Sunday, February 27, 2005

Hear, moon goddess: take my life. Spare me from this mortal strife.

Lone wolf.

Many a comparison has been made between wolves and those individuals on the edges of the social landscape. Too often, though, the image of wolves are misconstrued to be one where a lonesome individual howls at an equally lonely moon. On the contrary, wolves generally travel in packs of up to 30 individuals. The nucleus of the entire pack is the breeding pair, hence the term alpha male and alpha female.

I have never really been an alpha male. When running with the pack, I often found it difficult to know my place. I would wander around aimlessly, quite unsure of my role and the course of action expected of me. My auditory sense was not keen enough for me to hear the latest trends in the television, music and gaming industries. If I had any talents then, I am quite certain it did not include singing, dancing or any other histrionic stunts which could be conveniently performed on stage.

It was believed that wolves bred for life; each year, the breeding pair mates. The female gives birth to about four to seven pups which are then cared for by its parents and the lesser members of the pack. After training, one who is well-versed in the art of hunting and assasination may opt to leave the pack or remain as a lesser member. Some of those who leave the pack create a new one themselves; other simply remain alone.

I would never have left the pack, had some lesser members not influenced me to alienate myself. Now that I no longer belong to any pack, now that I no longer have any alpha male to bow down to, I ran free amongst the trees. The moon was whole then, as though her fullness a reflection of the concept of I as an individual, not as a lesser part of some pack. I wove through the forest in bliss, unmindful of the ever increasing distance between me and my homeland. When I came to, everything felt new; even the air smelled nothing like the atmosphere of my ancestral home. I have ventured onto new territory which, from this day forward, shall be known to be mine.

Wolves frequently establish territories from 40 to more than 400 square miles. They define the reaches of their control with scent markings and different vocalizations like barks or growls. Of course, it is the legendary howl of a wolf that humans recall the most. They apparently are territorial; they defend that which they hold closest to them. Perhaps, it is no wonder that humans often perceive a wolf to be a solitary entity.

However, it may not be true that wolves prefer isolation, even for those who have left the pack. Perhaps, their howl not only defines their territory; perhaps it is their way of seeking intimacy. It was said that wolves could, at will, turn themselves into shamans and, as shamans, revert back into the fur in which they are born. Could it not be said then that those known to be lone wolves may not be so of their own accord? Could it be that they are reaching out into the world, only that we ourselves are too blinded by the our role to serve the "alpha"? Could it be that our unity as a pack divides us from those beyond our world?

Think about it.

I knew not how it came last night.
It eclipsed the moon's silver light.
I felt its eyes, its piercing stare.
It vanished like it was never there.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Should I hear the music's rhyme, I shall close my eyes sometime.

Music, the aesthetics of the aural sense.

There used to be a time when I regarded music with indifference. I thought sounds should only be used for straightforward communication; any sound other than words is useless. I spent much of my childhood unmindful of the changes in the music industry. When asked about my opinion on the newest pop song, I would simply ignore them and say, "Bah!" Okay, so maybe I did not say that but you get the picture.

When I got into high school, I met someone special. This person taught me to appreciate music, among other things. Since then, I began collecting CD's, recording tapes and lyrics. Anime was the fad then so my wall shelf would hold CD's and recordings of J-Pop anime themes. Later on, I learned to like non-Japanese music. If I remember correctly, Linkin Park's In the End was the first non J-Pop song I fell for.

I soon began to worship music. My morning ritual would not be complete without a blast from one my CD's. (I never tuned in to radio stations, I'll tell you about it later) I broadened my horizons a bit and began to discover the joys of classical, pop and even punk music .(Pardon my language, I am not acquainted with the genres of music) I began humming then tapping my foot, then instead of tapping, I began swaying. Instead of swaying, I began singing. Pretty soon, I found myself dancing, not too gracefully, I must admit. It did not matter anyway; once the music starts I lose control.

Of course, there are certain types of music I like and some I abhor; I am like everyone else. The only thing is that there do exist some people who like or dislike a particular song depending on the artist. Some like only songs that are in the current trend. Of course I do not approve of such philosophy; it is very much like saying that the Mona Lisa is beautiful simply because da Vinci painted it. I believe opinions regarding music should be based on whether it pleases someone or not.

Another gripe I have is the music industry here in the Philippines. There are some good artists, mind you; however, there also are terrible songwriters. I would rather not mention any proper noun, lest I be sued for libel, but there are songs that have double meanings. Oftentimes, these undertones are rather lewd, even perverted. The songs themselves do not make much sense due to fact that the perverted ascpect is the main theme; the literal part only plays second. Worse, I feel like we are playing a losing battle. When accosted, the songwriters would simply claim, "The banana is not meant to be a phallic symbol. This is a song about the joys of eating fruits... like the banana." The joys of eating bananas? Ugh..

Another familiar retort is, "If you find something perverted in the song, then it is you who must be perverted, not me. So, they're electing perverted persons into the media board, eh?" Ah, argumentum ad hominem. This is why those types of songs continue to fluorish; this is why we are losing this battle. It feels like the art which I have worshipped for years is being desecrated. It is sacrilege! Sacrilege, I say!

I certainly wouldn't have poked my nose into this if I lived in a world isolated from this horrendously mutated art(sic). Howver, consider this anecdote from my life: I wake up, do my morning rituals, swaying to my favorite music all the while. I leave the house, board a bus and, surprise, surprise, a local radio station is blaring inside. They are playing some music, but they are also playing some disasters. These disasters are arbitrary words strung together to pass off as "music". My day is ruined. Also consider the fact that most public transports here have radios tuned to radio stations. (Well, some of them play CD's but not many drivers of public vehicles could afford CD's, you know) Most of the time, these radio stations play the fad song which, not too surprisingly, are quite shallow.

I remember my, er, friend. I once said that variety shows are too shallow, offering cheap entertainment that does not add anything to anyone as a person. He said, "If entertainment made sense, wouldn't it be less entertaining?" He was right; ignorance is bliss.

The lady of the shadows: everything she knows.
Though all she can sense, she gave none but silence.
Fiery streaks lit the sky, blinding every mortal eye.
Sheltered by her wing, she thus began to sing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

She walked at night and slept til light.

When she awoke, she looked around
and marvelled at what she found:
a light she had never seen before.
She breathed, then she was no more.

Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull once wrote that heaven is not a place; it is a state of being perfect. We live a hundred lifetimes in ignorance, another hundred in realization and another hundred to act on that and achieve perfection.

Does it matter? Were we to die today and resurrect tomorrow as someone's sperm meets someone's egg, would it make any difference to the world? We are small, we are insignificant. Even with money or power, we are no more special than the next guy. They say nobody is perfect; they are right.

So what is the purpose of life then, if not to strive for a perfection that cannot be attained? Are we here to consume everything, replacing oxygen with carbon dioxide? Are we here to formulate theories that would soon be debunked by someone else's theory? Are we here to write blogs, offering our two cents on different issues when everyone else has hundreds of cents themselves? Why are we here?

Nothing really. Go ahead, jump of a building. Take cyanide or shake nitroglycerine. Pull the trigger or wield the blade. Drop the toaster on your bathtub. Go ahead, see if anyone cares, really cares. Time passes by, people will forget you and leave your headstone nothing more than a few flowers, which will wilt anyway, or candles, which will melt or be stolen anyway.

I once went through something horrible I wanted to die. I wanted to run, to escape, anything but be here. I slowed down my steps so that Death could catch up with me but I found him slowing down with me. I could have spun around and chased Death myself but I found myself too scared to even face him.

Now here I am, living a life of questions. What if? Why? Why not? How?

Charles Tucker, from Star Trek: Enterprise, once said there is no emotion worse than regret. Maybe he is right. So go ahead and live while you still have that purpose in life. Enjoy everything before you lose that sense of purpose. Once you do, you will be no more than a candle melting in slow agony or a fallen leaf decaying in torture.

May the fates be kind to you all.