Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lola's Hands

I see a map, a familiar one. It has a landscape contoured not with summits and abysses, not with springs and deserts, not with fields and hollows, not with flowers and thorns, not with greens and browns. It doesn't know lights and shadows, nor crests and troughs. It avoids memory of torrential rain for dry spell, or the other way around. It is not ruled by contrasts. 

It is blunt and unforgiving and commanding and brutal and honest and true and painful. Those bursting lines, those burned envelopes, those folded and cracked mantles. Veined, darkened, wrinkled. It is chaotic, perhaps a traffic quagmire to a capricious head in modern times. 

But, despite all that, it sees the odds in a new shade. Past its scars and bumps, even all calloused, beyond which, I feel its warmth and will, hopeful undercurrents that stream through its thinning vessels. It is greyed yet clear. It is frail yet surviving. It is losing but fighting. It is a character of strength battered through countless battles, living on a borderless world. 

It is a map with a landscape of inspiration thriving on life. 


In Talisay, inside a jeepney bound for Cebu City, lola (grandmother), with a huge wicker basket filled with goods, rummages through her belt bag. 


I had realized that the boy sitting beside me was supposedly her grandson, as he went on sitting on his lola’s lap later during the journey. 

I wish I could articulate better how I felt and what ran through my mind when I saw her. An oversimplification of her day-long labors until midnight is a travesty.


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