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As summer transitions into fall, the skies are spectacular, the sunsets dramatic. A sunset is beautiful, according to the Japanese mono no aware aesthetic, precisely because it comes to pass. Yet there is an inescapable banality to one beautiful sunset after another. When something transient becomes routine, repeating day after day, how do we savor it?

Just as we’re supposed to enjoy the sunset, there’s also a particular way we’re supposed to experience senior year. …

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Hillary looking presidential. [Image Source: Yahoo News]

The New Yorker’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton was one of many that expressed a hopeful certitude in her victory. “We wish that Clinton faced a worthy opponent: she deserves a less sullied, more substantive win,” the editorial board had written only days before, expecting to meet Election Day with what it calls “indescribable relief.” Rereading the piece the morning after a Trump upset, these words had new weight.

I feel so sad for the double standards this presidential race had imposed upon her, not to mention the biting sexism she had endured in her thirty years of public service. I had so hoped that a presidential victory would validate her unyielding perseverance and lift with it the hopes of all the women and minorities who voted for her. …

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You told us not to be sad after you go. “Just talk to the sky when you think of me,” you had said. But parting seemed to be a distant reality only a few weeks ago.

Our family and your many friends lay you to rest today. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I’lll miss wrapping my arms around your body as we walk up and down the narrow hospital corridor, your hand in mine. Three times a day, five laps to and fro, we walked together.

Our bond did not really begin until you faced your pancreatic cancer operation the summer before I went to college. Growing up, I felt keenly how you were more affectionate around my sister when you came for dinner on Thursdays. My gregarious little cousin commandeered all the attention when she visited Hong Kong over the summer. Sullen and defiant, I took to reading chapter books under the table during family gatherings. …


Tiffany May

@Columbia student born in HK. http://tiffanymay.pressfolios.com

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