Monday, October 30, 2006

A week's taste of a life to be

Where there are rigid and angular and modern structures, where buildings probably came first before the trees and plants, where everything is in its proper place and where rules are made to be followed and not broken - here is a place I consider one of my 'second homes', where the 6th Ateneo National Writers Workshop was held.

One week in that campus taught me that UP does not have the monopoly of lovable quirky and eccentric people - other schools also have their fair share. I learned that I know close to nothing and that I haven't really done anything to be proud of yet.

One week in a cold conference room - dedicated to one born on Christmas Day- I learned that even 6 cups of coffee cannot keep you awake or wipe the 'required' look off your face. Here, where I cannot be without my trusty, blue, macrame jacket, I learned the value of having a poker expression and an eager heart.

One week in a room of 6 beds, 2 electric fans, one aircon and one bathroom taught me that even though at first glance people seem different from you - deep down they are not. All fourteen of you who lie on green bedsheets to rest at night (at least for a week) have the same passion and desire - it is only manifested in different genres, styles and voices.

In that semi-open space where green chairs, metal benches and plastic tin cans which serve as ashtrays abound, many conversations - serious or trivial - were woven in the history and memories of the fellows. You can learn a lot more in an hour of meaningful conversation than 5 hours of lecture in a class where the teacher does not like what he's teaching. In this gathering place where the cigarette smoke sometimes hurt my eyes - I met kindred spirits.

Over bottles of beer, fish crackers, calamares and baked tahong - I learned that laughter can be so fake it becomes real. And that having fun starts from scratch but once it gets going, it's hard to stop. I now know that my throat will hurt after attempting to make my voice audible over very loud music(?) and make sense at the same time - and that I will desperately fail every time. That night affirmed my preference for quiet places where coffee and ambiance is served rather than alcohol.

But when it's all over and done, I realized that over talent and craft - will, passion and desire will keep you going. My hands are trying hard to catch up with the constant churn of my mind. One week. Innumerable epiphanies. New friendships. Untainted memories.

So for all that, thank you.


Blogger MidniteSolitaire said...

don't say that what you have done is something not yet to be proud of. you have achieved what others could only dream of. congrats again, ilia! goodluck on your next semester..

5:09 PM  

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