“In the presence of extraordinary reality, the consciousness takes the place of imagination.” – Wallace Stevens...

Crows are gathering on tall, leafless trees outside the library. Chill sunny days with dead leaves on the ground bring a sense of peace to my mind. However, it takes a long time for this peace to finally sink in. For instance, the old me would just look at things that bring joy to mind, but I let the ugly power lines and the reflection of the library lights in the window irritate me. By now, the majority of crows have left without me even noticing it. One of our core problems is that we no longer pay attention to things. It doesn’t necessarily have to be nature or whatever is in front of us. Unfortunately, we don’t pay attention to ourselves anymore. Some accuse us of selfishness when we want to do things for ourselves, or we plague ourselves with a guilty conscience that might not even be valid. If you forget to love yourself and things around you spin out of control, you will most likely fail in trying to fix anything, and you will drag yourself to a lower point than before. I remember when I used to reconnect with myself every week. Going to the library at the university every Saturday had become a ritual. I would stay there and write for at least six consecutive hours with music in my ears. This was how I used to iron things out with my troubled mind – letting the music talk to me, and I would talk back to it through a blog, story or my novel (which was nowhere near completion at the time). I often hinge on those memories because they leave a residue of meaning. Getting out of bed used to be the easiest thing in the world. You get up with the determination to be productive – to do something healthy. It could be anything – you could do something to make someone’s day or even your own day; finish a book, start the first paragraph of a short story, cross-fit, call your mum.My repertoire of things to say is never really as big as I would like it to be. My creativity used to feed on hate and anger, except that I was weak, and both hate and anger would soon turn into sadness and resentment. Staying strong has never been much of a strength of mine. The only way to vent and channel these negative emotions was to write them down and give them to characters with whom the reader can identify, although he or she will perceive it differently...

An existential Child

NUHA Foundation only just posted my piece of writing. I entered a writing contest last month based on Foucault: “I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” – Michel Foucault. Discuss.” It’s up to the reader to vote for their favourite. Please have a read! Like it and/or comment on it. Cheers! NUHA Foundation – Writing contest October/November...

South from heaven

Do you think that we have reached a point where retelling the same story no longer works? We have retold the stories by Dickens, Shakespeare, the Brontes, Huxley, etc. – over and over. And depending on which generation you belong to- you might like the contemporariness of the remake. I think that ever since the ’00s ended- originality occurs only once out of ten. By the time you’re in your thirties, you begin to understand your parents because your sense of perception suddenly aligns with theirs. It’s a scary thought. It proves that Alison from the Breakfast Club wasn’t lying: “When you grow up, your heart dies.” It’s the age where your hopes and dreams are at stake, and it requires more effort and determination to stay strong and not give up. It gets harder decade after decade, especially for the artist. Did you read Ellis’s latest book where he talks about ‘Generation Wuss’? People these days are no longer immune to criticism, insults, offensiveness, or obscenity. All they want is to be liked, stand out and have tons of followers. Parents have become overprotective over their children, which means that they won’t ever be able to take proper care of themselves in the future. The only way they will try to save themselves is through victimization. If you have enough evidence to attach blame on others, you can easily paint yourself as the innocent victim. What can I say, there is hardly any courage or rebellion in that? The truth is, it’s all about money these days — compensation, restitution, penalties, and so on. What if we ever reach the state where our offensive writing and painting will be banned? What if ‘Brave New World’ (1932) becomes a reality? As if you aren’t already suffocating without soma… Transgressive fiction (Ellis, Bukowski, Palahniuk) teaches us how to channel our anger on a page. It teaches us about the worst things imaginable because sometimes you might find beauty inside of it because beauty doesn’t only exist through sunshine and smiles. But millennials are learning to fear the light. I’m not surprised that people are less happy nowadays. Postmodern art is at stake. We’ve seen it all before; we are bored. The re-innovation of the old no longer works or inspires. The contemporary sphere is full of political and natural disasters that require more of us to open our eyes and take action rather than write and paint about it. But the majority of the people don’t know what to do about first world problems- so they sink their heads. What...

My left arm is numb

Do you have friends that complain about you not getting in touch, but they see you active on social media? You are honest with them and tell them how stressed you are with work, life and family, etc. However, what they don’t know is that you have no concentration or focus left to relax and chill out. What happens is, you numb out and start going on social media because most of the time it, doesn’t require you to think. Smart people would do crosswords and keep the brain working, but I don’t. I really just want a bullet through my head sometimes, and that’s what social media does. There is more hope in a cigarette. I can’t just spare a minute or even one hour to writing or reading. I need two weeks to get into the realm of my creativity. I’ve tested it before. It’s the same as having a wound – it won’t heal within a day. I hate to say that it’s the same with writing and reading. Work, stress and other unhappy factors constitute to you losing your mind. It takes time to recover. If you are sick with a cold, you need time to recover. It’s just like that…but not many people understand. Everything is just spinning fast, and I’m doing my best not to throw up. Did I say there was a solar eclipse today or yesterday? This used to interest me…just like concerts used to interest me. And all the things that I do now, such as taking responsibility, work hard make me think what a selfish person I really am on the inside. I view many things as time-sensitive. I no longer know how to seize the day. I believe that I’m merely patient by working hard towards something better. I don’t know how long this patience is going to last because unhappiness is catching up. In the meantime, I remain sane through music and working out. I’m sick of repeating myself all the time. There’s nothing to write home about anymore. What am I still...

Oxenberger

Walking carrion is what I used to say, quoting Cioran. This is what a hopeless pessimist like him would describe a human being. I’ve done my best to shift my focus and attitude from that in the last decade, so let’s phrase it a little bit differently altogether: ‘Bite your way through this and think of the good stuff yet to come.’ I’ve always had hope – it’s something I need to get out of bed every day. There hasn’t been an instance where I wouldn’t get out of bed. No, I’m not happy, and neither are the people around me or the people that I love. I don’t know what to do except for staying strong myself. I’m not good at talking sense into people, even when they need it the most. Therefore, I feel useless most of the time. They believe what they want to believe. And you can’t change people. Unless you give me a story to write, I could create some sense. It’s the only time I’m clear-headed enough, as I’m given the chance to be imaginative and be my own God. It’s my way to remain sane, and I’m sure another million people out there feel this way. Today is the solar eclipse in Cancer, and we’re supposed to cultivate empathy. But how do you empathise if you don’t have empathy for yourself because you’re mentally so absent? Friends from high school used to judge me for continually feeling sorry for myself, and I don’t blame them. I could’ve done better in channelling my emotions. That’s what you get for being an overemotional Cancer with Saturnian energies. What were you supposed to know as a lost teenager anyway? – Learn, grow. Unfortunately, in the process of it, you numb out a lot. You don’t entirely show how much you care because it did you no good in the past. Observe, but remain objective and reserved. Either that or whatever it is that you feel is now so outdated, you already know the consequence. It’s a cliché – a past lesson already learned. It’s just that everyone has to go down that road, and it feels good to leave it behind as soon as you can. Empathy, however, is about others. Not everyone lets you change him or her, even though you love them the most. It doesn’t matter if you just want to help. Everyone I love the most is so broken. All I’m doing is making sure I’m still standing upright, focus on the things that I can do, or have to do....

Motherhood

The majority of millennials have more important things to do than settle down with kids. I can’t say I know everything about motherhood, but I’ve learnt and witnessed enough to say that I will pass on it. Many other components constitute to my decision: mental health, financial situation, the fear of responsibility and incapability. You might say that fear is a result of cowardice, which is fine. Just give me the chance to tell you the whole story first. I love my mother, more than anything else in the world. Throughout my life, she had always stood by me and ignored all the terrible things that I said and did to her (especially when I was younger). Somehow my sister and I have become the purpose of her life. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, my mum felt lost in Hong Kong. She had quite a terrible break-up after seven years of seeing that person. And when she got to know my dad, it was kind of a miracle. She emigrated to Germany for him to start a new life. It’s funny to note that she doesn’t like children. Nonetheless, she taught at a kindergarten in Hong Kong. I believe that when she accepted my dad’s proposal and moved to Germany, she still didn’t like children, and then, she was pregnant with me when she was twenty-six. What do millennials do at this age nowadays? You will probably meet a lot of them who have finished college and decided to go travelling. Or, they didn’t bother going to college yet. Instead, they work, save money and go see the world first. This trip usually determines what they choose for their future. Back in the days, people didn’t have this option, not to mention the mindset for opportunities, unless they get married before thirty and have kids. Why would they do that? Because they considered it as normal? Because marriage and reproduction are a part of the Bible? But then again, if you look closely at your parents’ lives and the choices that they made, do you see how secure they are? You can’t judge them for what they chose, because they are financially ok, have a home and a life, and they did their best to raise you. What is going to happen to those who chose not to settle down early? Can you say that they have lived and seen more than their parents? This is tricky, because of the different perceptions between parents and their children. Their children are millennials, who choose to experience the...