BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Of Tomorrows and End of the World Worries

In the cobblestone streets of Paris, a novelist stands in the dark. The clock strikes exactly twelve times and a car from the 20th century comes and transports the writer into the magical world of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. It is Midnight in Paris and the journey back in time begins.

There are people often trapped in nostalgia, waxing sentimental over the better years of the past, of lost time and the glorious years of youth. The curses of nostalgia are often immortalized in movies and the best literary works.

But not me. I fuss about tomorrow. I worry sick of growing old. I desperately try to squeeze whatever I can do with my thirty plus life and imagine in my wildest imagination that tomorrow, I will be gone. I count the wrinkles on my face, and frown upon the fact that the lines are growing everywhere -- and in the process cause more and more lines to appear.

I check my bank account often and wonder where all the money I struggle to save everyday goes. I dream of the dreams I have yet to fulfill -- a children's story book, an in-depth story on child abuse victims and hell yeah, at least one marathon in this lifetime. No, I have no delusions of being Murakami, the great novelist who finished marathons here and there while doing novels here and there.

And there's the long bucket list of places to see: the south of France, Istanbul, Barcelona and Greece. Africa, too as well as The Great Wall of China.

I think about these trips and worry with urgency that I may no longer have the endurance to walk around a strange city for hours on end or to even see the ends of the earth. I say to myself I should have done more trips than I had done when I was younger. Hindsight really is always twenty-twenty.

Jes always tells me that it's not the end of the world, that waiting for the time to pass isn't a mortal sin.

Of course, it's tempting and comforting to live in the now, to not worry at all, to lie on one's back and to forget about the rest of the world. I do that when I am in a foreign land, thinking of nothing at all because the essence of traveling is exactly that - to take in everything the moment has to offer, no fretting over the future or looking back to the past.

But here at home, my days are spelled out from exactly 7:45 am to until whatever wee hour I am needed by a growing five year old. There's hardly time to pause and rest. I look at her growing up so fast and wonder, too where did the time go? 

In times like these, I can only dream of Einstein's Dreams where time is circular, or bending, or a nightingale trapped in a bell jar.

Written while while stuck in horrendous traffic on Friday, October 5. The world from Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue and Luneta were in a mad rush to go home but got stuck in the traffic all because Jesus Is Lord.