tropical depression: a playlist
“Once a group of thunderstorms has come together under the right atmospheric conditions for a long enough time, they may organize into a tropical depression.” -- University of Illinois
on a tropical island, storms are part of life. they can be life-giving or destructive, and often are both. i grew up seeing how the people of catanduanes held reverence for the earth and its forces. looking back, i can see how these experiences as a child have grown into a fascination with all things apocalyptic and a flare for for the dramatic, but especially an understanding of how death and life are interwoven.
this playlist serves as invitation and inspiration to be fully in the tropical depression that is our bodies, our emotions and deep intuition, and our rituals, as we find our way back to ourselves and our place in this world.
2016 was definitely a reminder that we are guests on this planet, and none of this shit is ours to keep. i know there were particular power structures (i.e. capitalism, white heteropatriarchy, and the settler-colonial state) responsible for most of what went down, but there were also moments of much needed lessons for those of us (still) here. Here are some of the ones I am holding close as we enter into the new year.
time is precious.
so many things happened in the world and in my life this year, and i feel it, still. but how is it possible that such a tumultuous year filled with loss and grief went by so quickly? i try to live a life with no regrets, but i feel a lot of wistfulness looking back on this year. it was filled with such incredible memories i wish i could relive, moments i wish i could just stretch out and bask in. the other part of this is: there were so many things i didn’t get to. but alas, we take the gifts we are given.
show up for those who love you.
for real. my loves/chosen fam/ homies go hard for me. i would not have made it here without them. this year, i tried my hardest to prioritize showing up for them. i am a long way from where i want to be, but i am working on it. my #1 challenge is holding the communities/movements we are building as a whole and my connection to each being i value and want to show up for. i am learning to ask myself: what feels right? what keeps me going?
take a moment to feel yourself.
there were moments this year when i really was just feelin myself-- basking in the sun under the volcano with bestie in costa rica, hella self-affirming selfies, dancing my spirit free, drenched and exhausted in my lover’s arms, rapping to the stars, taking hella risks and taking up space, finding the nerve to kiss my crush, recognizing the work i’ve put into my growth, asking for what i need, and believing i deserve the best kind of love.
see the world.
with any means we have. it is unfair and unjust how much access some people have compared to most of the world. these last few years have been such a blessing and definitely a privilege in terms of travel, but even walking around my neighborhood while listening to music has lead to experiences that make life more meaningful and challenge my perspective. at the very least, i feel more in my body. grieving is work, grieving is loving, and grieving is so very necessary.
“how we live is how we die.”
such a deep and loving lesson from my dear friend JM Wong. This actually encompasses all of the above. death is at once terrifying and utterly fascinating. i’ve been mostly afraid of not accomplishing what I set out to do in this life, but at 32, i am starting to be ok with what my life has meant for this world in this moment in history. i believe in every being that I have connected with and trust in our collective power to carry on. that being said, with the rest of my life, i am fighting to win. because Assata. because #mniwiconi. because liberation for all of us.