Moments, once gone, lived and experienced, can transubstantiate, not capriciously to have a semblance of remarkability. In my case, if you ask me, I could picture these moments as the brilliantly colored nudibranchs (pictured above); I can look at them as a sluggish, insignificantly small yet out-of-this-world panoply of majestic beings and become nostalgic in a moment. These nudibranchs tell me that I’ve survived the days and thrived, and remembering them gratifies the very existence of my philosophical plus nonphilosophical conquests. By remembering our footprints, both weak and strong ones, we garner perspicacity that, I think is simply golden. Today as I’ve just completed my sixth year at AFD, my marrow is heavy with gratitude; my keenness to learn– still far from being sated and I could daresay that I now have my own brand of sagacity that was learned in the hard way. Here are some of my thoughts on this day, topicalized maybe for no reasons at all.
With Arms Akimbo
Be it for a photography exhibition or a musical concert or a festival of sorts at AFD, I got together and talked, and joined in on chuckles with many mavens of their respective fields. Those were educational, and motivational in many ways I’d understand later. I learned that my work is as good as I want it to be. And that there is no harm in being an iconoclast sometimes; if you don’t, you’re imprisoning yourself in the proverbial “box.” I learned that to be able to realize my vision is sometimes a lot harder than having the vision itself. Also that my thirst for being honest and thorough to the last detail is something that defines my work, and I have to hold onto it. A friend long ago told me that if something that I had designed was not spread over several thousand square feet billboard, then there’s no point in feeling great about being a professional graphic designer. Well, my dear friend, I guess I’ve been feeling great for quite some time now!
A Hymn for the Weary
Construing a song right away after listening it, is something that I do not usually do. I’d listen to a song several times before latching onto it, I might contemplate on some of the words from the chorus if there any or some words that stick out might be the thing that I could relate to. If there’s a soul to every song and you can fumble it by listening, I almost always take mighty time to do that. But I do do that. And when I do, the song becomes a treasure. When I left home for the unknown, I had “Be Yourself.” When I was stabbed in the back by someone I had taken in as a friend, I had “Spicks and Specks.” When life seemed too hard to live, I had “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” When Ana needed to know I’d need her saving me on a regular basis, I had “Wonderwall.” When all my sobriquets turned bupkis, some of which are still in this blog, I had “So Far Away,” or “The Best Is Yet to Come” or “On Every Street.” I could reckon, maybe speciously, that for a hungry heart there’s always a song, made to order and full of true romance. As they say, “Remember that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.”– in my years here, I had treasure troves of songs to support me through the straits and to help me prove that I have the resilience to walk tall.
The Jazzman Lifter
I’m glad that I’m blessed with the greatest of friends. I can put off my infomania, cynicism and disillusionment, and I know that someone’s by my side, perhaps from another continent. I’m older and I still believe, “Friendship is the most remarkable thing in this world.” Now that my salad days are over, I know those friends are one of a kind and irreplaceable in every sense of the word. And this is coming from someone who knows that no one is irreplaceable and the earth is made that way. Those friends from the school-days that you grew up with are the only friends you can ever have, anyone else coming your way is a sham at best. I haven’t found any exceptions yet. I have also learned about people who sustain by feeding off schadenfreude, that is just how they live. I cannot get back at them without turning myself into one of them. Then the only savior becomes– “inner peace.” I can read a poem like “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann or the greatest lines a man could read– “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley or I could read what the 14th Dalai Lama said, “When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.” and feel better. All in all, you can see me mutter “inner peace” at times, and it helps.
To conclude – let me say this – these six years, “id” was the one who enodated all the knots and shooed the heebie-jeebies. Even when he had cautioned me and I didn’t pay any heed, “id” was with me. For a man with a bruised knee, for a captain midsea without seamen, for the loneliest soul who has forgotten other faces, his or her “id” is a sentient friend to acknowledge, I believe. I take 3,000 known species of nudibranchs, some more beautiful than other, and I dedicate my most beautiful moments that I’ve chanced upon these years at AFD to “id”. Thank you, dear frenemy. My ugliest memories are my own awaiting a song or many. I needn’t worry, I have Carole King singing “Jazzman” on my ATH-M50. Happy six years!
Photo by Lynn Wu.