The garden between right and wrong.

The garden between right and wrong.

Rumi, a poet of old, said of the garden where two people could meet: 'Somewhere between right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet your there.'

Said in a poetic light, I think of all the things that we have to go through as a people, the sense of senselessness of it all, the meaning of our lives that is now as meaningless as before.

From the personal to the political, from the private to the public, from the individual to the collective, we have gone to the abyss, and everywhere I go, we only end up with that one final hope about a future that is in store for us.

Such is the desperate case in the Philippines.

Aside from Mexico, there is no any country in the whole wide world that sends its people to work as practically slaves in other countries.

We even glorify these workers we send abroad, and I remember now a distant nephew when we had the chance to talk in Baguio last month.

I was with his entire nuclear family when we met: his young wife, a former teacher but now has to stop teaching to take care of their son, and the son.

He talked of his young son, two going three. That son told him one day: 'Papa, do not ever leave me again, yes?'

My nephew was teary-eyed.

He could not speak a word.

He thought of the future and the P270 per day of provincial rate he would recieve if he were to stay in Baguio and work there, work as a worker in those establishments that look at human labor as commodity for sale, as a thing to be bought, as an object in the market to be priced.

'I did not want to lie to my son, uncle,' he said. 'So, I simply did not answer. I just embraced tight. And then I cried without him seeing me cry, my head on his back.'

I looked at him, his sleeping son on his lap while we were sipping our cold pineapple juice.

'There is no way we could ever give him a life if I stayed here, uncle,' he said.

I think of Rumi's garden of right and wrong, and I think of the no-choice choice of our people.

May 2014

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