It stopped raining for a while. The sky is still overcast and gray; I guess it will clear up soon—but not just yet. Trees shudder and they shake the remaining drops of rain onto the ground. The concrete pavement is shiny from where I’m standing. I wonder why all my stories start from trees, raining, and gray. I wonder why I’m always alone in the beginning—contemplating or looking at some scene in silence.
Someone calls me from the inside of the house, I look back. Then I never return to writing. That’s always the beginning, and, always, the abrupt end.
I wonder if anyone can write from a place of contentment and happiness, or should it always be written by constantly pricking our fingers on the bubog that we keep. The word is so ugly, isn’t it? Bubog means little shards of broken glass; it pronounces so close to the word bugbog, which means to batter or beat up.
It recalls one afternoon when I was a little girl and I was in the playground in school. My classmate held beautiful bits of bubog on her palm. She said they passed as diamonds and she was selling them to me.
The word recalls times at home when I accidentally drop glass on the floor. My father would warn me of the bubog, and then I would ever so carefully skip away to get a pair of slippers and a broom. I’d sweep the floor. But I would always miss some bubog and find them a few days later through their telltale glitter under tables and chairs.
Bubog could mean our enduring issues and concerns. Those are the knots in our lives— for which spend inordinate amounts of time and energy smoothening, pressing down, cracking, evading. Those tangled knots are often the center of rituals, repetitive patterns in life. And they say to make any creative work of art or any convincing performance they always say we should draw from this wellspring of hurt. When you draw from this place of pain, you’re more vulnerable, relatable—after all, who’s never felt pain?
And how many words can you wax and wane when everything is alright? When everything is fine, there is nothing to say: you just are. When something is amiss, when regularity, satisfaction, contentment is absent, we need to speak, or refuse to speak. Words can only fill hollow, cavernous mouths.
Anna Karenina began with, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”