Thursday, February 8, 2007

SUNSETS ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE

I was talking about the sunrise tonight with a friend. We agreed it was one of God's most beautiful gifts to us. I remarked that with the late-sleeping, late-rising rhythms I have settled into, I seldom see the sun rise anymore. But God is so good, I hastened to add, because He created its twin -- the sunset. And you know what, I boasted, I have a ringside view to sunsets from a picture window on the fourth floor of the building I work in.

When I hang up the phone, it was then I remembered -- I had a poem written six, seven years ago about the most magnificent sunset I ever saw.


SUNSETS

I.
Rememberances of sunsets past
Lit up my Daddy's eyes.
Smiling eyes, cataract- liined
Soft, grey eyes, glaucoma-blind.
His sunsets were bright --
He still saw them
In his mind's eye.

I tugged at his arm
An errant child
Eager to make up for lost time
Sad he wouldn't rise
To meet the sun
At death's door.
"It's alright," he whispered
"They don't make sunsets
Like mine anymore."

II.
Our laughter
As we drove by University Avenue
Was silenced by a vision in the sky
Huge vermilion clouds
Girded the heavens
Like giant planks on
On a canvas of purple clouds.

Oh, how he laughed behind the clouds
The manic painter!
Proud of his gift to a child
Who lost her sense of wonder.

(Yes, Dad.
God still makes beautiful sunsets.)

We saw this spectacular sunset -- my son and daughter and I -- while we were driving home from the University on a rare day I left my office early. So moved was I that I asked my daughter to draw a sketch of it. (The piece of paper is still tucked up in the jacket of my journal).

I asked around the office the next day .. surely, others must have seen that vision too?! But all I drew where blank stares. Was it a special gift to me and my children?

A few days after, I tried to put the experience on paper. And as you might have seen, it ended up being a tribute to my father as well. When I finished the poem ... it was then I remembered .. the next day was the second anniversary of my dad's death.

Coincidence?

27 comments:

zeroimpact said...

That is very beautiful
The sun is one of the greatest gift of life and sunrise and sunset give the feelings that I'd never be able to describe too
You write well too
:)
Things might have been a coincidence or other wise
Take care

dexiejane said...

I love sunsets too. I've take pictures of it years ago but it's not as beautiful as looking at it in person. That's a beautiful poem btw :)

dimaks said...

sunset is a window to 2 things; yesterday and tomorrow. Man's life follow the same phenomena. Its a reminder, to reflect, to recollect.

Prab said...

Wow, nicely written poem. I can almost see "in my mind's eye" the sunset you saw. Sometimes I think it's just a matter for us to open our eyes and see what's there.

If your officemates didn't see it, then it wasn't for them. I'd agree that it's the Old Man up there's way of lightening up your day.

noemi said...

Not a coincidence. In my grief journey, I have learned to appreciate signs and experiences. The spectacular sunset was a gift from your dad.

vernaloo said...

Hi Anna :)

Very nice poem..great post as usual. I think you're Dad was saying hi to you through the sunset.

sexy mom said...

vivid! thanks for sharing your beautiful poem.

i can attest to coincidence, happened so many times to me.

as to the beautiful sunset, it's a pity, a lot of people nowadays take things for granted. they do not have to stop and smell the flowers, appreciate the sunset and all the other fine things in life. we are so blessed to be able to do so, don't you think so?

rhodora said...

Wow, very moving poem. I can just imagine your dad - though blind - still saw in his memory the beauty of the sunset.

You know, I also have the same problem with some people. I see the beauty and the ugly in things that they don't see. And when I try to share it with them, they just look at me with bewildered eyes, like they are saying - "you're going nuts!"

Ah the artist's eye is always misunderstood. :(

Leah said...

I love sunsets too and sunrises as well.
The poem is well written. You make your dad proud.

annamanila said...

Thank you all of you who wrote they love the sun and sunrise and sunset. Well, as Dine and Rhodora say, we sometimes take these gifts for granted. Thanks, Noemi, Prab and Verns, for confirming the sunset was no coincidence. Sarap isipin that extravaganza in the sky was staged specially for lil ole me and my children. Dimaks, you can always be counted on to see meanings beyond the sun's dazzling beauty -- galing. Dexiejane, I'd love to see your sunset pictures (but why oh why can't I access your site?) Leah and the others! -- thank you for encouraging my trying-hard poetry.

On wings of retirement from UP, I find myself seeing the campus with a different eye .. the eye that will soon blur as I say goodbye. I also attend lantern parades now, concerts, shows incampus. Di ko pa lang nakikita yung famous Oblation Run .. haha. Soon, the sunflowers will bloom again .. honoring the year's graduates. I shouldn't forget to have my picture taken with the those stately flowers. Oooh.

annamanila said...

Zimpact! Did you know I had hardly [;aced the period on my piece last night .. then I saw your comment?! Amazing. Thank you, I know you also see profound meanings in the sun -- as it rises and swooms. You got soul and it shows.

jonell estillore said...

i don't want to consider that as a coincidence.. pero ah basta. magulo na naman ako.

Prab said...

Hala, don't tell me you'll be among the hundreds of Miriam girls lining up the AS lobby during the oblation run! lawl

dimaks said...

lol@Prab ..add the gender challenged ones!

annamanila said...

Jonell! you know of course you can keep the gulo outside while you remain uncluttered inside. Ay kasi naman eh, hirap talaga may writer's angst. So sensitive. Pero that makes life interesting ha.

Prab! Ay oo nga i will stick out like a sore thumb. But maybe I can stick a tag on my collar: HERE FOR DISSERTATION. (DESSERT-ATION?)

Prab said...

Hala hala, pun intended? LOL. If you put that tag on, they might see it and approach you to give you a rose. Then you'll see hundreds of lights flashing, and you'll find yourself immortalized in the pictures of hundreds of folks. :D

kathy said...

That is a very moving, wonderfully written poem! Thanks for sharing, Anna.
Your poem also brings back a lot of memories about our time spent at UPD. My husband and I used to job around the academic oval during late afternoons. I miss it. :)

houseband00 said...

Hi Anna,

I'm somehow, well, obviously, reminded of the sonf "Look At The Sun."

Thanks for sharing the poem. It's beautiful. =)

annamanila said...

Prab! You giving me ideas?! Will that make me a celebrity. Kaya lang baka ako ikahiya ng pamilya ko.

Kathy! Ang ganda naman talaga ng UP campus di ba? Come back .. maybe you can attend mass tmrw, Feb. 11 at the chapel .. special mass at 11 AM with special blessings for couples .. special guest singers - Philippine Idol finalists. Only from groovy and brilliant priest Fr. Jboy Gonzales. See you?!

nao said...

Life is full of mystery, it works in its most magical way.. that's why remarkable coincidences are noted in hindsight not predicted with foresight. It keeps us reminded of the things that we forgot. Just like the death of your father. Naalala ko tuloy bigla ang nasira kong ama..

annamanila said...

"..noted in hindsight, not predicted with foresight ..." -- wow! Oo nga ano? Thank you, Nao! I am sorry .. you lost your father so early?

kathy said...

Oops, I meant "jog" instead of "job."
Thanks for the invitation to mass...but I'm in Japan, remember? ;)

lady cess said...

im so impressed. the mom is a writer and the daughter is an artist. :)

dimaks said...

lagi ba kayo umaattend ng mass sa UP? baka nakita ko na kayo minsan, tuwing pauwi ako galing sa office at labasan naman ng mga galing sa mass :)

annamanila said...

Kathy! That's right ... sorry. Sumimasen!

Lady Cess! Right, a TH-writer and a teka-muna artist. Teka muna because daugh is still studying to be a doctor. Thanks a mil! I couldnt access your site, but will try again.

Dimaks! You mean you worked Sundays? Saan ba -- sa SURP? Kapitbahay lang ng SURP ang ISSI. So very likely -- we must have eyeballed somehow. :)

dimaks said...

Nah, though i took my masters in SURP :) I am with the NCTS - the transport center in UP. Well, almost always i go to UP during Sundays for a jog around the oval.

sexy mom said...

why don't you send an email to noemi to follow up on the confirmation of pinoy moms network password? you see, you have to send her your preferred user name and password, then she will confirm. belated happy valentine's day!

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