Finding Freedom in Restriction: April 22, 2020

By Kindra Calonia

Kindra is a regular Boracay Sun News contributor and Boracay resident who lives between the Philippines, Indonesia and now Italy. Stranded in Rome during a trip right before the pandemic hit Italy, she is currently staying in Rome with her partner but is in daily contact with her parents in Boracay via WhatsApp and is waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so she can make her way back home to the island.

Week 6 (23rd of April 2020) and I have slowly succumbed to the circadian rhythm of my body. No alarm clocks signaling the day rising but rather the fine tuning of birds outside my window playing in the springtime. The numbers on my clock are never before 7AM but rather always slightly before noon.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was overwhelmed by the number of things “I had to be doing.” If it wasn’t work-related, it certainly revolved around the idea that productivity meant achievement. I regimented my hours around different activities that I had always wanted to do but never came around to, as dusting and cleaning my entire bookshelf, throwing out all the odd trinkets and objects, pieces of paper, and bottles that didn’t hold memories anymore. I finally organized my wardrobe and as I ran out of things to do, I slowly surrendered to shedding layers of societal and institutional education of thinking, that doing necessarily means doing good and have welcomed the idea that presence is key.

As I’m writing this piece, I am sitting on a chair overlooking our garden. It’s the first day of rain from many weeks of sun and I am just enjoying the clatter of rain gently falling on the dizzy green grass dancing in pure form. My herbs look quite sad and disheveled but my plants that crave humidity as the Monstera are finally showing their bloom. The world is in silent bloom. As I sit through this canopy of grey, I reminisce the roar of an engine or the distant chatter of people passing through. How the distant present feels all too much like a dream. Something I can remember, but only slightly, as a new world is settling its stay. Everyday has felt like a Sunday for me and I can’t help but think of the word surrender.

How I enjoy time now, is completely different to how I perceived it before the pandemic. Time is of essence but not in the sense that I had to be doing as much as possible but in that it is giving me an opportunity to live the day with presence.

I am slowly understanding the language of intimacy with myself and with my partner. I have started to enjoy the sun in a different way. She is my giver, my mother. I honor that sense of connection to Earth. In the darkest hours I learn to surrender to that, nothing more, nothing less. As I begin to deconstruct my priorities, understanding that certain pilasters have not necessarily been a real priority but a desire – perhaps a desire to take the easy path and follow conventions, here is my real soul breaking out in song. As the world is breaking down, I am re-evaluating my priorities. Nothing consumeristic is of prime importance. Sustenance. Love. Nature. Food. Water. Sustainability. And, Community are words that I see as key. As I meander through this new space of looking at the world, I see that many people out there are following the same path. You too are re-evaluating everything you put on the table and are discarding the things that mean less to you. For in this darkest hour we are finally realizing what gives us light and what drags us down.

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