By Virginia J. Pasalo
I HAVE changed. I do not know if it’s because of getting older. Or I am getting too comfortable. Whatever it is, it is also causing me discomfort.
I used to march on the streets for things I believed in. I would spend my last cent on a trip to Bolinao to assist women fighting against a cement plant complex. I stood for things others would think too risky to stand for. I “clawed” to get what I wanted. I lived on the edge, practiced brinksmanship, and loved it. I lived to win and took hard chances. I loved fully and suffered fully at the same time. I was not afraid of committing mistakes. I lost some of my battles, but I won most of the time. The rush of winning penetrated all the cells in my being.
Now, I am not “clawing” at anything. I am, as I often said, “flowing with it.” It is a nice excuse for not taking matters into your hands. It is a nice excuse for not engaging. Being in the comfort zone lulls you into believing everything is fine. Even if things are not “fine”, I have this eerie feeling, there is really nothing I can do to change it. I cannot help prevent global warming from happening. All these efforts will not affect the earth’s evolution as a planet or as a living organism. As Fe Mangahas repeatedly told me, “The earth is changing, whether we like it or not.”
If it is so comfortable, why is it causing me discomfort?
Right now, I have become accepting. I have become accepting of the direst events and consequences. Very few things disturb me. Sometimes, nothing at all disturbs me. It is almost like I am living in St. Theresa’s words, “Nada de turbe. Todo se pasa.”
And yet, at times, it disturbs me that things are the same. That nothing is really changing. And that I am thinking this way, and becoming a part of the “changes” that are not really changing.
Trees continue to fall in the highways, and the forests are changing into palm oil plantations. They are not the only ones falling, suspected drug addicts continue to fall, along with those considered as collateral damage. We are falling, but we are not falling in love, with anything.
Falling into nothing
The beauty of not knowing where to go
is to know that there is always something to know
In between nothing,
the moon illuminates
the darkened reaches of the soul,
and the sun unfolds the rugged Cordillera terrain.
Nothing reaches out to open the intimate,
to converse and to touch,