There are things that come back to me, quick and unannounced, like jump cuts. Or perhaps I am the one thrown back. The scene cuts and I am thrown into the past, or into the world I’d rather be in. The gun gets shot prematurely. But as if in perfect, deliberate delay, I ricochet between these worlds. This right now, that right one. I am walking and there is a breeze. I know I am embraced by the acacia, I feel the unpaved road beneath my feet but now I am walking on cobblestone, and it is cool and the sun feels too gentle on my face. And chattering, in a language so foreign it is familiar, cocoons me. I am walking down this road and it leads to the wrong museum. The painting at the end is too dark, too dim. It is not that vibrant blue, the ocean that engulfed me, the white zipping through like that the hitch, that one beat resting in my throat right on the second you smiled at me for the first time. There, every curve was to a song I sang in my head, hummed with closed lips, the one that rested on my hips. but here–they are the last 100 meters in a kilometer I am always running.
And here the leaves rustle and branches shake when the wind blows. There it is clear blue, or clear grey, or just a pale sunlight. Where have I run off to now?
Flying over Dubai. I cannot believe time has flown by this quickly. It felt as if I was just on this same flight route but backwards only yesterday, but also I feel as if I’ve left a big part of myself already, somewhere in the canals of Amsterdam, the streets of Budapest, the far stretches of beyond in Switzerland. I have seen and felt it all and they have all been true. They have all been a part of me. I look out the window and the engines whir in whispers, as if to accompany me in some quiet sense that I have changed, that I am changing still; the world beneath my feet and in the palm of my hand. And I feel both distraught and relieved to be going back home–because what if you feel like home is already both Manila and in the company of some other? In a country that doesn’t speak your language, in a place where people will stare but forget who you are?
I want to yet again face the world with certainty. Oh God, let me find the courage and the strength to do so.
I have been so blessed and that is enough. Chili, may you remember that, always. You are blessed and that alone is enough to get you out there.
Forward, forward, forward. Onto other stories…
i’ll be real right now, i really don’t want to be writing at this moment. it’s just that it’s a horribly awkward time to go to bed, and i need to keep my laptop on while i illegally download anthony bourdain travel shows. so here i am, 11:50PM in my room in utrecht, the netherlands; my roommate fast asleep and a dim incandescent light keeping me company. so much has happened since i got here, and honestly everything is just moving at a crazy pace and often i even find it difficult to keep up with daily happenings. i blinked and 2 months have passed.
anyway, let’s keep this light. here’s a list of little things i love about my experience here so far:
- cooking your first decent, socially acceptable meal from scratch
- sipping on cold belgian beer
- peeking at the results of your first roll of film
- random dancing with a sweet swede, aussie and swiss miss
- introducing vanille vla to a vla virgin
- biking with the wind on a rare sunny saturday afternoon
- meeting strangers baking in your own kitchen
- fitting perfectly into an impulse-buy leather jacket
- standing in front of a barnett newman
- getting hit on quite unpredictably by a odd irish fellow on st. paddy’s day
- hitching on the back of someone’s bike
- watching pink tulips bloom on your windowsill
- surviving the worst aka getting your entire bag stolen on your first day
- talking about andrei tarkovsky with your 6’5″ tall, dutch-italian twin brother
- drinking a cappuccino in a cozy cafe along the canal
- finding aesthetic sisters among your flatmates
- confronting the cutest pizza delivery boy in the planet
- winning a bowl of chips (w mayo) in a pub quiz
- shoveling down a kaassouffle in a dodgy snackbar at 4AM
- sharing bottles of wine with a table of people from all over the world on taco night
- booking your flight ticket for your first solo backpacking adventure
- indulging in warm and free stroopwafels
- slaying at yogalates
- saying dank u wel and alstublieft right for the first time
- feeling utterly at home in a country on the other side of the world
it just keeps piling up. i love where i am right now. bless.
just sharing a couple of shots from my first two rolls of film. truly a very different beast.
shot with a canon t50, 35 mm lens and with fujifilm superia.