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By Rene Lizada

Papa's table

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MY EIGHT-YEAR-OLD laptop had to be changed. I was reluctant because that laptop and I have a long history. I did a lot of articles, seminars, gaming, listening and whatever one can do with a laptop.

There were so many times I lugged that laptop to different parts of the country because of the seminars that we did. But it had to come to an end because I needed a newer one that would help me in my seminars and with a heavy heart I parted with it. When I transferred all my files to the new one, there were so many things that I re discovered. Old articles, old letters, old songs, new songs. Forgotten things came back, emotions re-surfaced. I smiled and chuckled, I grinned and grimaced. It was like a trip back eight years; wait it WAS a trip back.

When I loaded my iTunes, my library of songs was empty. I stared at the lines and lines of empty space and I was wondering how I would do this again. I have close to five thousand songs of different genre. Rock to classical to new age to bossa nova to Celtic to standards to seventies to praise to jazz to Broadway to... you get what I mean. (I am not bragging here I just want you to know the dilemma I was facing.) I wanted to streamline by library this time and just load the songs I wanted to listen to.


Easily said than done because when I started going over the library, I said, I keep this and this and this, see what I mean? But I had to make a choice, I had to make choices. I had to delete some songs so I could keep the ones that I really wanted. Managing close to 5,000 songs can cause stress! I had to choose and I had to pick very carefully. And believe me, it is a slow process. You cannot sit down for just a day and be done with it. It takes more than a day. I got that laptop last December and up to now, I am still figuring out what songs to keep and what songs to discard into the trash bin of forgotten time. It has not been easy, it is still not easy but I am getting there. I am doing this cleaning because I want to add more songs in the future and in order for me to do that, I need space for the new. I had to delete some songs for the new ones.

I discovered that some songs that delighted me before have lost its appeal. Has that happened to you? Like, can you remember a song that worked for you and you really liked it but after some time, it no longer grips you like the first time you heard it. And yet, you keep the song for some reason but the thing is, it occupies space and as long as you keep it, you deprive yourself of new songs that can delight and that can change your manner of listening. So you delete those songs, you stop listening to its melody. It is different now. What you were when you first heard the song could be a different person. As Neruda said, "we of that time are no longer the same." The song is the same but it is different or like what I have told my students, the poem is the same but it is different. You change and you grow. So does the song and the poem. It has changed its meaning but it has still stayed the same.

What I was eight years ago is totally different from what I am today. Perhaps, that is also true with you. What tore your heart eight years ago are now reminders of your inner strength. Your tears of sorrow and pain have magically transformed into tears of power and magic. What made you cry several years ago are now reasons for laughter. Para bang, sus ang tanga ko dati. Your heartbreak caused your heart to open and break free. When I was looking at the list of songs I was constantly reminded of what I went through. Music has way of making you remember specific times and vivid images. It makes you feel what you felt. It reminds you, sways you. It makes you linger and recall. But as what the poet Frost once said, "life goes on." And we go on. And we discard what is old and what is no longer meaningful. We are grateful but we shall not be held. We are thankful but we shall not be bound. We let go of what has been to give way to what is new. We say goodbye to the old and embrace it for what it was and will ever be.

But we run towards the tomorrows of our lives knowing fully well that there is space for new dreams and new songs to sing.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 05, 2014.


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