. You chose to stay silent despite of the question haunting you every minute.
“Do you love Me more than these?”
“Do you love Me more than these?”
“Do you love Me more than these?”
The statement was answerable by “yes” or “no” but it was like a lump in your throat—to answer is to break you.
“Do you love Me more than these?” The voice asked, over and over again.
Until, “Tell me, how? How to give when I have none? How to love when my heart is no longer functioning the way it that should? I have nothing but this hollowness inside my chest, this darkness in my soul, this heart that is broken and this soul that is aching to surrender what’s left. How? How can I say yes when I have nothing but no? How can I love when I have nothing at all?” You blasted out as your knees touched the ground, with your hands covering your face that was full of tears.
He stared at you for an ephemeral moment, until a smile find its way to His face.
“Do you love Me more than these?”
“…more than these—these heartbreaks, mundaneness, this pain, this agony and these tears. Do you love Me more than these—these resources, these approvals, these school works, and this wealth? Do you love Me more than the “yes” from others, the moon and the stars the world had already gave you. Do you love Me more than these—all these, everything that’s keeping you from seeing me, from loving me?”
“…because I love you beyond these.”
That was when your heart started aching. How could someone possibly break a heart with such gentleness? How could someone possibly light the whole town with such words? How could someone possibly give hope to the hopeless, how could He possibly replace strength to one’s weakness?
“Do you love Me more than these?” He asked. And there was no other way to count on your fingers how many times.
You have never seen a love so faithful—adhering firmly to one’s soul, a love so selfless, a love that endures—until you saw yourself, standing before the cross, blood dripping from the wounds of a Man, and the hammer within your grasp. You have nailed Him but He was still smiling, praying for you, waiting for you to hold his hand again, and loving you with all His will and heart. He is a victor over sin and death; He came from the grave to the sky in pursuance of you.
That was a love; a love that is so worthy of every “yes”.
“Yes.” You finally responded, full of conviction and assurance to give your all—and so you did, this time for the right person for all the right reasons.
“I love you, beyond measure.” God retorted back.
I’m the biggest worrier in town. I tend to overthink everything—from the way other people talk to the way they move, from the way I feel to the way I deal with everything that life has to offer, from the changes in everyday system to the dysfunctional arrangement of life. Far too many times, I compare my journey to someone else’s while completely forgetting that You gave me a different path to take, a special path only crafted for me. I tend to belittle myself by standing every day in front of the mirror and hating every inch that I see. I love to do things on my own—dealing with my own setbacks, picking myself up so that no one would see me struggling, hiding in the little world that I have created myself and relying to the illusion that I have long convinced myself with; I have everything under control. But in realistic side, I am losing it bit by bit. I have trusted myself to reach the destination without realizing that I already pulled my hands out from Your tender grasp. I have been depending on my own for so long, and I’m growing tired. I’m tired of walking on the same road full of broken spectacle shards and still convincing myself that I’m okay even with my bloody feet, broken heart, twisted mind and exhausted soul. I’m tired of telling people that I don’t need anyone’s saving because I do, I need to be rescued, I need to fly once more and see the vast variety of colors roaming around the world that had been dull gray when I took steps away from You, from few steps to bigger ones, until I gone astray.
I want to give You my heart. I found it in the midst of nothingness, deteriorated and almost giving up. I want to give You my soul ‘cause Your love can glued it back. Teach me to let go and to just let You. Teach me to loose grasp of the myth that I have been living with; “I have a total control over my life.” You lend me your ears when no one wants to listen. You offer me Your eyes when I’m slowly getting blinded by the mediocrity of life. You give me strength when I am losing mine. You never gave up on me when I already did myself. You become my air when the world’s asphyxiating me. You’re the ocean of life, the groundwork of my faith tower and I couldn’t ask for more. When the depths of the despair consumed me, Your hands are the ones I’m still willing to hold on to. What took me so long to perceive that all this time, the love that the whole world has been searching for, is here with me? The kind of love that knows no condition; a love that just loves.
I want to stop myself from writing my story. Everything made so much sense to me when the thunderbolts of realizations strike; I shall give you the pen. Teach me to write the story in accordance to Your outline. I know You won’t erase the chapters that I made but the ones that are not written yet would be gratifyingly constructed according to the framework that You have for me. God, I’m letting you take over.
To the Maker of the stars, You’ll always be my favorite author.
Where to start? I actually don’t know why I’m writing this one. To escape, maybe? I don’t know. I just want to tell you what happened yesterday, April 8, 2017, Saturday afternoon at SM Batangas. My block mates and I decided to beat some time at SM because there was a scheduled play that we should watch at exactly 4:00 in the afternoon. Everything was fine, I guess? We were laughing and talking and it seems like our worlds wouldn’t be badly shaken. I never thought we’d experience such kind. It all started when we decided to go to the arcade section of the mall which is at the 2nd floor. Of course, there were kids playing around, families, group of teenagers inside KTV rooms. We were enjoying the whole thing when suddenly, the ground started shaking. The next thing I knew, I was just standing there, not moving at all, looking for my friends who were not with me when the earthquake struck down. Good thing, my best friend loudly said; “Lumilindol!” And that was the exact moment I traveled back to reality. (When the 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit Batangas last tuesday, I also did the not-moving-at-all-thingy. So yeah, I guess my being’s not really working in times like these). Thoughts drastically consumed me, what about my family, those who were with me… just simply everything that there is to think about. Then I just heard the cracking sound, I was so afraid that the ceiling might fall anytime soon. The first thing that actually came into my mind was the so called ‘THE BIG ONE’ or the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that might hit within our lifetime (according to the researchers). Good thing, we immediately found our 3 friends who were playing on the other side of the place. My best friend, Pachica, was in the front guiding our way to the exit because I think that she was the only one who has sound mind that moment, and I was actually at the back, trying my best to hold the 3 of them together. While running, I tried to look around if there were kiddos around, good thing all of the kids that I saw were with their parents. Everyone was screaming, I heard people loudly praying. Everyone traveled to the age of paranoia when the entire mall lost its light. Once we reached the exit, I wanted to just cry it out but my friends were still at the ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-do’ state, so we immediately gone to the jeepney terminal to go back to our houses. We all wanted to see our families and just simply go home, our safe haven. I’m just so thankful that everyone’s safe. And last night, dreaming of everything wasn’t really pleasing. I just don’t do much bragging about what happened because I don’t want my friends to always remember it (Tho this is my blog and I just want to simply let it all out. Cause that exact moment, death already came to my mind. I was just silently praying to the Lord for I’ve trusted Him the whole thing, my life.) Today, reading some articles, hearing the news and seeing some pictures and posts of the aftermath made me realize things. Good and bad, actually. Waking up with heavy heart wasn’t good. Experiencing such commotions, still hearing people’ screams, scenes still flashing in mind and the entire feeling of welcoming death for a short while weren’t really overwhelming. I’m just so thankful that no one’s physically hurt but sadly, some were internally devastated. I believe that the fear is just there, within each of us and it takes only a little quake to fire it up again. We’re all living in the age of paranoia in times like these. The last thing we should do is to make fun of it and spread deceptive posts—hoax—around as if the whole earthquake thing wasn’t quite alarming. Fate’s knocking on our doors saying that we should start moving, we should start telling people how much we love them (I’m not romanticizing everything, I’m talking in general) before everything went too late. Would you be satisfied with the way you treat your mom, with the last conversation you had with your dad, with the words you said to your brother or sister and with the things you did to your friends? Let that sink. Lastly, please pray. Faith’s also knocking. Pray not because you are in need to do so or just because you want to be saved (the harsh reality). Pray because you want to and your heart is telling you to do so. Pray not just because you want something. Pray because you want to talk to Him. Maybe we really need some saving, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually.
(Photos aren’t mine. Ctto)
Lord God, got you on this. Stand firm. Keep the faith.
“When I am afraid. I will put my trust in You.” -Psalm 56:3
Pray for Batangas. Pray for the Philippines. Pray for the world. The world might be badly shaken but let our faith remain steadfast. This is something we can’t escape from. Whatever happens, happens. Trust God above all, everything else will just follow.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need those throwing-pebbles-at-my-window scenarios every 12 midnight when my parents were already in their room, both sleeping while tightly squeezing each other as if the coldness of the nightly breeze would take the warm they have for each other.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need another drama to my life. I don’t need those insanely beatings of my heart, those butterflies, those rainbows and unicorns, those breathtakingly roses with piercing thorns.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need to see myself, crying and crying and crying while blaming myself for falling to someone who can’t give the same intensity of the love that I can provide. To someone who can’t even bargain a word to me when I can write him a whole novel.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need to be self-seeking.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need those sugary words with sugary chocolates and cotton candies. I don’t need those sweets because in the end, I’ll have toothache and my dentist will surely get furious about the idea of damaging my teeth cause she’ll have a hard time cleaning and enhancing them every month.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need to beautify myself every day. I don’t need to put too much add on’s because I’m just frightened that he’ll find someone exquisite than me and the thought is killing the smallest touch of confidence in the interior of my soul.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need those ear-piercing lungs, those shouting voices. I don’t need those. Just like the way my mom screams to my dad every night. Just like how my dad shouts back to my mom.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need to hear those sounds, the sounds of shattering glasses, the wailing of my mom, the tick-tock of my dad’s shoes on the floor while he’s approaching to open the door, to storm out from this heartbreaking scene of our own major motion picture entitled, life.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need the silence of solitude because my parents were no longer home.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need the sight of empty bedroom, because my mom and dad weren’t there anymore. They were no longer hugging each other to ease the coldness of nightly breeze.
I don’t need to fall in love. I don’t need pain. I effortlessly devoured too much of it.
I don’t need to fall in love. I’m achingly hopeless.
I don’t need to fall in love. I’m at the verge of nothingness.
But then you came. You suddenly did.
I don’t need to fall in love. I still don’t need to.
I don’t need to fall in love but you made wanna try to.
I don’t need to fall in love, you just made me want to.
You’ve hugged me as if the coldness of the nightly breeze would take the little-st warmness I have towards love.
Thank You, God.