Sunday, July 09, 2006


When I write, I have to change the font on the computer. I have to be sure it looks different than a typical book or magazine font. For some reason, it helps me believe that what I am writing is different than what’s been said before. For an even odder reason, it helps me believe in myself and in my words.

I am 27 years old and in many ways, I am successful. I am myself to the world and in my relationships, believe and am committed to a higher being that guides me through despair and joy, and attempt to my best efforts to channel love, knowledge, and forgiveness in my life and body.

The never ending question I harbor, “Is there more?”

I don’t like “more.” It carries that pejorative of greed, insatiable and the “more” is not action oriented. Society has yet to convince me that more action, increased production equals greater satisfaction. When I say or ask for more, I mean deeper. Grammatically, however, I just cannot ask “Is there deeper?”

Oh, to hell with it.
Is there deeper?

I have found that just by asking myself the question, I am convinced there clearly is. There must be. There must be. “Not should be, or could be, or hope so, or has to be…” (-Fr. Himes) There must be more.

I am distinctly, unusually aware. I become even more attuned when I am alone, doing a thoughtless, mundane task of life. At twilight, if I am walking or driving, and the world is just beginning to dim and I hear a thousand lamps turn on in homes and calls for the end of the day, I breathe deeply and sometimes, just sometimes, I feel a dull, circular falling sensation near my lungs. Out of nowhere, a soft, rising throbbing will ascend and then descend in my body. At times, a piercing but not painful emptiness is felt, and I draw in a short breath through my mouth. The only comparison is that second, that millisecond before you unexpectedly cry without any warning. A welling of unforeseen emotion, a slightly uncontrollable force that uses your physicality, in this case, the tear ducts that lubricate the eyes, to convey its power. A non-linguist peace goes through me, and then a jumble of reason-pleaing words to identify what is happening. It makes sense only when it is happening and the pale translating words that come are: OPEN, COLOR, VOID, CONCAVE, TRUST.

At times, it is so powerful that I want to cry, but not from discomfort or even sadness. It’s a shifting emotion that feels like I must immediately, urgently genuflect because of all the beauty and sorrow in the world. I cannot contain it. I am moved with awe, joy, and despair all at once. And just like that, it’s gone. What is it? What is that feeling? There is no word.

Oh, to hell with it.
Let’s call it Bumag.

Noun. Def: Emotional sensation of falling. An unwarranted disposition of a moving wave felt in the physical body for no anatomical reason. E.g.Without warning, a sudden feeling of bumag filled his being as he walked to his desk. From the Filipino/Tagalog root: BUMAGSAK//: to fall.

There. Now I have to a word to describe it.

The funny and awesome thing about language is that I could move Webster out of business and create a phonics into existence and, still, it would not capture the restless question of, What else is there?

Granted, there are many different forms of reflection. There are milestone reflections that come with rites of passage, sacraments, anniversaries, birthdays, award recognition, birth, death, and retreats. Most people would say that the feeling, Bumag, and the inevitable question of Deepening is spurred by occupational dissatisfaction or relationship trouble or quarter-life or mid-life crisis. But this is not reflection. This is the antecedent of any formed thought. It is an unnamed reminder that, indeed, there is more, but there are no arrows pointing to any direction to find it. It simply appears, making its existence known, and exits.

After it passes, I become as panicked that it happened as I hope it will return; humbled by its passing as I feel cursed that I have no tools to analyze what has no name; convinced that something divine is lingering in me as much as I fret that no one will have experienced it or understand what I mean. Before long, I smile small and realize I have forgotten what I was originally doing. Not good when this happens behind the wheel.

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