Saturday, April 24, 2021

I'd Still Do It

Saturday, April 24, 2021

If I knew beforehand that I'd be stuck overseas for months on end with dwindling resources and no means of going home amid a raging pandemic that shows no signs of abating, I would still choose to go through the same thing all over again. Because if I didn't, I would've missed spending one glorious month with D. And I won't exchange that time with him for anything in the world. 

In March last year, the threat of COVID-19 becoming a serious global pandemic was already imminent and we could have called off our vacation. I am relieved that we didn't. I am happy that—flouting fear, caution, and reason—we followed through with our plans despite what happened afterwards. 

This transient life allows us only rare instances of true joy. If D and I didn't go to Costa Rica, we would've missed those moments. Those hours spent watching the sun come up, its yellow light saturating the sky, the trees, the rooftops, and then burning away the mist of morning; we'd sit there until the yiguirro's song ends and the world turns over itself, to begin again. Those afternoons that passed deliciously slowly—hours blending together into a sameness that is joyful and comforting. I relished those moments and wished that they'd never end.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

How illusory the reliance on permanence is

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

"It’s human nature to want to bind ourselves to the parts of life we hold dear whether those parts are actual people, events, items, or dreams. We want to fasten them to us so they’re safe and near us forever. But this type of binding frays and tears until, even when we fight the awareness, we’re forced to see how illusory the reliance on permanence is. What we have, in all its glory, to hug and hold, to caress and learn, to feel and grow, is simply right here and right now. If we are lucky, the bond holds in the moment—and the experience of it shines and breathes and expands. Then our story can change in an instant, and we may never be given the gift of why."

Michele Harper, The Beauty in the Breaking: A Memoir, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Pointlessness of Plans

Thursday, April 15, 2021

If it were normal times by this time I would have finished planning all of my travels through the end of the year. But that's no longer the case. We now live in a constant  flux, and it would be pointless to make any plans. But we can still aim for something, anything, can't we? 

I sometimes think of what I would do once this is all over, when we've regained control over our lives, when we can resume making plans. But my mind refuses to go there. I've become so used to this circumscribed life that the idea of returning to how it's been before the pandemic daunts me. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A peeling away of the skin

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

"He felt her detaching from him, from their city. She saw their new apartment as a temporary place, counting down until she could leave it. What she didn’t know, Mauro thought, was that after the enchantment of life in a new country dwindles, a particular pain awaits. Emigration was a peeling away of the skin. An undoing. You wake each morning and forget where you are, who you are, and when the world outside shows you your reflection, it’s ugly and distorted; you’ve become a scorned, unwanted creature." 

~ Patricia Engel, Infinite Country, 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Of Brutal Surges and Vicious Cycles

Monday, April 12, 2021

I travelled to Brazil in November last year when the country had finally managed to flatten the COVID-19 curve: the average daily number cases was less than 10,000; restrictions for both domestic and international travel were lifted, and it felt like the country was moving closer to taking full control of the virus. The situation in the country has worsened since then and it is now facing a brutal surge with 4,000 daily deaths and its health system about to collapse. This new surge, what the rest of the world is also experiencing, is fueled by more lethal and more transmissible variants of the virus. There is also no certainty whether the vaccines developed for COVID-19 provide enough protection against these new strains or others that have yet to emerge. 

It makes me wonder if we're ever going to overcome this pandemic. Or will we simply go through an endless, vicious cycle of surges, lockdowns, and vaccinations? 

 
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