HENDERSON, Nevada (MindaNews/24 November) — It was pouring yesterday. The Sunday drive to Half Moon Bay to go for a thirty minute walk by the sea turned into a drive to a little town called Pescadero. Our cousin’s friend led us down to a quaint little deli and bakery that sold fresh baked artichoke bread, in several savory herb and spice varieties. It kind of reminded us of our own long ago bakeshop. Fresh brewed coffee and a sweet pastry. To sit on the benches outside by the storefront. Watch the few people braving the grey day, shaking the rain off their hair and jackets, like a wet corgi.
The relentless rain, instead, saw us crowding the entrance because the benches were soaking wet. We had to make a quick run to the car. Without the sweet aroma of coffee, but the warm scent of the bread, fresh out of the oven.
The short respite was a welcome break. Our thoughts kept on a narrow path of getting through the slick freeway safely, to and from our destinations. Trying to catch nature running a marathon beside us, tracing the drops that fell fiercely on the square of glass that separated us from the cold outside. Waiting for the next stop, so we could relieve ourselves of our own restlessness.
The heavy rain from yesterday seems to have moved on. But the grey day still lingers. The sun struggles to part the thick expanse of cumuli. We try to fight off a suffocating helplessness. A sad anger that does not want to lay still.
Our thoughts belittle our own troubles. We try to chase our own fears with larger concerns that, we think, beset other people’s lives. Try to remind ourselves of how fortunate we really are. Faithfully open our prayer books each morning and count our blessings. And we are, for a few hours, somehow feeling relieved that things will be all right in the end. That is, we fervently continue to hope so.
Especially when, we read that the singer, songwriter and poet Bob Dylan was given the Nobel Prize, we realize that, indeed, “ the times, they are a-changing…” That, maybe even the great Leonard Cohen (who we love), who passed away after the November election, could, someday be awarded the same honors (suntok sa buwan). Because, we are made to understand how, even in this time of the so-called millennials, the lyrics that fired our own generation, still carries the truths that plague our worlds today. The sadness of blind disaffection has brought the old cries back. The songs sung by our generation’s folk-singer fathers and mothers ring more faithfully now than ever.
Things have come to some sort of full circle. Except the curve reaching to touch the other end is somehow skewed. Protests, both here and my own country of birth has wiggled the lines of time and space, that even the great physicist Stephen Hawking may not understand how the numbers do not make sense.
Youth braves the uncertainties that these times bring. This, we feel, is the crux of our fear. Our youth was mostly spent trying to live through the fear of the random ‘pick-up’ a ruthless dictator and his family had us go through; while they plundered the country of its coffers, making it their personal piggy bank. And now, here again, they rise like the black plague, in our lifetime, in the years when we thought we could look forward to a modicum of some peaceful living. Our assumptions of how the country must have learned from those long years of trying to rise above the cruelty of that dictator, is kaput.
And here in America, the resurgence of the white supremacists have us in a limbo of its own kind of unknowables. We are now more aware of our being ‘a woman of color’ not because we take pride in our ethnic background, but because we are now deemed the ‘other’.
The recent events have us in a kind of daze. The brain is trying to constantly find a way to cope. Trump and Marcos and our personal losses, material and otherwise, have been a year-end kind of a tragic summation of how 2016 is Turning out to be. We constantly remind ourselves of the many other things we should be thankful for, and pray that “this too will pass”. Even if we know that its passing may take more years than we care to admit. (Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Margot Marfori is an author and visual artist from Davao City. She is currently based in Henderson, Nevada.)