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Literary

February: Love Month?

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How odd, that it is only on the second month of the year when one extends his or her gratifying love to his or her significant other in the most extravagant manner?

In no other month can you find an abundance of flowers, teddy bears, and heart paraphernalia.

In no other day, than that of St. Valentine’s, can love be so ostentatious.

How love, to some, is shown to be so obnoxious.

How love is displayed, to most, so romantic, diabolic, ecstatic, and iconic;

As love is also platonic.

Should it only be today, can we say “I love you”?

Should it only be today wherein phrases and the words are accompanied with the most beautiful of gestures?

Are the sincerest kisses to become rare, the sincerest displays of affection to become only reserved to a month which man has declared the month of love?

Has love become so scarce?

There was a phrase, a semantic satiation, that a repetition of a word soon loses it meaning and value to the speaker and the listener.

I believe this to be untrue in the very idea of love.

As when love is real,

So strong, so true,

Then “I love you”,

Shall never lose its value.

The moment I came to the world,

They held me in their arms,

They said to me “I love you”

Till today, at an age, wherein I dream up to the heights of stars.

As I grow older,

“I love you,” I would reply,

Till they are no more,

Until they touch the sky.

When I am too fall in-love,

“I love you”, I’ll say to him,

A phrase, I will never be tired of saying,

And if he is to never be tired of it,

And to never be tired of me,

Then tired, I shall never be.

Because love,

If it is strong and true,

Shall never lose its meaning and value.

It is a conclusion, so obviously drawn, that love is not to be restricted to a single month, but for everyday, as love deserves.

Photo By Gian Chung

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Literary

Confession

It creeps up on me when I eat, when I am sitting in the living room, when I am about to sleep.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

To rest is a sin.

In the quiet moments of this new sheltered life, I have come to accept that there is a small dark corner of my mind where all the dates of the calendar are marked. From the first week of April, to the last week of May—it’s all there. It is a small dark corner. It creeps up on me when I eat, when I am sitting in the living room, when I am about to sleep.

This small dark corner reminds me everyday of what’s about to come. I explain that I’m not ready, that I need more time, that this is new territory and I haven’t taken a step further since I came here—it doesn’t listen to me. It tells me to get to work. It tells me that this is my priority, this is what matters the most in this worldwide pandemic. It forces me to listen, to do as it says, to be its puppet to be controlled with the numbers controlling my arms and legs.

But this is just a small dark corner of my mind. There are other corners. Much bigger corners.

To rest is a sin. 

I have yet to be forgiven. 

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Literary

Little Bit of Paradise

You try to breathe in the catastrophe as your thumb keeps scrolling and scrolling and scrolling until the end is reached, leaving a deep void that makes you unable to speak or act.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

You wake up to the sight of your room’s white ceiling. The summer heat makes your skin sweat immediately. Piled up papers stare at you from the corner of the room along with unpacked belongings from the dorm––ah, yes. You are home––earlier than expected but still, you succumb to this little bit of paradise.

You breathe in the familiarity of your bed sheet’s smell, let every caress of the fabric give comfort up until you check your phone.

Three hundred thirty-nine new cases. The death toll is now at 704. Recoveries at 1,842. The total is now at 10,610.

This little bit of paradise began to crumble from the inside. Like a volcano nearing to erupt. The summer heat began to burn not only the skin but also made its way into bones and flesh. Piled up papers began to yell, screaming for a continuation. Gentle caresses became tight grips with nails digging deeper into full palms.

You try to breathe in the catastrophe as your thumb keeps scrolling and scrolling and scrolling until the end is reached, leaving a deep void that makes you unable to speak or act.

You see posts from people staying up in their ivory towers while waving their flags of toxic positivity for all to see. You grit your teeth in disgust. The screen refreshes, showing heroes and people trying to survive from exhaustion and hunger.

This little bit of paradise of yours completely crumbles, leaving traces of guilt, fear,  and anger, all in one.

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Literary

Finding Courage

In this time, praying has become a refuge. There is solitude in knowing that you are being heard and that what you are feeling and thinking are valid.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

It’s nice to wake up with the thought of having food served on the dining table for the day. When you know that you have a home, your family beside you, and wondering what you will do for the rest of the day. Make Dalgona coffee? Bake? Read? Watch a new TV series? Finally finish your school work?

Watching the news has become a staple in the household. Seeing the cases increase, people helping one another, our frontliners making things easier for us, and the struggle of the people trying to make ends meet despite the difficult situation. Suddenly, watching the news brings tension, stress, and anxiety. 

In this time, praying has become a refuge. There is solitude in knowing that you are being heard and that what you are feeling and thinking are valid. It is okay to be scared in times like these but know that these too shall pass. Courage is hard to find these days but waking up and getting out of the bed is a progress. I hope you find the courage to go on day by day.

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