Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Jeepney Ride with Nelson Mandela

A few meters’ stroll with no trees to provide any form of shade during the sun’s peak for the day was not all that bad especially because the jeepney that saved me from the noon hell bore Nelson Mandela. Yes, he who is an icon for making good things possible, what with his anti-apartheid efforts…in South Africa where discrimination against blacks had been the in thing for the longest time?!

OK I’m kidding. About my fellow pasahero, not about Mandela’s claim to greatness. I wasn’t really seated opposite a Nobel Peace Prize winner. So what if he’s not Mandela? He sure does look like him. Perhaps that should count.

A good thing when least expected. A good thing made possible. A one hundred eighty-degree turn from my morning’s misadventure.

I’ve been restless about a certain amount in my bank account which, for some reason, I thought was missing. I went through the trouble of going on a half day at work to visit the bank at a branch that is really out of the way where my trip from home to work is concerned.

And there I met this Filipino-speaking Korean leading man in a miniature package—he’s no midget but his built is so tiny that if someone like me hugs him, his bones will be crushed. Again, I’m kidding. About him being Korean and maybe even about his bones being crushed—by me. Heaven knows if the guy really is Korean! But anyway, he looked Korean to me, a good-looking Korean in fact! He was the one who entertained me and my problem. As it turned out, I had actually withdrawn the alleged money I’m missing. It was all a matter of me misunderstanding the transaction slip issued to me by the ATM where I did my last bank transaction.

Stupid am I?

It was quite embarrassing. You know, me having to go there, taking people’s time to address my concern which really is one big delusion. But at least two things became clear: one, the supposed missing money is now all accounted for and, two, the “supposed missing money” is definitely lost some way, somehow while I was trying to live these past few days.

After feeling a bit of a loser and after it dawned unto me that I won’t be having that most sought-after new shoes any time soon, I realized how I have very little recollection of the past days’ events. And whenever I can’t account how I’ve spent my days, I feel that, just like my “supposed missing money,” I have lost some of my precious moments in life.

On a better angle, I seem to be slowly appeasing a minor personal issue over continuing to blog. You see, it has come to my attention that people, at least those to whom I am far from being anonymous, do read what I write, thus the burden of considering them when I’m pouring out my thoughts and feelings in what-could-have-been-my-virtual-shock-absorber. It sort-of defeats one of my purposes in blogging.

For a while I am torn whether to continue writing or to put a dramatic halt to my flow of words. You see, I refuse to be censored, and although it doesn’t seem like it, I wish to take responsibility for the things I write. But by saying that, I feel that I have to explain myself all the time, aside from the many other times I have to explain given all the entries I’ve posted to date.

The thing is, non-mercenary writers such as myself, we don’t get monetary compensation with the things we write. We write because we need to and because we feel that we have to. There you see that emotion is key.

Now I do believe that a writer turning her mishap into pseudo creative outputs to protect the identity of the real characters in her life while dealing with pain, joy, fear and what-have-you, deserves some credit for taking responsibility towards the real people who grace her life. But the thing is, a writer, paid or otherwise, has a responsibility towards her craft. And that is to stay true to the emotions that prompted her to create something that may enlighten others who, at one time in their lives, may have to go through what the writer is going through. And if that isn’t enough, the writer’s work, which at this time has probably turned itself into fiction, will ultimately enlighten the writer herself.

By presenting herself a fictionalized cross section of her life, a writer gets an opportunity to detach herself from her reality. Only then does she assess her life in the most objective way possible.

A bit self-serving? Yes. But that is the beauty of fiction and even maybe art in general. They are multi-faceted. They serve not only one but a whole lot. And if done really well, fiction and art deliver messages that depend entirely to the eyes of the decoder, thus promising infinite truths coming from a sole piece.

I guess, what I am trying to say is, the great majority ought to quit blaming a writer for ideas they, the great majority, extract from reading such writer’s work especially when the work we’re referring to is no where near hardcore news writing where everything is required to be devoid of subjectivity, if not of the writer’s emotions.

By now, our noses are bleeding. I know. Forgive the Confucius mode. It's just that this is how I, a writer wannabe, process things. I lay every thought down to achieve a crystal understanding of what I'm talking about.

I’ll make my point short.

Recently I've been feeling stifled in my efforts not to hit anyone with my heart and pen’s joy ride. I've been finding it close to impossible to provide conclusions for the things I’ve written. You see, in saying my piece, there’d always be risks. Risk that I would be misinterpreted, that I’d hurt someone, that I’d end up looking like a complete ass. But what is life without risks? And as what had my unfinished entries prove, no risks means no pieces to post.

However this post seems promising, especially because I am one paragraph away from its conclusion.

Now that’s a good thing when least expected. A good thing made possible. A one hundred eighty-degree turn from my morning’s misadventure.

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