dear fifi, we celebrate you

Painting of a forest under a night sky

Dear Reader, Diamond here.
I hope that through fifi’s words and my public letter to fifi, you will be able to understand that as a reader of a tiny space, you too are celebrating my little brother, and listening to his voice.


Dear fifi,

How strange to even imagine what your life must be like now. As we both know, the world has drastically changed in recent times, and we are each—where you physically are and where I physically am—experiencing astronomical change day-to-day. And then there is also the arrival of our niece, and a blossoming of love and emotions felt by our family. It is so much change for you on top of your own lived experience moment-by-moment.

It’s always wonderful seeing you on video when I call home. But there is only so much interaction video calls can facilitate. I mean, honestly, seeing you only on video is kind of weird. So it is in my hope that my letter, this letter, reaches you safely and is less weird than the whole video thing.

It’s kind of surreal thinking back on our journey, working on a tiny space. It’s always a weird feeling, having something that was once private put out into the world (do you feel that way too?). Over the last couple of years, working on the book and then releasing it has kept me close to you and everyone else. I’ve missed everyone a lot, and so sieving through your poems and having a project centered around them helped ground me. I felt a notable shift in our family dynamics during the book project and after its release. I’m sure you felt a shift in you too.

Even as a tiny space was being written and compiled, I think we were all feeling the moments escape from our fingers. This book is but a moment in the past; our lives are all so different now. And yet having a tiny space in existence feels so important. I pick it up from time to time for a read myself. I pass it on to others and it sparks dialogue. a tiny space has been to open mics and music jam sessions here where I live. It’s kind of cool seeing it have a life of its own. The book has shifted people’s perspectives in profound ways.

But for you I know that the process of working on the book and later releasing it was very different. a tiny space is a commemoration of your own journeys, in many, many regards. You’ll know it better than I do.

We celebrate you, fifi coo. Your family, your friends, and now, your readers.

I hope you dream big, fifi, and never hold back on the power of your words.

Your jie jie, Diamond
From far, far away

(From September 26, 2020)

p.s. Mummy told me that she read our family reflections from a tiny space to you, and that you responded on your stencil board with “heart is moved”. Same goes to you, fifi, when I read your poems. My heart is moved.

“As stars in the night sky gleam,
In Eternal Hope I now live a dream.”
fifi, October 2018

“One thing I have learnt… is how hard it is to be heard, even when one has a voice.”
fifi, January 2020