To Write, Imperfectly

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been writing prose or stories on my blog or anywhere else online for quite awhile now, and the answer does seem to be eluding me.

Do I not have the writing prowess to churn out decent work on specific topics? 

Do I not want to share my opinion on issues so as to avoid scrutiny or discussions?

I don’t think it’s either of the above. I suspect it’s because I’ve gotten tired of looking at my own thoughts and opinions beyond the place where they are most comfortable in, which is in my head, naturally. To see these thoughts translate into words on a page or a virtual space, it seems like an imperfect expression of all the massive mental workings that is going on within the tiny physical confines of the brain (and not mind, because who can quantify the mind, physically or otherwise?).

An article, a prose, while they do essentially capture a certain aspect of your thoughts, are limited and committed merely to how you craft them. Once you commit them into ink or print, they create an impression of you and your thoughts that may or may not be true; the words give the author a personality, and vice versa. It may reveal a part of who you intrinsically are, or it may misportray it regrettably.

And we haven’t gotten to the emotional bit of writing yet, a domain that is arguably distinct from the cognitive process itself. Words at best can only give a faint reflection of the raw emotions that arise in a person at any given point of time. Since it is already itself a mammoth of a task for a person to accurately pinpoint to himself how he is feeling at any one moment (without even determining the reason for the emotion), how much more difficult would it be to express them in words to impress upon others these emotions? 

This is exactly why brilliant writers are always so celebrated by the world. They have the ability to capture, even if imperfectly, the raw essence of emotions and parts of the human spirit, as well as convert sophisticated trains of thoughts into understandable language. They make us more comprehensible to ourselves. 

To be able to write is a gift, and indeed one that is often powerful and influential.  Looking back at the above paragraphs I’ve written, I realise that perhaps I am not that weary of watching my thoughts play out on a piece of paper or space anymore. I think the physical manifestation of thoughts in the form of words is beautiful (though at the same time essentially imperfection), and perhaps it is this inadequacy that is touching and perfect at the same time. It reveals the sophistication of the human mind, and the dynamism of everything around us.

Will I start writing more again? Most likely.

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We Run

We run, and we run. We run all the way across the parade square, to the spot where our younger selves used to sit. 

I’m in brown again, no longer the military green that I was clad in a moment ago. I feel like I’m in all white back in my junior college again, a proud young man ready to take on the world at breakneck speed. 

I look around, and I notice this isn’t the elevated parade square of my recent two soaring years. This is the parade square of my childhood years, an old but happy place of endless running and jumping. A place where I felt (and still feel) truly free.

We reach our spot, and we giggle like we used to all those years ago. Silly we seem, but happy we are. 

“Here?” I ask with a smile spread across my face.

“Yeah, here” you reply with a sincere laughter.

 I never felt free like this in a long time.

The next thing I knew, 8:40am. Blue stained sheets, old yellow blanket. I groaned, as all sense of happiness and freedom vanished into thin air in an instant. 

A Haze of Blur 

I took another puff and exhaled. The smoke makes no difference to anything, it’s all a hazy blur. So what if I cough with each inhalation? It’s as though I am silently strangled and choking in this mist of restraint and confusion anyway. 

I reach for the cup beside my bed, gave it a light swirl and downed whatever remained of it from the night before. It didn’t go down well, and caused a jerk as it slid uncomfortably through a dry and coarse throat from a puff too much of Marlboro. ‘Damn it’ I thought, as I stare into the shroud of uncertainty gathering in front of me, a sinister shade of the unknown. 

Freedom awaits outside of these gates.