Peer Review by RockSugar98 (Singapore)

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This December

By: C.R.


    I was born on the last day of the year, which made my birthday something of an occasion and made December the defining month of the year. It acted as a culmination of the previous eleven months. It was an annual apogee that my immature mind would associate mostly with the presents. There were Christmas presents, birthday presents, Christmas and birthday presents — it was wondrous. This wasn’t greed so much as a total exaltation of a simple thing.
    As I grew older something changed. Not in any unique way, as I believe this change occurs in everyone. A change whose arrival can’t be placed; it could have been that first time I didn’t erupt with excitement at the unveiling of a present or at the sighting of a palm tree as my plane touched down. I say that because I write this under a canopy of green fronds with the ocean lingering just out of view. It seemed as the Decembers passed by, so did my once constant state of childhood fascination.
    Last December I was cold. I was chained and obliged to an application process whose prompts of reflection seemed more of a formality every day. This December I am warm and engaged in a truer form of observation.
    Seven months ago I graduated high school. I was accepted to the school of my choice. I had time to relax. It appeared that my life was at its zenith.
    Five months ago I sat in a doctor’s office, scared and broken, and as my friends moved on to the most monumental experiences I had to learn the daily, painful, and mockingly mundane regimens necessary to keep myself alive.
    Three months ago I escaped, flew south, made a final gambit for the childlike and unfeigned beauty that I knew had abandoned me. I stopped somewhere atop the Tropic of Cancer. Now I look at the palm trees, which hold static in a windless morning but lie arched from the yesterday’s gusts, and I find it easy to self-project my life onto this enigmatic world.
    There’s an intensity that the older brain lacks, an inability to fixate on the aesthetic and to cede itself to imagination. We may lose it somewhere in the often worthless deluge of responsibility and expectation. We may simply lose it as we familiarize ourselves with more immediate adult pleasures. The method of this loss doesn't matter so much.
    This December I intend to search for, to rediscover, and to reimplement something related to that childish enthrallment, that feeling hiding itself in nostalgia. I will write stories and poems and read from Bellow, Salinger, Whitman, and Thoreau. I will troll for tuna between the continental shelf and the abyssal descent. I will plunge toward shipwrecks one hundred feet below blue waves that crumble with a venerable boldness. I will indulge a singular rage to live more fully.
    As each December passes I will renew this passion, because last December I was apathetic. And I will never be apathetic again.


Peer Review

It's a piece packed with maturity of thought, which is very laudable because some novels I have read are way too childish. Also, there is an apparent grace in the words that the writer uses, which is very enchanting.


Read from Thoreau, Whitman, Sallinger and Bellow. Because a reader leads multiple lives through the pages he reads but a person who doesn't only lives once. Reading under the cooling shade of the palm is the best thing in the world, especially from these excellent people. I have gone on so many excellent adventures with the books that I have read and grown so much more. Though I would have chosen to see the shipwreak, the reviewer here scarcely knows how to swim, let alone diving. Till then, I'll stick with reading.


Reviewer Comments

This is an excellent piece interwound with personal experiences and displays a maturity process. I especially loved the portion when you mentioned how something had changed, but everyone will go through it. Like we will all get to know one day that Faeries and Santa Claus does not exist, it was all make-believe. But at the same time, this make believe feeling that is supported by the framework of imagination is one of the most beautiful reveries that people can experience. That's why most teenagers nowadays mistake growing up as seeing the previous things they used to love as a child as disgusting and puerile. But I think it is more of a process of learning to embrace one's past and keep it in a treasured corner of one's heart. I hope you get better soon (from the prose) and wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Do enjoy your holidays! :)