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some thoughts at 3AM

a friend’s brother died last week. he was 2 years younger than me. i only met him once in their old house – but i knew him from his brother’s stories – which is sort of saying i didn’t know him. he was with someone the day he died. that person turned around for awhile, and in a brief second, he just jumped. he was at the 26th floor.

a friend, after recently learning how to drive back in college, told me once that sometimes when she’s driving late at night with this feeling of helplessness we as humans embrace as a talent – she imagines herself just driving off a bridge or hitting a concrete wall. and it’s really very easy to do so. without an effort, one could go to the kitchen, pull a knife from the drawer and find a vein. or jump at the those tracks as a fast train approaches.

but during moments of despair, moments when you feel the world has failed you or you have failed your world, the thought of simply ending it all sometimes becomes an option. but despite the fact that killing one’s self could be accomplished in a heartbeat – you do not do it. my friend back then reasoned that it’s because there is someting beautiful inside all of us that just wouldn’t let go. a beauty who believes in itself and tries to strive despite EVERYTHING ELSE. it is what drives the struggle to survive.

one of my favorite greek myths is the story of Sisyphus, the proud king who was doomed to eternal frustration by pushing a big rock up a steep hill which will always fall when it is in the verge of reaching the top. jessica zafra once wrote about this myth. she said what amazes her is not the frustration of pushing a heavy rock only to know it will fall back everytime – but the perseverance to do it despite the predetermined outcome.

the fact that we are compelled beyond logic to push is, for me, the beauty of life. a sense of hope that floats from the depth of our being . a feeling that could not have come from an imperfect creature such as ourselves but from somewhere far greater and better than what we could ever dare to imagine.

how my friend’s brother decided to jump, in that single moment of thought, is still a mystery to me. a scary truth that i wish – i will never have the need to understand.

Categories: others
  1. bokneg
    April 16, 2007 at 12:51 am

    nice thoughts, engjel… and of course lahat tayong may koneksyon kay M, whether we knew his brother or not (i met him once i think, and now i can’t even remember what he looks like), we’re all thinking of our own lives, our own deaths, our own “close shaves”… sa akin lang, iba ang ending ng thoughts, iba sa happy ending ng sinulat mo.

    sa akin, di ko tinuloy ang pag-slice ng ugat ko, or ang pagbaril sa ulo ko, o ang pagtalon sa mataas na building, not because of anything beautiful. sadly, hindi ko tinuloy kasi coward that i am, i was afraid of the pain. i was afraid of making a mess and having relatives and friends thinking, “aalis nalang magiiwan pa ng kalat!”

    i was afraid of imposing on the rest of my family – putting them in the awkward position of having to explain to people what had happened, and why.

    so ang dalawng factors that have kept me alive are: 1. takot sa physical pain, and 2. ang sasabihin ng mga kapitbahay.

    ang sad, ‘no?

  2. April 16, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    may downfall din ang living with the principle i wrote above. i read this book back in h/s, the last temptation of christ (which i want to read again for i know i’ll be “reading” it differently now-which is a defining character of all good books..plus the fact na ‘ala na ako maalala about it..) where it was mentioned that JC’s last temptation was not having the libido for magdalene (alam ko takbo ng utak mo uguk!hehehe) but a few moments before he died in his cross, as his life flashed in his eyes – there was this point where he was at the verge of feeling REGRET. but being the obedient son that he is, he acknowldged what his creator has asked him to do, and he embraced it.
    i am not a religous person but i am a person of faith at tao pa din. in my last breath, will i succumb into the last temptation? will i ever be strong enough to resist it?
    maraming bagay sa mundo ang sad. it takes much effort to be happy if you come to think of it (not counting the facial muscle fact…lam mo ba yun? fewer muscles to smile than to frown ek-ek??). pero sabi nga ng isang friend ko back in college – happiness is a decision, not an event. let us fight the fight to stay happy…
    if i try to psycho-analyze your thoughts (which i will probably fail at..) love is still the primary emotion that you are leading to. fear is a secondary emotion – you fear the pain for your body and you fear the pain and suffering of your relatives and friends. if you try to find the root of that fear, it is because you love your physical self and you love your family too much – to cause pain (a feeling, not an emotion). san galing ang psycho-babble na ito? read it from an article eons ago…but i still think it’s true.
    so it is still love that keeps you striving…which means it is still beautiful. ok na analogy dba? =P half-full, not half-empty…

  3. bokneg
    April 17, 2007 at 3:22 am

    hehehe, e pano kung ang fear ko of the pain of death is much the same as my fear of going to the dentist or getting an injection? ay ewan, basta buhay parin ako for now (not that i’m not causing pain to anyone by being alive).

    nabasa ko narin yung fewer muscles to smile than to frown, therefore frowning burns more calories… di ba good ‘yun?

    (ewan ko kung bakit ang tingin ko sa buhay ngayon ay hindi half-full or half-empty eklavuh, kundi sana ang laman ng glass sarsi instead of water. at maraming ice.)

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