Nov 29, 2011

Another year has passed... The worldly people say. Good things and bad things happened, but overall it was a good year. Next year, there will be new resolutions; next year will be another overall good year, because they will manage to stay alive and have their birthdays celebrated. Good, good. At seventy, with seventy good years behind them, they can finally pass on in good peace. Good friends who are still alive will come for the wake. Little children, upon seeing their mothers weep, will do the same without knowing why. There will be a light rain in the sky, but after the cremation, the sun will come out again. And the world goes on, the years go on for the other worldly people, the good and the bad things go on, but overall everything will be good.

I will die a bitter man, that I am sure.

Nov 28, 2011

Thus I go on knowing this one thing: 'In a few years I must finish a certain work.' I need not hurry myself unduly; there is no good in that. But I must work on in full calmness and serenity, as regularly and concentratedly as possible, as briefly and concisely as possible. The world concerns me only in so far as I feel a certain debt and duty towards it, because I have walked on that earth for thirty years, and out of gratitude want to leave some souvenir in the shape of drawings or pictures, not made to please a certain tendency in art, but to express a sincere human feeling. So this work is the aim—and through concentration upon that one idea, everything one does is simplified. Now the work goes slowly—a reason the more to lose no time.

—Vincent van Gogh

Nov 26, 2011

I gave up today upon reaching the end point, yet we have not crossed it. It's true that I have given up on almost everything. Except life—I dare not, which perhaps is my cowardice that saves me. Like Don Quixote my grand heroics do not find a place in reality; like Faust my intelligence has me consorted with the devil. The thing to do is to write my book, and what it means is that it can be completed tomorrow or when I turn seventy. It takes a whole life to write about another life in its entirety. The epic keeps me going. I will myself to experience life's sweets and sufferings. I fail and I fail and I fail. And then I succeed some. And then I battle demons in my head. And fall to a mediocre exterior. And at seventy, with my life written in the form of another, one shall close while the other goes on living. I will laugh in it. I will cry in it. I will fall in it. I will rise in it. And the only thing I have ever wanted to do, really, with my life, is to move a heart.

Nov 25, 2011


"What? What? I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear."

Nov 23, 2011

It's not possible. A year ago I moved into this blog thinking that a change in environment would help my health, but I realise that at some point the past always has a way to catch up. If only we knew better. Already everything is too late for redemption, it isn't a matter of wanting to be a better person from here on but being constantly reminded about my mistakes. The question—free will or fate?—will determine if one can be saved; but I have no answer.

Another imminent breakdown. I don't think it is possible anymore. The book, the book, the book...

Nov 22, 2011

It is amusing how people call me up whenever a dark topic such as death appears. I should think those thoughts are best written in a private notebook, kept away from the eyes of others. But, you see, one wants to be read; and then one doesn't want to be read, if reading amounts to an attempt at understanding a person. Then the calls and text messages come through, and the author loses his mystery with every explanation of "I'm good, I'm doing well, that was nothing, just a thought." And one day when he really kills himself, it is only because nobody can or knows how to help anybody; talking solves nothing.

The man thinks about what it is like to be on his death-bed at seventy: "I'll probably conclude that my whole life is stupid, and then die." Better that one dies abruptly in an accident, so there isn't time for stupid conclusions.

Nov 19, 2011

"If you understand, things are just as they are;
if you do not understand, things are just as they are."

—Zen proverb

Nov 13, 2011

The man did an amazing thing today: he walked twenty kilometers home. "I can die a happy man now." But tomorrow comes, nothing spectacular happens, and he does not die.

Nov 11, 2011

He pledged devotion to his friend, another man. "Stop it. It's unacceptable." "To be capable of love, one must accept damnation." The friend, a Christian, never talked to him again.

Also, Camus: ...a holy man who has lived his whole life in sin (never partaking of Communion, not marrying the woman with whom he lived) because, unable to endure the idea that a single soul was damned, he wanted to be damned too.

Nov 8, 2011

He was grateful towards her for she wanted to love him, but it was something he could not allow her to do. Thus, he chose to avoid looking into her eyes; but once, when he caught them by chance, he saw a sadness and felt a tenderness for her. It would become something he will always associate her with, which he could not speak of to protect her purity from his taint.
After A died, he felt a change in him. He felt capable of devoting himself to A's parents like a son they always had. The first months were easy; after that, he needed to get away from them, because everyone was crumbling inside but nobody could talk about it to anybody. One day, he stopped visiting them altogether.
The priority is art: devotion to myself and what I can create. That does not mean it will be right. Either way, it will be my rock to carry through my life. Mine alone.

In writing, it is no good to begin from a word processor, chiefly because one does not feel the words like how one comes to understand them in longhand. And the worse thing: using the wrong typeface.

Nov 5, 2011

The working man.

The man always excuses himself at the last moment. Today I will write my book, he feels. But he mostly never does. When he is supposed to meet his friends the next time his guilt makes him excuse himself once again. I've work to do, and he says nothing more.

Nov 4, 2011

William Styron: "The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads."

Nov 2, 2011


There are days, like today, when a sudden sadness fills my entire being for no reason. I cannot explain what it is that makes me unhappy, and in my helplessness there is nothing I can do to lessen it but to walk in circles in my house. I will go from my parents' bedroom to my brother's to my own; to the kitchen and to the balcony, where I do not stay long for my sadness does not like light. In the end, feeling maudlin and weak, I will curl myself up in a foetal position on the sofa or crouch in a dark corner of the house and sob. There is nothing dignified about a grown man giving in to his emotions. But when my father returns from work, as my ears will sense the sound of keys jingling, I will quickly wipe the shame off my face and meet him at the door in a composed manner, pretending to be getting ready for dinner. I then leave to brave the world outside; and when I return, and see that my mother has also come home, I no longer feel sad. But tomorrow, tomorrow will come again and with it the sadness once more.