Friday, December 30, 2011

Year Of The Trenches

In warfare, trenches are dug-out depressions whose purpose is to deny the enemy ways of taking over fortified positions. One may never pass, until that section of an obstacle has been breached.

In life, trenches are like life stages when one appears to be in suspended animation. Gaining ground becomes an insurmountable feat, knowing too well that you have found your comfort zone, and that, to occupy positions beyond your line of control entails the risk of losing your past accomplishments. 

Securing your holdings become the ultimate goal.

I'd like to sum up the year with this metaphor, to tell that I spent my waking days running along the trenches. Much as I would like to count with my fingers, the moments when I had actually stepped foot outside the gullies, memory could only spare a handful of moments. My fondest recollections remain the ones when I actually remain halfway below ground. 

Take for example at work. The company had to let go its people when our ocean-side partners decided to close shop. I was supposed to join the ranks, but was held back - by a personal request, and uncertainty of going elsewhere. It could have been my perfect exit, yet I chose to stay at the belly of a sinking ship. Somehow I knew, this was my calling. I have to help find ways to make it float and reach port.

Meanwhile, the union with the significant other remains strong, despite the challenges brought by time, distance and familiarity. Who would have thought I'd live a monk's life while the pope was away. To think I was never a fan of remote arrangements. The bond endured because of our desire to make contact, by our heartfelt recollections of our good days, and by sheer faith alone, that love, like butterflies, emerges more beautifully from its cocoon.

It is getting more difficult to return to the vanity's temple, knowing that age, petty distractions and purpose are turning against you. Girth has expanded two-fold from the time I spoke of my grand plans 365 days ago. There were contemplations of retreat, especially when procrastination often gets ahead of plans. But once the renewal of ties had been sealed, belated the validation of plastic cards maybe, the tempering of physique remains a cornerstone of my rituals.

Last but not the least, the raketship stays a profitable venture. Thoughts of abandonment crossed my head, but when the commissions started pouring in, it was hard to let go of duties. Sure it takes a week to finish a travel guide, and the children's stories require communions with my lost childhood, but the sublime rewards, on top of my paycheck did thwart the trappings of secession.

I ended the year by going on a pilgrimage and see for myself the home of Bentusi, my work provider.

The gamut of trenches cover an entire battlefield, and while attempts to overwhelm these lines resulted in tactical defeats, some portions were left open for invasions. And so breach my armies did and the outcome exceeded beyond my last year's unsaid directives: 

A bold assault brought my feet to the shores of Santa Ana. Fifteen hours by bus from home, nestled in the farthest corners of Cagayan, the trip re-awakened the sleeping backpacker in me. 

Another breach and I found myself on a path of evolution from dial-up to broadband Internet connection. It was a revolution forthcoming. I only waited for my cable provider to wire our neighborhood. And when high-speed Internet plugged my house to the web, it took less than a year for the entire house to be liberated from entanglements wrought upon by Ethernet cable.

WiFi arrived at home.

From the family closeness centered around the bundle of joy, to the steady acceptance that I too might take up residence at the Home for the Golden Gays, the trench year will go down in my timeline not as an epoch of stalling, but a period of collision between the forces pushing for retreat and of those campaigning to hold out long enough, until I figure my wants in life.

Because when I look back and account for the things I did, the sum of my accomplishments shows that somehow, the hold out let me secure my gains from recent conquests. Short of returning to my academic roots in Diliman, the last twelve months could have been a Golden Age instead.

Only for the simple reason that I found myself back on track again.

And so we close the year along the lines. Trenches have always been tools of war. But when seen with eyes looking forward for blue skies and sunny days, the dug-out becomes pathways of peace. For when the smoke clears and the battles cease, the same trenches often become the permanent peripheries on earth of a sovereign ready to seek inward

and grow from within.

Sharing my hopes and dreams with everyone this 2012.
Happy New Year!


charles. said...

When a lot seemed to be having their writer's block, your posts were always there to compensate for all. Thanks sir mugen, Haffy new year!

claudiopoi said...

I-eecho ko si Charles. Oo nga Mugen, wala ka bang writer's block? Hehehe.

Happy New Year! :)

Louie said...

I have to echo those two above. Your writings are still timeless. :)

Happy New Year, Mugen! :)

the green breaker said...

I won't echo them because as a pillar in blogging, it is your social duty to be active! Hahaha.

I've read you even before I started greenbreaker, and I know exactly how these things transpired over time. Congratulations, you did well for 2011!

Happy New Year kuya!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, it's been a good year for you. Happy New Year Kuya Joms!


ahmer said...

sarap pakinggan ang last two lines. happy new year! =)

ZaiZai said...

happy new year mugen! keep us all inspired! have a blessed 2012! :)

Garpppy Garp said...

Cool metaphor that you used. What I love about it is that you conjure an imagery of someone fighting very well and protecting himself in the process/progress of war. Continue fighting, Mugen! :)

Anonymous said...

You have always been an inspiration to many people. That alone is something. Happy new year, Mugen!

Pepe said...

What a nice way to put it- trenches. Happy new year!