A Journey Back To Endor

 

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The banana orchard at the back of my aunt’s house is long gone and I can barely remember how it looks like already, but if I close my eyes and think hard, I could still remember how it feels like to be there.


 

The orchard was a part of Manong Pancho’s property. It is untended, mosquito infested and magical. The banana orchard use to be our playground. I still remember how much my mother hated it when I play there because of the stains on my clothes when I go home. Yet no matter how many times I get pinched at my arms for playing there, I can’t resist going. We love pretending to be Ewoks, the furry, short, stocky, flat-faced, bear-like looking creatures living primitively in the forest moon of Endor. This George Lucas creation that first appeared on the movie Star Wars became our constant persona when we are playing at the banana orchard. That banana orchard was our Endor.


 

Usually when I arrive at the orchard, the brothers, Mado and Mar are already there, since they live the nearest to the place. also the brother tandem of Jon and Tirso (not their real names), and so with cousins Dino (not his real name) and Rowen.


When we’re playing ewoks, I was always Wickket, the leader of the ewoks, the other guys would think of their own names. Yet even though we play parts as ewoks our natural personality would eventually turn up. Mado and Mar are inseparable even when their roles (according to their names) as ewoks should not. Dino is quick to smile, he is a daredevil but he listens to me. He likes adventure and the youngest of us all. Jon is the bossy type and Tirso is the playful one. Rowen on the other hand is the silent type. We have different personality, looking back now; I wonder how we survived as friends.

When we assume the ewoks persona, everything turns magical. A simple banana tree would turn into an impregnable fortress, stones would turn into gold, sticks would become spears, the orchard would become the forrest of endor, and we would become immortals. Child play and all its grandeur, its magic and its sense of justice.

Time passed, we grew older I guess. and our forest of endor was forgotten. The awe for the mystery of endor was replaced with teenage adrenalin when we entered high school. We attended different schools. I found new friends, and my childhood friends found theirs.

I left our municipality to attend the university during college. I have lost track to almost everything from my hometown. I guess I stayed away too long.

When I finally had time to stay home, I was informed that Dino was sent to a juvenille detention facility. He was accused of raping a girl. There are rumors that he was high on drugs during the time the incident happened. I could hardly believe my ears. Dino the smiling kid? rape? My mind is trying to grasp a reality that it cannot absorb.

Time passed and we moved on, I was always away from home, but I tried to come home every chance I get. Everything is doing well when I heard the news that Tirso was arrested for stabbing someone to death. I heard that the stabbing was a result of an altercation during a basketball match. I sighed while listening to my mother telling me the news. I can’t just believe it is possible. I asked my mom who had he stabbed, she told me a name. The name sound very familiar, I her asked again, I heard it right the first time. It was a friend of mine during my high school days.

As I was writing this, a line from an old song called “constant change” keeps playing on my head, it goes; “have we outgrown our peter pan and wings?/ we’ve simply grown too old for tales of knights and king…”

Where have Endor gone? Where is its sense of fair play and justice? have we left it behind the banana orchard along with our childhood eons ago? Right now, if only I have a way to go back to that orchard in the time of the ewoks and the forest of Endor, I would.

A Testament of Faith

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This book marked the return of bestselling author Anne Rice to the catholic faith and perhaps it also marks the end of a great series about the damned, more popularly known as the “Vampire Chronicles”.

This book is about the child Jesus in a whole new light. The story about a child confused on having the power to kill a boy by simply wishing him dead and the power to bring the boy back to life. A child curious about the mysteries concerning his birth that his family seem to keep it for themselves and discuss it in hushed voices most of the time.

The story began in Alexandria, Egypt,. several years after Jesus and his family went there to escape herod. After having told through a dream that it’s time for them to go home, Jesus and family packed and set back to Nazareth, the home of his parents. where they were reunited with family members who stayed behind.

Aside from the conflict in their journey home and the mystery sorrounding Jesus’ birth, The story also tell of Jesus’ education and his coming of age.

A biblical story told in an Anne Rice style narrative, too little could go wrong. Vampire or no vampire, Anne Rice is still a great tale spinner.

News went out that a film based on the book itself was scheduled to start shooting somewhere in Israel last 2007 with the hope that it will hit the screen later in 2008 but with no other clear reason aside from “creative differences” the project was shelved.

Playing Memories in the Box of Smiles

Smell induces memories. It reminds us of things, of places, of times, of events that so long ago took place and was cramped up and locked into the lonely and forgotten corners of our mind. Waiting patiently to be revisited and smiled upon once more.

 

Whoever thought that rummaging through the dusty boxes in the forgotten nook in your house could be something that is worth doing?  Who would think that a simple dusty box sitting in the dark corner under the stair could pack so much smile.  Smiles that resonates from laughter dating back from many moons ago. Back when your muscles are less weary and your mind was less fogged. In the time when the heat of the sun is enough to warm your soul and the memory of the moon would keep you longing for the night. Back when things are much simpler.

 

Today, I was seating on my office chair. I was staring at my empty screen, watching the cursor blink. I can’t think but i needed to. I was pushing my brain to function too much, so much that I actually felt my head hurt. The pain seems to tear everything inside my head. I actually felt afraid that the pain would destroy so many stray memories I left along the corridors of my mind. I am in my mid 20s its to early to loose them.

 

I got out of my chair and stretched my back a bit. Ergonomic chairs are not as good as they are advertised.  Anna called for me from her chair, offering me a strawberry. I took one and smelled the fruit. It’s red and smells so sweet. I thanked Anna and went back to my chair and slouched. I closed my eyes and let my mind travel. The smell of the strawberry is so familiar. It smells like Christmas during my childhood; fun and carefree. It specifically smells like the strawberry perfume that my aunt, who was then working in Manila, gave my mother for Christmas. I remember putting the empty bottle of that perfume in that box along with my old doodle notes and some cheesy love letters written on linens with a sweet smell that I have received from pretty young ladies in high school back then. And some empty linen pads that I intend use for writing sweet nothings that I never had the guts to make happen. The box also contain the first six chapters of the novel entitled “Curtain of Smoke” that I began writing when I graduated from high school, something I am not so sure I could finish, Nevertheless, something that I enjoyed writing. In my life, that box contains my stash of smiles.

 

Sometimes I am amazed how we use the dig into the recess of our past to nullify the worries of the present. It is amazing how smell can put a smile back into our faces. It is amazing how playing memories from that box of smile could lighten up my day, even just from this ergonomic chair.