In design, figuring out how to demonstrate where something belongs to can be simple. Distance — or in other words, proximity — allows something to be grouped with another thing based solely on the space between them. It doesn’t take a designer to figure this out (although the terms could be quite exclusive).
But is distance also the answer to the questions of where someone belongs to and of how much someone belongs?
These questions takes me back to ocean where, at many points, we identify ourselves with. For someone who doesn’t live by the sea, the constant departure and arrival kind of blurs the established if not self-proclaimed belonging to the ocean. Mondays would pull us back to the city and some weekends would throw us back out to the white waters.
Push and pull.
It’s distance and time, clearly. One needs to be near and stay near, they say. But who’s to say whether we belong or not when belonging is a gift we ought to discover on our own? Let alone belonging not counting numbers but moments. Not days but essays. Not tenure but culture.
I think it helps a lot that we live in the Philippines. An hour or two of a good drive takes us to the nearest shore. An hour and a half of plane ride can take us to some of the best beaches in the world if not the best. If anything, we can choose to belong anywhere want to by just being here ; and be what we want to be since we can never really be too far from the sea.