Sleep baby sleep

If I wasn’t praying for Somalia,Iraq,Syria,Burma, the Ugyurs, Muslims in Central Africa, do I have a right to object to others lamenting their allies? Isn’t that… Hasad? Envy?

If I’m angry with the oppressive powers that started this global fire, why am I denying those who were killed or maimed or lost loved ones – many of whom are Muslims – why am I denying them my empathy?

Is it because I buried my empathy when Somalia,Iraq,Syria,Burma,- were burning, and now the smoldering embers are being dug up by people showing the solidarity and empathy I should have showed, but cowered away from? The world is on fire and I want to bury it so that I can go back to sleep.

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” 

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

I’m a shallow lover…

…of books, that is.

I envy those of you who have read every single book that lines your bookshelves; those who are devoted monolegists ( a word I made up of mono+ lego, the latin word for read) and give each book their undivided attention. But not me.

Oh, how I am ashamed of this! I’m a biblio-player! I do judge a book by its cover; if it’s eye-catching with bright colours and cool pictures, I’d give it a chance by reading the blurb and thumb through the pages to get an overall impression. I book-read. No, not read books. I book-read; I analyse the book, the title, the spacing of passages ( curse the book that has passages huddled together in one big monolithic passage) and even the author. I look out for superfluity,redundancy and flowery language. Does the author substantiate claims with evidence or anecdotes? I skim-read to see if the eye-catching title is a bluff where you find only a 1/3 of the book somewhat intriguing and rest being, in essence, long-winded prologues and epilogues.

I’ll give a book a chance if the lack of a nice cover is compensated by its substance; the fonts,the qualifications of the author and how soon the subject-matter is introduced in the book and dealt with.

From experience, I’ve found that the more elaborate and fancy a book cover ( and the ubiquitous accolades and reviews) is, the more I’m inclined to suspect that it’s overcompensating for lack of substance. The best books I’ve read had the simplest of covers, and by the same token the most disappointing books have been those who trumped-up my hopes with fancy covers and no substance. Those are what I call Blonde-books ( like blonde-jokes, only epitomized in book format.)

And you know how people have actually read their favourite books? Well, not me. Some I love based on first impression and I mark them for a future reading, kinda like an acquaintance you take a liking to, yet don’t feel the urgency to bond with them right now. So you save their number and the two of you occasionally text and suggest to ‘totally meet up someday’ but you don’t because it’s low priority. Until you get bored or something drastic happens and you need to talk to someone, cue the bonding session. Those are my friendly books .Others have me by the title alone! Oh yes, when I find those kind of books, I lose my marbles and cause a ruckus. Time stands still, my heart beats so hard I can’t hear anything but its frantic pounding in my ears and I start cold sweating.That’s how elated I get . Those are my soul books. I would not rest until I get my hands on said book, even if I have to go the dark alleys of torrent sites!

Then there are my nemesis books which are books so shallow and pretentious it makes my blood boil! These are the kinds of books that makes me lose trust in books and not know if a good book is actually good.

Lastly in my long line of booksters ( yet another word I made up. If Shakespeare can do it, so can I…right? o_O ) are the Mentors. These are books that I hold in high regard, yet I haven’t found it in me to settle down with any one of these just yet.I can’t muster the level of commitment required with these books require and deserve.I imagine sitting down with Joyce’s Ulysses or Homer’s The Odyssey– or any Hemingway’s,Dostoyevsky’s or even dear Alan Watts’ with a seriousness bordering on austerity and unwavering devotion of attention. I can’t! Not while I’m book-hoopin’, title-judgin’,skim-readin’ and name-callin’…

No, I’ll have to get over my commitment-phobia and marry the fine art of reading books.



Bloggity blog-blog

Listen: write hard & simple. Be lousy,incoherent,messy- make it a wad of digital chicken scratch if you will. But write, and don’t worry about how it seems. Let it just be,and it will.


º You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope of creating something beautiful.
― Gustave Flaubert

º Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
― Allen Ginsberg

º To go wrong in one’s own way is better then to go right in someone else’s.
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

º Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.
― Sigmund Freud

º No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.
― Ansel Adams

º If critics say your work stinks it’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered “dangerous” but set in place in their compartmental understandings.
― Jack Kerouac

º Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

º I have no desires, save the desire to express myself in defiance of all the world’s muteness.
― Vladimir Nabokov

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Hit a nerve

“The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill–he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)

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