September 28, 2015


Posted in 2015 Journal at 17:14 by Miracle

Half of his face was highlighted by the afternoon coffee-colored sunlight, the other half was shaded in espresso. He was in his usual spot in our living room, talking animatedly with his hands the way Italians do (con brio!) bringing his fingers to his lips and smacking them as he recounted the figs, the grapes, the olive oil, and the fresh mozzarella from his recent visit to his home country. I thought he looked a few years younger and healthier. In my heart I know, that’s what Italy does to people!

He and my dad were traveling across one topic to another but I could not sit through the whole conversation as I was preparing coffee and getting ready for my next batch of students.  There was an interval of fervid talk about the migrants, the refugees, the mafia in Naples, and local politicians (con fuoco)! I only sat down with them as the impassioned tones were reaching a diminuendo.

And then he spoke of his first few days back in Dipolog; of the big mango tree in his neighborhood where, according to him, hundreds of maya birds occupy the branches early each morning and chirp an entire symphony as he drinks his coffee and smokes his cigarette. His face brightened at this as he went on to imitate two soloists of the maya symphony (con alma)!

I wanted to take a photo of him at that exact moment, but therein lies the tragedy of photography, one cannot always capture the music and spirit of a person, and that is why I am writing this down in my journal, otherwise, these excerpts of life just fade into anonymity.

A thousand things go into my journal, but rarely daily occurrences like what the conventional diary is made for, or made of. Thoughts go in here, and sometimes, written portraits of people in my life, or even strangers. Today’s entry is a snippet of a moment from when a family friend paid a visit this afternoon – a friend prone to pessimism but for understandable reasons, and who can be a bit overeager about my marriage to the person he thinks is perfect for me!

But nobody talks about maya birds and their song so ardently nowadays. Nobody. I just had to write that down, instead of taking another picture, as I wait for my next student to arrive.


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