The State Of Our Affairs

My Symphony: State of Our Affairs by Mt. Desolation

The morning wears a veil of rain in the city I live in. The traffic’s edging forward again, but no one knows where they’re going…

Upon looking at the collage of pictures at the very beginning of this post, you must know up front that this write-up is about me and another human being. However, this won’t be just about us. I decided to write this one because of two reasons. One, I have been missing high school since graduation day last March 24, 2010 (I just don’t admit it to myself and to other people); two, I know for a fact that looking back at what was always comes with a lot of lessons. You know, you take a walk down memory lane, you see the first signs of trouble, and then you get back to the present with a much clearer understanding of why things happened and why some people aren’t where you had imagined they would be in your life today. If you choose to read on, you might actually learn something from this.

So for many many years, I have been known by the people close to me as someone who is emotionally and socially unstable. About three or four months ago, I posted a status in Facebook that went like: “Can somebody please tell me what it feels like to have a life-long bestfriend? Just curious.” There are at least about 30 likes and 12 comments on that post. One comment that stood out to me was “I bet you have been wondering about this for a long time.” Not the exact words, but it went something like that. Well it’s true. I have been wondering what it feels like to have an ultimate partner in crime that will stand by you no matter what. Both of my brothers have such amazing bestfriends. Most of my friends also have partners in crime of their own. Even my aunt and cousins also live in this world with the foundations of very cool, very long-lasting friendships. And so I start to ask myself, what’s wrong with me?

For those who didn’t get the chance to know me when I was in high school, the guy with me in the pictures is Jerome. I am pretty sure that it is very safe to say that he is my ex-bestfriend. But don’t get ahead of yourself. This won’t be focused on him or on us. I am just using him as a certain symbol that is best to represent something else.

Jerome and I were bestfriends. It’s been almost two years since we last talked (like really talked). But on those old days, we would always have lunch together. I can’t really remember all the names of the food we used to order on a daily basis at our high school’s canteen, but they were mostly beef steak and pork barbecue. We would order what the other ordered. We would walk along the halls of the school with people looking at us wearing strange and bewildered layers of skin on their faces (yes, I always knew what most people thought that time). We would help each other out on assignments, projects, quizzes and most of all, research and thesis-writing. We would go out and drink with our other buddies, sleep over at each other’s house, meet and greet each other’s parents and siblings, talk about our dreams and most importantly, we would unconsciously learn from each other given our obvious differences.

I remember that time at Saga-sa. I’m sure not a lot of people know that place. Well, it’s a small strip of land not very far from Bacolod City. It’s where Jerome lives. Well there was that one time when I went there for a sleepover and just before the sun set, I sensed this incredible smell of nature. I don’t even know how to effectively describe it, but the way it smelled reminded me of green leaves, tall, shady trees and fresh air. We went outside his house, I looked up and saw a pale orange atmosphere in the skies. All I could really think at that moment was how idyllic his hometown is and how stress-relieving that kind of view was. A couple of hours later, we were called for dinner, and Tita Leila (Jerome’s mother) really left me in amazement the moment I tasted her green shells and grilled fish. Nothing really beats what’s fresh and natural. And that’s what I learned from that fateful day.

Later that night, I introduced my favorite tv series to him. At first he was really reluctant and skeptical. But I didn’t mind. I mean, I can be such a persistent influence on someone most of the time (HAHA). So we started with of course, the first episode of the first season of the series. That was like 9:00pm or something. At the end of the episode, he was saying that he loved it and that he wanted to watch one more episode. And so we continued. It was actually sort of weird because I had watched the first season literally three or four  times before, but I still kept on watching it again and even found that I still think it’s very interesting and entertaining. The next thing I knew, we were already watching the eleventh episode, and the clock read 01:45am of Sunday. I was already very sleepy and exhausted that I actually begged him to stop watching. But my plead for mercy was of no sign of use. He kept on watching and even though I was already lying down the bed, I could hear the dialogue and I was simply playing the scenes in my head. So there. Within the period of eight hours, there we were watching 90210, my favorite tv series. We finished the season at nearly five in the morning and I was like “HOLY SH*T! We finished one full season in one sitting!”. What’s very memorable about that night is that I wasn’t really expecting that someone who plays soccer, listens to hard metal songs, knows how to cut woods and carries the image of a totally manly jock who makes all the girls go asdfghjkl could ever appreciate an American TV series so dramatic and flashy as 90210. But he did. He liked it, and on top of that, he also liked Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes) the most in the show. She was our crush. Well, I don’t know with him now, but Shenae Grimes will always be my celebrity fantasy. *grin

So those were the days. I could elaborate more on the drunken nights, the sleepless talks, the shopping sprees and everything in between, but I won’t. What’s major with this reminiscence is the realization that comes with remembering certain people in our lives who somehow weren’t able to make it to our present. I am not saying that it was Jerome’s or my fault. Because really, it is nobody’s fault. Quite frankly, I can’t even remember why and when we started being cold to each other anymore. It’s almost like the reason is no longer there, but the effect remains iridescent. Sometimes we hate some people, we despise them and we curse them like there’s no tomorrow. But a day comes when we begin to forget why we’re mad on the first place. And this is where the wake-up call kicks in. The day we forget the reason why we are mad at somebody is the day that we realize that we were never really mad to begin with; we were only sad. We were sad because things didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to; because our expectations outshined the outcome; because as we grow up, we acquire the sufficient knowledge and wisdom that enable us to understand that life is an almost never-ending scope of closing cycles. And we don’t want that. No one wants that. No one wants that kind of life where he has to deal with the fact that good things always come to an end. But it’s neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s just the way life is.

My ex-bestfriend and I are probably never gonna be the same. We might see each other again a couple of years from now, or we might not even get a glimpse of each other at all. We might be friends again someday, or remain strangers for the remainder of our lives. We might bump into each other someday and naturally recall those days when we were almost like brothers, or we might forever be a mere memory of two high school buddies who used to dwell in the energy of one another but are now reduced to faces without names and names without faces…

It doesn’t really matter. Whatever our relationships with certain people have turned into, wherever they are right now (whether you two are living in the same block or in two places which are miles and miles away from each other), whoever they have become and however you live your life right now, there is absolutely no reason for you to be sad about the things and people that were. Because at the end of the day, “losing” someone isn’t a tragedy. It is just the current state of your affairs. 

4 thoughts on “The State Of Our Affairs

  1. actually, its part of HighSchool days.. from 10-20 of ages, we often had that certain experiences. I had many friends in highschool, and even college. I also have bestfriends but as time goes by, all of them were gone, NOT TOTALLY GONE but, its not the same as we used to be.. even though we never had any conflicts or fight .. its life.

    Your real bestfriends until the end are divided into two groups, your parents and your own family (husband/wife + kids).

    that’s for sure.

    life is about changes, and that changes lead us into growth.

  2. this is really sad… Wish there’s a happy ending to this.. (im such a sucker for it.. Hehehe!) is it politically correct to call someone you “ex-bestfriend” even if no major fight occured? Coz i’d be hurt if my bestfriend calls me one just because we’ve outgrown each other… I wonder how jerome feels if he reads this or felt if he already did.. Hmmm.. Again, ur making me think… 🙂

  3. Kenn – I brought out my old collection of favourite quotations, which reading this particular post of yours prompted me to do. I selected Thomas Moore’s CARE OF THE SOUL – and sifted through for this particular quote: “The word ‘passion’ means, basically, to ‘be affected’ – and passion is the essential energy of the soul.”

    I’m wondering if you already know that one of your major gifts, Kenn – or one other way of looking at it – is that so many of us are ‘affected’ by reading your words – that you arouse the ‘passion’ in us, therefore quickening or stirring our souls.

    Instead of me blabbing on as I tend to do, maybe I’ll just throw in a slew of other quotations of Thomas Moore’s from that book that also resonated with the parts of me I most value – and leave it to you and any readers to deal with them as they will:

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    “Tradition teaches that soul lies midway between understanding and unconsciousness and that its instrument is neither the mind nor the body, but imagination.”

    “Renaissance philosophers often said that it is the soul that makes us human. We can turn that idea around and note that it is when we are most human that we have greatest access to the soul.”

    “In ordinary life, when we are being initiated into the mysteries of Demeter – becoming an individual from deep within – there may be a loss of meaning and fruitfulness in the external world.”

    “What is the source of this soul power, and how can we tap into it? I believe it often comes from unexpected places. It comes first all from living close to the heart – and not at odds with it. Therefore, paradoxically, soul power may emerge from failure, depression, and loss. The general rule is that soul appears in the gaps and holes of experience.”

    “The soul doesn’t necessarily benefit from long, hard work, or from fairness of any kind. Its effects are achieved more with magic than effort.”

    “Renaissance doctors taught that all people have an explosive force ready within them to be unleashed into the world. Simply being oneself – letting one’s individuality and unique gifts come forth. When we allow ourselves to exist truly and fully, we ‘sting’ the world with our vision and challenge it with our own ways of being.”

    “Repetition is death. Repetition defends against the rush of individual life. It seeks the deadly peace of a culture that has banished surprise.”

    “The soul brings a creative edge to every action, and sows the seeds of power in every moment and event. There is nothing neutral about the soul.”

    “The soul is explosive and powerful. Through its medium of imagination, which is always a prerequisite for action and is the source of meaning, it can accomplish all things. In the strength of its emotions, the soul is a gun, full of potential power and effect. The pen, expressing the soul’s passion, is mightier than the sword because the imagination can change the life of a people at their very roots.”

    “Socrates and Jesus, two teachers of virtue and love, were executed because fo the unsettling, threatening power of their souls, which was revealed in their personal lives and in their words. They did not carry guns, yet still they were a threat because there is nothing morepowerful than the revelation of one’s soul.”

    “The problem is that adjusting to life, while perhaps sane to all outward appearances, may sometimes be detrimental to the soul.”

    “Philosophy lies at the base of every life problem, but it takes soul to reflect on one’s own life with genuine philosophical seriousness.”

    “We have a spiritual longing for community and relatedness and for a cosmic vision, but we go after them with literal hardware instead of with sensitivity of the heart.”

    “The key to lost spirituality and numbing materialism is not merely to intensify our quest for spirituality, but to re-imagine it.”

    “The intellect often demands proof that it is on solid ground. The thought of the soul finds its grounding in a different way. It likes persuasion, subtle analysis, an inner logic, and elegance. It enjoys the kind of discussion that is never complete, that ends with a desire for further talking or reading. It is content with uncertainty and wonder. Especially in ethical matters, it probes and questions and continues to reflect even after decisions have been made.”

    “Soul knows the relativity of its claim on truth. It is always in front of a mirror, always in speculative mode, watching itself discover its developing truth, knowing that subjectivity and imagination are always in play. Truth is not really a soul word – soul is after insight more than truth. Truth is a stopping point asking for commitment and defense. Insight is a fragment of awareness that invites further exploration. Intellect tends to enshrine its truth, while soul hopes that insights will keep coming until some degree of wisdom is achieved. Wisdom is the marriage of intellect’s longing for truth and soul’s acceptance of the labrinthine nature of the human condition.”

    “We are not going to have a soulful spirtuality until we begin to think in ways of the soul. If we bring only the intellect’s modes of thought to our search for a path or to spiritual practices, then from the very beginning we will be without soul.”

    ‘My impression is that we are a people afraid of the heights to which the spirit may take us and so we turn to forms of religion that temper and contain the spirit that potentially could transform our lives.”

    “Faith is a gift of the spirit and allows the soul to remain attached to its own unfolding. When faith is soulful, it is always planted in the soil of wonder and questioning.”

    “Soul-making is a journey that takes time, effort, skill, knowledge, intuition and courage. It may be a labyrinth, full of dead-ends, or an odyessy, in which the goal is clear but the way much longer and more twisted than expected.”

    “On the soul’s odyssey, or in its labyrinth, the feeling is that on one has ever gone this way before.”

    “It is probably not quite right to speak of the soul’s ‘path.’ It is more a meandering and a wandering. The soul path is marked by neurotic tendencies as well as by high ideals, by ignorance as well as by knowledge, and by daily incarnated life as well as high levels of consciousness. The soul becomes greater and deeper through the living out of the messes and the gaps.”

    “Individuation is not a goal or destination – it is a process. As the essence of the individuation, I would emphasize the sense of being a unique individual, being actively involved in soul work.”

    “Any true relationship requires time, a certain vulnerability, and openness to being affected and changed.”

    “Soul cannot thrive in a fast-paced life because being affected, taking things in and chewing on them, requires time.”

    “When imagination is allowed to move to deep places, the sacred is revealed. The more different kinds of thoughts we experience around a thing and the deeper our reflections go as we are arrested by its artfulness, the more fully can its sacredness emerge. It follows, then, that living artfully can be a tonic for the secularization of life that characterizes our time.”

    “Sometimes soulwork is exciting and inspiring, but often it is challenging, requiring genuine courage. Rarely easy, work with the soul is usally placed squarely in that place we would rather not visit, in that emotion we don’t want to feel, and in that understanding we would prefer to do without. The most honest route may be the most difficult to take.”

    “Usually, the main problem with life conundrums is that we don’t bring to them enough imagination. We understand our difficulties literally and look for literal solutions, which rarely work precisely because they are part of the problem – lack of imagination.”

    “The stuff of the world is there to be made into images that become for us tabernacles of spirtuality and containers of mystery. If we don’t allow soul its place in our lives, we are forced to encounter these mysteries in fetishes and symptoms, which in a sense are pathological art forms, the gods in our diseases. The example of the artists teaches us that every day we can transform ordinary experience into the material of soul – in diaries, poems, drawings, music, letters, watercolours.” (and blog sites!. IM)

    “As the poets and painters of centuries have tried to tell us, art is not about the expression of talent or the making of pretty things. It is about the preservation and containment of soul. It is about arresting life and making it available for contemplation. Art captures the eternal in the everyday, and it is the eternal that feeds the soul – the whole world in a grain of sand.”

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