On Labyrinths

Aug 7, 2019

Plaza de Armas
Cusco, Peru

“Labyrinths seem to function similarly to how they appear, a sort of dense infolding of attention; through two-dimensional design alone, they make it possible not to walk straight through a space, nor to stand still, but something very well in between.

 What these moments of stopping to listen have in common with those labyrinthine spaces is that they all initially enact some kind of removal from the sphere of familiarity. Even if brief or momentary they are retreats, and like longer retreats, they affect the way we see everyday life when we do come back to it.”
- Jenny Odell

Listening to Urbandub now on Spotify, this famous rock (they have their own genre) band who were famous in the 2000s, during college and early post-college years. They have the type of music that you can definitely get lost in. The music I listen to when I want to escape in moments when I can’t physically. Like right now.

To my left is a piece of paper with highlighted lines of my deadlines for the next two months. My google chrome window has 10+ opened tabs of news articles on the PH and KR bond markets. I’m distracted but I am able to write functionally at least. But from time to time I’d look at Twitter, finding comfort in rants of famous and non-famous fellow Filipinos who are also currently affected by another stupid ‘traffic solution’ by our government. This and the rain have brought commuting in this city to another level of hell.

Three months back. Survived one month back at work.

Those four months in South America was a labyrinth for me. A removal from the sphere of familiarity of days like the ones I have now. A long retreat of independence and freedom from responsibilities and emotions. I needed that long walk in that labyrinth, a stop where I could roam around with just myself and well-being to consider. It’s a place, a stop, that I knew was just that. Because it wasn’t home for me. My people were here, back at home.

Now that I’m back home, I find myself looking for small pieces of labyrinths too. When things get a little bit too much. Just a small piece of space, or music, that I can be free in. I find them in the courtyard in my office, or the malls beside my office. Or listening to Lizzo and Urbandub. Or this, typing away like this. Or long reads I find in the internet.

We need them. Labyrinths. Small moments and spaces to detach. So you can find a new source of energy and patience to deal with the life choices you've made.

I hope you find one for yourself today. You need it, you deserve it. Go in that labyrinth and walk for a bit.

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