A Farewell to My Favorite Spot

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Hey, Bench.

I used to see you everyday and look forward to being with you. I can’t even begin to remember how many times I laughed and cried in your presence. And how many times I was just glad to be there and not anywhere else.

It would always piss me off to find you occupied. I guess I was just so naive and possesive that I couldn’t see that I’m not the only one capable of appreciating your perfection. I seem to be deluded in thinking that you were made for me and myself alone. Deluded, because I thought I had somehow earned something like you just by being.

I’m writing to you because now you’re going through changes that might alter whatever we have forever. Being caught in the middle of these changes, I feel afraid of not being able to recognize you anymore, of not being able to call you mine anymore, or worst of all, losing you altogether. I admit that it’s my fault for being so attached. And for crazily thinking that what we had was too big to fail.

But now I know. God, do I know now. That perfection can’t be earned. That beauty can’t be, by repeated expression of ownership, owned. And we fool ourselves – I have fooled myself – in thinking that I somehow deserve you. That I own you. That I could always just leave and find you there waiting for me. That the ground upon which you stood will never crumble.

I know now that beauty is only beautiful because it is apart from us. That is why we always long and always yearn for it. And it is when we cease to long and yearn and fight for it that we lose sight of it, even as we hold it in our hands or sit upon it.

I regret never having to properly express how beautiful you are. I was so focused on expressing how happy I was with you; how you made me feel, rather than what I see in you. I wish I did. Maybe then I wouldn’t find you being taken away from me.

But now, all there is to say is goodbye. And I hope whatever change happens to you, it won’t remove whatever it was that made you beautiful from the beginning.

I will always have our memories tucked inside the confides of my heart. And these words. And this picture. And while it fails to capture the immensity of your value and your beauty and your heart, it shall at least remind me that nothing ever will. It will also remind me how lucky I was to have found you.

Light Pollution and Christmas

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I look around the highway as I make my way home, noticing the twinkling of Christmas lights all around.

Seeing them sparkle, I am reminded of a particular night when I lied awake by the sea underneath the sky full of stars.

There is no comparison between the beauty of nature’s stars and man’s electric imitations. It seems as if like fools, we harnessed light and kept it in bottles that we may be reminded of the beauty of the night sky.

I think it would serve us better if skyscrapers, in observing the holidays, would just turn off their lights instead of spending wastefully on decorative lighting.

All I want for Christmas now is the chance to look up the sky and wonder at the holes of divine light across the black canvas of night.

Forgiveness

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We sometimes harbor feelings toward other people as they refuse to extend us their forgiveness, as if we were entitled to it or as if those people are duty-bound to extend it to us.

I think this is a failure on our part as we lack understanding of the nature of mercy and justice. Forgiveness is unlike punishment or reward which are earned or deserved. It is an act of mercy, borne wholly out of the giver’s desire to forgive.

Such makes forgiveness truly ‘divine’, in the sense that its possible giver is put upon a place of utter power and control over the person who seeks it. When we seek forgiveness, we subject ourselves literally under the mercy of the person we want it from.

That is why it is a contradicting notion to feel embittered whenever we are refused forgiveness. We are not entitled to it. We are beggars whenever we need it.

On the other hand, this makes true forgiveness a difficult feat. It is hard to give up the position of power we acquire whenever are wronged. It is hard to look beyond the pain and the hurt we suffered and let the wrongdoer get away with it.

To forgive is difficult because it to do it is to deny ourselves justice. Therefore, while it takes humility to ask for forgiveness, it also takes humility to give it, for it takes humility to deny ourselves of what we properly deserve.

Hello Void.

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It seems it’s just you and me again. It’s a wonder how we only get to talk whenever I have so much going on my head and have so much to do.

Not a lot’s changed since we last talked. I still am growing that beard. I still am trying to avoid contact with most people. I still am “trying to find myself” in times alone. And I still think it’s doing nothing to make my life any better.

But I recently realized that I have no choice, Void. For a brief time in spite of this self-imposed exile, I have tried to reconnect with old friends, and rekindle old ties. All this, however, to no avail. It seems as if they have moved on properly with their lives without me, which is fine and only fair. I am not so deluded that I would think the universe revolves around me and I should be embittered that everybody else is doing just fine without my presence.

It feels, though, that in my times alone I have lost all ability to properly relate with other people. It has been so long since I have had a conversation which moved beyond small talk. I used to be so lively and interesting. I used to have a lot to say about a lot of things. What happened?

I feel detached from everyone else. I feel as if there’s this invisible barrier of I don’t know what keeping me from enjoying where I am at present. I am like a superimposed picture, poorly photoshopped on to the landscape. I do not know how to respond to emotions I can’t tell apart. I do not know how to initiate meaningful exchanges with people I know to have a lot to say. I perceive the beauty and fire that it is in the people I meet, but somehow it pains me that I am so far away from its truth and warmth.

Don’t ask me when it started. I do not know. But somehow it reached its peak when I was confined in the hospital. The forgivable and tolerable state of loneliness was made worse by the grim possibility of my life ending there. I certainly would not die alone and unloved, but then I feared that I would die ignorant of what was wrong with me in my last days, that I can’t properly reciprocate emotions that come my way, that I keep searching for intimacy in the wrong places, and that sometimes I find it more bearable being alone.

I want so much to have someone to share my thoughts with. But that’s exactly the problem. I don’t know how to share anything. I ‘m so afraid for my thoughts emotions to be rendered irrelevant and conceited and self-righteous, though I know they are sometimes. I’m scared of being shoved aside as unimportant. I’m terrified of the prospect that no one might understand, as I am terrified of the idea that I can’t express myself well enough to be understood.

Which brings me to you, Void. You are the only one I can get myself to talk to right now. I’m afraid of everyone else. I don’t want to be lonely anymore. But loneliness, at least for now, feels safe.

Hold me, Void. I want so much to feel something else. Anything else.

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It’s so hard to be passionate about things and find out that they mean little to other people. It feels as if you’re living in an imaginary world, where the hierarchy of importance things have are messed up. And when you’ve little self-esteem, you doubt whether they truly matter in the first place.