Have a good Good Friday
Growing up, the Holy Week was a time of wonder for me. School was out. And my summer vacation with my paternal grandparents was about to start. That is, right after the grand procession on the evening of Holy Wednesday. As a boy, Maundy Thursday was the start of my 4-week vacation in Candaba, Pampanga (the other 4 weeks before school started to be spent in Manila, with my maternal grandmother). It was one of the happiest times of my childhood, when I got to play in the fields, in the creek, pick fruits with my cousins, watch my uncles as they harvested and fished, etc.
As an adult, this translated to traveling during the break from studies and work. But I did this infrequently. I like to travel, but I hate the crowds that holiday traveling usually brings. I am more like an off-season traveler. So for many Holy Weeks in my adult life I didn’t venture far from home. I enjoy the stillness of our neighborhood, and the city in general, during these times.
Also, the Holy Week seems to bring out my writing Muse. I have written many things in the previous years, during Holy Week. I remember in 2004, before I left for Cambodia, I was able to write a short story and about 15 poems as I was finalizing things with the job that I left and the arrangements for my trip. The evenings of my first few weeks in the new country were spent editing those poems.
Since coming back, I haven’t done any traveling during Holy Week. But I kept on writing. And editing. Like right now, I am editing a short story that I wrote, also during Holy Week 15 years ago. This editing process is a bit painful because the story has grown on me, before its critical flaws were shown to me by a fresh set of discerning eyes. I do not write the same way that I did 15 years ago, which makes the task particularly challenging. So I try to delay the process over the past days, distracting myself with Facebook, Twitter, and this blog, all the while knowing I have to get on with it–the sooner the better. Aside from not eating meat, this is my other sacrifice this season.
My own version of self-flagellation.