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Monday, September 15, 2008

in retrospect










i was staying with Grandma in Infanta, Pangasinan
every morning i would go to the nearby woods to pee
then leisurely walk to the seashore to check the water...

half-asleep, i'd gaze at the horizon and ask:
how far does this water go?
does it flow over the edge of the world?
that must be a scary sight, i thought.

when the water's edge was far,
there'd be a long stretch of soft gray sand and then mud
exposing scampering, helpless, tiny crabs
and seaweeds, seashells, jellyfish...
i wouldn't dare venture far though
as there wouldn't be anyone who'd hear me scream
if my rubber slippers got stuck in the mud.
i'd wait til my bigger cousins came by the house
and took me with them to explore the mud.
(you see, they could use my help
in harvesting good stuff for lunch.)

when the water was on the banks,
drowning the roots of the line of ipil-ipil trees
that bent towards the sea as if in prayer,
i'd run to Grandma and tell her the news:
"water would flow through the woods
then under the house and drown the chickens
(and we'd lose the eggs i could have for dinner).
there'd be a great flood and God would want
Grandpa to build a boat..."
of course, Grandma would laugh at me
and try to explain low tide and high tide...

now that Grandma has gone (and i, too, sooner or later)
i've realized i found the answers after all,
and nothing's scary after all...
but one thing's certain, i guess
(as always, i'm full of contradictions)
if i'm out to prove the world is round
shouldn't i end where i started?
jamison/09/07/08

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