The world has finally begun its tentative dance back into a post-Covid normal. The smothering threat that once cut apart our lives is finally gone, but the liberation we anticipated came tainted by a haunting stillness. The doors have now flung wide, but the echoes of isolation remain, a haunting reminder of the lost time and connections, and of the adolescence that was forced to bloom in the quiet corners of solitude.
In "Silent Reflection," I tried to capture this whirlwind of feelings that arose when the chains of quarantine gave way to an unfamiliar taste of freedom. The nosebleed, stark against the monotonous pallor of solitude, is as untamed as the emotions that swirl within us, a generation of teenagers who came of age not in the bustling hallways of schools or at crowded lunch tables but in the silent rooms of our homes where every interaction was through our cold, unfeeling screens.
Being a teenager now means finding beauty in unexpected places, even in the depths of our blood, a crimson elegy to all we have gone through and all that was taken from us. We enter a world where the virus is no longer a looming shadow, but what greets us instead is an unfamiliar and unrecognizable alien landscape. We are not like any other generation. The reflection that stares back in the mirror is of strangers born from the ordeals of isolation, victims of a world that robbed us of our adolescence. The transition in the years ahead is not another bridge we cross; it's a labyrinth that we must navigate, marked by the silent echoes of the years the world stood still.
Daniel Kim (October, 2023)