Monday, August 23, 2010

A Blue-Sky Day

Image from here.

I spent today laughing, watching beautiful kids in colorful outfits playing gleefully on green meadows against 360 degrees of perfect blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

A picture-perfect day.

So full of hope. So full of joy.

So full of life.

Except that in my line of work, nothing is exactly as it seems.

Had the camera panned further down, from the gorgeous blue heavens, to the fresh-faced children and their happy smiles, to the dewy green grass beneath their feet, it would have also revealed grave markers nestled among the blades.

Some of the children and I walked up one of the grassy hills, reading the names of the people lying beneath us. One kid pulled me over to a certain marker, which only had one date inscribed on it:

March 10, 2010.

"He was a baby," I explained. "He was born and died on the same day."

"Oh," replied the kid nonchalantly, as though I had just told him why dead leaves turn brown.

At around 3 p.m. I was suddenly struck with a feeling that something terrible was happening somewhere. But none of us heard of the news till we all got home from the shoot.

It had been a blue-sky day.


  1. Sometimes I feel that too. I'd immediately call my granma back home to make sure that everything's alright.
    I guess kids won't really understand the true meaning of death. It's like it's too impossible for them to think that someone would just go away forever. Grown ups would normally explain to them that people who died will be with the angels. Kids love angels a lot. Almost anything that flies actually. They think their related with fairies. I remember the time I was looking into my father’s coffin when I was 3. I told my granma that he looked like he's smiling. She told me that he couldn't help it because he's really just pretending that he's sleeping and you're looking at him.

  2. shouldn't have turned on the news then. :(

  3. i was shaking while driving last night. i've never felt so afraid, so unsafe in my own country.

  4. such a striking metaphor for what really happened. i told myself i wouldn't comment on posts about it but this really hit the nail on the head.

    cemeteries make me sad but for some strange reason, i can always think when i'm in one. parang everything makes sense and life's so full of possibilities when you surround yourself with those who no longer have the chance to.

  5. @ Nyl : Death is always underfoot, always undermining, always under something.

    As for everything making sense when one is alone with one's thoughts in a cemetery, well, there's a certain truth and poetry to that.

    @ narnian : How young are you? You haven't really lived until you've had two drunken, off-duty, plainclothes cops try to overtake your car with one pointing a gun at your face.

    @ engel : I didn't. I learned about it from my maid.

    @ Silly_Silli_Kid: Hey you. These were 8 year olds, so I think they already grasped the idea of the permanence of death, although perhaps not the personal anguish and sense of irretrievable loss resulting from it.

  6. :(

    im speechless. this entry just dragged all the positive vibes in me. but its not your fault. i have issues. hehehe