A brief snapshot of the end of 2020 in Los Angeles

I was making carbonara for lunch while on FaceTime with a good friend. We were laughing about the berry cobbler he baked recently and how it sent us to another dimension. Baked was an understatement. We get disconnected because the WiFi cut out. Whose? It doesn’t matter anymore. I jump on a call regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and the public health messaging around it. I forget to put myself on mute while I’m grating cheese, so the moderator does it for me. “I can’t hear you, you’re on mute,” they say. I get a notification from my neighborhood watch phone app that there’s a house nearby that’s on fire. I open the app and read in the comments that it’s a “crack house” but that most hope everyone’s okay. I close the app and briefly unmute myself to answer a question. I step outside and see that the Santa Ana winds are raging and blowing the smoke westward. I finish the call as I am eating pasta. I get a notification from Calm asking how I’m feeling. LA Times: The UK variant strain of COVID-19 was discovered in Colorado in a man with no travel history. I am putting my phone away.

A very Covid Christmas to you and yours

If you aren’t goth prairie chic during Christmas while home alone during the COVID-19 pandemic then idk wyd ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s past one AM and I’m just wrapping up Christmas Eve. Celebrating with family today and tomorrow are usually big traditions for us, but with ongoing concerns around COVID-19, my family and I opted to celebrate from afar.

When we would celebrate, we would gather with all extended family able to unite in Southern California, which often resulted in over fifty family members partying under one roof. I miss being in each other’s physical presence. I miss playing board games until midnight. I miss competing for prizes during self-deprecating relay races. I miss taking corny family photos by the Christmas tree.

This time, we celebrated over video chats over Zoom and Facebook. Though I didn’t get to eat the vast buffet of foods I’m used to having when we each pitch in a meal and eat family style, I cooked for myself Hainan chicken with butter garlic rice, served with homemade pickles. Though far from ideal, I got to catch up and eat with family from Los Angeles to Orange County, to the Philippines and Australia. We made a lot with what we had, and I’m grateful for our yearning to connect, and not to mention, the means to match.

Hainan chicken! (Chef’s kiss)

Not to be deterred from the holiday spirit, I dressed up and even spiffed up my face. I’ve made it a point to be more comfortable without makeup, especially since I spend so much time at home now. That being said, it’s a special treat to get dolled up, get weird, and be a little silly.

I hope you all have a fun and safe holiday! Peace and blessings.

Quiet repairs in liminal spaces

Practicing the art of kintsugi to renew what was once lost.

We’re well into December, and the end of 2020 is approaching, with both the Winter Solstice and the Great Conjunction occurring today.

These days, I often find myself sitting in liminal spaces. For me, it’s that space between knowing and uncertainty, action and rest. This year, as I’m sure many can relate, has challenged our ability to sit still in our own respective liminal spaces.

I feel like I do a pretty good job of staying in the present long enough to identify what I feel, understand it, then pocket what I must to carry on about my day. Maybe I’ll come back to it another time. Likely, but not now. I’ve gotten better about maintaining this simultaneous sense of presence and boundary, but today felt particularly heavy. My mother called to let me know four more of my extended relatives have gotten COVID-19, which makes the total number of individuals I know who’ve gotten sick with the virus to fifteen. One death. I’m grateful that my immediate family and I continue to be healthy.

For many of us, there’s a certain threshold number where the humanity behind the figure becomes a blur, and a sense of anonymity pervades. I’m not sure I’ve reached that yet.

While I lean into this discomfort in hopes of finding renewed strength and courage, I’m going to practice the art of kintsugi to meditate on what’s been lost and breathe some new life in treasured items.

Run-on Turns

The world is turning
often burning
constant churning
sometimes learning
meanwhile yearning
at times earning
in observing
and discerning
and returning
to a state of re-unlearning
and confirming
what is burning
and transforming what’s concerning
always working
through the hurting
power in the choice of wording
so the merging
is asserting
of what we are in deserving
focus in on what’s converting
to ideas worth preserving 
because the world is always turning