At the Lower Levels

So mga kaibigan, recently I cried on the jeepney ride home (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this) because someone I really respected said really scathing remarks about me, at doon ko na realize na kahit anong gawin kong effort, hindi ko na mababago ang impression nila sa akin.

A few hours later, as I was talking to an old friend, I realized something, and wrote this poem. So, kaibigan, here’s to us – those who failed a few times and are defined by others through our failures; those of us who slipped once and were deprived of the opportunity to stand again, to prove ourselves again.


They stopped rewarding you and listing your laurels
When one morning you woke up paralyzed in bed
Knowing that you were going to summon a Krizia
That knew how to please others
And truthfully you did not want her around
But the others liked her very much, so you bring her out
Day by day


They stopped looking at you with awe
When one morning you woke up with 78 missed calls
And a burning fever
When they realized you were human and you get sick too
And they don’t have awards for that


They stopped putting you on a pedestal
When you stopped showing up
Because the spare Krizia was not available anymore
And all that’s left is the real you
And the real you was weak and messed up and just wanted to be alone
The real you was grey and they needed a colorful actress
They packed up the set and dismantled the stage, knowing you weren’t going to put up a show for them anymore


You are no longer on a list
Of distinguished achievers
No one will look up
Because they placed you at the lower shelves


This is where the dreamers are
The flawed ones
The ones who woke up paralyzed in bed, just like you
The ones who tucked away their old selves because that is not who they are
And you need not to look up at the flawless ones;
No, don’t look up
But look around you
At this band of thieves and misfits and somewhere in the crowd you’ll see one with a thorn-crown
You’ll notice His hands, nail-pierced and you’ll listen to His Story and
He’ll tell you that people placed Him at the top, too
Before they realized who He really was
And they had to crucify Him
And silence Him forever

Look at Him, Kriz
Touch His hands
Gaze at His face
Know, that He is with those at the bottom rungs
And grace resides here, redemption is waiting for you here and truly there is no where else love dwells in, but here. Here.


6 thoughts on “At the Lower Levels

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