Spaces

Gaps. Pauses.

Enthusiasm. Deflated.

Concentration. Aimless.

I thought I was ready to continue normal living. Alas, the difficulties cling to me like a malicious virus immune to removal. Perhaps, too soon is not for me. I tried hard to pick up where I left off but it would not work out. It was not me the way it used to be.

Can’t blame you all for your confusion, even disappointment for my online behavior. I suck, big time. There’s no excuse for giving you expectations which I could not exactly provide. I am at my worse, at this point the villain, the character who could not fulfill promises.

I have to stay offline most days to distract my mind from thinking of the would-haves, should-haves, could-haves-been, and all those scenarios that are worthless now. I have to focus on tomorrow yet the present won’t cooperate to subdue the past into becoming a blur for a time, giving me enough respite to see clearly where I am heading,

Inaction. Guilt.

Remorse. Redemption.

Time. Hope.

Lucidity still escapes my train of thoughts. I am not surprised at all.

I want to be back for good but I am still torn between two opposing halves. One is raring to go active surfing while the other half wants to be physically tired each day to force early sleep. During the past months, the latter practically dominated the former.

Nothing.

Something.

Patience.

 

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Passage

Ever wonder why many people develop some routines that are so difficult to discontinue?

When I signed off the last time, I never imagined it would take this long (nearly two months) to abstain from surfing the Net. Oh, I did try several times but for reasons beyond my capabilities to resolve I had to stand down and kept my peace in the sidelines. .

That routine I was talking about made me ponder a lot of things. Frankly, some of my field work suffered because of my ‘addiction’ to surfing. I was consumed by the idea that everything would be fine in the long run.

I was mistaken.

As luck would have it (unfavorably favorable in some weird sense), there was something wrong in our side of the planet, or just in our particular spot, or whatever. The connection was so bad that most of the time even cellular communications failed.

I consider myself to be a little smart when faced with such a situation. I look for options, what I call Plan B, C, D, etc. And if those options would not work out, I go back to where I am most attached to: field work.

And, I could say, the lull in my internet activity provided me with more time to concentrate on work I deferred so many times. Overall, it was a productive experience.

My absence is not a big deal. I am sure most of you did not even notice I was MIA. That’s good. ūüôā

Slowly, I will reintegrate myself back to the system. I am somewhat rusty so you have to forgive most of my shortcomings.

Happy blogging guys and gals.

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Prompt

Good morning everyone!

When I woke up this morning, I felt like a dead weight. My brain had a difficult time convincing my body to rise up and continue all the tasks waiting in the field. Alone, the work ahead of me could not be finished till mid January.

Well, I have no boss but myself so that’s all right. I can procrastinate all I want. My kind of farming could be called continuous interaction with Nature.

However, on the other hand, I am not the type who wants to see disorder daily. Right now, it’s almost total chaos in the area where the chainsaw guys worked for two days. If picking up dry leaves takes forever, imagine freshly-cut branches dangling on other branches, logs of different sizes from a foot to a fathom, slabs to collect and haul and all the small things needed to make the surrounding look cleaner and as natural as possible.

I have to be a juggler once more: use my waking hours intelligently, giving each task (field work, writing, blogging, rest, etc.)  its equal share of time and effort.

I will be in and out of the Net from this hour onward. Some of my blogging responsibilities will suffer but I will try hard to compensate for my shortcomings whenever I am online.

It’s a bit cloudy so field work beckons. ūüôā

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Exhausted

Hello guys and gals!

This will be short.

I am very tired to write. My hands need the rest. Field work sapped my energy.

My silence does not mean I slept although that’s the best option right now.

I will reply to comments tomorrow.

Happy blogging everyone!

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Cultivate

A bit of sunshine, a bit of light rain, a bit of effort and a bit of time were added to the lack of power and lack of internet service, what did I get to accomplish? Plant vegetable seeds. ūüėÄ

Farming is not always hard work: it could be a lot of fun, too.

Three months ago, I joined the neighbors plant vegetables in their garden. (I did not plant at home because there were too many free-range chickens around. With their continuous search for worms and other insects, they scratched surfaces planted with vegetables.) Currently, all the vegetables are ready for personal consumption.

In the event I do not have something to pair with the plate of rice, I always go over to the neighbor’s garden and harvest some. With eggs ‘stolen’ from a nest of a laying hen, there are several variations of omelette that I cooked this week.

Let me see. Monday was bitter gourd omelette. I cut the fruit into thin slices and saute it with garlic and onions. I added the scrambled egg after a while. In five minutes, it was dinner time.

Tuesday, I used pechay (Chinese cabbage). With the leaves included, it looked more like green omelette.

Wednesday, it rained so I used sardines  in the omelette instead of vegetables. With cooked camote tops, the dish was complete.

Yesterday were eggplants. I peeled the skin of cooked eggplants, crushed them one by one with a spoon and dipped in a bowl of scrambled eggs. Individually, they were  fried in coconut oil,

No omelette today because the hen protested and pecked my hand so hard. The pain served me right for poaching her eggs. ūüėÄ

Instead, I had what I called vegetables rumble. Bitter gourd, eggplant, okra and squash were cooked together in coconut milk. I added two spoons of shrimp paste for flavor.

Overall, for the whole week, I estimated that I spent a hundred pesos (over two U.S. dollars) to buy ingredients that were not available at home.

Of course, some of my savings on food were spent on prepaid loads for internet service. I need to surf and blog, too. ūüėÄ

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Strike Three

Last week, during the long power outage, I decided to do some clearing work in the orchard. Weeds and tall grasses started to encircle the calamansi trees which was not good for their healthy growth and fruiting.

With a sharpened bolo, a cup of coffee and a small bottle of water, I walked through the grasses. Since it was early morning, the sun’s rays had not penetrated the growth cover provided by the tall trees.

Then, it happened. My first swing of the sharp instrument disturbed the quiet state of things. A painful prick on my left cheek, not on the face, took me by surprise. Instinctively, I did my rooster imitation to prevent a swelling which I knew would certainly follow after the sting.

It was not a good beginning, I swore to myself. Even the occurrence of the outage got me into a swearing mood. It was not my day, really.

To make matters worse, my feet felt movement of tiny creatures. They seemed to line up, moving upwards till they reached my legs. Pricking pain commenced, dotting my skin with redness.

I ran toward the irrigation canal and submerged my lower extremities in the water. If the tiny creatures could swim, good luck! That was their punishment for making my legs their target of revenge.

Clad with fresh and dry clothes, I went back where I left off which was really nothing. I took a long stick and poked every blade of grass to check if there were more surprises hiding that I should be aware of. I was not ready to be bitten again.

A swishing sound startled me. My stick touched something unrecognizable.

Psst! Psst!

I turned around to see if someone tried to call my attention. No one was around.

Psst! Psst!

An image came to my mind and it was not pleasing. If I was not mistaken, the sound belonged to a long crawling reptile with fine scales and forked tongue. If my survival instinct was correct, I needed not try to see the real thing before running away from it.

“I am out of here!”

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Accessory

The summer season is not officially over but the frequent occurrences of light thunderstorms during evenings forebode the arrival of more rainy days.

For rice farmers, this is an auspicious time to begin clearing the fields for the start of the new planting cycle. Locals still use the tried and tested carabao (domesticated water buffalo) and other manual techniques for land preparation. However, the use of mechanical implements begins to be popular that traditions might give way eventually to modern farming.

The high tech revolution even penetrated farmers’ simple lives. The transistor radio which was very popular back then are now left at home, becoming mere decorations on shelves.

Almost fifteen years ago, a cellphone was a rarity in this place. With a new cell site, I was one of the lucky few to own an analog Alcatel cellular phone. People came to me to call their loved ones in far places. Without my phone, they had to go to the town proper which is about nine kilometers away.

Anyway, I predicted then that even farm workers would be tuned to their MP3 players and cellular phones while working in the fields. Of course, all I received were howls of skepticism for even suggesting such far-fetched claim. Wishful thinking, they insisted. (Translation: crazy)

Well, as the saying goes, I had the last laugh.

Nowadays, farmers still use the carabao but with them are MP3 players hanging on their necks, providing them endless entertainment while performing monotonous tasks. Once in a while, they stop on their tracks to answer a call or reply to text messages from cheap phones.

Now,¬†they smile at me as if admitting I was correct all along. ūüôā

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