Beauty and terror--with so much becoming more beautiful precisely because of terror. This is 2020.
I'm surprised with myself that I haven't written anything about the pandemic. I suppose it's because it has literally invaded every aspect of my life and I've become its prisoner, like most everyone else in the world. I guess I didn't want to think about because I always have to think about it. If I could never think about it again, I would.
But that's not the only reason. In March, I simply walked away from a life that I realized was completely wrong for me. I left my job because I wasn't liking the person I was becoming and, at the same time, I ended what I felt was a special friendship for exactly the same reason.
Walking away was a clear and easy decision, especially from my job, but the execution was nevertheless extremely painful. Then suddenly the whole world was on lockdown and I was surviving a broken heart and a bruised ego and a pandemic.
It's kind of amusing how my personal drama was eclipsed by a very tangible threat in COVID-19. This brush with death--this pandemic may very well be a brush with death for those of us surviving it--has made me take a closer look at what I value in life. And while I can't go any further than that in terms of shareable insight, this closer look has reminded me that I still, like always, want to create beautiful things.
And when I'm gone, I want to leave beautiful things behind.
This year is a terrible year, but it's also a mixed bag. There were many children born in our family, and the older ones are thriving in spite of current events. My mother had a health scare, but is on the mend.
And there is someone that I love, to add to the small number of people I have grown to love more deeply this year because while the pandemic took their physical presence away for the time being, we are even more present in each other's lives.
When Typhoon Ulysses battered Luzon, I felt a prolonged terror like I'd never felt before. The typhoon was strong and slow, and I barely slept because I could hear the makeshift roof of our laundry area being thrashed by the wind from midnight onwards.
I wasn't just afraid to lose the roof--I was afraid for it to cause major damage or hurt someone. I couldn't go out to secure the roof--there was nothing much I could do, really, so I prayed. And then I wrote on my phone. I kept writing even when the electricity went out.
It was only after writing that I felt calm enough to sleep.
And so I am here, again, in this space where I still write whatever I want, about everything I want, all the things I find beautiful and even the things I find terrible.