of falls and falling out
Ever pouring, ever living, it roars an ever raging lamentation of the universe.
My earliest memory of an outdoor trip was when Lolo strapped me on the backseat of his DIY stainless “owner” jeep and drove all the way through the deeper woods of then lush province of Rizal. I couldn’t remember where exactly it was or how long was the trip, but I remember it was long enough for me to have given in to my then newly appreciated hobby, the nap-in-no-shock-absorber-vehicle. The violent jarring of the off-road ride woke me while the blinding glare slowly dissolved to a sight of what could be the most magical place I’ve seen at that time, that is if COD Christmas display in Cubao does not count.
I remember seeing what I honestly could recall as mermaids wringing clothes and dumping them in iron lotus pods called “palanggana,” those giant “tansan” bottle caps type with corrugated GI material. The picture in my head is vivid yet slightly diffused, not the RuPaul’s Drag Race season 1 diffused filter but more like a Fernando Amorsolo painting. I could lucidly recall as it was my first sight of fresh running water that is not a flood on the few monsoon seasons I have experienced.
My small feet struggled to balance on the pebble bank, not like Bambi, but more like a newly delivered calf still semi-wrapped in the buffalo’s placenta. I managed to stride with the assistance of my Lolo dragging me by a limb like as if shoulder dislocation wasn’t a thing.
The walk towards the source of the river was a defining journey for me. The still and peaceful stream slowly transitioned to flowing rapids. Pebbles turned to boulders, and crystalline ponds ebbed to cadencing cascades.
The sound of what I thought was rain intensified to torrentuous noise by thousandfold. I was not sure what it was but the immense energy of blasting water brought a feeling of both fear and liberation—-the pillar of white water is blowing sharp mists that prick the skin like tiny pins. A sound, a feeling, a memory that I always recognize even now that I’m all grown up: Is it falling? Or falling out?
We could fall in wilful leap, or fall out in reckless abandon. But which one is more frightening? Which one is more liberating?
There is beauty in every waterfall. The imagery of ever-dewy flora and the gentleness of light seeping through a canopy of trees is nothing short of a poetry, like glimmering diamond on rich drapes of brocade. But also there is sadness, it is ever-weeping, gloom forebodes, and no matter how strong it rages no one will ever hear it outside its solitary confinement unless one chooses to listen.
But even falls dry up, it moves to create a new journey, and it is just a matter of time when this wound cut by rivulets be healed and allow the land to reclaim what was once battered and beautiful. I guess I am writing this as testimony of me conceding. I am letting go of a tiresome battle of chasing the elusive source of this wound that has been bleeding for a while—as it was swollen, it is drying up. I fell for you and now I am allowing myself to fall out.
This brought my feet to stride back to the nearest waterfalls. Where tears could be broken by its mist, and the plea of the heart could be swathed by the thunderous sound of its crashing might.
[your turn @wanderlass]