In memory of one year from the start of our first lockdown (Covidversary) here are some light pictures I took during that dark period.
Another March ━ the the last month of the first quarter. But also feels like I am stuck in 2020. At least it’s officially Autumn now, my favorite season of the year.
Autumn in Melbourne is all about warm cider, book+bed+blanket, trying out new soup recipes, light sweater, beautiful foliage, colourful socks, red nail-polish, home-made porridge, starting a new journal and windy sunny days.
It’s last hour of lockdown. Making it the shortest lockdown I have experienced so far, but didn’t mean it was in any way easy or got easier.
These five days have been a constant battle of staying positive.
I couldn’t take a mental health day off today from work, nor can I anytime soon. And by the end of workday today, I felt entirely drained, like I am running on empty.
Alas, it’s almost over now. For now. This wave.
Ps. After work, I watched Contagion to wind down. Weird choice, I know. It’s a good movie, eerily similar to the current situation.
Pps. Something random, I wondered about the zoo personnel during the lockdown. Some of them still have to go to work every day to feed the caged animals. Strange time we are living in.
Ppps. Tarot card of the day was the Seven of Pentacles from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck.
When I sat down for the Monday Morning meeting, the first thing discussed was the high probability of lockdown getting extended. Not a great way to start the week, eh?
I tried to push the speculative news aside, along with the thought that I most probably won’t see my parents nor go on Kumano Kodo pilgrimage this year.
Some highlights of the day include bed coffee, payday (I pulled the King of Pentacles), cozying up on the sofa with Fafa and watching The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel on Netflix, the smell of the burning candle ━ a gift from Jik, getting a package and Wood Frog’s pumpkin seed sliced bread.
My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.
Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.
We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.
I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.
After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.
There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.
Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:
My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for, I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.
I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love 💌.
Today is the first day of Melbourne third lockdown.
There ━ a sentence I was praying never to write. The authority announced it yesterday afternoon; said it’s going to be only for five days and calling it a circuit break. As if making it sound mechanical could help to ease the despair.
I wanted to share my experience here, diary-style, as I regret not doing it consistently during the last previous lockdowns. Also, I figured surely I can commit for five days.
Today, on the day one, I woke up, turned off the alarm, recounted my blessings, drank my bed-coffee and shuffle my tarot cards.
First, I drew the card for the day, Queen of Pentacles and Judgement flew out. Then, I did a lockdown tarot spread. By the time I finished journaling Fafa had come back from the market (shopping for essential is still allowed) with an almond croissant. What a treat!
I stayed on the bed until past noon, which seemed the least I could do for myself in the name of self-care after the work week I had combined with the lockdown announcement and having had to cancel both the Airbnb and dinner-date to celebrate Valentine this weekend.
After that, I did healing yoga, showered and went to the market myself. I wanted to get myself some flowers and the over-priced hipster juice from there, which I deemed as my happiness potion. Unfortunately, the roses were also over-priced and the hipster food store was closed. Instead, I came back with stuffed capsicum and quinoa salad for lunch, red velvet Vals cupcake and iced coffee for Fafa.
I read for a while but then thought I’d give my weary brain some rest and joined Fafa to half-watch Your Honor while browsing Affirmations decks on Etsy.
For dinner, we ordered fancy-ish take-away to recreate the date night that we had to cancel. We got Szechuan style king prawns and spicy fried rice from Dainty Szechuan and when we realised we forgot dessert, tiramisu from Thirty Eight Chairs.
I also watched The Descent (2005), it was really good; and The Neighbour (2017), which was extremely boring.
Right before bed, I called my parents and got an earful to be extra cautious as if being put on lockdown is not enough. And with that, I shall retire this first day take three.
Usually, I have my word of the year chosen days if not weeks coming into the new year (last year it was Growth). This year though my heart had a hard time selecting the right one. Maybe due to the Covid PTSD.
Joy and Authenticity kept coming up, and at some point, I even thought of combining them both to invent the new word: Joythentic. Because, why not?
But on the new year day, after the 2-hour phone convo with Jik where we fell into the topic of being brown women born into semi-traditional-ish brown families who are expected to behave a certain way while carrying the ancestral guilt both consciously and subconsciously ━ the word, my word of the year, crystallised in my mind:
Space ━ a light word with such a heavy meaning attached to it. At least for me. Someone who had never given and eventually lived my life by never taking enough space for myself ever. Both literally and figuratively. I have managed to make myself (my thoughts and my life) smaller than I am (it is) throughout my life.
It’s about time for me to break the limitation set for me, which I unknowingly adopted even after I moved away from the community (Eight of Swords energy).
Space ━ I want this word to guide me throughout this year. To teach me to claim my space, to take space and to create space. I want to hold space for myself – past, present and future. To hold space for others. To expand my space (both literally and figuratively). To dwell into the liminal space. Even to stare into space and connect with the moon.
I have a feeling it won’t be easy to truly adapt this word into my life, as space is not one of my core values, but I want it to be. Therefore I shall invite space (Seven of Wands energy) into my life this year and work together with it.
– Here’s to S P A C E –
…Rang in the new year in Japan for the third time in a row. We had sushi and sake as the first meal of the year.
…Went to Bali for a weekend getaway. Now reflecting back, I am grateful we had the chance to travel outside of Australia this year.
…Started a new job in a new company.
…Practice with Miko, the first (second-hand) film camera I scored on eBay at the end of last year.
…Celebrated my friend’s, Liz, 30th birthday with a stay-cation in Mornington Peninsula.
…Joined a witch coven.
…Bought my first ever indie tarot deck created by a female artist, then the second, then the third.
…Studied for CPA.
…Started liking black-coffee which no doubt is heavily influenced by Fafa.
…Finally enjoyed a good sandwich. It’s from Tivoli bakery on Toorak road which was introduced to me by Liz.
…Lived in lock-down for the most part of the year.
…Had a lengthy period of sadness from the combination of Covid and seasonal depression.
…Which made me pick up running.
…and journal-ed as if my life depends on it.
…Got a tarot deck and oracle deck for birthday gifts from Fafa and Jik respectively.
…Had plenty of tarot readings.
…Deepen my tarot practice.
…Started a tarot blog then stopped because I thought I didn’t have that much to talk about in relation to tarot.
…Facetimed with my parents every single day from March onwards.
…Started this blog, a personal blog, but proceed to discuss mostly about tarot.
…Paid for a Google Photos account.
…Found out that Chiron has entered my chart since March and will stay there until the beginning of next year. Eek!!
…Finally read The Alchemist and generally read more books than last year.
…Stayed in a Mornington Peninsula airbnb.
…and in a Meletos winery in Yarra Valley.
…and in the farmhouse in Echuca where I took a boat trip along the famous Murray River.
…Went to an art gallery in Bendigo to celebrate our date-anniversary.
What’s the point?
But today, I got a reminder I set on my phone at the same time I chose the word in the beginning of last year. So I took a few minutes to reflect back, even if it’s a failure, surely I could learn a thing or two from it.
Turns out, I did grow a bit this year. So had my life.
This year I learned to cook at least 20 new dishes, passed my CPA exam, obtained my driving license, stepped into the managerial position at work, deepened my tarot practice, adjusted my expectations and goals due to Covid, started this blog, journal-ed, read more books than the past few years and achieved a few more things that matter to me.
For me, some of the things above were significant growths ━ but the most important growth for me was outgrowing parts of my old self and beliefs that I released and left behind.
I might have jinxed it when I wrote about the most peaceful sleep I had in months on my first night here — because neither of us got much sleep yesterday, no thanks to the severe wind storm. It had started yesterday afternoon, but by midnight it was a full-blown storm. The whole house kept rattling and the trees swooshing hard that it kept us awake, tossing and turning all night. On top of that, I was so worried that the strong ass wind would blow the chickens away.
When I saw the sunrise, I called defeat and jumped into the shower to freshen up. After pulling the card of the day (Six of Wands again) checking the chickens were still there and alive, Fafa and I sat for a proper breakfast.
We also met the farm owner, a photographer who lives in the bigger house nearby with her farmer husband and their three young kids. She filled us in with the history of the farmhouse. It was locked for 15 years before they bought and turned it into Airbnb earlier this year.
By mid-morning I couldn’t keep my eyes open and strangely felt cold in the 35-degree weather, so I turned on the heater in the bedroom and started reading the latest book Fafa got me (The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris Book by Lindsey Tramuta) before snoozing off.
It was past 1 PM when Fafa woke me up. He offered to drive us to a neighbouring town, Kyabram, for some Thai lunch, which I quickly welcomed since Asian food means rice and I haven’t had rice since the day before yesterday. After a 20 minutes drive, we were greeted by an empty town. There goes my rice dream for the day. We then tried our luck in another town, Rochester and were enticed by the menu board that offered both Thai beef salad and sriracha burger. Unfortunately, once we were inside, they told us they were only serving the display counter food. All were sad looking, but I was already hungry by then. I settled with the savoury scones thinking how bad could a scone be. It was bland bad.
So far, the day wasn’t going as I envisioned it to be. On the way home, Fafa, God bless his heart, offered to cook us some steak tonight, which of course I replied with a “yes please!“.
When we came home, I took another shower to wash the dust and heat off and settled in on the dining table with some grapes, spicy chips and a big glass of wine. With that, I could slowly feel I am back on track with the vacation vibes.
Since the weather was not too crazy and the sky was pretty blue-ish, I went out to greet the cattle that were walking back to the parlour for their second and last milking of the day.
By the time I came back, Fafa had started preparing the steak. With an addition of the quick-n-easy Aunty Jen’s summer salad (this time I added the zucchini freshly plucked from the farm) , a glass of wine and a bottle of Furphy we sat for a delicious meal.
After dinner, I prepared a bath for myself using one of the three Lush bath bombs I treated myself for Diwali. Who knew, soaking in the bathtub with a glass of wine while listening to the Wildly Tarot podcast was exactly what my soul, body and mind needed to heal and rejuvenate.
I feel so relaxed. Tonight I have a back to back Come Dine With Me starting from 10 PM, Gone Surfing tea from T2Tea to keep me warm and Home Body by Rupi Kaur downloaded on my kindle. Oh, also some stargazing in between ━ it’s almost full moon (Cancer – The Chariot) tonight and it looks so beautiful.