BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Monday, December 1, 2008


The eyes warn the brain that something is about to happen. In a split second, the brain tries to signal the hand to move. Oh, but there's just not enough time. The brain concedes. So it imagines, in the fraction of a second that follows, what will happen after. A piercing cry. A huge bump. A swollen forehead. Or a wound.

"Not the eyes please!"

"Hope it's just a soft blow!"

"Hope it doesn't hurt that much!"

"Let's get some ice."

"No bleeding please!"

Voices rattle in the head. If only one can freeze the time. Oh, what difference it could make.

The little one would still be laughing endlessly instead of wailing her heart out over the pain of hitting her head.

But nana and tata are helpless. The hands of the handmade, stone-adorned clock on the wall just keep on ticking.

Tick. Tick. Tick...