Be the sea

The manual also offers the story of an old Maldivian fisherman who, on encountering a diver, advised him on how to enter the ocean. “Remember that you can go underwater in two ways,” the fisherman says. He takes a piece of coral from the beach and tosses it into the water. Next, he takes a coconut, cracks it open and pours the liquid in with the surf. “Look,” the old man says, “coral and coconut milk are now together in the water. But the coral is still coral, while the coconut milk is now sea.” Be the coconut. Be the sea.

I could write about

I could write about a breeze, that breeze at twelve midnight, that breeze thick as darkness, this breeze that greets you as you speed up the bike, that breeze that kisses your forehead, that whispers into your ears the most comforting lullabies: cicadas? or insects I've never seen before, a collective hum, then shadows of warm streetlights, moths encircling, then starlight when you look upward, gathering memories from a thousand days before, then ghosts on your path, brittle limbs of trees cracking as you swerve your way to where your home will always be.

Inbox

Schedule content for ID. Wait for WhatsApp messages from A, from O. Send follow-up emails. Meet with T and H at 2:30 PM, Manila time. Print out forms for my stint with W. Pay Meralco bill for November and December. Note to self that wife will meet workmates on Monday. Fill out forms for a US VISA. Buy Delimondo for Balikbayan box. Watch We Need To Talk About Kevin. Start reading Salvador Dali autobiography. Ask C if he can ask his workmates about where to buy batteries for an antiquated film camera. Arrange meet-ups with R, with other friends. Send chili salt to J. Send pho and regards to O. Ask what O's plans are with his girlfriend. Sell the fridge to A or just give it away to someone else. Find a rent-to-own apartment. Talk to B for investment tips. Try to message Mom every day. Call sisters every weekend. Give my four year-old's spare shoes to K's son. Buy a toiletry kit for Muji--this has been in my wish list for two years. Find time to sort good books from the shitty ones in our attic. Make that zine: it's been three years. Four? Say hi to P. Get the kitchen a new tiled flooring. Sort all my desktop clutter. Get a gym subscription? Toss all our smelly clothes to the nearest laundromat. Find a school for my four-year old. Make oisobagi. Buy new mason jars for more storage. Buy stackable plastic storage boxes, or one of those commissary storage shelves.

Say Yes

...and now we will never see with the same eyes
as once we did when we were children playing.
Now these eyes are closed to us,
Now our hands emerge from different arms. 

- from 'Emerging' by Pablo Neruda

Traffic volume


1. On Daniel Mayrit's You Haven't Seen Their Faces from the British Journal of Photography:

Mayrit realised she had a point, and that using “the worst possible paper and the worst possible technique” would deprive the images “of any glamour, from a conceptual point of view”. The pair also very deliberately defaced the images – writing on them, punching holes through them and even adding the occasional Post-it note. 
Using video surveillance – as the Met Police does – doesn’t make for a candid representation, he contests; instead it evokes a sort of panopticon, the realisation that there is always some entity watching us. With his work, he hopes to “turn the camera the other way round, against power”.

2. Timely concept for people who search the interwebs for the perfect gift: The Strategist from New York Magazine.

On the best umbrella: When I got outside, and I opened the umbrella, I didn’t quite know what to do. Instead of the expected dome shape, this one was weirdly angled, with one shorter side and one longer one connected at a 135-degree angle — it looked like an upside-down check mark.
On the best pair of slippers: Recently a new slipper came into my life, and I know it doesn’t sound chic but I swear to you, it is. It is made by Ugg. I know what you’re thinking, but trust me, the Ugg Yvett slipper is a marvel of slipper technology: It is somehow both dainty and sturdy, grounded and playful, comfortable beyond belief but at home with the slinkiest silk nightgown.

Teju Cole on Taryn Simon's Paperwork and the Will of the Capital:

Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement. Caracas, Venezuela, October 30, 2000
To refocus attention on the workings of power at these signings, she took an oblique approach: a re-creation of the flower arrangements. The flowers were originally a decorative note, a reflex to signal the importance of the occasion. Reconstructed, they are not mere decorations. The people are gone. The documents are absent. The isolated arrangements are like secrets that can be parsed only with the help of their captions.

Stuck, from The Walrus:

“Making a highway wider isn’t a solution—traffic volume merely expands to fill the available space. When LA tried to relieve traffic on the 405—the most congested stretch of highway in the United States—it opted for a five-year, $1.1 billion project that added a new carpool lane. The result was that rush-hour commutes are now, on average, a full minute longer. Building more roads simply creates more incentive for people to drive.”

Oddly satisfying: videos from Primitive Technology.