It is three hours before sunrise, three hours before I face again the humdrums of my impending day. I lie awake perspiring in my bed, enduring another night of summer heat that exceeds normal body temperature level according to the weather forecast last night. The whistling of the electric fan only intensifies the oppressive heat of the air that circulates my room. The sheets are soaked with my sweat. This leaves me restless and incapable of sound thoughts.
I am dehydrated body and mind.
It’s been weeks now that I feel this way – my mind is seems empty – and it is weeks, too, of zero journal entry. How can an empty mind fill empty pages? I wake up with this question every day and sleep with it finding no answer. I’ve been through this and back, feeling defeated every time.
But today is different!
As though emerging from drought, I suddenly have a flood of thoughts. It feels as if a dike has burst and I feel like am drowning! I am confronted with overflowing bits and pieces of puzzling thoughts, voluminous and inarticulate, I am overwhelemed and confused.
Thoughts clash inside my mind like boxers in a ring, nobody is giving up or losing except for me. I struggle to throw the boxers out, but they remain caged and battling inside my head. It is I who is knocked out black and blue instead. I need to toss them to save what sanity is left of me: I need to write! The pen and paper are my refuge. I use them like pincers to pick each inane thought out of my nutty mind, to find their meaning and to give it sense.
I drag my self out of bed.
The emerging light of day illuminate the window panes, which gives me a blurry vision of my room. The silhouettes of the chair and cabinet guide me to my writing table that stand facing the window that opens to the garden. I am seated for a moment doing nothing. I am not even sure if I am awake as I stare at the motionless darkness. But the tarry, tutti-frutti scent of the eraser filling my nostrils, and the sensation of my sweat trickling in my forehead and down my back confirms that I am. In a trance, I hear the deafening wails of my inner silence.
Lonely is a writer whose soul
Has nothing left to give.
Sweating hands, labored breathing.
Heart’s aching, and restless feeling.
Dehydrated thoughts, bloodless pen.
Lost for sound words to be written.
Dying spirit of a lonely artist;
Hope is out of sight.
There’s nothing left, but to embrace the light.
Death it is not, ’tis life.
I also hear a strangely familiar voice between the throbbing sounds of my heart beats. In the stillness of dawn I hear my soul speak. Its voice echoes in my ears awakening the dormant artist in me waiting for inspiration. I hear it speaks to the still sleeping would-be poet chanting verses that rhyme with the whistling winds. I see it hand to the would-be painter a brush and colors, which will bring to life the perfect hue of dawn. I see clearly now those incessant images that haunted me in my sleep, and I write when I awake.
Happy is the artist whose soul
Has embraced the light.
Nimble hands, rhythmic breathing,
Agile heart, and soaring feeling.
Fertile thoughts, and blood-stained ink;
There’s no more words left unwritten.
Strew of colors inside a fecund mind,
Where a painter hides.
‘Tis where poems and vast ideas reside ~
This meek poet’s life.
Keep the heart warm, satiate the eyes,
Feed the mind, embrace the light.
Set your spirit free!
Embark your soul to an exciting flight.
I have filled pages with my thoughts, scribbling the draft in my mind, when the stimulating tutti-frutti scent of the eraser returns like spirit of ammonia, restoring me to conciousness. However, it is not able to efface the vivid images sketched in my head, nor can it quiet the lingering voice of my soul. I am back, seated at my table, sweating, staring at the empty walls again.
The unfinished tale that took shape in my mind is nagging me to be completed. Stories are conceived in the heart, take shape in the mind. They belong to the pages and will find homes in the hearts of the readers. There the stories will evolve and begin a new cycle.
I am enlightened and fully awake now. I hear the roar of traffic leaving the city on the nearby road, or is it arriving? Of this I am not quite sure, but I am aware and certain of the life slowly coming awake outside my window.
The roosters are the earliest to rise; well, it seem that way for me. They wake people up with their annoying crowing at dawn, but the sound may also be idyllic depending on the ears that listen. The fowl just knows when and how to praise God for the new day. Perhaps they serve to remind the ungrateful, callous humans to do the same, but few take heed.
It is so pathetic of us to let this moment pass by sleeping, unmindful of its beauty, missing every day the miracles that happen just outside our windows. When was the last time you saw the sun peek through the mountain ridges with its rays reaching out to every corner of the horizon? This is happening every day, but each moment is unique, unlike any other. The clouds of varied hues are tinged with different light each day. The birds always fly across the horizon, yet nobody can predict from which angle or to what direction they will rise. One morning you are lucky to wake up with the stars still sparkling in the sky to vanish with the daylight, but on other mornings you will see no trace of them in the gray heavens. In yet others you’ll catch the moon still in vigil waiting for the sun to come.
These are only some of the many gifts of life we do not unwrap. Gifts which only the flowers, the trees, and the beasts – the roosters, frogs in the ponds, the four-legged and winged-creatures of earth and sky – constantly notice and praise.
Swaying vines like curtain drape the garden;
Hanging from the bough of a mango tree.
‘Tis my haven, my version of eden ~
A nook where I express my artistry.
Violet orchids and whites search the day-lights,
Like birds on flight, peep through the canopy.
Broods nestled up there, unafraid of heights,
Serenade my soul with sweet melody.
A bird perch on the twig near the pool;
Driving the fishes and the toads away,
While I stay still watching a wee ripple.
The elements are semingly showy.
I’m sated with ethereal scenery,
Seizing the subtle garden’s poetry.
I hear my mother’s voice calling me for breakfast. From my room, I can smell and tell that scrambled eggs, daing, sinigang, and a steaming cup of coffee are in the table. I am enlightened.