You make your reality

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I OFTEN wake up with the strangest music playing in my head. Note that I don’t have a single electronic gadget inside my bedroom except for my cellphones. I don’t keep a radio, a television, not even an electronic clock. It’s a throwback to something I read when I was in high school about how electronic equipment inside the bedroom can actually disrupt sleep.

Sometimes it’s a classical music straight from my dad’s selections complete with strings and drums, or some cheesy ditty worth playing only in a jukebox. I refer to these as music picked up from where my soul romped around while I slept.

Black Saturday morning I walk up humming an old song, “You’re Just in Love”. It’s the one that goes, “I hear singing and there’s no one there, I smell blossoms and the trees are bare…” Yes, that old song. Having learned the song early in life, when the brain still had a lot of memory space, I still know the lyrics upto now.


We were taught that song to sing as a whole class sometime between first and second grade for one of those school programs. I can’t remember which particular grade, I just know that it was before third grade, but I remember the song well because dad had that in his collection of Reader’s Digest records. (Yes, Reader Digest used to produce those sets like they produce hardbound books).

I was going about my morning chores, sweeping the floor, feeding the dog and cat, preparing my bath, while singing the song over and over again… and then… it hit me.

When you hear singing when no one’s there, and you smell blossoms when trees are bare and you are not singing the song, much less know the song… the first thought that will cross your mind is a ghost. “Paramdam” is the word. The smell of roses when someone dies, the hair-raising aria in a cold dark night.

But, since we were taught the song as kids, and we sang it with gusto to the beat of our music teacher, ghosts never crossed our minds. Not until I was singing it over and over again and getting more frustrated by the minute because I simply couldn’t dislodge it from my brain…

Epiphany! How easy it is to change the meaning of words. Much like how you can interpret Air Supply’s “Making love out of nothing at all”… if you get my drift…

Words can be changed according to how we want to interpret them.

Let’s stretch that a bit and say, even actions can be changed according to how we want to interpret them. Let’s go even further, we can ignore the bad meaning of words in the same way that we can ignore the bad interpretations of actions.

Let’s stretch that even much further… we can ignore people who for one reason or the other, rub us the wrong way. It can be because he or she doesn’t have anything between her or his ears and thus can just drag down otherwise meaningful conversations and good company with vanity concerns. It can be because he or she stands opposite to your most nurtured beliefs. Remember, as snotty kids, we were already witnesses to the never-ending debate about religion at Osmena Park. They’re still there, as we approach our half-century mark, and will still be there when we take our leave of this lifetime. The faces may change, but the contending beliefs will never be resolved. The word of the wise: don’t waste your time.

We can choose to be aggravated because someone is vocally against what we believe in, or we can walk away and ignore their existence. In the same way that we can swoon in love while smelling blossoms and the trees are bare, or be jumpy and fearful because ghosts are lurking nearby.



Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 20, 2014.


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