I am living busy days, some even would say life-changing days, but nothing is set on stone. Not just yet. We might as well keep dreaming and let time pass. The uncertainty takes my mind into a spiral of mixed emotions. My mind resembles a puddle of standing water that looks calm on the outside but festers below the surface. My thoughts do not flow freely, and even worse, they always go back to the same dark place. But my drawings, my characters, and little muses come to my rescue. They guide my hand to the pencil, and slowly what was dark becomes colourful, peaceful and even cheerful.
And sometimes, I draw self-portraits just to have fun
Some days life gets to you, some days are harder than others, some days seem worthless and dry. On those days, you feel like you should just stop searching for that sparkle that makes you feel alive. And then without any warning, you come across the most beautiful of skies.
And then you realize that there’s more in life than just you, and your problems. There is also beauty, hope, and thousand of blessings crossing your path. Every breath, every beat of your heart is a sign that you are fine and that whatever is bothering and upsetting you now will pass. The journey is hard at times, but there are also good times. It all depends on us. Are the clouds bringing rain? Or are they here to bring us joy?
I look at the screen in utter horror. The draft of my newest novella “The nun and the prostitute” is gone. My brain is screaming thousand swearing words unknown to me, “How do I know so many bad words,” I ask to myself.My shaking hands type again, and error comes out like the unavoidable curse that has fallen on me and my computer. “It’s got to be somewhere,” I tell to myself trying to remain calm. I log into various accounts, clouds, and alternative boxes and nothing “How did this happen?,” I scream at the computer. And again error. Tears come to my eyes but I refuse to give up, and go old school and take a look at abandoned USBs. The first USB only brings more disappointment. The story repeats itself with the second, and the third USB I check. And the last one, the one I named “Kuro” (black in Japanese) brings almost no hope because this USB comes with me everywhere, to my classes, to my lectures, to my business trips. I know what’s in there, and what it isn’t.
But I decided to check it anyway. And to my surprise, there is an old copy, only 22 pages, almost a fifth of the final version. “Better than nothing,” I console myself. I decide to keep checking just in case, I click in an old folder and there, shining like, an oasis in the desert, is a PDF version with all 98 pages of it. The whole novella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The characters and I cried of happiness. We’re together again. I found what was lost. Or better say, the characters found me again. I’m home. And kuro, the hero, takes a well-deserved rest.
The airplane took off leaving Tokyo; taking me with it, and my expectations about Taiwan. I had done my research. I always do, I mean since I am an obsessive-compulsive reader, it’s not a surprise that I read everything I could possibly read about Taiwan. But what I hadn’t done were hotel reservations, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, this traveler doesn’t like making hotel reservations. Before you condemn me, hear me out, because I have valid, if not, strong reasons to not make hotel reservations
1.- I want to go to the places, where tourist doesn’t usually go; and don’t want the travelers’ websites to tell me where to go. I want to discover my journey on my own. 2.- I want to search and look for the city treasures as soon as I land. 3.- I want to get to know the locals and talk to them; not as a customer/tourist but as one of them. And nothing better than getting utterly lost to do this 🙂 4.- I love the adventure.
I know this might sound illogical for some people, but one of the reasons why I learned some much other cultures is that I always tried experiencing the country as one of them, not as an outsider but as a local. And arriving at a hotel makes it difficult for me to achieve this.
I know, I know this might sound strange for some (ok maybe for most of you), but it works for me. However, I have to admit that I regretted my decision when it started to rain; and the heavy drops began pouring on the English man, who bravely accompanied me in this adventure and me. He needed refuge and candidly asked me “Where did you say we were staying,?” he asked hopefully.
And it broke my heart to answer “I haven’t made any reservations, remember?,” I said awkwardly.
The disappointment darkened his blue eyes making them as gray as the sky above us. I could literally see his hopes shattering with every drop of rain that fell on him. And the sting of guiltiness pierced my heart.
Yes, I felt guilty.
But as always lucky was on our side, we found a warm, dry shelter for our tired souls and hungry bodies. We found a hotel within walking distance that promised us the experience of our lives at a reasonable price. Once the English man recovered, we started exploring the city, getting lost together in the tropical night of Taiwan.
The English man smiles, and I felt the universe in my heart.
Taiwan was a long overdue expedition for me. Its history and culture have always attracted me with a magnetism I can’t quite define with logic. And the opportunity to visit this fascinating place, presented itself when I least expected it, as a gift from the Gods themselves.
Taiwan’s history is longer than I imagined, it was a surprising realization to discover that agriculture was developed 3,000 years ago and that the aboriginal occupants of the island presented more than one unshakable obstacle for the forays at conquering many tried.
In Asia, the calendar indicated the beginning of autumn, but not in the tropical Taiwan, where there’s sun, mango ice cream, and tea everywhere to ease any discomfort its everlasting summer might cause to its visitors.
According to legends and myths I came across, Taiwan was created by the tears of a goddess. And its women were born from the ashes of bamboo trees. However, whatever its origin, there is something undeniable special here, and lucky us, the Gods have blessed this journey.
Life has been hectic these last few months, so my stories had to wait for me, my drawings were suddenly abandoned in dark draws. But life is returning to its normal rhythm. I’m neither extremely busy nor static; I’m in balance. And once the balance is restored to my world, the drawings jump out of the draws searching for light. And here’s just some of the drawings I’ve entertained myself with the last few hours of this beautiful, peaceful morning.
I wake up earlier than usual, and I record a video that I can’t wait to share with all my online friends. I save it on my computer. But as I’m running late, I can’t edit now. I take it with me hoping to work on it while on the bullet train.
Once on the bullet train, I open my laptop, and my worst nightmare has become true, the file is nowhere to be seen. How could it be? I checked the video before leaving the house. I pressed play (you can only make same mistake twice. OK, maybe three times but this time, I checked, and I pushed record)
I could only find the photos I took after shooting the video. The photos that still mocking me.
But as I did a good job with these pics, I want you show them to you.