【明報專訊】2021 kicked off with impeccable weather. The city was cradled in sunshine. My social-media feeds were filled with sticky-sweet stories — candy-house home décor, Michelin-quality domestic food, grumpy cats trying to grin, babies playing angels and impossible fitness goals fulfilled. The full-moon and the stars were exceptionally diligent, making up for the absent fireworks. For once, the two adorned the sky harmoniously without outshining the other. The year 2020 felt like a plague. Everyone was trying to drown it with all the goodness they could muster.
A few days ago, we held a Zoom concert for a dear friend unconscious on her sick bed. As she is a party-lover and fighter for life, boisterous laughter befitted her better than lonely, meditative silence. We chatted, ate and joked as usual, behind the cold Zoom screens. We described the delicacy and chewed with extra effort, generating sounds that would make her jealous. We clumsily put together broken chords on the trumpet and the keyboard, vaguely resembling "It's beginning to feel like Christmas". The unconscious patient murmured, "What noise?" Her lips twitched into a smile. Good humour was her kind attempt to ease our deep-seated worry.
On the last day of 2020, I tried to settle some artwork commission for an exhibition with a friend. The old artisan led us on and on with tales of ancient China interspersed with rusty chunks of self-promotion. Unable to complete our job, my friend and I left to wander the streets. We entertained random ideas about spirits, artificial intelligence and examples of perfect democracy (which sadly, does not exist yet). We thought of ways to better the world as if we were at the centre of solutions. "If you breathe deeply enough, you'll find an authentic self (that is better for the world)." It sounded like a perfect scam but we happily settled with that.
There was a sense of resilience in the air — resilience by activating all the life in us. It reminds me of Joey Dosik's song "In Heaven", which says "Cause if we can't act like in Heaven, then we might not know that we have one".
Happy New Year readers. If the worst is yet to come, so is the better and the best, whatever they mean to you.
Mona C. has a strong appetite for stories. Feed her enough.