A Light Heart

A painting of clouds

Sojourn #6854 by Jeannie Ho, from the series Sojourn


Dear Reader,

It’s so lovely to reach you here. I’m Wei Lin, the new Marketing and Publicity Manager at Ethos Books. I have read quite a number of Justin’s letters and it feels surreal to be in his place. His words have offered me much comfort, especially back in 2020, and I hope I can continue bringing some of that to you.

Has 2021 been kind to you so far? I look forward to the time where I can see your (masked up) face—at a bookstore, a fair, a reading, between pages. We can smile shyly at each other, or laugh gloriously over irreverent anecdotes.

I’ve been easily tickled for as long as I can remember. My imagination takes me many places, and as a child, The Faraway Tree series was my escape from restlessness. Possibly because, like the Faraway Tree, my head nests itself defiantly within the clouds, dreaming of other worlds where I could be a giant, a ladybug, or walk upside down with a hat for a shoe. I planted my unsure self next to Moon-Face, short legs swinging to my heart’s content. I shouted with joy riding down his slippery-slip, taller than any man-made slide.

And yet, I find it uncomfortable to look at clouds. Maybe because they drift so nonchalantly and slip away before I can figure them out. I am more familiar with weight. The weight of making something of myself. Of doing the right thing.

Of being more.

Lightness is a gift that has helped me crawl out from difficult places. It is easy for me to travel, to wander. And wonder. Especially when my body is weighed down.

The world is a serious place and we have so much work to do. And that is why I cling on to effervescence. Skip around the kitchen. Dust my cat’s nose with a flower. Slip the stalk of a cili padi into my partner’s dish and laugh to myself. Make faces. Make up languages. Challenge koels.

What is your lightness? I hope you keep it close.

Wei Lin

(From March 13, 2021)