A parcel of peace.
A parcel of quiet.
A parcel of silence.
Every writer hopes for this elusive peace, this quiet gone wild, this silence beyond restraint.
The poet opens his ears to the cacophony of voices of the universe that has learned to be uncomfortable with solitude, aloneness, and contemplation.
The world is noisy.
And it should not be.
For when do we begin to create except in the void, except in the solemnity of our aloneness with ourselves, we poets who can only be silent when the word has stopped bothering us because we have arrested that word, harnessed it, so that in the arresting and harnessing, we can take back the noise, we can take back the power we have allowed to let loose?
Such things visit me each day.
The morning and afternoons are never for myself. They are for the heritage program I run in the University to make people remember who they are, to make the younger generation of Ilokanos remember where they descended from by making them imagine the past of their parents that can come alive before their eyes.
But evenings are sacred, as are my Saturdays and Sundays.
They are for myself, this other self as a writer, even if there remain competing visions of how weekends are supposed to be spent in this part of the world where we ought to work so that we have something to pay our bills.
Saturdays, I take a quick breakfast after a night of harried writing. And then the rehearsals or some such community extension work I am involved in.
Sundays are for the radio program that has occupied my mind for two months already, the airwaves becoming instruments to promote Ilokanoness and Amiananness.
In between are the Olelo tapings for “Talkback with Dr Agcaoili,” the TV program I have had the good fortune of starting, with four episodes about ready for multiple airings on Channel 53.
Today I told myself: You breathe, you breathe, and you breathe.
And so at 6:00 PM, after a half-an-hour of tryst with the webcam with family almost 8,000 miles away from where I am, I ran down the stairs, four flights downwards, and walked around the cathedral of trees and birds on Mailey Way.
I remember that I have written about these April showers and their birds on this deserted road.
The birds chant, their chorus of joyous singing their angelus at the boundless altar on treetops.
Now, now, I can sing.
A Solver Agcaoili
UH Manoa/Dec 1-07