Today I’m going to generalize a bit about my twenties. My aim is to reframe that phase in life to emphasize the importance of the negatives as well as the positives. One of the biggest criticisms I receive about my writing is the overall seriousness – the doom and gloom of it all. Well, since I like to play with Photoshop so much, here’s an illustrated guide through that rough yet fun time of life. It is incomplete, however. It only covers ages 20-22. The rest is in the works.
Initially I was going to write something absolutely brilliant to go with this, and maybe I’ll still do that later. But several years ago, a friend of mine and former colleague told me we’re supposed to have relationships with books. Although I’m not sure if this is what he meant, I interpreted his words to mean interacting with books on the pages and margins. So when I picked up G.K. Chesterton’s classic collection of essays entitled Orthodoxy, I decided to make my reading experience like a kind of conversation. I had read Orthodoxy before, but it didn’t quite sink in the first time. However when I interacted with the book by underlining key parts and reacting to his writing in the margins, I was able to get beyond the chore of reading it I’d experienced the first time and it really enjoy it. Of course, this method of reading does take longer. I’ve actually started doing this with Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (in untranslated French, mind you). I’ll let you know how that turns out in about a year and a half. Anyway, here are some examples of the “conversations” Chesterton and I experienced. Enjoy!
I’m not sure how “drunk” I actually was when I wrote this. What I can tell you is that I wrote it in 2007 with an inkwell pen while sitting alone in my one-bedroom apartment. It’s an expression of deep sadness and emptiness, feeling painfully unwanted and unloved. I was 27 when I wrote this and that apartment was the last place I bled so badly even I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. Twice I took myself to the ER for stitches because there was no one willing to help me. The very last time I cut my wrists I was in such shocked I couldn’t tell anyone. There was blood splattered everywhere. I worked second job at Target, but called in sick that night and never returned. My left armed ached for days, but very few people knew. I never cared about the danger I put myself in back then. The transcription of this note is below.
I’m drunk now, taking the fiery liquor to quench my depressed spirit. Alcoholism. So my quest ends here, does it? What kind of fool am I? I have no one to turn to. I live in a world that’s all my own where I perceive a lack of genuine friendship and love. Love is self-serving anyway. It’s all about me and what I can get out of it. There’s no concern for the other person. And I pity the man who dares to love me. For one day I’m doomed to take my life. Old age was not meant for me.
Am I an artist? That depends on how I capture my moods. If I simply lay on the couch then there is nothing in me to give. If I sit and let my hand do the thinking it will allow for multitudes of beautiful words. Like how much I want your love and know I’m not worthy of it.
I’ve never proven I can love. My relationships have been short and tumultuous. I don’t want to work tomorrow at something I don’t love. But Edana’s coming, so I will not take the poison until after she leaves.
The alcohol has greatly affected me. But I have the feeling that the drink simply brings out the feelings that are already in your heart. I must die.
I’ve been writing, honest I have! Sure I missed posting anything for Christmas or New Year’s Day, but that does’t mean I’ve been idle. On the contrary I’ve been writing a lot and for many years now. The problem is, everything is scattered and fragmented. Ideas come and go and to keep them, I must write. But after they’ve been scribbled down on paper, they’ve been stored and all but forgotten.
I carry paper with me wherever I go. Even in this age of electronic gadgets that can digitally record everything we want to remember, there’s something more lasting and more enduring about putting a thought into my own handwriting that gives it substance and life.
Unfortunately, ideas are nothing if they are left unused and laying dormant in boxes, notebooks, and binders. They’re only really made useful when they are shared. So my task now is to release these thoughts and ideas to you in a format that’s both genuine and marketable.
The way we record our ideas – be they in writing, painting, or recorded music – gives us that unique ability as humans to keep our thoughts and ideas alive even after we’ve been dead for five-thousand years. I’m not saying all of us are called to be artists. I’m not saying artists have all the answers either. All I know is that when I read a book written by some who lived a thousand or more years before me, I feel this strange connection – not in the sense that I’m his superior or equal. The connection lies in knowing that someone I can never meet in this lifetime, separated by time and culture, still faced the same core challenges humans in this post-modern world face and are still able to teach us about life even today.
This year, then, my goal is to take these clusters of words and rhymes and weave them into a tapestry of hopes, dreams, wisdom, and encouragement accessible to this generation and many more to come. Happy New Year!
This book has come to be a great consolation to me. When something is heavily burdening me, I come here to talk to God, to myself, and think. Here is a place where my words are truly mine and no one else’s. I’m not judged in any way nor interrupted. I’m at peace and I very much wish I’d taken the time to fill in the empty days. There are so many memories worth sharing! I only wish I’d taken the time to write them. My life isn’t that hectic [after all].
A rather disturbing feeling of laziness has fallen upon me. I want to leap up and run, but I seem to lack the energy. I suffer from no illness [at least that I'm aware of] so I’ve concluded it’s entirely in my head.
This picture is just a brief preview of the upcoming blog series I’m going to do. I’ve been writing as well, but proofreading at 2 in the morning is a little bit foolish I think. The handwritten stuff was from my first hospital stay in 2003 before I was ever diagnosed or given medication (more on that later).
Last week I posted the things that make me want to read a book. Today I’m posting the things that turn me off about books. Sometimes I’ll make exceptions when there’s a book that kind of fits in both “turn-ons” and “turn-offs”, but for the most part, these are some of the general kinds of books I tend to steer clear of: