Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Oddities in Silence

Of all the queer habits that I could've picked up amongst the silence the one I did not expect was to make friends with a grey bunny plushie. Pity plushies don't talk; at least they're nice to cuddle.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The world as was, the world as is, the world as will be

"We're past that stage", a friend reminisces; she was angry at two friends' seemingly distant reunion - they didn't hug and just went back to business. "it was just this mind-blowing moment when I heard that", she commented. I remember that phase myself - where me and Jon decided against taking a photo with the Jar. Our friendship is deeper than that, we thought.

October 12 2014 he replies a message I sent him on the 21st of August. Been busy, he says.


A year later another message appears out of the blue. J's back in Singapore for three weeks. What do we talk about? Sweden? China? My plans for the future? His plans? The other J?

So much to catch up on, so much to talk about. At least I know that with some friends the fences are really moats instead of walls. Even if they're ocean-wide at least the paper aeroplanes come once in a blue moon.


Sometimes you don't realize but "We're past that stage" isn't a good enough reason to keep a memory of things. You ARE past that stage. We all are. But we don't stay there forever. We only recognize the stages that we've gone past but never the ones that are coming up, never realize that there is never a stage that doesn't need to be recorded for memory. Every stage feels eternal and everlasting until it's gone - the flights, the farewells, the breakups. We all move on, eventually. 

It's fine if you don't want to remember the past and want to burn the pictures away. It's not fine if the pictures were never there because you foolishly thought that friendship was forever, that times never change and that people never change.

They do. They all do. We all do. The mother you see everyday making breakfast could be in the operating room tomorrow, screaming enough in the nights that you wonder if euthanasia via painkiller overdose would ever happen. The friends you see everyday for hours on end last year aren't even in the same continent as you anymore - Asia has no future for them. Even in Singapore, the people you see together, the people you support, may very well be apart the very next day. They have no future for each other. People move. People change. People move on. 

When you realize that the times you spend together make up 90% of all the time you'll ever spend on Earth, that 90% of it is already gone, squandered into the good memories with nothing lasting to show, you think a bit more about the 10%. The remaining tenth that you have to earn - in flight tickets, in reschedules, in trying to get everyone together for what could be the final magical moment together. You start to see it for the magic it really is; the ones that come free along with the ones you earn. 

It's just a pity you never know what the real percentage of remaining time left with each and every person you treasure is, huh. If you treat every meeting with your friends as the very last meeting you'll ever have with them (fearing the car accidents, plane crashes, and every other statistical outlier that could possibly fuck you over) you'd always treasure each and every second you spend with them. But you can't.  


We really should've taken that picture with Jar. Between Europe/America, Asia and Australia, who knows when the three of us will be together again? Three years and counting. Will it hit a decade?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thoughts about thoughts, writings about writings

It is not so much with much reluctance that I restart writing this blog, as it is with much inertia that I find it extremely difficult to restart this blog. I no longer have a way with words the way the mes of the past have had; I have probably traded a life of thought and mind for being more easy-going, glib with my mouth and more understanding of people.

I really wish I could easily write in the way I did last time, I do. But at some point life became about living as opposed to thinking and mindlessness became the way instead of questioning, Thinking became an issue of 'what is wrong' - thinking about how to correct a problem so that you can stop thinking. Maybe the problem is that you're thinking. Maybe that's the true sign that something's up.

It's not even that I am incapable of any coherent thought altogether - I've had decent, quality conversations with a number of friends talking about a large number of things under the sky. People, events, ideas, the like. The saying was that which category you talked about more determined your intelligence; maybe I just went from being intelligent to being dumb, average and smart at the same time. I could live with that. But my tongue flows when people are around. The good and bad, the smart and dumb, the deep and shallow.

But here it becomes a wall. Thousands of words are fine for university essays but five hundred a struggle when reflecting on my own life. Maybe it's the lack of people. If I have no one to interact with, the thoughts cease. Could that be the case? Could I just be a foil to everyone else's life, doomed to giving nuggets of wisdom and thought but never thinking hard enough about my own life? The thought is attractive - the conclusion depressing. But it is a thought. I've lost the ability to talk to myself. About myself. With myself.

The writing habits are still there. The rule of three. The nice, short and succinct sentences that give the little staccato in the writing. The longer run-on sentences that feel almost like rambling a series of afterthoughts after the initial point. but never truly follows coherently. The streams of consciousness that ebb and flow, the thoughts that slowly arise to the surface but recede back into the sea before I get a grasp on it. But the thoughts behind them are empty. All that is left are thoughts of thoughts. Writing about writing.

A thing about quiet people is that others always try to assign other traits to the quiet person - is his or her silence golden? Is there wisdom behind the facade or hollowness? Everyone knows that the man always talking is hollow - empty vassals make the most noise. No one ever mentioned that the quiet ones could go either way.

And for now, the silent vassal here is hollow. The attempt to knock at it to create some sound just echos and reverberates mindlessly. Just more sounds of knocking from attempting to knock, echoes of thoughts from trying to think, traces of writing from trying to write.

It's still too difficult for now, but I have to get back to this somehow. I have to try. I just hope I keep trying. The thoughts are there. They're still there for now. I have to catch them before they're gone and I stop thinking. Before the time where the only thinking I do is how to go back to being thoughtless.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prayers in pain

Dear Lord all I wish for is for my mom to find a working combination of painkillers. That if surgery is an option that it goes safely and successfully. That we can eventually live past this and think "thank God that's over" instead of living in this for as long as she lives.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On expectations and friendships

The man from the west (Ironically currently in the East) mentioned that pain and suffering only result from expectations. My mom told me that it was meaningless to feel pain and sadness over things you have no control over. You subject yourself to unnecessary pain, unnecessary sadness. You cannot hurt the man who never had expectations in the first place.

If the pain, the suffering can be prevented then, is it wrong to subject yourself to avoidable pain and preventable suffering? No, he says, there is nothing wrong - it is human to expect and human to be hurt. No, she will probably concede, there is a difference between meaningless actions and wrong actions - futility and moral wrongness are separate entities to compare.

Expectations, he says, can be likened to a form of human attachment. Perhaps the follow-up to that is that having no expectations suggests detachment. If you have no expectations, you cannot personally associate with the pain and disappointment - after all, you never expected a good outcome, how could you feel bad over a bad outcome? But in a good outcome, do you actually feel good about it? How happy is the man who expected to get second but got first, compared to the man who expected (and hoped) to get first and got it?

You wrote that friendship is beautiful because you have less expectations of it, and its reciprocation is a pleasant surprise - an unexpected joy. I disagree - you have expectations and hopes for it, regardless of the fact that you're aware they might not be met. Friendship is beautiful because people meet expectations even though they are not obliged to. They sound the same, but the disappointment that results is different - after all, you can't feel sad if you never expected anything. You can feel sad if you expect something even if you're aware it might not happen. Friendship is beautiful because it goes in spite of possible  disappointment, not because it is a pleasant surprise over a situation where no expectations are harmed.

Are my expectations of friendship then wrong? If the annoyance, pain and hurt I feel is completely preventable, is it wrong to not prevent it? "In the first place", he asked, "is this something you have a choice over? The zen person doesn't think about not-thinking, he just not-thinks. There is no choice."

He mentioned that there are times where there are no skillful and diplomatic means to solve a problem, that the idea that you could overcome any problem if you tried hard enough is but American fiction and myth. Is it wrong to recognize the myth, yet subscribe to it regardless and to feel pain when you are forced to realize its mythical nature? To try to fix something that cannot be fixed, to rebuild a friendship that either spoiled or never existed?


I seem to have, at this point, an obsession with associating moral rightness and wrongness to ideas of efficiency and utility. A rather unhealthy behaviour I must say.


I considered why I was staying and didn't just quit, leave it all and be rid of these feelings. He mentioned feeling that way for ICT - mistakes better ignored but best confronted. "Deep down", he conceded, "it kind of unsettled me". Another good friend mentioned it as something to be proud of - to continue in spite of it. Is the struggle really as noble as they put it, though? Maybe I'm just a selfish and foolish guy thinking that this will pay off in the end. Who knows how I feel deep inside?

What I do know is that for a group to perform better, you need to have better teamwork. And while I've learnt that it isn't always true, I still prefer to subscribe to the idea that it's easier to make teamwork work if you're on good terms with everybody. Nothing wrong with the more professional approach but I wished it could've gone down this line instead.

For today, though, I just wish I could perish the thought that friendships can be bettered or fixed by trying to reach out to mend them...

...or perhaps stop seeing friendships where none existed, though that's even more pessimistic.


The whole writing ended up much shorter than I would've thought it would, but I guess I should be thankful for the distractions that made it so. If there is any good in this it's that I now know better the people who do stick around with me in... more annoying times.

Alternatively it's just because the Amaretto's effect wore off and I'm more sober again.