so many stories


I found this picture in my folder called "stories", taken at the Ferry Building back in 2007. At some point, maybe I wanted to write a piece about the woman in the red coat, how she seemed content and unfazed sitting beside the loving couple. Or maybe I wanted to write about the couple, how the woman gazed tenderly at the man while he was stared at the island across the bay. I'm not really sure.

Last Sunday night, in the subway, someone shouted wildly "There's a man on the tracks!". Like a film in slow-motion, everyone seemed to be playing their roles. There were those who called the police, someone ran up the stairs to inform the attendant, others were anxiously looking down the train tracks, while others like me, stood frozen, unsure of what to do. Finally, amidst all the chaos, a guy leaned down and offered his hand to the crying man below. It was over far too quickly for me to comprehend what really happened and the next thing I know, I was already sitting inside a train, dazed and shaken.

This morning on my way to my neighborhood coffee shop, I saw a man and his cane, walking with very slow and faltering steps, one side of his body paralyzed. As a healthcare professional, my initial reaction was to help him but I stopped myself when I saw the look of sheer determination on his face. It must have taken a lot of courage for him to come out and walk around like that but there he was, all dressed up in a fancy suit and a fancy hat. I watched him cross the street, step after painful step, and something inside me shifted.

Our tendency, or mine at least, is often to focus inwards, to get caught up in our own little worlds and our miseries. It only takes one story, one encounter no matter how brief, to remind us once again that we're all in this together.

4 comments:

  1. The story about the man and the cane -- wow. Though I'll never see him or know him, that story sill be my inspiration for a long, long time.

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  2. thanks a lot, maya :)

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  3. te,
    the story about the man and the cane is really moving for me... makahilak ko ug popcorn and rainbow, te :)

    miss yah!

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  4. moir, i miss you lots! thanks for commenting. good luck sa review, tubaga unya akong tawag ha. <3

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