*Spoonfuls - n. articles/dispatches/scribbles by Larita Kutsarita
(Background photo by Aiess Alonso)
Monday, November 26, 2007
“Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa kaniyang pinanggalingan ay ‘di makararating sa kaniyang paroroonan.” How right could Rizal really be? If one’s past is all messed up, how on earth will that take you to the great morrow? Yeah, these were pretty much the questions that nagged at my every brain cell (and emotional flotsam and jetsam) during the Christ’s Youth In Action’s 27th anniversary just this past Sunday. Who would’ve thought that I’d feel soooo out of place in that little hall filled by the kindest of faces (women were making beso with me and men were patting me on the shoulder or shaking me by the hand…those are CYA traditions but still, I was a complete stranger, wasn’t I?? It’s like being an Asian foreigner around Chicanos hurriedly kissing you as if they were all your lovers…I was dazed. O.o) and the softest of voices? Not me, apparently…no way. I mean, I was (and I believe I still am, however inactive I’ve gotten to be) part of Alleluia Community-CYA back in Elbi…I was exposed to stuff like these: beso here, beso there, pat me and I’ll you pat you back, Monday choir singing, Thursday prayer meetings (or were those on Fridays?), holy mumblings calling out to none other than Hesus, prayers said aloud in English, Filipino, Tagalog, Bisaya, Bikol, Chinese, Japanese, Flemish and only-God-knows-what-else (indeed!)…then why in heaven’s name was I completely uneasy about the whole affair??? Something was terribly wrong…I then realized that I may be the biggest hypocrite I have ever known…which is sad (and I was depressed that whole afternoon) because I’ve always been real…with myself…with others…and then that phrase looms over me, abolishing every hint of meaning in my 18-year old life: OR SO I THOUGHT.
Committing to that organization (which Papa teasingly called “my cult”…it was kind of like that, though…we were an incredibly small number who meet at night, except that we’re faithful Catholics and there was neither a bonfire of any kind nor any human sacrifices) was one of my sincerest moves in life (and I know I made ever so few of those). Gawd, I felt like a new person that time, I did. Agnosticism was not anymore an option of mine (and atheism was so out of the question even before that). Everything changed, and I mean EVERYTHING. I was a dessicated land, slowly murdered by a thousand extended summers…and then revived to life by love, a heavy June shower quenching my thirst, just when I least expected it. It was as what they called it: “a 180-degree turn.” Those days were my most peaceful. I was praying like a saint (trust me, I know…I never talked to Him much before, except when I needed something…it was kind of like occasionally running to a benevolent yet strange friend to borrow some bread). And looking back now, I actually smiled a lot then…I feel sick just thinking about it…but I know how great it was for me at that time, I was basically hopping like Little Red Riding Hood among the woods before she met the grandma-eating wolf. I know how I felt back then…to quote something that I read before, it was like “God’s finger was on my shoulder.” But like I said, that was before I met the wolf. It is true, what they say, that only the things that rocket you to an unbelievable altitude of euphoria are as capable of sending you to the pits of hell, with absolute wretchedness for company. My 180-degree turn wound up to 360…I was back at zero again. I felt like everything had just been an incredibly great lie. But see, that was my mistake: I felt…I always did…too much, in fact. And feelings, life has always taught me, are the biggest liars that put even Jude Law’s Alfie to shame.
Just now, I feel horrrrrrible...more than ever. The possibility that I have been cheating myself is just unbearable…it feels soooo not me, and yet, I’m not exactly sure of the things that I stand for anymore. But I just can’t indulge in any further soul-searching because it feels (there goes that word again) like such a repulsive form of vanity. Besides, it hasn’t done me any good in the first place, considering how much my very own thoughts have caught me dumbfounded lately. But the feeling doesn’t go away…it’s still there, haunting me. It’s like saying prayers only from memory except the ones in which you BEG for a way out of a sudden glitch…like making love to somebody and buttoning your shirt in the morning and leaving without a word…like befriending a seatmate in the classroom and pretending that you don’t know him/her once you’re already out in the halls…like promising to write and not sparing the expectant reader a single word or two, not in a year or two...like embracing an entire “cult” and feeling too attached to them and by the time you meet again, you feel like a traitor only because you can’t hug them or kiss them or pat them the same way ever again. Only because too much has happened in so little time and you can’t help but associate such sadness in your life with the very people who inspired—no, dared—you to believe in something far greater than yourself…only because you felt too, too much…that now, not much is left to be felt…but guilt and uneasiness and abandon and a desperate wish to just evaporate. It’s not their fault…and yet, you know that if you stay too close, somehow, the wounds will have to reopen, mocking you…never mind the pain, it’s the mockery that’s too much s**t to bear.
*SIGH* I guess Edens are NEVER forever. So if at all you find yours along the way, don’t stay too long…you know you have to abandon it after some time, if not soon…perfect places are only for perfect people, if they do exist, which I doubt (and which probably explains why much of this world’s f**ked up). If things are too good to be true, then they might as well be not real at all. No…pinch yourself a million times and if that still doesn’t work, slap yourself or let somebody else box your lights out …but I guess the best way to save some time and effort (and yourself from a lot of self-mutilation, for that matter) would be to listen to your mother. For Christ’s sake, just give the lady a chance! She may sound like L.M. Montgomery’s annoying Ms. Rachel Lynde, but really, she’s as right as right can be (well, unless your mom’s Britney, of course).
What am I really talking about? Me neither…I don’t understand it myself. And yet I knew I had to write this because keeping this all to myself or in an unknown journal hidden beneath all my other skeletons would be to betray the very person responsible for this blog…I know that if I were to be too selfish to admit that I am a person too attached to feelings, I should never forgive myself or even dream of all things real…not when I couldn’t be. I am a hypocrite. And perhaps by accepting this, I wouldn’t be half as much as one. Maybe a community’s not really for me…I owe them a lot, and I mean, a lot…but not coming back does not mean that I’ve forgotten about the Old Man or those kindred souls He’d sent me…no, I’m not such a prodigal child. Kay Kristo buong buhay, habambuhay, ika nga. Once you’ve committed yourself to a beautiful cause, it’ll always stay with you wherever you go. I think I just prefer moving on, only that I intend to pay it forward, somehow…because looking back a bit too long will bring me nowhere…especially NOT to where I oughtta be, uh-uh.
I guess the moral of this is not to believe in everything Pepe said. He was a cat, yeah…but sometimes, it’s good to try trusting one’s own wisdom. In the end, if you fail, you’ve only yourself to blame and Pepe will be spared. Sounds fair to me.