So I managed to catch the documentary film about life on the railroad tracks entitled “Riles” yesterday. This was actually the second time I’ve seen it, as I have seen it last schoolyear as a requirement in Mr. Bulaong’s class. What made this viewing more interesting than the first one was that this time, the “stars” of the film were there right outside the classroom, and yet nobody noticed until the final moment (Except for me and Camilo, unless I’m mistaken.) that they were. Even the director of the film was there in the vicinity, all the same.
In any case, after the film, Dr. Ibana interviewed them both, and it was quite refreshing to hear their points of view on life. They had an outlook that was really pragmatic, yet sagacious all the same. I guess experience is a far better teacher than the ivory towers of the academe, after all…
Sacha and I had an interesting discussion last night. We were mostly talking about how she was and all, and I guess I realized in some regards my expendability last night. It did occur to me that I happened to be a third-string running back in a football game, or in more familiar terms to myself, the twelfth man in the basketball team. I’d love to be of help, but I guess there’re better options than I. But I digress so by delving into this.
Anyways, I told Sacha about the interesting conversation Kathy and I have had during the day, as well as some things I managed to read about people I’ve been dealing with. While Sacha scoffs at reading people, I feel that it is integral to my anticipating how best to deal with them, instead of rushing into dealing with them without a clue to help me along. It’s not a tool for judging people: I hate being judged, and I likewise hate passing judgment on people.
The conversation had a distinctive edge, though, and I figured that while it’s uncharacteristic of her anyways, a giddy Sacha is still something I’m far from accustomed to. It’s something I’ve been noticing about her quite a deal lately, to the point that whenever we talk about the night’s dominant topic face to face, there’s an unmistakable twinkle in her eyes that tells me she’s got it bad (An expression, of course.). Well, what works for her apparently doesn’t quite work for me… my feelings are too fleeting. My patterns are too dehumanizing, and I realize that it’s ultimately flawed. One is not as good as the other.
The best and only advice I can give her? For her to relish the moment. So long as she’s not hurting anyone (At least, not intentionally…), I see no reason for her to hold herself back from anything.
A Non-Fiction Monologue by Marcelle T. Fabie
Six in the evening. The bell rings, signifying class time. I’m so tired and sleepy, but I will myself to go to Heidegger class, anyway. That article on “The Origin of the Work of Art” is anything but easy, and on my way to class, a colleague tells me that it’s “heavy stuff”. Obviously, the understatement of the decade.
We sit in class and Dr. Barbazza begins to lecture on what makes a work of art a work of art. Heidegger’s loopiness is actually amusing yet anything but pleasant. I look around me throughout the class, and notice people with varying levels of interest in the discussion. Martin Heidegger is such a complicated man.
”What is the one important thing for Heidegger?”
Dr. Barbazza speaks of how all thinkers have just one thing in mind throughout their careers, and he asks the class what Heidegger’s focus was.
A female undergraduate student cracks a joke, which elicits a chuckle from the class. In truth, the good doctor was looking for an answer about letting being unfold itself as such. Nonetheless, the discussion continues, and soon enough, he begins to talk about the disparity between the Earth and the World.
The terminologies were worthy of scratching your head to: what was the disparity to begin with? Apparently, Martin Heidegger has a terrible predilection to making up new meanings for commonly understood words, and as one would put it, good old Heidegger really makes one feel like he’s “swimming in wet sand”. More like sinking, actually.
And the discussion is thusly: the Earth is that which we stand upon. It is the keeper of our secrets, that which is our shelter. It is not the planet Earth of Science. Rather, it is our Earth. This Earth we speak of translates to beyond just terra firma: the Earth of a stone sculpture is the stone. The stone keeps the secrets of the sculpture until this work of art manages to unconceal it. The Earth is the status quo that we tend to ignore. How many people gush over the kind of wood used in making a chair, yet gush over the choice of lumber in a wooden carving of a lion?
And where does that leave the World? Only human beings have a genuine world. Non-living things don’t. Plants and animals are World-poor. This World that we speak of is that network of meaning we find in our lives in anything. The Earth of Nazism is long gone, but whenever racism arises, the World of Nazism opens up all over again to those who have gone through it and even to some who have not. The Earth of the stone sculpture is stone, but this stone, when allowed to be seen for what it is, opens up a World to the one who beholds this work of art.
Such a deep disparity, yet I felt that it was ultimately of no use to me.
And then the bell rang.
I walked out the classroom in Faura, and took my usual route. Nine o’ clock in the evening. And then the realization hit me.
The Earth has moved on. But the World remains. I walk eastwards, thinking about what the World of 9:00 PM on a Tuesday means to me. Trudging along, a blunt and numbing realization hits me: the World remains. The World Worlds for me, inasmuch as the baker bakes and the runner runs. And yet the Earth refuses to acknowledge this World. I’m not going to find what my World has found in the Earth now. No more of those fond conversations and deep realizations. No more of the wonderful food and ice cream nightcaps. No more of the second best hugs I've ever had in my life. No longer. It’s over.
Before I hurt myself any further in letting that World open itself up to me all over again, I turn back and head westwards, in the direction of the LRT. It’s time to go to my house. Not my home. Because for a glorious while, every 9:00 PM on a Tuesday home was eastwards. But no longer. The World of 9:00 PM on a Tuesday, the Earth tells me, is a thing of the past. How foolish of me to expect otherwise.
The Earth has moved on, but the World remains. And now, I’m swallowed by the strife between the Earth and the World.
So come next week, I shall dread that bell once again-- Because the World of 9:00 PM on a Tuesday will still be there to haunt me.