Popular Posts

Friday, February 5, 2010

Storms and Umbrellas

On the onset of the storm ‘Ondoy,’ I decided to invest in a P485 automatic umbrella in the hope it would surely shelter me from the storm that day. At first, it made me feel powerful and privileged, I was actually excited to use it. I even took pity of others who suffered with their seemingly weak umbrellas that flew with the wind, tearing them apart, leaving only the skeleton part. But with the flood I had to deal with, I could not soak in feelings like that so much.

My way home was terrible. MRT and LRT stations were never that jam-packed I had to control my fear of a possible stampede. The people went gaga over trying to go home that the train doors kept producing that sound that says it is hard to close them.

The last thing I needed that day was for some sense of protection to betray me. Just when I recognized this feeling, suddenly I realized my new, expensive umbrella would not work. I tried several times until the people behind me started complaining of my blocking their way through the flooded path. My heart sagged to my not-just-wet-but-soaked-fe
et. I did not only have to drag my already painful legs through the flood, I also had to deal with the feeling of betrayal. I wasted my money, I thought. Would have been easier to accept had I not really needed it that time. But I did… desperately.

I had no choice. I held the umbrella up with two hands, making the blood in my arms go to my shoulder causing pain and cramps. Had I had a choice, I would not have used it, what with all the feeling of betrayal it had given me, but it was raining, I could not be so emotional.

When I arrived home, I wailed, not only because I was supposed to be with my Mom somewhere safer that day and that I could not go there because almost all of Metro Manila had suddenly turned into an ocean, or that I was hungry and I did not even feel it because there were other serious things like electricity had gone out, my phone was dead, making me deal with the guilt of making my mom worry all night wondering if I was still alive, and that I could not even take a shower because flood water was groin-level in the house (including the bathroom) and that the siren and people’s noise were making me feel like Armageddon had started, but because my P485 umbrella gave me a pain in the shoulders and wasted my money.

A few days later, I checked on the umbrella after days of denial I had ever bought one. A funny thing happened. I found out it was not broken. In fact, it was all up and running. I realized I had failed to push it back for it to automatically unfold (whatever you call that process). I felt a little stupid, I just chose to laugh at it.

Then I realized one thing about it today. Sometimes, we put the blame on the wrong things and suffer in the process, not knowing that it was us who failed to do one important step to make things happen. And we find ourselves (or not even notice ourselves) often wailing over a lie when the truth would have given us comfort. This phenomenon is often rooted in ignorance (which was the cause of my experience) and I recall Mark Twain’s words when he said ‘It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so. ‘

Sometimes our misfortunes and the negative things cluttered in our lives are the result of our “not knowing” and our clinging to “what is not true”. It is therefore vital for us that in everything we do, we know that we are at the center of the truth because according to the Gospel of John, ‘then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’

Protection from rain was what I badly needed that day and protection could have been at hand, had I known (or remembered) that I needed to do some pushing.

JCR - 10/13/09

No comments:

Post a Comment