"♫ I've been looking in New Orleans and I can not find you..♪"

as inspired by:

I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.

– John Green, Looking for Alaska

Also, this part,

“..So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.

Just effin beautiful that i had to post it.

Cue in Gomez’s “Charlie Patton songs” and sing me to sleep.

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simpleng hiling–impromptu

December 14, 2009

Too often, we sing songs out of mechanical habit. More often than not, we sing because the melody’s catchy or the artist is a worldwide phenomenon, but by impulse, we sing because we’re infected by the emotion of the song. Nowadays, we sing alongside Ryan Cayabyab Jose Mari Chan, as well as local artists that sing for politicians like Regine Velasquez and Chito Miranda. Abs-cbn’s “Star ng Pasko” is even a crowd favorite. Obviously, music takes up a huge chunk in the Filipinos’ identity, and why shouldn’t it be? It adds to the merriment of the festive lights of the season, and it can boost our already happy nature as we busy ourselves with preparations for the upcoming banquet this twenty-fifth of December.

Yet, in the midst of all the shiny gifts, the elegant decorations, the caroling in the streets and the noise from the firecrackers, have we ever stopped to actually prepare ourselves? Did we take time to actually listen not only to the common message of the songs outpouring in the radio, but to really hear out and take to heart the need to share our blessings, especially in this time of waiting?

In the aftermath of Ondoy and the recent Maguindanao massacre, the spirit of Christmas is lost, floating and sinking alternately in the wave of political campaigns and terrorism. It doesn’t help either that most companies still take advantage and repackage the significance of one special infant’s birth in an effort to sell their products. Yes, it is wonderful news that we as a people have decided to share our sufferings together and that the majority extended their help for the rehabilitation of the victims. There are also organizations going out of their way to reach out to those who have less in life, and although more and more individuals took notice and contributed their share, there are still even more people who need your love. There are still millions of children dying everyday because of hunger or from abuse of their fragile bodies.

While we wait out for the coming of our Savior, let us take our excesses in our hands and give them to those who need it the most. Love your fellow brothers, even if they cannot love you in return. And while we’re at it, let us remember that we don’t have to tell the whole world about it, for the true sense of giving is the act of sharing ourselves without expecting, not even a dose of recognition for our efforts, anything in return.

About three Christmases ago, I heard this song for the first time, and while listening to it, my eyes heated up. I repeated the song over and over and it’s been in my system since then. It’s entitled “My grown up Christmas list”, which was originally by David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner, but whose lyrics were edited by Amy Grant years later. You should listen to it. You don’t have to be eighteen to listen to it because what’s important is that you assimilate the song’s love and selflessness. Like I said, music is a huge part of who we are, and although our preferences vary, it would be good for humanity for us to listen to songs that pluck at our souls more frequently than usual, because sometimes, we all get too caught up with our selfish rants that we forget to listen to our graces. I’m not a child, but my heart still can dream. Share the love, and love would never end.

For all my years of living, I have come across countless books that made me aware of the fact that people are generally unhappy for various reasons. But why could this happen when our planet and our capable brains have already given us all the conveniences needed for survival? Let’s define the term first before we go any deeper. Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, believes that happiness is the proper end of man. He said that we should aim for it as it is a natural part of our existence. Yet, Webster simply describes it as a state of well-being and contentment. From these two, one can conclude that happiness is meant for hardworking humans. But it is more than that, for there have been instances when I was thankful and satiated for unexplained reasons. I also believe that like love, happiness is something that we cannot have without consequence; it is elusive and uncommon, and above all, overwhelming beyond words. So why do people not succeed in being happy?

First, we are blind. We look for the wrong things and end up with nothing when it was already right there with us. What exactly blinds us? The beliefs and notions that we hold make us conclude that life is no more than material gain and making a name that will last through the centuries. It also causes us to assume, which for most simply means to expect. People assume too much and by the end, they’re the ones who get disappointed. This happens a lot, especially to me. I remember back a few years ago that I used to be an over-achiever. I was this kid who wanted to make her parents and family proud through recognition, there was nothing wrong with that, right? As the years mounted, I slowly turned sluggish and didn’t care as much for grades. This frustrated me. I used to look back and I would curse myself for not being enough. I assumed too that the people close to me thought of me that way. So I assured myself and my imaginary frustrated family, thinking that this was just a small break and I would eventually rise back up. But I never did. I found out later on that it was actually me who had set standards too high for me to grasp to compensate for the lost years when I wasn’t ‘enough’ in their eyes. All the while, my family kept telling me that it wasn’t the recognition or the achievements that were important but the lessons and the wisdom that we learn and practice along the way. So that explains why I was so angst-ridden in my early teenage years: I screened my vision of the person that I was and impaired my esteem all because I assumed wrongly that I would be happy and my parents would be happy IF I remained on top. I ended up expecting too much and became depressed.

Secondly, I think it also has to do with our connection with God. It is a common idea that we descended from God, the almighty father. So as children, we would naturally want to be gods ourselves. We wish to be infallible and immortal like him. This is manifested by the decaying bodies that we still keep and refuse to let go and all the efforts we do to attain flawless ivory skin. But humans attaining the same level as the father will never happen. We can only be gods by the perfect love that God shares with us and when we share that same love with others as well. From this theory comes another possibility: what if we were never meant to be happy in this life because we are incapable of being contented? We are after all, selfish beings by nature whose thirst for gratification is as deep as the ocean. To illustrate this argument, take a look at the dreams of the youth. Are they not huge ambitions which are too much for the size of the average adolescent? I won’t deny it: I do want more than my fair share; I too dream of stars that are far beyond my reach because I want to make my family stable.

The last theory that I have is my favorite. I have thought about this long and hard, and I play it over and over in my head to analyze it even more thoroughly. Maybe because of our busy but monotonous routines, we forget to be happy. Maybe once upon a time, all of earth enjoyed a state of profound happiness but then it eventually faded as soon as man invented work, standards and logic. Have you observed babies when they play and then compare their actions to people our age or much older people? Do you notice the light in their eyes, the curiosity shining through? As babies, man, I believe, is absorbed with excitement, wonder and smiles, requiring only the basic amenities (milk, food, water, love, rest and play) in order to survive. But as we age, we become more complicated and the sense of wonder and contentment dissipates in the background.

When I think of it, these three are interrelated somehow. And I believe that they hold some answers no matter if they are proven to be true or not. I really think humans forget to be happy because they have such high expectations due to their ambitions and their dreams of surpassing heaven. We blind ourselves with temporary elements to pass the time and to create a reason to forget. We forget how to be grateful and how to take happiness out of ourselves and spread it all around us. The issue isn’t so much as not succeeding to be happy but rather, to remember how to be complacent and grateful by living purely everyday.