by Maria Isabel Cecila Pascual
Traditional Bamboo flooring
Old Filipiniana Costume
I have so many things going through my mind....many ideas and scenes playing non-stop. Picturing myself quilting a beautiful silk cloth of vivid colors, multiple flower petals outlined with a simple running stitch...I could imagine how lovely it would look like on our couch or simply hanged on the wall. Staring at it while running my fingers along it softness will certainly give an intense sense of pleasure.
Another odd scene I conjured in my mind was a floor made with seasoned bamboo, long expanse of its narrow strips extending several meters where I stand. Almost sparcely adorned because of its huge space, native narra escaparates, chairs, and tables covered with dainty raffled cotton cloth designed and sewn by Sanseng Lina, a very artistic and creative woman. She can cook and do anything I believe. Yes, she is that good... I promise.
After a moment's pause, I realized I was remembering my grandmother's ancestral house in central Luzon...I was named after her I was told, only saw her image from an old family picture that was browned by the smouldering heat over time and musty odor from years of being kept in an enclosed space. Made me sneeze everytime I open this old antique aparador, where old albums were stored. I love the eerie squeeking sound it makes most likely due to its rusty hinges. Turning pages after pages of these albums was like having a mini adventure, a window of the past and of days long gone. Interesting faces, hair styles, background scenes and costumes would occupy my vision and mind the rest of the day... Thinking how was it like living during those times.
I could not shake this picture that keeps flashing before my eyes...long expance of bamboo floor of my grandmother's house. The afternoon light and shadows making weird shapes on its rich, shiny, dark, honey colored surface. My eyes would get tired making up figures at its ever shifting shapes. Baffled by this scene, I tried to pinch myself to make sure I was fully awake or still dreaming...and if I was, does it matter? I am quite intent to solve this vision, if I were back home I would certainly consult an old wise dream reader from a nearby Chinese community.
Since I do not have this option and other resources, I'll just have to depend on my own interpretation...Perhaps it was telling me to pay respects to my ancestors by lighting a candle and uttering a heartfelt prayer. A reminder that I must not forget my roots and adhere to my native tradition and culture--- I do, but maybe I have to try harder. Perhaps it means I still have a long life ahead of me so therefore, I should make sensible long term plans. Lastly, it's a way of my heart telling me how much I missed home, despite the fact that I have made and adopted a new home for myself and my family.
The latter must be the answer, I believe it's human nature... to always go back where our roots had started to sprout. It's inevitable, it's as natural as the water flowing through a stream, a river...through the sea and eventually back to the ocean. Life's cycle is never complete until it has come to full circle.
With this thought in mind, I felt at peace and serenely whole again. Felt my eyelids getting heavier and heavier...until finally succumbing into a deep happy slumber.