Friday, November 5, 2010

A Welcomed Intrusion

Woke up this morning I was staring at the ceiling cracks …
Of roadmaps and landscapes and highways
I have seen
I have been
to places far and deep
In my mind
Only to find comfort in your strangeness

The tune of Cynthia Alexander’s song “Comfort in your Strangeness” was still running at the back of my head when I opened my eyes early this morning. Then I remembered Bam, my eldest daughter, coming up to my room last night, bringing with her my guitar, taking no notice of the documents lying on top of my table that simply announced, “Please do not disturb me today.”

She pulled a chair and told me, “Ma, may ipaparinig ako sayo.”

“Okay,” I replied, while shifting my mental gear to a listening mode. I know this must be one of those rare moments … when her creativity demands for a captive audience to listen to her music, and I did not want to miss it at all.

While clearing my mind of thoughts about the proposal I need to finish soon, I straightened up on my seat in time to hear those first few notes that came out from the guitar. A riff that was so familiar as it’s been running at the back of my head for the past week but haven’t tried it myself on the guitar.

“Please do that again, Bam,” I requested. And she repeated the intro part of Cynthia Alexander’s song. I couldn’t believe it and suddenly asked, “How’d you do that?”

She was laughing when she told me, “Just a few minutes ago lang, Ma. Pinakinggan ko nang husto yong kanta at kinapa ko. Simplified version lang ‘to Ma, kasi mas kumplikado yong tipa ni Cynthia eh!

In the next few minutes, I was singing with her the entire song. I know that she knows it very well that the song Comfort in your Strangeness is one of my favorites, if not, my most favorite song by Cynthia A, and I’ve been dreaming of being able to pluck my guitar the way Cynthia did in this song.

Then she gave me the guitar and said, “Try mo Ma! Nasa 3rd fret ang capo kasi binago ko tuning niyan kahapon … sa ‘D’ ko kinuha ito … pero kunin mo sa ‘A’ ang base sa umpisa…” And there, with a few more instructions from her, I was plucking my guitar after what, more than five months of not touching it? And before she went down, she pulled out from her pocket and left with me her tuner, too. A tuner? Nakupo, ilang oras na naman kaya ako mapapatugtog nito, I told myself.

And while I was sitting there, plucking the strings in an attempt to ‘connect’ with my guitar once again, I can’t help but remember that moment when I taught Bam the very first chord she learned in playing guitar at an age when she can barely hold the entire fret with her single hand.

A few years later, we were then discussing about the difference between a major scale from a minor scale, the difference between a ‘7th’ from a ‘major 7th’ … and a few more years later, I found myself explaining to her the concept of the circle of 5th, and her explaining to me the different scales I haven’t known before. And pretty soon, we were trying to figure out what scale Sting must have been using in some of his more recent songs.

And now, this!!!

Then I started to smile when I remembered those nights when all we had was moonlight coming in through the window and flickering candles to brighten up our place, and me playing guitar and singing songs for them, for her and Kim, to bring them to sleep.

I am teary-eyed, and last night I was teary-eyed while singing this part of the song:

We are slaves to the crimes we commit
In fits of passion we shame
We are nothing
We are nothing
We are nothing
We are nothing but
the dust on Your feet
Dying to be born again
Singing Ether Water Fire singing Earth Singing Air
I have seen
I have been
to places far and deep in my mind
only to find
Comfort in Your Strangeness