Analyse This: A Christmas Issue

My life has been dubbed as a bamboo by a fortune teller. She said that when things look high up (positives being stacked one on top of another, and another…) they’re really up, similar to how the bamboo stands so tall and shoots heavenward. However, when circumstances go south (breaks don’t go my way), I have to really take the plunge just like how the bamboo bends downward almost touching the ground. I must add to these metaphors that the tough wind that blows down the bamboo to its temporary fall is like the problems I encounter that never fail to knock me off my feet. It is also notable that the bending down of the bamboo is just but momentary and this actually signifies its flexibility as depicted in Ismael Mallari’s fiction, “Pliant like the Bamboo” which tells about the Filipinos’ exceptional adaptability.

Going away from this wondrous symbolism, I’m now in a quandary whether to stay put, move on or permanently stop. A lot of things don’t make perfect sense to me since the very beginning. I’m not sure if I’m doing the right things…thinking of the right ideas. As I write, I’m trying to figure out how I could manoeuvre from these vortices of philosophies. Is God really just a figment of my imagination? How can I ever put 100% effort in my work? Should I decrease to make others increase? When will people be perfectly honest? Are we living in a world of make-believe? Does God already know what’s going to happen in the future? If yes, is there any more reason why we should worry? Hello! Pre-destiny means everything’s already set including what you do today, tomorrow, next week, next year and in the next five years or so. And, the results of your actions are also pre-determined. So, what’s the point of even thinking? Well, we’ll continue to contemplate since it’s an instinct that we are born with although many of us fail to think wisely, perhaps, it’s part of your fate.

Baring everything, I have my own skeletons hidden in the closet just like everyone else. I have no idea how to label myself: good or bad (or neither of the two)? You be the judge—as a friend, as a colleague, as a church member, as a son, as a father, as a husband, as a teacher—what kind of person do you think I am? The gray area cannot be this gray. But, seems like it is.

I don’t know who to talk to and how I should speak up. I might be better off as the one giving advice but absorbing counsel from someone else is tough to digest. It is indeed easier to say the good words and right moves that we, ourselves, cannot deliver and execute in our own lives. The saying, “everyone hears but not everyone listens,” rings the bell a hundred times over. I’ve heard all sorts of sermons in the church and an assorted nuggets of insights from several priests and highly-esteemed individuals who were there to guide me towards the correct path but still, I never came close to reaching home. I heard but didn’t listen.

There are days when I feel super upbeat thinking that I’m doing something noble. Winning acknowledgments here and there helps but most importantly, when family matters are at peace, bliss follows. However, the next minute, I get deflated as if the whole wide world crashed down on me. Life’s complications, aches and all sorts of pain are just too much to handle at times.

The remaining ace off my sleeve is that I don’t look the part. Enigmatic as this appears, I try to push the pessimisms way down to my gut until it comes out of me in gaseous form…or solid waste substance. Funny, huh? But, I tell you, that’s excruciatingly difficult to do. You can try it yourself.

The best thing about these disposition flip-flops is that I can sometimes control it. I can turn it on and off when and where I like. Yes. I own it, so I have the power over it—sometimes. This time of the year? No problem. I’m putting my Christmas face on. Remember, I’m like the bamboo—only if destiny allows it…or if my mind wants it. Conceptual somersault, here it comes again.

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