This image features a stock image illustration of a common gecko.

Letters To What We Want is a series of letters composed by friends, responding to the question ‘What do you want? In 2021 and beyond?’. The format was left open, as was the choice to sign off anonymously or with a pseudonym.

In exchange, I sent them an artwork, which can be viewed at the end of the post.

Gratitude is easy when times are good. Now that a pandemic has upended our lives, it’s harder now to even accept this existence, much less having any gratitude for it.

Yet –

All things considered, I am privileged and comfortable. I have never experienced war, hardship or hunger.

The worst thing to have happened to my physical self is a botched snatch theft and two dengue fevers. And I’ll include intermittent fasting – a bit of a stretch – and I’ll allow you to mock me.

In the stillest of nights, I find myself digging deep for reserves. When dawn breaks, I find that I have nothing left because nothing is left to fill up the empty.

I’m long past waiting for things to “return to normal” because it never will.

What I want is to regenerate. I want to be the mint plant on my balcony.

I realised this after basking in the sun every morning.

I don’t even want to be a Redwood or a Meranti. I no longer have ambitions of being mighty. If I end up being a garnish in a bowl of laksa, or a spring roll, so be it. If I wither and die, I’ll return to the land.

I need to embrace the organic to regenerate mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. That’s all I have within my control.

And just for the sun rising, warming my face until it becomes slightly sticky with sweat, is all I am grateful for today.

Image of Country Musik: Movements #15, given in exchange for this letter.
An edition of this work is available in the shop.