November 3, 2007

My Space

In this concrete jungle called Manila, it is important to own a piece of mental and spiritual real estate. A place you can just sit for hours loosing and finding yourself. A location outside the confines of your home but makes you feel at home. A public space that inspires very private introspection.

I had the chance to rediscover my space again tonight. It may have changed drastically over the years but I still feel at home walking across its open fields and shaded paths. I'm talking about the Ateneo campus in Katipunan. Although I'm there every week for Hangad rehearsals, I don't have the chance to take my cherished long walks (Yeah I'm a long walks kinda guy. You know "one foot in front of the other...through leaves, over bridges" [Long Walk to Forever, Kurt Vonnegut]). Theres just something about the campus that feels so safe, welcoming and calming. A refreshing change of scenery after going through horrendous White Plains and Katipunan traffic.

Of all the places in the campus, my favorite nook was the base of the Sacred Heart statue. Before Church of the Gesu was constructed, there was the Sacred Heart field - a small hill beside the Cervini dormitory with a Sacred Heart of Jesus statue(which supposedly had a silhouette of Mary if you looked at the shadow of its profile). Sometimes at night during my college years, I'd sneak out of the dorm and spend a couple of hours just sitting, bathing in the moonlight and staring at the stars. Those were the question-filled days of my life when I thrived on angst. No matter how often I felt worthless and meaningless, there was a sense of silent reassurance that someday all will be well for me. And I guess that why I've claimed this as my space. In it I have asked questions which I found the answers years after. It held me in its arms at times when crying was the only way to let go of the pain. It showed me who I really was and taught me how to love myself. It has seen me loose love and find love.

Space may be defined as an empty area or as different points in time, but claiming your own space is beyond presence and physicality. Its finding your nirvana and no matter how bittersweet it may be, you'll never let it go.

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