“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank
On writing about equality and fairness of the quality of the human life in her essay “Give!”, Anne Frank had this inspiring message to give to the world. She found hope in that everyone, great and small, can start immediately to help bring about justice by giving of themselves. That this advice came from a girl who simply believed in the goodness of the heart despite the persecution she was under is enough to transform any hearts. Not many souls can speak of hope the way Anne Frank does.
And so, as I go back to writing about hope-my favorite subject to write about-, Anne Frank was my first choice of muse. Even though her life came to an early end in the horrors of the holocaust, the words into which she poured her innocent heart and soul, still travel around the world, from ear to ear, and heart to heart, always waking up the hardened souls of those who live in the dark corners and those who stand at the crossroads of darkness and light. She makes me believe in the power of simple words. She proved how one can make a difference in the world without even raising one single command. In her deadly silence lies the power that shook the entire world. To those whose fire of justice still burns in their hearts, Anne Frank is the symbol of never-ceasing fire, a phoenix reincarnating decades after decades, always coming back stronger than before. In a way, her immortality through her own words, is the highest form of justice, revealing and witnessing the cruelty of the evil that has been done to her pure soul. Anne Frank was not quiet when she was in the hiding, and she has never been so loud especially after her death. A writer never stops talking even when she finally puts down her last word on her last page. As a matter of fact, the real conversation begins when her work goes into publishing. And that magical quality is what makes me choose the writing path, even though, it gives me a whole lot of depression.
This morning starts with real gloom. For the first time in weeks, I finally acknowledge that this growing gloom has been a real existence, a heavy substance within my organism, and not something that I have imagined in my head. I observe my own gloom as if I am looking up at the dark heavy clouds. Oh, it’s there. It’s really there. Hello, again! Look how I am able to bare this pain! No one even notices yet! Well, except my parents and my sister, they know because I had that panic attack again the other day which is not easy to disguise.
The panic attack is the grand opening of my depressive period. When it comes, it reminds me of the year when I would have nose bleeding the day before I start my menstrual cycle. I always woke up with blood rushing out of my nose, and I would know that I was starting the period the very next day. But eventually I grew out of that weird PMS symptom that all my female friends envied. And I know I will grow out of this panic attack tendencies one of these years.
But for now, it is a dangerous signal, and I cannot take it lightly as I did when I used to have frequent nose bleeding before my period. This symptom leads me to a rougher path than the menstrual cycle. And a much longer path, too. A path to tread lightly, maybe, but it is never a path to wait out patiently. Because if you stagnate and just wait until the symptoms disappear naturally, you are going to be so far behind that once you realize how much further you have drifted away from the reality, and from where you were, that realization alone will start a whole another episode. You might really go manic. You may never make it back.
I look at my mind with the eyes of my consciousness. Its color is as dark as the black coffee. It’s not that easy to light up the mind. It doesn’t work like making a black coffee creamy.
I meet M for a quick breakfast before his morning commute. Being with him always makes me smile, and this morning, I think I especially needed that smile. But I have a hard time engaging into any life events, even this romance, and I am almost relieved when the time comes for him to go to work. I don’t have to hide my gloom anymore. I can, again, let some of my gloom out of my head without having to worry about ruining the moods of others, especially those that I deeply care about. I’d tell you that it’s a very heavy burden, if you ask me.
At the grocery market, I see an old lady with many wrinkles. She had a hard life, I can tell, though, she seems quite ok to be working at the market at that early hour. I pay for the creamer, to lighten up my dad’s black coffee. He’s a hardcore coffee-addict-he replaced alcohol with coffee a few years ago in his attempt to quit drinking- and he has been out of coffee creamer for the last two days. That little effort- to go to a grocery market and find the coffee aisle, and go through the cash register and walk back to the car- feels like a task that requires at least 20 people to my weakened mind, but, I don’t have time to wait for 20 people to gather around to finish the task of purchasing a bottle of creamer. I don’t think anyone will participate.
I bring home a creamer, and proudly present it to my dad sitting in the corner watching the Korean news on his computer. I sense his gloom, perhaps heavier than mine, from being out of job again. I know what goes on in his mind. He’s battling between hope and despair, between light and darkness. But today, he has his creamer, and I know he can make his coffee just right. Today he has that.
As I walk to my silent room to finally let down my guard and let my gloom take the best of me for a bit to feel lighter, I think, how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve someone’s coffee. I may not be improving this world anytime soon, but today, I did improve my dad’s coffee. I know that means the world to my dad.