Read this to me
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Life goes on
My father-in-law passed away in January. Days before that, I watched the debut of “Black Swan” outside the intensive care unit. When Covid came, ventilators like the one that breathed for him that final month would be pressed into action all over the world, not enough to go around.
Like an echo in the forest
The first case arrived in the form of a man, then another man, and then other men and women, even a baby. School was cancelled, and everybody Zoomed. The tech store shelves emptied of laptops and desktops.
One day the hiking spots were closed. I longed for the scent of trees, the dirt tracks. People went stir-crazy, and they formed crowds where there shouldn’t be any. It was a confusing time, and an angry time, but we held on.
Like an ocean in the blue sky
In March, I wrote a proposal for a book chapter on ARMY. Then I wrote an outline, and then three versions of the chapter. Months later it was published in a beautiful book alongside those by eight articulate, insightful female authors who write of the personal and the political. While penning the words that went into the book I listened to “ON” and “Black Swan” on loop and felt lucky to have BTS as an anchor in a turbulent world.
On my pillow; on my table
“Dynamite” was released when life here has mostly returned to normal. Travel into the country is restricted, and most people fear leaving. If the cost of this move is our mobility, the benefit is our relative safety. I watched iterations of the “Dynamite” performance in hotels, in shopping malls and in classrooms. It is okay to be with and around other people again, as long as no one gets in with the virus. Obsessively sanitized surfaces acquire the debris of life once more. But somehow life has changed, and the loss of what we had before remains. I don’t know how to grieve when we have been so lucky to be spared.
Life goes on like this again
BE drops like gentle rain on a parched day, like a soothing refrain in a fraught moment. Just before year’s end, scientists developed a vaccine as a physical defense to the pandemic. We owe our lives to all who had fought the virus: frontliners in medicine, service, research, education, and security. I think about the hurt in my soul, about the damage 2020 has wrought on so many. But I also think about the gift of BTS, and the remedy I found in BE.
Life goes on, they sing, and I start to look forward to the year ahead.
— Keryn Ibrahim
Keryn Ibrahim is an academic and writer from Brunei. (Brunei)
Illustration By: Oons
Ibrahim, K. (2021). (It will) BE (okay because) life goes on. The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , (2). https://ther3journal.com/issue-2/it-will-be-okay-because-life-goes-on
Ibrahim, Keryn. “(It will) BE (okay because) Life Goes On.” The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , no. 2, 2021, https://ther3journal.com/issue-2/it-will-be-okay-because-life-goes-on.
(It Will) BE (okay because) Life Goes On by Keryn Ibrahim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
© Keryn Ibrahim 2021