Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for March 7th, 2005

Journeys, Memories and Meeting ‘my Pilot’ 22

Posted on March 07, 2005 by jimparedes

One of my dreams as a young man many moons ago was to able to travel to other countries. I was always fascinated with the exploits of Marco Polo, Ulysses, or even the tales of any relative who had gone to strange parts of the world. The lure of other lands was/is so strong that foreign accents actually excite me. Little did I know then that years later, I would be doing A LOT of travel.

I’m off again this Wednesday for three shows in California with APO. I will be back Holy Week for about a month and then return to the US for even more shows. After that, there is the big possibility of taking a short trip to Jakarta for a quick one before leaving again for 4 more concerts in the Middle East. Hopefully, from there we can connect to a few more shows in Europe since we are kinda near already. If I sound like I’m bragging, …OK, I probably am. Please forgive me since every trip really excites me. Having a ticket on hand is like an open-ended invitation to adventure.

I have been to every continent except the North and South Poles. But there are still many places unexplored. I would still like to go and see both the decadent but fun Rio and Sydney Mardi Gras, visit Egypt, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Morocco, Machu Pichu, return to India, Russia and Nepal. I like the slightly or very off-the-beaten-track destinations. Next to what I have now, one of the best jobs I can think of is that of Discovery Channel’s intrepid Ian Wrightl. Man…to go to exotic places, eat strange food, meet people of other cultures and rough it up is my idea of fun. But I still will insist on decent toilets though! Ha ha! Can’t wait.

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–I found a box of old betamax tapes and through the aid of a friend who lent me an ancient beta player, I was able to watch old footages of my kids growing up, APO’s earlier years, and other family stuff.. Sigh! I saw Erica and Ala who were 8 and 4 years old then running, biking and shouting around the garden like there was no tomorrow. How time flies!. It’s hard to imagine although you know it as fact that people do grow up. And the older ones even die. There was precious footage of my deceased beloved mother-in-law singing ‘I just Called To Say I Love You’ which made my dad-in-law teary-eyed yesterday when I showed it to him.

I viewed some of APO’s tapes which were some 20 years old. The performances that I felt then were not so good turned out to be surprisingly much better than what I had anticipated. Those that I thought were terrific were just so- so. It’s more fun to watch the routines and shows that I had already forgotten probably because I can appreciate them now without any preconceived notions.

I speak for my generation when I say we didn’t have that many pictures growing up and absolutely no video footage of our childhood. I guess that’s why my memories of youth are more golden since my mind has ‘rearranged the furniture’, so to speak, processing, tweaking, highlighting certain things admittedly at the expense of others and making more sense of the ‘movies in my mind’ now as an adult. These days, technology is so all-pervasive such that one can literally be conceived, born, live all the stages of life, die, get cremated or be buried and be totally filed, recorded, shot, documented all throughout! That’s why it’s interesting to ask or speculate on which can better tell the story of a life— the impressions of poetic memory or literal chronicles? The first one has the power to create myth while the other because it is literal has the power to kill it.

I always entertain the thought, especially before a trip that anything, including the unforeseen can happen— or to be morbid about it, I could die in a crash or whatever. After all it happened to my dad. He died in plane crash with the late President Magsaysay at 42 years old while coming home from Cebu. To be honest, the prospect of death by itself does not really strike fear in my heart. It’s the thought of leaving my loved ones behind to fix and clean up after that concerns me more. Anyway, should anything happen, among my bilins is that this poem be one of those read at my wake. When I first came across this in high school, I was just so drawn to it that I have even been reciting it to myself occasionally since then.

Crossing The Bar
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

If I don’t meet my pilot yet (a likely but not guarranteed prospect), I shall be back with more stories!

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