The White Rose is what the Fool starts with in the beginning of the Major Arcana; and it is what remains when Death inevitably comes knocking on your door.

But what is the white rose? Why does it exist? And why does it continue to exist even after Death has left its mark? Perhaps it’s a reminder of purity – that even after all those transient life experiences – there’s a part of us that remains forever untouched. 

And just like that – like a poof of smoke, like a snap of the fingers – a life that I spent close to four years building is over. I’m temporarily back in Singapore as I write this. Can’t say I’m particularly keen to be back – but it is what it is. Despite all the development and changes that Singapore has gone through in the past 11 years since I left – to me it will always be my tiny island. 

I can’t admit to have had a particularly great childhood. I can’t even say that life’s been kinder since I left home. But at the end of the day, I am that fool – jumping off that elusive cliff – in search of myself and the adventure that is life. 

And my Japan chapter was an adventure. An amazing one. 

It may have started off stormy and tumultuous – but it ended with farewell parties that lasted a good two weeks. Each night an over-indulgent liver damage extravaganza. I stopped drinking a year ago – but even I couldn’t resist indulging in a bit of decadent behaviour as I closed a formative chapter and got ready to write a new one. 

I was meant to leave for my new destination (yes – it’s still a surprise) on 5th July – but due to unexpected personal events – I’ve been suddenly diverted to the most unexpected of destinations. Can’t say I would have personally volunteered to go there of my own volition – but life has pushed me into making that decision. And so I’m off on a plane tomorrow – to go someplace I haven’t been in over 12 years. 

And so I remember – that Singapore wasn’t my only home. I may have grown up here on this tiny island, but a part of me has always been elsewhere. 

Today I was reminded just how fragile and fleeting life is. Sooner or later – we lose everything. Our homes, our lovers, our friends, our family, our stability… No matter how much we try and hold onto things, nothing is truly ours. I suppose at the end of the day we still have our memories. 

But I’ve spent enough time around the elderly to know that someday we lose those as well.

Life is short. We must cherish it. 

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