When the writing gets good

When the writing gets good

(Published in Panorama Magazine under my weekly column entitled, “Our Times.”)

The good thing about being a writer is that you are never alone. Even when seated in a busy coffeeshop, all by my lonesome, sometimes I feel that my table is the most crowded of all. No, my brain is not addled. But it does enjoy doing a backfloat now and then, savoring the sensation of a person adrift in Imagination’s sea.

I love to write though it is such a nerve-wracking process. Whoever said that writing is easy should be used as a human keyboard by Gorillas with Ipads. Writing means pouring self on paper, exposing one’s thoughts to readers who have judgements of their own to make. But when the writing gets good — Oh, when the words snuggle together like newborn puppies — it feels so good to stare at a page suddenly alive with a heartbeat that only the writer hears.

And this is why I write. Because you wake up on Sundays with your own routines that hopefully include reading this column, you deserve a whimsical piece once in a while. As you get ready for Church or to feed the brood, or set up a date with the love of your life, I sit and write and think of you. Who are you, dear reader? Are you a gypsy? When entering a mall, do you head straight for the racks of colors? Or do you go about in measured steps, thinking of value-for-money while staring at price tags before reaching out for yet the same kind of blouse? The same kind of trousers?

Are you the type that longs to wear purple but sticks to blue and grey? Or are you the maverick in your office, the unpredictable one who blurts out words that shock and amuse? Are you the infidel husband who makes up for sins with chocolate bribes and take-out food? Or are you the long suffering housewife who married not just a hubby but a dysfunctional clan who sees nothing but the bad in you, invented or otherwise? Or are you the new graduate filled with dreams and uncertainties in constant search for affirmation from peers and elders alike?

See, I don’t know you but I write for you. I think about you all the time. When I attend meetings and the facilitator draws out the best ideas from everyone, I take down notes. For you. When I read a book that fascinates, I dog-ear a page. For you. As my life goes on, minute by minute, the desire to draw you in as an honored guest becomes a welcome intrusion. I write because of you.

And so, in that sense, you and I live in parallel planes. You have your life, and I have mine. But on Sundays, we meet through a page littered with words strung by thoughts of you. Sometimes, when I’m truly blessed and lucky, I get to shake your hand and see your smile, and get a sense of who you are.

But for now, let this brief encounter on a Sunday of all days, be my way of saying welcome to my world. Stay with me, and before you turn the page, know that you are important. You are the reason why I write. And I don’t even know who you are. Yet, I say this as one of your dearest friends, get on with your life, and live each day with quiet joy. Don’t mind me because when the writing is good, you and I will be the first to know. See you again, next Sunday.

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • Ryan Gomito

    I always look forward to reading your blogs! You’re an inspiration! Cheers! 😉

  • tin

    I love reading the panorama magazine and your column is one of my favorites. It’s good to see you and your work in cybernet. I’ll be coming back here to read your blog. More power!

  • Hi, Ma’am Toots! I still visit your blog and reading each post at a time. Nakarelate ako dun sa dog-ear, just to remember what to write for my blog readers, if there’s any. 😀 Hehehe!


    From your late father’s “Windows” down to your “Our Times” I love all your writings. I always look forward to reading your column every Sunday not only to learn and savor your thoughts but also to awakened and inspired. Thank you so much. More power. GOD bless!