After the Storm

by Jan Geronimo on September 29, 2009

writers block

Do you notice the marked stillness after a  storm? Isn’t it remarkable? What purpose does it serve? Is it to make us better assess the finality and enormity of our losses?

It’s just the way it is, right? Nothing personal at all.

All I’m saying is that I’m still groping for form. Can’t put two disparate ideas to make it a coherent whole. But surely I can ask how you’re doing so let’s start with that.

How are you? What brilliant things happened to you today?

Photo by Shubert Ciencia

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  • Hi Jan, just passed here now. Well, I'm not feeling well today, got colds and cough. But the brilliant thing that happened to me was, I managed to come to work despite the fever :)
  • Yay, dapa ka nga sa bench nang mapalo noh. That's a little foolish - what
    can be more important than your health, aber? Ahahahaha. Ano ka, nasermonan
    ka tuloy. Rest ka kaya. Suspended lahat ng housework. Declare a holiday
    sa household mo. :)
  • Ouch, pwede maglagay ng makapal na towel sa pwet? :D I was saving my leave for the Christmas eh, LOL!
  • Ay oo nga. May Christmas to look forward to nga pala. Bat di mo sinabi
    agad? Towel ka diyan! Ahahaha. Hey, inaantay ka na namin sa PG50. What's
    taking you so long, aber?
  • Don't worry Jan, mamayamaya lang magrereply na ako sa PG50 discussions :D
  • Excellent! I thought nadala ni Pepeng iyong notification email eh.
    Ahehehe. Thanks!
  • I'm surprised I haven't commented here.
    I don't know if it slipped my mind or I just assumed I already have.
    Lol. Even the image seems to call me out.

    Unfortunately, nothing brilliant has happened to me in the past few days. So I have nothing to share. Im in a rut. I need endorphins.
  • It's okay, Rey. I realize early enough my friends and readers have a life outside of blogging. That's a given.

    Remember the time after you've given your dogs a bath? Fun watching them shake off the water right? I wonder if we can do the same.

    Remember the time you've had a the scare of your life while you're...were you skiing? Well, not too sure now, but it involved you getting dragged by a boat, right? You've lots to be thankful for, Rey.

    Ayoko na, platitudes are coming out me na eh. Ganito na lang: Cheers! :)
  • Oops. Dont let me bring you down.
    I AM thankful for so many things.

    Lol. That was the time I got dragged by a speedboat when I fell off a banana boat and didn't want to let go because I didn't know how to swim and didn't have a lifevest on. lol.
  • A banana boat and I didn't remember it. Ahehehe.
  • i wouldn't quite call it a calm after the storm. more like a restlessness, a disquiet.

    we'll all recover from this, some earlier than others. in the meantime, we'll regroup. the blogosphere has been eerily quiet lately, hasn't it jan?
  • A disquiet - yes, that's an apt description. I've been awfully quiet too for quite a while myself. Well, just have to shake it off now. I've babied it too much already. ",)
  • I spoke to organizer of Silicon Valley Code Camp about signing up to speaking next year... about WordPress! That rocks my world.

  • That's marvelous. Can't wait to see a video or podcast of it in your blog. Ooops, code camp you say? LOL
  • I havent paid you a visit in quite a while and I just thought I would stop by to see what you have going on over here and I looks like things are going good. I am gointg to have to come back a little later and take some time out to really go through what you have had to say.
  • Why, Gerry, thanks for dropping by. ",)
  • Disaster brings a restlessness that makes stillness painful and silence deafening. It is a restless need to DO something - to FIX something. Volunteering with relief efforts is a great way to help yourself, if you can do it. The funny thing is, you can volunteer and feel almost selfish for doing it, because in a way, it helps you as much as it helps those you're helping. The emotions that can well up in the impotence of stillness and the inability to DO something can be overwhelming and incoherent as static on the radio.
  • In an odd sort of way, it feels like we're doing it for ourselves. But who's to begrudge us that when it's an oblique way of coming to terms with our losses? Certainly not me. It's that or repeatedly cleaning the toilet to keep the hands busy and still the endless loops of what-ifs.
  • No one's going to begrudge you. As I explained to my son, when he was younger, your motives for volunteering are your own - the benefit to others is the same, regardless. I think most of us have a natural need to be useful and needed; feeling helpless and dwelling impotently on the misery of others, wringing our hands and saying how awful it is doesn't serve anyone, including ourselves. And while all I can do from here is send donations, if you're THERE, on the scene, it's more fulfilling and healing (I think) to give of your time and labor and get in the trenches, so to speak. When you can see and speak to and touch the people you're helping, it's more real. You know it's not just going into the black hole or the money pit. And we all have a need to touch and be touched - to know that our friends and neighbors really are THERE for us. This is the bright side of disaster - we find out that in a real pinch, there really are a lot of good, caring, amazingly generous human beings in our communities. It's too bad it takes things like this to restore a little of our faith in our fellow man, but if it can do that...well, it still sucks. But it sucks just a little less.
  • We must be happy after the storm. Why? Its finished and we can start over again and test our faith to get on top again.
  • Life is too short and we've got to move on. Yeah, you're right. Every day is a chance to start all over again. Or perhaps it's a gift? ",)
  • fielsvd
    after the storm, there was a showcase of the best and the worst in the filipino. the bayanihan spirit was at work, but its a pity there were some pinoys who took advantage of the situation. nakita ko sa tv how two barangay officials messed up dahil di nagka-agree sa hatian ng mga relief goods na pinamahagi nila sa kanilang mga relatives lamang. tsk! tsk!
  • Yay - and on national television yet. But of course taken in another context it's good we see them for what they are - these officials from the barangay level up to those at the highest seat of power. May paglilinaw, di po ba? ",)
  • A planet breathes in through the morning and exhales through the evening...a country does it just a little quicker and the storm just a breath quicker again...and that quiet moment when the storm has passed is in between the still before the dawn when we hold ours in anticipation of a rising sun and a new breath.

    Damn Jan (hey that rhymes ;-), you certainly do turn a fine breeze...

    Many thanks...I'll be back.

    Here's a couple of folks I also frequent for their fonts fair - @spikethelobster (and his great commenters at The Scrawlbug (, & @katesblog (, & @PaulHassing (http://thegamebook.wordpress.c.../). Good folks, great & all very different writers...


    Stephen G
  • Great comment for its lyricism. Thanks a lot. That one made me smile... Okay, I will check out your recommendation. I'm already familiar with Spike. We're Twitter buddies already.
  • Coming from you Sir that's high praise...I'm honoured :-)

    Glad to here you know 'The Spikester'...we all love our 'Grammar Nazi' :-)

    I'm confident you'll find fuel in the others :-)


    Stephen G
  • Hi Bro,

    Well nothing far! Lols! Well studying all the tactics that you gave me. I guess one of it is letting your readers do the works. hehehe. Thanks for the tip Jan. I 'll update you soon I've posted it.

    Meantime, Prayers really can move mountains - isn't it, Jan. Good thing Pepeng did not directly hit the Luzon and spared us today. A lot of Filipino must have been praying this time. Prayers can really move mountains and even Super Typhoon too! ;)

    Jhong Medina
  • Well, that's life. When you're prepared and ready to take anything something like a super typhoon ignores you. And when we least expect it something befalls us. It pays to be in a constant state of readiness which can be tiring of course...Yeah, if prayers can help us better deal with the human condition, I'm all for it.

    Feel free to ask me anything. Gives clarity to my thoughts, too, since I'm forced to think them through. So you see, you're giving me a favor too by asking those questions. Fire away. Anytime. ",)
  • I am doing great bro. Here, blogging and praying and asking myself to become a better person.

    Thank God the storm hasn't brought so much flooding here in our place.

    Stillness, i love that...but this kind of stillness is somewhat unlikely. Is it because some voices were drowned by the flood. Jesus!
  • I'm glad you're fine. I'm uncomfortable with the stillness, too. This post in a sense is an anxious query from someone who still has roof over his head...A better person? How can that be possible. I've seen you up close and nothing by way of an add on can improve you at all. You have since moved out of the beta phase, right? ",)
  • Well, I want to look more cuter...I guess that needs lots of improvement wahahhahaahah!

    Good thing we are all ok now.
  • after the storm, another one is coming. this time its winds are stronger. there was some panic-buying at the grocery stores last night.
  • The latest news from CNN as of 10:30 am today (October 2), is that typhoon parma is already classified as no.5 , stronger than any other typhoon. This is alarming.
  • I think the tranquility that ensues after a storm breaks allows us to measure things up... may it be complete devastation or simple inconvenience. It also serves as a reminder that nothing is stable in this world we live in and that the only constant thing is change.
  • That much is true. We've got to move on or start anew. Thanks, Julius.
  • I have the luxury of never having been through any natural disasters. I thought of all I know when I first heard of the floods/typhoon your side. Ashamed to say I moved on and continued my carefree life. Jena reminded me this morning when I prattled on about enjoying a glorious fall day here.... I am sure she was just sharing her angst rather than trying to chide me. However I was left with the reminder of how blessed I am to breath fresh air, to have friends and family and all that means. To address your question...The golden hues of the trees around here were brilliant against an azure blue sky. I shared some giggles with a girlfriened today, the store clerks said our laughter made them feel happy - that made us feel happier and brilliant. The hugs I received from kids and hubs at end of school and work today made my heart sing. I was inspired to write a witty haiku for the Twitter #haikuwordgame, which made me feel brilliant (I can brag a bit, eh?) My twitter star shone brilliant this evening when I discovered some new friends - some you know, others perhaps you will over time. All this does pale a bit when I think of others whose day may well be less brilliant resulting from recent hazardous weather. Hopefull, the calm after the storm will return brilliance to all.
  • Hello TrinaMb, I'm glad you have interpreted it that way. It's not my practice to chide people. I was just sharing my story . Take care and all the best.
  • That's a great story you have about the store clerks. Laughter can really be infectious. Well, a happy heart I'm sure will find writing a haiku a breeze. In fact, your comment sounds like a poem to me. ",)
  • What a nice compliment JG, expecially since I felt I was rambling... Thank you!
  • Well there goes the saying "after the storm is a new beginning"... It's difficult to see a light sometimes during times of crisis. However, if we only look at the bright side maybe it will be otherwise... Surely it has a purpose.. maybe it teaches us something... but whatever it is, for now, let's be thankful that we are still alive... although yeah there were few casualties but maybe it also has a purpose... What brilliant happened today?! ooppss... I won't tell first... it's a secret... maybe later... I'm still crossing my fingers... jejejjejejeje
  • Okay, I will not spook your chances of getting lucky then. LOL.
  • My father told me about the flood last Sunday when he saw it on the news here and I immediately asked my classmates and some people at school if they're interested to help and they were. Now I am looking for charity organisations that have bases there so we can just get in touch with them and see if we can work out something.

    The brilliant thing that happened to me today was with my friends and classmates eating a nice dinner in a restaurant. Then had some coffee in another café to chat some more. Apres, went home and baked some oatmeal cookies with raisins and chocolate chips.
  • Thanks, Charles, for the help. Appreciate it very much... The most ordinary thing can be the one of the most memorable to us, especially if we share it with people who are dear to us. If only more people have their hearts in the right place like you do we'd save ourselves a lot of grief. ",)
  • Roy
    nothing special... just re-echoing all the links to the blogs that has the instructions on how to help the victims, while cramming on my personal deadlines (it's month-end) to make sure that I have enough for the upcoming enrollment.

    life goes on...

  • Settling back to routine and the usual goals. That's reassuring to hear - it's ugly surprises I cringe at.
  • I am currently recharging...",)
  • Which reminds me - you've left a question on your most recent post! Going
    there now. ",)
  • All things will pass, and that includes a devastating storm. Amidst it, there seems to be no end to the relentless onslaught of an immense natural power no human could control.
    I just hope the government would be more active in ameliorating the miserable plight of those affected by Ondoy.

    I remember during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, Pampanga was converted into one arid wasteland of sand dunes. Those were bleak and dreary days with seemingly no vestige of redemption. But look, life went back to normal again.

    The brilliant thing that happened to me today is that - I'm still writing to exhale...he he he...I'm alive and can still fulfill some of the various things I had planned to do.

    What does not kill you, will make you stronger. All the best!

  • I'm happy you're all right and that you're writing to exhale, Jen. I kinda miss you, but that's okay - as long as everybody is writing to exhale, I'm fine with it. ",)
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