Eclipse over Mt. Kanlaon
Do you ever miss those times when, if you needed information, you would have to go ask someone for it? Like, what’s showing now at this or that theater? What time do the shows begin? Remember when this was staple fare in conversations? Remember conversations?
Nowadays, everything is available by phone or Internet. Conversations are taking a downturn. We are more inclined now to exchanging between us a few expected words perchance our tracks collide. Passing words really. Not because we have grown away from each other as much as that we haven’t much time, and we are all in a hurry to get to somewhere. We mostly hear of each other now. Facebook. Twitter. Virtual networks to fill up our inboxes. Here and there, a familiar name. Let’s open that one and erase the other! Reply: Hi! :) Or, Miss You! :
And then we are off again. When was the last time we talked? Too long ago, it seems. Do you remember the old days? Endless time on a beach, downing a bottle of tequila and then deciding who gets to eat the worm. What did we talk about?
A problem of physics. This beach under our feet is pale blue in the evening sky. The moon casts a glow over Mt. Kanlaon, in Negros, the island across from us. In between that and the sand over which we lie is the Tañon Strait. It is lapping at us, tiny crests, bubbling ripples streaking by, right to left in easy cadence. And the moon is in eclipse, a quarter covered before we even notice. And of course, we are mesmerized. How can a party as drunken as ours be so blessed? The moon is a red massive orb, when it lies under our shadow. We feel ourselves as if for the first time standing over the true weight of our own planet. One of us is playing on the guitar Joey Ayala’s “Bathala.” We sing along.
We should get together some time and just that way. It is not impossible. But a good conversation is something we must now have to arrange and prepare for as if it were exotic art. The place must be cool. Yes, and silent, so we can hear each other comfortably. A good view is essential. A vista of the whole city, the city lights. That, I accept, is fun. But it is not a necessity. Think of a garden also. There is the sound of water rippling somewhere. And the ilang-ilang is in bloom. But it’s just our good luck. It does not bloom too often. We have good wine.
At some point in the evening, let us will ourselves not to spend too much time remembering. We should rather think of the here and now. As a wise old Jesuit suggested: Think only of today. The past is gone. And the future is not yet here and is best left up to God.
He makes a point. The cheese is very good. And when you brought it in, melting on a platter after you juiced it in the microwave, it smelled like someone farted. And our friend actually made as if to smell his armpits. But it is perfect with a bit of jam over the Fita.
Let us talk about physics again. Which is bigger? Cosmos or universe? God is bigger. For as long as he is here. If he is here. You reply. Oh, He must be here. It is only logical. Grain of sand, moon, planet, stellar system, galaxy, universe, cosmos, there will always be something bigger. There must be infinity. Otherwise, its non-existence would cancel out its opposite. And its opposite is us. If the finite did not exist, we would not be here. We are the best proof of the finite. We and our short momentary lives. We are living proof that eternity is out there somewhere, watching.
It is our existence that suggests God exists. Not we ourselves. And this is why it is our nature to believe. Collapse the time behind and before us. Forget the past exists and the future as well. Here we are, finally, in the short moment of now. Here is where we truly reside. And God also, if we follow the wise old Jesuit. Everything else is only conjecture if they are not memory. Is now the shortest moment of time possible? If it is that, then why does it seem so endless?
It is endless only according to our will. Or belief, you add. But eventually the phone alarm will ring. And we will have to go. Back to our homes. Back to promising to meet again soon. And talking this way. But since that moment is not yet here, can we not just forget the time? Let’s not have too many thoughts. Don’t speak until you have to. Picture in your head, a darkish, reddish, cratered orb, flying over the craters of Mt. Kanlaon. They are connected. Like we ourselves. Let this moment stretch till forever. And then you ask: Now?
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