September 24, 2013
A Glimpse of My Past: Why I Write
After sometime, I am back to my writing again! That feeling of restlessness, that mixed feeling of sweetness, concentration and lightness, that near consummation of love, that it thing that comes fast and slow in a world’s glint and praise of a Creator.
As always, my writing comes out of necessity when one craves as to physical urgency. When I was a child, I wrote on notebooks and coloring books. My coloring was not perfect because it went out of lines. In fact, my art teacher did not like me. I was better in English, not so much in spelling, but almost perfect in vocabulary. The first poem that I was able to memorize was “Drop a Pebble in the Water,” by James W. Foley. I made it easy in impromptu speaking and class discussions. In written exams, I often got high scores and never failed. I always searched for new words that rhymed. I was a fan of Popeye and Moby Dick on TV. There was one time that I fought with a boy in a swing and each of us tried to push the other out of the swing. I ended up bruised, thrown out of the swing, but I didn’t care because I was able to kick him back. I did not cry. Now I could relate to Sandra Cisneros’ story about The Monkey Garden.
In my teens, I cut out quotes and memorized them. Music lured my ear and I memorized lyrics of songs. We were taught to sing well, especially those King and I songs and Huckleberry Finn songs. I played musical instruments and created some poems just for pleasure. I collected poems by heart from Literature books and tried diagramming sentences. In many subjects, I was one of the few exempted students, not required to take the finals. It became a habit to stay in the library, if not in the canteen. I loved reading Florante at Laura (by Balagtas) and El Filibusterismo ( by Dr. Jose Rizal). I couldn’t forget Raskolnikov in the catacombs (Crime and Punishment by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky) and the play “Jesus Christ Superstar.” One time I played the role of Mother Mary, another time I played the role of St. Magdalene. I began to admire boys, but was tight on the rules of my Dad. My Dad died, I was broken.
In college, I wrote small poems and prayers. I began to buy posters and chapbooks. I memorized Desiderata and Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell) by Dr. Jose Rizal. After graduation and while I worked, I wrote to God, “Dear God,” in my notebooks. I became intimate with the Black Nazarene in Quiapo church when I went home after school, every day. That time, I reviewed the classics; read in high school, especially the Maxims and Reflections of La Rochefoucauld and the Lives of the Poets of Samuel Johnson. I fell in love. I was out of love. It did not matter because I was happy studying and learning with my friends. My thoughts of becoming a journalist did not pursue; all I wanted to do, that time, was to finish college and graduate. My Dad wanted me to become a government servant like him and finish Accountancy. And so did I. But then, I continued reading, reading and reading.
I worked after graduation. I thought it was one of the most boring works, ever! I had strings of boyfriends as Anne Frank, and in one of the roads less travelled by Robert Frost, I fell in love. And then, writing came to me for real!
“Ideas come in search of the true writer. They throng upon him, and most of the time he does not know where they come from. The best thing he can do about them as they appear is to make notes. He never knows at the moment what may come of them,” (Paul Horgan).
When I worked as a paid writer, my writing was brought to discipline. I always thought of Charles Lamb, “Rise with the lark and sleep with the lamb,” in Essays of Elia. For some time, I only slept for three hours and awoke at dawn. My sleep was disturbed by an urge to write and to finish what I was supposed to deliver.
During the hype of high technology, I was on and off my blogs 24/7, until the time my mother died (while she struggled with cancer).
Now, Rilke’s letters have become clear to me, “A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity.” I never thought I would be writing and sharing, as this, in this 21st century; all I know is I have to write or rage. My writing goals before was to be popular and earn a booker prize. Now, it has changed. What I hope for is to be read, not for anything, but to share lessons in life and make you (the readers) happy. After all, that is the goal of literature and the goal of mankind in any field of every vocation.
And so, let there be love. That is why I write.
/rosevocations. Sept 24, 2013.