SOMETIMES, we need rituals to intercede, mediate, or simply act as pesky little go-betweens when life suddenly becomes a wee bit too functional for occasional intangibles to penetrate the security locks of our convenient lives. These are the moments when cash registers forget to calculate, greenbacks turn pale yellow, traffic lights turn blue… moments when a child’s angelic grin melts icebergs, a two-line poetry outwits volumes of mathematical theories, a warm kiss dissolves a hundred world wars, and the mere presence of a Muse changes the tone of day. Always believe in the workings of a heart that beats with a spirit with no shape or color… [--Scribbled on a Greyhound ticket, on my way to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from New York City. Winter 1999]
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
IN THE PAST, the only purpose for my writing was to communicate within a specific ideological discourse. I didn’t care whether my work appeals or not to a particular cultural belief or political spectrum. I kept my well-guarded bias tucked in my sleeves and sneered at contrary thinking... I admit, most of what I stood for when I was in my 20s are pretty much still beating in my system—but I’ve learned to also see beyond and appreciate the human depth of things that I didn’t believe in. These days, I’d like humanity to read me—whether they agree or disagree. In that way, I belong. I will only belong in life’s community if my spirit is read beyond my covers. We are so different from each other but it doesn’t mean we can’t coexist…
I ALWAYS hear most say that Asians are not “high on emotion.” Seldom they scream elation or openly weep in public—or say hello, thank you, I’m sorry, or good luck—as frequently as the way we’re accustomed to do in the Western world.
Asians are seemingly distant, remote, unaffected.
We are a people who travel far, toil in deserts and war fields and jungles, and leave families behind for years—and come home for a month each year to share the fruits of their labor like it’s all that matters. A people who bury their dead in thousands, and witness their shanties blown away by typhoons and floods each year. People who mourn 5 months, and celebrate 7 months a year—to their hearts’ content, because life is a gift from God, not a privilege from society.
We can take misery anytime—bare bones and raw spirit… as we savor blessings like happiness comes only once a year.
We are a people who could fall in love almost instantly, after a warm evening of intimacy, and believe in it as a human truth—and will hang on to that promise of togetherness till the day we die. A people who forged formidable friendships, life through death, after a shared dinner or rice wine on a rainy day...
[--PPascua, from “Waiting for Winter,” a working novel]