July 9


Thoughts in Thailand: When We Create, We Endure.

By Odyssa

July 9, 2022

After finding out she had cancer for the second time, writer and cancer survivor (and now, again, patient) Suleika Jaouad, said these words,

"...in these really difficult moments of transition or upheaval, there's so much benefit to seeking out a form of creative expression. I really believe that survival is its own kind of creative practice."

I write this post on a rainy yet warm Friday evening in a quiet province in Thailand called Nonthaburi. 

An unused boat in Victoria Water Lily Pond, Nonthaburi.

While I move from place to place, I wonder when my writing muse will visit me again. The constant change of environment and the weariness affect my interest, pace, and passion for writing. What if I don't improve anymore? What if I can't get back to my old writing routine?

But writing spills out of me no matter what I do, whether I shut it down or remove it from my priorities. 

We may not notice it, but during trying times, our creative muse lingers around. She waits for a chance to sprinkle magic into our dry, cold, tired hearts. 

When things aren't going our way, seek creative expression. Because when we create, we step outside the sphere of schedules, lists, structure, and form. 

Suddenly, the world is in our hands. Time means nothing. The to-dos are forgotten. The papers and documents are set aside. We speak a language we understand.  Here's work that's exciting to make. Not work that we need to be good at, but work that springs out of the well of imagination, experiences, and emotions. 

'I've always believed that the best songs, the ones that resonate in my soul and therefore go out into the world and resonate in other people's, don't come from us. They come through us." -Carole Bayer Sager

It's through creative expression (it doesn't have to be artistic) that we come out of the small deaths we experience each day. When we create, we endure. In making, we live. 

My reliable folding bike in Nonthaburi is owned by my Airbnb host. 


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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