12 summers ago, a professor in my writing class recommended for me to read One Hundred Years of Solitude. I bought the book and read the first chapter when I returned home to New Orleans that August. Soon after, my family was forced to evacuate as Hurricane Katrina was quickly approaching. I hugged the love of my life for the very last time and was forever vexed with the despair of losing perfect love. And the novel — it was left on my bookcase to never be touched ever since. It was all a kiss of death, swiftly freezing visual frames that could still flash very vividly through my mind. I don’t remember many moments from each year that has since passed, but I can easily relive the hug, the kiss, the goodbye of that year like faithful replays of episodes from my favorite shows.

I purchased the book again this summer for reading on my week long vacation in The Dominican Republic. In the rainy nights amidst the breeze of the Caribbean Sea, I finished it. The beautiful passage below struck me most. I deeply felt one decade and two years later marinated so perfectly well to become the best time to read this book. My current life needed a reminder about the simple answers to love and happiness.

“He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”

― Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude



Shot by Damian Bao in 2016 and 2017 with his iPhone. Follow Damian’s VSCO Grid at http://damianbao.vsco.co.