Disaster and imagination

By Elmer A. Ordonez

I MISSED the Philippine PEN conference (Dec. 1-2) at which I was supposed to chair a panel on “Apocalyptic Writing: Disaster and Imagination.” I inveigled Gilda Cordero-Fernando to be one of the panelists. But recently I experienced my own “apocalyptic” moment that compelled me to skip everything, cancel all my appointments, and declare that my column “Romance of the Seas” might be my last. Faithful readers swamped my e-mail with queries “Why?” My daughter Mo who sometimes has a strange sense of humor, rejoined, “Why only now?”

But here’s why. We in the family have learned to accept fate. My wife, the afflicted one, and I, both of “uncertain age,” have become philosophical about it. None of that Dylan Thomas thing about not going “gentle into the night” and raging against “the dying of the light.” It’s more like just coming to terms. The lyrical stuff may or may not come later.

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  1. I feel sad and smile at the same time reading this. I’m really in awe and greatly admire people who still can show some sense of humor in times of great personal difficulty. My heartfelt sympathy with the author.