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Honoring My Mother | The Search For The Happy




FOR most people, the term writer’s block might refer to one’s inability to think of anything to write about. It’s like a racehorse frozen at the starting gate. However, I suspect there exists another kind of writer’s whatever.

I have yet to think of a name for this anomaly, but it’s a kind of dysfunction where one cannot seem to deviate from a topic, thus becoming hopelessly locked in on only that particular subject (mine had been covid of late, although that’s an understatement because it has been almost ten months now).

It’s as though you’re both inescapably glued together, so that one has no other choice but to pursue it. Writer’s lock? Pray tell, is this even common.

Of course we laugh about certain professors who could not avoid but always mention daily in class whatever favorite topics they fancy, or an uncle who couldn’t resist but include his life and travels abroad in all conversations. As for me, I’d start out on a certain subject, only to find myself deviating from it, and eventually writing about another entirely different topic. It’s just so frustrating. Can short attention span apply to writing?

Then out of the blue, my matey to the rescue. “Why don’t you write about this?” She had actually been at wit’s end, searching high and low for where to buy “Kadyos”, or pigeon peas. It’s the main ingredient used for cooking KBL (Kadyos-Baboy-Langka), a favorite Ilonggo fare. The soup dish is comprised of pork, jackfruit and that now-rare-in-this-pandemic legume, for all of you who don’t know. The lockdown I suspect, might have indeed spurred in her a sudden craving for one of her many comfort foods, but yes, why not write about that?

Apparently, her search in both the nearby veggie stores of our subdivision and on the internet had proven to be difficult, as in, kadyos’ availability had been a problem. But as luck would have it, her office mate at uni, hearing of her problem, had offered her seeds to plant instead. Thus, here ended the months-long search for her protein alternative. If you can’t get it anywhere, plant it.

I guess that’s where the term, beg steal or borrow finds a common thread: innovation. So in all, this here has become a lesson of sorts in that, and searching for other ways, leaving no stone left unturned, at achieving one’s goal.

I’m reminded of a street tale about a balut vendor-turned millionaire. Everyday, he would buy a 500-peso worth bagful of cooked balut, which he eventually peddled on the streets in order to get back the same amount at the day’s end. He would then do the same on the next day, and get his 500 back. And so it went. After about two years, a rich never-before-heard-of uncle died and bequeathed him with a huge inheritance. What’s my point exactly?

Actually, I’m just about beginning to sense a slow shift in all this, where I’m about to go slide back to the subject of Covid, so I’m signing off with this silly balut story.

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