The year of tears and the fight for hope

When I was invited to write a story for the anthology, I was a mixed bag of emotions. Joy. Sadness. Regret. Mostly, sadness. Because 2020 was – had been – a shitty year for so many people.

2020 was the year when the pandemic started. Cases. Deaths. Life came to a standstill. Massive massive sorrow in all levels of society (except for the rich). The news were just so grim. Nothing seemed good. Hope seemed lost like forever. We were never getting out of this alive.

Death seemed to fill the air. We were (and still are) masked up. It was in the air. I had my brush with death. Right smack in 2020, I was losing a lot of blood. I thought it was triggered and made worse by a bout of Covid. My periods were painful. I was simply bleeding too much. When I saw my doctor, I found out I was extremely anemic and could die, if there wasn’t intervention done. She admitted me immediately. I had three bags of blood.

Then, there was the matter of the Ghost Month. For us Chinese, the Ghost Month technically falls in the month of August (which is now at the time of writing this blog). It’s mostly celebrated in vivid colour in Southeast Asia, in places like Singapore, Malaysia and even Thailand. Imagine Halloween… but creepier and celebrated for a month. There are ghost stories, dos-and-don’ts rules (“don’t go swimming at night!”)… and kim zua. Kim zua (“gold paper”) is basically joss paper or paper products made for ancestor worship. You smell the burning of kim zua during the Ghost Month.

With the lockdowns (Circuitbreaker, Heightened Alerts in Singapore), many companies were affected. This also included many artisanal shops producing traditional items. Kim zua is one of them. Many companies suffered. How did they survive? What did they do to survive? Did they pivot to other things? Or they just simply gave up and closed?

What is hope? What is art? What gives us… joy? Do we just give up?

My story explores these questions. The pandemic has shaken us to our core, reduced our belief in people – and we are all craving for contact/touch/support. Do we reach out? Do we fight the darkness? How do we stay hopeful?

How do I stay hopeful? How do I fight the darkness or just give up?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  2. Trackback: On the home stretch for The Art of Being Human! – FableCroft

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