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Photo: Two arms reaching out for each other from opposite ends of the frame

To the blankness living in my lungs,

While the feeling is specifically rooted in the global situation, it stretches out, connecting to a much earlier time. It’s as though this is just the maturity of something I’ve known for longer. See, the year 2019 felt like a tragedy to me. It was a very invisible but unmistakable loss—of safety, perhaps, or comfort, stability or understanding of any kind. I no longer have clarity of my life, the world and my place among the two. But that’s not something I’m allowed to grieve, is it? I can’t mourn “a bad year” and I definitely can’t take my time doing it. I wish I could be a ghost: lingering in the spaces where I think I might find answers, while never having to explain myself. My only job would be to try and move on from that damned emptiness that blankets everything.


“The Isolation Journals” is a 30-day quarantine creativity project. It was created by the brilliant Suleika Jaouad for the challenging occasion that is COVID-19. A different journaling prompt lands in my inbox every day for the month of April, each one from a different writer, artist, musician or thinker.

In Jaouad’s own words, “The goal of this is not to write the next King Lear or to churn out publishable masterpieces. It’s an opportunity to pause, take a few moments to exhale and reflect, and to expand our creativity as a community during this extremely challenging time.”

Entries are written first in my offline journal and then backposted to the blog as the date it was composed. Read all series posts from the beginning.

Apple Nocom

Apple is a witch, a writer, and a mental health advocate from the Philippines. She keeps a blog as a creative outlet and a self-care diary, so she writes about depression, self-improvement, art projects, spiritual practices and other things that help her cope.

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