Love, as ever still

By Raymund Fernandez |February 13,2018 - 11:04 PM


No matter what, there will still be love. And more of it would there be the more difficult times become since we live in a world ruled by mad and greedy men.

And since time, thus, becomes worse, then all the more reason to believe there will still be as ever before more love between us. For in the worst of times, it is all we really have.

And I’m reminded immediately of people who lived, for a time, in our old house at P. del Rosario Ext. in the decades after 1972. The old house is not there anymore.

But even so, the memories born there still live and float about in distant nooks and crannies of certain minds now scattered all over the world. The house was something of a halfway house, in a way a safe-house in the time of martial law.

And people lived there for a time in their transit from one part of their revolution to the next.

They called themselves many names: activists, community organizers, writers, revolutionists, theatre people, one form of revolutionist or another.

A young person in his teens, such as I was, forgets by now their particular politics.

For there were too many shades of it to remember.

They were all running away from something, and moving away to somewhere else?

They well all trying to do this without changing themselves enough to lose a love for their people.

And one has to remember how a love for one’s people is really the highest love of all. And if any one has ever loved his people, every other sort of love after that becomes easy and natural.

Such as the love for one’s God; which one ought understand from all of the divine tracts derives from a love for one’s neighbors. After one has learned to love one’s neighbor as one would love himself or herself; loving God above all else becomes natural requiring no additional forethought.

To love God becomes easy.

So too, to love justice, freedom, and the dream of equality between us. To love God without feeling the love for one’s neighbors is impossible. Or it is as empty as a drunken boast.

And this is why I remember the people of the old house whenever I remember the house itself.

There was a young man who lived here with his wife of only a few weeks. Their first child was still-born. He borrowed my saw and hammer to make a small box for burying his child.

The child could not be blessed in church because he did not have a birth and baptismal certificate. Neither did we have the money. But we brought him to the church anyway. Here, we blessed and prayed for him ourselves.

And if he was never baptized, we baptized him, that morning, with tears held back against the cruelty of the unequal world. The rain fell as we laid him into the ground.

Weeks after that, the couple went their way.

They are doing well now, doing better. We did not talk about the lost child when we met again.

But there were many other loves born in that old house.

Not all of them lasted. But while they were there, there was also much joy.

Joy and love always walk side by side.

That old house saw many, including my own.

And while we can, where love is concerned, mostly celebrate the one that is presently there.

A memory of love is no less as special: Love between lovers just as much as love between friends.

And if one has old friends, now gone away, then they should all be remembered now, on this day, when we celebrate not just the act of love but the very feeling of it:

This was how he or she looked like.

This way, was how he or she made us laugh.

We remember him or her doing this, crazy man or woman.

This was how he or she got drunk. Once. This was how he or she never abandoned us even we were, ourselves, too drunk we could hardly walk. And whose shoulder did we puke into that night? Once and forever, Love…

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