Tactical Articulations

The February of our collective lives is a continuum of what we have left off last year, with the inflation of our hope for the better because of forces that are largely not within our control.

There is so much of these right now, in the Philippines and elsewhere, and the tragedies that visit those who do not have the capacity to bear them seem to be increasing in number: the Ampatuan massacre in the homeland, the whole scale devastation in Port-au-Prince, the relentless terrorist bombings in Baghdad and in Kabul, and the foiled attempt at another airplane high jacking in the United States.

We are living in interesting times, indeed, so the saying goes.

And these times are difficult times, strange too, leaving us with not so much to hold onto even as we try to keep looking for that proverbial dawn light streaking through the forests and valleys and plains and mountains of our already sundered, blighted, troubled lives.

It is easy to fall into the cracks in these especially difficult circumstances marking our days, with the cracks creating gaping holes that are ever ready to swallow us whole and entire.

It is easy to lose sight of the promise of the future when so much of the tragic leaves us unable to re-gather our thoughts, reenergize our minds, and replenish our already dissipated sense of self-worth.

Even as we are greeted by a continuing sense of the absurd in this globalized world, with the global recession providing the engine for a freefall that has given rise to some other freefalls in employment and our capabilities to fend for ourselves and to take care of our families, we are here, and truly so, and our presence has become some form of active witnessing to what possibilities are still there in this vast world of interesting human experiences.

No, we cannot afford to fall on the wayside.

No, we cannot afford to go haywire.

No, we cannot afford to turn our back to the challenges of the present, however terrifying and surprising these challenges are.

What we need is some form of tactic to articulate what we have got.

What we need is to take back our ability to name that which we have got.

What we need is to articulate our pains, articulate our tragedies, articulate the present, and in the process of this tactical articulation, we will soon realize that yes, indeed, we have a way of seeing the whole thing in way that can be revelatory of what we can do—of what we, in fact, have before us: our lives, our present, our being around, our being in the midst of the here-and-now, in the midst of these things, in the midst of the events that open up new life lessons for us.

There is that sense of urgency in looking at the positives and to tactically articulate them so that we can have some reference points even as we try to get by despite all these troubles.

There is that immediacy of turning the ugly experience into something meaningful, beautiful, and truthful even if admittedly it is raw.

For the beautiful life—as in the promise of a faithful love which we celebrate this month—does not come as a polished, finished product but is always ongoing, always subject to the vagaries of moments, of pains, of histories, of joys, of hopes.

The truly beautiful life is, in the beginning, always rough.

Holding all other things equal, there ought to be one thing that renders life worth living: our commitment to loving and loving fully, meaningfully, humanely.

And this love is not only the romantic kind but includes the courageous confrontation of all that that hinders the deployment of love in order to charm the lover.

FAO, Feb 2010

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