Sunday, April 19, 2009

another entry, another contest, still didn't win

i just claimed the consolation prize for the contest on which i entered this article for. at some point after two writing contest that i didn't even get into the top 3, i am starting to think that i may just be average and not exceptional. i used to write for my personal consumption until some encouragement from people who are very close to me that they had the privilege to read a few of what i have written. it took quite a lot for me to start a blog and give my thoughts a very public audience; it took more for me to have certain articles for judgment. after the self doubt though, i thought why not share more, practice does make perfect and maybe someday i might just get to the point that i may become exceptional.

The Unexpected Presentation of an Adventure

My fascination with the English language has led me to my life long love affair with reading. I have always liked hearing people speak the English language that, one very vivid childhood memory of mine was grabbing a random book on a stack in front my mother and asking her to read to me. Interrupting her preparation for a lecture, she indulged me. Even if it didn’t matter at all what she was reading, for me listening to her properly enunciating every word was bliss but happiness came when I learned to read on my own. I read mostly school textbooks aloud when I first started to learn, I left the storybooks for my mother to read to me during bedtime. Reading my school books aloud was pure narcissism on my part, the auditory version at least which was also a sly way of catching my parents’ attention as if I cut short of saying it directly that I was being diligent with my homework presenting an air of precociousness that only a child could muster.

Reading for my own pleasure, away from the necessity of learning took a turn one summer; I was 9 years old at that time. Summer breaks are always agonizingly boring and dragging for a child like me who preferred to stay indoors and not get dirty and sweaty under the summer sun playing “patintero or tumbang preso”. Getting holed inside the house for two straight months isn’t that much fun even if for a week or two of those two months parents in their frustration of having the kids around all day, everyday would propose a getaway or two. Getaways can only satiate a bored child for as long as it could. I could always remember that exact moment when I stood up from my bed after staring at the bookcase for most of the afternoon, walked towards the opposite end of my room where a modestly filled bookcase stood, did a lot more staring at the books by then and finally deciding on a particular book. I grabbed the Companion Library double book edition which contained “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum and “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. While I could remember the moment I can’t remember the reason why I chose “The Wizard of Oz” over “The Jungle Book”. I read “The Wizard of Oz” with a sense of urgency and tenaciousness that only boredom could have brought about. I was so enthralled by L. Frank Baum’s classic story of young Dorothy blown away to Oz from Kansas with her dog Toto inside the tiny house she shared with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Oh, how much have I wished for everything in the book to be true and what I‘d give at that time to walk in the yellow brick road. I cried when Tin Woodman got his heart, Cowardly Lion got courage, and Scarecrow received his brain. I cried all the more when the wizard flew away in the balloon leaving Dorothy behind. I wiped my tears away when I knew that Dorothy with the help of Glinda the Good Witch found a way back to Kansas with the help of the magical ruby shoes. The mention of the ruby shoes started another fascination for me apart from reading, the shoe addiction but that is entirely another story. Reading “The Wizard of Oz” presented an adventure that I could never experience in my life and transported me to another place and time. It is perhaps happenstance that when my sister 10 years younger than I, asked me one summer break when she was about 8 years old if I could recommend a book she could read and help her pass time, I immediately suggested what else but “ The Wizard of Oz”. This book single handedly started my passion for reading and experiencing adventures in print.

Reading since then has become something constant in my life. Reading is my solace, my stress reliever, my past time, and the source of what I want to achieve in life. Reading has become such a great part in my life that my bookcase is no longer modestly filled. It has tripled its size, but then I am not good with my estimates so it could be more than that, because the sheer number of books I have purchased to read and plan to read is the answer to my mother’s question of where my salary goes. I still hope for more books to come even if looking for space at home for my books has escalated into a certified emergency. All these is simply because L. Frank Baum presented me with one great adventure that one summer in my childhood, I was taken forever and I never wanted it to end at all.