Today the sun in Torrance is a summer sun, its rays streaking through the dirty blinds of my room that has been the haven of my dreams for many months, even years.
Did I stay here for more than two years?
Yes, more than two years--and then off you will go to other rooms with other blinds.
This is life, it seems, this arriving and departing in an endless cycle like the constant renewing of hope and faith and love.
Each moment, each day, each time, each time eternal. There is eternity in this arriving and departing even as I try to memorize this room of my dream of getting fast the pangs of immigrant life.
Did I dream about making it in this land of exile through these blinds as I look for grace every day, ask for blessing, go through this daily rite of renewal?
I wake up to face the light. The light comes in profusely, its luminosity unbearable in this early morning hour.
I had my dreams here in this cramped room with the dusty blinds.
I even talked in my dreams, both good and bad. I even talked in my dreams. I talked as if I was awake in these dreams.
I rush to the little altar I have put up long ago since the first time I moved here in this city. The makeship alter is in that little corner that has all the books that I have collected all these three years.
I do not know but if there is any sickness for buying and reading books, if this act is symptomatic of anything, if librarians are all sick in the head for getting a high with the smell of books, and if teachers like me get their sickening dose of inspiration when they are able to finish a book in a short period of time.
One thing I know is this: even if the children have been craving to throw away my books in the old country, I could not bear to part with them.
And now this, in this room, with these books vying for attention, for caring, for reading, as if they are saying to me: Take us, take us, take us to wherever you are going.
And if this whole thing is some kind of a sickness, this is one sickness that I definitely have.
And I do not want any healing except when healed by books.
I want to go on reading books and collecting them--or collecting them and reading them, whichever is the more favorable condition.
And depending on whether you are earning a living so your children of the blogging age can keep on with their endless ruminations about their handicaps as people of talent, thought, and technique, you can always go back to your reading in all your moods, as if reading makes you alive, makes you get in touch with all the life forces, connect with life itself.
You stand up and great the morning to start your rite of renewal.
You try to recall the beautiful dream, not the sad one because the wife might make a comment in your blog about your being negative about life and being so damn sad, according to one poet.
You try to think thoughts, the positive one.
You go to the altar, take that vow, get the glass bowl with water, go to the sink, change the water with a fresher one.
You go back to the little altar and put the bowl of water as sacredly as you can.
This is your early morning offering, your rite of renewal, your covenant with your God, with the spirits, with all the energies and forces of life, with the chi, with the prana, with the ruach, with the vitalizing force.
You commence the rite of wakefulness: here I am, here I am. Let me become a vessel of goodness and grace.
And then you say: Amen. Let it be.
Your new day begins.
Long or short, your day begins.
And the spirit of life is with you--or you pray it is with you.
A. S. Agcaoili
May 23, 2006