You might call me positively mental for liking the Lenten Season and the Paschal Triduum more than Christmas, even more than my own birthday. (I only know of one other person who feels the same way.) I don’t know. Maybe it’s that part of me that is innately and irrevocably attracted to suffering, guilt, and pain—things that are surely copious in my life (or so I think). And it’s not as masochistically gaudy and senseless as you think; I have come to believe that suffering and pain can be transmuted into something undeniably good—something far greater than what our feeble minds can possibly grasp. But then again, maybe it’s my upbringing as a Christian that dictates the whole of me to be so attracted and attached to the traditions and rituals of the Church at this part of the Liturgical Year. I mean, when you really think about it, this is why believers call themselves Christians—the fact that Jesus, the one whose birth was foretold, made good with His promise of salvation by offering His own life. This unconditional love is still the model I subscribe to, as intangible as the concept might seem. Or maybe that’s just it, my soul is and has always been in dire need of a love that is colossally strong, so monumental that it could save the souls even of those who are yet to be born; a love that transcends time and space.
I am in no way shoving my beliefs down your throat, dear reader. All I’m doing is expressing what for me is the most awaited time of the year, a time where I see some (if not all) hearts melt and feel any degree of repentance for their shortcomings—all rooted to lack of love, for oneself, for their neighbours, and for this earth and all living on and in it. All I’m doing is expressing what I think is this Good Friday’s rationale, a celebration of the greatest kind of love—the kind we all need, the kind we all dream, and maybe we hope to one day share—the selfless kind.
Who wants a tour of LB?
Here’s how my stint as an LB tour guide went!
I know I have been, for the most part of my life, a rather sad fellow. The life I have led so far has pushed my mind to fight this naturally somber and melancholic disposition. I would have to admit now that though I’ve experienced immense sadness—the kind I thought my meager being would not have been able to survive—I have also experienced immense and immeasurable joy, peace, contentment, and love. Knowing well enough that it takes courage to face the daily struggles of choosing to be happy and positive, I take this moment to acknowledge that I have, whether unknowingly or not, decided for sometime now to look at life with as much hope and love as I could possibly do. All the time.
And at the end of my life, I’d want to be a glaring and unconquerable sunbeam, bright and warm, bound to fade but existent—valid. I guess I’ve always known that I was born to foster light, as dark and abyssal as my soul was and will always be.
Happy anniversary, Mariah!
our pasts are ghosts we need to honor fully—like spirits, when given an improper farewell, no memorials, they haunt us. let’s remind ourselves.
today: i will bury my dead, lost loves and honor them the best way i can. set those ghosts to quiet, loving peace. the final farewell. the burning of the ship.
Post workout karaoke to a song I first heard when I was 6 years old and now has meaning. Consider this a #ThrowbackThursday! Thank you, Alison Krauss! Forgive my vocals and my lack of clothing (as usual).
Song dedicated to Miguel!
With our hands intertwined, we make an ascent to the side of the mountain I have grown to love and have grown upon. My lips retain a little gap, and with my eyes they wander. I am in my skin and you are in yours, but today we have been paired to spend these hours in jovial union. And so my hand rejoices in the presence of yours in it.
I fidget in my seat and stare at the wide familiar expanse of road ahead of us. We are surrounded by windows and the shifting lights of this mid afternoon validate our movement forward. Another car passes us by, its dying hum indicative of the growing distance between the two moving automobiles. I haphazardly throw a glance at the rear view mirror, desperate, and realize too soon that I will not see it, not in this angle; today, I am a passenger. So, I quickly settle for the warmth of your hand and the heat of your sideward glances.
It is almost summer and the giant tree ahead of us is shedding its necrotic leaves to the wind. I quickly decide to follow and focus on one until after a second or two I lose track of it, its last blurry airborne image quickly draining out of my head.
We speed up and I imagine the unseen wind hitting the windshield, deflecting, leaving our skins safe from its convergence. I catch a glimpse of my idle hand. I lift it up to the sunlight and carefully observe the crisscrossing lines, the roughness of its terrain.
We continue to drive ahead, and I still wait to feel.
By Jaime An Lim
I am haunted by the sadness of men
hanging out at night
in all parks and alleys of the world.
They wait and meander
the safer distance
Every face a catalog of possibilities,
every look a whole vocabulary of need.
Tonight, you are the dream
who walks in my waking sleep,
who bears miraculously
the shape voice motion of remembered love.
How can I resist the reckless
Leap from the world
of furtive bushes and tunneling headlights,
to this room, no less anonymous,
of thin walls, thinning mattresses,
where we grapple and thrash
like beached sea creatures
breathing the dry unfamiliar air?
When you stand to go, I ease myself
into the hollow your body leaves.
I press the faint smell of you to my face.
O Christ, were I loving you
drinking your blood, eating your flesh!
But the morning betrays nothing.
The chair in the corner stands mute,
the mirror repeats your absence.
When the curtains are flung back
to the let the harsh light in,
the bed looms empty.
I am finally all I have.
A part of you slips out of your own skin, taking everything you once held sacred. You reach for it with your bare hands and the formless, shapeless you slips off your fingers, never to be held once more, never to be read, never to be kissed. Lost more than free.
The you is like a book of unread poems, the collective meaning will round the earth like ravenous ghosts, haunting their definition and weight which they will never find. Haunted more than haunting.
The you is a bottle of wine poured onto the parched ground, every last drop untasted, leaching to the ground, yearning for the gravity that’s both cruel and kind, present and absent. There more than here.
And the you is his more than mine.
To Mt. Makiling’s Peak II, Alone