by Lynn Kim Do


Stale. There’s been a stale air stubbornly floating around me. I can feel my arms flailing and awkwardly creating shapes with the atmosphere just to stir shit up. And I can feel my peers doing the same. I can sense us giving up. And then going right back at it. But what is this feeling? It’s like a secret even even I don’t know. It’s like a rumor slipping out of everyone’s tongue but mine. Except it’s not a juicy rumor. Nor is it charged with energy. It feels like an uninteresting fact that we all share and yet it is so personal at the same time. As I try to dissect this stale air, the answer seems like it floating farther and farther away. But there is one thing I’m very sure of, very sure of what the outcome of this is going to be. Change.

But how?

How when the stale air is like mud suffocating our lungs? When the only thing to do is to keep going. It’s all we say to one another in small rooms through cheap wine. It’s what we silently nod to one another in foreign coffee shops and familiar workspaces. It’s what we fill and then empty out in each hug, each embrace, each sing-songy way we say “Hey, been awhile…” And the only way I can describe this community yet very lonely feeling is the word “HOPE”. Hope that our clumsy flailing and cries for help will be returned with gracious warmth, patient kindness, and thoughtful “AHA” moments. That in this stale air, there was a purpose that we will find purposeful in retrospect. So let’s keep flailing…

Images by Raquel Paiva.