Friday, December 28, 2007

Edges


We picked up my dad from Sta. Ana, Cagayan this Christmas. If you look at the map above, you'll find Sta. Ana at the north-eastern tip of the Philippines. When we went to San Vicente,
I found it hard to deny that we were, indeed, at the edges of the Luzon mainland.

The weather was bitterly cold and, while we were there, the rain wouldn't let up. There was always a layer of mist covering the beach, making it a mystical shade of white-gray. On our last day, I went out with my mom and nephew to the beach, despite the cold, strong winds, and light drizzle. I stood there, on the brown sand, letting the waves lap at my feet, watching my nephew throw rocks at the unaffected sea.

It was an odd feeling, standing there at the edge of the ocean, feeling the sand getting sucked by the current back to the briny deep. Small stones and sharp edges rushed past my feet as I thought of where I would end up if I got sucked in, as well. If I took a few steps forward from where I was standing, the waves were certainly big enough to do just that.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How Do You Fall in Love?

Someone asked me that question last night. And no, that person wasn't asking about circumstances or methods, that person was asking about how I would know if I were in love. That person wasn't asking in general, either. The question was only for me.

I had answered with a cheesy freestyle poem that I wrote right then and there. I really don't know why I bothered to put it in that way or if I subconsciously stole it from some other writer who writes cheesy freestyle love-love schmutz. I mostly got it from a line I told someone a long time ago, "If I knew the reason why I love you, then it would be easy to find a reason not to love you." In any case, my first answer to the question was this:


If I knew the "who"s of who I would fall in love with,
I would not need to pine for that person anymore
If knew the "when"s and the "where"s,
I would not need to search anymore
If I knew the "why"s;
Then I would find the reason not to, anymore
If I knew the "how"s;
I wouldn't fall in love anymore.

To put it simply, if I were to be completely honest, the only answer I would give to that person's question would be "I don't know". How do I fall in love? Like most people, I would say that my heart beats faster at the sight of the one I love. My cheeks become flushed at the mere thought of him. My mind is always filled with thoughts of him and his mere presence makes me happy. Unfortunately, these very things are also indications of an infatuation. How to differentiate love and infatuation from each other is a completely different matter, if one considers these two things different at all.


I believe that we cannot choose the people that we develop strong feelings for, whether those feelings be love or infatuation. But, regardless of this, I also believe that falling in love needs some kind of decision. Two years ago, I would have told you that the key to falling in love is "social distance" and "attraction factor" (the former being explained by my Proximity Theory of Relationships and the latter being a basic necessity of falling in love). However, I've given up putting emotions into these pretty little boxes and tying them up with neat little bows. It's just more fun to see how wonderfully chaotic and illogical feelings are.

So, leaving that tangent, we go back to the question. How do I fall in love? I don't believe in love at first sight because I don't believe we fall in love in an instant. The realization that we are strongly attracted to a person takes a while to set in, at least for me. Once it sets in, the decision to accept these feelings takes an even longer time to make. Only the decision, the transition between "I don't know how I feel..." and "I'm in love!", is seemingly instantaneous. But, like other "Eureka!" moments in our life, it is not, really.

And, falling in love is a continuing decision, in my opinion. I've fallen in love three with three men in my life, but I've fallen in love countless times. At different points in time, I find myself reevaluating how I feel, checking if I still love that person. For our relationship to be meaningful, at those moments, I decide as often as those moments come, that I am still in love.