Son Sheds a Tear

It is Sunday morning over here, and the cold weather has gotten our betters.

It is fall, and if those wise people that tell us that the weather and all the galaxies and the movement of the stars and the moon have something to do with how we behave are correct, then we have an explanation why some mornings are not that bright and sunny after all.

Science or no science, that is a given now. For me.

When you wake up to find out that per the latest CNN account, about 10,000--or possibly more --perished in the aftermath of this Yolanda storm that at its finest, or worst, is at Signal Number 4, you realized the finitude of things, the perishability of human life, and the senselessness of ineptitude and incompetence.

He tells me of the father at a beaten church, his dead child on the floor.

His face is grief itself.

Or has become a canvass of that kind of sorrow one could not have a name because one could not name it. For how can a father ever bury his own child?

Or, basing on some reports, how can children be wrested by strong currents away from the extended and strong grip of their parents, these children to be lost forever?

I want to help, the son tells me.

He could have been a missioner a long time, perhaps in his former life.

Or a member of those relief agencies, only to come back in this life as someone who has seen the depths of the tragic, and the inhumanity of it all, this inhumanity of this calamity, and the calamitousness of being human.

But that is the existential paradox, those questions raised by all peoples and raised as well by drunken philosophers in the cafe in Paris.

He tells me of the father again, the father's tears profuse.

My son begins to shed a tear.

I remember that father a long time ago, in the earthquake that hit Baguio City and Cabanatuan City and other places, with that father easing the pain of his child underneath a rubble. That child did not make it, and I cried on that morning the news came out on the papers, the image of father and his child splashed on the front page.

Sige, I tell my son.

Sige, let us help.

But we must sustain our act of helping by making it not only now, but far longer.

I tell him about livelihood, about education, about the gift of giving even those that we need.

Nov 10, 2013

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