When you are thinking of a poem

You could have said this straight to your son who has decided to take on the path to writing--and creative writing at that.

The last time you talked to him, he was absorbed in his first-ever novel project, one something close to erotic, and which he promised he would write in a couple of weeks for a start-up publication he has committed himself to write for. It is something that you tell to yourself as well: it is difficult to blog when you are thinking of a poem. Really so.

Of course, I had to rebuff him, reminding him that he has no right to write about the erotic because, well, he is 21, just out of college, and I thought he has not any iota of what life in the 'outside' world is all about.

He rebuffed me in return, saying, 'You do not know what you are talking about, itay.'

Oh yes, I said. I was thinking of this young man many years back when I would drive him to school. Or that first time, in high school, that he would take the ubiquitous jeepney by himself and his mom was so irrationally afraid her son would not know how to cross the street or much less read and understand what the green and the yellow and the red traffic lights are all about.

'I can do it,' he said. 'Much better than what you think.'

Ok, I said. I remembered the Bible, I remembered Khalil Gibran: 'Parents, you do not own your children.'

And then the following day, the son's blog just went blank, with only the fish in its ichtus-like idiocy seemingly swimming in an invisible vast sea of forgetting on the computer screen. I realized that the son just went black--preferring instead to concentrate perhaps on his first-ever romance/erotic/love novel.

How he easily left out that commitment to blog, I do not understand. He dramatically did this many times over, and sometimes, on a note assuming some kind of a staged/calculated performance level, announced his leaving the blogsphere
to go back to earthsphere for a time.

I cannot do this, this LOA from blogging. Like the daughter, I think, who cannot sleep without blogging all the things that went on with her including her enthused friendship with young television stars, singers, and classmates. She got a monicker from her mom because of that: our Lady Guard on night duty everyday that the Lord has made.

I think of my life as an exile, away from the blogging activities of children. Now I see: blogging is one way to validate my being an exile and to announce that I am not happy with being an exiel and that I am coming home to a land that will welcome me, that will give me home. I do not know where that land is but I am praying I would be able to find it somehow.

Blogging is my way of announcing my presence in the land of other peoples, the land I wish I could find some peace and prosperity, some quietude from the all-time quest for meaning and relevance, and well, yes, for that time and resources to keep writing and writing to my heart's content.

It is my way of coming to terms with that absence that has become everyday and which absence sometime makes me question many things.

I feel it in my bones, since blogging, like writing a poem, is a commitment to the everyday. I do not blog, I end up the loser, the night haunting me so, as if I have become less of a person.

Because blogging has become a second skin, this blogging as both blogging my thoughts or 'blogging into' other person's thoughts.

Because it is a ritual--a ceremony for welcoming the blessings of the morning, of each morning.

Because it is a rhyme and a reason for connecting with absence and allowing that absence to just simply go away and whittle off to some far off place somewhere you do not care to go. It is simply dismissing absence and permitting presence to come be present as Presence.

Most oftentimes, the thoughts do not go away and I just have to simply scribble it on anything I can write on: restaurant table napkins, toilet tissue papers for hand drying, the edges of newspapers and flyers, the back of some other people's business cards, the blank spaces of receipts and more receipts--anything, any surface I can write on.

With the computer, the blank screen has functioned that way, always inviting me to keep writing on, fill that blank space, fill it with something, inanities included, this inanity I am writing included.

Blogging is my way of catching on with my writing after losing so many hours to lengthy talks and meetings that always bore me to death, nodding my head to what other people say but I am also nodding my head to the thought about a thought that could become the kernel of a new poem.

It is the new poem--always--that gives me the kick, that kicks off the energy of my writing soul. I could have been born to write and I pray I will always be faithful to its demands. This writing, I have to accept, is a curse as it is a vocation, as it is a mission. You do not do it, you end up unhappy, useless.

This is why the son has to blank it all out--blank that screen--in order for him to write.

Now I understand many things--and better.

A Solver Agcaoili
UH Manoa/Oct 25, 2006
2:05 AM

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