Monday, March 06, 2006

Walking Through Puddles and Mud

It's past 12 midnight. I just got home from the two-hour trip from Sac to San Leandro. Against what most people say, I'm not a slow driver; just "careful" especially driving in pouring rain with my beat-up car.

It was a great weekend for me. Got finished reading Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) and I'm gonna start his I guess more famous book, Five People You Meet in Heaven (one of my dear friends told me one of the character in the book was named after me, haha!). Helping out my brother is always fulfilling (even though sometimes it gets to be mere obligation). But the fun came with hanging out with family. Cousins, nephews, my sister and brother, aunt, mom, and in-laws. Played Texas hold 'em, foam soccer with Kidlat, babysit EJ, talked heart-to-heart with aunt and uncle about life and stuff, teased my mom, did some lifting (bayanihan style) as we laughed at ourselves through the muscle pains.

I appreciate the closeness of the family. Without them, I may be in a different place now. Here is where I first found a loving community, and a lot of it, all of us agree, had been fostered by my grandmother who we all called "Ina" (even non-family members call her by that name). Someone told me that people find their sense of being, or their purpose and happiness in life, with their family; it is in this core that they are most able to be themselves, not be afraid of being denied, and mingling and sharing life that we humans all long to. It is in this unit that we have the most chance to call a home.

But my question is this: Why can't we call the world our home? We call our family our home, and we also call our home country our home. I told a friend that I haven't felt home here in the US because my home is still in PI. She said she feels home here where she's at. I suspect that she feels at home wherever she is, which I envy, of course.

Whoever said "home is where the heart is" is entirely correct. We can feel at home with our family, with our country, or even feel at home in the world. We can build a home with someone, as easily as we can destroy it. Precious and fragile things needs special handling, so Depeche Mode says. The only problem we have sometimes is that we do not know what our hearts truly want or, if we do know, how we can sustain the loving relationships we enter into, which in the end constitutes what we'd call home.

Strangely, we also lock our homes (or houses) supposedly for security purposes. But aren't we really, like what Bowling for Columbine potrays, merely locking ourselves away from the rest of the world into becoming our home? And even if we can justify putting locks on our doors, how can we build a future society so that we do not have to (menos pa sa gastos di ba?)

As for me, I long to be entirely with the world as my home. How in the heck can that happen? Well, the long road always start with the first step, right? I believe now I am on the right track. In building loving human relationships and struggling against social oppression (what other people call negative energy), we can create the world as our home; where kids can talk to each other and say, "Tara na, laro tayo!" "Saan?" "Kahit saan!" "Sige! Ayos!!!!"


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