Thursday, December 31, 2009

dog-ears of the decade

The running line of the 00’s (these are the years 2000 to 2009) is nearing its end. And pushing back the years a little further, I find it fascinating to know the changes and progression of the generic “everything.”

One time, during this Christmas break that I am basking on to the last minute, I suddenly thought of an old picture with my brother and three cousins in it. Luckily, I was with these people in a gathering so I rounded them up, positioned ourselves like the grainy image, had somebody take a shot, and waited for the results.

Other than the juvenile demeanor (as shown by our lanky frames and wide doe eyes) and the ages that I can’t really remember (including mine), I can tell the changes have gone beyond “everything.”

Noting what they are is no longer needed because what must be acknowledged here is how these changes have defined us, along with the community that grows and disperses. Between these two pictures are the dog-ears in a novel’s pages—they are there but no one’s sure how they come up to be.

I believe it has always been like that.

I do know the importance of answering the how’s or the why’s but as we grow older, plucking wisdom from our experiences, we learn the importance of selfless acceptance, whether such so-called change is good or sad (I choose sad since bad is such a strong word).

Whether we like it or not, alterations in many facets of our lives will happen. Or, before we even know it, have happened. Though the folds are inevitable, let us not forget to be aware.

Just recently, maybe through the alignment of the heavenly bodies or the sheer ingenuity of Facebook, I and the rest of my siblings finally connected to a relative we barely knew. This is something good because, as what I’ve said earlier, this shows the kind of change that defines a growing community. Before Christmas Day, many of us personally meet this first degree cousin for the very first time.

But as one bud appears in a bush, a leaf wilts and soon drops on the ground. On the same day of the meeting, our cousin joined us in seeing our grandfather going six feet under. Arcadio Mejorada Carnice, or known as Tatay to many, died on December 21 and was buried in his hometown on the 24th.

Time, indeed, runs fast and we have miscalculated the years. What we have anticipated to slow down reared up, started its engine, and went full blast, hurtling into the distance before anyone of us could catch up. Well, nobody could catch up when it comes to the looming fate of one’s life.

The random bombardment of all things mundane has numbed us and it didn’t help. Crime news or the politico television spot ads, take your pick. Heck, if we have disregarded our very own state of mind and physiological condition because of such, how much more on someone else’s? And please do tell; when was the last time you paused and eyed a wind courting a leaf? When was the last time you picked up a candy wrapper and placed it in a waste basket? When was the last time you said “I love you” with the starkest sincerity and not out of necessity or practice?

In a much grander scale, I am sure the same bombardment has consequently led us to forgo the very basic reason to most critical issues, from global warming to greedy presidents: Nothing could have happened if we didn’t let them be.

This may already be a huge leap from my musings about an old photograph, a new cousin, or a loved one leaving for a better place (I cannot deny this ailment of mine regarding organic unity) but this whole thing just reflects the defragmented era, so as our kaleidoscopic view of the world as everyone’s stage.

The crumbling of the World Trade Center in 2001 is just the beginning. When Apple’s iPhone hit the shelves and garners raves from tech critics and users, we are left in shock by the impact of the economic recession. When we celebrated the inauguration of Barrack Obama as the first African-American US President, we encounter next the feud between rival Sarah Palin and a teenager, with the latter almost going full-monty on a Playgril cover. When Manny Pacquaio wins his seventh world boxing champion title, we learn about his purported affair with a local starlet. When most of us have just stood up after Ondoy and Pepeng, we are stunned by the rising death toll in Maguindanao. There’s a lot more, both good and sad.

It is not surprising that Time magazine labeled the 00’s The Decade from Hell. In a New York Times interview, Yale historian Paul Kennedy said that “The urge to name moments and eras is an affliction common to historians, but one that is best attempted with a certain sobriety.”

Well, with the things happening around us, good luck with that sobriety.

Again and again, we are always told that the consequences lie on our hands too. If we are one of those who celebrated on whatever it is to be celebrated, then it must be logical that we are also one of those who must grieve—a result from being too unmindful of the burgeoning folds or dog-ears in our book of lives.

But our half-thought decision and actions are just part and parcel of the grand design: we commit a mistake and we learn. I’d like to point, as clichéd as it always sounds, that the past may have its flaws but it is in the present that really matters. As what we should have drilled into our heads a long long time ago, the now has great bearing as to how the tomorrow meets us. That way we could definitely define what a happy, pleasant life is.

Despite the differences obvious in both pictures, past and present, one must see the common denominator of the two. This is the smile present in our eyes, like the promising light of the month’s second full moon we could see tonight.

To everyone, I wish you will have a great year ahead, full of the most better-made decisions.


Victor Gregor said...

Happy New Year. :)

backpacklife said...

the comparison of photos is pure awesomeness jordan! aylabeeet!

malipajung bag-ong tuig diha!

thecurioscat said...

pansin ko lang yung pinakamatangkad da siya na tung pinaka maliit at yung pinka maliit siya na yung pinaka matangkad :D