Two Months Later

There’s a frequent and unnerving energy in the air on Sunday nights. Anxiety that goes with the start of a new week. A kind of discontent that melts with the weekend.

It is Sunday night and there’s still so much left to be figured out. Thoughts to be put down on paper. Decisions to be made and prioritized. I’ve been living for too long inside my head that I’m beginning to forget, or rather neglect, my primary universe. I am not tired, just impatient.

Literature Picks: The Lottery

ImageI first read Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery during my literature class back in college. It became one of my favorite short stories ever.

It starts out uncomplicated and linear – a summer day in a picturesque, idyllic village. People were gathering in the village square for the lottery. The story progresses with descriptions of the villagers and the shabby black box that represented the tradition. An unspoken tension brews as they proceed with the ritual.

We begin to understand the story as it ends – as the unfortunate fate of Mrs. Hutchinson is revealed. A lottery that nobody wants to ‘win’. A lottery that isn’t a game but a human sacrifice. I just love how the plot twist was delivered. It hits you with sharp juxtapositions. It explodes with so much cultural and historical mirrors, that unfortunately, to some extent, still exists in this day and age. Intense but not overdone.

This is the type of story that makes you think about it more the moment it’s over. What is the “black box” and how is it still present today? When does tradition turn into folly? Why are some practices still being followed (blindly or explicitly) despite being irrelevant and even damaging? And what can we draw out from Mrs. Hutchinson’s anguish before her impending death?

(Image Source)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Sea. What kind of emotions does the sea or ocean make you feel? Do you remember the first time you went in the water? Had a wave crash on you? 

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I’ve always had an aversion to the sea. It gives me the image of drowning and sinking to the bottom of the vast expanse of water. Thinking about all those sea creatures that could be creeping up my feet is enough to make me squeamish. I don’t like being in ships or boats as well. Being far away from (or worse, having no sight of) land is almost sure to give me an anxiety attack.

I have never been in the sea. I was never brought there as a child. Earlier this year, I’ve had the chance to be actually near the sea. Of course, I didn’t go in the water. I enjoyed the sight, the feeling of the wind in my hair, gritty sand between my toes and the taste + smell of the air. I’d love to experience it again.

Somehow, I understood why some people has such a strong affinity for the sea. There’s really something serene and peaceful about the sight of it. I don’t feel the need to be in the water. It’s okay if I never get to try doing that. I appreciate it but I’d rather stay on the shore. Or by the infinity pool/side.

Two Thoughts

Two thoughts to cap off the night.

1.  The pursuit of truly knowing something should ideally begin with a blank slate. Of course, there are established values, beliefs and preferences that will somehow predetermine the outcome. However, there’s also the ability to put things in perspective. To bend without breaking.  To make a little room for something possibly good.

2. It’s actually nice to work on a holiday. I can wake up a little late and not have to wait an hour for the train. It’s much more peaceful. Although we don’t get a double-pay, I never complain about getting up to work when everybody else gets to rest. It’s not everyday that I actually get to observe and appreciate my surroundings. And of course, having the elevator to myself and being free to do whatever.

Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star.

A list of things I wanted to be (around age 10):

1. A writer – I kept a “fanfiction” notebook which isn’t really a fanfiction because I’m basically the main character. Oh, and whenever we had plays in class, I would always volunteer to be the scriptwriter. I would even ask other groups to let me do the script for them!

2. A lawyer – Because doctor/lawyer/teacher were seemingly the only legitimate answers to “what do you want to become in the future?” back then. People expected you to pick out a “normal” profession.

3. A movie star – Oh yes. I liked writing stories, scripts and acting. I even kept a list of movies I should have starred in and roles I should have played. Such a revelation, isn’t it?

4. A singer – Not just a singer, but a pop singer. I may have watched too much MTV back then. I was nine or ten when I started writing songs and like any other beginning, it was awkward and slightly embarrassing. I even signed up for singing classes in fifth grade. I had a relatively impressive range; it decided to stop existing one day.

Are these connected to where I am now? Let’s see.

I still write, but of course I write different things now. I write songs. I write blog entries. I don’t write fictional stories, or at least not on paper or with a machine. I spin them inside my head, like a movie, because I end up ruining them when I try to take them out. I have a poor grasp of writing mechanics so it causes a lot of frustration. However, I sometimes write purely for amusement, without thinking of mechanics of whatnot.

Of course, the idea of being a lawyer was never a serious one. But I do have a “normal” profession – something expected, perhaps a typical choice for someone with a background like mine.

I no longer want to be a movie star. But I’m not gonna lie here, if there’s a chance and it’s actually good then why the hell not? Though I’d rather be the one making movies. I may have quit film school, but it doesn’t mean I’ve completely lost interest in movie making. I want to do other things first, but I’m probably going to try my hand at it somewhere along the way.

I admit that I had pop singer dreams up until I was fourteen or fifteen. I am still very amused by the thought of me actually wanting it. My friends wanted it, I wanted it, we daydreamed about it together. I love music and I’ll always be interested in basically everything related to it, even in the most seemingly remote way. I like composing and remixing. I don’t know the correct way to do it, but I do it anyway. It’s better than just letting it remain in my head. The next thing I’m working on? Stop worrying about perfection and actually putting it out there!

I have burned many bridges and dismissed some possible career paths. I’m open to a lot of new options (without forgetting my priorities, of course) but I guess that some childhood dreams will always remain in one way or another.

It’s nice to look back at these things. I’m glad that I still remember some of them. It can really help put some things into perspective. And provide amusement, too.

Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

Daily Prompt: In Good Faith.

I’m going to take a slightly different direction with this one. Everything is personal and not meant to impose. First, I think that “religion” refers to something rather external while faith is is a little more fundamental and personal. Next, I think that there are two main things that throw people off about religion/faith/belief: 1.) The lack of tangible evidence to prove the existence of a higher being, and 2.) Religious people who claim to be without flaw yet fail to practice what they preach. A disconnect in humanity.

Belief started as a mainly theoretical practice. It was taught in school. It wasn’t practiced at home in the conventional way but it was still very present. I knew it was inherently good, but it remained mostly on the books and not in my actual life. I’m not gonna lie though, a lot of misguided preachers tend to give God a bad name. It gets discouraging. It almost makes you feel like you are defined by your faults. And that faith is only for those who live without faults. “Love your neighbors” became “love your neighbors if they’re (insert supposedly superior quality here)”. I’m not surprised that it throws people off.  However, if you truly want to know faith, you need to look beyond second-hand information and experience it yourself. Seek it. And of course, learn how to listen!

During my early years in high school, I met other Christians who practiced their faith in less customary and more personal manner. I realized that this is not a one-track thing. And it was actually something that made sense. No, not sense. More like something I could connect to. Something human but spiritual. It was not a turning point, but definitely a start. Eventually, I started studying more about other faiths. They are very different but quite interconnected at the most essential points. It did help in putting things into perspective. I also started reading the Scripture in a different light. I think that it gives us a good grasp on God’s character, but it can be confusing as it can be re-interpreted in so many ways. Note that I used “re-interpreted” because the Word in itself is already an inspired interpretation.

I did not go through a phase of questioning higher power. I didn’t have a need to. I’ve been through countless situations wherein it would be perfectly normal to think, “If God exists/is good, then this would not happen.” But the thought simply didn’t make sense to me. Besides, if everything happened without flaw and trouble, what would be the use of improvement? The human experience simply does not work like that. If it did, then it would be not much different to a movie with a linear story line and a completely predictable turnout of events. Balance is constant. Seemingly opposing, but complementary forces exists to keep the balance. Or something like it. The Universe has a way of balancing itself, and it always blows my mind whenever it happens. Maybe if you try to step back once in a while and put things in perspective, then you can probably see that things that didn’t turn out well can actually turn into something unexpectedly positive. I believe that every good thing comes from God. And that, because the creator is reflected in the creation, every being is fundamentally good. But wait. A lot of things turn out terrible doesn’t it? It’s either a.) free will lacking in guidance or b.) the initial, ugly phase of ‘bigger plan’ (cause and effect? metamorphosis?). It could be one or both. Also, remember how darkness exists only when light is put out or decreased?

I see the existence of a Higher Being in people, chances, dreams and the small unexpected things that make everything better exactly when you need it (some may call it miracles, others consider it luck). There’s still so much to discover and so many things to experience. I know that I lack consistency in staying true to my belief but I’m working on it, little by little. After all, a part of me is still completely human and flawed.

Belief/disbelief is experienced in different ways for different reasons. This is how it’s been for me.

Daily Prompt: Origin Story

Daily Prompt: Origin Story.

This blog is barely a month old. Some of my thoughts are too long for Twitter and possibly out-of-place in Tumblr. Hence, I decided to make this blog!

I keep a blog on LiveJournal but I no longer update it. It’s where I keep my teenage years alive.

There’s no particular goal in mind when I made this. It’s mainly a personal blog. I’ll probably be embarrassed if some people read it, but I’ll put this out here anyway. I like being able to look back at my thoughts and what better way to do it than by publishing them online. Lately I’m doing a lot of these daily prompts to keep things going and thoughts flowing. I’m probably going to share more things eventually.

Reaction and Response

A thought from last night: Art is proof that negative things can turn into greater, positive things with the right mindset and action.

As a believer of balance, interconnection and the bigger picture, I think that certain things, including those we’d rather not experience, are necessary for learning.

As an avoider of tough times (perhaps an inevitable feat of the human side), I find this idea more of a curse than a blessing.

I guess you can say that I view misfortunes as a challenge to turn them around. I like using them as some sort of motivation. I also like using them to create possibly artistic outputs. Maybe not in a conventional way, but nonetheless a creation and an expression.

Good art is honest. They have all kinds of stories behind them – some good, some bad, some even seemingly uninspiring. It’s so beautiful to see/hear/experience rebirth; to see negativity turn into something new, something greater. It is beautiful to see people making a choice to produce something good out of opposing forces instead of choosing to dwindle down completely.

Daily Prompt: Back to School

Daily Prompt: Back to School.

I can give you a list with twenty different fields of study (sociology, literature, graphic design, list goes on..) but if I had to choose one, music would be the obvious choice. Production, composition, scoring, performance – I’d love to learn them all. Or media. Not film or journalism, but media studies in general. It’s like a big balloon that contains most of my interests and my background.

Back then, I was pretty convinced that I wanted to take up graduate studies in an area related to my undergraduate degree. And then, I entered my first job. I realized that no, this is interesting and nice on paper but something else excites me.

I’m frequently interested in so many things at the same time but I’m forever inclined to creative arts. I’m not as good as I want to be, and I know that it can be practiced without school. But if I actually had the means to go to school for it, why the heck not?

Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?)

Daily Prompt: Party Animals (?).

Sustaining the energy when it comes to social interaction isn’t exactly my best feat. I’d say I’m more likely to want to hide in a corner with a good book (or journal).

However, I tend to go the other way whenever I find the situation surprisingly good. It’s a bit hard to tell. Sometimes I find myself accepting an invitation I wouldn’t normally accept, then end up actually enjoying it. Then sometimes it’s the opposite. I go meet up with people I’ve been wanting to hang out with but end up wanting to go home right away. I guess it depends more on the timing + activities involved rather than the people. Or maybe they all have equal bearing on the outcome.