Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Endless Days at the Beach

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

My tan has faded, but my memories of last year's endless days at the beach have not. At this time of the day, I would usually be my favorite spot, sitting under one of those coconut trees whose fruits passersby always warn me about. "Cocos cayendo," (falling coconuts), they'd always say. 

While families carrying their own umbrellas, chairs, bodyboards, and what appears to be two days' worth of food and beer trickled in, I'd be eyeing the granizados vendor and debating with myself on whether to indulge in that sweet treat. The sun would be shining, browning my skin to the darkest it's ever been. I would move to a shadier spot and reapply sunblock. I'd look around, happy to witness that life continues, somehow.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Writing is the act of saying I

Monday, March 8, 2021

"In many ways, writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its aggressiveness all you want with veils of subordinate clauses and qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions—with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space."

~ Joan Didion, Let Me Tell You What I Mean, 2021

Friday, March 5, 2021

After 363 Days

Friday, March 5, 2021

After 363 days of not setting foot in the office, I reported for work last Wednesday. Being in the office felt like nothing has changed yet everything has changed. The building remains squat, drab, and grey, but the parking lot that had always been packed with vehicles was, on that day, empty. The guard who barely glanced at our IDs before now checks the temperature of everyone entering the building. The lobby is newly renovated, and the biometric machine is gone—replaced by an online timesheet. 

When I entered our office, it's as if I was never gone at all. My table was exactly how I left it, organized and clutter-free, yet coated with a year's worth of dust. The page of my calendar was still set to March 2020, the month when our lives were upended and the whole world changed. 

From my seat I used to observe employees from other departments going up and down the stairs, but on that day there was barely anyone in sight. Most are still working from home and only report for work once or twice a week. When my colleagues arrived, I greeted them as if I just saw them yesterday. We actually did but online.

Monday, March 1, 2021

That life is lighter and more playful than I’m giving it credit for

Monday, March 1, 2021

"I love these geese. They make my chest tight and full and help me believe that things will be all right again, that I will pass through this time as I have passed through other times, that the vast and threatening blank ahead of me is a mere specter, that life is lighter and more playful than I’m giving it credit for."

~ Lily King, Writers and Lovers, 2020

 
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