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  • angelala

When the horizon is bleak, look back

Updated: Mar 18

Clock Reading 5:19 A.M., Tuesday.

It's been a particularly rough weekend.

The coronavirus pandemic has a sense of dread hovering over countries all around the world. The media only shows fleeting bits of good news. On a micro level, individuals brave their personal crises.

My country, the Philippines, began lockdown two nights ago. Those of us who are lucky enough stay at home in self-quarantine. Meanwhile others in the workforce soldier on.


4:45 A.M.

Waking up from a bizarre dream to do with the quarantine, galleries and visiting friends from abroad, I found my mind drifting to brighter days:

Days under the Provencal sun - reading a book after a dip in the pool. Later, I get ready for bed in the charming but warm air b&b bedroom. I glare at the vintage electric fan. It's cute, but inefficient. It's the height of summer and mosquitoes buzz into the bedroom. I hide under the covers, mulling over differences between Europeans and Asian guest houses.

I thought back to my college graduation gift, a trip to Hong Kong, a city so close to my own. In the sweltering heat I gawked at the lights, the food, the shoes and the suits. Just one trip, and that was it! Hong Kong became my favourite city.

Then I remembered my most recent international flight to Italy, the country worst-hit by the virus. I thought of Venice. I mourned their ill patients. But I also thought about their clearer canals. Throwback to 2019, stumbling into the Piazza San Marco on Palm Sunday. How the starry basilica reminded me of a child's play palace!

What all of these places had in common were that I visited them after corners and crannies.

In 2016 I began cornersandcrannies.com as a Creative Writing student in college, exercising the essay, and "killing time with word and rhyme." I kept it for two years, till my grades began to suffer and the domain price skyrocketed.

Four years later, and two years working in the art world, I'm still writing. But this time, it's for artists or the occasional fashion brand. These are fun too.

But someone asked me before, what was my favorite art form? I answered music. (though I don't know how to play an instrument)

Then there's the thing I most look forward to and get excited about: travel.

In this period stuck at home, when travel is no longer on the horizon, I thought it would be rewarding to appreciate trips in the past.

To those who read my blog before, it always went in this format:

1. It begins with a song. Any song. A song that matches the mood of whatever place we went.

2. A description of the song that explains how it fits the destination.

3. Description, reflection, and pictures. Storytelling!

It's 5:45am. I've rebought my old domain. At this moment, I feel like this:

Very much alive, in a time that's fearful for life.

Talking to friends online, I notice they're taking back to their passions. Family members are picking up old hobbies. Going for an afternoon stroll in the village, I see kids playing outdoors. Today my dog and I came across a boy flying a kite.

People are reconnecting in a different way, and it's frankly quite ironic how this pandemic is what took for people to reset.

In a time where thousands are struggling for breath, others are taking the time to breathe.

Stay safe and watch your health everybody! Take this break to breathe. Remember and reminisce the past. Reconnect with your self, your peoples and the present.