Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett)

This play is a masterpiece; as it is useless on the surface, but it contains a hell of a lot meaning than what it apparently shows. The tragedy is internal, and the comic parts are contained in the dialogues. I personally find Lucky the funniest of all the characters, and later I will explain why. For me, this play is about being stuck and moving on, waiting or believing in something that doesn’t exist, and the “speculations” that time is not linear. It seems to me that the tragic element in this play is not in the environmental factors or circumstances, but in the internal issues of the two main characters, who are Vladimir and Estragon.

Essentially, Vladimir and Estragon are “stuck” with each other. They do enjoy each other’s company, but there were times when they considered taking different roads and moving on:

“There are times when I wonder if it wouldn’t be better for us to part.”

“Wait! I sometimes wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off alone, each one for himself. We weren’t made for the same road.” (Estragon)

The sad, and sometimes irritating, part about this is that they were aware of their need to part and move on, and yet what hinders them is the arrival of Godot, which I believe they have been looking forward for almost a century now. It reminds me of the “second coming of Christ,” the event which is very popular with Christians, as they say He would judge every one of us and save only those who are worthy after an even which is kind of like an Armageddon. When I was in high school, being in a phase of identity crisis, I changed religions like clothes because I wanted the absolute truth. There was a time where I lived my life thinking that Christ could come tomorrow, and I should behave like a spotless saint. Looking back, it was really hard because I lived my everyday life in anxiety and perfectionism, but tah-dah! Five years later, I did not believe in an authoritative god anymore. And now my life is so much better.

Vladimir and Estragon wasted half a century waiting for something that did not really come, so they were stuck in a cycle or a pattern of being idle and dependent on that something more powerful than them, portrayed in the identity of Godot. I remembered something said by Vladimir: “There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.” We always blame our external reality for something that is totally internal. However, the two believed, or were made to believe, that their next move depends on Godot, and not on themselves. Religions act just like that – telling people to offer everything to the Lord, making them develop a “bahala na” mentality, when in fact we are all in control of our destiny. Vladimir and Estragon are like cripples who need Godot, who is probably non-existent, to push their wheelchairs in order to move forward in life. Humans were not made to have feet in order to act like cripples. Our decisions and directions in life are entirely our own, because not everyone is made the same and for the same purpose.

Anyway, Lucky is such a funny character because he just danced and blurted out the things that he had thought. At first, I really thought that he was a cute pig because Pozzo treated and called him like one. I just knew that he was a slave because my classmate told me. I laughed so hard when Lucky started shouting this kind of nonsense:

“Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattman of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire…”

I found it funny because I really thought Lucky was a pig, and he just said some things like a human. His nonsensical chatter just added to the intensity of my laughter, as I thought he was a character made to be idiotic and mentally ill. However, I was inspired by what Lucky said because it seemed like he was channeling an alien entity, because his words did not really make sense, and because as I was reading the play, I was also up to “automatic writing” wherein we let go of our conscious mind, we write on our non-dominant hand, and let our pens just move through the paper without judgment. For some people this is a creative method, for some this is a way of channeling spirits, and for some this is a method for self-awareness. If ever you are familiar with the Psychic Twins, they also use automatic writing in their predictions. And for this reason, Lucky is a dear character to me. Also, reading his nonsense, it seems like the play has religious or spiritual allusions. But nonetheless, may what happened to Vladimir and Estragon be a lesson to us to just always move forward in our lives and sculpt the future with our own hands. 

Automatic Writing #1

Because may mga taong baboy that we do not give the chance take basket bring oranges ‘cause there are lots of plants that need that kind of special attention and loving care but the sparks from their eyes signify a lot better than who they really are because sometimes things get worse when everything else fails in the world but no one else comes close to you than the spirit of your pig that walks down the road and milks some turkeys and makes them go aah! You know it when you look into the eyes of a liar and bring forth the things that don’t make sense. People think that they have figured everything out but no they don’t and it’s something frustrating for someone with a sensitive soul and chances are things usually get better after some days of no care at all yet something still remains the same we are no longer the babies that used to be cradled at night, since things change and we do not need them anymore. Anyone has something to say about what the world has to offer, but many times we just get something that we don’t want and we end up with regrets. 

Uncle Vanya (Anton Checkov)

This play doesn’t seem like a comedy to me, or at least like my idea of a comedy, since it is not funny and it doesn’t have a happy ending. There may be some funny elements yet I cannot remember one, because the feelings of hatred, fear, and regret dominate the play. This play also contains the elements of madness and melancholy which are common characteristics of Russian literature, as I understand it. The themes that I noticed are people’s aversion to old age, how youth and beauty go together, the importance of beauty in women, and the modern Russian history. I am not sure if Checkov was present at the time when the Russian monarchy fell and the Bolsheviks took over Russia, but I can see that the struggles presented among the characters here somehow reflect the modern Russian history.

Most “old” people are unhappy because they already lack the things that they have or can do when they were still young. This unhappiness mostly comes from reliving the past and not accepting that all we have now is the present moment. In this play, almost all characters worry about their old age, but the two most worried about it are Alexander Serebrakoff and Uncle Vanya. Uncle Vanya said, “If you knew how I lie awake at night, heartsick and angry, to think how stupidly I have wasted my time when I might have been winning from life everything which my old age now forbids” – while Alexander said, “Oh, it is dreadful to spend every moment grieving for the lost past, to see the success of others and sit here with nothing to do but to fear death. I cannot stand it! It is more than I can bear. And you will not even forgive me for being old!” Both of them regret that they cannot bring back the good old times and they resent their old age for it. It almost seems like the youth have the most opportunities for happiness, success, or other good things in life than the people of other age groups. Somehow I also feel like a failure for just following my heart at this time of my life and delaying when I should climb up the ladder for worldly success. But Marina said something about old people which makes me feel bad for my deceased grandparents: “Old people want to be pitied as much as young ones, but nobody cares about them somehow.” Perhaps regret and wanting to bring back time is just normal, and it’s just that we naturally feel the need to chase back the past when death is nearly approaching. However, everything is just a matter of perspective anyway; some people are even sick of this earth that they envy old people whose lives are already ending.

The next thing related to youth is beauty. In this play, Helena and Sonia are two polar opposites because of the superficial fact that one is pretty and the other is ugly or plain. Beauty is oftentimes the quality that is noticed in women because youth and beauty are the things that make women desirable – and it usually doesn’t matter whether they are rich or not or are skillful or not. For men, the things that make them desirable to women are money and power. Between Helena and Sonia, Helena has the upper hand since all men in the play are in love with her and her beauty. She was already married to the professor and yet she still had two other options for a mate. Sonia, on the other hand, only loved Astroff with all her heart but the man feels no desire for her. For females, it is really advantageous to be born a beauty than a Plain Jane because women themselves are not permitted by the patriarchal society to be on top; and beautiful women have better chances at latching on to richer and more powerful men that can give them the comfortable and happy lives that they want.

Since Helena and Alexander were portrayed to have comfortable lives while Uncle Vanya and other people toil for them, they might represent the Russian monarchy while Uncle Vanya and the others represent the poor peasants and the common people. As time went by, the people in the house realized that Helena and Alexander were only burdens that make other people’s lives miserable while at the same time they are regarded with high esteem. Astroff said this about Helena:

“A human being should be entirely beautiful: the face, the clothes, the mind, the thoughts. Your step-mother is, of course, beautiful to look at, but don’t you see? She does nothing but sleep and eat and walk and bewitch us, and that is all. She has no responsibilities, everything is done for her – am I not right? And an idle life can never be a pure one.”

I am not an expert on Russian history but I know a little about it – and this part is the realization of the common people that the Russian monarchy is not serving them anymore, and their anger at the monarchy acted out by the Bolsheviks was reflected in what Uncle Vanya said to Alexander:

“We used to think of you as almost superhuman, but now the scales have fallen from my eyes and I see you as you are! You write on art without knowing anything about it. Those books of yours which I used to admire are not worth one copper kopeck. You are a hoax!”

It basically means that the last of the Romanovs became nothing but a mere ornament for the Russian empire because Tsar Nicholas II was a bit useless for a king, and Russia was really in turmoil at that time. They went through the transition phase wherein the people wanted to eliminate the social hierarchy that monarchies bring forth. And because the gap between the bourgeoisie and the masses is so huge, these elites that govern nations cannot really address the real problems of the people. It is reflected in what Alexander replied to Uncle Vanya after he had vented out his anger:

“What did I know about such things, Ivan? I am not a practical man and don’t understand them. You might have helped yourself to all you wanted.”

The oppressed people are often blamed for their misfortunes, but we must also remember that the power is not in their hands in but in the hands of the elites and national authorities. Well, sometimes we also have to blame ourselves, but our power is very limited. We live in a world full of contrasts and binary oppositions as our souls wouldn’t understand white unless it experiences black and so on. Like Alexander and Uncle Vanya, we cannot stand some people for some weird reason because they reflect some unacceptable things about ourselves or the universe just wants us to grow. And yet sometimes, things or people that give us headaches just make us realize some things and they do not serve us in the long run, so parting ways is better, just like what happened in this play. Some things that bring about our own destruction come and go in our lives, but we can always redeem ourselves in the end. Old age is not an excuse to be idle and mope about our misfortunes because it is never too late to start all over again. 


People do not see the strength in my personality. I can never be strong for them. (Not that I'm complaining lol.) For those of you who understand astrology, I am mostly made up of water. They say that the moon is strongest in Cancer and I have that. My venus, mars, and pluto are all in the sign of Scorpio – those are very powerful placements and yet people do not see that. Scorpio is water, but it’s a silent but deadly placement. And because of the dominance of the water element in me, I am a seething pool of emotions. The second most dominant in me is earth. Because of these two feminine elements in me, I am very passive, emotional, intuitive, and “fragile,” as people say. The air elements in me are just in my sun and midheaven. I lack the fire element and I think that is the main reason why even the slightest hint of strength cannot be seen in me. I am the typical feminine woman whom people feel the need to cuddle and nurture.

I am tired of people telling me to stop being like this. I am tired of people telling me to stand up for myself even just for once. I know how concerned they are, but seeing my personality as a flaw is like a total rejection of my entire being. They do not how much strength is needed to have intense emotions and face them daily. They do not know how much strength is needed to accept the emotions that are deemed negative and feel the lessons that they bring. It’s true that we are already adults; I am twenty now but I still feel like a child. Some people also think that I look younger than I really am. For some people, it is a blessing. For some people, it is a sign of underdevelopment. But we must also remember that everything is a matter of perspective, and no two people see things exactly the same way. People always tell me that I am too sensitive, but I personally think that it is wrong to judge other people based on the way you judge yourself because you haven’t walked in their shoes. You cannot push them to change immediately into the “perfect” person that you want. I am not perfect. I don’t even like admitting my faults because of all the people, I think I will be the most affected. I will be the most injured person even when all of us are just pinched with the same degree of pain.

A fragile person is fragile. This is not even a problem to other people, but I just want people to know that there is nothing wrong with being fragile. “Strong” people have fully-developed masks and guards that they wear for the world to see, while fragile people like me do not wear any armor. People easily see and feel how we feel and there is nothing wrong with that. We are humans, and not robots, after all. Just imagine the pain and discomfort of being inauthentic, suppressing emotions, or trying to project another identity. Fragile people like me do not feel the need to do that. If the world wants to harm us, then let it harm us. No one can stop us from crying anyway. And I also want to say that not crying in the midst of turmoil is not a sign of strength – in the same way that crying is a sign of weakness. Emotional honesty is being true to oneself. People tell me to be more logical, especially when things are falling apart, but I cannot use logic to suppress my emotions. When I feel bad, then let me feel bad. I am a free person. And I am honest with myself.

Astrologically speaking, I think this is largely due to my moon in Cancer, adding to the fact that I am a female and I have an access to the divine feminine energy. The moon, as well as my surroundings, affects me greatly. People even say that I am very palpable – I can feel everything and they can feel me as well. When I am greatly depressed or afraid, these energies easily spread around. Perhaps the same thing applies when I am so happy or excited. This is why they say that the moon is strongest in Cancer. Personally speaking, a defective person is someone who doesn’t know how to feel. It doesn’t matter to me whether they exude strength or appear strong, but only feeling positive emotions and rejecting the negative ones in order to please other people is a big problem. The modern scientific world almost only values the logical mind, and the sees the emotions as mere distractions, but any spiritual teacher will tell you to your face that that is wrong. The heart is its own being, and it is more powerful than the mind although they should go hand in hand. But for those of you who are fragile like me, just embrace who you are and just forget about what other people say, even though I know you will sulk for a little while, because our emotions are our connection to our divine inner truth. 

Little Boy

The heart betrays another
As it found what it lost behind–
The childish dreams,
And memories suppressed
By the school-trained mind.

It found its own reflection
Through the once little boy
She used to stare at coy,
Smile at innocently,
And long for silently.

The heart feels remorse
For as a snake,
That she is becoming right now,
It needs to shed skin
And leave behind the mistake
Who used to hold her hand.

It feels the need to hold
The boy’s waiting palm
And get goodbyes told
To the one stiffly grieving
From the sharp infidelity sting.

The little boy from the past
In the heart buried deep
Throbs relentlessly as if
It wants to get out fast,
Making her turn the page
To a new chapter in her life.

Authenticity and Hypocrisy in "Tartuffe" by Moliere

“He who flatters me is my enemy, who blames me is my teacher.” – Chinese Proverb

Tartuffe is a very good example of a hypocrite; and it’s interesting that he was portrayed as a religious hypocrite because most hypocrites in the world are in the religious or spiritual field. Since we were children, we were already molded by our parents to pray to Jesus and be morally upright, or else they would punish us, or they would withdraw their love, or we would be universally condemned by being put in hell. Therefore, for most of us, being seen as a religious person is one way that people will think well of us or love us. However, as this play shows, hypocrites are the most dangerous creatures because while you are charmed by them, you’ll never know if they’re having sinister plans in their minds.

Besides the general character of hypocrisy shown by Tartuffe in the play, women were also portrayed as hypocrites since the patriarchal society has these standards on women that they should be virginal, passive, pure, and acting only behind the scenes. If women act otherwise, they would be frowned upon, ridiculed, labeled as whores, or be less likely eligible for marriage. I love what Dorine said about Orante, a seemingly virtuous woman:

“O admirable pattern! Virtuous dame! She lives the model of austerity; but age has brought this piety upon her, and she’s a prude, now she can’t help herself. As long as she could capture men’s attentions she made most of her advantages; but, now she sees her beauty vanishing, she wants to leave the world, that’s leaving her, and in the specious veil of haughty virtue she’d hide the weakness of her worn-out charms. That is the way with all your old coquettes; they find it hard to see their lovers leave ‘em; and thus abandoned, their forlorn estate can find no occupation but a prude’s. These pious dames, in their austerity, must carp at everything, and pardon nothing. They loudly blame their neighbor’s way of living, not for religion’s sake, but out of envy, because they can’t endure to see another enjoy the pleasures age has weaned them from.”

Unfortunately, this is true in women. In fact, women are more judgmental of each other than men are of them. In the harsh world of women, they constantly compare themselves to each other as if men are too scarce and they have to be in silent competition with each other. What I will say may be degrading to my own sex, but a woman’s weapon is really her beauty. The more beautiful a woman is, the more potential she has for success. We mostly rely on beauty and charm for our livelihood. Mariane also said something that shows how society expects women to be like a still pretty flower in relationships, that they should let honey bees get attracted to them and not the other way around:

“But shall I publicly refuse and scorn this match, and make it plain that I’m in love? Shall I cast  off for him,  whate’er he be, womanly modesty and filial duty? You ask me to display my love in public…?”

Going back to Tartuffe, we generally hate hypocrites like him. Personally, I hate hypocrites because most of the time, they are the ones who cannot tolerate other people’s imperfections. That is because they themselves cannot permit themselves to be imperfect, or to fall short of their expectations of themselves. Tartuffe is horrible because he uses flattery and he tries to act like Jesus Christ, all clean and spotless. But the truth is that everyone is dirty. No one is clean and white. We are just humans, and I’m sure that we are all allowed to make mistakes. And another sad truth is that we are all hypocrites. Or some of us may not be, but I’m sure that every one of us has been a hypocrite at some point in our lives.

Cleante and Dorine has said some things about how hypocrites make a vain show so people would recognize them as the identities that they wanted for themselves:

“There are false heroes – and false devotees; and as true heroes never are the ones who make much noise about their deeds of honor, just so true devotees, whom we should follow, are not the ones who make so much vain show. What! Will you find no difference between hypocrisy and genuine devoutness?” (Cleante)

“Such vanity but ill accords with pious living, sir. The man who cares for holiness alone should not so loudly boast his name and birth; the humble ways of genuine devoutness brook not so much display of earthly pride. Why should he be so vain?” (Dorine)

All inauthenticity is about wanting to look good, and pleasing other people. It is driven by the ego’s need to be admired. “Should” is the absolute enemy of authenticity; for example, I feel like I should be a boisterous and confident person because they usually charm other people and they easily get their way in life. However, my inner self feels pain or discomfort whenever I try to pretend to be something different than who I really am. Because in reality, if I’m going to be really honest with myself, I like solitude, I pick my friends, I don’t like the spotlight, and I am gentle and weak. Most hypocrites are scared that people will not like the true them, and so they try to mold a different-looking mask for themselves to hide their brittle souls and expect people to admire the mask that they have made for themselves. For me, it is natural that we are driven by our egos, but sometimes we have worn our mask for too long that it starts to become a part of our faces, and we don’t know who we are anymore. Most people hate hypocrites because we can always feel when other people say or act differently from what they feel – and that makes them so dangerous. However, when we permit our authenticity to come out, when we try to be open and vulnerable, we permit other people to be comfortable with themselves as well and other people will also be open and vulnerable in front of us.

Childhood Crush

Two years ago, I wrote about what my idea of a perfect love is, and I said that preferably my future husband has to be a childhood friend or something of that sort. During that time, I also remembered trying to recall any childhood guy friend and almost no one came to my mind. I thought I was just being idealistic when I was writing that blog post, but it turns out that my subconscious mind was leading me to write things about myself that I may not recall but the universe knows about. Because recently, fate has led me to talk to a childhood crush and a family friend whom we haven’t seen for a very long time.

Almost everything in my past blog post came true to life, except the part where marriage enters. Life has forced us to take different directions in life; and now we ran into each other after almost thirteen years. We have matured physically, mentally and spiritually – yet I can feel that his essence still remains. He is still the boy that I have played with before. We talked about the childhood memories that we have shared, and felt deep nostalgia. Three families were close back then – his, mine, and another big family. Back then, I could only look at him from afar. He was three years older than me, so I approached his younger brother more. However, he was the one that I was really attracted to. I couldn’t say it nor show it since I am a female and I was so young back then. He emits this aura of total acceptance and that’s what I liked most about him.

However, because nowadays I can’t help being transparent and authentic with my feelings and thoughts, I told him my deep secret that I liked him when we were children. Most men whom I admit my vulnerable feelings to act disinterested after a little while, and see me as inferior afterwards. Luckily, this childhood crush was surprised by what I said, and I was also surprised at the same time when he said that he felt the same thing towards me. He said that he was always excited to go to our house or to go to the church that we used to go to because he could see me. He even thought that I was maarte because I did not like going near the boys often, but despite that, he still looked forward to see me. After a year or so, our families minded their own businesses maybe because the children were growing up and had to pay attention to other things. He said that as he grew up, especially when he was in sixth grade, he looked for girls like me to be his crush. But he didn’t find one, he said, because there was nobody like me.

Now he said that he regrets not saying his feelings earlier because now I have a boyfriend. However, I think that what has happened really ought to happen; and just talking to each other again in our twenties is just right since we wouldn’t know what to do to each other if we confessed to each other as kids. His confession really made me happy, since it meant that the seven-year-old me had an admirer and it was my own crush. The other thing that makes it more beautiful is the fact that we liked each other and never knew it. Now all I know is that baka maiba pa ang ihip ng hangin, and what the road ahead may offer is unknown. At least now I have a proof that love should not be rushed, that we should let it take its own course, and that what’s meant to happen will happen. I have a boyfriend now who loves me so much, and who knows who I will marry someday? :)
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