Saturn Returning


I tried to rationalize why this particular piece resonated with me. In my head I imagined the artist trying to explain to herself what the feeling of loss was. 

It made sense to me. It made so much sense.
Reification–that’s the word that came to mind. To make something so abstract real. To make this ungraspable sense of loss into something one can hold, into something one can both nurture and destroy. To reify a consuming pain and make it as present as a wound that you could heal or let fester. 

Like what Harry Potter (yep I went there) taught us: “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” Once you begin to put words into things, they start to become less daunting than what they seem to be. 

This time is, in essence, a metaphorical rebirth.

But what does this actually mean? Careers will take off — or completely flop. We will meet the love of our life — or bolt from the partner we thought would be our happily ever after.

The pressure can feel insurmountable. If you are in it, take a deep breath, because your so-called “quarter-life crisis” could just be part of growing up.


“Your abandon is fiction” – “Sing Mother”, by Lani Maestro

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I think astrology is a load of bovine coprolite, but I like the concept of the returning Saturn as a metaphor for one’s maturity. 

As joy guru (her words, not mine) Shannon Kaiser explains in this Huffington Post article:
Welcome back Saturn, and hello to the year of magical thinking. 
On the way home, my friend Brian asked me if it was an automatic thing, the way I’d filter things in my head before saying them, like words passing through a conveyor belt in my mind before they came out. 

I said yes, even though I would quickly admit that it wasn’t a perfect system, this filtration. I think I say the wrong things, at times. But the more I thought about it and dug deeper to the core of this system, the more I remembered the nagging voice in me that frequently told me to try to consider the opposite of my arguments and assume that I might be wrong. I try to be, in the interest of dispassion, not too attached even to my own beliefs, making leeway for possibilities that I cannot possibly comprehend at the moment. 

You can call this existential rambling. But at 29, one thing I’ve realized is that as I grew older I have slowly come to terms that there is much more to learn, and I should make more room for change. 

Not to say that I haven’t been adaptable these past few years–I’d like to think I have been more welcoming of forks in the road. 

I guess what is slowly sinking in is the truth that there is a gracefulness to the acceptance of ignorance, and that there is a laconic dignity in appreciating that some things must end because one could only do so much with the present circumstance.

My birthday was a very quiet event. I took a leave from work and decided to head to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and check out the MET Open 2014

I promised myself that for my twenty-ninth birthday, I was going to take a break and spend some quiet time by myself to contemplate things in my life. Call me cheesy for doing the whole museum trip, but I kind of liked spending time alone and just staring at art. 

One particular installation that made me stop and stare for minutes was the work by Lani Maestro, entitled “Sing Mother”. On sheets of paper that were lined up in columns on one of the museum’s walls, the artist had scribbled: Your abandon is fiction. Your abandon is light. Your abandon has no words.  And various other statements on what abandonment had meant for her. 

By Evan Tan

Evan Tan is a writer & communications professional from Manila, Philippines.

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