The full moon appears suddenly when life was dull and melancholic, maybe even toxic. Its crescent phase decides to bless moments and they become unexpectedly blissful. These occurrences blow me away. Appearing in all the right places and times. They are endless, scribbled like doodles on my notebook. How will I read them?
The more I experience in life, the more I begin to see signs. The moon is full when I’m filled to the brim, a friend calls just as I’m thinking about them, I get a gig just when I’m worrying how I’ll make ends meet.
I’ve found myself becoming superstitious after years of being a skeptic of anything I couldn’t prove. But what is the point, even if it isn’t scientifically true, of taking the magic out of life? I’m returning to the way I used to think as a child. -Nirrimi of Fire and Joy
Our experiences want to be listened to. They have reasons underneath them that we will only able to understand after they surface into reality, may the experience be good or bad. There is no line that separates the two. Well maybe we can see the line, but our eyes deceive us anyway. The shift or widening of perspective ultimately changes things, everything if you allow it to. A rock becomes a pillow, silence and isolation become opportunities for introspection, death of a dream gives spaces for the flourishing of unexpected, new realities. Perspective is a powerful occurrence, a movement that will never cease, just like waves constantly marrying the shore. It transforms into a landscape of what many imagine as a “better place to live in.” It becomes an energy that reciprocates and spreads.
While listening in between the pauses, amidst the overwhelming rush and noise of external things, the people who I have been talking to lately must have sang a similar song, radiating a positive energy. I felt inspired and amazed by their outlooks – how they create freedom in their own magical thinking. Conversations in the form of e-mails, chats, phone calls, or personal talks are almost always love letters to me because a magical realization almost always transpire in between those words that seem disconnected and meaningless at first, but when intertwined form something beyond language, beyond human understanding really.
So the first words of our conversation started with a confirmation that the plan for Europe might push through, just because I have a feeling that it will. We don’t know how we will be able to see each other again (after almost a year) because she will be in Brazil on the latter part of the year to continue her mobility for her Master’s degree. She shared funny bits of her love life, our claims for the coming year – traveling long-term and pursuing higher studies, of the fire burning within and the calm of the moment. She also mentioned her thesis: defining home through photos of different people. I love that she’s doing this, exactly this topic that touches her passions (migration and photography) rolled into one, just like sushi, just like hearts of yellow and purple that seriously look meant for each other. Suddenly, the flow sang a serious song. I typed, “All is a blessing. You know, it’s all about how we really see the world. If it’s magical, then it’s magical.” Then with enthusiasm that means details, Trisha tells me of how “the way we see the world” was the realization of her recent trip to Berlin, describing it as a “broken, cold, rough, snob city”. She was traveling with her friends from the university to watch Adele’s concert and they decided then to explore the city for a week. The experience started with wasted and drunk teenagers at midnight on the streets and six used condoms and several bottles of beer scattered on the floor and beds of their dorm-room in a hostel. She spoke of the sad energy that Berlin generally radiates, perhaps the underlying stories and ghosts of the war that will forever live in its atmosphere, buildings, art, and culture. And despite all these unwelcoming stuff and complaints from her friends, she decided to give Berlin a chance and see its magic. She poured her heart into taking photos. She said, “I was actually enjoying its tastelessness.” But what caught my heart during our conversation was her perspective, “Maybe its beauty lies in its imperfection. In its emotional state.” I couldn’t agree more even if I hadn’t set foot on the city yet. Another friend of theirs added, “If we can accept the city as it is, it can be beautiful.” And just like that, the day translated into something profound. The conversation ended in an eggplant emoji.
I don’t know where our conversations begin or end, or where they really revolve. Has it been a month already? It has been a mix of silly and serious things – moon, talking to the moon, tattoos, science and religion, cockroaches and sharks, feelings, places, Universe, more feelings, psychology and philosophy behind things, weather, songs, dreams, more songs, work, plans, people we encounter and admire, time-lapse, (mis)adventures here and there, past, present and future. I notice more than just similarities. For two months, the duo of Simone and Fabio of the ever-expanding Wow Tapes have traveled across the Philippines and Thailand, and currently exploring Cambodia. One time, he mentioned that their budget is dwindling as the days of their adventure pass by, as they passionately capture the wonders of Southeast Asia. He got scars and burns from random places and events (it’s possible that he was just being clumsy all this time), mostly tired and lacking in sleep, sometimes dirty and getting soaked in sweat, and even forgetting gears in some places. But it’s all okay. In his words, it is “always fun.” In my words, “all will be worth it”. He feels okay about it, gladly rolling with the punches, which makes the person listening to his story become okay with it too! Once again, perspective, and a positive one. Once again, I am reminded of how everything changes in the very instant that you consider a circumstance as a test of how you are and how you choose to face a situation that sucks. In the end, it won’t suck at all. In fact, all angles of the story become memorable and meaningful and you even wildly enjoy every face it presents, as childlike as you can. Now I don’t know where our conversations begin or end, or where they really revolve. But another takeaway from a very recent funny exchange we had, which mirrors (annoyingly haha) his thoughts of what okay is and my thoughts of what organic is, conveniently relevant in different and many situations in life: he said, “Follow the flow.” Perhaps they revolve around the magic of just about everything.
His first words after four months of not communicating with each other, “Just realized you can have empty days even in paradise.” My heart saddened. I knew I had to reply even if it’s past midnight and I was really sleepy. Sending him a message randomly crosses my mind since we haven’t exchanged words in a while. The Universe thankfully felt the vibration of that desire. He told me his summer didn’t turn out as he expected it to be, “There are so many things that I have been wanting do for years but I didn’t have the equipment and knowledge back then.” Now that he has them, none of the many things happened. He had projects in mind (I’m sure they’re brilliant) that he wants to accomplish back home in Batanes. He has two weeks left, he said. I encouraged him and told him it is still luckily a long period to do his planned endeavors – one project at a time, one task to start. All he has to do is begin the next day. In between our conversation, he tweeted, “An dia pa charao am anmangu pa?” I asked him what it meant. He said, “If not now, when?” I remember my favorite album of Incubus, and of course, the more enormous message that these simple words could affect a struggling soul. At that precise moment that the Universe conspired, it was the only question he needed to ask and the one that only he could answer. He also added that he will instead focus on shoots and adventures within the remaining two weeks. I am happy as he declares this, as he shifts into a mindset of just doing it. Towards the end of our conversation, I sent him something I wrote recently that hums like this: “My mind is restless, but my heart is calm… And then these offerings of realities – nature, dreams again, people, chances, cosmos, feelings of oneness and home – come knocking one by one and they all seem connected, mutually echoing to create a reality of its own wonder, a dream more magical than what you had dreamed. Grapes, enjoying the grapes, or something like that. Yes, you are a dreamer.” No matter how brief our communication was that night, I know Tyrone was somehow reminded that he is a true dreamer and doer at the same time and he can’t escape such a beautiful thing. He just needed to ask that question towards no one but himself.
As this wonderful tribe helped me connect the magical realization behind our conversations, and as I also continually help others see it, I let my own words flow inside and heal me too, more than I’ll ever admit. Here is a poem written for The Echoes, that in essence makes me remember to always see the magic in moments:
We are not experts, not experts at all. But we are the artists of our stories. So take the darkest, the gladdest experiences from your pocket.
We are mere living creatures on Earth. So take the living out and mold them into a compass.
We are bound to live and to die. And in between, we are fated to learn. So believe in this mighty magic and let it move you into forever.
Here comes the everyday.
Where are you going?
Be an ideal, a daydreamer, or a dreamer of all sorts who collaborates with the cosmos, dig no matter how deep, or just glide, glow your positive energy, side with the magical, and never apologize. If it’s magical, then fuck it, it’s magical.