why i write what i write

pen-nib

i googled, ‘writing on paper’

when the heart can’t quite keep up with the mind,
what do the limbs reach out to find?

is the writer’s person a direct reflection of what he/she writes?

i hope not.

if you have a history of writing, at some point in your life, you have probably looked at the things you wrote in the past and thought, ‘gosh, what was i thinking? how could i possibly have written that? what was wrong with me!? GAH!!’ we didn’t think much of it back then (we probably even thought we were SO COOL!), but sometimes we look back and find ourselves spirited away to Cringe-Land.

as people, we are, for the most part, constantly changing – struggling, growing, and maturing day on day.

” 98% of the time, we feel ‘alright’, “

the writer’s person is the culmination of every experience they have had; the takeaways from the people they have met, the weight of the things that they have done or left undone, the highs and the lows that they have gone through.

in contrast, what a writer writes is often a snapshot of a moment in time.

i seldom write about that 98% that is probably a more accurate portrayal of who i am (okay, maybe the percentages are not so extreme…). instead, it is in the 2% in which i am not ‘alright’ that most often find my heartstrings tugged, that i feel compelled to chronicle my sentiments.

 what did the writer feel on that one day, that one moment? like a photo, each writing captures merely a single point in the writer’s imagination, especially if they were written in short spans of time. but as we put down the pen (or as is often the case these days, the keyboard), we gradually revert to being just ‘alright’. as the moment bids us goodbye, yesterday’s despair may begin to seem irrational today, and who’s to say if today’s euphoria won’t be seen tomorrow as intoxication?

 

my archives testify that i tend to be more moved to write by negative rather than positive emotions, but that doesn’t mean i, as a person, am always gloomy! every person has their own way of facing their lows; some people play video games, other people play music, i just happen to write. people say ‘time flies when you are having fun,’ and to some degree, that applies here as well: i’m not as mindful of the times when i’m happy and engaged – i just keep going; on the other hand, sorrow slows me down and sometimes forces me to stop, invading my thoughts at every opportunity. writing has become a way for me to think through and resolve my inner conflicts, for my mind to convince my heart. which is probably why http://www.flounderinglion.wordpress.com is usually not a very happy place, haha!  😦

 

in the end, i have to confess that i am, more often than not, a selfish writer – i write to vent, to channel my emotional energy elsewhere; to reprimand, encourage, or warn myself; to journal progression, to track my thoughts, to make memorials of certain incidents, and sometimes just because i think it would make a good story. if anyone likes what i write or feels benefited by it, that’s great, and i’d be happy to talk with them about it! but half the time (and probably more), i write knowing the target audience is me.

perhaps i should not speak for all writers, but at least, this is why i write what i write in the manner which i write.

i’m mostly alright.  🙂

Q

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to have less

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i googled ’embracing the rain’.

the mid-day naps which invariably end abruptly with headache and listless sitting on the bed, accompanied with thoughts along the lines of:
‘what am i doing with my life?’

the immediate and uncontrolled urge to plug the holes in conversation known as ‘silence’ and speak things which have not received adequate thought in sobriety, culminating in the mind, as is always the case, a few moments later than it should have, as regretful sentiments of:
‘why did i say that?’

the need for security and avoidance of blame; as if by being uncertain and ignorant, the liabilities that far too often stem from a lusty desire to sound erudite can be absolved by prefacing with:
‘i don’t know, but i think…’

the brooding thoughts of enmity, the breeding ground of contempt; pride that wants us to stand tall indignantly when we should stoop down with humility and seek forgiveness and reconciliation; pride that gently whispers in our ears:
‘i deserve better than that.’

the moments of distrust in the things that have been revealed; the thoughts and senses which are still haunted by the spectres of old known as skepticism and cynicism, making them dull; causing the eyes to see but not perceive, the ears listen but not hear, and the mind to know but yet still struggle to believe, inadvertently disparaging His work with doubts of:
‘how can i possibly know?’

 

all these, i confess.

all these, i pray to have less.

home (dis)comforts

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The Petronas Twin Towers

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Kuala Lumpur, my country’s capital, is a mere 20 minutes drive away from where I live. Despite that, I have so seldom visited that my experiences there can be compared to those of tourists.

Today, while I was walking towards Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) from Bukit Bintang, I noticed a group a foreign tourists were lost and needed help with directions. I happily tried to help, but unfortunately knew with little certainty where we were on the map or where they needed to go to get to where they wanted to go. They spoke little English, but I managed to work out where their destination was; still, I did not know how to get there.

Sheepishly, I told them, ‘I think it is this way,’ while internally feeling disappointed and a little ashamed. Later, further down my walk, I came to the realisation that I had given the wrong directions and immediately worried for them. I wondered if I should race back to find and tell them, but at the same time, rationalised that there was no way I was going to be able to find them considering the time that has elapsed.

I thought back to all the times I had spent in foreign countries and asked for directions, almost always receiving help or some kind of helpful direction, and despaired at my inability to return the favour to others in my home nation. All I could do at that moment was to pray that they had noticed my mistake and asked for help from other, hopefully more knowledgeable, people, and reached their destination without event.

Maybe, I should have just told them I didn’t know the way instead of being overeager to help; being overeager (or excitable) can so often be a detriment.

At the same time though, I’m not comfortable with the thought that people should be less enthused about helping only because they are unsure.

Food for thought.

this is i

There are times when vulnerability becomes strength.

Times when one lays it bare for all to see, not fearful of any retaliation, or any form of ridicule, exclaiming:
 

here i stand, here i am;
whatever you give, i will take.
so attack me if you will,
chase me up the hills
or throw me into a lake.
but this is who i truly am,
and this is where i’ll plant my flag.

 

An unmistakable show of character; a demonstration of unshakable resolve.

A stubbornness that is, if for a wrong cause, an incorrigible fault, but for the right one, a thunderous rallying cry that punches through the clouds of doubt.

a buoy in the ocean

There has never been a gathering that did not end with dispersion.

People who are gathered by similar circumstances will ultimately move on as times change.

They’ll find their families and they’ll find their homes.

And you can’t expect them to still want to spend the most important days on the calendar with the group no more.

Those days will be spent accompanying the most important people in their lives.

And you’d do the same when you finally stop being a vagrant.