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The most important changes in life usually go unnoticed. Nothing grand or fancy about them, really–they just happen. Only by looking back can we see them quite clearly.
Two weeks: a mere dimple in the passage of time. I was 20. I wanted to escape from the tight grips of comfort, and I found you. I yearned to be away from home, looking forward to coming back able to see her in a new light. I wanted to face my fears, so that I can have a little more courage.
I couldn’t have been more ambitious.
Now, I crave to breathe your winds and hear the train’s roar. I wish to witness how you like your clouds and how your shape frames the ocean.
With you, Hanoi, I was reminded of my smallness, and by being part of you I have discovered where I stood in the larger scheme of things.
So often have I been caught up in the grandness of life that I’ve become blind to the beautiful nuances that make it work. It was by looking more closely into your everyday, Hanoi, that I bore witness to life’s grace, realizing that it doesn’t lie in the affluent and adorned, but in the simple and elegant. Life’s grace lies not in having more than what I need, but in giving value to what I have and making the most out of it. It thrives in finding out and knowing, and always living in gratitude.
All I had was a glimpse of you, but I came home more than ready to accept the changes I witness and partake in, whether subtle or grand.
I have learned and I will continue learning.
Thank you, Hanoi. Until then.
Photographs: Geloy Concepcion | Text: Zyrael Fortes