Dec. 8, 2007

love in a time of melancholia*

Or, alternatively, parang may sakit lang. with apologies to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

ďThat it will never come again is what makes life sweetĒ
ĖEmily Dickinson

I miss the way I used to write. They say one stagnates as a writer when happy, and that is exactly what is happening to me. Iím in a place where nothing seems to be wrong where it matters ó of course, thereís always something wrong somewhere, but nowhere so near Iíd be compelled to write.

I have wonderful friends, a fantastic flat and a girl to come home to at night. What more can I possibly ask for?

Now itís almost 4 a.m. and I am still clawing for things that hurt even just a little, just enough to get me typing.

Curiously, the way that I find nothing is what hurt most of all.

So now, here I am.


Tere: Why is love so hard, no matter how you look at it?
Rissa: Love in a time of melancholia.
Me: Yes that would be a nice title for a blog entry, wouldnít it.


These days, Iíve been thinking about how long exactly a year is.

Technically, itís twelve months. Or around 52 weeks. Or about 365 days. To be technical about it.

But to be un-technical, itís three summer outings, four despedida parties, a dozen or so futsal matches, a handful of videoke nights. thatís as far as my counting skills go, actually, skilled as I am (or so they say) at numbers. Truth is Iíve lost count of the early mornings Iíve spent talking and laughing. Efforts to keep track of the liters of beer and alcohol ingested, coffee cups finished and cigarette packs extinguished while at it have all been futile as well.

If I were to measure the year that was, this imprecise recollection of memories ought to suffice, chronicled only by the occasional blog entries or multiply photo albums and the seemingly endless threads these albums spawned. But in truth, when youíre alone in a room without internet connection, thereís little that can be remembered out of the happy ones Ė all overpowered by the memories of how hard the round of laughter was then.

What a year it has been.

As I finish marveling, Iíd start thinking about how things are changing, and how it hurts when you say by way of explanation, thatís just not the way things go anymore.

The thing is, something used to be there and now it isnít. This is not to say that things should have stayed the way they were, nor should this be taken to mean that things shouldnít have turned out the way they had. I am of the opinion that everything happened for a reason, and that most things turned out for the better anyway.

But the year was what it was ó a year of getting together and letting go, of closing gaps and of tying up loose ends, of ending chapters and opening up new ones. Bipolar, a friend was wont to say.

I remember how I began the year with wishes, and how the months that came after that were spent trying to cross each one out, one at a time Ė go out with friends more, check. Write more, check. Get in a somewhat functional relationship, check. The last one was the best surprise, actually. In the end, I feel like I got so much more than what I had bargained for drunkenly at the start of the year.

But you know how it is, when youíre at the edge of something and youíre looking back. You go nostalgic over everything Ė over photographs of things you think can never happen again, over old songs you havenít heard in a long while, even over the stuff that hurt. Or maybe thatís just me struggling with a unique dysfunction, or something.

Thinking about 2008, I canít help but wonder about the things that couldnít be brought back by then Ė about relationships that can no longer be restored, about people who are not coming back, about things that have changed irreversibly. I guess thatís just how it is when youíre saying goodbye to something that had once been so good Ė can we do a repeat of this summer, for example, with all the necessary details exactly as they were: the sand, the sea, the beer, the people we once got sunburned with side by side?

Is this a Capricorn thing, this desire to replicate ad infinitum all the particularly happy, camwhore-worthy moments? I wonder. Too much looking back, too much time spent scouring old photographs taken under the sun. Maybe in the end that was it: While the thought that Iíve come this far makes me happy to no end, the fact that I couldnít take some things along with me as I walked on kind of makes the effort a bit difficult. Should this be necessarily bad? Am I not the sum of all the experiences that have stuck to me all this while?

Iíve wondered all night. In the end, I guess what matters is that we keep moving forward, that we keep moving at least, in ways that somehow make us happy. This is what makes me happy Ė that I have time for my friends, that I have a girlfriend to talk to and snuggle up against at the end of a tiring day, that I have supportive parents, that I have a stable job, that I have a genuine spiritual life, that I have all that I need within reach. And, just as importantly, that I have a space at the back of my head where I could store all the things that make me sad as well. Kind of zen, the whole co-existence thing, but it does somehow make sense, doesnít it?

In the end, 2007 was what it was Ė a struggle to be happy. Everyone just wanted to be happy, and it seems that everyone had struggled hard.

In the end, I just wanted to write that down, read it to myself out loud: there are things that have to be left behind, but in the end, I guess I just have to be content to think that it was all a good fight.#