By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
THESE days, I have written so many letters, all waiting to be sent. One reason they have not been sent is I want to read and re-read them again, to see if, over time, I want to say the same things. Another reason is discretion. What if it gets in the wrong hands? I remember when I was working in San Carlos City, I wrote a letter to a friend in another city, to surprise him. Instead of putting my name on the return address, I wrote the name of a colleague, so that he will not guess it was from me. Apparently he was not in town to receive it, so it was returned to the sender, in the name of my colleague. This colleague opened it and read it to me aloud, saying, “Except for the name in the envelope, the letter did not mention a name, and there is no signatory, but the language of the letter is very much you. So I am returning it to you.” Then he slowly walked away with a wide grin. I was so embarrassed to say anything, and helplessly watched his behind as he walked. Even his behind had a grin. Then he suddenly turned around.
“I happen to know him. So much respect and caring, so undeserved. I wouldn’t mind receiving a letter like that … in case that asshole dies.”
I remember that moment to this day. It serves as a reminder to exercise caution especially in sending letters. I have started to write letters again. This particular letter started as a very long one, it has undergone two revisions, and reduced in the most concise version possible.
12 March 2021
From the time you arrived in my life, I have seen you, without seeing you. I heard your every whisper in my heart. I felt your overwhelming presence take hold of my daily walks. With you, in the wild space of time, a kind of peace descended, a reassuring cosmic embrace. It was like, my soul had been held captive, but living fully, in captivity.
I had, for the first time, in a very long time, felt like, I am a garden, whose scents, colors and sounds were too much to contain in the heart, that it spilled off as another garden in my front yard, expanding to other gardens beyond my own.
In so very little time, so many words of tenderness, so many intimate encounters, so many silences, so many sounds that are so huge and extraordinary, that they can fill my whole life time.
To others, these are little things, made more insignificant by their existence in the imagination. To me, this experience is as big as the vast sky where faith resides and hope abounds, and where possibilities are endless.
I love you. I will love you always, in the darkness that makes visible the stars and makes the crescent moon beam its distant light to the flowers, and dance the night with the fireflies.
The words are not exactly the same as written in that ill-fated letter. But, like the letter, I did not mention a name. I did not also sign. I will revise it again. Perhaps it will never be sent. Like the letter that came back, I have it to this day.
the moon hid the messages
buried deep in the craters
as I am hidden
confined in Taa Marbuta
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