Friday, March 18, 2005

Rejected and Found

Poor paperclip. I wonder what you've been through? It was squeezed out of shape, with one of its ends sticking out sorely like a painful limb, caked in mud and dust. It must have been through a lot: where in the world has it been?

The more painful thing is, I'm sure I saw the same paperclip last week. But again, I chose to ignore it and refused to pick it up. Is it because of the way it looked? Is it because it was dirty? Perhaps. Yet it waited for me patiently. And I found it again.

Do we reject others on the basis of superficial characteristics or flaws too?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Happy to see Orange Again

I saw it yesterday but chose to ignore it. I felt bad that I did so I ended up looking for it this morning. And I saw the same orange paperclip! I actually felt happy to see it and so I decided to pick it up for my collection. I don't know why I ignored it in the first place. It was a nice bright orange. It was a little bent but still in one piece.

I know I've chosen to ignore things and people in my life when I know I shouldn't. Why do I do that? There are many reasons, I suppose: insecurities, fear of rejection, arrogance, pride. When we choose to ignore or hurt the people closest to us, I hope we can still "find" them tomorrow. Question is, will they still be there?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

White Stands Out

I saw a white paperclip right next to the front tire as I got out of the car. It was the first thing I saw as I stepped out. The whiteness stood out in contrast to the grayness of the gravel. It really felt out-of-place; a paperclip really does not belong between pieces of gravel and stone. Yet it felt right because I saw it and took notice of it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Does He Love Me?

"If I see a paperclip today, then he loves me," I whispered to myself, inspired by Audrey Tautou's character in the movie A Very Long Engagement. What a grand challenge to the Universe. I saw three paperclips today. Along the short walk from the parking lot to my office building, I saw a pointy pink one, a dusty yellow one, a terribly bent and out-of-shape white one. Does that mean he loves me thrice as much? I wonder.

This is not the first time I asked God for a sign. Once, at a retreat in Novaliches, I asked God for a sign if He could hear my prayers. I asked for a shooting star. In the pitch black sky, I saw three stars fall behind the mountains. I sank to my knees in prayer and my heart was silenced and humbled.

I know it's really silly to link paperclip sightings to grand things like love and God. But I still saw three today and I want to know what that could possibly mean in the bigger scheme of things.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Two Yellow Paperclips

Gang gave me two yellow paperclips today. A big one she picked up along East Avenue and a smaller one from The Powerplant in Rockwell. She had them in her bag for weeks and kept them until our get-together today. Sweet. Gang is a true friend. She sees and loves my little quirks. I don't think most of my friends would pick up paperclips on the street to give them to me. But Gang did. She's really "one of us": she's a Full Moon Friend and we can talk non-stop about any and all things. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

One Paperclip a Day

"If I see a paperclip today," I whispered to myself on a particularly crazy day, "then everything will be okay."

I've been seeing at least one paperclip a day since then. No kidding. Some days I see two, or three, or even four. On the sidewalk. Along the driveway. By the ATM. Under my colleague's desk. In the parking lot. On the waiter's necktie. They're following me around. And I love it.

So I started picking them up. Now I want to tell their stories. Our stories.

I'm glad I wrote the story The Yellow Paperclip with Bright Purple Spots. I hope the Award is really a start to a great adventure.