Friday, 17 May 2019

the art of siblinghood and loving persistence

Film stills from The Dreamers, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003
A piece of prose and a simple, birthday gift dedicated to my eldest sibling and older brother about the challenges of overcoming personal differences. A piece of prose and a simple, birthday gift about strengthening the bonds of relationships through learning to accept and embrace each other's individualist streaks and personas. Happy (belated) birthday Wendell. Though the physical distance between us poses a challenge in strengthening the bond of our siblinghood, there is a subtle beauty in the way we have both managed to maintain a sense of faith in each other's actions. There is a subtle beauty in the way we have managed to manifest a wave of support as we both find ourselves overcoming challenges in our everyday lives to both reach our dreams and aspirations. 

We are both blessed to have grown up in an environment that allowed us to dream big whilst living small. We are both blessed to have grown up in an environment wherein the three of us have developed an admiration for artistry and creation. Despite differences in opinion and personality, it's amazing how our love for art, film, literature, anything born out of pure creation and a blank slate of imagination, has allowed for us to cultivate open-mindedness... has allowed for us to slowly - but patiently - better understand each other's positions, whilst also teaching us how to properly communicate our feelings and ideas to each other over time... I figured that since the three of us are siblings who bond over the power of the arts and its escapist tendencies... that the best way to express my love and gratitude for having a loving, supportive, and patient brother is to create something to prove the extent of those emotions. Wendell, I love you, and perhaps my actions may not show those sentiments directly, but every day I pray and reflect upon the way we have treated each other in the past. I pray and reflect on the way we have thought about each other in the past. All the good and bad. All the confusion. All the frustration. All the laughter. All the tears. All the quick glances of admiration we have given each other in the brief moments of pride we may have held onto for a quick second we've found something bemusing in one another... It's the small and seemingly candid, inconsequential details that I've come to realize define the admirable persistence and strength of our relationship. 

In the past, I have let my selfishness and stubborn, naive ambitions get in the way of wanting to get closer to you. In the past, I've let overthinking and overanalyzing and delving into a toxic state of competitiveness get in the way of properly understanding who you are as a person, and properly learning to lovingly accept all the big and small details about you. Your natural and candid form of reserved expression - what I assume is your preferred method of internalizing your own complications and contradictions - is something I feel everyone should be inspired by and learn from. There's a slight sense of caution and guard over the way you express yourself, but that energy is paradoxically contrasted in this mode of dreamy idealism you appear to exude. Whether or not you are aware of this impression, it makes for a positive projection onto others. It has surely made a positive impression on me. It has surely made me want to become more self-sufficient in dealing with my emotions and has taught me to value a private display of sentiment and thought. How you represent yourself, and what others admire about you, has taught me to value the art of balancing your vulnerabilities alongside your pride and ego. You have an earthy, and grounding presence. You try your best to show kindness and empathy. You try your best to stick up for the underdogs and outsiders. Your strength derives from your persistence to become a better person. Your strength derives from your persistence to slowly embrace uncontrollable forces and necessary changes needed for yourself to grow, and for others to grow. 

What we have is a siblinghood that teaches each other to become better people, and though sometimes I can sense your skepticism and confusion over why I say the things I do, love the things I love, and display the frantic, anxious energy that follows me around in a grandeur manner - I am extremely lucky to have a brother who is accepting of those quirks, faults, and flaws. I am extremely lucky to have a brother who can calmly wait and support me (and everyone else in the family) in a journey of creation and personal growth. The art of our siblinghood and loving persistence derives from the constant need to manifest our dreams and ideas into something bigger. The art of our siblinghood and loving persistence derives from our privilege to have grown up in an environment that allowed us to manifest creative energy. The roots of our bond allow us to utilize an artistic state of mind to service ourselves and other people. We are different, but we are both dreamers. We are different, but we are both curious people. We are different, but we are both constantly looking for ways to escape the inevitable difficulties of life through being inspired by what other people can create, and what we can create by ourselves. I hope we continue to grow with each other, and I hope we continue to better understand and learn from one another. Wendell, I love you, and I hope you realize how proud and inspired I am by you. We are different, and we are not perfect people, but we are willing to move forward. We are different, and we are not perfect people, but we both attempt to seek a deeper understanding of reality to give our own lives a nuanced meaning.

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