On the Resurrection of Reflection

Today marks the third week since White Space officially opened.

Today also marks the second week since Abbey’s father, my Tito Vads, unexpectedly died.

In two weeks, I feel like I’ve gone through the entire cycle of birth and death—several years’ worth of momentous events collapsed into half a month with all the less momentous affairs they inevitably entail. It’s part of being human that we have to wrestle with the significance of events at the same time that we have to deal with their unforgivingly banal consequences (from finding matching rubbish bins for the studio’s toilets to finding disposable cutlery for my Tito Vads’ wake).

And, of course, there are the less than banal consequences: the fact of having to deal with anger and grief on top of anxiety and exhaustion, of having to balance the needs of the living with the obligations to the dead, of having to stay sane and well through an agglomeration of physical, emotional and financial burdens already onerous in themselves.

It feels as if all the years that I sailed blissfully and carelessly through life were given to me in preparation for all the moments these past two weeks when everything literally seemed to be falling apart. It was only then that I discovered that simply waking up and getting up already constituted acts of courage in themselves.

If we managed to survive the last two weeks, it was entirely because of the unstinting generosity and unfailing kindness of friends—people who quietly and unobtrusively rallied around us to make sure we were fed, that the front desk was manned and that the classes were taught. At some point, I gave up the notion that I could ever repay such acts of kindness—some debts can never be repaid, they can only be remembered and revered as reminders that we can never be truly self-sufficient.

These first two weeks that just elapsed are merely the beginning. There’s still much that lies ahead.

This is me breathing deeply. Waiting. Praying. Hoping. And letting go.

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