they say every sunrise is different…

…it’s probably true. as with a sunset. it shouldn’t look the same. the last time i spied a memorable sunrise, though, was at a resort in baler. was there on a job, i woke up really early, around 3am or 4am (like this morn), for no reason. so i pulled on a sweater, went out, and watched the tide come in and the sun creep out. that’s buried somewhere in a video card. waves hitting the shore, to me, sound like inevitability; the way wind passing through bamboo leaves sounds like peace.

how do you spot the difference in a sunrise or sunset though? you don’t. you remember the feeling it gives you, not the color changes, or the cloud positions. you remember where it was taken, you pretend that it’s something you can own because of where you stand. you also pretend it’s something you share because it’s visible to so many other people, depending on where they stand. you say you’re alone but taking part in a universal head-tilt. you say it’s a new day or another transition. and it is.

but bowie called it when he said ‘time will change me; but i can’t trace time.’

a new dawn, a new day, a new year, does not necessarily make a new you. that takes longer, several time lapses worth of creeping, blinding, sun. our optimism tells us that this is the sunrise that would bring that looked-for change. but however deliberate you are, ch-ch-ch-changes aren’t always under your control. as i type, the light has seeped in through a very mundane kind of grey cloud filter. i said i’d take a photo for my nephew, but my first 2017 sunrise is murkily obscured by rain clouds. if i were superstitious, i’d consider it a portent of things to come…but let’s call it foggy weather, shall we?

then again, 2017 is starting off on the wrong foot. my older cousin is in a coma and it looks like he won’t make it. he’s named after an archangel, oriel (more familiarly spelled uriel), angel of repentance, wielder of fire and flaming sword, and said to be almost as pitiless as a demon (though he did save john the baptist and his mother elizabeth, utos ng diyos and all). kuya oriel isn’t as stoic, and definitely not an angel unless fiery temper’s angelic (huh, could be), but he’s a good guy. anyone who says death is a natural part of life probably has never had to make a decision of whether to continue life support. or is, er, detached. and as pitiless as a demon. or maybe, buddhist. those guys tend to spout interesting if freaky thought bubbles.

i like sunsets more. it marks an end to the day and tells you to give it a rest. it’s a blaze of beauty that can be even more glorious in a polluted environment. and it’s warmer–ever noticed that? sunrises can be cold. bright white and cold. unfortunately, optimism, like that sweater i wore in baler, is kinda worn and threadbare and probably a size smaller than it should be for me. (it’s now in the giveaway box. maybe it’ll give someone else comfort.) there’s simply a strain of melancholy in me that i can’t purge. not that i feel inclined to. a sip of water makes me optimistic. watching the sunrise? at best, detached. at worst, wary.

can’t say i view 2017 with optimism. but it’s a start. maybe we can re-calibrate our lives. maybe it’s all illusion. maybe we make our own happiness. maybe we won’t ever be able to define happiness. maybe all we’ve got are fleeting moments of bliss. maybe that’s just wishful thinking. 365 days of maybes and could bes and fuck, hopefullys. people ask me “how are you” and it’s the hardest question to answer. i feel like a jazz rendition of ‘life on mars.’ a little weird, a little sarcastic (hey, the song is a parody of ‘my way’ right?), a little obscure, but buried in the hot mess is this pure melodic tune. if redemption has a resonance, it’s probably a whimsical piano getting carried away. so if 2017 turns out to be a hot mess, i hope you find your melody somewhere in there. a measure of peace would be nice.


  1. Lovely post Jo. Whatever 2017 brings, I hope we can all survive it and still find those moments of bliss.

    1. thanks dhez. likewise

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