BATANG MINDANAW: Too Long, Don’t bother Reading

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MIAG-AO, Iloilo (MindaNews/31 May) — Oh, everyone’s writing up their own version of vapid, over-worded goodbye speeches and pretentious concluding posts, and even though most of time I’m a useless person on Facebook, I’ll go ahead and contribute to the bullshit pile, because opinions aside, I still can’t sleep and I just feel like it.

Earlier today I was trying to pack for home.

I’m scared of going home. After all, it’s somewhere I left, with the audacity to think I could find somewhere else to call the same thing. A banal (wonderful) island with an asinine (exceptional) population, beautiful as I’d never seen otherwise (I was wrong), and I shared it with a nigh-exploding volcano that threatened to blow up only me.

So I left on a boat that I knew would always just be a boat. A nice enough, serviceable boat, with wood and nails and beams and whatever the hell else boats have, but I never thought I’d fall in love with the boat. I fell in love with that boat that showed me the absolute canvas of blue-almost-black – changing colors and shape, turning gray featureless rock effulgent; I found silhouettes of faraway islands and passed by rocks jutting out of the tide; places I could go but didn’t have the /need to. Just the promise of the possibility was that work of art.

That boat mixed up my priorities, ripping away the monotony of mindless hunter-gathering and personally showing me I could fish or swim because I had to. I burnt my skin and I know I’ve bled, but I love that boat-just-a-boat.

Wood rots. Or the fire that eventually burns everything started lapping at my boat, just to show me that I couldn’t be in that boat forever, and even though you loved so much or felt so much or had so much, wood is just wood and nails are just nails. We can do so much and feel so much, but we haven’t really changed that much. And I feel like I’m drifting back to an island that’s cleaned up the volcanic ash and built around the cooled lava rock still me when I don’t feel like me.

Who knows, I might have found the eruption beautiful. I know I would, for a self-anointed cynic, appreciation for art from the ether isn’t that difficult to generate; the new sparks and the offshoots would have been spectacular on my familiar sky. And I would have loved it, because I didn’t know any better, and even though now I still don’t know better, I’m not even sure if I can even say I know any different. After everything, I am still me, I still look like me, and that is the frustrating, simply sad part that I don’t get.

I don’t get how people -meaning you- can just unpack and sit down and then get up to pack again so you can do the same thing. The hypocrisy and the irony of that being exactly what I claim to be the only thing I’m sure I want to do for the rest of the life isn’t lost on me.

It’s just that right now I hate how my banged up stapler is still just a dinky little stapler, after all the paper I’ve put it through. I keep thinking I could get amnesia, and your body isn’t a Rosetta stone, so you won’t know you’ve been through anything if you forget that you put those wrinkles there, or scratched yourself somewhere, and gave yourself those scars. And you could forget. Science thinks we all forget. Maybe it’s the anticlimax or my lack of validation, but I should probably get off my laptop and sleep or something.

I’ll never get around to it, but I could really label that stapler.

(Batang Mindanaw is the youth section of MindaNews. SageDanielle T. Ilagan, 17 and loving it, is a BS Biology freshmeant at UP Visayas in Miag-ao, Iloilo)

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