Because I still write

It wasn’t long ago when I couldn’t even begin to imagine myself staring at a blank page and putting words together to fill up that page. In the first place, I couldn’t even imagine myself reading more than anything that was required. Rather, I probably wouldn’t have picked up a textbook even if that meant making or breaking the grade.

Now, though, it has become very different. Ever since I started writing, I couldn’t begin to imagine myself not writing something, anything, at least once each day. I couldn’t see myself not reading anything at all at any given day. And as much as I can already see myself picking up a textbook when it is absolutely necessary, I have also come to recognise the fact that there is such a big world out there just waiting for me to come and see them.

And I can also begin to imagine that maybe, just maybe, writing did save my life. Perhaps not during the storm itself, but a few days later.

During the first few days after the storm, there was so much to see. So many places your feet want to bring you to. So many stories your ears want to hear. Of course, there were also so many scents your nose would never have wanted to smell.

However, some time later, when the reality sets in and the dust has settled, so to speak, you are faced with the fact that you really have been moved someplace else despite the fact that you were in the same place. Those things which were once the norm has gone. Those which you were once connected to have been cut off.

The world has changed and not for the good. Suddenly, you had to face a reality that you never would have wanted to contend with. And there was hardly any way out.

That’s when a certain dark atmosphere settles over you. A pall of gloom covers you. And the joy of having lived through something so terrible suddenly disappears only to be replaced by a sadness which apparently didn’t have reason.

It might have been what people would call depression. And I might have just gone through that. Or, at least, they were signs. Such as when you get to be so bored you want to do something, anything if only you could get out of that dark pit of the standstill you find yourself in even if it was to tear the world apart.

I had to acknowledge that I might have started falling into an abyss that might have proved exceptionally difficult to get out of if I didn’t do anything soon. So, I did. Thankfully, by some miracle, I managed to keep some sheets of paper dry. More specifically, a few notebooks and a sketchpad. And I had a few pens that still worked.

While I have never truly done pen and paper before those days, I certainly spent a lot of time with them during that period. I was writing about a lot of things, but mostly what was happening in the new world which I found myself in. A few weren’t very pleasant but, whatever they were, they most definitely kept me busy.

I have heard it said in a movie once that artists have so much to be thankful for because, no matter how hard they try to forget their art, when everything suddenly goes wrong, when life comes at you unexpectedly, when the world gets you surprised, artists always have somewhere to fall back to, somewhere they can just pour everything out, somewhere they can break themselves into so that they can become whole again.

The movie most probably didn’t say it that way but I now understand it better. And while I can’t call myself an artist solely because I wanted to call myself so, I acknowledge that writing has done me more good than I ever would have thought it would.

It is because I have started writing that I find myself still able to write today and not find myself so deep into a pit of blackness that nothing might have pulled me out of.

To dream again

What happens when a dream becomes a reality?

For a very long time, I could never answer that question. I couldn’t even begin to imagine it. Or to even picture what comes after besides the one thing that would be obvious to everyone.

That when a dream becomes a reality, you live it, you enjoy it, you celebrate it. And you thank all the powers that be for all the great things which has been brought to your life. Then you keep living it until the world ends.

Of course, it didn’t take very long for me to notice that, when all that can ever happen after getting what you have wanted all your life is to be happy, it sounds so much like a dead end for it would only take such a short amount of time for the novelty of having achieved to wear out and for one to feel a huge hole in one’s life. And then the happiness goes away.

It almost sounds as if life can lose all its meaning and that one can only wish for the world to end because it is already over. When you have reached the point that you have taken what you wanted out of life, what could possibly make one want to keep life?

It sounded dreadful, of course. And I couldn’t accept it just like that. Such an answer didn’t make any sense at all.

I found a better answer, eventually. Not by myself, I must not forget to admit, but by some other way which I have, unfortunately, forgotten already. I couldn’t be certain about it anymore. It could have been a book, a movie, maybe even a song.

What matters, though, is that I found a better answer: when a dream becomes a reality, you get to make a new dream.

Now, there lies the beauty of having had a dream realised. Whenever one becomes real, you get the chance to make another one. And you must take that chance for you deserve it. A reward for having gone through life and achieved so much to make you say that you have made a dream come true.

If you don’t, you will only be wasting another precious gift that life is trying to hand you. For there is where you can find new meaning in your life. Meaning which will push you forward and make you want to keep on living despite this wretched Earth.

Make a dream, make it come true, then make some more.

Brave

I want to write today for the many unsung heroes born out of the time when Haiyan cut its path across our land. To them who did so much for many yet never did get recognised. To them who went out of their way to help others out yet didn’t even get to receive the simplest word of thanks. To them who would have given it their all to save others, even at the risk of their own lives.

I know there are many of you out there, only keeping their deeds to yourselves because it was never the glory that you wanted. All you ever wanted was to be of aid to other people. Having been able to help others is more than enough thanks for you.

To the many who never even got their names known but have kept on living just as the many others who survived the storm. To them who lost so much so that others may keep so much more. And to them whose worlds ultimately had to end so that those of others many continue.

To them without whose courage so much more may have been added to the thousands already gone. You may not have become known to the greater world, but to more than a few, you will be known forever.

Thus, I say, there are also many out there who have been helped yet never had the chance to even ask of the names of those who helped them. Rather, you might not even have thought about it at the time for all you could think about was the joy of having been given the chance to continue to live when the world was about to end only seconds ago.

You so many out there who only realised so much later how the world would indeed have been over if it weren’t for that one person who supported you and gave you another chance to live. You who realised too late that you might never be able to give proper thanks because you couldn’t even remember the face of that one whom you could call an angel.

To those who know that you could never ever ever show enough gratitude and couldn’t even begin to. You might never able to find them but your gratitude will always be.

Now all that can be done is to continue to be brave.

To continue to show courage in the face of whatever may come. To show the most valiant effort when the trials come. And to be brave in the face of life.