A Blind Man’s Sight

I have seen and touched his life-size rattan sculptures.  The human-like ones have seemingly deep-set eyes as if the eyeballs are not there.  He even made a water buffalo complete with its organ.  He’s that precise.

Why am I making a fuss out of the works?  Because the artist, Rogelio, is blind from birth.

I was fortunate to meet Rogelio in person.  He is from Ifugao but now lives in Nueva Vizcaya.

I was in a van from Ifugao to Baguio with Kidlat Tahimik.  We were going home from the Punnok.  Kidlat said we will visit Mang Rogelio.  Kidlat is his patron.

When we neared his house, we saw Mang Rogelio carrying a long stalk of sugar cane.  Unassisted.

He’s a very simple man but I felt honored to be in his presence.

When I introduced myself, he held my hand for a long time.  I felt infused by his touch.  He was trying to know me by feeling my palms and listening to my voice.  I have not had that much attention for a long time that I was taken aback.

When Kidlat chose from his works that were found here and there in his house, it was evident how happy he was that someone appreciated them enough to buy them.

His contagious smile was from ear to ear when Kidlat took notice of the music instrument he made from wood and thin metal sheets.  The sound was that of a gong.

Rogelio struck the metal while another man hit the wood with a stick creating that familiar Ifugao music.  A grandmother danced like a teenager.

Like magic, a wooden box turns into a gong.  A grandmother transformed into a girl. A blind man can see.

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Breathe

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© Fatima Erasmo, 9 Mayo 2016, Tagaytay City

We seldom give focus on our breathing but this is a life and death situation.

When we are stressed, notice that we breathe shallowly. Since there is less oxygen going to the brain and to the rest of the body, we get headaches and feel pain here and there.

Let go.  Let fresh air in.

Breathe. Consciously. Deeply.  Live.

 

Switch

Harapin mo ang aking mga luha

Nakasulat dito ang mga kataga

Mga salitang di kayang lumabas sa bibig

Mahirap manahimik lalo na’t sasabog na ang dibdib

Tabihan mo sana ako

Kung mapansin mo

Ang basang mga mata

Kung sa tingin mo ikaw ang may sala

Huwag mag-alala

Hindi ako nangangagat

Yapusin mo lang ako at makakalimutan ko na ang lahat.

25 Pebrero 2016

Daloy

Ang pagluha ko ay paghinga.  Pagbitaw.  Sa akin, na hangga’t maaari ay umiiwas sa pagpapakita ng kahinaan ng loob, ito ay pagtitiwala sa kung sino man ang nandoon.  Hinding-hindi ito pagpapaawa.

May mga hindi makaunawa sa aking mga luha.  May di kayang tumingin habang ako’y umiiyak.  Marahil ayaw harapin at makita ang katotohanan.

Simple lang naman ang kasagutan: Makipag-ugnayan.

May nagsabi na ang pagdating ng buwanang dalaw ang dahilan.  Sa aking palagay, sinadya ng kalikasan na gawing “sumpungin” ako para ako’y makahinga.  Isa itong biyaya para hindi ako masiraan ng bait.

Lahat ng pagdaloy ay may dahilan.  Maling pangunahan, maling husgahan.  Hindi ikaw ako.

Mahirap umiyak.  Bukod sa pamumugto ng mga mata na tila bang naghahayag sa lahat ng makakita na ako’y may problema, napakasakit sa damdamin at isipan.

Di pa tapos ang aking pagluha.  Pero ako’y mas nakakahinga na.

Pahiwatig

© 2011 Fatima Erasmoin a bus, Manila

© 2011 Fatima Erasmo
in a bus, Manila

Kagabi natulog akong umiiyak.  Napakabigat ng loob.  Wala akong mapagsabihan, wala akong mapuntahan.

Naramdaman ko na ito dati.  Pangatlong beses na ito marahil sa buong buhay ko.  Pangatlong beses ko na naramdaman na parang gumuguho ang mundo ko.

Marami nang naging pagyanig bago ito.  Nagtapang-tapangan ako.  Pero sa loob, nalulusaw na ako.

Apat na taon nating kinikilala ng mas malalim ang isa’t isa.  Maikli at mahaba.  Mabilis at mabagal.

Sinaktan kita.  Sinaktan mo ako.  Subalit sana isang araw, mapatawad mo ako.