April 02, 2010

Memory gaps

The young journalists waited expectantly as mother station’s Papa Bear reflected on his response. They just finished reciting the questions they have prepared for him. In that pause, I snapped a few candid shots of our unexpected visitors.

Ten minutes ago, I was summoned by Papa Bear to observe while he’s being interviewed.

“Bring a recorder,” he said.

It was an unusual request, one that I normally get when we’re up to something more serious.

“They’re from (name of organization).”

Darn it! I’m bringing my camera, too.

I was poised take down notes the moment I sat down the round table, directly facing the two journalists, ready to jot down whatever these guests were up to.

But the first set of questions was pretty standard, and Papa Bear coolly and efficiently answered them.

As the interview proceeded, however, I noticed something was amiss. The questions were coming more and more from Papa Bear, and the skin under his collar was slowly changing color.

The unchanging pleasant expressions on the journalists’ faces, and the kind of questions they were asking, confirmed my suspicion: they have no idea at all – zero, zilch, nada – what their organization did, or haven’t done, to mother station.

I let go of my pen, leaned back, and watched the young journalists with wonder. Has it been that long? Was it neglect on the part of these younglings’ superiors to send them here to mother station without any idea of what happened in the past?

Or is it because they simply don’t care anymore about history, much more bother rectifying the deeds of their own organization?

And so the next half hour was spent Papa Bear educating them of what transpired ten years ago.

I hope those young journalists see the whole point of what happened during their visit. If they really embody their organization’s claim of being fair and transparent, it would do their organization good to rectify their own history.

Only then can both organizations finally close that particular chapter of democracy with smiling faces.

And I don’t have to bring a voice recorder and camera next time they send someone over.

***

Yesterday, Maundy Thursday, Joan and I chanced upon a local romantic movie that was partly about how neither party can move forward without the other clearing up the past.

I was only previously aware of the movie One More Chance, starred by Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz, because a fellow techie knows its famous lines – about breaking up and moving on – by heart.

Can anyone fully move on when something’s amiss in your shared history?

Perhaps, like in the movie, a simple question or a confession could have made everything okay.

And that it’s never too late to do so.

***

My mother has been doing a good job documenting the lives of her children and grandchildren. Neatly archived in her home in Aklan are bits and pieces of our lives – photos, old school uniforms, medals, diplomas, trophies, sketches, and even my recycled toys.

This is the place I’d go to if I ever lose myself.

But there are gaps, of course.

The most obvious would be the absence of baby photos in my albums. The yearbook for both my highschool and college never saw the light of day. And, maybe the most painful of all, my earliest creations of recycled toys were lost.

It can’t be helped, I guess. Some memories are bound to be lost, through nobody’s fault.

***

In my evening jogging sessions, warming up is usually spent on stretching and brisk walking.

However, when the back entrance to the UP Theater is empty, it’s a chance for me to practice some TMD kata.

As the body isn’t as supple and strong as it used to be, kata numbers 2 to 4 could really warm me up, if not tire me out entirely. The memory of the movements is vivid, alive, and wonderful.

Amid the motions, a totally different move would occasionally slip in – awkward, wide, arching, and dance-like.

Definitely not any of the TMD moves. But the memory of that beautiful, graceful move is broken, lost.

This one is my fault, and one of the saddest moments of my life.

***

Rafiki, Smores, blue, Naruto, Chuck Bass…

It’s nice to be reminded of, and again take a closer look at, your favorites. Funny how some changed, and others stayed the same.

A blessed weekend to all.