The Beginning

Today is my last day in Arizona. Early tomorrow, I’ll be flying out to San Francisco, to hang out with some family and friends in one of the coolest cities on Earth. Then, finally, on Sunday night I will be on my way to Manila, via an excruciatingly long flight.

I am excited, apprehensive, and relatively certain that I will forget to pack something of great importance, despite the fact that I actually packed early for a change.

I’m also a bit sad that tomorrow will be the last day, for the time being at least, that I truly called the United States “home.” I will leave out any references to home being where the heart is, because leaving your heart in San Francisco is such cliché sentiment. Besides, Tony Bennett already has that market cornered anyway.

I leave you now with the opening of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, whose half-poetry/half-prose resonates with me as I leave my home to return to my homeland (props to Uncle Steve for sending me this book):

Almustafa…had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.

And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist.

The the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:

How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache.

It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

Yet I cannot tarry longer. The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.

For, to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mound.

Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how shall I?

A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that give it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.

And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.


One response to “The Beginning

  1. I love your writing style, narratives and introspection. In spite of your relatively short stay in the country, you have managed to capture the essence of your experience, almost allowing me to “smell” the Manila air once again. Thanks for sharing … The Prophet is one of my favorite books as well … Tito A

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