( ) - Shit happens but so do dreams.

November 30, 2016

The plane huffed as it sat on Changi Airport's runway. I was listening to Samskeyti and watching a Qantas carrier take off before us, then the tears just trickled down.

Fifteen hours ago, at past midnight, I was treading the whisper-quiet streets of Bishan, soaked in mud from sole to the fringes of my jumpsuit. It rained the day before, turning Fort Canning's grounds into a pile of odorous mush.

Yet over a thousand people happily rushed to take their spots on the slush for hours on end. Many of us have been waiting for a decade to experience Sigur Ros. 

Eve, a girl I met on the train back to Jurong East, traveled all the way from Malaysia. Outsiders like us in Singapore speak in different tongues, but on this night we are all the same.

For the hordes who flocked to the Neon Lights Festival, Sigur Ros isn't just some Icelandic band. They are light and love. For some, like me, they are also an intervention. Before my daughter came to my life, I listened to Von, Avalon, and Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa every depressed day. Vaka nursed my pain when my stepdad passed away. In long, somber hours of being in deep shit, Sigur Ros' music held my hand, even if I didn't understand what Jonsi is singing (I still don't). 

I dreamed of Iceland and coming up to them to say, "Your music saved me. Takk." 

And now I am here, continents away from Iceland, being transported there. Amid an exhilarated throng of people - fire in the night, this mushy earth beneath my feet - I am finally living a lifelong dream that was not even planned this year. 

Singapore and Sigur Ros were impossibilities - financially, above all. Yet the universe pulled the strings, and this morning I walked in Chinatown and Changi's coast, listening to Sigur Ros' live songs that I recorded in my phone last night - a night with the boys whose art, whose gift walked me through unforgiving roads.

To shut my eyes and hear Jonsi, Georg, and Orri's transcendental melodies so close; to open them and see the boys raw is a delicate and magical experience. It took quite a while, with me already buckled in the plane, before reality sank in.

So I cried. I cried tears of gratitude for art, light, love, and silent in-betweens. I cried because there are always stop signs, but when we follow the light, the universe conspires. Because today I'm going home to my daughter to tell her that shit happens but so do dreams.

At 2:18, a tear falls.

Connect with @filipinaxplorer on Instagram

© Filipina Explorer. Design by Eve.