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Karen Kunawicz' Blog: Milk and Blood

Karen Kunawicz has a Saturday column at the Manila Times called In The Dark. She is also in charge of a 3-page column called On The Verge for Mirror Weekly, and is a correspondent for Music News Asia. Karen is a founding mother of Dredd Poets Society (founding fathers are Patrick Reidenbach and Robbie Sunico). She also works on and off as one of the three female hosts for a talk show called XYZ which airs over PTV-4 on Saturdays at about 6:00 in the evening.

Some have described her writing as dark and depressingly beautiful, with common themes focusing on heartache and missed soulmates. Hereís a sample article, The Sound of One Heart Breaking (for those who are "happy only when it rains").

The Sound of One Heart Breaking

Posted by permission of Karen Kunawicz.
Copyright © 1996 by Karen Kunawicz. All Rights Reserved.
Artwork Copyright © 1996 by Genie Ranada. All Rights Reserved.
Ranada Drawing
I still recall the taste of my tears
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears
I just want something
I just want something I can never have.
--Nine Inch Nails
"Something I Can Never Have"

Napupunit nang dahan-dahan
Ang iyong papel na pusoó
Tahimik na tahimik
Tila walang nangyayari.
--Rayvi Sunico
"Kung Paano Magpaalam"

I'm riding high on a deep depression
I'm only happy when it rains
"I'm Only Happy When It Rains"

EVER COME ACROSS this Zen koan that JD Salinger used in one of his books? You know the one that asks what's the sound of one hand clapping. I don't know the answer to that one. But ask me whatís the sound of one heart breaking and I might provide you with some answers.

This piece started out as a journal entry written early last year, it got reworked into a Times column. Iíve added a few things here and there and now itís here back to back with another piece by Constantine (which I purposely put after this one so you wonít go away depressed). Welcome to the dark side of love.

[Note: This was published in the April 29, 1996 edition of Mirror Weekly. I wonít show Constantineís article since I donít have his permission. --PinoyLit]

* * *

What is the sound of a heart breaking?

It is the sound of someone curled up in a tiny ball crying softly in the night, the sound of the first unwanted teardrop touching your skin, it's the sound of a telephone that doesn't ring, the sound of regret pounding inside your brain with every heartbeat, it's the whispers of the toy animals he gave you.

It's the shuffling of feet walking away from you, the sound of your soul shattering into a million pieces at recognizing the word "goodbye," itís the soundtrack of memories torturing you, it's the sound of feeble hands trying to push back the obstinate hands of time, it's the sound of a cherub's dying breath, the sound of all those years disappearing in the vortex of Cupid's kitchen sink, it's the unrelenting plaintive baby meows of an abandoned kitten outside an ignoring door.

It's the sound of the rain that doesn't ever stop, the sound of all the doors shutting and closing in your face at the same time, of raging, howling storms in the night when there's no one there to hold you, the sound of your voice as it screams back at you, the echo of "I love yous" burning holes in you, the sound your heart makes as it tells you to lie still because nothing you will ever do will matter without love.

The sound of the waves of the polluted beach you went to as it moves from the shore and crashes inside your mind, of the sniffles that make up your pathetic "SOS-to-the-world," the cracking of the brittle black-red petals from the sidewalk vendor roses he gave, the sound of the music he used to make going to your gut.

The sound of things in your room being thrown around and landing on the floor, the caress of kitchen knives on skin, the sound your throat makes as you swallow your saltiest tear.

It's the sound of your own voice calling out to someone who isn't there, of dying birds getting splattered on a city pavement, of terms of endearment used a hundred times a day struggling to crawl into a vacuum of forgetfulness, it's the sound of your own sobs keeping you company, it's the cold, uncaring stillness of the air you share your space with.

Destruction isn't always as noisy as bombs exploding. Sometimes the ultimate catastrophes are as quiet as a feather falling on the floor of a Zen monastery. No one else can really hear your heart breaking except you.

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