Lessons at the Baguio Public Market: The water cycle

Yesterday, I was sold the worst bundle of mountain tea for 50php. A few years back lush bundles were being sold for 10-20php. But in my luck, the stalks I got were very old, top leaves are so dry they can no longer be boiled and drank. I opened the bundle to take out the bad ones and keep the good stuff, a familiar act. After weeding it, I had to throw almost half of the herbs. I felt cheated by the market lady. Observing my feeling of being cheated, it made my heart heavy sending a storm of thoughts in my head. Disappointment rained precipitating from all past swindles and deceit. I bathed in it for a while, acknowledging the truth of being under its atmosphere, but I also saw who is really soaked: The one seeing the seeing sees that seeing the emotion is not the emotion, the observer of the observance of thought is not the thought yet the observer is not separate from the observed.

My feelings evaporated, realizing I was lucky to have the bad bundle to be able to process something like this. An opportunity to master attention and presence.

After I bought the bundle, my friend bought another one. Seeing that her bundle was so much better than mine, I felt good. The bundle I had was really for me, that all the other bundles available after mine were good and all buyers after me get the better ones. It doesn’t change the fact that the market lady is an ass for selling bad bundles for a very high price (this economic cycle needs careful and strategic confrontation to end, hopefully creating a new one that gives justice to exchange), but receiving the bad bundle with purposeful attention taught me something deliberate. It lessened the probable birth of an angry customer shaming a saleslady which could have created judgments from nearby salesladies, further affecting all the other possible customers of the stall, all possible customers in the market. If there were more people buying from her (she is not selling something bad for your body, it’s a local cleansing herb disregarded because of Lipton), there will be less possibility of bundles turning bad.

Deception is converted to abundance. Water transformed.

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Sayaw ni Daniw

ni J. G. Dimaranan

 

Sa isang iglap nagdiklap

ang isang unibersong pangalan ay Tula.

 

Mula sa sinapupunan niya pinanganak

ang kabuuang imahen ng galak;

sa puso niya tunay na tumibok

ang metapora ng tuldok;

at sa kaniyang noo lumiwanag

ang ibig sabihin ng talinghaga—

nakataling hiwaga.

 

Sa pagpikit ng Tula

ang isda’y naging unggoy, lumangoy

paakyat ng mga uri sa mundo.

 

Sa malalim niyang paghinga,

siyang ina’y naging dalaga,

na minsan noo’y

di marunong mag-alala

pagkat abala sa pag-alala

ng mga nakalimutang alaala.

 

Sa unang kumpas ng mga kamay,

bumalik siyang muli sa pagtanda.

Pagkatapos ay sumayaw-sayaw

bilang isang hangal na diwata:

 

Sa pag-ikot ng kaniyang balikat at tuhod,

ang giting ng mga bundok ay lumuhod

at sumamba sa kadakilaan ng pag-anod.

 

Ilan pang tapik sa baywang

ang karagatang katawan

ay nagka-uwang…

at doon bumulwak ang init

ng kaloobang pinagkaloob.

 

Sa paggalaw ng kaniyang daliri sa paa

nabuhay ang mga patay

at napatid naman ang hininga

ng napakatagal nang nagluluksa—

namahinga.

 

Ganito isinilang ng Tula

ang kabuuang danas sa isang iglap,

parang lang malikmata,

(mula sa mata bumalik sa mata)

kung saan niya tunay na nakita

ang tumitingin sa kaniyang

sariling pagtingin, paningin.

 

Walang kibo.