I am a commuter, not between the city and the village, although I do this frequently; not between the inane idealism of the classroom and the stifling reality beyond it, which I must do for survival and self-respect. I am a commuter between what I am now and what I was and would like to be and it is this commuting at lightning speed, at the oddest hours, that has done havoc to me.
From F. Sionil Jose’s Tree
Sometimes I feel as if the passages were written that I might return to them in various moments of my life and recall precisely who I am. In the past two years, I’ve come every now and then to get to know this man through his work and through his company. Every time, there’s more to know, more to ask. I listen with rapt attention and he rewards me with his generosity and his wisdom.
There is, after all, a reason why we must persevere at remembering. I’d forgotten all about that owing to the fatigue wrought by a month of heavy research on the Pacific war in the Philippines and a yellow revolution.
These have done havoc to me as they did to Jose’s characters but if this be the case, I allow myself the space to breathe, the right to feel and the capacity for gratefulness.
Incidentally, the theme of commuting is apt for aren’t we all but commuters moving from one place to another, one self to the next and back to the only? The road, as I imagine it, takes many forms and sometimes I need not be on one to know that I’ve traveled far and wide.