Tuesday, December 20, 2005
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
I've never lived in a place before where clouds touch the sky and the ground at one and the same time, but that's what happens here, in the mountains, in Baguio. Houses are nestled along a winding slope of mountain edge; the clouds, so close you can touch them, smell them, roll around and dwell in them, drift in and out and between the forest green of the tress and shrubs, dirt and rock. There was a moment, my first or second day here, driving down the highway, staring at the dwindling day through the passenger-side window, when I thought spotted fire. There was smoke everywhere, billowing and bragging its wares in drifting streams of off-shade white. Then I realized: Those are clouds, not smoke. The clouds mingle then merge with the land and the roads. They almost share the same space as us. We're neighbours with the infinite. We can live amongst the clouds and pretend that the real world cannot touch us here, that the clouds' mystical vapors can shield us and protect us from our own fragile selves.