Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reflection: Death Comes Knocking at the Door of Loneliness

For some reason, I really like this post; it resonates with my mood in a way. This was when I said fuck you to the world and wrote and read in solitude for 11 straight months. Looking back, it was a fun time - I got to do what I really wanted to do, although the whole sedentary existence in seclusion got to me at times.

I need to write something. Do you ever get that feeling? You don't want to do anything. You feel distracted. You can't focus. You feel agitated. What you've been doing all along looks pale and gray, dull and almost insignificant. It's not really boredom, but simple restlessness. And it sometimes helps to spell it out though I'm afraid when it's done, it comes out wrong.

Have you read Rilke? If you haven't, please do. Read this line for example: "We don't know our feelings' contour, only what shapes it from outside. Who hasn't sat anxiously before his heart's curtain?" It's just right. To me, right now, that is. You have to be in that particular mood to read poetry - those condensed constellations of words sparkling with feelings and moments.

What do I want to tell you? I want to tell you that I'm agitated, and nothing else. What can I say? I'm a lonely man. And when you're alone for a long, long time, it starts to get to you, and you start to bleed from your heart. Not many people know this, because they haven't been alone for that long, haven't steeped themselves deep in their own solitude. And what's the point? Nothing, when all's said and done. It's just an experience available to anyone - not special, just rare, because no one wants to be alone for a prolonged period of time. But all this is boring for you, isn't it? So I'll stop talking.

Like a puff of air, it comes out and dissipates into the vastness of nothingness. And like a sigh, it wafts away unheard by anyone.

But that's not what I wanted to say. No, not at all, really. Get to the point, will you? Okay.

It came knocking at the door, softly, very softly, inviting me to go over and open the door for it. Why should I? It invites me to go out with it, never to come back again. But why should I? It comes once in a while. Only once in a while in the loneliest loneliness, and whispers into my heart. It comes from nowhere, beckoning me, enticing me, wheedling me to break it, end it, shatter it. It's not a violent calling - no, by no means - but a gentle murmur almost inaudible, rippling through the emptiness I feel inside and I don't know what to do with it but to hear it, hear it and scream it out just to keep myself sane, knowing full well that it always comes out as a whimper no matter how hard I try to scratch and rip my throat with it. It comes at night, usually, and is gone by morning. The hardest part is to hold the restless emptiness in your arms and sleep with it.

What am I talking about? The unnameable: it shows everything in dull colors and beckons you to disappear.

The Experience of Being Alive

Today, I came across a quote by Joseph Campbell:

"People say what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we are seeking is an experience of being alive"

That gave me a sudden jolt while I was stretching on the gym's matted area after an intense hour of working out (Yes, Taka is getting big). It's amazing how sometimes you come across these moments when things fall in place and the world starts to look differently. Then out of this jolt, from the depths of my being came a roar of liberation:

Fuck being a lawyer!

Am I going to spend a few months re-studying that meaningless and frustrating test called the LSATs just so that I can get into a law school and spend three years studying something that I'm not wholly interested in just so that I can slave away and wallow in the tedium of legal agreements and proofreading and wrangle over legal niceties all to pay off student loans?

Yeah, but listen Taka, you'll have a law degree! You can do anything with it! And you'll be free to do whatever you want after you pay off your debt. Let's be realistic. It's a backup plan. Plan B. Safety net when you fall! Ain't that great? I mean what happens when you don't succeed at whatever you decide to do? You'll be poor, miserable, unhappy, and people will look down at you! Get a stable job, play safe, man.

Fuck you. I will do what I want. Hear me? I will do what I want to do and live my life the way I want. Fuck 9 to 5, fuck playing safe, fuck socially respectable jobs, fuck doing something you don't enjoy, fuck comfort, fuck the "Money = Success" mentality, fuck crowding out your days with meaningless routines whose SOLE purpose is to make you forget about the experience of being alive. Fuck all that. I will do what I want and I will have everything I want in my life. I will not compromise. I will be relentless.

Life is a challenge. Not a comfortable car to get a ride in. Life is a fucking mudflow of challenges. To weather through it, all you need is a bit of courage to step off that deadly treadmill of 9 to forever of the daily grind and eternal procrastination that gets you NOWHERE because all it does is produce NOTHING BUT INCORRIGIBLE INERTIA.

You live your life once.


Are you gonna get off that treadmill? Or stay and regret not having seized the day when you retire and find yourself without anything to do?

Nothing great can be achieved without taking risks.

We're all risk-averse. Every educated person knows this. But knowing/thinking is WORLDS apart from actually doing.

I've done enough thinking in college (yeah, philosophy and paralysis of analysis). It's about time that I acted. I'm gonna be a doer and enjoy the experience of being alive. I will double my life experience and have a blast.

I will enjoy my life.