Hulat (A Translation)

At the height of my depressive episode in July, I found myself alone in a resort trying to figure out the unexplained emotions that encumbered me. I sought solace yet the world seemed to deprive me of it. The sound of the waves nor the coolness of the pool could not satiate that anger and loneliness that I wanted to expunge within me.

I had no choice, but to seek help. I knew it happened to me before and I didn’t want to let history repeat itself. I messaged my fellow writer who happened to be a psychiatrist based in Manila and I opened my situation to him. Immediately he urged me to see a psychiatrist. Before we ended our conversation, he recommended me a poem to read, which could somehow be a great help especially in dealing with such depressive moment. The poem was titled “Wait” by Galway Kinnel which he wrote for a friend who contemplated suicide:

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

From time to time, I read the poem whenever I feel down in the dumps or when my mind is clouded by negative thoughts. Months later, I decided to translate Kinnell’s poem to help me understand the lines as I write it in my own language, Kinaray-a. Here’s my translation of his poem:

Hulat, sa kadya.
Kon kinahanglan, indi magsarig.
Pero sarigi ang tinion. Indi bala
Ginahakwat kaw nanda bisan diin, asta kadya?
Ang kinaugalingun nga mga hitabo, mangin makawiwili liwat
Ang buhok mangin makawiwili.
Ang kasakit mangin makawiwili.
Ang mga saringsing nga gapamulak nga wara sa panahon mangin makawiwili.
Ang nausar nga mga gwantes mangin maamyon liwat;
ang andang mga handurawan amo ang gatugro kananda
nga magkinahanglan kang iban nga mga alima.
Ang kahapayan
kang mga magkahigugma parareho; ang tuman nga kakalong
nga natigib sa magagmay nga mga tinuga pareho natun
nagapangayo nga butaun;

ang pagkalangkag
sa bag-o nga gugma pagsarig sa dumaan.

Hulat.
Indi anay paghalin
Kapoy ikaw. Pero kapoy man ang tanan.
Pero wara it sara nga bastante ang kakapoy.
Hulat lang bala kag mamati:
Ang ambahanun kang buhok,
Ang ambahanun kang kasakit,
Ambahanun kang pinil-an liwat nga magarara kang atun gugma.
Pag-agto agud mamati, amo lang rian ang tinion
labi sa tanan pamatian ang bug-os mo nga kinabuhi,
nga ginaensayo kang mga kasubu, nga ginasipalan ang kaugalingun sa tuman nga kakapoy.

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