As I am reminded by my Google Photos app of Hong Kong — it being the place where I was a year ago today — it becomes immensely real to me how much our little corner of the world has changed in only twelve months.
I have spent my life primarily in three cities: Manila, Singapore, and Hong Kong. These, plus San Juan, La Union are my home. Now, while they are different countries and vastly different culturally, it does not escape me how small a part of the globe they actually cover. And yet just in this little bit of earth, over only about three hundred days, we as humanity have been challenged in a way we have not been in my entire lifetime. Totalitarian governments are on the rise. A threat of death and sickness forces us apart from our friends. Economic collapse looms as an inescapable fog. Duterte. They feel very much the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m tempted to write more rah-rah positivity porn. I’d like to think that I’m pretty good at that stuff. Of how we have each other. Of how my family and my incredible partner are my constant. Of how in the midst of a collapsing dome, we take the pieces and we build a refuge together. All those are true, but that is not my point today. My point is that I am sad.
Sometimes the most healthy thing to do is to mourn. Not that we have lost, but that we have had to fight in the first place. I don’t know if this is right, but I believe that it is truth.
The last photo here is of a Kaws sculpture that we went to see on that same visit to HK, only 365 days ago. It’s called “Along The Way,” depicting two companions, one helping the weary other on a journey. I’m not 100% sure which of the two characters I am today. But I can tell you this. It’s very real to me right now.