A L I N A  Ç E L I K 


    21 September 2021

       “I took these at 1 PM today. The smoke from the fires blocked the sun and turned the sky orange, but the AQI was the lowest it’s been in weeks. My asthma has worsened recently and it was getting harder and harder to breath each day, but I haven’t had to touch my inhaler even once today. The tolerable air quality meant that Kristal and I were finally able to swim in the ocean again, we haven’t been able to do that for a long time. It felt selfish to be taking care of my mental health all while the world was visibly burning around me. I felt soothed by the water and privileged to be breathing well while the sky was dark and the whole thing reminded me of being in when I was seven and my sister taught me the definition of “ominous”. She said, “Imagine a big dark grey cloud in in the distance that was headed for the clear blue sky. That cloud is ominous because you know something dark is coming”. I wonder if, while she was swimming today, she also thought back to that moment”.