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I've discontinued my Friendster blog for two reasons: I don't want to pay for it anymore, and I didn't like how a visitor had to be signed in to Friendster before he/she can post a comment. So here I am!
I still kept the old title, though. Topaz Horizon. Topaz is my favorite gem. It's also my birth gemstone.
I find it such a waste that my other posts will be deleted soon (I have until June 6 to transfer posts here!) so this first post will be a very long post. I'm putting here the best of the other blog. Enjoy!
I have no passion for music.
Vince was telling me the other night that everyone should study music. We were watching Discovery Channel and a particular topic was being discussed—that of the role of music in Christian history. They were saying that music is a mathematical method of subjugating new cultures. I wasn't really listening. As I said, I wasn't into the thing. But Vince then said what he said, and all my insecurities came bubbling up again.
Coming from a musical family, I have learned to tune it out, instead of embracing it as part of my heritage. It must have been all those piano and voice lessons where I was punished repeatedly, not for being dull but for questioning the methods of teaching used. My family and teachers got upset, and finally, through sheer force of will, I defied them all and said I will not study music. Ever. So while my siblings and cousins are playing numerous instruments, singing at concerts, composing songs and making albums, I'm writing. I never felt the loss. Well, except when my voice went away. I can't sing anymore.
So it's such a tragic irony that I fell in love with a man who is passionate about music. He is in love with all forms of music (except pop!). He really knows a lot about it, too. It's not just a laid-back appreciation but an active participation in the listening, discussion and love for it. I know he's disappointed that I don't care for it not one bit.
And then last year he met a girl who loved music. She says that music is "the river of her life." Vince was swept off his feet. He was intrigued. Fascinated. He couldn't get enough of this girl. I was furious, of course. I railed and wept and stormed. He said he didn't love her (which I do believe now is true); he just was amazed that he met a kindred soul. Someone who understood that huge aspect of him. And I was devastated. Especially since I could have been someone who shared that passion if I had grown up with different decisions. I had thought after that I would change to what I "should be", embrace music again, study it, learn its nuances, and maybe Vince will find me fascinating.
I'm glad I didn't do that. I would've been doing it out of insecurity. I would've done it for him. Wrong motivations.
More than a year later, though, I am being reintroduced to Tori Amos' poetry, Maroon 5's scathing beats, swirling classical music, Lenny Kravitz's erotica, musicals and operas and so much more. It's wonderful actually. I like it. I don't think I'll ever love it as I prefer silence always. But it's an aspect of life I'm now more willing to explore. I've grown up a bit. And I like it more because it happened out of my personal awareness to discover more about life. And music, of course, makes up so much of life. I have been missing out a lot.
And obviously, there was no need to change myself. Vince is still with me despite my non-musicality. And I do believe we're even more in love than before. Thank God our love is more than about the music.
You weren't meant to make music alone...
You and Vince -- now that's good music!
can totally relate - though, we come from different backgrounds, with me coming from a not-a-very-musical family... all my exes have been musica buffs. but i think this year, i started 'changing' a bit, for myself. have started listening to different tunes, orienting myself, but it's slow going, only last week i had to ask what r&b meant! hehe.
but im so glad to hear (read) that you and vince are still very much in love. its inspiring!
* * * * * * *
SADNESS SMUDGE ON HAPPINESS
I had a strange thought today.
After lunch, Vince and I were talking about an apparently silly thing—if we were interns now, which magazine would we work for? So we were joking about the different magazines and editorial teams, talking about the pros and cons then Vince asked me, "Didn't you want to be in Marie Claire?"
And I was caught suddenly in that moment, looking at myself in all honesty and seriously wondering why I had changed my mind.
Then I said, "I don't know, Vince. I still love that magazine but I'm a different person now from last year."
And he said, strangely insightful, "Yes, you are."
And we smiled and continued to smoke in silence.
What I meant by that is I'm no longer the gung-ho, let's-change-the-world activist that I was. I'm no longer the angry young feminist. I've changed, and I didn't even notice.
Till today, of course.
I'm still very much the feminist, don't get me wrong. But there's no more anger there. I feel that battles can now be won with very feminine traits—gentleness, kindness, perseverance, endurance, understanding, and love. No chest-pounding, foot-stomping, screaming protests for me anymore.
I always did say that women are most powerful when they are at their most feminine.
Also, I realized as I typed away at an article this afternoon that I have changed from the happy-go-lucky, not-a-care-in-the-world girl of last year. Well, actually last year was such a traumatic time for me. I do feel I grew up drastically in the space of 12 months. But now, looking back, I realize that while I may not be the carefree girl anymore, in a strange way, I am so much happier now.
My happiness stems from knowing that everything I have is very fragile and fleeting, that I can't claim anything as my own, that the world can fall away any moment. Everything, suddenly, is so dear. A smile, a laugh, an I love you, a handhold, a kiss. My job. My few, few friends. My family. My life.
This temporal state of things is something we've always been warned about, but I never really felt it to be true till last year. So everything now is suddenly grandly majestic and beautiful. My happiness is always tinged with a little sadness smudge. And its presence makes every tiny bit of happiness all the more real and precious.
* * * * * * *
Will it be so surprising to say that I'm a born-again Christian? Honestly, I don't want to be called that anymore. I just tell people I'm a very spiritual person, someone who believes in God with all her heart and struggle every day to be like Christ. I am not ashamed to be part of Christ. After all, He has rescued me from so many horrors. A lot of people will be more surprised to know what I've been though in my life—and it's not just the abusive relationship I had in college, which people do know about. I've had plenty more sinister experiences than that. Thank God for the resilience of childhood and His unending grace.
Still, I don't like being called born-again. They now have this terrible reputation of being some of the most judgmental people on earth. Gandhi once said that he admired Jesus Christ and would've followed Christ himself were it not for Christians. That is so sad. Well, I'm not going to be Pontius Pilate and say I'm so gloriously holy myself. That's why it's sad that a lot of people get shocked when they find out I'm, well, born-again. I'm a highly sexual being, I'm a bit averse to marriage, I'm very proud and selfish. Not very admirable qualities there, you may agree. I have a lot of things to change in my life but one thing I do try not to be is judgmental and cruel to other people.
There's this girl I know who got "saved" last year. I don't know... She seems to have turned out for the worse. She's more impatient with people now, more judgmental, more masungit and angry. Worse, she now has that fire-and-brimstone attitude and she wields it with all the fury of a holy man. "Everyone's a sinner! No one's good enough! You're all going to hell!" Except her, of course. I'm not surprised. Most new Christians are really like that. I should know. I grew up in that world. These Christians revel in their new-found salvation and like to parade it around: "I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven!" and then they love to point accusing fingers at other people. As if they never sinned, or keep sinning themselves. She's so smug, this girl. I'm glad I don't have to deal with her anymore so often. It's so sad. It's people like her that turned me off from my church. My so-called Christian friends treated the new guy I was dating back then—who unfortunately happened to be an "unbeliever"—like a pariah. Is that how Jesus would've treated him? Strange.
The thing is with these people, they like the thought that they're "washed with the blood" and others aren't. They become holier-than-thou. Having Christ in our lives, we should be humbled even more. We should have more compassion towards other people, knowing that Christ died even for them and that they need Him and His love. And that we are MERE INSTRUMENTS of His will. Instead, we born-again Christians behave like it's an exclusive club. "You're an unbeliever. I'm a believer. If you'd like to gain exclusive entry into heaven, here's the ticket: Say this prayer and voila! We're better than everybody else!"
It's just tragic. It turns away souls. I should know. It turned me away. I just don't want to have anything to do with these people. I just want to meet people who love God, are humble, and spiritual. People who are earnestly trying to follow His will and serve Him. People who'd like to spread the love of God in a humble manner.
I don't want to be surrounded by these ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing. They're out to kill.
I don't like the term either. For one, it's an oxymoron. And two, yes, it has been misused and abused by all kinds of people. And three, the behavior of some have turned off people. Did you watch the movie "Saved!"?
But you have to be patient also with some Christians. We are, after all, all works in progress. Pag-pray mo na lang sila. :)
* * * * * * *
"Perhaps the greatest measure of love is not in ending up with someone who Fate decreed was yours but choosing someone simply because you both want to make it work. I think that's more romantic, don't you?"
Vince said that. And you know what? He's right.
* * * * * * *
(to be continued...)