Written with a TWSBI Eco Black Yozakura (Black Sakura) with 1.1 stub nib, from Bungubox 2018. On Nanami Paper’s Seven Seas notebook with Tomoe River 52gsm paper. Can’t remember ink choice.
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a great day wherever you are.
It has been quite a year. “2020” in itself has become a meme. It is the year during which we have to reinvent everything, and discover that once again, we are a species that can learn to adapt. We learn to wear masks. We learn to social distance. We learn to stay in quarantine. We begin to check in with one another more on each other’s mental health, asking “How are you” and actually meaning to know the true answer to that. We learn to appreciate those who have chosen professions that put them on the frontline of dealing with COVID-19 and those impacted by it. We are reminded of how fleeting life can be, and how resilient humans can be, at the same time. We work and study from remotely, while some of us adapt to working and studying in a different way in person. Some of us remain in the city, rediscovering our own neighborhoods. Some of us go out to the countryside, learning to grow our own food, tend our chickens, and adapt to a whole new way of life. Nothing was the same. Nothing will ever be the same. It is the nature of a world in, and after, a pandemic. An event that sweeps through the entire globe, leaving no corner untouched, leaving no one unknown to its effects.
In a year like this, on Christmas Day, Boston is almost 60 degrees, with pouring rain. Unusual for December, for Christmas, for winter. Another reminder that nothing about this year has been common, or dare we say, boring. Many people are no longer with us. Many have been infected with the new coronavirus and recovered. Many are still fighting the virus. Many are not touched directly by the virus yet very well affected by the presence of it in the world. This is the year where we are reminded, often with agony and sorrow, sometimes with strength and hope, that we are in it together.
So wherever you are, however you are, today, know that you are not alone. That if you are hearing these words, you belong in the world that you’re living in.
The pains of my being
I feel that everything I’ve ever done goes into the flow that would keep bringing me down the stream, that one day I’ll reunite with the ocean of my truth, my being, my permanent impermanence.
I feel that this life, with all its trials and tribulations, can still embrace me with a tenderness that moves anger to tears. Can I be angry and still be loved? And still be able to love? And not wanting anything back but candor and fairness?
There are no eyes in parts of the woods. I can stand there and listen to the trees. They speak the same language, one that is written in its own meanings, allowing no deceit. They tell me what I will have always known. When I weep, they hold me with the same winds that make their leaves sing.
I sometimes break myself apart in order to put it back into another order of my choosing. Or at least what feels more like a choice I am free to make. Freedom, in this world, is still relative. It exists within boundaries that are a bit wider than the last ones that I grew out of. As I keep on growing, I am yearning for a larger container, like how my plants tell me when they need bigger homes to accommodate their thriving roots. The bigger the roots grow, the deeper and wider the containers or the holes in the soil need to be — to have more of the earth, to become more one with the earth.
Whatever one’s personhood entails, it goes beyond a list. Yet sometimes there are attempts to break it down into bulletpoints, because everything is easier when you look at its parts rather than the whole, which is always larger than the sum of its parts. How do you define a person?
“Who are you?”
That’s all there is.
All there is, is a world in which I am, you are, we are.