Monday, August 18, 2003

The Past is Never Gone

There's a saying that while our parents live there's a home somewhere for us on earth. On the day when both are gone, and we are orphaned in our middle age, the door to childhood is finally closed. Dean Bocobo's father,  Israel de Castro Bocobo, passed away today, and he must truly understand what the Filipino poet Jose Rizal meant when he wrote:

Adios, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mia;
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar.

El perdido hogar. The lost home. I have often wondered why Rizal closed the journal of his consciousness, mere hours before he was marched to the place of execution, on the memory of his sunlit boyhood. Not hatred nor defiance bore him forward on that dawn so much as the wings of remembered love. It was a slight thing to set against death; yet Rizal, mason though he was, knew what Thornton Wilder knew:

But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Rizal was going home.