I stumbled upon Blu murals on my last two trips to Europe. While I love Blu’s mind-blowing wall-painting animations like Big Bang Big Boom and Muto, it’s cool to come upon his still images—and remnants of his animations—on facades around the world. Especially when you’re not looking for them.
I realized I needed to let go of my 20-year search for this rock—and understand that it was okay to stop chasing the memory, to stop luring it to the surface. Because the memory’s elusiveness makes it precious. And because it was a perfect day for my aunt and me to create a new memory, and to select a new spot—just for us—for the next decades to come.
Yet before the window closed, I captured that moment—a long moment of 10 years—independent of a conclusion. Observations made with wide eyes; recordings of sensations I can no longer hear, smell, and touch; a journal of our collective recklessness.
For those of us who mingle virtually with avatars in the same room, and who embrace Twitter as meaningful and three-dimensional, I wonder: If one is not interested in Libya, or Wisconsin, or the Superbowl, or Egypt, or Planned Parenthood, or the Grammys, how do we whisper about something else? How do we tweet politely about our day when others are distraught, angry, or in need?
But here, on this earth, the seasons change. And somewhere along the way, I lost him. To this day, I don’t know how, I don’t know where, I don’t know to whom, and I don’t know why.
But all that is irrelevant, as two more summers have come and gone. The only thing important to note: He was not the one.
What have I done? Or the current question: what am I doing now? I read the passionate, desperate tweets from brave protesters on my computer screen. I am deeply inspired, I comment on other’s tweets, I share articles on Facebook. I feel like I’m participating.
But, I am not.
1. My mother and father, both born in the Philippines, move to the United States and meet one another, or
2. My mother (or father) moves to the United States, but my father (or mother) does not, or
3. Both my mother and father don’t leave the Philippines, but still meet each other, or
4. My mother and father never meet one another.
And so I walked home. Part of me had wanted to say I did yearn for a summer love affair. But if I was to have a true love affair, it was going to be with Montreal, not a man.
As a whole, The Garden of Earthly Delights is cohesive: the chaos, ultimately, makes sense. The first time I looked at it, in my art history class in high school, I was perplexed—even uneasy. Since then, this painting has become a metaphor for how I put things together, as a memoirist and thinker.