My love, eternal

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A lesson in retrospect

She was always hesitant to make friends over the internet. Most men she met were gross slobs, and correspondence with women would stop after a couple of messages. But this guy seemed very different. He was well-spoken, formal, even. It was as if one of Jane Austen’s characters time travelled and made a Facebook profile.

It took some time, but slowly, and through heated political (virtual) debates at first, she started to learn more about him: he was a ballet dancer, he was not much older than her, but possessed an old soul’s wisdom, he was American but considered himself Canadian, he was gay, he sent money to many Filipino families, and he loved the Philippines. His age, former profession and exposure would explain his online demeanor. She was in awe.

Pretty soon, they started swapping life stories. He learned about her love for writing, she discovered about his foster son; he told her about his poor beginnings, she shared about her dreams; he confessed his concern for the Philippines, she owned up having authoritarian tendencies; he admired her mastery of the English language, she praised the athletic discipline ballet dancers possess… and so forth.

The messages they exchanged, whether long or short, interesting or trivial, personal or professional, got her through the day. She was thankful for the distraction at first, but eventually, she developed a real appreciation for this peculiar, interesting and bordering-the-eccentric man. Her admiration for him grew when she discovered that he held the title of a “Ballet Master”. He told her that himself, but she already knew it, thanks to her Google searching abilities.

She would respond to him no matter what her mood was, regardless of the battles she was waging. As a personal challenge, she set herself up to always reply with the same courtesy, richness in vocabulary, and coherence that caught his attention. She never told him so, but his correspondence provided her a peaceful oasis amidst the terrible sandstorms in her heart- choking her tears, clogging her chest, blinding her sight. At least when she wrote to him, she was forced to breathe right and dry her eyes so she could type correctly. It gave her a purpose for herself, she felt useful and appreciated. Lifted and encouraged. She never thanked him for that.

Because she was sinking deeper and deeper in her quicksand, she had to excuse herself from their exchanges. He, gentleman that he was, acknowledged how tough her situation must be, and sweetly bid her adieu.

That was the last time she heard of him.

That would also be the last time she would neglect the people in her life, no matter what issues she has.

To regret is to waste time. But to mourn the deceased, whether superstition or not, could help ease their final journey. So mourn, she will.

Farewell, Edward. Thank you.

*This article has been updated on January 1st. Edward was not octogenarian, as was previously written.

To the friend who left

Dear friend,

I was quite surprised with your slow, unnoticed retreat. Was it too sudden, or were you gone already? Perhaps I was too preoccupied with my own projects and woes, that I wasn’t able to perceive your need for company. Maybe I was the one who slipped away, not you. It’s also possible that both of us simply drifted apart at the same time.

Nevertheless, I didn’t write to keep tabs. Nor did I send this message to make you feel bad. I actually wanted to thank you: for sharing your time with me, for helping me when I needed it, for trusting me with your secrets, and for letting me give you advice when you felt lost. I learned a lot from you, I laughed a lot with you and I wouldn’t be the person I am now if not because of you.

I’m sorry if I did anything that made you change your mind about our friendship. I wish I could say I want to know if there’s anything I could do so we could be friends again. But the truth is, if I hadn’t even noticed you gone, then I guess this is the natural course of our relationship.

I wish you all the best in life.

Summer sadness

Tell me how

– Karessa Ramos

Tell me how to forgive,

to overcome and forget.

Tell me how to keep calm,

tell me how to unsee,

unhear.

Tell me how to unfeel.

 

Tell me,

what paradise will accept you?

Where will you go?

After hurting the innocent,

and the most innocent of all?

 

Tell me how to heal.

Tell me how to stop

the rage,

the thirst for revenge.

Tell me how to reconcile

love for mankind

with your desire

to see people die?

 

Tell me how to forgive,

tell me how to unsee

tell me how to heal

tell me how to stop

the spread of hate.

I don’t know how.

Tell me how.

Summer mood 5: joy

Cloudcatchers

– Karessa Ramos

We lie on the sand,

on the grass, on the ground

while watching clouds

as they glide,

as they drift all around.

Everything turns

suddenly astounding.

 

We walk fast

we walk slow

we walk barefoot

feeling the wind blow.

I catch your smile

and your dimpled chin.

Nothing is ever as sublime.

 

Who cares

about forever?

Summer moods 3 and 4: nostalgic and very nostalgic

Nostalgic

I know this place

I’ve been here before.

So beautiful

like milk froth

and comfortable

like soft rain.

And easy

like child’s play.

 

I was here before.

This place, familiar.

But this is somewhere

I can’t belong.

I don’t belong.

And so I won’t be here long.

In this easy place

with the beautiful rain.

***

Very nostalgic

Is it the light?

Am I the moth

Dazed with the fire?

Is it the sound?

Are you the siren’s song?

Am I spellbound?

 

Perhaps it’s not as easy.

Is it ever simple?

What part of this is reality?

Which one is but a memory?

Smokes and mirrors

haze my view.

How to tell the rest from the you?

If it’s just the lights,

if it’s only the sound,

I’ll get over this in Vegas.

– Karessa Ramos

Summer moods 1 and 2: gratefulness and empathy

Gratefulness

It’s not hard to be

grateful when you clearly see

others’ misery.

***

Empathy

The truth about you

here and now, is that we are

similar, we two.

 

We have feelings, we

build walls and defend. Not much

different, are we?

 

Sympathetic when

the other cries. But glad it’s

not us, torn inside.

 

When the other wins

we celebrate, we cheer, yet

we wish it was  us.

– Karessa Ramos