Thursday, April 14, 2005

Where Have I Been?

It’s been almost a month since I last posted.

For weeks now I have been wanting to write, but just have not found the opportunity to sit and do so. Blog-writing is an indulgence, really. If you knew how long it takes me just to write one of these entries you would be appalled. I have a task list for work that I have put aside, and admittedly it wasn’t difficult, even though I was stressing myself out this morning about the stuff I needed to get done.

Carlo is laughing at my sudden compulsion to post.

Two weeks ago I celebrated my birthday. Took a couple of days off with family in a resthouse in Lake Caliraya. For reasons I will not go into here, I was at the start slightly (okay, very) disappointed with the plans and to cope, I began mentally scrounging around for potential to-dos while I was there. There was windsurfing, wakeboarding, angry hiking, spiteful camping, crazed driving down to Pagsanjan, feigning drowning in the lake, etc.

The trip turned out better than I anticipated (possible lesson here: you may also benefit from occasionally lowering your expectations). Instead of the hectic itinerary I had in mind I ended up having two of the laziest days in recent memory.

Day One: My cousin Gio managed to borrow a rundown banca that belonged to a carpenter doing repairs on one of the guesthouses. We paddled around the lake for hours, sidling up to shore where we could, or dropping a makeshift anchor when we wanted. We found a small “lagoon”-like pocket near the house, where the water was extra-calm and it looked and sounded like you were the only people around for kms. A huge ipil tree had fallen in unknown seasons past but managed to survive, its roots eventually finding their way back into the soil while the rest of it leaned at a very odd angle over the water. The tree looked like it was sipping water from the lake, or it had become enamored by its own reflection and wanted a closer look. Cousin and I paddled directly under its branches, planted the anchor (a heavy rock tied with blue rope) and talked away the afternoon. Nothing profound, just bits of news and ideas. Fingers in the water, fishing out interesting leaves that would float by. The boat was so tiny and narrow that we had to take turns lying in it, arms folded under our heads, to look up through the trees and at the sky. We rowed back at sunset, and in the evening we had a good dinner, wine and cake to celebrate.

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Day Two: The entire morning I spent on a covered raft, lying on pillows and reading Sting’s autobiography Broken Music (a birthday gift from Carlo) I could not put it down. Then in the afternoon a brief walk on the shore with my cousin again, and in the early evening a visit with more of the family to the Japanese Garden, not 5 minutes from the house. The last time I’d been there was probably 10 years ago, and I noticed how big the trees had become. And sadly, while there was still evident care for the grounds I could tell that they were suffering from a real lack of financial resources and manpower. It is still worth visiting, if only to recall how it looked before. And there are still charming little corners there, the kind that feed the imagination and make you quietly happy.


Blogger Carlo said...

Nice to have you back. I'm a huge fan of this blog.

April 16, 2005 10:54 AM  

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