April 08, 2012

bury the coffer

i have been writing actively compared to march when i was busy with work and out of town trips. i am staying at home for the holidays because i need rest before the succeeding weekends loaded with travel and other activities. in those times, i bet i would be writing less and if i will have to write by then, it would most likely be in bulk and i hope to publish everything i write in my notebook. moreover, you may have also noticed that i have overhauled this blog. a lot of people have talked me into starting a travel blog but as i attempt and publish new posts, i know i am more than just a travel blogger and i don't want to constrict myself in the realm of travel journalism because i can write something else; thus, i continue to write as myself. 

there have been too many travel blogs nowadays after the advent of gideon lasco's pinoymountaineer, some are rather bland, too technical, and unimaginative, that the beauty of the place was almost forgotten if pictures were not posted. travel blogging should be more than just a repository of contacts, itineraries, and locations. for the record, pinoymountaineer is already there as well as your coffee-table lifestyle and travel magazines and, of course how can we forget, the very simple philippine map. enough has been said about how to go there or how much budget is needed to sustain a living in such and such a place, or who the contacts will be. although essential and should still be written in travel write ups, travel bloggers should not just tell what is simply there but what's more than there. what makes the place unique? how do you see the place? how do you feel about it? 

i still believe that the aim of a writer is to use his or her readers' imagination to paint his or her ideas without the aid of illustrations or photos. as what my professor, cirilo bautista, said, "write as if you are telling stories to blind children." i cannot say that i am a good writer but i am struggling to capture the talent of "painting using people's imagination" that when people read, it's already their mind being in the story and not their eyes reading all the sentences. a few writers such as c.s. lewis, stephen king, robert jordan, paramahansa yogananda, and amy tan are successful in using my mind as a canvass and i am trying to grasp their techniques.

in addition, contrary to what people think, i travel less. i only have limited budget and i only have 15 vacation leaves both of which i would like to spend on my family, my friends and myself rather than on strangers, who most of the time only become acquaintances (but i treasure those who choose to keep me). also, there are times when i prefer to stay in the four walls of my room, read a book and wallow in solitude. reading has always been my time machine back to my childhood. the worlds and ideas that come vivid in my imagination as i leaf through the pages of every book i read are worth writing although they're more than words to describe.

one of the books i love re-reading is idries shah's collection of sufi tales, which is entitled, "the tales of the dervishes". sufism is the esoteric side of islam and the common themes of its philosophy is love and wisdom. the people who practice this tradition is called a "sufi" or "dervish". sufism's teachings are embedded in stories and poetry which are told by the sufi masters for the lessons to be deciphered by their disciples. the famous collection of sufi tales is the "arabian nights" which is about a sultan's concubine, a sufi disciple, who told him stories every night to evade execution. 

i am thinking of posting the stories and how i interpret them would be a good idea to keep this blog active. and so, the story for the day, which strikes me as of the moment, is the "ancient coffer of nuri bey". here's how the story goes.

the ancient coffer of nuri bey
(part of the repertoire of the kalandar dervishes)

 nuri bey was a reflected and respective albanian , who had married a wife much younger than himself. 

 one evening when he had returned home earlier than usual, a faithful servant came to him and said:

 'your wife, our mistress, is acting auspiciously.
 'she is in her apartments with a huge chest, large enough to hold a  man, which belonged to your grandmother.
 'it should contain only a few embroideries.
 'i believe there may now be much more in it.
 'she will not allow me, your oldest retainer, to look inside.'

 nuri went to his wife's room, and found her sitting disconsolately beside the massive wooden box.

 'will you show me what is in the chest?' he asked.
 'because of the suspicion of the servant, or because you do not trust me?'
 'would it not be easier to just open it, without thinking about the undertones?' asked nuri. 
 'i do not think it possible.'
 'is it locked?'
 'where is the key?'
 she held it up, 'dismiss the servant and i will give it to you.'

 the servant was dismissed. the woman handed over the key and herself withdrew, obviously troubled in mind.

 nuri bey thought for a long time. then he called four gardeners to a distant part of the grounds, and buried it. 

 the matter was not referred to again.

our friends and relatives have often advised us to know the other person more before engaging into a relationship. in this way, you will be able to save yourself from heartaches especially if the person has a "bad record" -- he or she sleeps around, a roguish cheater, or married. it has been in our system to scan other people before becoming intimate with them. however, most of the time, we ignore what our minds tell us about the other person and just plunge immediately into loving him or her wholeheartedly. of course, how would you dismiss something that feels so good to be wrong? 

the story, for me simply says, to love the other in spite of who or what he or she is as love is devoid of any judgements and preconceived notions. the past is being symbolized by the coffer which nuri bey buried after he interrogated his wife about its contents. a person's identity will definitely reveal something which would sway us from being intimate or simply just being friends with the other but it shouldn't be a hindrance in love. 

i am one of the people who choose to put the blindfold on, immerse myself in the madness called love, and forget everything; thus, my dreaming aloud post about "blind faith" of voluntary masking oneself from the truth. despite people telling me to change, i do not believe that one can change how he or she gives love to another because loving someone is a natural thing that flows from within. as what dane soren kierkagaard said, "to devote oneself to another person completely, the lover must drop his or her defenses". there's a reason for the the cliche "for one to fully understand loving the other, you must be whole" as every human being is similar to a puzzle piece. for puzzle pieces to connect to one another, each piece has to be imperfectly whole -- not chipped, torn, or cut -- to combine with other pieces to create an image. if you cut a puzzle piece in half and try to connect it with another, the puzzle, can never be complete because there's something missing and that missing part is something a puzzle piece has to give out to complete the image. therefore, if you hold back, you cannot love.

and so, going back to the story, our past failed relationships may haunt us and become hindrances to a new potential love. in order for us to become happy with another person, or at least just with ourselves, we have to bury everything in our own coffers and bring with us all the lessons learned from the people who became part of our lives in order for us to become a better person.  "love as if he's your first and get rid of the mind games" as what my younger sister told me. however, should i love again in the future, i just wish and pray hard, and this goes to the so-called "stupid people" like me, that the next man who will come into my life will respect me for how i will love him. he may not be a perfect person but he would be perfect for us to help each other become better persons with our love.


  1. I Suppose, the bigger the expectation..the bigger the disappointment. Take it away and you are left with nothing but giving and doing what we were meant to do. Being hurt ( in the process) is part of the recipe i guess. Coming out of it again and again makes our capacity to love more robust.We will never find THAT perfect person but we can work on becoming that perfect loving person. :-)

    1. yes. expectations can be that coffer we have to bury. it's that thing that conditions us in "keeping the person" instead of accepting what he or she becomes as the love progresses.

      at the end of the day, love is just a feeling and it is your choice to keep it going