Spiritual materialism is rampant & a life filled with spirit is a rarity. I don’t care how many crystals you have, how vegan your food is, or whether your Venus is in Jupiter since the last time you blamed your problems on the moon. If the way we carry and express ourselves condemns others while lifting ourselves, then we’re as off-target as the people we’re condemning. I drink with the thinkers and smoke with the preachers & I’ve never met a good man that believed he has the answers. Let your personality be your greatest work of art, and let your actions weave a thread of unity. Laugh at the voice(s) in your head, befriend your ego before you listen to that bullshit that tells you to destroy it. That’s McDonald’s spirituality — even attempting to get rid of ego means you want to avoid this and move towards that — creating more of the same inner conflict you’re trying to avoid. Inner silence and enviable peace doesn’t come from the avoidance of life as it is, It comes from moving as deeply into life as you can. The only way out is in & the only way beyond is through.
Once upon a time, if I wanted to pour out my feelings to you, I’d just shoot you a text. I’d wait a couple of minutes– maybe an hour at most, if you happened to be busy, but not too much time would pass since you’re practically attached to your phone anyway– then you’d reply as quickly as if I came to you in person. Then we’d spend the whole evening talking, only stopping to realize that we’ve gotten so lost in our conversation, the rooster already made it his job to interrupt us with a determined crow as the sun dawns upon our restless bodies.
Whatever plagued my mind, you purged from it’s dictatorship by simply being present.
But now? It’s 2am and I’m sitting in front of my laptop, typing up this letter on email, a window blinking “You cannot send a message without a recipient” taking over my screen and I am sighing in utter frustration because Gmail just doesn’t get that this message does have a recipient… I’m just hiding behind the context of anonymity that comes with open letters because I am no longer close enough to you to message you on my own.
Another thing I’d like to tell you is that I’ve drafted this letter a total of 8 times. I’ve added, subtracted, divided, and multiplied my words relentlessly until I realized that no amount of flowery phrases or poetic claims could put you back into the equation.
And gosh– that shatters me to think about.
Once upon a time, my phone used to buzz to life every hour, bearing your name– bedazzled with affectionate emojis– on the notification tab in waves of 10, as if our friendship was everyone’s object of envy, and your numerous texts were badges on my own personal sash of bragging rights. I was the first person you told everything– whether it was an update about your love life, the latest argument you had with your family, a pile of school work you’re too stressed to start with, new drama with your friends, or even just an utterly hilarious picture you spotted on Twitter that made you laugh and thought I’d enjoy too– it didn’t matter what your news was about, all that mattered was that I was always the second person after you to hear it.
But now? Now, when people ask me to relay a question they have for you about some new scandal you’re allegedly involved in, it takes every inch of me not to let the heartbreak seep through my eyes as I silently realize how your name is so far down my recent chat list to the point that your once embellished-with-emojis name now blends with the other plain contact IDs that have gotten lost in my sea of conversation tabs.
Once upon a time, I couldn’t even say that I could read you like a book, because with all the print, sometimes we accidentally skip a word or two. But with you, I never overlooked anything. I saw you as clear and precise as if I was staring straight into a mirror. And maybe that’s why I knew you so well– understanding you, was like understanding myself. We were intertwined– connected in a way not even the finest poet could put into words.
But now? Now, I hear stories about you as I pass mutual friends in the hallway and I need to keep my jaw from dropping because the things I hear you’ve done makes me think that despite all your supposed candidness and candor during our friendship, maybe I didn’t know you as well as I thought I did, or possibly, at all.
Once upon a time, I always prayed that we’d be partners for that big project. If the teacher told us to find someone to work with, I’d look in your direction, and you’d already be looking in mine. When the professor instructs the class to pair up, no body would even go near us because it was already common knowledge that we’d pick each other.
But now? Now, I have to warily walk around the classroom, idly hovering by giggling groups, peeking over heads and shoulders to spot for someone who didn’t already have a go-to partner. It’s strange not having someone to fallback to, and it’s even worse when people start to notice.
But let me get this straight– I didn’t write this letter to tell you how weird things have been since we’ve drifted and guilt trip you into either coming back or apologizing. In fact, I wrote this letter to tell you that even if things may be out of place between us, you need to know that I’m not angry.
I do not harbor any ill or negative emotions towards you; I mean, sure, maybe I did in the beginning, but these days? Not anymore.
Honestly, the only thing I feel for you now is gratitude.
No matter how tense or odd things between us are today, I can’t cancel out our history; at one point in my life, even if it was months or maybe even years ago, you made me happy, and in a world where it’s easier to make a person frown than smile, I am thankful for that.
I am thankful for you.
Our friendship brought a lot of teachings in my life– some were painful to learn, but it was through this pain that I learned to grow. I learned what I lacked in, and I learned what I was doing wrong. I wish I could have figured this all out earlier, not when our friendship was at the brink of full dilapidation. But the univese works in mysterious ways and I guess the deities above preferred I’d learn too late to save this relationship rather than another in the future.
The tear in our relationship might have scarred me a bit, but that’s okay– I am proud of what I’ve gone through. What we’ve gone through.
Old pal, to me, you are the wound that a little boy gets after falling from doing an awe-inspiring trick on the monkey bars; the wound that hurts the more you poke and prod at, the wound that heals better in time, the wound you remember getting so you’ll never repeat the action you did to get it, and most importantly, the wound that demands to be shown off because it holds the essence of all the amazing and epic things you must have done to get it.
Submitted by Frances Leerose R. Beltran
He longs for nothing more than any other,
Lustful mind;all hatred and red.
Beware the blue eyes,
For his actions ‘ll beget nothing more than regret.