Monthly Archives: February 2012

A stranger in the city of lights

Hey stranger, I don’t know why when I see you, I feel as if I’m brokenhearted.

You stand there like a statue, looking but not looking. Everything seems to pass you by.

I wonder what compels you to wake up from your sleep, or… maybe you don’t

Have you ever been in love? Did it make you leap? Or did it draw you even deeper into your shell?

Did your beloved understand you? Or did she cover up the hole in your soul then realised that she’s suck in that she was losing herself

Did you write your songs because only in that way you can feel her existence?

… With this, I’m letting you go

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Hi. I am nothing.

Let me introduce myself. Should I introduce myself to my own journal? Besides I don’t know how to introduce myself.

Sure, I can give you my name, age, where I live or what my line of work is. However it is just cosmetics. It begs for meaning, personality, uniqueness to distinguish myself from other individuals with the same name, age, place, line of work, hobby, favourite dessert or even boyfriend, whatever.You may think that my facebook or twitter page seamlessly tells my story but mine is just another cosmetics, meaningless rambles. The only conclusion you might get is I’m a discreet and shy person. I used to think that way but is it true? Is me being discreet caused by introvert nature? Or it’s because I barely know myself.

‘Hi. How are you?’ is the most difficult question to answer without resorting to the usual minimalistic answer ‘good’ because I don’t know how I am, how I truly feel about the series of events I’ve been through. I am an almost empty vessel, the only essence left is only capable of doing the most banal operation. Thinking. Doubting.

People who know me may think of me as a quirky girl with shy but easy going personality or maybe as a boring person who is incapable of entertaining small talks. But deep inside, I know the ‘me’ they know is the sum total of different unique personalities I have encountered in my life, through books, blogs or people I meet in coffee shop or on the street. I am susceptible to be infected with accents, habits, opinions, thinking of others and make it as if they are my own as well. Maybe that is why I choose a line of work that allows me to use my ability to inhabit people’s mind and steer them to certain desired outcomes. When I work, I feel excited because finally my vessel is filled but they are just guests that are just passing through. When I don’t work, I am an empty vessel again.

You might think that I need some help. But is there anything to be helped? I am not sure myself. Self-help book has never entertained me. Self-help book’s premise is to heal or improve self but what if you don’t have the self? Nor I have the patience to go to psychologists because I have nothing of essence to tell. I also don’t have the inclination to tell my friends. I once told my friends about my nothingness but they did not quite get it, they offered some consolation that it might be because I was tired and needed some vacations. I don’t know if I am the only person who is contracted with this ‘nothingness’ or maybe it’s because I’m using the language that assumes content.

Maybe I need to find or invent the language of ‘nothingness’. Then the second question… If such language exists, are my friends willing to learn this language? I suspect this requires them to submerge themselves in ‘nothingness’ but isn’t this asking too much? I am not sure if I want to demand that kind of sacrifice. Then the only way left is to find another person who also contracts ‘nothingness’. But is it possible for two nothingness to connect? Is the language necessary? Won’t it be nothing as well?

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The Name of The Rose [A book review]

"The Name of The Rose" by Umberto Eco

“A brilliantly conceived adventure into another time” (San Francisco Chronicle) by critically acclaimed author Umberto Eco.

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns to the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon to find the killer. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey (“where the most interesting things happen at night”) armed with a wry sense of humor and a ferocious curiosity.

When I read the local translation version, I was confused and avoided that book for so long (I felt stupid for not being able to comprehend it). Then one day, I braced myself to read the English version and it took my breath away. As I got into the middle of the book, it became harder and harder to put down. It’s a historical murder mystery set in an Italian abbey in 14th century. The story revolved around Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and his novice, Adso of Melk(the story’s told from the Adso’s point of view) trying to untangle the mystery (hint: truth is far more random and stranger than fiction) while struggling to face the corrupt Pope and his followers.

In the course of the story, I was tickled by questions like…

What is ‘truth’, does anyone have a right to determine ‘truth’, is it ‘static’ concept or is it naturally ‘bend-able’, do curiosity and faith go together, how we can define heresy, how we should defend our faith, will we be wiser if we stay on track obeying rules or if we let our guard down and commit sin sometimes?

This book, beyond satisfying our intellectual need (with William’s insightful analysis), but also serves as a reminder to stay critical – not blindly believe the ‘truth’ that is shoveled down to your throat regardless of the status of the person.

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